The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The deans (from 1672 to 1800)
10. JOHN TILLOTSON, S. T. P. and prebendary of this church, succeeded that same year 1672, to the deanry of it. (fn. 1)
He was descended from the antient family of the Tilstons, of Tilston, in Cheshire, from which name his grandfather, Thomas Tilston, changed it to Tillotson. (fn. 2) He was the son of Mr. Robert Tillotson, a respectable clothier at Sowerby, in Halifax, in Yorkshire, where he was born in 1630, and his father being a rigid puritan, he was educated in the same principles. In 1647, he went to Clare-hall, in the university of Cambridge, where he was placed under the tuition of an eminent Presbyterian divine; in 1650 he took the degree of A. B. and in the following year was elected fellow of that society, and became a tutor there; in 1654, he took the degree of A. M. and three years afterwards left college to superintend the education of the son of Edmund Prideaux, esq. then attorney-general to Oliver Cromwell, and by this connection he obtained a considerable benefaction to Clare hill.
At the restoration he lost his fellowship, but con formed to the church of England. Having been ordained by Dr. Sydserfe, bishop of Galloway, who required of him neither oath nor sub subscrition, he became curate of Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, and in 1662 was elected by the parishioners to the donative of St. Mary Aldermanbury, London, but declined the acceptance of it. In June 1663, he was presented to the rectory of Kedlington, in Suffolk, where he continued but a short time, for in November he was elected by the Society of Lincoln's-inn, their preacher, on which he resigned that preferment; the reputation of his discourses here attracting general notice, it procured him, in addition to that appointment, the Tuesday lectureship at the church of St. Laurence Jury.
In 1666 he took the degree of S. T. P. in which year he published his treatise, entitled the Rule of Faith, in opposition to a book written in the defence of the tenets of the church of Rome, which brought on a long controversy between him and the author of it; this caused him to be much noticed, and in 1669, the king promoted him to a prebend in this church of Canterbury, and about the same time he was made one of the king's chaplains; and though he seems to have been no favourite of the king, yet at the recommendation, principally of archbishop Sheldon, he was nominated dean of Canterbury, and was installed on Nov. 14, 1672.
In 1675, the dean was presented to the prebend of Ealdlond, in the church of St. Paul's, London, which he resigned in February, 1678, on being admitted to that of Oxgate, and to a residentiaryship in the same church. In 1683, he attended the unfortunate Lord Russel, during his confinement, and at his death on the scaffold, where the earnestness with which he urged him to a declaration against the lawfulness of resistance, has been much censured, yet he is said to have justified his conduct to lady Russel upon this occasion. Towards the end of king Charles II.'s reign, he published a Discourse on Transubstantion, which gave rise to a controversy between him and the Papists, which was carried on during the whole of king James II.'s reign; and in 1688, he attended the meeting of the bishops at Lambeth, when the well known petition to the king to be released from his injunction of reading and distributing the declaration for the liberty of conscience was framed, to which the dean, among others, added his subscription.
The government being soon afterwards settled, and king William and queen Mary placed upon the throne, the dean was, from a remembrance of the attention which he is said to have shewn them, in 1677, in their passage through Canterbury, in their way to Holland, appointed in 1689, clerk of the closet, and advanced to the deanry of St. Paul's; on which he relinquished this deanry of Canterbury, and two years afterwards was promoted still further to the metropolitical see of this church, in the list of the archbishops, of which, hereafter, a further account of him may be seen.
He was descended from the family of this name, seated at Little Horton, near Bradford, in Yorkshire, a family of good antiquity; he was the son of Mr. Thomas Sharp, an eminent tradesman, and was born at Bradford, in February, 1644. (fn. 3)
In April, 1660, he was admitted at Christ's College, in Cambridge, where he obtained the degree of A. B. in December, 1663, with much reputation; but the favourite kudies of his youth are said to have been botany and chemistry. He took the degree of A. M. in 1667, and was ordained both deacon and priest; in the same year he was recommended as domestic chaplain to Sir Heneage Finch, attorney-general; to four of whose sons he was tutor, two of whom having afterwards entered into orders, he successively collated, when archbishop of York, to the rich prebend of Wetwang, in that cathedral. (fn. 4)
At the opening of the Sheldonian theatre at Oxford, in July, 1669, he was incorporated A. M. with several other Cambridge gentlemen, and in 1672 was preferred to the archdeaconry of Berks, then in the nomination of the crown; and the same year, on his patron Sir Heneage Finch being made lord keeper of the great seal, he was appointed his chaplain, and at his especial request, undertook the recommendation to him of such, as he thought most deserving, for those benefices as were in the disposal of the seals.
