Biography Augustus Montague Toplady

Augustus Montague Toplady

photo of Augustus Montague Toplady
  • Time Period1740 - 1748
  • Place
  • CountryEngland

Poet Biography

Augustus Montague Toplady, clergyman and writer, was born November 4, 1740, at Farnham, about 20 miles southwest of Windsor, England. He studied at the Westminster School for a while, but was sent to Ireland in 1755, the same year as his conversion.

At first Toplady was taken with John Wesley's teachings, but by 1758, he had become an extreme Calvinist. Toplady received his degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Trinity College. Ordained deacon in 1762, he was licensed to the curacy of Blagdon the same year. He was ordained a priest in 1764, and from then until 1766 he served as curate at Farleigh, Hungerford. For the next two years he held the benefice of Harpford with Venn-Ottery, and for two years after that, of Broad Hembury. During 1775 he took a leave of sorts to minister to the French Calvinist Reformed Church in Orange Street, London.

His first published work was Poems on Sacred Subjects, Dublin, 1959. His major works were The Historic Proof of the Doctrinal Calvinism of the Church of England (1774) and The Church of England Vindicated from the Charge of Arminianism (1769.) He was prone to polemics and was often acrimonious in his opposition to Wesley.