« PreviousContinue »
THE Author of the following excellent little
1 Tract, was Dr. WILLIAM STANLEY, a man eminently distinguished by his literary attainments, and by the active exercise of those dispositions which reflect the highest lustre on the Christian character.
Dr. Stanley was son of William Stanley, Gent. of Hinckley in Leicestershire ; was edu. cated at Ashley in Lancashire, and in the year 1663, at the age of sixteen, was sent to St. John's, Cambridge, of which college Bishop Beveridge, who married his Aunt, was a member. In 1669 he was elected Fellow of Corpus Christi College, on the joint recommendation of his Tutor, and Bishop Gunning, then Master of St. John's. He was ordained Priest by Bishop Compton in 1672, became an University Preacher in 1676, and commenced B. D. in 1678.
From the University he removed to the Curacy of Much-Hadham, in Hertfordshire, that eminent Divine, Dr. Goodman, being then Rector; and he was soon after presented by the Earl of Essex to the Rectory of Raine-Parva,
in Essex. This living he resigned in 1682, for St. Mary Magdalen, in Old Fish-Street, London; which he also quitted in 1690, on being collated by Bishop Compton to the Rectory of Much-Hadham, void by the death of his friend Dr. Goodman. In 1684 he was collated to the Prebend of Cadington Major, in St. Paul's Cathedral ; in 1689, became Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's; in 1691-2, was promoted to the Archdeaconry of London, on Dr. Tenison's removal to the Bishopric of Lincoln; and in 1706 was advanced by his Uncle Bishop Beveridge, to the Deanry of St. Asaph, which' dignity he retained till his death, in October 1731, in the 85th year of his age. He was buried in the vaulting of St. Paul's Cathedral, under the South wing of the Choir, among his old Friends, Bishop Beveridge, Dean Sherlock, Dean Younger, Dr. Holder, and Sir Christopher Wren. He was married to Mary, second daughter of Sir Francis Pemberton, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and King's Bench, by whom he had three sons, William, Francis, and Thomas, *
* William, the eldest son, was Official of the Archdeaconry of London. Francis, the second, was Fellow of C.C.C. Cambridge, and afterwards Vicar of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, till his father resigned to him the Rectory of Hadham, in 1723 ; " a person,” says the Dean's Biographer, “ in every respect worthy to bė l'is Successor.” Thomas, the youngest, died at an earlier age..
About the year 1687, or earlier, Dr. Stanley was" chosen to be Chaplain to the Princess of Orange, at the Hague, upon the dismission of Dr. Covel; a clergyman of unexceptionable character being by express orders sent for from Holland, to ate tend upon her Highness, the Bishop of Lonsdon had it in charge to recommend two persons to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was to approve finally of one of them. The two thus recommended were Dr. Burnet, Master of the Charterhouse, and our Author; the latter of whom 'was appointed, and (as it is conjectured) was at the same time favoured by his Grace with his Faculty for a Noctor of Divinity's degree. He was much esteemed by the Princess, who, on her advancement to the throne, promoted him to be Clerk of the Closet, bestowed several other favours upon him, and made him one or two offers of episcopal dignity, which, however, he declined.
On the death of the learned Dr. Spencer he was elected (without his knowledge) to the Mastership of Corpus Christi College ; which at first he refused; but on being strongly solicited by the unanimous voice of the College, for the sake of preventing dissentions in the society, he consented to accept it. On his being elected Vice-Chancellor, the University passed an extraordinary Grace to admit him to the Degree
of D.D. with all its academical privileges, to which the archiepiscopal Faculty could not entitle him.
In the year 1698, he resigned the Mastership of the College, finding it to be incompatible with his other duties. But during his continua ance there, he employed himself in making a catalogue of the valuable Manuscript Library bequeathed to the College by Archbishop Parker, which he afterwards printed at his own expence, in folio, Lond. 1672, a very elaborate and important work. He also presented the College with a set of silver gilt Coinmunion Plate, which had belonged to queen Mary's private chapel, when she was princess of Orange, and which she had given to Dr. S. on her com
ing to the Crown of England, as a memorial of * her favour and esteem.
Many extensive and important benefactions are recorded of Dr. Stanley, and many excellent designs in which he was actively concerned. In the year 1692, he exerted himself to forward the printing of an Edition of the Councils with Protestant annotations, not only subscribing to the work, but obtaining, by his interest at court, a grant to import what paper should be wånting for it, Custom-free. The care and management of the work were committed to Dr. Allix; but it was afterwards laid aside. When Dean of St.