Fund Academy at Moorfields, Coward’s Academy, Hoxton Academy

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The Congregational Fund Academy at Tenter Alley, in Moorfields in London, was a key node in the personal networks of prominent eighteenth-century English non-conformists (dissenters relative to the Anglican Church). Moorfields borders Newington Green in the parish of Stoke Newington. The Congregational Fund Academy has been called Moorfields Academy and also Coward’s Academy. The London Congregational Fund Board founded the academy in 1695. The Fund Academy subsequently received support and direction from the Coward Trust. The Coward Trust was established in 1738 at the death of William Coward, a wealthy dissenting merchant. John Eames, who was a friend of Isaac Newton, was the theological tutor at the Fund Academy from 1734 to his death in 1744. John Densham was a tutor at the Fund Academy under Eames. Rev. David Jennings took over the academy after Eames’ death. At Jennings’ death in 1762, the academy moved to Hoxton. There Rev. Samuel Morton Savage headed it. Both Jennings and Savage studied at the academy under Eames. Another name for the Fund Academy has been the Hoxton Academy.

The Fund Academy had many students who became prominent public figures. Thomas Secker, who became Archbishop of Canterbury, attended classes there about 1716-17. Thomas Amory, who headed the Taunton dissenting academy from 1739 to 1759, studied at the Academy. So too did John Howard (about 1740 to 1742), Richard Price (1740 to 1744) and William Godwin (1773 to 1778).

The Fund Academy at Moorfields / Coward Academy / Hoxton Academy has occasionally been confused with two other dissenting academies at Newington Green. Samuel Wesley, father of a prominent dissenting preacher, and Daniel Defoe, a writer, studied at the Newington Green academy headed by Charles Morton, not at the Fund Academy at Moorfields.^ ^ ^

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