Edward Nares

Edward Nares
Born (1762-03-26)26 March 1762
London, England
Died 23 July 1841(1841-07-23) (aged 79)
Biddenden, Kent, England
Resting place Biddenden parish church
Nationality British
Education Westminster School
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Occupation Historian and theologian
Title Regius Professor of Modern History
Term 1813–1841
Predecessor Henry Beeke
Successor Thomas Arnold

Edward Nares (26 March 1762 – 23 July 1841) was an English historian and theologian, and general writer.


He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. He was Fellow of Merton College, Oxford and became in 1813 Regius Professor of Modern History. He was curate of St Peter-in-the-East, Oxford, and then rector of Biddenden from 1798,[1] of New Church, Romney from 1827.[2]

He was Bampton Lecturer in 1805.[3] Orthodox on the Biblical account, he was speculative on the issue of the plurality of worlds.[4]

He wrote for the Anti-Jacobin. His novel Think's-I-to-Myself. A serio-ludicro, tragico-comico tale, written by Think's-I-to-Myself Who? (1811) caused a stir when it appeared and ran into eight editions by 1812.[5]


His father was Sir George Nares. He married Lady Charlotte Spencer, daughter of George Spencer, 4th Duke of Marlborough (an elopement).




  1. Like all Wealden villages, Biddenden was practically cut off every winter and sometimes throughout the year when any prolonged rain would turn the roads into a morass of mud. As recently as 1807 the Rev Edward Nares recorded that even with four horses harnessed to his carriage he could travel no more than three miles from his rectory. Archived 8 February 2001 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Concise Dictionary of National Biography
  3. …Edward Nares could call on de Luc to support his nearly literal approach in his 1805 Bampton Lectures. However thirty years later Nares had joined the "Anti-geologists".
  4. See . He wrote an 1803 pamphlet on the topic. He is mentioned in Michael J. Crowe (1986), The extraterrestrial life debate 1750–1900. The idea of a plurality of worlds from Kant to Lowell.
  5. The Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, ed. Lorna J. Clerk (Athens, GA, and London: University of Georgia Press, 1997), p. 134n.
  6. Reviewed (unkindly) by Thomas Macaulay
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