The 18th son of a Virginia planter, Beilby Porteus entered Christ's College Cambridge as a sizar (B.A. 1752, Fellow 1752, M.A. 1755, D.D. 1767). Porteus was was chaplain to Archbishop Secker (1762) and Rector of Wittersham, Kent (1762-65), prebendary of Peterborough (1764-76), Rector of Ruckinge, Kent (1764), Rector of Hunton (1765), Rector of Lambeth, Surrey (1767-77), Master of St. Cross, Winchester (1767-87), chaplain to the King (1769), Bishop of Chester (1777-87) and Bishop of London (1787-1809). The Bishop was a liberal churchman, lending support to the Evangelical movement and working towards the abolition of slavery.
Death: a poetical essay. 1759.
An earnest exhortation to the religious observance of Good-Friday. 1776.
Free and apposite observations on ... the present rapid decline of the clerical credit and character. 1782.
Lectures on the Gospel of St. Matthew. 2 vols, 1802; 17th edition, 1823.
Sermons on several subjects. 4th edition, 1784; 16th edition, 1823.
Summary of the principal evidence for the truth and divine origin of the Christian revelation. 1800; 19th edition, 1840.
Substance of a speech on... the Curate's Bill. 1808.