Hoadly, John (1678-1746) (DNB00)

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HOADLY, JOHN (1678–1746), archbishop of Armagh, was born at Tottenham, Middlesex, 27 Sept. 1678, and was younger brother of Benjamin Hoadly (1676–1761) [q. v.] He was a member of St. Catharine's Hall, Cambridge (B.A. 1697), and in September 1700 was appointed under-master of the grammar school of Norwich, of which his father was head-master. After passing some years there he became chaplain to Bishop Burnet, who gave him the rectory of St. Edmund's, Salisbury, and made him successively prebendary (21 Feb. 1705–6), archdeacon (6 Nov. 1710), and chancellor (16 April 1713) of Salisbury. Burnet's esteem for him is further confirmed by an adversary, the author of a pamphlet entitled ‘The Salisbury Quarrel Ended’ [1710], relating to some local squabbles, in which whatever the high church party thought obnoxious in Burnet's conduct was attributed to the influence of his chaplain. He was also attacked for his friendship with Chubb by pamphleteers on the controversies provoked by the latter. In 1717 Lord King, then chief justice of the common pleas, presented him to the rectory of Ockham in Surrey; and in 1727 he was consecrated bishop of Leighlin and Ferns. Whiston says that he remonstrated violently against this appointment on account of the ignorance which he imputed to Hoadly. If, however, Hoadly knew little of the subjects which interested Whiston, he possessed other accomplishments. ‘I know,’ wrote the primate, Archbishop Boulter, ‘his affection for his majesty, and that he has spirit to help to keep up the English interest here;’ and when in July 1729 a vacancy occurred in the archbishopric of Dublin, Boulter again wrote to Walpole: ‘There is nobody on the bench here so able to do his Majesty service in this country, nor any so acceptable to the well affected of this kingdom, nor can I depend so firmly on being assisted in all public affairs by any one here, as by the Bishop of Ferns.’ Hoadly was accordingly translated to the archiepiscopal see in January 1730. In October 1742 he became archbishop of Armagh upon Boulter's death, the lord-lieutenant, the Duke of Devonshire, who happened to be at court when the news arrived, telling the king that he could not do without him. As primate he displayed a tolerant spirit by consenting to the abolition of restrictions on Roman catholic services. As archbishop of Dublin he built the residence of Tallaght at a cost of 2,500l., partly for his successors, one of whom dismantled it, partly ‘as the most useful and rational method of supporting the honest and industrious poor.’ ‘But he raised a nobler monument to himself.’ says his nephew, ‘in the hearts of the Irish, by indefatigably promoting the improvement of agriculture by his skill, his purse, and his example.’ He had married his only daughter, Sarah, on 29 Nov. 1740 to Bellingham Boyle (b. 1709), M.P. for Bandon Bridge, a distant cousin of the Irish Speaker Henry Boyle, afterwards Earl of Shannon [q. v.] Hoadly was for many years a chief director of Irish politics. In a letter to the Duke of Newcastle, 22 April 1746 (Newcastle Papers, Brit. Mus. vol. xxii.), he says: ‘I have been here eighteen years and more, and have constantly, without one failure, attended, what I by principle thought right, the king's service. For sixteen years of that time I have chiefly borne the burthen of the privy council and of the House of Lords, and sore against my will, if it had not been for the ease and quiet of the government, of the university.’ He adds: ‘I never asked anything before for any relation of mine own, and but one small thing for a dependant.’ He died at Rathfarnham, 19 July 1746, of a fever caught while superintending workmen, and was buried at Tallaght. ‘He gave universal content and satisfaction,’ says a writer in the ‘Dublin Courant’ of the following week, ‘by his easiness of access, his knowledge of affairs, and capacity for business.’ However inferior to his famous brother in learning and controversial ability, he possessed the same qualities of head and heart. His writings consisted only of occasional sermons, a pastoral letter on the rebellion of 1745, a defence of Burnet's work on the articles against Binckes, 1703, and a view of Bishop Beveridge's writings, ‘in a humorous way,’ adds his nephew, in citing the book. Bishop Mant, however, thinks it incredible that Bishop Beveridge could have been taken otherwise than seriously, and the obnoxious words were evidently no part of the original title.

[Dr. John Hoadly's additions to Kippis's Memoir of Bishop Hoadly, prefixed to the latter's Works, 1773; Mant's History of the Church of Ireland; D'Alton's Lives of the Archbishops of Dublin; Boulter's Letters; The Salisbury Quarrel Ended, 1710; Whiston's Memoirs of his own Life and Writings; Handcock's History and Antiquities of Tallaght; Dublin Courant, 22 July 1746.]

R. G.