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Henry Grew

Henry Grew (1781–1862) was a Christian teacher and writer whose studies of the Bible led him to conclusions which were at odds with doctrines accepted by many of the mainstream churches of his time. Among other things, he rejected the Trinity, immortality of the soul, and a hellfire of literal eternal torment.


Henry Grew was born in Birmingham, England, but at the age of 13, moved with his parents to the United States. His family first lived in Boston. Later Grew lived in Providence, Pawtucket, Hartford, and Philadelphia.[1]

At the age of 23 he became a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Providence. In 1811, after being pastor for four years at the First Baptist Church in Hartford. His position was terminated when the congregation decided his views were heretical.

Mary Grew and George Bradburn were reported to be "very intimate" during the voyage to England[2] (note picture of Mary Grew is c. 1860)

Grew was invited to the World Anti-Slavery Convention beginning 12 June 1840 in London. He departed on the ship Roscoe on 7 May 1840. Other delegates aboard the ship besides his daughter, Mary, were James and Lucretia Mott, Emily Winslow and her father Isaac, Abby South and Elizabeth Neall. Mary Grew was reported to be "very intimate" with Bradburn. The other delegates thought Henry Grew was ery vreligious, particularly on Sundays.[2] After they arrived, Bradburn traveled with the Grews to various locations, including Liverpool and particularly Birmingham, as Mary wanted to see her father's birthplace.[2]

Before and during the convention, there was fierce debate about the participation and seating of women delegates and attendees. Grew sided with the British organisers and spoke in favour of the men's right to exclude women, despite his daughter's also being excluded.[3]

In 1854 a similar public debate took place when Grew and Mary attended the fifth annual National Women's Rights Convention in Philadelphia. Grew debated with Lucretia Mott, during which he lauded the supremacy and authority of men.[3]

Grew preached throughout the remainder of his life with a small group of people who shared his religious beliefs. His writings were collected and influenced later religious leaders.

He died in Philadelphia on 8 August 1862, after an illness. He was 80 years of age.[1]

The writings of Henry Grew influenced George Storrs, and later, Charles Taze Russell.<<How?>> Henry Grew and George Storrs are both mentioned as important early leaders in the October 15, 2000 issue of the The Watchtower magazine, published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of the Jehovah's Witnesses.


  1. ^ a b "Writings by Henry Grew", The Harvest Herald, accessed 21 July 2008
  2. ^ a b c Mary Grew, Abolitionist and Feminist, 1813-1896, accessed 19 July 2008]
  3. ^ a b Bruce Dorsey,Reforming Men and Women: Gender in the Antebellum City, p.179, 2002, ISBN:0801438977 accessed 21 July 2008

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