John Bidlake was the son of a Plymouth jeweler; he entered Christ Church Oxford as a servitor in 1774, aged 18 (B.A. 1778, M.A. 1808, D.D. 1808). He was master of the grammar school at Plymouth (Benjamin Robert Haydon was among his pupils), chaplain to the Prince Regent, Bampton Lecturer, and a very prolific poet. Late in life he was stricken by a disease that left him blind and impoverished. While his periodical, The Selector (1809) failed after five numbers, Bidlake managed to publish seven volumes of sermons and three of miscellaneous discourses.
Elegy written on the author's revisiting the place of his former residence. 1788.
Sermons on various subjects. 2 vols, 1795.
The sea. A poem. 1796.
The country parson. 1797.
The summer's eve. A poem. 1800.
Virginia, or, the Fall of the Decemvirs, a tragedy. 1800.
Youth. A poem. 1802.
Poetical works. 1804.
The truth and consistency of divine revelation. 1811.
The year. A poem. 1813.
Poetical works. 1814.