Bishop, Samuel (DNB00)

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BISHOP, SAMUEL (1731–1795), poet, was born in St. John Street, London, on 21 Sept. 1731, but his father, George Bishop, came from Dorset, and his mother from Sussex. He was entered at Merchant Taylors' School in June 1743, and soon became known among his fellow scholars for aptitude and knowledge. In June 1750 he was elected to St. John's College, Oxford, and became a scholar of that institution on 25 June, his matriculation entry at the university being '1750, June 28, St. John's, Samuel Bishop, 18, Georgii, Londini, pleb. fil.' Three years later (June 1753) he was elected a fellow of his college, and in the following April took his degree of B.A. Not long afterwards he was ordained to the curacy of Headley in Surrey, and resided either in that village or at Oxford until 1758, when he took his M.A. degree. On 26 July 1758 Bishop was appointed third under-master of his old school, rose to the second under-mastership 11 Feb. 1772, became the first under-master 12 Aug. 1778, and the head-master 22 Jan. 1783. His preferments in the church were two, the first being the rectory of Ditton in Kent, and the second the rectory of St. Martin Outwich in London, 1 March 1789. He had married in 1763, at St. Austin's, Watling Street, Mary, daughter of Joseph Palmer, of Old Mailing, near Lewes, and at her husband's death, on 17 Nov. 1795, she survived him with one daughter. Bishop was buried in St. Martin Outwich. Bishop published during his lifetime an anonymous 'Ode to the Earl of Lincoln on the Duke of Newcastle's retirement' 1762, an effusion said to have been prompted by the connection of his future wife's family with the duke; numerous essays and poems, signed S. and P. in a division of the 'Publick Ledger' for 1763 and 1764; a Latin translation of an ode of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams to Stephen Poyntz; a volume entitled 'Feriæ Poeticæ, sive Carmina Anglicana . . . Latine reddita,' 1766; and a sermon on the anniversary of Mr. Henry Raine's charity, 1 May 1783. After his death the Rev. Thomas Clare collected and printed a volume of 'Sermons chiefly upon Practical Subjects, by the Rev. Samuel Bishop, A.M.,' 1798, and two volumes of the 'Poetical Works of the Rev. Samuel Bishop, A.M.,' 1796, with a life of the author. A second edition was issued in 1800, a third in 1802, and the poems were embodied in Ezekiel Sanford's 'Works of British Poets,' vol. xxxvii., a collection printed at Philadelphia. The smaller poems are very graceful and pleasing; those to his wife on the recurring anniversaries of their wedding-day, and to their daughter on her various birthdays, breathe the purest affection. Southey said of Bishop that 'no other poet crowds so many syllables into a verse. . . . His domestic poems breathe a Dutch spirit—by which I mean a very amiable and happy feeling of domestic duties and enjoyments.' Bishop's widow subsequently married the Rev. Thomas Clare, who became the vicar of St. Bride's, Fleet Street.

[Gent. Mag. 1795, pt. ii. 972, 994, 1052; Life by Clare; Southey's Commonplace Book. iv. 308-9; Robinson's Register of Merchant Taylors' School, i. p. xv; Wilson's Merchant Taylors' School, 450, 510-20, 1098, 1130. 1137, 1178; Malcolm's Lond. Redivivum, iv. 407.]

W. P. C.