Bradford, Samuel

, D. D. bishop of Rochester, was a native of London, the son of William Bradford, of whom it is recorded, that being a parish-officer in the time of the plague, he looked upon it as his duty to take care in person both of the dead and living, although he removed his family to Islington. The subject of this article was born Dec. 20, 1652, in St. Anne’s Blackfriars, and was educated at St. Paul’s school, and afterwards in the Charter-house. In 1669, he was admitted a student of Bene’t college, Cambridge, and matriculated March 27, 1672, but left it without taking a degree, having at that time some scruples of conscience respecting the subscriptions, declarations, and oaths then required. He pursued his studies, however, in private, and after studying divinity, having overcome his scruples by a careful examination of the matters in controversy, he became desirous of orders in the church of England; but as he was then twenty-eight years old, and could not return to the university and go regularly on in the statutable course of taking his degrees, archbishop Sancroft procured him a royal mandate for M. A. in 1680, and he was admitted to the same at Oxford in 1697. As the state of affairs, however, was critical at the time he received his degree at Cambridge, he declined proceeding in his design, living as a private tutor to gentlemen’s families, until after the revolution, when he was ordained deacon and priest in 1690, and in the spring following was elected minister of St. Thomas’s church, Southwark, by the governors of that hospital.

He was soon aften chosen lecturer of St. Mary-le-Bow, and engaged by archbishop Tillotson to educate his grandsons, which occasioned him to reside at Carlisle-house in Lambeth. While here, the rector of St. Mary-le-Bow died, and the parishioners were so pleased with Mr. | Bradford, as to solicit the archbishop to give him the living, with which his grace complied, but not without acquainting them with the informality of such applications. On this Mr. Bradford resigned St. Thomas’s, and the lectureship of Bow;‘ but soon after accepted that of Allhallows, in Bread-street. In 1698, he preached on the 30th of January before king William, who was so well pleased with the sermon, as to command it to be published; and also, in March following, appointed him one of his chaplains in ordinary, in which office he was retained by queen Anne. In 1705, when she visited Cambridge, he was made D. D. and in 1707, her majesty gave him a prebend of Westminster. He now was exemplary in a diligent and conscientious discharge of his parochial duties, and enjoyed the esteem of his superiors, the good opinion and friendship of his brethren the clergy, and the affection of his parishioners. In 1710, he refused the bishoprick of St. David’s, as the then ministry would not suffer him to hold his prebend in commendam, nor the rectory of Bow, either of which was necessary to enable him to keep up his rank as a bishop. In 1716, he was unanimously elected master of Bene’t college, and in 1718 was consecrated bishop of Carlisle, whence in 1723 he was translated to Rochester, which he held with the deanry of Westminster. About a year afterwards he resigned the mastership of the college. He died May 17, 1731, and was buried in Westminsterabbey. His character appears to have been excellent, according to every account. His Boylean lectures were published in 4to, 1699, under the title of “The Credibility of the Christian Religion from its intrinsic evidence, being eight sermons, &c. with a ninth as an appendix, in reply to an objection from the imperfect promulgation of the gospel,” 4to. He published also separately twenty-three sermons preached on public occasions, and assisted in the publication of Tillotson’s works. He left two daughters, one married to Dr. Reuben Clarke, archdeacon of Essex, and the other to Dr. John Denne, archdeacon of Rochester. 1

1 Masters’s Hist, of C. C. C. C. Birch’s Life of Tillotson. Whiston’s Life, where is a curious account of his attention to discipline.