Aaron Bancroft

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For the New Zealand rugby union footballer, see Aaron Bancroft (rugby player).
Aaron Bancroft
Born (1755-11-10)November 10, 1755
Reading, Massachusetts
Died August 19, 1839(1839-08-19) (aged 83)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Children George Bancroft (Son)
Parent(s) Samuel Bancroft (Father)
Lydia Parker (Mother)
Church Congregational church, Worcester, Massachusetts
Writings Biography of George Washington in 1807 - 1908
Congregations served
Congregational church, Worcester, Massachusetts

Aaron Bancroft (November 10, 1755 – August 19, 1839) was an American clergyman. He was born in Reading, Massachusetts to Samuel Bancroft and Lydia Parker.


He began his studies during the American Revolution, and served as a minuteman, and was present, at the battles of both Lexington and Bunker Hill. He graduated from Harvard in 1778 and subsequently taught, studied theology and spent three years as a missionary in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In 1785 he settled in Worcester, Massachusetts as pastor of the Congregational church, and remained in the same post until his death in 1839. During the middle of his life his theological views leaned toward Arminianism and by his advocacy of liberalism he became a noted leader in the early period of the Unitarian schism. He published a eulogy of George Washington in 1800 and wrote a subsequent biography of Washington in 1807.[1] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1805,[2] and was a founding member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1812,[3] for which he served as vice-president from 1816-1831.[4] Although president of the American Unitarian Association, he adhered to the name and system of Congregationalism until his death in Worcester, Massachusetts.

His son was George Bancroft, American historian, United States Secretary of the Navy and United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom.


  • Bancroft, Aaron. Life of George Washington Commander in Chief of the American Army Through the Revolutionary War, and the First President of the United States. London: Printed for J. Stockdale, 1808.


  1. ^ This first edition was published under the title of An essay on the life of George Washington. and in following editions the title was changed to Life of George Washington Commander in Chief of the American Army Through the Revolutionary War, and the First President of the United States.
  2. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory
  4. ^ Dunbar, B. (1987). Members and Officers of the American Antiquarian Society. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society.


  • Christie, Francis Albert. "Bancroft, Aaron." Dictionary of American Biography. Vol. 1, Charles Scribner's Sons. 1928
  • worldcat Accessed December 25, 2009