Pelling, Edward (DNB00)

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PELLING, EDWARD (d. 1718), divine, of Wiltshire birth, was educated at Westminster School, and was admitted on 3 July 1658 to Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a scholar on 14 April 1659. He was elected minor fellow 1664, and major fellow in the following year. He graduated B.A. 1661–2, M.A. 1665, and D.D. on the occasion of William III's visit to Cambridge in October 1689. From 11 May 1674 to the autumn of 1678 Pelling was vicar of St. Helen's, London; from 1 Oct. 1678 till the close of 1691 vicar of St. Martin's, Ludgate; from 3 May 1683 till his resignation on 4 July 1691 prebendary of Westminster; and from 1691 rector of Petworth, Sussex. Before October 1679 he was chaplain to Charles, duke of Somerset. He was also chaplain in ordinary to William and Mary, and to Queen Anne. Pelling died on 19 March 1718 (Historical Register, 1718, Chronological Diary, p. 13). His son Thomas was elected from Westminster to Christ Church in 1689.

Pelling was a stout defender of the Anglican church against both Roman catholics and dissenters. He printed numerous sermons which he preached on public occasions, many before the king or the House of Lords at Westminster Abbey. Besides sermons, and a series of ‘practical discourses,’ Pelling published: 1. ‘Ancient and Modern Delusions discoursed of in Three Sermons upon 2 Thess. ii. 11, concerning some Errors now prevailing in the Church of Rome,’ London, 1679. 2. ‘The Good Old Way …’ London, 1680; a treatise aimed against concessions to dissenters for sake of unity. 3. ‘The Apostate Protestant. A Letter to a Friend occasioned by the late reprinting of a Jesuit's Book about Succession to the Crown of England, pretended to have been written by R. Doleman [i.e Robert Parsons (1546–1610) [q. v.],’ London, 1682; 2nd edition, 1685—an attack on the exclusion bill. 4. ‘The Antiquity of the Protestant Religion. … In a Letter to a Person of Quality,’ London, 1687, 2 parts. In the British Museum copy there follows a manuscript tract attacking Pelling's arguments concerning the ‘use of images,’ with ‘Third and Fourth Letters to a Person of Quality’ vindicating them. 5. ‘A Discourse concerning the Existence of God,’ London, 1696; reissued in 1704, when the title-page describes it as an exposition of ‘the principles of the Epicureans and Hobbists of our age.’ It is dedicated to Queen Anne. Part ii., issued separately, with same title-page, London, 1755.

Pelling also edited in 1688 the ‘Dialecticon’ of John Poynet [q. v.]

[Welch's Alumni Westmon.; Addit. MS. 5846, f. 123; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 72, iv. 83, 369, and Fasti, ii. 216; Wedmore's Westminster Abbey, App. pp. 224–5; Dallaway's Rape of Arundel, p. 335; Le Neve, iii. 362; Sussex Archæol. Collections, ix. 86; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Newcourt's Repertorium; Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. p. 189, and 12th Rep. p. vii; documents in Westminster Abbey kindly furnished by the Very Rev. Dean Bradley; information kindly sent from the Rev. R. Sinker, D.D., librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Rev. Thomas Holland, rector of Petworth.]

W. A. S.