De Courcy, Richard

, vicar of St. Alkmond’s parish, Shrewsbury, was a native of Ireland, and descended from a very ancient and respectable family in that country, being distantly related to the family of lord Kinsale, to whom he was ordained chaplain. He was educated at Trinity college, Dublin; and his acquaintance with several eminent clergymen brought him to England. In 1770 he accepted the curacy of Shawbury in Shropshire, of which the rev, | Mr. Stillingfleet was rector. In January, 1774, he was presented by the lord chancellor to the vicarage of St. Alkmond, which was the subject of a satirical poem, entitled “St. Alkmond’s Ghost,” by an inhabitant of the parish. This was owing to a prejudice conceived against him, as being a methodist, which, however, he soon overcame by his general conduct and talents. To a fund of information derived from reading and reflection, he added a degree of sprightliness and humour, which always rendered his conversation agreeable on every subject. la principle, he was warmly attached to the doctrines of our excellent church, as set forth in her articles and homilies. In the pulpit he was a laborious servant, preaching generally twice, and for some time before his death, three times, every Sunday, and a lecture on Wednesday evening, besides reading the regular service. His sermons were extempore, but in language dignified, in reasoning perspicuous, embellished by apposite allusions, and ornamented with many of the graces of oratory, and he never appealed to the passions of his auditors, but through the medium of the understanding. To the dogmas of Socinus he was an able and unwearied adversary, both from the pulpit and the press, as may be seen by referring to his “Christ Crucified,” 2 vols. 12mo. He was particularly attached to our venerable constitution, and when those pernicious doctrines were broached, which, under the delusive and fascinating title of “Rights of Man,” hurled the monarch of France from his throne, and threatened to involve this country in the same dreadful scenes of ruin and devastation, he strenuously defended the cause of religion and social order. His natural constitution was good, and supported him under many painful fits of rheumatic gout, which weakened his knees so much, as to render it necessary sometimes to sit in the pulpit. Among many temporal losses, none seemed to affect him so much as the death of his youngest son in August, 1803, after serving some time as midshipman under his relation the hon. capt. De Courcy. In the close of his last sermon from Revelation, chap. vi. v. 2. on the evening of the fast day, an allusion to the memory of those whom “we had resigned into the rcy arms of Death,” so far affected him, as to cause an involuntary flow of tears, and obliged him abruptly to conclude. A slight cold taken on that day brought on a return of his disorder, from which he gradually recovered, | until a few hours before his death, when a sudden attack in his stomach rendered medical aid useless. Having commended his soul into the hands of his Redeemer, he sunk back, and expired, Nov. 4, 1803. His memory will be long esteemed by his parishioners, and many others who attended his ministry, during a period of thirty years. His remains were interred at Shawbury, on the 9th, and on that occasion a great number of his friends voluntarily joined the funeral procession, and rendered to his memory their last tribute of respect and gratitude. His published works are “Jehu’s Eye-glass on True and False Zeal;” “Nathan’s Message to David, a Sermon;” two Fast Sermons, 1776; “A Letter to a Baptist Minister;” “A Reply to Parmenas,1776The Rejoinder,” on Baptism, 1777; “Hints respecting the Utility of some Parochial Plan for suppressing the Profanation of the Lord’s Day,1777; two Fast Sermons, 1778; “Seduction, or the Cause of injured Innocence pleaded, a Poem,1782; “The Seducer convicted on his own Evidence,1783; “Christ Crucified,1791, 2 vols.; and a Sermon preached at Hawkstone chapel, at the presentation of the standard to the two troops of North Shropshire yeomanry cavalry, in 1798. In 1810, a volume of his “Sermons” was published, with a biographical preface and portrait. 1


Gent. Mag. vol. LXXIII. aud vol. LXXX.