Potenger, John (DNB00)

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POTENGER or POTTINGER, JOHN (1647–1733), master in chancery and author, born 21 July 1647, was the son of John Potenger, D.D., and Anne Withers. His father was headmaster of Winchester School from 1 Aug. 1642 to 1652, and died in 1659 (Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, 1st ser. p. 1187; Wood, Fasti, ii. 100; Kirby, Annals of Winchester College, pp. 318, 345). Potenger was admitted to Winchester College in 1658, and matriculated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on 26 May 1664, where he obtained a Hampshire scholarship. He took the degree of B.A. on 1 Feb. 1667–8, and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1675. By the favour of Sir John Ernley, then chancellor of the exchequer, he was allowed to buy at the price of 1,700l. the office of comptroller of the pipe, and was sworn in in Hilary term 1676. On 2 July 1678 he married Philadelphia, second daughter of Sir John Ernley (Memoirs, p. 50; Chester, London Marriage Licenses, p. 1079). Subsequently he obtained the post of master in chancery, but sold it again for 700l. In the reign of James II he was removed from the commission of the peace for Middlesex for refusing to support the king's religious policy, but was restored again by William III. He died in 1733, his wife in 1692, and both were buried in the church of Broad Blunsdon in the parish of Highworth, Wiltshire.

Potenger was the author of ‘A Pastoral Reflection on Death,’ 1691, and of many unpublished poems. Nichols, in his ‘Select Collection of Poems’ (i. 213), prints an ode of Horace translated by Potenger, and adds in a note two letters from Dr. South praising his compositions (viii. 286). Potenger also published a translation of the ‘Life of Agricola’ by Tacitus (8vo, 1698). His memoirs of his own life were edited in 1841 by his descendant, C. W. Bingham, vicar of Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset. Apart from their biographical interest they contain interesting information on the state of education at Winchester and Oxford during the seventeenth century. Extracts from the part relating to Oxford are reprinted in Couch's ‘Reminiscences of Oxford,’ p. 53 (Oxf. Hist. Soc. 1892).

[Authorities mentioned in the article.]

C. H. F.