Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Paul, William (1599-1665)

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PAUL, WILLIAM (1599–1665), bishop of Oxford, baptised at St. Leonard's, Eastcheap, 14 Oct. 1599, was a younger son (one of sixteen children) of William Paul, a butcher and citizen, of Eastcheap, London, and his wife Joane, daughter of John Harrison, beadle of the Butchers' Company (Chester, Westminster Abbey Reg.; Foster, Alumni). He went to Oxford in 1614, and matriculated 15 Nov. 1616 from All Souls'. He became a fellow of All Souls' 'about all Saints time 1618,' graduated B.A. 9 June 1618, M.A. 1 June 1621, B.D. 13 March 1628-9, and D.D. 10 March 1631-2. Barlow declared that he answered the divinity act the most satisfactorily of any person he had heard (State Papers, Dom. Car. I, ccxx. 35). After taking holy orders he was a frequent preacher in Oxford (Wood, Athenae Oxon. iv. 828), and was rector of a mediety of Patshall, Staffordshire, from 7 Feb. 1625-6 till 1628 (Lansd. MS. 986, f. 44). In 1632 or 1633 he became rector of Baldwin-Brightwell, Oxfordshire, and 'about that time' was also made chaplain to Charles I, and canon-residentiary of Chichester, holding the prebend of Seaford. After the outbreak of the war the lords resolved (5 Oct. 1642) that he should be allowed to attend the king as chaplain in ordinary (Lords' Journal, v. 386; Commons' Journals, ii. 795; State Papers, Dom. Car. I, ccccxcvii. 97). On the triumph of the parliament's cause he lost his prebend of Chichester as a delinquent (Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 12), but he was 'discharged by the committee for sequestrations' (Cal. of Comm. for Compounding, v. 27 a; see also vol. G. ccxvii. 54). According to Lloyd, he was a shrewd man of business, and lent money to advantage, 'to the most considerable' among the independents (cf. Cal. of Clarendon Papers, ii. 171). At the Restoration he again became royal chaplain, and recovered his Seaford prebend and his Oxford livings. He became vicar of Amport, Hampshire, in 1662. He was presented to the deanery of Lichfield 26 Jan. 1660-1, and took part in the election of Hacket as bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (State Papers, Dom. Car. II, Case A.8). On 16 June 1663 a congé d'élire was despatched for his election to the bishopric of Oxford. He was confirmed 13 Dec., consecrated at Lambeth on the 20th, and enthroned 7 Jan. 1663-4. Three days previous to his election a warrant of commendam was issued, granting him liberty to hold the rectories of Baldwin-Brightwell and Chinnor (Entry Book, 12, p. 41, 11 Nov. 1663). Sheldon and the king expected that Paul would devote his wealth to rebuilding the bishop's palace at Cuddesden, and he 'bought and laid in at Cuddesden a considerable quantity of timber ; but before anything could be done he died' at Chinnor (24 Aug. 1665). He was buried at Baldwin-Bright well, where a monument, with a long inscription, was erected (Lansd. MS. 986, f. 44). His will, dated 14 Nov. 1664, was proved 21 Feb. 1665-6.

Paul married, in 1632, by license of the dean of Westminster, Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Glenham, knt., and sister of the Viscountess of Dorchester. The marriage led to a suit between Paul and the viscountess, 'as to her promise in consideration of the marriage to pay 600l. to be deposited in the hands of trustees for him and her.' The difference was referred to the archbishop of Canterbury and the lord keeper, and they found the viscountess willing 'to pay 250l.' (28 Feb. 1633-4; Hist. MSS. Comm. 12th Rep. ii. 46). Paul's first wife died in 1633, and was buried at Baldwin-Brightwell. On 22 Jan. 1634-5 he married, at St. Giles-in- the-fields, Alice, second daughter of Thomas Cutler of Ipswich. She died soon after, 19 Nov. 1635, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 20 Nov. Almost immediately after Paul married a third wife, Rachel, daughter of Sir Christopher Clitherow, knt., by whom he had a numerous family. Her portrait was engraved by D. Loggan. Paul's eldest son, William, of Bray in Berkshire, was knighted at Windsor 6 July 1671 (Le Neve, Knights, Harl. Soc., viii. 249). The male line died out in the second generation. The female is now represented by the Baroness Le Despenser, whose ancestor, Sir William Stapleton, bart., married the heiress of Paul's only surviving grandson (Chester, Westminster Abbey Reg.)

[Wood's Athenae Oxon. and Fasti; Le Neve's Fasti; Lloyd's Memoires, p. 611; Foster's Alumni; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 12; Foster's London Marriage Licenses ; Chester's Westminster Abbey Reg. p. 131; Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports and State Papers, Dom.ubi supra; Lansd. MS. 986, f. 44; Lords' and Commons' Journals; Harl. Soc. Publ. xiii. 249; Simms's Bibliotheca Staffordiensis; information from the Rev. Hilgrove Coxe, rector of Brightwell.]

W. A. S.