In 1674, he preached a sermon, the first in his printed collection, which occasioned a controversy to which we are indebted for his excellent discourse on conscience, and next year was preferred, through the lord keeper's favour, to a prebend of Norwich, and to the rectory of St. Bartholomew, near the Exchange, London, and not long afterwards to that of St. Giles in the Fields. In 1679 he took the degree of S. T. P. in which year he had accepted the lectureship at St. Laurence Jury, which he resigned in 1683. In 1681 he was promoted, by the interest of his former patron, then lord chancellor, to the deanry of Norwich; upon the death of king Charles II. he drew up the address of the grand jury for the city of London. He had been chaplain to that monarch, as he was also to his successor James II. in whose reign, however, he was among those distinguished preachers, who boldly vindicated the reformed religion, and exposed the errors of popery; and on May 2, 1686, he delivered in his church of St. Giles, a memorable discourse, in which he pointedly expressed a contempt for those who suffered themselves to be converted by any arguments in favour of the Romish tenets. This was considered as a reflection, even upon the king himself. It is no wonder then, that he experienced his resentment, and notwithstanding Dr. Sharp's humiliation, he was suspended from his parochial functions by the ecclesiastical commission.
During this suspension he resided at his deanry of Norwich. (fn. 5) He did not however, remain long in disgrace, for in January, 1687, he was informed from Lord Sunderland, that he was restored, and might return to his parochial charge; but in August, 1688, he was summoned, with the other archdeacons, before the ecclesiastical commission, for disobeying the king's injunction, relating to the declaration for liberty of conscience; to this they agreed not to appear, and Dr. Sharp drew up their reasons for it:
On the 27th of January following, he preached before the prince of Orange; and on the 30th, before the convention. On both occasions he prayed for king James, the first time it gave no offence, because the abdication of the throne had not been voted; but it being declared vacant on the 28th, Dr. Sharp's prayer, as well as some passages in his sermon on the 30th, occasioned not only surprize but disgust; however, after some debate, he had a vote of thanks, and was requested to print it, which he thought proper to decline. Unfavourable as this might seem to his future promotion, he explained himself in such a manner to king William afterwards, that he received him into his favour again; and on Dr. Tillotson's relinquishing the deanry of Canterbury, he was nominated to it, and was installed on November 25. The merit of dean Sharp was now in high estimation, and it reflects the highest honor on his character, when upon the depri vation of those bishops who refused to take the oaths to king William and queen Mary, and he was considered as a proper person to succeed to one of the vacant sees; that neither the king's favour nor the persuasion of his friends, could prevail on him to accept the offer; for he entertained a particular esteem for the prelates who were deprived. This displeased the king, but Dr. Tillotson, then archbishop, found means to soften his displeasure, by prevailing on the dean to promise to accept of the see of York, when it should become vacant, grounding his formal refusal on pretence of his wish to be preferred in his native country. To this the king signified his approbation, and Dr. Lamplugh, the archbishop of York, dying a few days afterwards, the dean was promoted to that see, and was consecrated on July 5, 1691; upon which the deanry of Canterbury became vacant. His elevation to this archiepiscopal dignity, says Mr. Thoresby, was not only to the comfort and honour of his native country and family, but to the universal joy and satisfaction of the whole nation. (fn. 6)
12. George Hooper, S. T. P. was next advanced to this dignity in the church of Canterbury, in the same month and year, viz. July, 1691. (fn. 7)
He was the sort of George Hooper, gent. and was born at Grimley, in Worcestershire, on Nov. 18, 1640. He was first admitted at St. Paul's school, and afterwards at Westminster, whence he was elected to Christchurch, Oxford, in 1657. In the university, he directed his studies with success, not only to philosophy, mathematics, and the Greek and Roman antiquities, but to the more difficult attainments of eastern learning; in the pursuit of which he was assisted by that eminent Orientalist, Dr. Pocock. Of the Arabic language he made great use, in explaining the obscurer passages of the Old Testament. He took the degree of A. B. in January 1661, and that of A. M. in December, 1663. In 1672 he became chaplain to Dr. Morley, bishop of Winchester, who soon afterwards collated him to the rectory of Havant, in Hampshire, the situation of which being unhealthy, he resigned it for that of East Woodhay, in the same county. In July 1673, he took the degree of B. D. and not long afterwards became chaplain to archbishop Sheldon, by whom he was in 1675, collated to the rectory of Lambeth, and two years afterwards, to the option of the precentorship of Exeter, in which church he became likewise a canon residentiary; and in the same year, he took the degree of S. T. P.
He was about this time appointed almoner to the princess of Orange, and waited on her in Holland, where he regulated her chapel, according to the usage of the church of England. After one year's attendance there, he came back to England and married, (fn. 8) and then returned to Holland, where he continued, however, not more than eight months; when having obtained the princess's permission, he came home again.
