Randolph, John

, the late bishop of London, was the younger son of the preceding, and was born July 6, 1749. He became a student of Corpus Christi college, Oxford, and took his degrees at the usual periods that of M. A. in 1774; B. D. in 1782 D. D. by diploma, in 1783. In 1776 he was appointed prselector of poetry, and in 1782 regius professor of Greek. In the same year he was | presented to a prebend of Salisbury; and in 1783 became canon of Christ church, regius professor of divinity, and rector of Ewelnoe. In the year 1799 he was elevated to the bishopric of Oxford; translated to that of Bangor in 1807; and thence to London in 1809. He was elected F. R. S. in 1811. He passed a great part of his life in the university of Oxford, and it was generally believed that when he was raised to the see of Oxford, the university was complimented with the nomination by the crown. His lordship was author of many single sermons, and charges delivered on different occasions: also of “De Grsecae Linguae Studio Prselectio habita in Schola Linguarum,1783, and “Concio ad Clerum in Synodo Provinciali Cantuariensis Provincial ad D. Pauli,1790. One of his last works was a report of the progress made by the National School Society, to which the general committee referred in terms of gratitude, at their first meeting after his lordship’s decease. They notice his lordship as one “whose latest employment had been to state, for the information qf the public, the progress of a work to which he had contributed his time, his labour, and his counsels. The committee therefore could not fail to entertain a common sentiment of profound regret for the loss which they have sustained, and to cherish in their minds the liveliest recollection of the service which has been so successfully fulfilled by him in this second report. They wish, therefore, to add to this document, designed for general circulation, their sense of what is due from the public, and themselves, to the. memory of one who was a constant and assiduous promoter of this salutary institution, from its first establishment to the last hour of his life. The committee trust, that this testimony, though limited to a single object in the large field of pastoral duty in which he was incessantly engaged, may serve to denote the benefits which have resulted from his prompt, unwearied, and effectual exertions.” The following is the character drawn of him by Mr. archdeacon Jefferson, and which alludes to his zeal for the church, of which he was an active member: “Fearless now of being censured for mercenary adulation, or reproved by unconscious merit, a just tribute may be paid to the character of that departed and exalted prelate, who is, and will be, most lamented where he was best and most entirely known. This opportunity, therefore, is willingly embraced of offering a heartfelt condolence to the ministry | of the diocese on the affecting and important loss, which, in these perilous times of contending sects and unsettled opinion, has arisen to them, and to the church: To them, in the premature privation of a diocesan, firm in his support of ecclesiastical authority, but considerate in its application; eminently versed in the letter of ecclesiastical law, but liberal in its practical construction, reluctant in interference, but determined in duty, slow in the profes-. sion of service, but prompt in its execution; disinterested, in patronage, unwavering in measures, correct in judgment, attentive in council, and kind and compassionate to distress: To the church, in the premature privation of a father, diligent in her rites and services, but unostentatious in piety and devotion; sound and unrelaxing in her doctrines and faith, but discreet in zeal, and comprehensive in charity; ever vigilant in defending her interests, ever forward in asserting her privileges, and ever able in the assertion and the defence.” This high character, how-, ever, has been thought capable of abatement. It was perhaps unfortunate that he succeeded a prelate of the mild and conciliating temper of Dr. Porteus, and that he undertook the government of a diocese, which, above all others, requires such a temper. It was, perhaps, not less unfortunate that in his first charge to the clergy of this diocese, he betrayed no little ignorance of the state of religious opinions, and the creeds of those sectaries against whom he wished to warn his clergy.

Bishop Randolph died suddenly on the 28th of July, 1813. He was one of the governors of the Charter-house; trustee of the British Museum; dean of the Chapel royal; visitor of Sion college; and provincial dean of Canterbury. 1


Gent. Mag. vols. LXXXIII. and LXXXIV.