Hoadly, Benjamin (1706-1757) (DNB00)

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HOADLY, BENJAMIN, M.D. (1706–1757), physician, son of Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Winchester [q. v.], was born on 10 Feb. 1706 in Broad Street, London. He was sent to Dr. Newcome's academy at Hackney, and thence to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was admitted on 8 April 1722. He read mathematics, and attended the lectures of the blind professor, Saunderson. He graduated M.B. 1727, and M.D. April 1728, having already been elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He was registrar of Hereford while his father was bishop (1721–4). He settled in London, and was elected a fellow of the College of Physicians 29 Dec. 1736, and in the following spring he delivered the Gulstonian lectures on the organs of respiration, which were printed, but are uninteresting. A copy bound in red morocco, presented by the author, is preserved in the college library. In 1739 he was elected censor, and in 1742 delivered a commonplace Harveian oration, which was printed. On 9 June 1742 he was made physician to the king's household, and on 4 Jan. 1746 physician to the household of the Prince of Wales.

Hoadly was fond of the stage, and was author of ‘The Suspicious Husband,’ a comedy, which was first acted at Covent Garden on 12 Feb. 1747. Garrick wrote a prologue for it, and acted the part of Ranger. It hit the popular taste, was often repeated on the stage, and was published in 1747 with a dedication to George II, who sent Hoadly 100l. Foote praised it in his ‘Roman and English Comedy Compared,’ 1747; Genest calls it ‘one of our very best comedies.’ A farce by Charles Macklin, ‘The Suspicious Husband Criticized,’ was produced at Drury Lane on 24 March 1747. The comedy was perhaps more justly called by a contemporary ‘Hoadly's profligate pantomime,’ consisting as it does of entrances and exits through windows at night, and of dissolute small talk. Hoadly also wrote a comedy, ‘The Tatlers,’ which was acted at Covent Garden on 29 April 1797 for Holman's benefit, but was never printed. In 1756 he published ‘Observations on a series of Electrical Experiments by Dr. Hoadly and Mr. Wilson.’ He died at Chelsea on 10 Aug. 1757. He married, first, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Betts, and by her had one son, Benjamin; secondly, Anne, daughter of General Armstrong.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 132; Works; Davies's Life of Garrick; Baker's Biog. Dram.; Genest's Hist. Stage, iv. 205, 215, vii. 310.]

N. M.