Hoadly, John

, LL. D. the youngest son of Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Winchester, was born in Broad-street, Oct. 8, 1711, and educated at Mr. Newcome’s school in Hackney, where he gained great applause by performing the part of Phocyas in “The Siege of Damascus.” In June 1730 he was admitted at Corpus Christi college in Cambridge, and about the same time at the Temple, intending to study the law. This design, however, he soon abandoned; for in the next year we find he had relinquished all thoughts of the law as a profession. He took the degree of LL. B. in 1735; and, on the 29th of November following was appointed chancellor of Win-, chester, ordained deacon by nis father Dec. 7, and priest the 21st of the same month. He was immediately received into the prince of Wales’s household as his chaplain, as he afterwards was in that of the princess dowager, May 6, 1751.

His several preferments he received in the following order of time: the rectory of Michelmersh, March 8, 1737; that of Wroughton in Wiltshire, Sept. 8, 1737; and that of Alresfurd, and a prebend of Winchester, 29th of November in the same year. On June 9, 1743, he was instituted to the rectory of St. Mary near Southampton, and on Dec. 16, 1746, collated to that of Overton. He was the first person on whom archbishop Herring conferred the degree of a doctor. In May 1760, he was appointed to the mastership | of St. Cross; and all these preferments he enjoyed until his death, except the living of Wroughton and the prebend of Winchester. He wrote some poems in “Dodsley’s Collection,” and is supposed very materially to have assisted his brother in “The Suspicious Husband.” He likewise published, as we have already noticed, his father’s works in 3 vols. folio. After living to the age of 64, the delight of his friends, he died March 16, 1776, and with him the name of Hoadly became extinct. He was the author of five dramas: 1. The Contrast,“a comedy, acted at Lincoln’s-mn-fields, 1731, but not printed. 2.” Love’s Revenge,“a pastoral, 1737. 3.” Phoebe,“another pastoral, 1748. 4.” Jephtha,“an oratorio, 1737. 5. And another entitled” The Force of Truth,“1764. He also revised Lillo’sArden of Feversham,“and wrote the fifth act of Miller’sMahomet.“He left several dramatic works in ms. behind him, and among the rest,” The Housekeeper, a farce,“on the plan of” High Life below Stairs,“in favour of which piece it was rejected by Mr. Garrick, together with a tragedy on a religious subject. So great, however, was the doctor’s fondness for theatrical exhibitions, that no visitors were ever long in his house before they were solicited to accept a part in some interlude or other. He himself, with Garrick and Hogarth, once performed a laughable parody on the scene inJulius Caesarwhere the ghost appears to Brutus-, Hogarth personated the spectre; but so unretentive was his memory, that, although his speech consisted only of a few lines, he was unable to get them by heart. At last they hit on the following expedient in his favour. The verses he was to deliver were written in such large letters on the outside of an illuminated paper lanthorn, that he could read them when he entered with it in his hand on the stage. Hogarth prepared the play-bill on this occasion, with characteristic ornaments, the original drawing of which is still preserved. Dr. Koadly’s tragedy was on the story of lord Cromwell, anil he once intended to give it to the stage. In a letter dated June 27, 1765, he says,” My affair with Mr. Garrick is coming upon the carpet again;“Aug. 1, 1765, he thus apologizes to Mr. Bowyer, to whom he intended to present the copy-right:” Vour kind concern, c. demanded an earlier acknowledgment, had I not delayed till an absolute answer came from irn friend David Garrick, with his fixed resolution never more ‘to strut and fret his hour upon the | stage again.’ This decree has unhinged my schemes with regard to lord Cromwell, for nothing but the concurrence of so many circumstances in my favour (his entire disinterested friendship for me and the good doctor’s memory; Mrs. Hoadly’s bringing on a piece of the doctor’s at the same time the story of mine being on a religious subject, &c. and the peculiar advantage of David’s unparalleled performance in it) could have persuaded me to break through the prudery of my profession, and (in my station in the church) produce a play upon the stage." For the prudery of his profession, however, he appears to have had very little regard, and on that profession conferred very little honour. With all his preferments, which were very valuable, he is known only as the author of the dramatic pieces above mentioned, nor do they entitle him to a very high rank among writers for the stage. 1


Biog. Dram. Dodsley’s Poems,