1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parker, Samuel

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PARKER, SAMUEL (1640-1688), English bishop, was born at Northampton, and educated at Wadham College, Oxford. His Presbyterian views caused him to move to Trinity College, where, however, the influence of the senior fellow induced him to join the Church of England, and he was ordained in 1664. In 1665 he published an essay entitled Tentamina physico-theologica de Deo, dedicated to Archbishop Sheldon, who in 1667 appointed him one of his chaplains. He became rector of Chartham, Kent, in the same year. In 1670 he became archdeacon of Canterbury, and two years after he was appointed rector of Ickham, Kent. In 1673 he was elected master of Edenbridge Hospital. His Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politie (London, 1670), advocating state regulation of religious affairs, led him into controversy with Andrew Marvell (1621-1675). James II. appointed him to the bishopric of Oxford in 1686, and he in turn forwarded the king's policy, especially by defending the royal right to appoint Roman Catholics to office. In 1687 the ecclesiastical commission forcibly installed him as president of Magdalen College, Oxford, the fellows having refused to elect any of the king's nominees. He was commonly regarded as a Roman Catholic, but he would appear to have been no more than an extreme exponent of the High Church doctrine of passive obedience. After he became president the action of the king in replacing the expelled fellows with Roman Catholics agitated him to such a degree as to hasten his end; to the priests sent to persuade him on his death-bed to be received into the Roman Church he declared that he “never had been and never would be of that religion,” and he died in the communion of the Church of England.

Parker's second son, Samuel Parker (1681-1730), was the author of Bibliotheca biblica, or Patristic Commentary on the Scriptures (1720-1735), an abridged translation of Eusebius, and other works. He was also responsible during 1708 and 1709 for a monthly periodical entitled Censura temporum, or Good and Ill Tendencies of Books. He passed most of his life in retirement at Oxford. His younger son Richard founded the well-known publishing firm in Oxford.

See Magdalen College and James II. 1686-1688, by the Rev. J. R. Bloxam (Oxford Historical Society, 1886).