Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hall, William (d.1718?)

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HALL, WILLIAM (d. 1718?), Carthusian monk, brother of Thomas Hall, D.D. [q. v.], was educated in the English College at Lisbon, and after being ordained priest was sent back to the mission. In the reign of James II he was appointed one of the royal chaplains and preachers in ordinary. Wood, in his description of the king's reception, relates that on Sunday, 4 Sept. 1687, his majesty went to the catholic chapel recently set up by the dean of Christ Church in the old Canterbury quadrangle, ‘where he heard a sermon preach'd by a secular priest called William Hall, … which was applauded and admired by all in the chapell, which was very full, and [by those] without that heard him’ (Autobiography, ed. Bliss, p. cix). The king used to say that as Dr. Ken was the best preacher among the protestants, so Father Hall was the best among the catholics. At the revolution Hall withdrew to the continent, and, after paying a visit to James at St. Germain, became a monk in the convent of the Carthusians at Nieuwpoort in Flanders. He was for some time prior of that house, where he died about 1718.

He was the author of: 1. ‘A Sermon [on John xvi. 23, 24] preached before Her Majesty the Queen Dowager, in her Chapel, at Somerset House, upon … May 9, 1686,’ London, 1686, 4to, reprinted in ‘A Select Collection of Catholick Sermons,’ 1741, ii. 183. 2. ‘Collections of Historical Matters,’ manuscript folio.

[Dodd's Church Hist. iii. 482; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 450, 548; Wood's Autobiography (Bliss), p. cxii.]

T. C.