Bp. John Hinchliffe

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 64 (January, February 1794) 93-94, 99-100.

Aged 65, at his palace in Peterborough, after a long illness, which terminated in a paralytic stroke, the Right Rev. Dr. John Hinchliffe, bishop of Peterborough and dean of Durham. This learned prelate and eloquent orator 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 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, where he had scarcely taken a degree before he was chosen, for his learning and integrity, to be a companion of the duke of Grafton, during a tour of Europe. He attended the duke of Devonshire also on his travels; and afterwards accompanied Mr. Crew, of Crew-hall, Cheshire, whose sister he married. 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 mathematical 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. 24, 1788, was promoted to the valuable deanery of Durham, for political reasons, to remove him from the mastership of Trinity college. 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. By his liberal and manly conduct in the senate, he has 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; and whoever may be his successor, it can only be wished, "Ne currente retro funis eat rota." He has left a widow, with two sons and three daughters, to bewail his loss....

Feb. 14.


It is in my power, from actual acquaintance with the late Bishop of Peterborough, from his school-years, to correct some material errors which have crept into your last Obituary, in your account of his lordship. Dr. Hinchliffe never travelled with the present Duke of Grafton as his companion; he met, and became acquainted with his grace, when he was travelling with the present Mr. Crewe, who had been his pupil, while he was usher at Westminster-school, and whose sister he afterwards married. It is as little true, that he travelled with any one, when he had scarcely taken a degree; for, after his first degree, he was seven years usher at Westminster-school. It was on his return from travelling with Mr. Crewe, that 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 present Duke of Devonshire, at home, for two year: but he did not, as you have mentioned, afterwards travel with him.

Yours, &c.