Huntingford, George Isaac (DNB00)

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HUNTINGFORD, GEORGE ISAAC (1748–1832), bishop successively of Gloucester and Hereford, son of James Huntingford, who died 30 Sept. 1772, aged 48, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral, was born at Winchester 9 Sept. 1748. In 1762 he was admitted scholar of Winchester College, and elected to New College, Oxford, in 1768, becoming scholar 18 July, and matriculating 19 July. He graduated B.A. 1773, M.A. 1776, and B.D. and D.D. in 1793. On 18 July 1770 he became a fellow of New College, and from about that period he seems to have held an assistant-mastership at Winchester College, and to have taken holy orders. Huntingford was for some time curate of Compton, near Winchester, and always retained an affection for the parish. His fellowship at New College he held until 15 March 1785, when he was elected fellow of Winchester. When his elder brother, Thomas, master of the free school at Warminster, Wiltshire, died early in 1787, leaving a family unprovided for, George, with the object of supporting the widow and children, was appointed by the Marquis of Bath as the successor both to the school and to the adjoining rectory of Corsley . Even then the burden proved a severe strain on his resources for many years. On 5 Dec. 1789 he was recalled to Winchester to hold the office of warden, and there he remained for the rest of his life. Through the friendship of Addington [see Addington, Henry, first Viscount Sidmouth, 1757-1844], who had been his pupil at Winchester, he was nominated to the see of Gloucester (being consecrated on 27 June 1802), and the choice was very agreeable to George III. On 5 July 1815 he was translated to the more lucrative bishopric of Hereford. On political and ecclesiastical subjects he agreed with his patron, but, unlike Addington, he refrained from opposing the Reform Bill. He died at Winchester College on 29 April 1832, and by his own desire was buried at Compton, the scene of his early labours in the church, where a monument by Westmacott was subsequently placed to his memory. His portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, which is now in the warden's gallery at Winchester, was engraved by James Ward in 1807, and afterwards issued in Cadell's 'Gallery of Contemporary Portraits,' and in Dibdin's 'Sunday Library,' iv. 1-88, where two of his sermons are printed. He was elected F.R.S. in 1804, and F.S.A.. in 1809.

Huntingford compiled 'A Short Introduction to the Writing of Greek,' for the use of Winchester College, the first edition of which was anonymous and privately printed, but the second edition was published with his name in 1778. A second part appeared in 1781, and a third edition of the first part in 1782. Numerous impressions of each part were subsequently required, and in 1828 William Moseley, L.L.D., published an introduction to them. In 1781 Huntingford printed for private circulation, without his name, fifty copies of 'Μετρικά τινα' in Greek and Latin. An anonymous translation of it came out in 1785, which is attributed in Nichols's 'Literary Anecdotes,' vii. 718, to the Rev. Charles Powlett, but is elsewhere assigned to the Rev, P. Smyth. Under the advice of his friends he issued another edition in 1782. This was reviewed by Charles Burney, D.D. [q. v.] in the 'Monthly Review' for June and August 1783 (Parr, Letters, vii. 394-8), with such effect, that Huntingford issued 'An Apology for the Monostrophics which were published in 1782. With a second collection of Monostrophics, 1784,' which was noticed by the same critic in the 'Monthly Review' in 1785. All these criticisms are bound up in one volume in the British Museum. Three translations of some specimens in the 1782 edition appeared in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1782, pp. 538, 589; and there are some Greek verses by him in 'Blackwood's Magazine,' xlii. 697-9. He drew up a Latin interpretation of Ælian, meditated in 1790 a new edition of Stobæus, and is said to have edited the poems of Pindar. Another of his classical productions consisted of 'Ethic Sentences, by writing which Boys may become accustomed to Greek Characters.'

As a tory politician and a churchman Huntingford printed numerous sermons, charges, and political discourses. He was the author of an anonymous 'Letter addressed to the Delegates from the several Congregations of Protestant Dissenters who met at Devizes, 14 Sept. 1789,' and of a second anonymous letter to them in the same year. He drew up 'A Call for Union with the Established Church addressed to English Protestants,' Winchester, 1800; 2nd edit. 1808, which he dedicated to his old friend Addington. From the newspapers he compiled 'Brief Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. Henry Addington's Administration through the first fifteen months from its commencement ' [anon.], 1802. His charge to the clergy of Gloucester diocese (1810) on the petition of the English Roman catholics ran to three editions, and provoked an answer from Dr. Lingard. When Lord Somers printed at Gloucester, in September 1812, his 'Speech and Supplemental Observations' on the admission of Roman catholics into parliament, Huntingford printed 'A Protestant Letter addressed to Lord Somers,' to which that peer issued a reply. A volume of 'Thoughts on the Trinity,' also dedicated to Addington, was published by him in 1804. Edward Evanson sarcastically recommended him to issue 'Second Thoughts on the Trinity.' A second edition, 'with charges and other theological works, edited by Henry Huntingford, LL.B., fellow of Winchester College,' appeared after his death in 1832. His 'Discourses on Different Subjects' came out, the first volume in 1795, and the second in 1797. A second edition of the two was printed in 1815. Several letters to and from him are inserted in Parr's 'Works,' vii. 51-63, 622-6, and in Harford's 'Life of Bishop Burgess,' pp. 145-383. A volume of 'Reminiscences of Old Times, Country Life, of Winchester College. By a Nominee of Bishop Huntingford [i.e. Rev. Henry Tripp], 1887,' contains a few slight references to the bishop.

[Gent. Mag. 1832, pt. i. pp. 559-61; Annual Biog. 1833, pp. 42-6; Foster's Oxford Registers; Kirby's Winchester Scholars, pp. 2, 16, 258; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. viii. 129-32; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 442, 474; J. C. Smith's Portraits, iv. 1449; Halkett and Laing's Anon. Lit. pp. 268, 1343, 2297, 2371; information from the Rev. Dr. Sewell of New Coll. Oxford, and from the Rev. Dr. Huntingford of Winchester.]

W. P. C.