About the year 1680, he was appointed one of the king's chaplains, and after king james's accession, in 1685, he attended, by his command, the duke of Monmouth, the evening preceding his execution, and afterwards waited on him in his last moments. Soon after the government was settled upon William and Mary, he became a royal chaplain; and on the promotion of Dr. Sharp, the queen, (during the king's absence in Holland) advanced him to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed, on July 19, 1691, on which he resigned the rectory of East Woodhay. In February, 1701, he was chosen prolocutor of the lower house of convocation; but in the December following, when a new convocation was summoned, he would not re-accept the office; and the same year he resused the offer of the primacy of Ireland. In the famous dispute concerning the rights of convocation, which at this time commenced, he joined with those who desended the lower house, and published a narrative of their proceedings; which on bishop Gibson's answering, the dean replied with a summary defence of that house. In the year 1703, the dean was nominated, by the queen, to the see of St. Asaph, and was consecrated on October 31, on which he relinquished the rectory of Lambeth, but retained this deanry, and the other preferments with the bishopric, in which indeed he continued but a few months, for he was translated on March following to the see of Bath and Wells, and upon his consecration, the deanry of Canterbury became vacant. (fn. 9) The character of Dr. Hooper cannot be better summed up than in the words of Dr. Busby, the famous master of Westminster school, under whom he received that part of his education. "That he was the best scholar, the first gentleman, and would make the compleatest bishop that ever was educated at that school."
He was the son of the Rev. Thomas Stanhope, and was born on March 5, 1660, at Hertishorn, in Derbyshire, of which parish his father was rector, as well as vicar of St. Margaret, in I.eicester. His mother, whose name was Allestree, was of an antient family in Derbyshire. His grandfather Dr. George Stanhope, precentor of York, and rector of Wheldrake, in that county, was one of those persecuted ecclesiastics, who for their loyalty to king Charles I. experienced the greatest distress; for being dispossessed of all his perferments, he was driven out of doors, with eleven children. He died in 1644. (fn. 10)
The dean received the first rudiments of education at the school of Uppingham, in Rutlandshire, whence he was removed to that of Leicester, and again to that of Eton, from which he was elected on the foundation at King's college, in 1677, where he took the degree of A. B in 1681, and that of A. M. in 1685. Having acquired a valuable stock of learning, for of the French, as well as of the Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages, he had acquired a critical knowledge; he entered into holy orders, and seems afterwards to have remained at the university till he was in 1688, preferred to the rectory of Tewing, in Hertfordshire; and the year following to the vicarage of Lewisham, in Kent; having been chaplain to Lord Dartmouth, the patron of it, and tutor to his son; soon after which he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to king William and queen Mary, and he enjoyed the same honour under queen Anne. (fn. 11)
On July 5, 1697, he took the degree of S. T. P. the exercises of which he performed publicly and with great applause; and in 1701 was appointed preacher at Boyle's Lectures. In 1703 he was presented to the vicarage of Deptford, which, reliquishing Tewing, he held with Lewisham, by dispensation, and soon afterwards was promoted to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on March 23, 1704. He was now also Tuesday lecturer at the church of St. Laurence Jury, in which appointment, as well as in the deanry, he was no mean successor to Tillotson and Sharp. The lecture had indeed been long supplied by eminent divines, and was reputed to be an office of honour, rather than profit, and he continued in it till 1708, when he resigned it.
In February, 1714, he was elected prolocutor of the convocation, and was twice afterwards re-chosen.—But the life of dean Stanhope is best known by his literary labours, in which his abilities distinguished him as an excellent scholar, as well as a judicious critic.—He published a number of sermons, many of which had been delivered before public bodies, and for the service of public charities, and many other religious tracts and translations, besides a paraphrase and comment upon the epistles and gospels, in 4 vol.—A list of all which may be found in Mr. Todd's account of him, among the deans of this church. After having lived an example of chearful and unaffected piety, the dean died at Bath, on March 18, 1728. (fn. 12)
He was of a mild and friendly disposition; to the
misfortunes of others he was remarkably attentive, and
that concern which he expressed, conveyed at once
consolation to the heart, and improvement to the un
derstanding. His care as a parish priest and as dean, was
exemplary, and the advice he gave to others, was always the rule of his own practice. As he had been remarkable for the many good works which he did
whilst living, so he shewed his charity in his last will,
for among other benevolent legacies, he gave the sum
of 250l. to found an exhibition for a scholar of Canterbury school continuing at some college in Cambridge, till the Michaelmas after he had commenced
A. M. The dean was buried in Lewisham church,
where, within the altar rails on his gravestone, is this
Depositum GEORGII STANHOPE
S. T. P. DEC. CANT. et
Ecclesiæ hujus VICARII, 1728.
