PATRICK, Simon (Symon) (1626-1707)

PATRICK, Simon (Symon) (1626–1707)

cons. 13 Oct. 1689 bp. of CHICHESTER; transl. 2 July 1691 bp. of ELY

First sat 19 Oct. 1689; last sat 6 Dec. 1705

b. 8 Sept. 1626, 1st s. of Henry Patrick (1596-1665), mercer, and Mary, da. of ? Naylor, clergyman, of Notts.1 educ. Gainsborough Free Sch., Lincs. to 1643, Queens’, Camb. matric. 25 June 1644, BA 1648, fell. 1649-58, MA 1651; ord. 1653, 5 Apr. 1654; BD 1658; 2 Christ Church, Oxf., incorp. 1666, DD 1666. m. (with £2,500)3 1 June 1675, Penelope (1646-1725), da. of William Jephson of Froyle, Hants, 2s. (1 d.v.p.), 1da. d.v.p. d. 31 May 1707; will 22 Mar.-15 Apr. 1703, pr. 22 Oct. 1707.4

Royal chap., 1671-87, c. 20 Jan.-13 Oct. 1689.

Chap., to Sir Walter St. John, 3rd bt. 1655; vic. Battersea, Surr. 1657-75;5 rect. St Paul’s Covent Garden, Westminster, 1662-89; canon and sub-dean, Westminster 1672-89;6 dean, Peterborough 1679-89.7

Commr., revision of prayer book 1689, settlement of church in Ireland 1690,8 visitation of hospitals 1691,9 rebuilding St Paul’s 1691,10 ecclesiastical appointments 1695, 1699.11

Trustee, SPCK 1701; mbr. SPG 1701; gov., Charterhouse, 1701.12

Also associated with: King’s Street, Covent Garden, Westminster (from 1662); Abington, Cambs.

Likenesses: oil on canvas by Sir P. Lely, c.1668, NPG 1500; oil on canvas by unknown artist, c.1689, Queens’, Camb.; oil on canvas by unknown artist, Lambeth Palace, 1691.

The wealth of detail available about Patrick’s life is owing primarily to his autobiography, which was annotated and completed by the clergyman and antiquary Samuel Knight in the 1720s and edited, together with his major works, by Alexander Taylor in 1858.13 Patrick’s own contemporaries had an exalted view of the prelate. The London bookseller John Dunton felt that Patrick ‘wears not his religion as his lawn sleeves, as an extempore dignity, but, in all the conditions and changes of life, it was incorporated and wrought into the thread of his actions’. ‘In a word’, he summarized, ‘he is deservedly called “the Preaching Bishop” ... for every one of his days is a sermon in effect, and he is ripe for heaven’.14 Gilbert Burnet, the future bishop of Salisbury, writing of the turbulent years of 1679-81 included Patrick among those ‘many worthy and eminent men... whose lives and labours did in a great measure rescue the Church from those reproaches that the follies of others drew upon it’, who ‘were an honour, both to the Church, and to the age in which they lived’.15 Yet as well as being, by such accounts, a pious churchman, Patrick was also politically astute and a keen participant in Parliament. Although not elevated to the episcopate until the Revolution, he had by that time already worked tirelessly for at least the previous two decades in support of both archbishops of Canterbury, challenging any parliamentary initiative to ease the plight of Catholics or nonconformists, until the policies of James II transformed comprehension for Protestants into a political expedient.

Early life and clerical career, 1626-89

Simon Patrick was the son of devout puritan parents, although in his memoirs he was at pains to emphasize that his father always conformed to the established church. The dislocations and financial hardships of the civil wars forced him to complete his schooling in several diffrerent locations. He was able to enter Queens’ College at Cambridge University in June 1644 after a struggle to obtain a scholarship and despite his father’s ‘low’ and ‘mean’ condition at that time. While there he was excused the Covenant on the grounds that he was still a minor. While at Cambridge he came heavily under the influence of the mathematics tutor John Smith, and through him the other Cambridge Platonists and the philosophy and theology that formed the background to what would later become known as latitudinarianism.16 Influenced by Smith and other Cambridge Platonists, Patrick rejected the dogmatic Calvinism, with its emphasis on universal reprobation and absolute predestination, in which he had been raised and embraced a practical theology which stressed God’s wish to save all humans. An enthusiastic supporter of the newly emerging trends in natural philosophy and the ‘new science’, Patrick advocated faith in the ‘Christian doctrine, rationally handled’ and revealed in the natural order.17 However, if he clearly set out the ‘latitudinarian’ theology and gave the term currency in his Brief Account of the New Sect of Latitude-Men of 1662, he also, in that same text, defended the Anglican liturgy and the unique character of the Church of England as ‘that virtuous mediocrity... between the meretricious gaudiness of Rome, and the squalid sluttery of fanatic conventicles’.18

Patrick later claimed his ordination by presbyters in London ‘troubled me very much’, and sought covert episcopal ordination in the Church of England on 5 Apr. 1654 from Joseph Hall, bishop of Norwich. He obtained a chaplaincy with Sir Walter St John, 3rd bt., who also presented Patrick to a living in Battersea in 1655 at the urging of St John’s father-in-law, Oliver St John.19 At the Restoration he was not ejected as an ‘intruder’ and in 1662 was sufficiently well-regarded by his fellow academics to be elected president of Queen’s College, Cambridge on the death of Edward Martin, though he was forced out soon after by royal mandate in favour of Anthony Sparrow, later bishop of Norwich. Patrick pursued his case through the courts for three years despite being advised by Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, to back down or be regarded as ‘factious’.20 Patrick’s disappointment at Cambridge was in part offset by his presentation in 1662 to the rich living of St Paul’s, Covent Garden, by William Russell, 5th earl (later duke) of Bedford, where he enhanced his pastoral reputation by remaining in London throughout the plague. It was probably also here and at this time that he developed a close ‘neo-platonic’ friendship with Elizabeth Gauden, wife of the Navy Victualler, Sir Denis Gauden, and brother of John Gauden, bishop of Worcester.21 Granted a metropolitan dispensation to hold the livings of Battersea and Covent Garden in plurality, he secured the services of his younger brother, John, who deputized for him as vicar of Battersea from 1662 to 1671 and whose career Patrick continued to promote.22 Throughout his long stay at Covent Garden, Patrick repeatedly impressed John Evelyn, who peppered his lengthy notes on Patrick’s sermons with compliments on the future bishop’s style and handling of his text.23

