Carleton, Guy (1598?-1686) (DNB00)

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CARLETON, GUY (1598?–1685), bishop of Chichester, said by Anthony à Wood to have been a kinsman of George Carleton (1559–1628) [q. v.], was a native of Bramston Foot, in Gilsland, Cumberland. He was educated at the free school in Carlisle, and was sent as a servitor to Queen's College, Oxford, of which he afterwards became fellow. In 1635 he was made a proctor to the university. When the civil war broke out he threw himself heartily into the king's cause. He was an excellent horseman, and followed the royal army, although he had been ordained and held two livings. In an engagement with the enemy he was taken prisoner and confined in Lambeth House. He managed, however, to escape by the help of his wife, who conveyed a cord to him, by which he was to let himself down from a window, and then make for a boat on the Thames in readiness to take him off. The rope was too short, and in dropping to the ground he broke one of his bones, but succeeded in getting to the boat, which took him to a place of concealment, where he lay till he recovered, but in such a destitute condition that his wife had to sell some of her clothes and work for their daily food. At last they contrived to get out of the country, and joined the exiled king in Holland. At the restoration Carleton was made dean of Carlisle and prebendary of Durham. In 1671 he was promoted to the bishopric of Bristol, and in 1678 translated to Chichester, but ‘he had not the name there,’ says Wood, ‘for a scholar or liberal benefactor as his predecessor and kinsman, Dr. George Carleton, had.’ In the year after his appointment, the Duke of Monmouth, being then at the height of his popularity, visited Chichester (7 Feb.) in the course of a kind of royal progress which he was making through the country (see Macaulay, Hist. i. 251, &c.). The extravagant honour paid to him, not only by some of the citizens but by the dignitaries of the cathedral, excited the indignation of the bishop, which he poured forth in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury (Sancroft) (preserved among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian, 384). ‘… The great men of our Cathedrall welcomed him with belles, and bonfires made by wood had from their houses to flare before his lodgings, personal visits made to him, with all that was in their houses proffered to his service.’ He describes the honour done the duke in the cathedral, and the ‘apocryphal anthems when the commonwealth saints appeared amongst us.’ He then relates at some length how, because he would not ‘join in these bell and bonfire solemnities,’ or ‘bow the knee to the people's Idol,’ the rabble surrounded his house at night demanding wood to make bonfires for the duke, and, when it was refused, pelted the palace with stones, and shot into it three times, shouting that he was an old popish rogue, and all the people in his family were rogues and thieves, and they should meet with him ere long. ‘Then they shott three times into my house and seconded their violence with a shower of stones so thick that our servants thought they would have broke in and cut our throats. …’ The letter is dated 17 Feb. 1679. The bishop was then about eighty-three years of age, but lived six years longer. His death occurred on 6 July 1685.

[Wood's Athenæ, iv. 866, 867.]

W. R. W. S.