Madan, Spencer (1729-1813) (DNB00)

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MADAN, SPENCER (1729–1813), bishop successively of Bristol and Peterborough. younger brother of Martin Madan [q. v.] Born in 1729, he was sent to Westminster School in 1742, whence in 1746 he passed to Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1749 he graduated B.A. as third wrangler, M.A. 1753, D.D. 1756. He was at first intended for the bar, like his elder brother, but shortly after took holy orders. In 1753 he was elected to a fellowship at his college, but after short residence became vicar of Haxhay with the rectory of West Halton, both in Lincolnshire. In 1761 he was appointed chaplain in ordinary to the king, a position which he held till 1787, being also from 1770 to 1794 prebendary of Peterborough, and at the same time rector of Castor in Northamptonshire. In 1776 he was appointed to the sinecure rectory of Ashley in Berkshire, and in 1793 was promoted to the see of Bristol, where he was consecrated bishop on 3 June. Early in 1794, on the death of John Hinchliffe [q. v.], he was translated to Peterborough, where he remained till his death, at the age of eighty-four, on 8 Nov. 1811. He was buried in Peterborough Cathedal, and his tomb bears the well-known lines:

In sacred sleep the pious bishop lies:
Say not in death—a good man never dies.

Madan was distinguished from his Cambridge days to the end of his life by simple and even austere habits. It was his custom to rise early and light his own fire, in order to pursue the study of the Scriptures in the original Hebrew and Greek, before the general work of the day began. It is recorded by those who knew him personally that he was a man of unobtrusive and primitive piety, passionately fond of music, and deeply read in Hebrew. When starting on his last round of confirmations and visitations in 1813, at the age of eighty-four, he said that he preferred to die in the discharge of his duty rather than to live a little longer by neglect of it.

Madan was twice married, first to Lady Charlotte, second daughter of Charles Cornwallis, first earl Cornwallis (d. 1794, aged 68, buried in the Abbey Church at Bath), by whom he had two sons, Spencer, who is separately noticed, and William Charles, who became a colonel in the army, and a daughter (Charlotte). In 1796 the bishop married, secondly, Mary Vyse, daughter of William Vyse of Lichfield and sister of William Vyse (1741-1816), archdeacon of Coventry. Madan left no issue by his second marriage.

Madan only published, besides single sermons in 1795 (two), 1799, and 1803, 'Observations on the Question between the present Lessee of the Prebendal Estate of Sawley and the Curate of that place,' a scandalous case, 1810. There is an engraving of Madan by T. Cheesman from a picture by J. Barry.

[Cumberland's Memoirs of Himself, p. 105; Gent. Mag. 1813 pt. ii. pp. 509, 703, 1814 pt. ii. p. 99, 1815 pt. i. p. 275; Nichos's Leicestershire, iv. 760.]

F. M.