DUPPA, Brian (1589-1662)

DUPPA, Brian (1589–1662)

cons. 17 June 1638 bp. of CHICHESTER; transl. 11 Dec. 1641 bp. of SALISBURY; transl. 4 Oct. 1660 bp. of WINCHESTER

First sat 13 Apr. 1640; last sat 3 Jan. 1642

b. 10 Mar. 1589, 2nd s. of Jeffrey Duppa, purveyor of buttery to Elizabeth I and brewer to James I, and Lucrece Marshall [Maresall]. educ. Westminster Sch.; Christ Church, Oxf., matric. 1605, BA 1609; All Soul’s, Oxf. fell. 1612, MA 1614, proctor 1619, BD 1625, DD 1625; DD Camb. (incorp.) 1641. m. 23 Nov. 1626, Jane, da. Nicholas Killingtree [Chillington] of Longham, Norf. d.s.p. d. 26 Mar. 1662 at Richmond, Surr.; will 4 Feb., pr. 16 May 1662.1

Tutor to Charles II and James II 1638–41; almoner 1660–2.

Vic. Hailsham, Suss. 1625, Westham, Suss. 1626, Withyham, Suss. 1627; chap. to the Prince Palatine 1625, to Edward Sackville, 4th earl of Dorset c.1625; dean Christ Church, Oxf. 1629–38; chan. Salisbury, 1634–8; rect. Petworth, Suss. 1638–41.

V.-chan. Oxf. 1632–4.

Also associated with: Richmond Palace.

Likenesses: oil on canvas by H. Howard, after lost original by J.M. Wright, Christ Church, Oxf., engraved by R. White, 1674.

In 1660, the nobility and the clergy expressed approval when Brian Duppa was translated from Salisbury to the prestigious and wealthy diocese of Winchester.2 In the brief time that he held the see he received £50,000 in fines. He remitted £30,000 to his tenants and spent at least £12,000 on repairs, his translation and charitable works, although this did not prevent his successor from bringing a dilapidations suit in which it was alleged that he ‘did not do as much as was incumbent upon him’ and left the bishop’s palace a ruin.3 By the time of his death he could bequeath more than £4,000 in over 40 individual bequests to family, friends and servants, including legacies to ten former commanders of the royalist army. He was also able to use his position to further the career of his nephew Thomas Duppa, whom he introduced to court and who would be appointed as black rod in 1683.4

A much respected figure in the royal court in the 1630s, tutor to the sons of Charles I, Duppa spent the Civil War at Oxford, accompanied Prince Charles in the West in 1645-46, and his advice was repeatedly sought by the king in his imprisonment. He spent the Interregnum in retirement, largely at Richmond, forging a close friendship with Sir Justinian Isham.5 Throughout the 1650s Duppa was active in maintaining contact with other Episcopal clergy, including Gilbert Sheldon, later archbishop of Canterbury, and made some attempt to provide leadership on the approach to the formal legal requirements in reading the Book of Common Prayer, but he disappointed Edward Hyde, the future earl of Clarendon, in failing to take stronger action to undertake consecrations to ensure the maintenance of the Episcopal succession. Duppa himself pointed out how closely he was watched by the Interregnum authorities, particularly (as in the late summer of 1659) at times of suspected involvement in or knowledge of royalist plots.6 By March 1660 Duppa was delighting in the ‘miraculous’ change of affairs but the uncertainty about the religious settlement and the future of the episcopate remained troubling. In April he told Justinian Isham that ‘It is yet standing water with us, we neither flow nor ebb; how far the near approaching Parliament may either advance, or drive us back I know not.’7 On 4 May Duppa met with two other surviving bishops, Matthew Wren, bishop of Ely, and John Warner, bishop of Rochester, as well as other key clergy, and drafted letters to the king and to James Butler, marquess of Ormond [I], later earl of Brecknock and duke of Ormond, expressing the loyalty of the Church. The same three bishops were present on 29 May to greet the king at his arrival in Whitehall.8

Shortly after the Restoration Duppa moved to London from Richmond at the king’s request, ‘that [he] might be more useful to him’, although as he told Sheldon in mid-August, the opportunity to assist the king had not yet arisen, and he was clearly troubled about the shape of the religious settlement, for ‘all the professed enemies of our church, look upon this as the critical time to use their dernier resort to shake his majesty’s constancy’.9 Later that month he was worrying about Parliament, particularly that many of ‘our best friends’ had quitted London for the country.10 Duppa’s churchmanship and style of preaching may have alienated some not used to it: Samuel Pepys, attending a service in the chapel royal disliked Duppa’s ‘cold’ sermon and the ‘overdone’ ceremonies.11 As the most senior surviving prelate, he was the chief consecrator of the five new bishops in October12 By December frailty had confined him to his chambers in Westminster. He did not return to the House after the readmission of the bishops in November 1661, registering his proxy for the session in favour of Gilbert Sheldon. Nevertheless, he remained absorbed with matters of Church and state, not least in Convocation’s revision of the prayer book to accompany the uniformity bill. On 24 Feb. 1662 he appeared before the privy council for their reading of the book and subsequent recommendation of the text to the Lords.13

Within a month, Duppa was dying. Charles II visited his former tutor at Richmond on 25 Mar. 1662, kneeling for a blessing at the bedside.14 Duppa died the following day; his body was taken to York House in the Strand where it lay in state for four weeks, after which his well-attended funeral was ‘the solemnest … known of any prelate in these last ages’.15 His contemporaries were almost unanimous in their praise of the bishop’s practical piety, which set the tone for the Restoration Church.16


  • 1 TNA, PROB 11/308.
  • 2 Ath. Ox. iii. 542; CSP Dom. 1660–1, pp. 205, 262.
  • 3 Correspondence of Bishop Brian Duppa and Sir Justinian Isham (Northants. Rec. Soc. xvii) p. xxix; Bodl. Tanner 141, f. 101; 140, f. 39; 143, f. 261.
  • 4 M.I. Westminster Abbey.
  • 5 Duppa–Isham Corresp. p. xxiv.
  • 6 Bosher, Restoration Settlement, 17-26; Duppa–Isham Corresp. pp. xv, xxv–xxvii; Lansd. 986, f. 11; CSP Dom. 1659–60, p. 76.
  • 7 Duppa–Isham Corresp. 178–83.
  • 8 Bodl. Carte 30, ff. 611, 615; Add. 19526, f. 40; Bosher, 123, 143-4.
  • 9 Tanner 49, f. 17.
  • 10 Duppa–Isham Corresp. 185.
  • 11 Pepys Diary, i. 210.
  • 12 Add. 10116, f. 131.
  • 13 Bosher, 249.
  • 14 Lansd. 986, f. 11.
  • 15 Ath. Ox. iii. 543; HMC Hastings, iv. 130.
  • 16 Ath. Ox. iii. 542; Burnet, i. 304.