Eveleigh, John (DNB01)

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EVELEIGH, JOHN (1748–1814), provost of Oriel College, Oxford, and prebendary of Rochester Cathedral, son of John Eveleigh (1716?–1770), rector of Winkley, Devonshire, by his wife Martha, daughter of John Scobell of Nutcombe in the same county, was born on 22 Feb. 1747–8, and educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 15 May 1766. In the same year he was elected Goodridge and Pigott exhibitioner of his college; he was again elected Goodridge exhibitioner in 1767 and 1769, and was Hody exhibitioner from 1767 to 1770. He was also admitted scholar on 25 Sept. 1767, and graduated B.A. on 19 Jan. 1770. He was elected fellow of Oriel on 30 March following, and graduated M.A. on 25 Nov. 1772, B.D. on 17 Nov. 1782, and D.D. on 7 May 1783. He was junior treasurer of Oriel in 1772, senior treasurer in 1773, and dean from 1775 to 1781. From 1778 to 1781 he was also vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford, and from 1782 to 1792 vicar of Aylesford. On 5 Dec. 1781 he was elected provost of Oriel in succession to John Clarke, becoming at the same time prebendary of Rochester Cathedral. He was Bampton lecturer in 1792, and published his lectures as 'Eight Sermons' in the same year; a second edition with four additional sermons also appeared in 1792, and a third edition in two volumes in 1815. He brought out a work on 'The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity,' Oxford, 1791, 8vo, and separate sermons in 1797 and 1806.

As provost of Oriel Eveleigh was highly successful, and he did much to raise the college to the high position it held in the first half of the nineteenth century; during his provostship Keble was elected fellow of Oriel (cf. W. J. Coppleston, Memoir of Edward Copleston, 1851, pp. 62-3; Mark Pattison, Mem. pp. 76, 88). He was also a vigorous university reformer, and 'one of the most strenuous originators of the present system of classes and honours' established in 1800 (Colpeston, pp. 7, 28; cf. Colleges of Oxford, ed. Clark, p. 122). He died at Oxford on 10 Dec. 1814, was buried in St. Mary's, Oxford, and was succeeded by Edward Copleston [q. v.] His portrait, by Hoppner, hangs over the fireplace in Oriel common room, 'the face full of dignity and intelligence' (Burgon, Twelve Good Men, i. 383). He married Dorothy, daughter of William Sandford, fellow of All Souls' and rector of Hatherop, co. Gloucester, and left an only daughter, Jane, who married John Heathcote Wyndham, rector of Gorton.

[Authorities cited; works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; G. F. A[rmstrong]'s Savages of the Ards, 1888, pp. 382-3; Vivian's Visitations of Devon, p. 336; Gent. Mag. 1814, ii. 676; Shindler's Registers of Rochester, p. 81; Gardiner's Reg. of Wadham; Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men, 1888, i. 50, 383, 386; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886.]

A. F. P.