English clergyman; born at Denham, Bucks, England, Feb. 11, 1772; died in London Jan. 26, 1840. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1797, but entered the Church and devoted to Church purposes a large legacy left him by a stranger named John Way. He was the founder, in 1808, of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews, under the patronage of the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, and with the assistance of Prof. Simeon of Cambridge, Dr. Marsh of Birmingham,the convert J. F. Fry, and the preacher Leigh Richmond. Convinced that the Jewish nation would again arise, return to its ancestral home, embrace Christianity, and convert the Gentiles, Way traveled at his own expense through Holland, Germany, and Russia, in order to study the condition of the Jews, ameliorate their social and political status, and urge the Christians to missionary work among them.
In 1817 Way induced Czar Alexander I. to issue two ukases assuring all baptized Jews of imperial protection and promising them land for farming. Further, he wrote a work entitled "Mémoires sur l'Etat des Israélites Dédiés et Présentés à Leurs Majestés Impériales et Royales, Réunies au Congrès d' Aix-la-Chapelle" (Paris, 1819), in which he emphasized the Messianic importance of the Jews, considered their relation to the Biblical promises and the ultimate fulfilment thereof, and pleaded for their emancipation in Europe. This was presented at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (Oct., 1818) to the czar, who gave the memorandum to his plenipotentiaries, Nesselrode and Capodistrias, ordering them to bring it before the congress, together with the question of the emancipation of the Jews. It was accordingly entered on the minutes, but produced no further effect. In his own house Way used to entertain converted Jews, who sometimes ill repaid his hospitality, giving rise to a satirical epigram by Macaulay.
- Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyc. xiii. 179;
- Monatsschrift, 1869, xviii. 234 et seq., 334 et seq., 477 et seq., 551 et Seq.;
- Grätz, Gesch. xi. 352 et seq.;
- Dict. Nat. Biog.;
- Trevelyan, Life of Macaulay, ch. i.