Shortly after his installation at Covent Garden, some of the parishioners successfully petitioned Gilbert Sheldon, bishop of London (and later archbishop of Canterbury) for a select vestry to strengthen parish governance and political loyalty. It aimed to turn the parish, which included a number of noble parishioners, into ‘a pattern of Anglican royalism’; though one tempered by the Presbyterian inclinations of some of its inhabitants, including the earl of Bedford himself.24 Patrick formed close relationships with his fellow London clergy including John Sharp, later archbishop of York, and the latter’s patron Heneage Finch, later earl of Nottingham, to whom he probably owed much of his advancement during the ensuing two decades.25 He combined his ministry with publishing both devotional and polemic works. He followed up the description of the the ‘new sect of latitude men’ which he had published in 1662 with his Parable of the Pilgrim of 1665.26 He invited the wrath of nonconformists when he opposed plans for a comprehension bill in 1668 by publishing his controversial Friendly Debate between a Conformist and a Nonconformist. The work went through several editions but its tone annoyed even his former admirer Richard Baxter who found it ‘disingenuous and virulent’.27 Patrick was politically akin to the more conservative Edward Stillingfleet, later bishop of Worcester, in his guarded approach to religious comprehension than were John Tillotson, later archbishop of Canterbury, and John Wilkins, later bishop of Chester. This increased his political credit with both Sheldon and staunch Anglicans such as Sir Henry Yelverton, 2nd bt., but earned him the contempt of Andrew Marvell, who dubbed Patrick one of his ‘divines in mode’.28 Patrick was offered the archdeaconry of Huntingdon in 1669 but declined, declaring himself ‘unfit’. He was appointed a royal chaplain in 1671, and canon and sub-dean of Westminster the following year.29 On 15 Dec. 1672, he preached before the king on the reckoning at judgment day.30

In 1673 Patrick published an open letter to his future wife, Penelope Jephson, which proved so popular that it went into several editions despite Patrick’s apparent reluctance to acknowledge his authorship.31 His meagre patrimony—his father was one of 15 children—was healthily boosted when he finally did marry Penelope in June 1675. Patrick used his wife’s portion of £2,500 to purchase an estate in Glamorgan for her benefit. Thereafter, he seems to have enjoyed comfortable, if not lavish, circumstances. In 1689, Patrick assessed his personal estate for taxation purposes at £1,000.32 After he became a bishop, he told a colleague that his revenue from the see of Chichester was an annual £1,200, while his yearly income as bishop of Ely was in excess of £2,000. On the marriage of his son in 1702, he purchased at ‘great’ expense the Suffolk estate of Dalham, which his son’s new in-laws valued at some £20,000. His marriage also brought him into a wide and influential political network. His brother-in-law, William Jephson, later secretary of the treasury in the early years of William III’s reign, became one of Patrick’s closest business associates and, with Daniel Sheldon, nephew of Archbishop Gilbert Sheldon, negotiated Patrick’s marriage settlement in 1674.33

Shortly after the dissolution of Parliament on 12 July 1679, both Patrick brothers were promoted: Simon to the deanery of Peterborough, for which he had been making overtures for quite some time, and John to the chapter of Chichester.34 In 1680 Nottingham (as Finch had since become) sought to move Patrick to the prestigious living at St Martin-in-the-Fields but Patrick recommended instead his friend Thomas Tenison, later archbishop of Canterbury, in his place.35 Patrick’s translation of Grotius’s De veritate religionis christianae (Of the Truth of the Christian Religion) was published in 1680, with a dedication to the earl of Bedford (thanking him for ‘contributing so freely to the giving me some ease from that burden which grew too heavy for me’: perhaps an indication of arrangements to provide help to deal with serving the parish), a preface that emphasized Grotius’s intention to provide a text that would be helpful to ordinary people, and an additional book that underlined the Grotian (and latitudinarian) message of the simplicity of religion. In his sermon at Whitehall on 5 Dec. 1680 he spoke to the royal household of the importance of reading scripture under the guidance of Anglican churchmen to avoid all religious schism.36 Patrick was now in the forefront of the campaign by William Sancroft, archbishop of Canterbury, to improve church practice and discipline. In 1681, as sub-dean of Westminster, he tried without success to persuade his dean John Dolben, later archbishop of York, to celebrate communion weekly.37 In July 1683 it was rumoured that Patrick might be elevated to the see of Rochester.38

At the end of May 1685 Patrick was regarded as a possible successor to William Lloyd, bishop of Peterborough, now translated to the see of Norwich. Patrick enjoyed the support of Sancroft, Dolben, Henry Compton, bishop of London, and Francis Turner, bishop of Ely, but the plan foundered as a result of the king’s abortive efforts to reorganize the episcopal bench to facilitate the translation of Jonathan Trelawny, bishop of Bristol, to Exeter.39 By November, when it was feared that James II would press for the repeal of the Test Acts in the reconvened Parliament, Patrick, as well as his brother John, were among a group of 20 London divines, with ‘a very good understanding one with another’, who determined ‘to meet together and consult by what lawful means they might establish our people in their religion’.40 Following the prorogation of 20 Nov. 1685, Patrick attended a meeting of clergy in London about the safety of the Church and, with Tenison, Stillingfleet and Tillotson, helped co-ordinate opposition to the king’s ecclesiastical policies.41 His activities made him unpopular not only with Catholics but also, according to Thomas Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, with ‘some zealous Dissenters in our church’ for his vehement defence of the Church of England.42 Patrick was summoned to Whitehall in November 1686 to take part in a debate with the Catholic priests Bonaventura Gifford and Thomas Godden in a stage-managed attempt to convince Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester, of the truth of the Catholic faith. The conference took place on 30 Nov. in the presence of the king. Rochester was confirmed in his Anglicanism, and shortly afterwards Patrick was dismissed from his post as a royal chaplain.43 The dangers of anti-government activity ensured that Patrick corresponded throughout this period under pseudonym ‘De Vick’.44 He now feared for his life, and was warned by Tenison, who had previously averted a similar attempt, that a Catholic priest was preparing to ‘take some course’ with the two of them ‘if they met with us in the night, or could get us out under pretence of visiting some sick person, or some such means’.45

In the first two weeks of May 1688, Patrick was present at the meetings of Sharp, Tillotson and Stillingfleet and other leading members of the London clergy, with Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of Nottingham, Henry Hyde, 2nd earl of Clarendon, George Savile, marquess of Halifax, and Rochester, to discuss how to respond to the king’s second Declaration of Indulgence. Patrick was one of those who signed the resolution of the London clergy not to read the Declaration and was further deputed ‘to feel the pulse of all the ministers’ in the capital and ‘to know their minds’ on the subject. He was present at the discussions at Lambeth on 18 May that culminated in the petition of the seven bishops. After their subsequent acquittal he wrote of the outpouring of delight with which the news was greeted in Peterborough, which contrasted starkly with the subdued response to the birth of the prince of Wales. Patrick commented on the phenomenon: ‘so great a difference there is between that which is constrained, and that which is done voluntarily’. 46

