1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. John Hinchliffe

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 9:487-88.



Dr. John Hinchliffe was born in 1731 at Westminster; admitted on the Foundation there 1746; elected thence to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1750, where he was admitted a Scholar April 26, 1751; took the degree of B.A. in 1754; and was chosen a Fellow of his College Oct. 2, 1755. In 1757 he commenced M.A.; and March 8, 1764, was elected Head-master of Westminster School (where he had been seven years Usher), in the room of Dr. Markham, which place he resigned in June following. In July the same year he was created D.D. — His promotion afforded a strong instance of what may be done by merit alone. His father kept a livery-stable in Swallow-street. The son, after passing through the forms of Westminster School, went to Trinity College, Cambridge. He accompanied Mr. Crewe, of Crewe Hall in Cheshire (who had been his pupil while he was Usher of Westminster School, and whose sister he afterwards married), on his travels, where he met and became acquainted with the Duke of Grafton. On his return from travelling with Mr. Crewe, he was appointed Head-master of Westminster School. Not long after his resignation of this appointment on account of ill-health, he became Tutor to the Duke of Devonshire, at home, for two years. The Duke of Grafton, during his administration, conferred on him the valuable vicarage of Greenwich in Kent; and the same ministerial interest got him appointed Chaplain in Ordinary to the King, by whom he was promoted to the Mastership of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was installed March 3, 1768, on the death of the learned Mathematician Dr. Smith. On obtaining this preferment, he resigned Greenwich; and in October was elected one of the Conservators of the River Cam, in the room of Dr. Law. Dec. 17, 1769 he was consecrated Bishop of Peterborough, on the death of Dr. Lambe; and, lastly, Sept, 1788, was promoted to the valuable Deanery of Durham. His removal from the Mastership of Trinity College was, at the time, attributed to political reasons; but I have been assured that Bp. Hinchliffe's wish to quit that Headship was rather personal than political. He preferred the Deanery of Durham (as he assured the Clergy of his Diocese on his next Visitation) to a Translation, from his wish to continue his connexion with Peterborough Diocese; which certainly, on many accounts, was particularly easy, and more agreeable to him, than a better, perhaps, might have been. — This learned Prelate and eloquent Orator died, after a long and painful illness, which terminated in a paralytic stroke, aged 65, at his palace in Peterborough, Jan. 11, 1794; leaving a widow, with two sons and three daughters. His Lordship was an admirable preacher, and had a remarkable mellow voice; his Charges, and his manner of delivery, were much admired, and will be long remembered. He printed three single Sermons: 1. Before the House of Lords, Jan. 30, 1774; 2. Before the Society for the propagating the Gospel, 1776; 3. At the Annual Meeting of the Charity Schools, 1786. By his liberal and manly conduct in the Senate he endeared his name to Britons, having constantly and uniformly given his vote, on every Bill brought before the House, in a way that reflected honour on the liberality of his sentiments.