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Dr. Stephen Phillips, vicar of Bampton and archdeacon of Salop, is less known to fame than his son John, the poet, who was born here in 1676. This young man received his gramm atical education in Westminster School, from whence he was elected to Christ's Church, Oxford. He was designed for the study of physic, to which he was naturally led by his love of botany, and the weakness of his constitution; for he seldom knew what it was to enjoy a day's health. He was so extremely fond of the Greek and Latin Classics, that he entered into their spirit and way of writing in a manner superior to all who had gone before him. The natural sweetness of his temper and the easy affability, wherewith he treated every person, endeared him to all the gentlemen in the college.
Dr. Aldrich, at that time dean of Christ's Church, was much addicted to smoking tobacco; and one morning, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Smith his chum laid a wager, that, if one of them would go at that moment and call upon the dean, he would find him smoking. Mr. Phillips was the person who took the affirmative side of the question, and when he came to the dean's apartment, the doctor asked him his business? To whom he answered in that simple manner, to which he was accustomed from his infancy, telling the nature of the wager, and that he was come there to have it decided. “Mr. Phillips," said the dean, with the greatest good-nature, “you have lost your wager, for I am not smoking, but filling my pipe.
His poem, entitled “the Splendid Shilling " raised his fame to such a degree, that lord Harcourt employed him to write a poem on the battle of Blenheim, in opposition to that composed by Mr. Addison, on the same subject. This poem was held in much estimation, but his best poem is always considered to be that which he composed on Cyder, and is an excellent imitation of the style of Virgil's Georgics.
Phillips intended to write a poem on the Last Judgement, as we are told by Mr. Smith. His continued ili state of health at last brought on a consumption, which put a period to his life at Hereford, on the 15th of February 1708, in the 32nd year of his age.
He was buried in the cathedral of that city, but a monument has been since erected to his memory in Westminster abbey,
A. D. 1676, Jan. 5, Thomas Snell, S. T. B. by the death of Thomas Hodges.
A. D. 1681. In the Inquisition held this year at Bampton Arthur Bury, D. D. appears as vicar of Bampton, with Dr. Phillips and the Rev. Th. Snell. See APPENDIX, No. xix.
A. D. 1684, Jan, 16 [stylo Anglico,] Thomas Snell, by the death of Stephen Phillips, S. T. P.
A. D. 1707, March 2, John Edmonds, M. A. by the resignation of Arthur Bury, S. T. P.
* New British Traveller, published under the inspection of Geo. Aug. Walpole esq. fol, London, 1784.
A. D. 1714, Feb. 11, Thomas Snell, by the resignation of Thomas Snell senior.
A. D. 1718. April 17, William Stephens, M. A., by the death of Thomas Snell senior.
A. D. 1724, Aug. 18, John Edmonds, M. A. per cessionem Will. Stephens.
Steele has “ Johu Edmonds 1725. William Stevens 1728. Snell 1731.” which is quite at variance with the Institutionbook. Steele has “ William Reynolds M. A. 1742."
A. D. 1743, Aug. 7, William Reynolds, M. A. to the portion formerly in the possession of Stephen Phillips, but lately of Thomas Snell, vacant by the death of John Edmonds.
A. D. 1750, Feb. 28, Elias Taunton, M. A. to the portion formerly in possession of Stephen Phillips, void by the death of William Reynolds, who held two portions [Sec Reynolds's epitaph.]
A. D. 1750, March 2, John Land, M. A. by the death of William Reynolds.
A. D. 1757, July 23, Joseph Amphlett, D. C. L. by the death of John Land.
A. D. 1758, March 25, Charles Hawtrey the younger, M. A., formerly in possession of Thomas Hodges, vacant by the death of Thomas Snell.
A. D. 1766, May 7, Henry Barton, D. D. to the portion formerly in possession of Stephen Phillips and vacant by the death of Elias Taunton.
A. D. 1782, S. Johnson. See the “ Vestry-books."
A. D. 1794, Dec. 23, The Rev.... Marshall vicar of Bampton, as appears by the last feoffment deed of the Shilton estate. [See account of the Shilton charity lands, hereafter.]
A. D. 1796, Geo. Richards, afterward D. D., by the death of Ch. Hawtrey, who held two portions. (See Hawtrey's epitaph.]
A. D. 1799, Thomas Burrow.
A. D. 1819, Ilugh Owen M. A. void by the cession of Ilugh Owen the last vicar.
A. D. 1824, Oct. 25, Cranley Lancelot Kerby by the cession of George Richards.
A. D. 1828, Feb. 16, John Robinson Winstanley, by the death of Hugh Owen.
A. D. 1837, May 6, Dacres Adams, by the death of Thomas Burrow.
A. D. 1844, June 21, Ralph Barnes, M. A. by the death of Jahn Robinson Winstanley.
This list contains all the names of vicars, that I have been able to collect, and is, I fear, very inaccurate in many particulars, from the deficiency of data, and the numerous palpable errors with which the Oxford Institution books abound.