On 7 Aug. 1688 Patrick was told by Tenison about William of Orange’s anticipated invasion, and advised to move money and valuables out of London.47 In the meantime Patrick, with Sancroft, Tenison, and Thomas Lamplugh, bishop of Exeter (and later archbishop of York), began a review of the Anglican liturgy with a view to making concessions to nonconformists to create Protestant solidarity. With Tenison he also worked on legislative proposals for liturgical change in anticipation of a Parliament in November 1688.48 William of Orange’s invasion altered the dynamic of such preparations. On Christmas Day, Patrick set the tone for the next phase of his career when he preached a celebratory sermon that ‘God in his wonderful mercy has freed us from slavery both in body and soul by this great and noble instrument’.49 Patrick was recommended to William of Orange by Burnet who shortly afterwards became bishop of Salisbury, as a useful propagandist and Burnet also suggested him as a suitable candidate for the bishopric of Chester in a list drawn up shortly after the invasion.50 A warm supporter of the Revolution, Patrick argued that James II had forfeited his throne by failing to observe the basic laws of the realm.51

Bishop of Chichester, 1689-91

At the beginning of 1689 Patrick was at the Ely House meeting to discuss a possible regency and on 14 Jan. 1689 met Stillingfleet to draw up a comprehension bill for introduction to the Lords.52 Resuming his duties as a royal chaplain, he preached on the 20th in St James’s chapel before William and on the 31st delivered a thanksgiving sermon for ‘the great deliverance of this kingdom... from popery and arbitrary power’.53 Having preached before the queen at Whitehall in March, many assumed that Patrick would be elevated to the see of Salisbury (he was said to have been one of two divines promised the see by William), but the prized bishopric went instead to Burnet. Patrick invested considerable effort in ‘endeavouring to satisfy men’s scruples about our present settlement’, later claiming that he lost many friends in the process. 54 Yet he did retain influential contacts. Burnet was a prominent supporter of his elevation to a bishopric, considering Patrick to be ‘a man of an eminently shining life, who would be a great ornament to the episcopal order’. He was also supported by Nottingham who hoped that the elevation of a churchman prepared to sanction comprehension would satisfy William.55

Having missed Salisbury, on his 63rd birthday, 8 Sept. 1689, Patrick learned from his brother-in-law, William Jephson, now secretary to the treasury and a firm favourite of the new king, that he was summoned to Hampton Court the following morning to be offered the bishopric of Chichester. Patrick expressed himself to be relieved, not only because the vacancy had arisen through the ‘natural, not civil, death’ of the previous bishop, but also for its being a small diocese that would not be too heavy a workload.56 Although many of the parishioners of Covent Garden anticipated with considerable sadness his farewell sermon, others were said to be glad of his departure and hoped that his successor would prove a better preacher. Indeed for some time they had been spending an annual £100 to provide for additional lecturers to save Patrick the chore of preaching twice a day, ‘although all I meet allow him an excellent man in all other capacities’.57 The directive for his election and his appointment to the commission of bishops assigned to revise the Book of Common Prayer gave Patrick further authority to make clear his support for the Revolution.58 He attended the opening of the commission in the Jerusalem Chamber on 3 Oct., was confirmed as bishop two days later by the dean and chapter of Canterbury (Sancroft’s authority having been transferred in the interim) and was consecrated bishop of Chichester at Fulham on the 13th in the same ceremony as Stillingfleet, as bishop of Worcester, and Gilbert Ironside, as bishop of Bristol (later bishop of Hereford).59 The appointment of these three new bishops, and the promotion of Tillotson to the deanery of St Paul’s, reassured the old courtier, Sir Charles Cotterell, that ‘the Church will stand firm, notwithstanding the standing off of those that refuse to take the oaths’.60

In mid-October 1689, Patrick was one of those to respond to criticisms made by Thomas Sprat, bishop of Rochester, over the validity of the commission on prayer book revision. Following this, Compton, Stillingfleet, Tenison and Robert Grove, later bishop of Chichester, dined with Patrick and formed themselves into an unofficial sub-committee to examine the liturgy.61 It was reported by Morrice that the commission, thought initially to be making concessions to Dissenters, had now backtracked and was now seeking ways to defend the established Church against nonconformist complaints.62 On 19 Oct., two days before the prorogation of the first session of the Convention, Patrick received his writ of summons and took his seat in the Lords. The same day Thomas Comber of York wrote to the new bishop, congratulating him on his advancement, something he believed he ‘had sooner enjoyed if merit in times past had been more considered’.63 Patrick was again present on 21 Oct. for the last day of the session.

Patrick returned to the House two days later on 23 Oct., the first day of the new session and attended thereafter for 67 per cent of its sitting days, during which he was named to half a dozen committees. On 4 Nov. 1689 he and his fellow bishops, under the leadership of Compton, attended the king ‘to wish him many happy years’ before a further meeting of the ecclesiastical commission. Ten days later he went into his new diocese to spend a week in Chichester before returning to London to continue with discussions in the commission and the wording of the creed.64 Patrick and Burnet, in response to concerns about the Athanasian creed voiced by Edward Fowler, later bishop of Gloucester, ‘gave him soft language, but he gained little upon them’.65 In December Patrick had an audience with the king to warn him that the Convocation dispute over comprehension was intractable and that the project would have to be abandoned.66

