Atterbury, Lewis (2)

Atterbury, Lewis eldest son of the preceding, was born at Caldecot, in Bucks, on the 2d of May, 1656. He was educated at Westminster School under Dr. Busby, and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was ordained deacon in September, 1679. In 1683 he served as chaplain to Sir William Pritchard, lord-mayor of London. In February, 1684, he was instituted rector of Symel, in Northamptonshire. In 1691 we find him lecturer of St. Mary Hill, in London; Soon after his marriage he settled at Highgate, where he supplied the pulpit of the reverend Mr. Daniel Lathom, on whose death, in June, 1695, he became pastor of the chapel. He had a little before been appointed one of the six preaching chaplains to the princess Anne of Denmark at Whitehall and St. James's, which place he continued to supply after she came to the crown, and likewise during part of the reign of George 1. To help the poor of his parish, he studied physic; and after acquiring considerable skill, practiced gratis among his poor neighbors. In 1707 the queen presented him to the rectory of Shepperton, in Middlesex, and in March, 1719, the bishop of London collated him to the rectory of Hornsey. In 1720, on a report of the death of Dr. Sprat, archdeacon of Rochester, he applied to his brother to succeed him. The bishop giving his brother some reasons why he thought it improper to make him his archdeacon, the doctor replied, "Your lordship very well knows that Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, had a brother for his archdeacon, and that Sir Thomas More's father was a puisne judge when he was lord chancellor. And thus, in the sacred history, did God himself appoint that the safety and advancement of the patriarchs should be procured by their younger brother, and that they, with their father, should live under the protection and government of Joseph." In answer to this, the bishop informs his brother that the archdeacon was not dead, but well, and likely to continue so. He died, however, soon after; and on the 20th of May, 1720, the bishop collated Dr. Brydges, the duke of Chandos's brother, to the archdeaconry, after writing thus in the morning to the doctor: "I hope you are convinced, by what I have said and written, that nothing could have been more improper than the placing you in that post immediately under myself. Could I have been easy under that thought, you may be sure no man living should have had the preference to you." To this the doctor answered: ".... There is some show of reason, I think, for the non-acceptance, but none for the not giving it. And since your lordship was pleased to signify to me that I should overrule you in this matter, I confess it was some disappointment to me . . . . I hope I shall be content with that meaner post in which I am; my time at longest being but short in this world, and my health not suffering me to make those necessary applications others do, nor do I understand the language of the present times; for I find I begin to grow an old-fashioned gentleman, and am ignorant of the weight and value of words, which in our times rise and fall like stock." This correspondence is creditable to the bishop, at least.

Dr. Atterbury died at Bath, October 20 1731. He published Twelve Sermons (London, 1720, 8vo): — Tens Sermons (Lond. 1699, 8vo): — Select Sermons, edited by Yardley, with a life of Dr. Atterbury (2 vols. 8vo, 1745): — Letters on the Council of Trent; and several translations from the French. In his will he gave some few books to the libraries at Bedford and Newport, and his whole collection of pamphlets, amounting to upward of two hundred volumes, to the library of Christ Church, Oxford. He charged his estate forever with the payment of ten pounds yearly to a schoolmistress to instruct girls at Newport-Pagnel, which salary he had himself in his lifetime paid for many years. He remembered some of his friends, and left a respectful legacy of one hundred pounds to his "dear brother, in token of his true esteem and affection," as the words of the will are, and made the bishop's son Osborn (after his granddaughter, who did not long survive him) heir to all his fortune. — New Genesis Biog. Dictionary, 1, 377; Biographica Britannica, vol. 1.

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