William Disney

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William Disney, D.D. (1731–1807) was an English clergyman and academic, and one of the critics of Edward Gibbon.


Son of the Rev. Joseph Disney, M.A., vicar of Cranbrook and Appledore with the chapel of Ebony in Kent, was born 29 September 1731. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School under Mr. Creech, and entered as a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, 26 January 1748.[1] He graduated as B.A. in 1753 (when he was senior wrangler), M.A. 1756, and D.D. 1789. He was admitted minor fellow in 1754, major fellow in 1756, and third sub-lector in 1757.

From 1757 to 1771 he was Regius Professor of Hebrew. In 1777 he became vicar of Pluckley in Kent, a living in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury, where he died 28 March 1807.


He published two sermons:

  • ‘Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, 28 June 1789, with some strictures on the licentious notions avowed or enumerated in Mr. Gibbon's “History of Rome,”’ Lond. 1709.
  • ‘The Superiority of Religious Duties to Worldly Considerations,’ 1800.


  1. ^ "Disney, William (DSNY749W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.