Following the dissolution of both Parliament and Convocation on 6 Feb. 1690, elections in Sussex saw the return without a contest of the Whig sitting members Sir John Pelham, bt. and Sir William Thomas, bt. Patrick’s new cathedral city, dominated by the predominantly Tory corporation, returned the Tories Sir Thomas Miller and Thomas May in a controverted election, but there is no evidence that Patrick was involved in either campaign at this time. 67 Patrick returned to the House on 20 Mar. for the first day of the new Parliament, after which he was present for 93 per cent of the sitting days and was named to approximately eight committees. On 10 Apr. after the Commons had returned the bill to recognize William and Mary as king and queen and confirm the acts of the Convention, there was a long debate on a motion to expunge from the journal the reasons for the protest of 8 Apr. against some of the wording of the bill, which was deemed ‘neither good English, nor good sense’. Only Patrick and Nicholas Stratford, bishop of Chester, among the nine or so bishops present that day, supported both the bill of recognition and the expunging of reasons for the protest (seven bishops signed the formal protest against the expurgation).68 Patrick preached a fast sermon before the king and queen at Whitehall on 16 April.69 On 8 May, the Lords went into a committee of the whole House on the bill for renouncing the previous oaths of allegiance. A long debate on the wording of the declaration renouncing Jacobite activity was followed by a motion to omit the words ‘rightful king and queen’ in reference to William and Mary, which was carried by six votes. Patrick was the only bishop (ten were marked as present that day in the journal) to oppose the motion. His previous fellow protester Stratford had quit the chamber and retired into the country, leaving his proxy in Compton’s hands.70 On 14 May, Patrick spoke ‘several times’ in committee of the whole House against the bill for ‘restoring the City of London to its ancient rights and privileges’; he then voted with a minority, joined only by Burnet from the episcopal bench, in opposing the measure.71 He was present for the prorogation on 23 May, after which he travelled to his diocese to settle his family in Chichester and to undertake a diocesan visitation.72 During the summer he also used his new powers of patronage to appoint his brother John to the precentorship of Chichester.

Patrick arrived at the House for the 1690-1 session on 14 Oct. 1690, 12 days after the start of the session, and attended 53 per cent of sitting days, during which he was named to 15 committees. On 14 Nov. the House gave a first reading to Patrick’s bill for uniting the parsonage of Petworth to the see of Chichester. The following day the bill was committed, with Patrick among those named to the committee. The bill, reported by Rochester, passed the House on the 18th. On 12 Dec. Patrick was summoned to Compton’s lodgings in Whitehall to hear of his inclusion in the royal commission to settle the church in Ireland. Six days later he attended the session for the last time, missing the last three weeks of business. He returned to Chichester where, amongst other tasks, he authorized the sale of timber, only to be accused of having cut down all the wood belonging to the bishopric. He threatened an action of scandalum magnatum against the person (a minister) responsible for the slur and secured a public confession.73

On 24 Apr. 1691 the non-juror William Lloyd of Norwich reported to Sancroft the details of a list of those proposed as replacements for the non-juring bishops which he had been sent from the office of the attorney general. Among those listed was Patrick, who was to be translated to Ely in place of Francis Turner.74 The news circulated rapidly and by mid-May, Patrick’s name, one of a ‘very learned and worthy’ group of men, appeared on another list sent to Sir William Trumbull.75 Patrick claimed not to be aware of the intended promotion before it appeared publicly, and not to want it, ‘but it was put upon me without my knowledge, and in that condition wherein affairs were, could not be refused by me without their majesties’ displeasure, which I would by no means incur’. Following the royal assent in June 1691, Patrick was confirmed in his new bishopric on 2 July in a ceremony in Bow Church.76 He chose not to live at Downham Palace near Ely but instead obtained legal powers to lease out the manor, later confirmed by an act of Parliament.77 Given his proximity and new powers of patronage, he became increasingly involved in the affairs of Cambridge University.78

Bishop of Ely under William III, 1691-1702

Appointment to Ely also brought with it an interest in London and, having taken up residence at Ely House in Holborn, Patrick was informed by Nottingham that Christopher Hatton, Viscount Hatton, was anxious to resolve a long-standing dispute over the nearby estate of Hatton Garden. Patrick selected Tillotson, Stillingfleet, Halifax, Thomas Herbert, 8th earl of Pembroke, lord chief justice Sir John Holt and Nottingham as mediators; the group decided to settle the matter through a private bill drafted by Sir William Jones.79 It was introduced to the Lords on 1 Dec. 1691, though Patrick did not attend the House for the committal of the bill the following day. It was reported fit to pass with one amendment by John Sheffield, 3rd earl of Mulgrave (later duke of Buckingham), on 3 Dec. and passed the House the following day, thus going through all its stages in the House in four days. The bill received the royal assent on 24 December. It is unclear whether Patrick and Hatton were on close terms before the settlement of this dispute, but thereafter Patrick sent Hatton copies of his publications and received from the latter regular gifts of venison.80

On 27 Oct. 1691, five days after the start of the new session, Patrick took his seat in the House for the first time as bishop of Ely, along with two other new bishops, his successor at Chichester, Robert Grove, and Richard Cumberland, bishop of Peterborough. He attended the session for 65 per cent of its sitting days and was named to at least 10 committees. On 6 Nov. he was ordered to preach the thanksgiving sermon for military success in Ireland. Preaching at the Abbey on the 26th, he was thanked formally two days later. 81 The following month, as part of the campaign for the national reformation of morals, he signed the bishops’ petition to the king for a royal proclamation against impiety and vice and for orders to the local justices of the peace to present offenders.82 On 22 Feb. 1692 he was nominated a manager of the conference on the small tithes bill. Two days later Parliament was adjourned. Patrick, though, remained in London where, on 8 Apr., he preached a fast sermon at Whitehall for victory in the coming campaign.83

In October 1692, Patrick was ‘afflicted with the frightful news’ that his son, a pupil at Eton, had fallen seriously ill. The boy’s indisposition proved of ‘some hindrance to me in what I was about; but, by God’s goodness, I attended the house of lords, and preached constantly, and went through a great deal of other business in health and cheerfulness’.84 With his son still unwell, Patrick took his place in the House for the opening of the new session on 4 Nov. 1692, attending thereafter for 68 per cent of its sitting days, during which he was named to 11 committees. On 23 Dec. 1692 he registered his dissent from the order to reverse the judgment in the cause between the Jacobite Sir Simon Leach, and Thomas Thompson. The appeal had clear partisan ramifications and Patrick’s behaviour, joining in the dissent with John Moore, bishop of Norwich (and later Patrick’s successor at Ely), and John Hough, bishop of Oxford (later bishop of Worcester), as well as with the lay peers Thomas Grey, 2nd earl of Stamford, Henry Booth, earl of Warrington and Charles Montagu, 4th earl (later duke) of Manchester, is unsurprising given that one of Leach’s counsel was the Tory Sir Bartholomew Shower. Patrick acted as a court Whig when on 31 Dec. he voted against the committal of the place bill and on 3 Jan. 1693 against the bill’s passage. At around the same time Thomas Bruce, 2nd earl of Ailesbury, forecast that Patrick would oppose the divorce bill for Henry Howard, 7th duke of Norfolk, and on 2 Jan. he indeed voted against reading the bill. The divorce was yet another issue splitting the bishops, although Patrick and Gilbert Ironside were the only Williamite bishops to oppose the bill. It is likely that his opposition was on ecclesiastical rather than political grounds.

