Smalbroke, Richard

, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, was born at Birmingham, were a street bears the name of his family, in 1672, and studied at Magdalen-college, Oxford. Here he took his degrees of M. A. 1694, B. D. 1706, and D. D. in 1708. He was chaplain to archbishop Tenison, and appointed in 1712 treasurer of Landaff, and afterwards prebendary of Hereford. On Feb. 2, 1723, he was consecrated bishop of St. David’s, whence he was translated and confirmed bishop of Lichfield and Coventry Feb. 20, 1730. He entered with spirit into the controversies of his times, particularly against Dodwell and Whiston, the latter in “Reflections on Mr. Whiston’s conduct,” and “Animadversions on the New Arian reproved.” But his great work was “A Vindication of our Saviour’s miracles; in which Mr. Woolston’s Discourses on them are particularly examined; his pretended authority of the fathers against the truth of the literal sense are set in a just light; and his objections, in point of reason, answered,” Lond. 1729, 8vo. This involved him in a controversy with some anonymous writers, and in one or two respects he laid himself open to ridicule by an arithmetical calculation of the precise number of the devils which entered into the swine. Dr. Smalbroke also published eleven single Sermons between 1706 and 1732, and one or two “Charges,” and small controversial pieces to the amount of twenty-two. He died Dec. 22, 1749, in the seventyseventh year of his age, leaving three sons and four daughters. His sons, and other relations, he provided for in the church of Lichfield. His son Richard, the last representative of the family, died in 1805. He had been chancellor of the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry sixty-four years, and was at his death senior member of the college of civilians. 2

2

Shaw’s Hist, of Staffordshire. Nichols’s Boaycr Lardner’s Works. —Gent. Mag. vol. LXXV.