estlin note

John Prior Estlin

- adapted from the Dictionary of National Biography and Richard Holmes, Coleridge: Early Visions (1989)

John Prior Estlin (1747-1817) was a unitarian minister and friend of Barbauld and Coleridge. It was at Estlin's home that Coleridge met Barbauld in August 1797. Barbauld's friendship with Estlin and his wife Susanna was long established and only ended with his death. He entered the Warrington Academy in 1764 and became acquainted with Barbauld when he was taught divinity by her father, Dr. Aikin. In January 1771 he became the minister at the unitarian chapel at Lewin's Mead, Bristol and opened a school at St. Michael's Hill, Bristol, which was extremely successful. Estlin belonged to a group of Bristol liberal and dissenting intellectuals, including publisher Joseph Cottle, who commissioned a portrait of Coleridge by Pieter van Dyke in 1795. Estlin was one of many admirers who gave Coleridge financial support and Coleridge was a frequent correspondent in the 1790s.

Estlin's publications are numerous and date from 1790 and include his Familiar Lectures (1818). Upon his death Barbauld wrote a "Memoir" of Estlin published in the Monthly Repository 12: 373-5.