And on the north side of the altar, is a handsome mural monument erected by his widow, with this inscription:
Of the very Revd GEORGE STANHOPE, D. D.
38 Years Vicar of this Place, and 26 of
the Neighbouring Church at DEPTFORD;
Constituted Dean of CANTERBURY, A. D. 1703.
And thrice Prolocutor of the Lower House
Whose Piety was real and rational,
His Charity great and universal.
Fruitful in Acts of Mercy, and in all good Works:
His Learning was Elegant and Comprehensive,
His Conversation Polite and Delicate,
Grave without Preciseness, Facetious without Levity:
The good Christian, the solid Divine
and the fine Gentleman,
in him were happily united;
Who, tho' amply qualified for the Highest
Honours of his Sacred Function,
Yet was content with only deserving them.
In his Pastoral Office a Pattern to his People,
And to all who shall succeed him in the Care of them.
His Discourses from the PULPIT
Were equally pleasing and profitable,
A beautiful Intermixture of the clearest Reasoning
with the purest Diction,
Attended with all the Graces of a just ELOCUTION;
As his Works from the PRESS have spoke the Praises
Of his happy Genius; his Love of God and Men,
for which Generations to come
will bless his Memory.
He was born March the 5th. He died March the 18th, 172 2/8.
Aged 68 Years.
14. ELIAS SYDALL, S. T. P. prebendary of this church, was next nominated dean of Canterbury in April, 1728. He was a native of Norwich, and but of mean parentage, being the son of a glover in that city, and his education began equally the same; for he was admitted in April, 1688, a bible clerk, on the foundation of archbishop Parker, at Benet college, in Cambridge, where he took the degree of A. B. in 1691, (fn. 13) and that of A. M. in 1695; in which year he was elected fellow of the same society; he had been ordained the preceding year.
Continuing to reside in the university, he engaged in the duty of St. Benet's church, in Cambridge, to which his college, as impropriators, supplied the minister. This he relinquished in 1702, for having been appointed chaplain to archbishop Tenison, he was collated by him in March to the rectory of Biddenden, in Kent, which occasioned him to quit his fellowship; this benefice, however, he resigned, on being collated by the same patron, in June, 1704, to the rectory of lve church, in Romney Marsh, (fn. 14) and in 1705 he obtained the degree of S. T. P. (fn. 15)
In 1707 he received additional proofs of the primate's regard to him, being collated in June to the rectory of Great Mongeham, which he held by dispensation with Ivechurch, and in July to a prebend in the church of Canterbury; and in 1710 he was chosen proctor in convocation for the clergy of the diocese, and the next year he was appointed by the archbishop to the mastership of the hospitals of St. John, Northgate, and St. Nicholas, Harbledown, near Canterbury; to the duties of which office he faithfully attended, till the year 1731, when he made a resignation of it.
In 1716, he was nominated one of the king's chaplains, and on the death of dean Stanhope was promoted to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on April 26, 1728. Three years after which he was advanced to the bishopric of St. David's, and was consecrated at Ely house, in Holborn, on April II, by a commission from the archbishop, to the bishops of London, Ely, and Bangor, (fn. 16) and in the November sollowing he was translated to that of Gloucester, with both bishoprics he retained the deanry of Canterbury, till his death, which happened on December 24, 1733, in the 61st year of his age, leaving behind him the character of having been a polite scholar, and of having been much beloved as a mild and dissident man. (fn. 17)
His publications were only six sermons, the last of which, preached at the cathedral on Nov. 5, 1715, is a very remarkable one, which was much animadverted on by many of his hearers; the titles of them may be seen in Mr Todd's account of him, among the deans of this church.
Spe felici Resurrectionis
Hic Situs est ELIAS SYDALL S. T. P.
NORDOVICI ex Parentibus ingenuis natus,
CANTABRIGIÆ Literis insitus
Et in Collegii Corporis Christi Societatem cooptatus;
Inde a Thoma nuper Archiepiscopo Cantuariensi,
Ut ei a sacris effet, vocatus;
Et Ecclesiæ Cantuariensis Canonicatu,
Præter alia Beneficia, donatus.
Tandem a Rege Georgio 2do.
Ad istius Ecclesiæ Decanatum,
Postea ad Episcopatum MENEVENSEM
Mox ad GLOCESTRIENSEM Evectus.
Ex his Viator Satis superque disces
Quis hic Homo fuerit,
Cujus Cineres atque ossa jam calcas.
Qualis autem fuerit,
In die illo extremo
Cum Deus occulta Hominum indicaverit
Sat cito Intelliges.
