Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/153

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slightest departure from the Book of Common Prayer. Altar was set up against altar. One phantom prelate pronounced the consecration of another phantom prelate uncanonical. At length the pastors were left absolutely without flocks. One of these Lords spiritual very wisely turned surgeon; another left what he had called his see, and settled in Ireland; and at length, in 1805, the last Bishop of that society which had proudly claimed to be the only true Church of England dropped unnoticed into the grave.[1]

The places of the bishops who had been ejected with Sancroft were filled in a manner creditable to the government. Patrick succeeded the traitor Turner. Fowler went to Gloucester. Richard Cumberland, an aged divine, who had no interest at Court, and whose only recommendations were his piety and erudition, was astonished by learning from a newsletter which he found on the table of a coffeehouse that he had been nominated to the See of Peterborough.[2] Beveridge was selected to succeed Ken; he consented; and the appointment was actually announced in the London Gazette. But Beveridge, though an honest, was not a strongminded man. Some Jacobites expostulated with him; some reviled him; his heart failed him; and he retracted. While the nonjurors were rejoicing in this victory, he changed his mind again; but too late. He had by his irresolution forfeited the favour of William, and never obtained a mitre till Anne was on the throne.[3] The bishopric of Bath and Wells was bestowed on Richard Kidder, a man of considerable attainments and blameless character, but suspected of a leaning towards Presbyterianism. About the same time Sharp, the highest churchman that had been zealous

  1. See D'Oyly's Life of Sancroft, Hallam's Constitutional History, and Dr. Lathbury's History of the Nonjurors.
  2. See the autobiography of his descendant and namesake the dramatist. See also Onslow's note on Burnet, ii. 76.
  3. A vindication of their Majesties' authority to fill the sees of the deprived Bishops, May 20, 1691; London Gazette, April 27, and June 15, 1691; Narcissus Luttrell's Diary, May 1691. Among the Tanner MSS. are two letters from Jacobites to Beveridge, one mild and decent, the other scurrilous even beyond the ordinary scurrility of the nonjurors. The former will be found in the Life of Ken by a Layman.