James Anderson (Freemason)

James Anderson (Freemason)

James Anderson (Freemason)

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James Anderson (ca. 1679-1680 – 1739) was a Scottish minister and miscellaneous writer born and educated in Aberdeen, Scotland. He was ordained a minister in the Church of Scotland in 1707 and moved to London, where he ministered to the Glass House Street congregation until 1710, to the Presbyterian church in Swallow Street until 1734, and at Lisle Street Chapel until his death. He is reported to have lost a large sum of money in the South Sea Company crash of 1720. Anderson is best known, however, for his association with Freemasonry.


He was the brother of Adam Anderson, (1692–1765); James was born about 1680, in Aberdeen, where he was educated, and probably took the degrees of M.A. and D.D. In 1710 he was appointed minister of the Presbyterian church in Swallow Street, London, whence he was transferred, in 1734, to a similar charge in Lisle Street, Leicester Fields. According to the Gentleman's Magazine, he is said to have been ‘well known among the people of that persuasion resident in London as Bishop Anderson,’ and he is described as ‘a learned but imprudent man, who lost a considerable part of his property in the fatal year 1720.’ Several of his sermons were printed. One of them, No King-Killers, preached in 1715, on the anniversary of the execution of Charles I, was a zealous defence of the conduct of the Presbyterians during the civil wars, and reached a second edition. Anderson was a freemason, and when, in 1721, on the revival of...
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