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Heinrich Friedrich Cossart (1714-1763)

Heinrich Friedrich Cossart was born at Frankfurt an der Oder in Germany. His father was a Huguenot exile and his mother was born in England of French parentage. Cossart moved to Saxony in 1730 and from 1734 worked as a tutor near Herrnhut and joined the Moravian community there that same year. Cossart was 'confirmed' for full-time Moravian service in 1737 and moved to Berlin as a tutor for a young Moravian aristocrat.

Cossart visited England in 1739 to promote ecumenical links and had conversations with Bishop Thomas Wilson. After more tutoring in Rotterdam and Bern, he joined the Pilgrim Congregation in Geneva and Marienborn in 1741 and negotiated the establishment of a Moravian settlement in Switzerland where he resided from 1742. In 1745 Cossart visited the Waldensians and was ordained deacon.

Cossart was the Moravian agent in London from 1746 to 1755. He was extremely active in promoting the Moravian cause, visiting bishops, nobles and colonial proprietors. His lobbying resulted in statutory recognition of the Moravians as an 'antient protestant episcopal church' in 1749.

Cossart moved back to Herrnhut in 1755 although he continued to travel extensively - to Egypt between 1757 and 1759 where he visited the Coptic Pope and the Geek Patriarch of Alexandria. On his way back to Germany, he obtained a private audience with Pope Clement XIII.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis

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