Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BYLES, Mather, clergyman, born in Boston, 15 March, 1707 ; died there, 5 July, 1788. He was graduated at Harvard in 1725, ordained and took charge of the Congregational church in Hollis street, Boston, on 20 December, 1733. He was especially distinguished among his contemporaries for his wit and conversational powers. He possessed literary taste and solid learning, was a correspondent of Pope and Swift, and published a "Poem on the Death of George I." (1727), a "Poetical Epistle to Governor Belcher on the Death of his Lady" (1736), and "Miscellaneous Poems" (1744). He had just claims to regard as a pulpit orator; and his published sermons evince a fine imagination and great command of language, combined with terseness of expression. He maintained his loyalty during the troubled ante-revolutionary period in Boston.
In August, 1776, at the age of seventy, his connection with his parish was dissolved on this account. The next year, in May, he was denounced in town-meeting as an enemy to the country, tried, and condemned to imprisonment in a guard-ship, and to be sent with his family to England within forty days; but this sentence was afterward commuted to confinement in his own house, from which he was soon released. He continued to reside in Boston until his death, but held no pastoral charge from that time. His two daughters, the last of whom died in 1837, remained staunch loyalists to the end of their days.--His son, Mather, clergyman, born 12 January, 1735; died in St. John, New Brunswick, 12 March, 1814, was graduated at Harvard in 1751, ordained a Congregationalist minister, and for some time pastor of a church in New London, Connecticut In 1768 he became an Episcopalian, and was called to Boston as rector of Christ church, which charge he held until the expulsion of the Tories. A few years after St,. John was founded by the expelled loyalists he became rector of the parish, which charge he held at the opening of Trinity church in 1791, and until his death. He received the degree of D.D. from Oxford.
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