Stubbs, Philip (1665-1738) (DNB00)
|←Stubbs, Philip (fl.1581-1593)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55
Stubbs, Philip (1665-1738)
STUBBS, PHILIP (1665–1738), archdeacon of St. Albans, was son of Philip Stubbs, citizen and vintner of London. Born on 2 Oct. 1665, during the plague, in the parish of St. Andrew Undershaft, London, he was educated from 1678 to 1682 at Merchant Taylors' school, and proceeded as a commoner to Wadham College, Oxford, on 23 March 1682–3. In the following year he was elected scholar of that college, graduated B.A. in 1686, M.A. in 1689, became fellow in 1691, and proceeded B.D. in 1722. On taking holy orders he was appointed curate in the united parishes of St. Benet's Gracechurch and St. Leonard's Eastcheap, and was afterwards chaplain successively to Dr. Robert Grove, bishop of Chichester, and to George, earl of Huntingdon. From 1694 to 1699 he was rector of Woolwich, and, owing doubtless to the keen interest which he thenceforth evinced in seamen and their welfare, was chosen first chaplain of Greenwich Hospital, an office which he held until his death. On leaving Woolwich he was presented by the bishop of London to the rectory of St. Alphage, London Wall, to which was added in 1705 the parish of St. James Garlickhithe. Steele, happening one Sunday to be present in the latter church when Stubbs was officiating, was so impressed that he highly eulogised him in the ‘Spectator,’ and proposed him as an example to all for his reading of the service. In 1715 he was preferred to the archdeaconry of St. Albans, and four years later the bishop of London collated him to the rectory of Launton, Oxfordshire, which he held for nineteen years, and was absent only when making the yearly visitation of his archdeaconry, and when his duties as chaplain called him to Greenwich. He died at the latter place on 13 Sept. 1738, and was buried in the old burial-ground of the hospital, his tombstone being still preserved in the mausoleum. A stained glass window has recently been erected to his memory in Launton church. His portrait was painted by T. Murray in 1713, and engraved by John Faber in 1722.
Stubbs married, in 1696, Mary, daughter of John Willis, rector of West Horndon, Essex. She survived her husband for twenty-one years, during which she lived in the Bromley College for clergymen's widows, and died in 1759, aged 95. By her he had two surviving sons and one daughter. The archdeacon's only sister, Elizabeth, married Ambrose Bonwicke [q. v.], the elder, nonjuror, head master of Merchant Taylors' school.
Stubbs was an earnest and eloquent preacher and active minister at a time when life was at a low ebb in the church of England. He published many separate sermons and addresses (see Watt's Bibl. Brit.), as well as a collected volume of sermons in 1704 (8vo). His sermon, ‘God's Dominion over the Seas and the Seaman's Duty,’ preached at Longreach on board the Royal Sovereign, reached a third edition, and was translated into French and distributed among the French seamen who were prisoners at the time. He was one of the earliest promoters of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and drew up the first report of its proceedings in 1703, for which he received a special vote of thanks, and was selected to preach the sermon in St. Paul's on Trinity Sunday 1711, the day appointed by the queen for a collection in the city for that society, afterwards published under the title ‘The Divine Mission of Gospel Ministers.’ He also took an active part in the development of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. He interested himself in the education of the poorer children of his flock, and he was instrumental in founding day schools in the parishes of St. Alphage and St. James, as well as in Bicester, near Launton.
Stubbs was elected F.R.S. on 30 Nov. 1703, and was interested in literature and archæology (cf. Hearne, Collectanea, ed. Doble, ii. 33, 34, 39). Some manuscript letters from him are preserved in the Bodleian Library, addressed to Dr. Robinson, bishop of London; Hearne, the antiquary; Walker, the author of ‘The Sufferings of the Clergy,’ and others. There are also several in the British Museum, some to Dr. Warley, archdeacon of Colchester.[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 1106; Spectator, No. 147; Robinson's Reg. of Merchant Taylors' School; McClure's Minutes of S.P.C.K. for 1698–1704; Lysons's Environs of London, ii. 425, 514, 591; Mayor's Ambrose Bonwicke (1870); Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Archæologia Cantiana, vol. xviii.; private information.]