Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wolley, Edward

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WOLLEY, EDWARD (d. 1684), bishop of Clonfert, probably second son of Thomas Wolley and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Heringe of Shrewsbury, was born at Shrewsbury, and educated at the King's school there. He matriculated from St. John's College, Cambridge, on 13 April 1622, graduating B.A. from St. Catharine's Hall in 1625, and M.A. from St. John's College in 1629. He was created D.D. at Oxford on 20 Dec. 1642, and incorporated at Cambridge on 4 July 1664. Wolley was domestic chaplain to Charles I, and on the decline of that monarch's fortunes he took refuge abroad about 1648. He afterwards joined Charles II in his exile and became his chaplain. He was with Charles in Paris in 1651 (cf. Addit. MS. 32093, f. 280), but returned to England after seven years, spent on the continent, and commenced a school at Hammersmith. On 26 Dec. 1655 he successfully petitioned the Protector for permission to continue his employment (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655–6, p. 76). After the Restoration he was presented to the rectory of Toppesfield in Essex by the king on 22 Sept. 1662 (ib. 1661–2, pp. 487, 495), where he remained until on 10 March 1664–5 he was advanced by letters patent to the see of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, and consecrated at Tuam on 16 April 1665. According to Burnet, Charles had a great contempt for Wolley's understanding, but bestowed the bishopric on him on account of his success in reclaiming nonconformists in Toppesfield by assiduously visiting them (Hist. of his own Time, 1823, i. 449). His exemplary life earned him great veneration in his diocese. He repaired his cathedral and episcopal residence, which were reduced to a sad condition after the rebellion. He died in 1684, leaving a son Francis, who entered as a student at the Temple in 1659. Upon his death James II kept the see vacant, and bestowed the revenues on two Roman catholic bishops. The vacancy was not filled until 1691, when William Fitzgerald was appointed.

Wolley was the author of: 1. ‘Eulogia. The Parents blessing their Children, and the Children begging on their Knees their Parents' Blessings are Pious Actions warrantable by the Word of God,’ London, 1661, 8vo. 2. ‘Loyalty among Rebels, the True Royalist or Hushai the Archite, a Happy Counsellor in King David's Greatest Danger,’ London, 1662, 8vo. 3. ‘Patterns of Grace and Glory in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be admired, adored, and imitated; collected out of the Holy Scriptures, and illustrated by the Antient Fathers and Expositors,’ Dublin, 1669, 4to. He also translated from the French of Georges de Scudéry ‘Curia Politiæ: or the Apologies of Several Princes: justifying to the World their most Eminent Actions,’ London, 1654, fol.; new edit. London, 1673, fol.

[Ware's Bishops of Ireland, ed. Harris, p. 644; Ware's Irish Writers, ed. Harris, p. 357; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Cotton's Fasti Eccl. Hib. iv. 168, v. 294; Baker's Hist. of St. John's Coll. i. 267–8, ii. 678–9; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 53; Evelyn's Diary, ed. Bray, i. 271, 273; Shrewsbury School Regestum Scholarium, 1892, p. 269; Kennett's Register, 1728.]

E. I. C.