1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Richard Hurd

Richard Polwhele to T. C., January 1809; Polwhele, Traditions and Recollections (1826) 2:611-12.



Jan. 1809.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

*** You ask me, whether I can give you any information respecting the non-residence-enquiry, so much agitated last year. I can only inform you, that the Bishops, in their answer to the questions proposed to them, are, in general, content with stating mere facts. Dr. Fisher, late Bishop of Exeter (now of Salisbury), says: "I have issued no monitions, because I have made no return of those Incumbents who possibly may be non-resident with licence, exemption, or notification; not being able in the very extensive Diocese of Exeter to ascertain the actual fact. But I firmly believe, that the number of residents is increased."

But I read, with peculiar pleasure, the letter from Dr. R. Hurd (late Bishop of Worcester), dated Hartlebury-Castle, Oct. 26, 1807:

"Upon the whole (says that venerable, that good and great man) it seems to me, that residence cannot be enforced more strictly than it is at present, under the favourable construction of the late Act, without throwing numbers of the Clergy into such a state of uneasiness and discomfort, as must injure, and not serve, the cause of true practical Religion. And it is on this ground that I have not thought it necessary or proper to send out those citations or monitions, which the Act permits me to do." He died in 1808, aged 88.

Yours, &c.

R. P.