Atterbury, Lewis

, eldest son of the preceding, was born at Caldecot, in the parish of Newport Pagnel, in Bucks, on May 2, 1656. He was educated at Westminsterschool under Dr. Busby, and sent to Christ-church, Oxford, at the age of eighteen. He was ordained deacon in Sept. 1679, being then B. A. and priest the year following, when also he commenced M. A. In 1683, he served the office of chaplain to sir William Pritchard, lord mayor of London. In Feb. 1684 he was instituted rector of Symel in Northamptonshire, which living he afterwards resigned upon his accepting of other preferments. July 8, 1687, he accumulated the degrees of bachelor aud doctor of civil law. In 1691 we find him lecturer of St. Mary Hill in London. Soon after his marriage he settled at Highgate, where he supplied the pulpit of the reverend Mr. Daniel Lathom, who was very old and infirm, and had lost his sight and, upon the death of this gentleman, was in June 1695 elected by the trustees of Highgate chapel to be their preacher. He had a little before been appointed one of the six preaching chaplains to the princess Anne of Denmark at Whitehall and St. James’s, which place he continued to supply after she came to the crown, and likewise during part of | the reign of George I. When he first resided at Highgate, observing what difficulties the poor in the neighbourhood underwent for want of a good physician or apothecary, he studied physic and acquiring considerable skill, practised it gratis among his poor neighbours. In 1707, the queen presented him to the rectory of Shepperton in Middlesex and in March 1719, the bishop of London collated him to the rectory of Hornsey, which was the more agreeable to him, because the chapel of Highgate being situate in that parish, many of his constant hearers became now his parishioners. In 1720, on a report of the death of Dr. Sprat, archdeacon of Rochester, he applied to his brother, the celebrated bishop, in whose gift this preferment was, to be appointed to succeed him. The bishop giving his brother some reasons why he thought it improper to make him his archdeacon the doctor replied, “Your lordship very well knows that Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, had a brother for his archdeacon and that sir Thomas More’s father was a puisne judge when he was lord chancellor. And thus, in the sacred history, did God himself appoint that the safety and advancement of the patriarchs should be procured by their younger brother, and that they with their father should live under the protection and government of Joseph.” In answer to this, which was not very conclusive reasoning, the bishop informs his brother, that the archdeacon was not dead, but well, and likely to continue so. He died, however, soon after; and, on the 20tli of May 1720, the bishop collated Dr. Brydges, the duke of Chandos’s brother, to the archdeaconry, after writing thus in the morning to the doctor “I hope you are convinced by what I have said and written, that nothing could have been more improper than the placing you in that post immediately under myself. Could I have been easy under that thought, you may be sure no man living should have had the preference to you.” To this the doctor answered: “There is some shew of reason, I think, for the non-acceptance, but none for the not giving it. And since your lordship was pleased to signify to me that I should overrule you in this matter, I confess it was some disappointment to me. I hope I shall be content with that meaner post in which I am my time at longest being but short in this world, and my health not suffering me to make those necessary applications others do nor do I understand the language of the present times for, I find, I begin to grow | an old-fashioned gentleman, and am ignorant of the weight and value of words, which in our times rise and fall like stock.” In this affecting correspondence there is evidently a portion of irritation on the part of Dr. Lewis, which is not softened by his brother’s letters but there must have been some reasons not stated by the latter for his refusal, and it is certain that they lived afterwards in the strictest bonds of affection.

Dr. Lewis Atterbury died at Bath, whither he went for a paralytic disorder, Oct. 20, 1731. In his will he gave some few books to the libraries at Bedford and Newport, and his whole collection of pamphlets, amounting to upwards of two hundred volumes, to the library of Christchurch, Oxford. He charged his estate for ever with the payment of ten pounds yearly to a school-mistress to instruct girls at Newport-Pagnel, which salary he had himself in his lifetime paid for many years. He remembered some of his friends, and left a respectful legacy of one hundred pounds to his “dear brother, in token of his true esteem and affection,” as the words of the will are and made the bishop’s son Osborn (after his grand-daughter, who did not long survive him) heir to all his fortune. This granddaughter was the daughter of Mr. George Sweetapple of St. Andrew’s, brewer, by Dr. Lewis’s only daughter. He had married Penelope, the daughter of Mr. John Bedingfield, by whom he had this daughter, and three sons, none of whom survived him Mrs. Atterbury died May I, 1723, and the grand-daughter in 1732.

His works are, 1. Two volumes of “Sermons,1699, 8vo, and 1703. 2. “The Penitent Lady translated from the French of the famous madam la Valliere,1684, 12mo. 3. Some Letters relating to the history of the Council of Trent. 4. “An Answer to a popish book, entitled, A true and modest account of the chief points in controversy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, By N. Colson,” whose real name was Cornelius Nary, an Irish priest, and author of a Church History from the creation to the birth of Christ some controversial Tracts against Archbishop Synge and an English version of the New Testament. In his “True and modest account” Synge had reflected upon Dr. Tillotson, which induced Atterbury to answer him. 5. “The Re-union of Christians translated from the French,1708, and one or two occasional Sermons.

Pursuant to the directions of Dr, Atterbury' s will, Mr. | Yardley, archdeacon of Cardigan, his executor, published from his manuscripts two volumes of Sermons on select subjects. To which is prefixed a short account of the author, London, 1743, 8vo. 1


Biog. Brit.—Wood’s Ath. vol. II.—Nichols’s Atterbury, vol. I. p, 484; II. 99.