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Bingham, Joseph


English clergyman and scholar whose dedication to ecclesiastical antiquities enriched the literature of the English Church; b. Wakefield, Sept. 1668; d. Havant, Hampshire, Aug. 17, 1723. He won renown as a student at University College, Oxford, receiving his B.A. in 1688 and a fellowship in 1689. Two years later he was made a college tutor. In 1695, when the Trinitarian controversy was at its height, Bingham was accused of preaching unsound doctrines and was forced to withdraw from the university. Assigned immediately to the rectory of Headbourn Worthy, he began his scholarly work Origines ecclesiasticae, or The Antiquities of the Christian Church (10 v. 170822), which remains a valuable treatment on the customs and exercises of the Church during the first 500 years. He was the father of ten children by Dorothy Pocock, daughter of R. Pocock, bishop of Winchester. Pocock assigned Bingham (1712) to the rectory at Havant, near Portsmouth, where, less impoverished, he was enabled to complete his monumental Antiquities. Among his lesser works were The French Church's Apology for the Church of England (1706) and The Scholastical History of Lay Baptism (171214).

Bibliography: Works, ed. r. bingham, 10 v. (new ed. Oxford 1855), with biography. j. h. overton, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, (London 18851900) 63 vol. 2:510512. d. carter, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 7 v. (Tübingen 195765) 1:1294. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 173. n. sykes, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 8:150608. h. armbruster, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10v. (2d new ed. Freiburg, 195765) 2:483.

[m. a. frawley]

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