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Hoadly, Benjamin

Hoadly, Benjamin (1676–1761). Bishop of Winchester. Born in Kent and educated at Catharine Hall, Cambridge, Hoadly held livings in London and successively the bishoprics of Bangor (1716), Hereford (1721), Salisbury (1723), and Winchester (1734). A Whig polemicist in conflict with Atterbury and his high-church colleagues after 1705, he was rewarded by becoming George I's chaplain, but his appointment to Bangor shocked even supporters. His sermon (1717) advocating private judgement and sincere conscience in preference to ecclesiastical authority challenged both high churchmen and the established church. It thus provoked the furiously bitter Bangorian controversy and consequent suspension of convocation. Later, writing as ‘Britannicus’ (1722), he tore Atterbury's defences to pieces. Traditionally cast as the archetypal Hanoverian absentee prelate, modern research shows that, though a cripple with inability to travel much, he nevertheless attended to his dioceses as best he could or made sure others covered his work. He was genuinely concerned with the spiritual issues of his day and used his ‘razor-sharp, if acerbic, intellect’ in support of his ideals.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Hoadly, Benjamin

Benjamin Hoadly (hōd´lē), 1676–1761, English prelate, center of the Bangorian Controversy within the Church of England. He was a leader in the Low Church group. In 1715 he was appointed bishop of Bangor, Wales, and chaplain to George I. His pamphlet, A Preservative against the Principles and Practices of the Non-Jurors (1716), and especially his sermon (1717) before the king on the text "My kingdom is not of this world," in which he maintained that Jesus had not delegated authority to ecclesiastics, started the Bangorian Controversy. The ablest replies to Hoadly were those of William Law. Hoadly was transferred to Hereford (1721), to Salisbury (1723), and to Winchester (1734).

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