Greenville, Denis

, a younger son of the preceding, and brother to sir John Greenville first eari of Bath, of his name, was born in Cornwall, admitted gentleman commoner of Exeter college, Sept. 22, 1657, actually created in convocation master of arts Sept. 28, 1660. About this time he married Anne, the daughter of Dr. Cosin, bishop of Durham, who conferred several preferments on him, as the rectories of Easington and Elwick in. the county palatine of Durham; the archdeaconry of Durham, to which he was collated on the death of Dr. Gabriel Clarke, Sept. 16, 1662, and to the first stall of prebendaries of the church of Durham, Sept. 24, 1662, from whence he was removed to the second, April 16, 1668. On December 20, 1670, he was created doctor of divinity, being then one of the chaplains in ordinary to Charles II.; and on the 14th of December, 1684, he was installed dean of Durham in the place of Dr. John Sudbury deceased. In the register of Eton college we find that immediately after the restoration, Dr. Greenville was recommended in very strong terms to the master and fellows for a fellowship, by three several letters from the king, but for what reason this recommendation did not take effect, does not appear; probably he might wave his interest on account of other preferment which was more acceptable to him. On the 1st of February 1690, he was deprived of all his >referments upon his refusal to comply with the new oaths >f allegiance and supremacy to the prince of Orange then in possession of the throne, a change which he utterly abhorred, always considering the revolution as a rebellion and usurpation. Soon after the prince of Orange’s landing, he left Durham in order to retire into France; and sometimes lived at Corbeil (from whence it is supposed his family originally sprung), but more frequently at Paris and St. Germain’s, where he was very civilly treated and much countenanced by the queen-mother, as we find in several of his own letters, notwithstanding what has been falsely asserted by Mackay in an account of the court of St. Germain’s. He owns he _was sometimes attacked by the priests, but with much good manners and civility. Mr* Wood says, that during his retirement, he was, on the | death of Dr. Lamplugh, nominated to the see of York, by king James II. though never consecrated j but this seems rery doubtful. In April 1695 he came incognito into EngJand; but soon returned. For some time before his death he enjoyed but a very indifferent state of health, having been much troubled with a sciatica, and other infirmities. He died at Paris, after a series of many sufferings, on April 7, 1703, N. S. and was buried at the lower end of the Holy Innocents’ church in that city. Lord Lansdowne in a letter to a nephew of his, who was going to enter into holy orders, says of him, “You had an uncle whose mejnory I shall ever revere: make him your example. Sanctity sate so easy, so unaffected, and so graceful upon him, that in him we beheld the very beauty of holiness. He was as cheerful, as familiar, as condescending in his conversation, as he was strict, regular, and exemplary in his piety; as well bred and accomplished as a courtier, and as reverend and venerable as an apostle. He was indeed apostolical in every thing, for he abandoned all to follow his Lord and Master.” There seems little reason to doubt this character, as far as it respects Dr. Greenville’s private character, but in bigotry for restoration of James II. he probably excelled all his contemporaries, and from some correspondence lately published in the Life of Dr. Comber, his successor in the deanery of Durham, there is reason tp doubt whether in his latter days his mind was not unsound. He published, 1. “The Complete Conformist, or seasonable advice concerning strict conformity and frequent celebration of the Holy Communion,” preached on the 7th of January, being the first Sunday after the Epiphany, 1682, in the cathedral church of Durham, on John i. 29, Loud. 1684, 4to. To which is added “Advice or a letter written to the clergy of the archdeaconry of Durham,” to the same purpose. 2. “A Sermon preached in the cathedral church of Durham, upon the revival of the ancient and laudable practice of that and some other cathedrals, in having sermons on Wednesdays and Fridays during Advent and Lent,” on Rom. xiii. 11, Loud. 1686, 4to. 3. “Counsels and Directions divine and moral: in plain and familiar letters of advice to a young gentleman his nephew, soon after his admission into a college in Oxford,” Lond. 1685, 8vo. Besides these pieces which we have just mentioned, our author, immediately after his retiring into France, published some small tracts at Rouen, which are very scarce, | and not very correctly printed; and perhaps it is remarkable that such an unusual favour should be permitted in a popish country to a dignified clergyman of the church of England. The titles of the pieces printed at Rouen are, viz. 4. “The resigned and resolved Christian and faithfull and undaunted loyalist: in two plaine farewell sermons, and a loyal farewell visitation speech. Both delivered amidst the lamentable confusions occasioned by the late foreign invasion and home-defection of his majestie’s subjects in England. By Denis Granville, D. D. deane and archdeacon of Durham, now in exile, chaplaine in ordinary to his majestic. .Whereunto are added certaine Letters to his relations and friends in England, shewing the reasons and manner of his withdrawing out of the kingdom.” “A Letter to his brother the earl of Bathe.” “A Letter to his bishop the bishop of Durham.” “A Letter to his brethren the prebendaries” “A Letter to the clergy of his archdeaconry.” “A Letter to his curates, at Easington and Sedgefield,” printed at Rouen, 1689. 5. “The chiefest matters contained in sundry Discourses made to the clergy of the archdeaconry of Durham, since his majestic‘ s coming to the crown. Summed up and seasonably brought again to their view in a loyal farewell visitation speech on the 13th of November last, 88, being ten days after the landing of the prince of Orange.*’ This is dated from his study at Rouen Nov. 15, 1689. With a preface to the reader and an advertisement. 6.A copy of a paper penned at Durham, by the author, Aug. 27, 1688, by way of reflection on the then dismal prognostics of the time.“7.” Directions which Dr. Granville, archdeacon of Durham, rector of Sedgefield and Easington, enjoins to be observed by the curates of those his parishes, given them in charge at Easter-visitation held at Sedgefield, in the year 1669." 1

1

Gen. Dict. Biog. Brit. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. Hutchinson’s Durham, vol. II. p. 167. Comber’s Life of Comber, pp, 139, 309.