Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brief Biography of James Jay Bolton of Pelham Published in 1886

In 1886, MacMillan and Company published the National Dictionary of Biography edited by Leslie Stephen. Volume V of that published work included a biography of James Jay Bolton, one of the sons of the Rev. Robert Bolton, rector of Christ Church and builder of Bolton Priory in Pelham. The biography appears immediately below, followed by a citation to its source.

"BOLTON, JAMES JAY (1824-1863), evangelical clergyman, was the fifth son of the Rev. Robert Bolton, rector of Christ-church, Pelham, U.S., his mother being a daughter of the Rev. William Jay of Bath. Bolton was born at Southdown College, near Weymouth, Dorsetshire, 11 Feb. 1824. His early years were spent at Henley-on-Thames, where his father was at the time minister of a dissenting chapel. At the age of twelve he went with his parents to America, where circumstances placed his father in charge of an episcopal congregation. He was educated at Dr. Muhlenburg's, College Point, New York, after staying for some time at Brook Farm, New Rochelle, and Pelham. Thence he returned to England and entered at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he obtained a scholarship in his first year, and took his degree in 1848. From 1849 to 1851 he was curate of Saffron Walden, Essex; afterwards he removed to St. Michael's, Chester Square, Pimlico, as curate to the Rev. J. H. Hamilton, and was appointed later to the incumbency of St. Paul's Episcopal Chapel, Kilburn. Here he married, 30 June 1853, Lydia Louisa, third daughter of the Rev. W. W. Pym, rector of Willian, Hertfordshire. Bolton died, aged 39, at the parsonage, Kilburn, 8 April 1863.

Of Bolton's sermons some were arranged chronologically by his brother, and published, with a brief memoir, three months after his death. A second series of 'Selected Sermons' was published in 1866. As a children's preacher Bolton has perhaps never been surpassed. He contributed largely to the 'Family Treasury,' the 'Sunday Scholars and Teachers' Magazine,' and juvenile publications of a kindred tone. He also published 'The Church Missionary Operations vindicated,' 1854; 'Faith's Report to Mourning Parents, or How it fares with Holy Children when they die,' 1855; 'Our Celestial Guest, or Stirring Thoughts about the Holy Spirit,' 1855; 'Beleaguered but Defiant, an exposition of a precious verse,' 1858; 'Life Lessons,' 1862; 'The Yoke lightened, an address to servants' (a posthumous publication), 1873.

[Gent. Mag. ccxiv. 665, 801; Brit. Mus. Catal.; the Record, April 1863; Bolton's Selected Sermons, p. xii, &c.]

Source: Stephen, Leslie, ed., Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. V, p. 328 (NY, NY: MacMillan and Co. 1886).

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