Patrick maintained a high profile in the continuing debate about the legitimacy of the new regime. On 21 and 23 Jan. 1693 the Commons ordered the burning of both Charles Blount’s King William and Queen Mary Conquerors and A Pastoral Letter by Gilbert Burnet, two expositions of the idea that the present regime derived its power by conquest. In the Lords’ debate on the subject of 24 Jan., Patrick maintained ‘that he believed most of those that took the oath that were not willing... did it upon the account of conquest’.85 On 25 Jan. Patrick voted to commit the bill to prevent dangers from the politically disaffected. In February 1693 Lady Anne Fitch, widow of Sir Thomas Fitch, bt., was advised to seek out Patrick, together with Bishop Compton, Charles Sackville, 6th earl of Dorset, George Compton, 4th earl of Northampton, and Algernon Capell, 2nd earl of Essex, so that they could exercise their influence in the Lords in her petition against a chancery decree in Fitch v. Fitch.86 On 17 Feb. the House heard the Fitch petition. It is unclear whether Patrick did indeed attempt to assist her. On 3 Mar. her appeal was dismissed by the Lords. Patrick continued to attend the session until the prorogation on 14 Mar. 1693.

Patrick returned to London in the autumn of 1693 via the Hertfordshire residence of his ‘most kind friend’ the Tory William Gore.87 He attended the House on 7 Nov. for the first day of the new session and thereafter for 67 per cent of its sitting days, during which he was named to 10 committees. On 23 Nov. 1693 he was one of six bishops, the others being Hough, Moore, Tenison, Stillingfleet and Peter Mews, bishop of Winchester, to register their protest against the order that the House would no longer receive any petition for protecting crown servants. On 21 Dec. the Whig John Cutts, Baron Cutts [I], was returned in the Cambridgeshire by-election, in a closely fought contest against his fellow Whig Sir Rushout Cullen, bt. Cutts enjoyed the support of local ‘churchmen’, which may well have included Patrick. 88 On 17 Feb. 1694, with the overwhelming majority of bishops, including Tenison, Stratford and Burnet, Patrick voted against the reversal of the chancery dismission of the petition of Ralph Montagu, earl (later duke) of Montagu, in the cause Montagu v. Bath. On 16 Apr. Patrick was nominated one of the managers for the conference on the small tithes bill, nine days before the session was prorogued.

Patrick returned to the House on 21 Nov. 1694, nine days after the start of the 1694-5 session, during which he attended 68 per cent of the sitting days and was named to 20 committees. On 22 Nov. 1694 Hough, reporting to a colleague the death of archbishop Tillotson, claimed to have it from one who knew ‘very well how the wind sits at court’ that Patrick was likely to succeed at Canterbury.89 Tillotson was replaced instead by Patrick’s old colleague Tenison, a decision with which Patrick appeared to be delighted. Patrick was, however, expected in late February 1695 to be named to the commission on ecclesiastical preferments, which was to assume responsibility for appointments in the Church. His place on this commission was confirmed on 29 Apr., and it was composed largely of Nottingham’s favoured churchmen.90 Patrick attended the prorogation on 3 May, and then returned to his diocese for his second triennial visitation.

Following the dissolution on 11 Oct. 1695, Patrick observed with interest the subsequent elections. Five years previously he had exercised his episcopal patronage as bishop of Chichester in favour of his politically like-minded brother-in-law Robert Middleton, whom he had installed as vicar of Cuckfield in 1690.91 Middleton reciprocated by providing Patrick with exhaustive accounts of local politics and elections in Patrick’s former diocese.92 The elections in Patrick's own diocese saw the sitting Member Cutts returned for Cambridgeshire along with the prominent Junto Member and lord of the admiralty, Edward Russell, later earl of Orford.93

Patrick attended the House on the first day of the new Parliament, 22 Nov. 1695. He attended its first session thereafter for 49 per cent of its sitting days, during which he was named to only two committees, one on 5 Dec. 1695 (on Sir Thomas Parkyns’s bill) and the other on 25 Jan. 1696 (on the Berkhamstead manor bill). On 27 Feb. 1696 he signed the Association after the bishops had clarified that they would avenge the king only in so far as their function permitted. He also, on 10 Apr., signed the document expressing repugnance at the absolution given by three non-juring clergy to the Jacobite conspirators Sir William Parkyns and Sir John Friend at their hanging.94 During the session Patrick was also approached by his friend John Ashburnham, Baron Ashburnham, who sought Patrick’s support over the repair of Ashburnham vicarage, concerning which the peer was experiencing difficulties with Patrick’s successor at Chichester, Robert Grove. Ashburnham reported to a correspondent Patrick’s agreement to ‘trouble himself so far as to become a referee in the business’. In the same year Ashburnham also became involved in a bitter dispute with Ailesbury about plans to erect a private family gallery in Ampthill parish church. Again, he called on Patrick to intervene.95 Patrick attended the House erratically until the prorogation of 27 April. He visited Tenison at Lambeth regularly and on one occasion was shown original papers of Charles I agreeing to restore crown impropriations to the Church.96

Patrick arrived back in London with his family on 12 Oct. 1696 for the 1696-7 session.97 He took his seat in the House on 20 Oct. for the first day of the session and attended 70 per cent of sitting days during which he was named to approximately 13 committees. On 26 Oct. he was ordered to preach the 5 Nov. sermon. He wrote to Anne Nicholas in late November about the prospects for Sir John Verney, 2nd bt, in the forthcoming by-election in Buckinghamshire triggered by the death of Sir Richard Atkins, bt. earlier that month. Although he insisted he would do what he could for Verney, he admitted that he could claim no influence over the most significant local magnate, Thomas Wharton, 5th Baron (later marquess of) Wharton, who held the ‘greatest interest of any man in Buckinghamshire’ but had ‘always behaved himself as a stranger’ towards the bishop. Patrick also excused himself from further intervention on the day he wrote as he planned not to be in the House being ‘otherwise engaged’.98 Patrick later voted with the court Whigs on 23 Dec. in favour of the bill for the attainder of the Jacobite Sir John Fenwick, 3rd bt. On 18 Mar. 1697 he received Burnet’s proxy, possibly for divisions on the bill for the restraint of stock-jobbing. It was vacated at the end of the session on 16 Apr. 1697.

