D'Oyly, George (DNB00)

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D'OYLY, GEORGE, D.D. (1778–1846), theologian and biographer, fourth son of the Ven. Matthias D'Oyly, archdeacon of Lewes and rector of Buxted, Sussex, was born 31 Oct. 1778. He belonged to a branch of the D'Oyly family which settled at Bishopstone, in Stone parish, Buckinghamshire, in the reign of Elizabeth, and of his brothers the eldest was Mr. Serjeant D'Oyly; the second, Sir John D'Oyly [q. v.]; the third, Sir Francis D'Oyly, K.C.B., slain at Waterloo [see under D'Oyly, Sir John]; and the youngest, Major-general Henry D'Oyly. He went to schools at Dorking, Putney, and Kensington, and in 1796 he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. In 1800 he graduated B.A. as second wrangler and second Smith's prizeman, and in 1801 gained the member's prize for the Latin essay. In the same year he was elected a fellow of his college. Ordained deacon in 1802 by the Bishop of Chichester, and priest in 1803 by the Bishop of Gloucester, he was curate to his father for a few months in 1803, and in 1804 became curate of Wrotham in Kent. From 1806 to 1809 he was moderator in the university of Cambridge, was select preacher in 1809, 1810, and 1811, and proctor in 1808. In November 1811, being now a B.D., he was appointed Hulsean christian advocate, and in that capacity attacked Sir William Drummond's theistic work ‘Œdipus Judaicus’ in ‘Letters to Sir William Drummond’ and ‘Remarks on Sir William Drummond's Œdipus Judaicus’ (1813). During his residence at Cambridge he was a frequent contributor to the ‘Quarterly Review’ (some of his articles are mentioned in the memoir by his son prefixed to an edition of D'Oyly's sermons). In 1813 he was appointed domestic chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and married Maria Frances, daughter of William Bruere, formerly one of the principal secretaries to the government of India. In 1815 he was presented to the vicarage of Hernhill in Kent, but before he came into residence he was appointed, on the death of his father, rector of Buxted, Sussex. In 1820 he accepted the rectories of Lambeth, Surrey, and of Sundridge, Kent, and held those preferments during the remainder of his life. He died on 8 Jan. 1846, and was buried in Lambeth Church, where a monument was erected to his memory. D'Oyly was well known in his day as a theologian. He was also an admirable parish priest, and while he was rector of Lambeth thirteen places of worship were added to the church establishment of the parish. He was treasurer to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, a member of the London committee of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and one of the principal promoters of the establishment of King's College, London. Indeed, in a resolution passed by the council on 13 Feb. 1846 it was said that ‘by giving the first impulse and direction to public opinion he was virtually the founder of the college’ (memoir by his son). The allusion is to his letter against the purely secular system of education of London University (now University College) addressed to Sir R. Peel, and signed ‘Christianus.’

Besides his controversy with Sir William Drummond he published ‘Two Discourses preached before the University of Cambridge on the Doctrine of a Particular Providence and Modern Unitarianism’ (1812), a valuable annotated bible, prepared in conjunction with the Rev. R. Mant, afterwards bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and known as ‘D'Oyly and Mant's Bible’ (1st edition, 1814, &c.; 2nd edition, 1817; 3rd edition, 1818); a ‘Life of Archbishop Sancroft,’ 2 vols. 1821; ‘Sermons, chiefly doctrinal, with notes,’ 1827. His sermons delivered at St. Mary's, Lambeth, were published in 1847 in two volumes, with a memoir by his son (C. J. D'Oyly). Several of his sermons and letters on ecclesiastical subjects were published separately.

[The Memoir by his son mentioned above; D'Oyly Bayley's Account of the House of D'Oyly.]

L. C. S.