Fiddes, Richard

Fiddes, Richard a clergyman of the Church of England, and author of several works marked by industry and research rather than talent, was born at Hunmanby, Yorkshire, in 1671. He took his bachelor's degree at University College, Oxford, in 1693. He was made rector of Halsham in 1694, but, losing his health, he devoted himself to authorship. Among his works are, A Body of Divinity (Lond. 1718-20, 2 vols. fol.) :-Fifty-two practical Discourses (London, 1714, 3 vols. 8vo):--Life of Cardinal Wolsey (London, 1724, fol.) :-General Treatise on Morality (Lond. 1724, 8vo). He died at Putney in 1725. Knight, in his Life of Erasmus (Introd. p. 15 sq.), accuses Fiddes of being at heart a Romanist. Knight accounts for Fiddes's speaking irreverently of Erasmus "probably because he had by his writings favored the Reformation. Dr. Fiddes censures the Reformation; and, to give it the more home strokes goes to the very root of it, and does all he can to evince the unjustifiable grounds it proceeded upon, ridicules the instruments of it, and would insinuate that there was a change made for the worse, and therefore palliates some of the most absurd doctrines of the Church of Rome, which were happily thrown off at the Reformation." He afterwards goes further, asserting, among other particulars, that Fiddes had "most partially, and indeed scandalously, reflected upon the opening of the Reformation, laying on the grossest colors to hide the deformities of Popery." He then proceeds "to give the true rise and occasion of writing his life of Wolsey," which he declares to have been at the solicitation of the late bishop Atterbury, on occasion of the dispute in which he was then engaged with archbishop Wake. — New General Biog. Dict. v, 323.

 
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