Chauncy. I. Charles, second president of Harvard college, born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1592, died Feb. 19. 1672. Educated at Westminster and Cambridge, he made the acquaintance of Archbishop Usher, and was appointed professor of Hebrew, and afterward of Greek, at Cambridge. Leaving that position soon after, he took the vicarage of Ware, Hertfordshire. His stern Puritanism involved him in a difficulty with the ecclesiastical judicatories on the publication of the "Book of Sports," and the introduction of railing out the communion table. He was imprisoned and lined for his denunciation of these acts of the church, and recanted, but soon repented of his recantation. He therefore determined to embark for New England, where he arrived June 1, 1638. Here he was reordained, and for three years remained in Plymouth as assistant pastor, and then became pastor at Scituate, Mass. There he remained until the change in the ecclesiastical polity of England, when he resolved to return to his vicarage in Ware, which had invited him home. But the first president of Harvard college, Mr. Dunster, having resigned, the office was ottered to Mr. Chauncy, accepted (1054), and held until his death.
He published sermons (1655-9), and Antisynodalia Americana (1662). II. Charles, an American clergyman, great-grandson of the preceding, born Jan. 1, 1705, died Feb. 10, 1787. He graduated at Harvard college in 1721, and was ordained pastor of the first church in Boston in 1727, as the colleague of Mr. Foxcroft. He was a copious writer, and published many works; among the rest a "Complete View of the Episcopacy," being the substance of a discussion with Dr. Chandler of New Jersey; " Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New England;" "Discourse on Enthusiasm;" "Remarks on the Bishop of Llandaff's Sermon;" "Mystery hid from Ages, or the Salvation of all Men;" and "The Benevolence of the Deity." He was for 60 years the minister of one parish. III. Charles, an American jurist, born at Durham, Conn., June 11, 1747, died in New Haven, April 28, 1823. He was admitted to the bar in 1768, and removed to New Haven. He was made attorney for the state of Connecticut in 1776, and judge of the superior court in 1789. In 1793 he retired to private life. He was not college bred, but was a good scholar and a clear-headed man. He taught jurisprudence for 40 years.
IV. Charles, an American lawyer, son of the preceding, born in New Haven, Aug. 17, 1777, died Aug. 30, 1849. He removed to Philadelphia after completing his studies, and was admitted to the bar in 1799, where he soon held a divided honor of precedence with John Sargeant and Horace Binney. The various honors of state and judiciary which were tendered to him he declined. He was a man of great erudition, of winning manners, and of unimpeachable integrity.