John Hey was born in July 1734 in Pudsey, Yorkshire, the eldest of three sons of a dry salter. He died on 17 March 1815 in St John's Wood, London. He was admitted to Catharine Hall, Cambridge in 1750, taking his BA in 1755. In 1758 he proceeded MA and was elected to a Fellowship of Sidney Sussex College (BD, 1765; DD, 1780). He was Seatonian Prizeman in 1763. Hey was ordained deacon in 1757 and priest in 1760. In 1779 he was presented to the rectory of Passenham, Northampton by his former pupil Charles, second Viscount Maynard, and in 1780 to the nearby rectory of Calverton, North Buckinghamshire. He resided here for the rest of his life though making visits to Cambridge in his capacity as the first Norrisian Professor of Divinity, a chair to which he was elected in 1780. The tenure of the professorship was five years and it says something for his abilities that he was re-elected in 1785 and 1790. Hey retained his Buckinghamshire livings until 1814, the year before he died, when he moved to London. His portrait hangs in the Hall of Sidney Sussex.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.