Noli ante Tempus quicquam judicare;
Obiit, fi id tibi intersit,
24o Die Mensis Decembris
He was descended from an antient family in this county, settled near Cranbrook, where Symon Lynch founded a grammar school in queen Elizabeth's reign; and afterwards purchased the seat of Grove, the continued residence of this family ever since, situated about eight miles from Canterbury, and was member in two successive parliaments for Sandwich in the reign of queen Mary. From him, in a lineal succession, descended John, the father of dean Lynch, who was high sheriff of this county in the last year of queen Anne; an active magistrate, a deputy lieutenant, and colonel of the militia of it. (fn. 18)
Dean Lynch was born on Dec. 5, 1697, and was educated at the King's school, in Canterbury, from which he was removed, in his 18th year, to St. John's college, in Cambridge, and took the degree of A. B. in 1717, and of A. M. in 1721; in the same year he was ordained a deacon, and in 1723 was collated by archbishop Wake to the rectory of Alhallows, Breadstreet.
On the promotion of Dr. Sydall to the deanry, he was preferred by the same patron to a prebend in this church of Canterbury; in which year he obtained the degree of S. T. P. at Cambridge, having attended the king, as one of his chaplains, to Newmarket, and was afterwards collated to the rectory of Sundridge, in this county, which he held by dispensation with his living in London. (fn. 19)
In April following he married Mary, the youngest daughter of archbishop Wake, (fn. 20) who soon afterwards conferred on him the valuable option of the mastership of St. Cross hospital, near Winchester; soon after which he exchanged the rectory of Bread-street for that of Alhallows the Great, in Thames-street. In May, 1731, he obtained from the archbishop the valuable rectories of Ickham and Bishopsborne, near Canterbury, and in the October following, the sinecure rectory of Eynesford, upon which he relinquished his London living, as well as that of Sundridge. In this year he accepted the mastership of the hospitals of St. Nicholas, Harbledown, and St John, Northgate; an appointment attended with no emolument, but requiring much trouble in regulating the concerns of them, and he continued the care of them till 1744, when he resigned this office.
In January 1734, on the death of bishop Sydall, Dr. Lynch was promoted to the deanry of Canterbury, and was installed on the 18th of that month. He was prevented from residing regularly on this preferment, by the declining health of the archbishop, his fatherin-law, and he continued at Lambeth to assist in managing the archiepiscopal business there till that primate's death in January, 1737. After this dean Lynch divided his time chiefly between his deanry and his paternal seat of Grove; and as he was distinguished no less for his extended and open hospitality, than for the chearfulness of his conversation, his company was much solicited, and his social qualities were greatly esteemed by a large and respectable neighbourhood. In 1747 he was appointed prolocutor of the lower house of convocation. The dean in 1757 was seized with a paralytic stroke, which greatly impaired his faculties; he made, however, an effort to exert himself again, by preaching in the cathedral, but he delivered his sermon so little to his satisfaction, that he never more repeated the attempt. He therefore obtained a royal dispensation to excuse him from all duty, though he still continued his usual residence and hospitality at the deanry; nor was he inattentive to his affairs, till his faculties began to leave him some months before his death, which happened on Whitsunday, May 25, 1760, in his 63d year. His remains were conveyed to the family vault in the church of Staple; but as yet there has been no monument or memorial placed there to his memory.
To the preferments which he possessed, as already mentioned, must be added, the treasurership of Salisbury, another of archbishop Wake's options. Notwithstanding which, large as his income may appear, both as to his ecclesiastical preferments, and his private fortune, yet from his hospitality, his expences were equal to his income; on his prebendal and decanal houses he had expended no less than 3000l. and his private charities were known to equal his public spirit. To the society which was formed in 1751, for the support of the widows and orphans of the clergy in this diocese, he was an early and liberal benefactor, and there were very few public charities of which he was not a member, and few occasional, to which he did not contribute. The interest of the school at Canterbury he warmly and successfully promoted, gratefully remembering the scholar in the dean; nor could he do this more effectually than by placing so accomplished a gentleman and a scholar, as Dr. Beauvoir, to preside over it, whose abilities raised it to the highest reputation.
The dean was much admired as a preacher, and while his health continued, he seldom failed to officiate on Sundays, either in his parishes or in the cathedral. He has, however, published only one sermon, delivered in 1735, before the society for the propagation of the Gospel, and printed at their request; yet other public bodies, before whom he preached, paid him the same compliment, which he always declined.
