Boucher, Jonathan

Boucher, Jonathan
born March 12, 1738, Cumberland, Eng.
died April 27, 1804, Epsom, Surrey

English-American clergyman.

He went to Virginia in 1759 as a private tutor. As rector of Annapolis, Md., he tutored George Washington's stepson and became a family friend. His royalist views cost him his position and he was forced to return to England in 1775. In his retirement he wrote A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution (1779); his glossary of "archaic and provincial words" was later used for Noah Webster's dictionary.

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▪ English clergyman
born March 12, 1738, Cumberland [now Cumbria], Eng.
died April 27, 1804, Epsom, Surrey

      English clergyman who won fame as a royalist in America.

      In 1759 Boucher went to Virginia as a private tutor. After a visit to London in 1762 for his ordination, he became rector of Annapolis, Md., and tutored George Washington (Washington, George)'s stepson, thus becoming a family friend. His royalist views cost him his position: by 1775 he was keeping pistols on his pulpit cushion while conducting services, and he was forced to return to England. He nevertheless dedicated to Washington A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution (1797), consisting of 13 of the eloquent sermons that he had preached in America urging loyalty to England, and he received a friendly acknowledgment.

      Having obtained a pension and the living of Epsom, Surrey, Boucher devoted his leisure to writing and to philology. He contributed to William Hutchinson's The History of the County of Cumberland, 2 vol. (1794), and spent 14 years compiling a “Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words,” intended to supplement Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language. It was published only in part but was later used for Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language.

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Universalium. 2010.

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