Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hall, Timothy

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455506Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 24 — Hall, Timothy1890Arthur Hall

HALL, TIMOTHY (1637?–1690), titular bishop of Oxford under James II, the son of a wood-turner and householder of St. Katharine's, near the Tower, a precinct of St. Botolph, Aldgate, was born probably in 1637, within the area now covered by the docks. He was admitted student of Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1654, then under presbyterian influences. He took no degree but that of B. A. Afterwards he obtained the livings of Norwood and Southam (Kennett, Register, p. 922), from which he was ejected in 1662. In 1667, having complied and signed the articles (11 Jan.), he was presented to the small living of Horsendon, Buckinghamshire. He became perpetual curate of Princes Risborough in 1669, vicar of Bledlow in 1674, all of which benefices he relinquished in 1677 for the city living of Allhallows Staining. He seems to have acted as broker for the Duchess of Portsmouth in the sale of pardons.

Under James II he published the royal declaration for 'liberty of conscience' (1687), and on the death of Bishop Parker he was nominated (18 Aug. 1688) to the see of Oxford; but though duly consecrated at Lambeth on 7 Oct. he was refused installation by the canons of Christ Church, and consequent admission to the temporalities, while the university refused to create him doctor of divinity, though he had a mandamus (Luttrell, Relation, i. 457). After the revolution he was reduced to hopeless poverty. At first he refused to take the oaths to the new king and queen, but yielded at the last moment (ib. ii. 6), and retained his title till his death. There is no valid ground to charge him with actual perversion to Romanism. His death is thus recorded in the registers of St. John, Hackney: 'The rt. Revd. Father in God, Timothy (Hall), late Ld Bpp. of Oxford, dyed the 9th & was buried the 13th of April 1690.'

Hall is described by Kennett as 'one of the meanest and most obscure of the city divines, who had no merit but that of reading the king's declaration' (Complete History iii. 491). He was author of two funeral sermons, printed respectively in 1684 and 1689; and he appears to have obtained a regular grant of arms (see Rawlinson MS. 128 B., Bodleian Library).

[Wood's Athenae Oxon. iv. 875, ed. Bliss; Lysons's Environs of London, ii. 500 ; Macaulay's Hist. of England; Browne Willis's Survey of Cathedrals, iii. 437.]

A. H.