Patrick was in Ely over the summer of 1697. Expecting the arrival of a party of friends, he approached Hatton for a gift of venison, the meat being ‘a great rarity in this place, there being no park in the whole isle’.99 Patrick returned to London in time to take his place on 3 Dec. 1697 for the first day of the 1697-8 session. Thereafter he attended only 36 per cent of sitting days but was named to 15 committees. On 23 Dec. he wrote to Hatton from Ely House about Hatton’s recommendation for a clerical preferment, which had run into technical difficulties, as well as about a young man who was seeking ordination so that he could serve as Hatton’s chaplain. In neither case was Patrick able to promise a satisfactory outcome, though he promised to continue his efforts ‘in anything within any capacity’.100 He was present on 5 Jan. 1698 for the first reading of a bill to enable him and his successors at Ely to lease the Cambridgeshire manor house and lands of Downham and to clear him from claims for dilapidations there. He was present again two days later when it was committed. It was reported by Stamford, with one amendment, on the 10th. The dean and chapter of Ely petitioned in favour of the bill and the indemnification of all future bishops of Ely, the manor house having been disastrously ruined during the civil wars. The bill received royal assent on 7 March.101 On 15 Mar. Patrick voted for legislation to punish the exchequer official Charles Duncombe and registered his dissent when it was resolved not to commit the bill. He attended the House for the last time that session on 7 Apr., missing the last three months of business. On 18 June he registered his proxy in favour of Archbishop Tenison.

Following the dissolution of 7 July 1698, elections in Cambridgeshire on the 28th returned the sitting members Cutts and Cullen.102 There is no evidence of Patrick’s direct involvement in their election although his approval of the outcome is in little doubt. Patrick attended the House on 6 Dec. 1698 for the first day of the new Parliament and attended thereafter for 63 per cent of the sittings of its first, 1698-9, session when he was named to nine committees. On 29 Mar. 1699 he was one of six bishops to register their dissent from the Lords’ agreement to address the king requesting that the bishop of Derry be sent for in custody for his behaviour in the case of the London Ulster Society v. Bishop of Derry. Patrick appears to have been on good terms with the embattled Thomas Watson, bishop of St Davids: in April 1699 Watson thanked him for his help in Watson’s efforts to ensure that the vicar of the Cambridge living of Waterbeach ‘reside or relinquish’.103 Having left the House for the session on 2 May, two days before the prorogation, on 8 June Patrick was appointed to the court of delegates dealing with Watson’s appeal against his suspension by Archbishop Tenison.104 Patrick was back in the capital by 29 July in time for the next hearing of the delegates, but was not present on 3 Aug. for the final sentence of deprivation.105 By 15 Aug. he was back in Ely, from where he wrote to John Humfrey (an ejected minister) who had earned Patrick’s approval for his doctrinal pragmatism and work towards the union of Protestants. Humfrey’s plea for union did not extend to Quakers and his latest anti-Quaker polemic found approval with Patrick, who shared a common view that Friends were a ‘popish faction’, unable to hear reason since they thought themselves to be ‘infallibly guided’.106 With treason a constant worry to government, Patrick received from the secretary of state, James Vernon, instructions to oversee the taking of information from an Ely man suspected of publishing sedition.107

Appointed on 28 Oct. 1699 to the new commission for ecclesiastical appointments and preferments, on 16 Nov. Patrick took his seat for the start of the 1699-1700 parliamentary session. He attended 71 per cent of all sitting days and was named to eight committees. On 23 Jan. 1700, he registered his protest against the resolution to reverse the judgment in the writ of error case of R. Williamson v. the Crown. He was not in the House on 2 Feb., attending instead Watson’s latest appeal at the court of delegates and the confirmation of his deprivation.108 On 23 Feb. Patrick voted against adjourning into a committee of the whole to debate further two amendments to the bill for continuing the East India Company as a corporation. On 8 Mar. he registered his protest against the second reading of Norfolk’s divorce bill, and four days later he registered his dissent against its passage of the bill. Like a number of his colleagues on the bishops’ bench, his principal concern appears to have been that the divorce case had not previously been brought before the ecclesiastical courts.109 On 9 and 10 Apr., he was nominated one of the managers of three bad-tempered conferences on the Lords’ amendments to the Commons’ bill for the land tax and the resumption of forfeited estates in Ireland. With the Houses at an impasse, the session was prorogued the following day, 11 April.

With ever-increasing political polarization after the debacle of that session, Patrick found himself in a difficult position as William III, concerned to form a ‘mixed’ ministry, sought to override the decisions of the ecclesiastical commission he had established in 1699, which tended to confine its recommendations to Whiggish clerics. Patrick could only reluctantly accept William’s high-handed manner with the commission, which came to a head when on 22 May 1700 Tenison received a terse message from the secretary of state Edward Villiers earl of Jersey, that the king had appointed Jersey’s chaplain, a ‘Mr Stappylton’, to a prebend at Worcester without first consulting the commission. While Burnet fired off a fiery protest at this action to Tenison, and Moore hoped Tenison would represent to the king the continuing usefulness of the commission, Patrick appeared to resign himself to the situation, writing to Tenison that if the king wanted to act unilaterally and without consultation in order to gratify Jersey, he did not see ‘what we have to do in the matter’, although he was prepared to go through the formalities of formally mentioning Stappylton to the king if deemed necessary. 110 In July 1700 an annotated list of the House of Lords, with a reckoning of their political allegiances, listed Patrick as a Whig who would nevertheless be inclined to support the new ministry then being formed. This estimation may have been owing to Patrick’s friendships and political connections with a number of prominent Tories such as Nottingham and John Sharp, now archbishop of York. In September 1700 Patrick wrote to Sharp from Ely in the warmest of tones about a projected visit to York that had been disrupted by a family bereavement and had thus forced the Patricks to be ‘content with thinking of our friends without seeing them’.111 Back in London by Christmas, Patrick was visited by Richard Hill, commissioner of the treasury, with an invitation to discuss religion with Jersey’s Catholic wife. The two met at the Cockpit on 28 Dec. but after nearly three hours’ conversation, she remained firm in her loyalties to Rome.112

Following the formation of the new ministry and the dissolution on 19 Dec. 1700, the uneventful Cambridgeshire elections returned the sitting members without a contest, despite a growing Tory interest amongst the county freeholders. 113 Any questions about Patrick’s loyalties were settled by his appointment of Richard Bentley, a fiercely partisan Whig, as archdeacon of Ely. Patrick had also helped to install Bentley as master of Trinity College, Cambridge, the previous year. He also intervened on the side of the Whig faction at Clare College.114 His political loyalties were also evident in Convocation, whose turbulent meeting in January 1701 he reported to William Wake, later bishop of Lincoln and archbishop of Canterbury. A further letter on 29 Jan. to Wake about Convocation and the provocative Tory highflier Francis Atterbury, later bishop of Rochester, preceded the opening of the new Parliament on 6 February. 115 Patrick attended the House five days after the start of business, on 11 Feb., and was present subsequently for 65 per cent of the sittings. He was involved in the proceedings on the bill to separate Catherine, countess of Anglesey from her violent husband, James Annesley, 3rd earl of Anglesley. On 11 Apr. Patrick was nominated by the Lords to fetch the countess to the chamber, but he ignored the request (on the grounds that it was not in the form of a ‘command’) until Anglesey asked him in person to do as the Lords had requested. After the hearing in the House, Patrick escorted Lady Anglesey and her mother (Catherine, countess of Dorchester, to whom Patrick already ministered) back to Ely House for refreshments.116

