I read about this several years ago, and thought I'd pass it on.
Morgan Edwards (1722-1795) wrote the earliest known paper on the pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine with a stated period of time between two phases of a future second coming of Christ, using no references to anyone in the past.
Around 1740, this young Baptist wrote an essay on his views of prophecy for eschatology class while attending the Bristol Academy in England (1742-1744). This essay was later published in 1788.
As far as can be determined, Edward’s views concerning a pre-tribulation Rapture gained no notoriety nor was this doctrine given any credence in the Church. Although this is the earliest known paper on the pre-tribulation Rapture, it had no traceable impact on the Church at large or on the scholars of the day.
The following is Edwards’ closing statement at the end of his essay, and his professor’s assessment:
Morgan: “I wonder, Sir, if your patience be not exhausted with the length, and perhaps, the nonsense of my sermon?”
Professor: “…I have to assure you that the novelty and ingenuity of your attempt have entertained me not a little.”
It is obvious that the idea of a pre-tribulation Rapture was strange to both Edwards and his professor.