Phil(L)Potts, Henry, Dd
Phil(l)potts, Henry, D.D.
an English prelate of much note, was the son of a respectable hotel-keeper of Gloucester, and was born in that city in 1777. At the age of fifteen he was elected to a scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and having taken the degree of B.A., gained the chancellor's prize for an English essay in 1795. He was elected in the following year to a fellowship at Magdalen College, which he vacated on his marriage in 1804 with Miss Surtees, a niece of the late lord chancellor Eldon. In 1806 he became chaplain to Dr. Barrington, bishop of Durham, and in that capacity distinguished himself by a controversy which he maintained against the learned Roman Catholic historian of England, Dr. Lingard (q.v.), and subsequently by the publication of some pamphlets, vindicating the established clergy in the North from the attacks of lords Grey and Durham. For these services he was rewarded with the rich living of Stanhope. In 1825 he again entered the lists of controversy as the opponent of Mr. Charles Butler's Book of the Catholic Church. In 1827 he published his celebrated Letter on Catholic Emancipation addressed to Mr. Canning, soon after which he was promoted (in 1828) to the deanery of Chester, which he exchanged in October 1830, for the bishopric of Exeter. As a member of the House of Lords, bishop Phillpotts proved the zealous champion of Tory principles, and consequently opposed the Reform Bill, the Irish Church Temporalities Bill, the Poor-law Bill, the Ecclesiastical Commission, the National Education Bill, and every measure of a liberal tendency. Dr. Phillpott was for many years in that assembly the recognized episcopal head and representative of the extreme HighChurch party, and by his writings and speeches warmly advocated the revival of convocation, and of other innovations on the established system of ecclesiastical affairs. In 1849 he rejected Mr. Gorham, who was nominated by the crown to a living in Devoushire, on the ground that he held erroneous opinions as to the effects of infant baptism; and though he was supported by the ecclesiastical courts, their judgment was set aside on appeal by a decision of the judicial committee of the privy council in 1850. On this Dr. Phillpotts published a Letter in which'he formally excommuisiacated the archbishop of Canterbury, who had been a party to the decision (see Edirb. Rev. 95:59- 65). SEE OKRHATI CASE. In the following year he held a synod of his clergy at Exeter, which was pronounced illegal by the officers of the crown, and has never since been summoned. He died in 1869. The list of Dr. Phillpotts's controversial pamphlets occupies no less than twelve pages in the new catalogue of the British Museum. His best-known publications are given in Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v. See English Cyclop. s.v.; Men of the Time, s.v.; Blackwood's Mag. 24:1; 29:157; Dublin University Mag. 20:223; Firaser's Mag. 2:687; Lond. Athen. 1861, 1:151.