1887 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Lewis Bagot

Charles J. Abbey, in The English Church and its Bishops (1887) 2:244-45.



Hinchcliffe was followed at St. Asaph by Lewis Bagot (Bristol 1783-83, Norwich 1783-90, St. Asaph 1790-1802). This bishop is always spoken of in exceptionally high terms as a very estimable man. As Dean of Christ Church he had written in defence of Church subscription, and a series of Warburtonian lectures which were received with much approval at their time, but are described by a modern critic as very ordinary. His turn of thought was, in fact, somewhat narrow, and he was not very tolerant of difference of opinion. But his thorough goodness, his mild manners, his placid benevolence, and his charitable kindness to those who needed help, made him very much respected. The poet Cowper, who had little patience with the cultivated but rather worldly and careless type of prelate whom he saw in many of the sees around him, made a special exception in favour of Lowth and Bagot. As a bishop he was an excellent patron to deserving clergymen; and one of his first acts after his promotion to St. Asaph was to rebuild the episcopal residence, and make it clear that he intended, as many of his predecessors had not done, to spend most of his time within his diocese. His health, however, was not good, and he is spoken of in his later years as wasted almost to a skeleton.