§ 8. PARISH-REGISTERS NO LONGER IN USE, KEPT IN THE SMALL
IRON CHIEST. The registers of the parish of Bampton which are no longer in use are contained in a small iron-chest, deposited in the vestry-room of the parish-church. They consist of 12 volumes in folio and 2 in quarto. These last, together with one of the folios, contain the entries of baptisms, weddings, and burials pertaining to the church of Shifford, and have been kept of late years, with the rest of the Registers, in the mother-church of Bampton. The whole series are ticketed with labels, num. bered from 1 to 14, for the convenience of reference. We will briefly describe them in- order.
No. 1. A folio volume, of parchment, and in rather a dilapidated condition. Each page is divided in double columns, and the ink is much faded, from age, in several parts of the volume, particularly at the beginning. The first entries refer
to Christenings, and extend from October, A. D. 1538 to August, 1693. These are partly in Latin and partly in English, thus, "1669, Oct. 9, Mary Rickets, fia (filia] Daniel.
Oct. 28, Anthony et Thomas Wenwan, filii Anthony." then two leaves of“ burrials,” from A. D. 1692 to 1694, but not in order : after which are 5 leaves of “Marriages" from Oct. A. D. 1538, to Dec. 24, A. D. 1691. Then occur several leaves of burials and Christenings from 1685 to 1691, entered confusedly; at the end of wbich is the following sentence :
Homo quilibet est pars communitatis. Every particular person is part of the whole state: this is the true reason, why the king takes so precise an account of the death even of the basest subject, because himselfe and the whole kingdome had interest in him.
As the hand-writing, in which this morsel of polítical wisdom has been handed down to posterity, is of a more recent date than the latest of the entries contained in the volume, it must have been written since James the Second was expelled by his sonin-law William the Third; when, consequently, the writer had witnessed the example of family-love which the Dutch monarch and his hard-hearted wife set to their subjects in their behaviour towards their dethroned parent.
The rest of the volume is occupied with “Burialls," from Oct. A. D. 1538, to May 17, 1685, in which the Latin words, 'vidua,''filius,' and 'filia,' occur frequently, as before.
On the last page of the book is the following curious note:
Whereas the Right Worpll: Sr: Thomas Hord Kght. and his worthy lady, hauing upon vndeniable evidence, made it apeare that they are not in bodily health, and therefore According to the lawe in that case provided have obtained a Licence to eat flesh during the time of their Indisposition of bodies; But since the Date of Eight dayes allowed by the statute is expired, and they are still in a Sickly Condition. V pon their request the sayd licence is longer indulged them to dress Flesh and accordingly Registered. March 18th : 1660.
The date of Gualter Castles licence, Clark and Sexto being expired, was also prorogued.
But the good knight seems not long to have enjoyed the indulgence which the Church allowed him, for in the list of burials for the year 1662, we find the following entry : “ Jan. 31. Sir Thomas Hord,” about one year and nine months after the date of the licence above-mentioned !
No. 2. a folio, also of parchment, and written for the most part in double columns. On the first leaf is the following note :
Dec. 3, 1750. By appointment of ye Revd. Mr. Wm. Reynolds and ye Revd. Mr. Tho: Snell, Edward Skinner was constituted Clerk of the parish of Bampton in ye room of Wm. Andrews deceased.
The first part of the book contains Christenings from Jan. 3, A. D. 1685 to Feb. 25, A. D. 1762, in 30 folios. Then follow Marriages from April 26, A. D. 1685 to Oct. 8, 1753, (occupying folios 1–7)— Baptisms from March 3, A. D. 1762, to Feb. 21, A. D. 1779, (folios 8 to 18) Burials from Jan. 6, A. D. 1685, to July 15, 1780 (fol. 1 to 31). On the last leaf is the following note:
Augnst 19, 1767. John Wright of Aston having been duly elected to succeed Thomas Fox lately deceased, as Parish Clerk, was approved of by us. J. Amphlett. Vicar. C. Hawtrey. Vicar. Wm. Cecil, Churchwarden.
In this register-about the middle of the volume,—the name of the officiating Clergyman begins to be annexed to the eptries. The first occurs in the Burials, “ 1758, Oct. 13, Wm. Wiggins. C. H. [for Charles Hawtrey].” The other names that occur are J. Amphlett (1759), C. Poyntz, Cl. (1759).
No. 3. A folio volume, of vellum, written across the whole page and begun at both ends. At the beginning are Burials from May 18, 1782, to Dec. 24, 1812.
At the end are Baptisms from 1779 to 1812.