The impeachments of Orford (as Edward Russell had since become), Hans Willem Bentinck, earl of Portland, John Somers, Baron Somers, and Charles Montagu, Baron (later earl of) Halifax, affected Patrick deeply; he claimed that he ‘was more broken by attending the issue of them’ than by the sum of his arduous academic studies. Following long sittings of the House until 10 at night, stifling weather and the necessity to sit so long on the episcopal bench, so that he was ‘sweltered by sitting so long in furs’, Patrick caught a chill from which he never fully recovered.117 On 15 May 1701 Patrick voted against the new ministry as it tried to avoid a division on the motion that the advice given to the king to dissolve the previous Parliament and delay the meeting of the new one so far into the new year ‘was prejudicial to the Bill of Rights’. In this he thus ‘adhered to the side of the impeached lords’, though the vote to adjourn, and thus kill the motion, was carried for the court with the assistance of Tenison in conjunction with Arnold van Keppel, earl of Albemarle, and Jersey.118

On 24 May Patrick was ordered to preach the traditional Restoration anniversary sermon for the 29th. While the high churchman Francis Atterbury preached before the Commons on the same day and came out in print with his sermon the same year, Patrick’s concurrent address (for which he was thanked on the 30th) was not published. On the day in question there were just eight members of the episcopal bench present on the journal’s attendance list and one peer in addition to the lord keeper Sir Nathan Wright. Patrick apparently refused to publish his text out of pique. On 17 June his wife told Lady Sarah Cowper that the bishop would never publish it since ‘they would not hear it, they will never read it, being there was but one lord present at the time he preached’. Lady Sarah was convinced that Patrick was far too eminent to have been the butt of an intended ‘slight’, but that the episode signalled deeper political developments: ‘when the convention is made up of vain and empty persons’ the absence of hearers may ‘give notice and presages of future events, and by these offer notions to our minds, not to be neglected’.119

The developments Lady Cowper feared were much in evidence at the same time with the bitterness surrounding the attempted impeachment of the Junto peers. On 17 and 23 June 1701 Patrick voted to acquit, respectively, Somers and Orford of the articles of impeachment against them. Following the prorogation of 24 June, Patrick’s health appears to have collapsed, and on 26 July he confided to Wake that he had been so unwell that he had been forced to miss one of his visitation days and that some, he thought, had ‘a great desire... to have me dead’. The cause of his malady seems to have been the chill he had caught while sitting in the House during the impeachment hearings, which had turned into something akin to dysentery leaving him with ‘a perpetual provocation to go to stool’. Illness notwithstanding, he professed himself ‘exceedingly pleased’ with the most recent publication by White Kennett, later bishop of Peterborough, on the history of Convocation, a riposte to the claims of Atterbury and his high church followers concerning the independence of the lower house of Convocation .120

Patrick was well enough to return to Westminster in time for the prorogation on 6 Nov. 1701 which he attended with Tenison, Moore and Cumberland as the only bishops. The Parliament was unexpectedly dissolved five days later, and early in December Patrick was said to have been one of those responsible for putting about a report that the Speaker of the previous Parliament, Robert Harley, later earl of Oxford had declared in pique, ‘whoever advised the dissolving of the last Parliament ought to lose his head’. Patrick’s name continued to be associated with similar rumours into the middle of the month.121 On 11 Dec., complaining to Hatton that old age was ‘creeping so fast’ upon him that his studies were being affected, Patrick insisted that he would nevertheless ‘go on slowly to prosecute what I began when I had more vigour’ and would be sure to present Hatton with his published work as and when it was finished. In doing so he maintained (somewhat disingenuously) that he had always loathed ‘those contentions which so lamentably trouble and endanger our Church’ and insisted that he would never engage in them, despite being ‘provoked by a very abusive pamphlet’, probably referring to one of the many works produced in the continuing paper war concerning Convocation and the rights and privileges of its lower house.122 His moral righteousness now had an institutional outlet in the reform societies, including the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, of which he became a member in around 1701. There he was able to mix with the likes of Lady Sarah Cowper, who judged him a ‘judicious man not like to be imposed upon’.123

He attended the new Parliament on 2 Jan. 1702, when he signed the address of the previous day on the danger posed by Louis XIV’s recognition of the Pretender. He attended the session for 36 per cent of sittings. Still hostile to Quakers, on 26 Feb. he registered his dissent from the passage of the bill to continue the Quaker Affirmation Act. On 4 Mar. a petition was read from Cavendish Weedon requesting leave to bring in a private bill for the demolition of a chapel in Hatton Garden, to which legislation he assured the House Patrick had agreed. Four days later, along with all those present in the House, Patrick was nominated one of the managers of the conference on the death of William III and the accession of Queen Anne. On 18 Apr. 1702 Patrick attended the House for the last time that session before travelling north to Melton in Yorkshire to visit Thomas Fountayne, to whose daughter Patrick arranged the marriage of his son. During the visit Patrick suffered an accidental fall but was convinced that he was preserved by ‘angelical powers’ from more serious injury.124 Whilst in Yorkshire, he finalized the pre-nuptial contract, which later became the subject of a private bill, and visited Sharp at Bishopthorpe.125 The marriage of his son in July, with a reputed £5,000 portion from his new wife, led to speculation about Patrick’s personal finances. It was boasted by the Fountaynes that Patrick had settled £20,000 on his son. Patrick rebutted the claims, insisting that the dowry was less than the £5,000 commonly reported and that he had not settled ‘near £20,000 but ... they are well provided for’.126