He was son of Dr. Robert Freind, head master of Westminster school, by Jane, daughter of Dr. Samuel Delangle, prebendary of Westminster; his grandfather was the Rev. Mr. William Freind, rector of Croughton, in Northamptonshire. He was admitted a scholar at Westminster school in 1727, whence he was elected in 1731, at the age of sixteen, to Christ-church, in Oxford, where he took the degree of A. M. in June, 1738. He had a better view than a continuance of his studentship, for as he was designed for the church, his father, who was rector of Witney, in Oxfordshire, had solicited the resignation of that valuable living in his favour, when he should be qualified to take it; a permission which he obtained from Dr. Hoadly, the patron of it; and accordingly, on his father's resignation, March 26, 1739, he was instituted to the rectory, on April 4th following. In 1744 he obtained a prebend of Westminster, and in 1747 he was presented by that collegiate body to the rectory of Islip, near Oxford, with which he held by dispensation the rectory of Witney. In July, 1748, he accumulated the degrees of bachelor and doctor of divinity, for which he went out grand compounder. (fn. 21) In 1756 he was promoted to a canonry of Christ-church and relinquished the prebend of Westminster, and on the death of Dr. Lynch in 1760, he was advanced to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on June 14, that year. In 1761 he was elected prolocutor of the lower house of convocation, and on November 6, he delivered before the clergy in the church of St. Paul, an elegant and animated Latin sermon. (fn. 22) The dean enjoyed this dignity but a short time, for he died at the deanry here, on Nov. 26, 1766, æt. 55. Few deans have been more esteemed than Dr. Freind; for his attainments as a scholar and a gentleman were eminent; his conduct, as a divine, was exemplary; he possessed a most benevolent heart, and he was modest and unassuming.
He published a sermon, preached before the house of commons January 30, 1755, and the Concio ad Clerum, November 6, 1761. There is in the Oxford collection, a copy of Latin verses by him, on the marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Princess Anne, daughter of George II. in 1734. He wrote likewise an epitaph on his friend Dr. Morres, vicar of Hinckley; whose great accomplishments he has displayed with peculiar energy. He was a great lover of music, which he patronized and practised. Concerts at the deanry, in his time, were frequent, and many of the performers were the principal gentlemen in Canterbury and the neighbourhood of it; he was a great collector of choice prints, of which he left behind him a very valuable collection. He was chaplain in ordinary both to the late and present king, and married one of the sisters of Sir Thomas Robinson, lord Rookby, the late primate of Ireland, by whom he left issue three sons and one daughter. (fn. 23)
The dean's remains were removed to Witney, and interred near those of his father and mother; under the handsome monument, erected within the rails of the altar in that church, is this inscription, on a small piece of marble, to the memory of the dean. Here lieth the body of WILLIAM FREIND, D. D. (son of the above-mentioned Robert and Jane) dean of Canterbury, and rector of this parish, who died on the 26th of November, in the year of our Lord 1766, aged 55.
17. JOHN POTTER, prebendary of this church, succeeded next as dean of it, being nominated to it at the end of the year 1766. He was the eldest son of Dr. Potter, archbishop of Canterbury, and after a private education, was entered a member of Christ-church, in Oxford, in 1727, where he was soon after appointed a canon student, his father being at that time canon of that church, as well as bishop of the see. He took his degree of A. M. in June, 1734.
His first promotion in the church was the vicarage of Blackburne, in Lancashire, in the patronage of his father, as archbishop of Canterbury; by whose interest he obtained likewise in 1739 the valuable sinecure of Elme cum Emneth, in the Isle of Ely; and in 1741 the archdeaconry of Oxford, which was an option of his father's; and the same year, in November, he took the degree of B. D. In 1742, he was collated by his father to the vicarage of Lyd, in Kent, with which he held by dispensation the rectory of Chidingstone, in the same county, conferred on him by his father likewise. In 1745 he was presented by the crown to a prebend of Canterbury, in which he was installed on September 27; in the October following he took the degree of S. T. P. for which he went out grand compounder, as he had also for that of B. D. In 1747 he relinquished the rectory of Chidingstone, being collated by his father to the rich benefice of Wrotham, in this county, with which he kept likewise the vicarage of Lyd; to the former church he was a very liberal benefactor in beautifying it, and he greatly improved the parsonage house there, at the expence of more than 2000l. In 1766, on the death of Dr. Freind, he was advanced to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on December 23, but on his promotion to this dignity, he resigned the archdeaconry of Oxford.
His health was declining some time, but the illness which occasioned his death was but short, of which he died at Wrotham, on Sept. 20, 1770, aged 57. He was chaplain in ordinary both to the late and present king. He does not appear as an author, except of a copy of verses in the Oxford Collection of Congratulations, in 1734.
He had married very imprudently in his early part of life, and consequently highly to the disapprobation of his father, who though he presented him as is mentioned before to several valuable preferments in the church, yet disinherited him, by leaving the whole of his fortune to his youngest son, Thomas Potter, esq.
