Church, Edward (1740-1816)


Worked as a merchant and vendue-master in Boston. Active as a Mason and Whig. Supposedly wrote several anonymous political pamphlets. Carried letters and legislative journals to provincial agents in London, including Franklin (1768). Served on committee to obtain subscriptions to non-importation agreement, but was also accused of violating that agreement (1769-70). Toured England and Scotland; with Franklin, made an honorary burgess of Glasgow (1771-72). Worked to ameliorate his brother Benjamin Church’s punishment for treason; succeeded in having him transferred to a prison near his family in Massachusetts (1776). Moved to Savannah, where he was interested in cotton culture. Appointed American consul at Bilbao but declined (1790). Consul at Lisbon (1792-96).

Son of Benjamin and Hannah (Dyer) Church. Educated at Harvard (expelled 1757; readmitted 1758; B.A. 1759). Married (1) Elizabeth Furnace (1763); (2) Hannah Skinner (c. 1772). At least five children. Resided in Europe from c. 1792; died in London.