F. W. P. Greenwood

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F.W.P. Greenwood, portrait by Joshua Henshaw Hayward

Francis William Pitt Greenwood (February 5, 1797 - August 2, 1843) was a Unitarian minister of King's Chapel in Boston, Massachusetts.

Born in Boston, Greenwood graduated from Harvard College in 1814, and after studying theology under Henry Ware, Jr., he became pastor of New South Church in October, 1818.[1] He left this position after about a year, following a sudden illness of "bleeding from the lungs," and spent nearly two years in England.[1]

After returning to the United States in 1821, he lived for a time in Baltimore, Maryland, where he preached in the pulpit of the Unitarian Church led by his friend, Rev. Jared Sparks and married Maria Goodwin of Baltimore, by whom they had one son.

In the summer of 1824, he returned to Boston to become associate minister of King's Chapel, serving under his mentor, James Freeman, of whom he would later write his biography.[2] In 1827, following Freeman's death, Greenwood revised the church's liturgy and later prepared a popular hymnbook, which was adopted by many other churches. During his tenure, he established a Sunday School for children of the parish. His pastorate was interrupted various times by a recurrence of illness, and in 1837, he traveled to Cuba on the advice of doctors.[1]

He wrote for and edited the Christian Examiner throughout the 1820s and 1830s,.[3] His 1826 series, "Letters on Missions," was especially noted as being controversial for its severity in tone.[1] Greenwood's writings were also published in the Boston Journal of Natural History and The Token and Atlantic Souvenir.

He preached his last sermon on May 22, 1842, at a church in Salem, Massachusetts and died August 2, 1843, at the age of 46, due to his lingering illness.

His sermons were published in 1844 in two volumes by his friend a parishioner, former Boston Mayor Samuel A. Eliot.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Sermons of the Rev. F.W.P. Greenwood, 1, Boston, 1844 
  2. ^ Cyclopaedia of American Literature, Scribner, 1855, pp. 284–285 
  3. ^ Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, 3, Harper, 1894, p. 991 
  4. ^ New American Cyclopaedia, 8, New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1860, pp. 487–88 

Further reading[edit]

Works by Greenwood[edit]

2nd ed., 1835. 3rd ed., 1846.

Works about Greenwood[edit]

External links[edit]