His remains were brought from Wrotham, and interred in the dean's chapel in this cathedral, on September 27, where there is a gravestone over him, with this inscription: (fn. 24)
18. THE HON. BROWNLOW NORTH, D. C. L. and canon of Christ-church, was, on Dr. Potter's death, nominated to this deanry. He was the youngest son of Francis, earl of Guildford, and was formerly a fellow of All Soul's college, and then canon of Christchurch, from which he was, on Dr. Potter's death, preferred to this deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on October 9, 1770. (fn. 25) In the following year he was on September 8, consecrated bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, upon which this deanry became vacant. He was afterwards translated to the see of Worcester, and from thence to that of Winchester, over which he still presides.
19. JOHN MOORE, S. T. P. succeeded Dr. North, as dean of this church. He was formerly of Pembroke college, Oxford, and became prebendary of Durham, and canon of Christ-church, in Oxford, both which preferments he held at the time of his being nominated to this deanry, (fn. 26) in which he was installed on Sept. 20, 1771; but he kept this prefer ment only four years, for on February 12, 1775, he was consecrated bishop of Bangor, upon which this deanry became vacant, and the dean left it, much to the regret of all those whom he presided over, and of the respectable neighbourhood who were admitted to the society of himself and family; at the same time no dean had ever more joy expressed at his promotion, or good wishes for his still further advancement, which were happily realized in his elevation to the highest dignity of the church, the metropolitical see of Canterbury.
20. THE HON JAMES CORNWALLIS, D. C. L. succeeded, on the consecration of Dr. Moore, to this deanry, in which he was installed on April 29, 1775. He was second surviving son of Charles, earl Cornwallis; and was formerly a fellow of Merton college, Oxford; he was afterwards promoted to a prebend of Westminster, which he relinquished on his acceptance of this deanry. In September, 1781, he was consecrated dishop of Lichfield and Coventry. (fn. 27)
21. GEORGE HORNE, S. T. P. president of Magdalen college in Oxford, succeeded Dr. Cornwallis in this deanry, to which he was nominated in September, 1781. He was born in 1730, at Otham, in this county, of which parish his father, the Rev. Samuel Horne, was rector, under whom he received his early education; after which he continued a small time at Maidstone school, from whence he went to Oxford, where, in March 1746, he was admitted at University college, having been previously chosen to a scholarship there, from the above school. In October, 1749, he took the degree of A. B. and following year was elected to the fellowship of Magdalen college, which is appropriated to a native of Kent.
In the university he was a laborious student, and gave many elegant testimonies of the various learning which he had acquired; and he became critically acquainted with the Hebrew language, and studied successfully the fathers of the church. Soon after he had obtained the fellowship, he began to attract particular observation, by the warmth with which he espoused the philosophy of Mr. Hutchinson; and in 1751 he commenced an attack on the Newtonian system, in favour of the former. This produced numerous publications on both sides, but those of Mr. Horne had a vein of ironical humour peculiar to himself.
From scenes of controversy we return to those of academical employment, in which we find Mr. Horne in 1758 junior proctor of the university; at the expiration of which office he took the degree of B. D. In 1760 he attacked Dr. Kennicott's method of correcting the Hebrew text, in which his endeavours were to prove that divine unequal to the business in which he was engaged; four years after which he took the degree of S. T. P.
As yet, he was advanced to no conspicuous station. He never, indeed, obtained a parochial benefice.—But on the vacancy of the presidentship of Magdalen college, he was elected to succeed in that improtant station on January 27, 1768; and in the following year published his Considerations on the Life and Death of St. John the Baptist, being the substance of several sermons, which he had delivered before the university in Magdalen chapel, on the Baptist's day. In 1771 he was appointed one of the king's chaplains in ordinary, in which quality he officiated till his appointment to the deanry of Canterbury. Next year he exerted his abilities in defence of our civil and religious establishment; by firmly opposing the designs of those who would have abolished subscriptions, and have altered the liturgy; an application for which purpose having been made to parliament, and on this account he published a letter to lord North, with considerations on this projected reformation. In 1776 he published his Commentary on the Psalms; in which, although a unanimous consent has not been given to all his explanations, yet all confess it to be a work, in which the earnestness of the Christian teacher, and the modesty of the critic are alike conspicuous. In the same year he was appointed vice chancellor of the university, in which station he continued till October, 1780, and perhaps few ever presided in that distinguished station with greater attention or greater popularity. During which time, Dr. Adam Smith having published an eulogium on the life of David Hume, whereas Dr. Horne thought a reprehension more necessary, he published in 1777, a letter to him on the occasion, in which, stiling himself one of the people called Christians, he lashes with keen and deserved irony, both the philosopher and his panegyrist. In 1779 he published two volumes of sermons, many of which had been preached before the university. His preferment at present, consisted only of his headship, the income of which was, however, very considerable; but on the promotion of Dr. Cornwallis to a bishopric in 1781, he was advanced to the deanry of Canterbury, in which he was installed on September 22. His time was now divided between Oxford and Canterbury; and as at the former place he was beloved as the amiable governor, so at the latter he became no less esteemed as the friendly and hospitable dean; (fn. 28) and indeed his hospitality at both would have been much more liberal, had it been left to his own inclinations.
