South, Robert, Dd
South, Robert, D.D., an English clergyman, was born at Hackney, Middlesex, in 1633, and became a king's scholar at Westminster at the age of fourteen. In 1651 he was admitted a student of Christ Church, Oxford, under the care of his relative Dr. John Smith. In 1655 and 1657 successively he took his degrees of A.B. and A.M. Mr. Smith was privately ordained in 1658 by one of the deprived bishops. At the restoration of Charles II, the opportunity was afforded him of showing his peculiar eloquence. In August, 1660, he was chosen public orator in his university, and presently after preached before the king's commissioners. Clarendon appointed him, without delay, his domestic chaplain. On the disgrace of that minister he was nominated to the same office in the family of the duke of York; the king, in the meantime, placing him on the list of royal chaplains. He was installed prebendary of Westminster in March, 1663, and on Oct. 1 following was admitted to the degree of D.D. Afterwards he had a sinecure in Wales bestowed upon him by his patron, the earl of Clarendon, and in 1670 was installed canon of Christ Church. In 1676 he attended, as chaplain, Laurence Hyde, ambassador extraordinary to the king of Poland. Upon his return he was presented, in 1678, by the dean and chapter of Westminster to the pleasant rectory of Islip, near Oxford. To this Church he became a considerable benefactor — rebuilding the chancel in 1680, allowing £100 a year to his curate, and spending the rest in educating the poorer children of the parish. After the Revolution, South took the oath of allegiance to the new king and queen, and is said to have declined the offer of a great dignity vacated by one who refused the oaths. It was at this time that he became engaged in the violent controversy with Dr. Sherlock, dean of St. Paul's. Sherlock's Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity appeared in 1690, and was answered by South in his Animadversions. Sherlock replied in 1694 in a Defense, which was replied to by South in Tritheism, etc. This was a sharp contest, and men of great note espoused the cause of each. During the greatest part of queen Anne's reign, South was a severe sufferer from illness; and he did little as minister, save attending divine service at Westminster Abbey. He was offered the bishopric of Rochester with the deanery of Westminster; but declined to leave his private station. He died July 8, 1716, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Dr. South was a man of uncommon abilities and attainments; of judgment, wit, and learning. His wit was his bane, for he could not repress it, even on the most solemn occasions. His works are, Musica Incantans, sive Poema Experimens Musicoe Fires, etc. (1655; 1667, 4to): — Animadversions upon Dr. Sherlock's Book entitled A Vindication of the Holy and Everblessed Trinity (1693): — Tritheism Charged upon Dr. Sherlock's New Notion of the Trinity (1695). He published a number of his Sermons singly, and a collective edition (1692, 6 vols. 8vo; other editions in 1697, 1704, 1715, 1722, 1727). To these were added (1744) 5 vols. 8vo. These eleven volumes were republished at Oxford (1823, 7 vols. 8vo). They have been reprinted in Philadelphia (4 vols. in 2 vols. 8vo), in New York (4 vols. 8vo), and by Hurd and Houghton (1867, 5 vols. 8vo). See Cattermole, Literature of the Church of England, 2, 442-463; Chalmers, Biog. Dict. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.