Thomas Ashton (divine)
Thomas Ashton, D.D. (1716–1775) was an English cleric.
Ashton was the son of Dr. Ashton, usher of Lancaster grammar school. He was educated at Eton College, where a group of friends formed—Ashton, Thomas Gray, Horace Walpole, and Richard West—who called themselves the "Quadruple Alliance".
For some time Ashton held the living of Aldingham, Lancashire; in May 1749 he was presented to the rectory of Sturminster Marshall in Dorset; and in 1752 to the rectory of St Botolph, Bishopsgate. Meanwhile he had fallen out with Walpole, who complained to Sir Horace Mann, on 25 July 1750, that Ashton had written against his friend Conyers Middleton. Up to this point, Walpole had helped Ashton's advancement in the church.
Ashton was the author of a number of sermons, collected in a volume of Sermons on several Occasions, 1770. In 1754 he had an altercation with a Methodist minister of the name of Jones, to whom he addressed A Letter to the Rev. Thomas Jones, intended as a rational and candid answer to his sermon preached at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate. He also wrote some pamphlets against the admission of aliens to Eton fellowships.
- "Ashton, Thomas (1716-1775)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Robert L. Mack, Thomas Gray: A Life (2000), p. 103.
- "Ashton, Thomas (ASTN733T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Dodsley, Poems, iii. 75
- Mack, p. 105.
- 'A Sermon on the Rebellion,' 1745; a 'Thanksgiving Sermon' on the close of it in 1746; a 'Sermon preached before the House of Commons' on 30 Jan. 1762; a 'Spital Sermon' at St. Bride's on Easter Wednesday of the same year.