Biddulph, Thomas Tregenna (DNB00)

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BIDDULPH, THOMAS TREGENNA (1763–1838), evangelical divine, was the only son of the Rev. Thomas Biddulph by his first wife, Martha, daughter and coheir of Rev. John Tregenna, rector of Mawgan in Cornwall. He was born at Claines, Worcestershire, 5 July 1763, but his father became in 1770 the vicar of Padstow in Cornwall, and the younger Biddulph was educated at the grammar school of Truro in that county. In his eighteenth year he matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford (23 Nov. 1780), and took his degpree of B.A. and M.A. in 1784 and 1787 respectively. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Ross of Exeter, 26 Sept. 1785, being licensed to the curacy of Padstow, and preaching his first sermon in its church, and after holding many curacies became the incumbent of Bengeworth near Evesham in 1793. Though he retained this small benefice for ten years, he resided for the greater part of his time at Bristol, and it was as the incumbent from 1799 to 1838 of St. James's, Bristol, that his reputation as a preacher and a parish priest was acquired. His doctrines were at first unpopular among the citizens of Bristol, but in the course of years his services were rewarded by the respect and affection of his fellow-townsmen. He died at St. James's Square, Bristol, 19 May 1838, and was buried 29 May. His wife, Rachel, daughter of Zachariah Shrapnel, whom he married at Bradford, Wiltshire, 19 Feb. 1789, died at St. James's Square, Bristol, 10 Aug. 1828. Portraits by Opie of the Rev. Thomas Tregenna Biddulph and of his father and mother are in the possession of Mr. W. P. Punchard of Taunton. The catalogue of the writings of Mr. Biddulph occupies more than six pages of the 'Bibliotheca Comubiensis.' All his works were of a theological character, and were written in support of evangelical doctrines. On their behalf he engaged in controversy with the Rev. John Hey, the Rev. Richard Warner, and the Rev. Richard (afterwards bishop) Mant. A periodical called at first 'Zion's Trumpet,' but afterwards known for many years under the title of 'The Christian Guardian,' was established by him in 1798.

[Gent. Mag. x. 331-34 (1838); Bibl. Cornub. i. and iii.; May's Evesham, 148; Rogers's Opie, 74-5; Christian Guardian, 1838, pp. 267-63.]

W. P. C.