Madox, Isaac

, a famous English prelate, born at London, July 27, 1697, of obscure parents, whom he lost while he was young, was taken care of by an aunt, who placed him in a charity-school, and afterwards put him on trial to a pastry-cook; but, before he was bound apprentice, the master told her that the boy was not fit for trade; that he was continually reading books of learning above his (the master’s) comprehension, and therefore advised that she should take him away, and send him back to school, to follow the bent of his inclination. He was on this sent, by an exhibition of some dissenting friends, to one of the universities of Scotland, Cole says, that of Aberdeen; but, not caring to take orders in that church, was afterwards, through the patronage of bishop Gibson, admitted to | Queen’s-college, Cambridge, and was favoured with a doctor’s degree at Lambeth. After entering into orders, he first was curate of St. Bride’s, then domestic chaplain to Dr. Waddington, bishop of Chichester, whose niece he married, and was afterwards promoted to the rectory of St. Vedast, in Foster-lane, London. In 1729, he was appointed clerk of the closet to queen Caroline. In 1733, he became dean of Wells, and was consecrated bishop of St. Asaph, in 1736. He was translated to the see of Worcester, in 1743. In 1733 he published the first part of the “Review of Neal’s History of the Puritans,” under the title of, “A Vindication of the Government, Doctrine, and Worship of the Church of England, established in the reign of queen Elizabeth:” of which the late bishop Hallifax said, “a better vindication of the reformed church of England, I never read.” He was a great benefactor to the London hospitals, and the first promoter of the Worcester Infirmary in 1745, which has proved of singular benefit to the poor, and a great advantage to medical and surgical knowledge in that neighbourhood. He was also a great encourager of trade, engaging in the British fishery, by which he lost some money. He likewise was a strong advocate for the act against vending spirituous liquors. He married Elizabeth daughter of Richard Price, esq. of Hayes in Middlesex, in 1731; and had two daughters and a son, of whom only one daughter survived him, and was afterwards married to the hon. James Yorke, bishop of Gloucester, and late bishop of Ely. He died Sept. 27, 1739. Bishop Madox published fourteen occasional sermons preached between the years 1734 and 1752. Among other instances of his benevolence, we may mention his assigning 200l.perann. during his life, for the augmentation of the smaller benefices of his diocese. He corresponded with Dr. Doddridge with affectionate familiarity, and visited him when at Bristol, offering in the most obliging manner to convey him to the Wells in his chariot, at the stated times of drinking. He used to anticipate any hints respecting his origin by a joke which he was fond of repeating. When tarts wera on his table, he pressed the company to partake, saying “that he believed they were very good, but that they were not of his own making” This he varied, when John Whiston dined with him, into, “some people reckon me a good judge of that article!” Upon the whole he appears to have been an amiable and benevolent man, and to have | employed his wealth as well as his talents to the best purposes. His widow survived him thirty years, dying Feb. 19, 1789. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer. Orton’s Life of DoJdridge, p. 328. Doddridf’s Letters, p. 452 454. ms notes by John Whiston in his copy of the first edition of this Dictionary.