Thomas Aveling

Thomas William Baxter Aveling (1815 – 1884) was a British independent congregational minister, author and memorialist.

Born at Castletown in the Isle of Man, Aveling was the son of a soldier and an Irish mother. He received his theological training at Highbury College, London.

In 1838, Aveling was appointed to the pastorate of the Kingsland Congregational Church in Hackney. Reportedly an eloquent and popular pastor, he served at Kingsland for the rest of his life. In 1876, Aveling was appointed chairman of the Congregational Union. He also held the post of the honorary secretary of the Asylum for Fatherless Children at Purley.

Aveling published a large number of sermons and other pieces. His most important work was the Memorials of the Clayton Family (8 volumes, 1867). This book contained correspondence between Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, and prominent British religious authorities of the 18th century.

He was also the author of Voices of Many Waters: or, Travels in the lands of the Tiber, the Jordan and the Nile: With Notices of Asia Minor, Constantinople, Athens, etc., etc., describing travels undertaken in 1853 after recovering from an illness.

The Dictionary of National Biography (1885) incorrectly states that “some years before his death he received from the Washington University the degree of D.D.” Aveling actually received his honorary D.D. degree in 1874 from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Aveling died at Reedham, near Caterham, on 3 July 1884, and was buried in Abney Park Cemetery, London.

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