Free Online Bible Library | Beilby Porteus

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Beilby Porteus

1731-1808. Bishop of London. Educated at Cambridge, he became rector of Hunton which had had no resident incumbent for thirty years, and there displayed that pastoral concern, marked by residence, visitation, and catechesis, that he was to urge as a bishop. In 1762 he became chaplain to Archbishop Secker* (whose biography he wrote), and in 1769 a royal chaplain. He was appointed bishop of Chester in 1776 and of London in 1787. As bishop he encouraged residence of incumbents, better stipends for curates, regular preaching, and higher standards of clerical duty. In the House of Lords he battled for public morality and vainly tried to hedge divorce legislation. Responsible as bishop of London for the overseas interests of the church, he opposed slavery, founded the “Christian Faith Society” for West Indian slaves, and proposed other forms of church mission. He was more sympathetic to the Evangelicals (and to Evangelical enterprises like the Church Missionary Society and the Bible Society) than were most high ecclesiastics, while remaining apart, an orthodox churchman in the Secker tradition. His Collected Works were published in 1811.