Free, John (1711-1791)

English author, schoolmaster, and clergyman.

Held various lectureships and clerical livings. Headmaster of St. Olave’s (St. Saviour) Grammar School, Southwark (1747). Published An Essay towards a History of the English Tongue (1749), as well as numerous sermons, pamphlets, poems, and lectures. Attacked Catholicism and Methodism. Prepared a plan for a free university for all peoples and religions, to be founded by the Empress of Russia in Free’s village, Newington Butts, on the outskirts of London.

Son of John Free of Oxford. Educated at Christ Church (B.A. 1730) and Hertford (D.D. 1744) Colleges, Oxford.