Cadogan, William Bromley

, grand nephew of the preceding, and second son of Charles Sloan Cadogan, third baron, and first earl Cadogan of the new creation (1800), was born Jan. 22, 1751, at his father’s house in Bruton-street, and was educated at Westminster-school, whence he was removed to Christ church college, Oxford, where he took the degree of B. A. At this university, he distinguished himself by obtaining several prizes for classical learning, and by a diligent application to the study of the holy scriptures. In 1774, the vicarage of St. Giles’s, Reading, became vacant, by the death of the rev. William Talbot, a very popular preacher of Calvinistic principles, and was conferred on Mr. Cadogan, unsolicited, in the following manner. Lord Bathurst, who was then chancellor, called at lord Cadogan’s house in Privy Gardens, and desired to see him. Lord Cadogan was not at home; and the servants, seeing lord Bathurst plainly dressed, admitted him no farther than the hall, on the table of which he wrote a note, requesting lord Cadogan to accept the vicarage of St. Giles’s for his son. The offer of so valuable a preferment, and so near to the family seat at Caversham, was peculiarly acceptable to lord Cadogan: but his son not being in priest’s orders, it was held by sequestration till he was ordained priest in 1775. Soon after, he was presented by lord Cadogan to the rectory of Chelsea, but as he could not hold two livings without being a master of arts, that degree was conferred upon him by archbishop Cornwallis and in the following year, being then of | sufficient standing in the university, he was regularly admitted to the same degree of Oxford.

The parishioners of St. Giles’s were deeply affected by the death of Mr. Talbot, and equally grieved at the appointment of his successor; and their only hopes were, that as he was a youth of noble family, he would have no inclination to do the duties himself, and might, perhaps, continue Mr. Halvvard as curate, who had been appointed to that office by Mr. Talbot, and was highly acceptable to them. Upon a petition, however, being presented to Mr. Cadogan in favour of Mr. Halward, he rejected it with the strongest marks of disapprobation, and the congregation that usually met in St. Giles dispersed themselves among the dissenting meetings, and some of them went so far as to erect a meeting in lady Huntingdon’s connection. On this occasion several letters passed between Mr. Cadogan and Mrs. Talbot, whose house was opened for religious exercises. At first he was highly offended; but at length his views of religious doctrines became materially altered, and he attained before his death a popularity equal, or rather superior, to that of his predecessor, and a corresponding change took place in his manner and habits. He had usually divided his time between Reading and Chelsea; but finding his labours there attended with little or no success, and having been prevailed upon to let the rectory-house, he left that populous parish to the care of his curate, the rev. Erasmus Middleton, except at the season of Lent, and of the monthly sacrament. At Reading, besides preaching on Sundays, morning and evening, he preached on Thursday evenings; and on Tuesday evenings he prayed and expounded the scriptures in his own house; but finding the number of his hearers too large, he removed this instructive exercise into the chancel. He also instituted four Sunday schools, in which upwards of 120 poor children were instructed. These schools he constantly attended, encouraging those who made the greatest improvement, by presents of money or books; and supplying every deficiency in the collections of the parishioners at his own expence. He was usually in his study by six o’clock, and devoted the greater part of his mornings to reading the scriptures in the original languages; the remainder he employed in exercise, or in visiting the sick and poor. He passed much time in secret prayer, and has been frequently surprised on his knees by his servant, | when the family had retired to rest. His generosity and charity were truly great; nor could an object of distress be mentioned to him by any of his congregation without experiencing his liberality. Many clergymen, in circumstances of indigence or affliction, have received assistance from him, which was conveyed in the most private way. He had great politeness in his manners and behaviour: in his conversation, the scholar, the gentleman, and the Christian were united. In the pulpit, he endeavoured to reform the sinner, and display to all men the blessings of salvation. His voice was not pleasing, but his delivery was forcible; and he commanded attention by the earnestness with which he impressed upon his hearers the sublime truths of the gospel. Amidst these Christian duties, Mr. Cadogan was seized on a Thursday evening after his lecture, with an inflammation in his bowels, which, after a short interval of relief, proved fatal Jan. 18, 1797.

Mr. Cadogan’s publications consist of several single sermons preached on various occasions; and after his death were published “Discourses, &c. Letters, and Memoirs of his Life, by Richard Cecil, A.M.1798, 8vo. 1


Coates’s History of Reading.—Memoirs as above.