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William Law

1686-1761. English devotional writer. Born at King's Cliffe, Northants, he was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, of which he was elected a fellow in 1711, the year of his ordination. He declined to take the oath of allegiance to George I in 1714, was deprived of his fellowship, and became a Nonjuror* for the rest of his life. In 1727 he first became associated with the Gibbon family at Putney, on his appointment as tutor to [[Edward Gibbon]], father of the historian. Here he remained as a valued friend and family adviser until Gibbon's death in 1740 when, with the break up of the household, he returned to King's Cliffe for the rest of his life. He became recognized as a notable controversialist with his Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor (1717), which refuted Bishop Hoadly's attempt to “dissolve the Church as a society.” He ridiculed the bishop's theory that sincerity alone should be the test of religious profession, though it might testify to moral integrity, and instead he