14th November 1676 - birth date of Bishop Hoadly

William_Hogarth_052.jpg14 November 1676 was the date of birth of Salisbury’s most radical Bishop, Benjamin Hoadly. He was known as ‘the anti-prelatical prelate’. He was keen to stress the importance of individual conscience over necessarily following the teachings of churchmen or Bishops.

During the ‘Bangorian controversy’[1], Hoadley wrote that:

in the Affairs of Eternal Conscience and Salvation … He[God] hath … left behind Him, no visible, humane Authority; no Vicegerents, who can be said properly to supply his Place; no Interpreters, upon whom his Subjects are absolutely to depend; no Judges over the Consciences or Religion of his People.

…and on the hierarchy of the Church of England:

no Man of Sense will be able to see any Difference between Your Popery, and that of many amongst Us, but that Ours is Protestant Popery, and Yours is Popish Popery

Hoadly was burnt in effigy in various parts of the country.


Portrait of the Bishop by William Hogarth [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


[1] Hoadley was, at the time, the Bishop of Bangor