Henry Acton
Henry Acton was an English Unitarian
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 minister, and author of numerous sermons, pamphlets, lectures, and statements.


Acton was born at Lewes
Lewes is the county town of East Sussex, England and historically of all of Sussex. It is a civil parish and is the centre of the Lewes local government district. The settlement has a history as a bridging point and as a market town, and today as a communications hub and tourist-oriented town...

, Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

, 10 March 1797, where his father was parish clerk at St John sub Castro Church
Church of St John sub Castro, Lewes
The Church of St John sub Castro is an Anglican church in Lewes, the county town of East Sussex, England . It was built in 1839 on the site of an 11th-century Saxon church, and has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building...

. He was apprenticed in his sixteenth year to Mr. J. Baxter, a Lewes printer, and became a member of a literary society in the town, where his papers were much admired. The two Unitarian congregations of Southover
Southover General Baptist Chapel
Southover General Baptist Chapel is a former Baptist place of worship in the ancient village of Southover, now part of the town and district of Lewes, one of six local government districts in the English county of East Sussex...

 and Ditchling
Ditchling Unitarian Chapel
Ditchling Unitarian Chapel is a Unitarian chapel in Ditchling, a village in the English county of East Sussex...

 agreed to give him £50 a year jointly (a grant of £10 being added from the Unitarian Fund) for serving their chapels on alternate Sundays with a fellow-apprentice, William Browne; and his indentures with Mr. Baxter, the printer, being set aside by arrangement, he placed himself as a student, in 1818, under Dr. Morell, the Brighton minister, then head of his flourishing academy at Hove
Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast...

. Acton studied Greek, Latin, and mathematics at Hove, and walked to one or other of his small congregations on Sundays, returning, on foot, the same day. He became minister at Walthamstow
Walthamstow is a district of northeast London, England, located in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. It is situated north-east of Charing Cross...

 in February 1821, and in 1823 co-pastor with the Rev. James Manning at the more important unitarian church known as George's Meeting, Exeter. There he married, became second master of a proprietary classical school at Mount Radford in the neighbourhood, and made himself prominent as an untiring worker till his death, from apoplexy
Apoplexy is a medical term, which can be used to describe 'bleeding' in a stroke . Without further specification, it is rather outdated in use. Today it is used only for specific conditions, such as pituitary apoplexy and ovarian apoplexy. In common speech, it is used non-medically to mean a state...

, on 16 August 1843, in his forty-sixth year.

He published many sermons, pamphlets, lectures, and statements, of which a full list is given in James's ‘Memoir’ (p. xcvii). They were delivered by him at various intervals from 1823, some in controversy with Henry Phillpotts
Henry Phillpotts
Henry Phillpotts , often called "Henry of Exeter", was the Anglican Bishop of Exeter from 1830 to 1869. He was England's longest serving bishop since the 14th century and a striking figure of the 19th century Church.- Early life :...

, Bishop of Exeter
Bishop of Exeter
The Bishop of Exeter is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Exeter in the Province of Canterbury. The incumbent usually signs his name as Exon or incorporates this in his signature....

. Acton also established and edited The Gospel Advocate of which four volumes appeared. He was an effective preacher, and had overcome the disadvantages of his defective education. He left a widow and six children.

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