During his residence at Canterbury, he was always ready, as he had ever been, both in the metropolis and in the university, to exert his services from the pulpit, not only in the general course of Sundays in the cathedral, on which days he preached almost without intermission, but on every public occasion. In 1784 he published his Letters on Infidelity, in which, armed with the weapons of found arguments and exquisite humour, he exposes the vain pretensions of science, falsely so called, and defeats the dark and wretched system of Hume. The theological opinions of another philosopher, Dr. Priestley, occasioned in 1787, the publication of a letter to him as from an under graduate of Oxford, in which the mutability of the doctor's creed is exposed with much humour.—This was soon known to come from the pen of the dean of Canterbury.
The earlier promotion of Dr. Horne to the mitre, would not have been more grateful to the world, than it would have been due to his merit. However, on the translation of Dr. Bagot from the see of Norwich in 1790, he was nominated to it, and was consecrated at Lambeth chapel on June 7, upon which the deanry of Canterbury became vacant. On Dr. Horne's advancement to a bishopric, his health was but in a precarious situation, and it afterwards decayed rather than improved. He repaired however to his palace at Norwich, and a paralytic stroke some weeks before his death, frustrated all hopes of his recovery; and the 17th of January, 1792, put an end to his severe infirmities, and his exemplary patience. Thus ended the life of bishop Horne, in the 62d year of it; a prelate whom few have surpassed in real learning, none in piety. His works, besides those abovementioned, were numerous, all which may be found noticed in Mr. Todd's life of him, among the deans of Canterbury. He married in 1768 the daughter of Philip Burton, esq. of Hatton-street, by whom he left three daughters, the eldest of whom married the Rev. Mr. Selby Hele, rector of Colmworth, in Bedfordshire, and the youngest the Rev. Mr. Hole, of Devonshire. His remains were interred in the family vault of his father-in-law, before-mentioned, at Eltham, in Kent, where a monument is erected in the churchyard to his memory, with an elegant and just inscription; and the same, with only a slight alteration, has also been put on a monument erected to his memory in the cathedral church of Norwich, of which the following is a copy:
Sacred to the Memory of
The Right Reverend George Horne, D. D.
Many Years President of Magdalen College in Oxford,
Dean of Canterbury,
And late Bishop of this Diocese:
In whose Character
Depth of Learning, Brightness of Imagination,
Sanctity of Manners, and Sweetness of Temper
Were united beyond the usual Lot of Mortality.
With his Discourses from the Pulpit, his Hearers
Whether of the University, the City, or the Country Parish,
Were edified and delighted.
His Commentary on the Psalms will continue to be
A Companion to the Closet,
Till the Devotion of Earth shall end in the Hallelujahs of Heaven,
His Soul, having patiently suffered under such Infirmities,
As seemed not due to his Years,
Took its flight from this Vale of Misery,
To the unspeakable Loss of the Church of England,
And his surviving Friends and Admirers,
January 17, 1792, in the 62d Year of his Age.
22. WILLIAM BULLER, S. T. P. succeeded Dr. Horne in this deanry; he was formerly of Oriel college, Oxford, and afterwards dean of Exeter, from whence he was removed to this of Canterbury, in which he was installed on June 22, 1790. He continued in it but a short time, for on Dec. 2, 1792, he was consecrated bishop of Exeter; upon which this deanry became vacant.
23. FOLLIOTT HERBERT WALKER CORNEWALL, S. T. P. on the promotion of Dr. Buller, was nominated to this deanry. He was formerly a fellow of St. John's college, Cambridge, and was afterwards preferred to a canonry of Windsor, and from thence to this deanry, in which he was installed on Jan. 26, 1793. He continued in it but a short time, as hewas promoted to the bishopric of Bristol in 1797, when the deanry became vacant.
24. THOMAS POWIS, S. T. P. on the promotion of Dr. Cornewall, was nominated to this deanry, in which he was installed on May 13, 1797. He was formerly fellow of St. John's college, Oxford, and had been a prebendary of Bristol, and canon of Windsor. He is the present dean of this metropolitical cathedral church. (fn. 29)
ON THE FOUNDATION of the dean and chapter of this cathedral church of Canterbury, the king reserved to himself the nomination of the dean and canons, or prebendaries of it. The former, and nine of the latter still continue so, but the nomination of the remaining three, being the first, fourth, and sixth pre bendaries, were granted in exchange by Edward VI. in his first year, to the archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 30) in whose nomination they still continue at this time.