In 1835 Francis Alexander Cox (1783-1853) and James Hoby (1788-1871), two
prominent English Baptists who were visiting fellow Baptists in the United States,
made a side trip to Newburyport, Massachusetts, to view the tomb of George
Whitefield. The “grand itinerant” had died on September 30, 1770, at the home of
Jonathan Parsons (1705-1776), pastor of the town’s First Presbyterian Church, also
known as Old South. He had been interred two days later in a vault below what is now
the centre aisle of this church, where, along with the coffins of Parsons and another
pastor of the church, Joseph Prince (d.1791), his remains were on display all through
the nineteenth century. In fact, it was not until 1932 that the coffin in which
Whitefield’s remains lay was covered over with a slate slab.
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