Mather Byles Photo

Mather Byles

Death: Jul 5, 1788

Birthplace: United States of America

Nationality: United States

Mather Byles

Date of Death : Jul 5, 1788
Birth Place : United States of America

Mather Byles, was a clergyman active in British North America. He was descended, on his mother's side, from John Cotton and Richard Mather and was a grandson of Increase Mather and nephew of Cotton Mather. As a young man, he corresponded with Alexander Pope and Isaac Watts. He graduated at Harvard University in 1725, received his A.M. degree there in 1728 and in 1733 became pastor of the Hollis Street Church, Boston. He held a high rank among the clergy of the province and was noted for his scholarly and well-written sermons, as well as his ready wit. He often exchanged poetic satires and parodies with another Boston wit of that time, Joseph Green. At state funerals, he was often a picked to give the sermon. He published a book of verse, Poems on Various Occasions in 1744. In 1773, he was chosen to be one of the eminent Boston literary intellectuals to examine Phillis Wheatley in order to determine if the black woman was actually the author of a proposed book of poems. At the outbreak of the War of Independence he was outspoken in his advocacy of the royal cause, and after the British evacuation of Boston his connection with his church was dissolved.

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