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Thomas Hartley (c.1709-1784)

Thomas Hartley was born in London, the son of a bookseller.

He was educated at Kendal School and St John's College Cambridge, graduating in 1728.

In 1737 he was appointed to a curacy in Middlesex and in 1744 became Vicar of Winwick in Northamptonshire. Hartley kept the living for the rest of his life, but does not appear to have been resident after 1770.

Hartley was an evangelical sympathiser and was acquainted with the writer James Hervey. However, he also displayed mystical tendencies which became more pronounced over time. He published on mystical and millenarian themes from 1754 and in 1769 started to correspond with the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. He visited Swedenborg in London in 1770 and that same year published an English translation of Swedenborg's De Commercio Animae et Corporis (1769). This was the first of several publications that Hartley produced, which were influenced by his relationship with Swedenborg.

In 1772, Hartley moved to East Malling in Kent where he died on 10 December 1784.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography and Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald Lewis (1995)

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