Bishop of Ely under Anne, 1702-7

Patrick was probably back in his diocese in time to observe the county elections on 28 July 1702 in which the sitting member Cullen was returned with the Tory Granado Pigot.127 The changed face of county representation heralded a more contentious Parliament and Patrick took his place in the House on 4 Nov. 1702, two weeks after the start of the session. He attended only 23 per cent of sittings, probably more for reasons of age and frailty than out of distaste for political contention. Throughout December he acted against the occasional conformity bill. ‘I endeavoured to vote with all uprightness and sincerity, and could not but be against it’, Patrick claimed in his memoirs. He was apparently now less judgmental of nonconformists, as he may have claimed in a speech to the House attributed to him:

he had been known to write against the Dissenters with some warmth in his younger years; but that he had lived long enough to see reason to alter his opinion of that people and that way of writing: and that he was verily persuaded there were some who were honest men, and good Christians, who would be neither, if they did not ordinarily go to church and sometimes to the meeting: and on the other hand, some were honest men and good Christians, who would be neither, if they did not ordinarily go to the meetings and sometimes to the church.128

In his own memoirs he makes clear that he regarded the bill

as making a manifest breach upon the act of indulgence, which had made great peace, quiet and love among us. For it struck at the very best of the nonconformists, who, looking upon us as good Christians that had nothing sinful in our worship, thought they ought upon occasion to communicate with us: but imagining they had something better in their way of worship, could not leave it, but adhere to their Dissenting ministers. This I took not to be an argument of their hypocrisy, as many called it, but of their conscientious sincerity.129

On 3 Dec. Patrick supported Somers’s successful motion to instruct the committee of the whole House debating the bill that it devise an amendment to restrict the bill’s force only to those officers covered by the Test Acts (thereby excluding corporation officers, the principal target of the bill). The new bishop William Nicolson, bishop of Carlisle, noted Patrick among Tenison’s core of ten or so bishops opposed to the bill in this and the subsequent division the following day on the motion to insert a clause compelling officers to attend a service of the established Church at least once a month. When the motion was defeated by one vote Patrick (who according to Nicolson probably also voted against the bill as a whole) wrote that he had asked one of his fellow bishops why he had voted against ‘such a pious clause’. His fellow diocesan, unfortunately unnamed, ‘had nothing to say but that it would lose the bill, for the House of Commons would never pass it’. It is also almost certain that Patrick was one of the seven bishops, beside Tenison himself, who according to Nicolson voted on 7 Dec. to agree with Somers’ motion to excise the stringent pecuniary penalties against offenders in the Commons’ version of the bill, a motion which was ‘agreed, on all hands, to be (in effect) a throwing out of the bill, since the Commons will not allow an amendment in the money part’. On 9 Dec. Patrick signed the resolution against the tacking of non-relevant clauses to bills of supply. So committed was Patrick to these debates that, aged and sickly as he was, he stayed till 11 o’clock on the night of 16 Dec. to attend a long report of and debate on a free conference with the Commons on the Lords’ wrecking amendments. 130 On 16 Jan. 1703, after another tempestuous conference with the Commons, Patrick duly voted to adhere to the Lords’ wrecking amendment to the penalty clause.

Patrick attended just under 15 per cent of sittings of the following session of 1703-4. The reasons for his low attendance now were possibly less to do with his health and more to do with parliamentary attacks on his Whig zeal. Patrick had taken to circulating a story that proved that the Pretender was an imposter. He was sufficiently persuasive to convince Lady Sarah Cowper, but she believed that Patrick’s ‘talking too much of these things, and intending to write what he knew of this subject, might be the cause he was so roughly handled’ in the previous session of Parliament.131 Throughout November 1703, Patrick was, not surprisingly, forecast by Charles Spencer, 3rd earl of Sunderland, as a likely opponent of the renewed attempt to pass the occasional conformity bill. Patrick finally took his seat on 9 Dec., one month after the start of the session, his return almost certainly timed for the re-introduction of the bill in the House on 14 December. The measure again split the episcopal bench and a long debate followed a motion against reading the bill a second time. Patrick and Burnet both spoke against the bill, while Sharp roundly defended it. Ultimately it was rejected at its second reading by 71 to 59. Patrick voted with Tenison and 12 other Whig bishops against nine members of the episcopate led by Sharp.132 Following the prorogation on 3 Apr. 1704, Patrick went on his fifth triennial visitation during which he consecrated a chapel in Catherine Hall, Cambridge.133

On 16 Nov. 1704 he took his place in the House three weeks into the 1704-5 session but thereafter attended only ten more sitting days, 11 per cent of all sittings. On 15 Dec., the day of the re-introduction of the occasional conformity bill for the third time, he registered his proxy in favour of Bishop Cumberland. As Cumberland had in the previous two occasions joined Patrick in voting against the bill, it is likely that Patrick entrusted his proxy to him at this time with the goal of defeating it yet again. The bill was once again rejected at its second reading in the House. The proxy was vacated when Patrick returned to the House on 17 Jan. 1705, but he sat only a further six times before leaving the House for the session on 10 Feb., missing the last four weeks.

Patrick was in his diocese in May 1705, where he involved himself in the election for the Cambridge University representatives. The Whig candidates, Francis Godolphin, later 2nd earl of Godolphin, and Sir Isaac Newton were defeated, in spite of clear indications that they enjoyed ministerial (even royal) approval. Although Patrick had been an active political manager of the university, he was hindered in his efforts by the recent inactivity of the chancellor, Charles Seymour, 6th duke of Somerset. There was also evidence of a last minute change of plans as a ‘Mr Patrick’, possibly a relation of the bishop, had dropped out of the campaign, to be replaced by Newton late in the day.134 By this time, Patrick’s health was in serious decline. On 22 Sept. 1705, apologizing to Wake for the delay in offering congratulations on his elevation to the episcopate as bishop of Lincoln, Patrick admitted that his memory was also starting to fail him.135 The new Parliament assembled on 25 Oct., but Patrick attended only two days of the session, 12 Nov., when the House was called, and 6 December 1705. It is significant that this, his final appearance in the House, was also the day of the setpiece debate in the committee of the whole House on the Tory and High Church allegation that the Church was ‘in danger’ under the queen’s administration. In the days preceding this debate he had consulted with Tenison, who had planned that his group of bishops contribute to the debate to make clear the dangers to the established Church represented by the ‘high-flying’ churchmen.136 Patrick did his part and speaking of the dangers to the Church within the universities, he argued that ‘the universities are in danger of this factious humour that thrusts out arts and sciences’, drawing particular attention to the recent Cambridge election, when, as he claimed, many students had been encouraged ‘in hollowing like school-boys and porters, and crying out, No fanatic, no occasional conformity, against two worthy gentlemen that stood candidates.’ He concluded with a controversial motion ‘that the judges may consider how far a royal visitation may be necessary to reclaim these disorders’. At the division Patrick voted in favour of the motion that the Church was not in danger under the present administration.137

In spite of his absence from the chamber for much of the session, Patrick was the beneficiary of an order in his favour relating to an appeal from chancery. On 14 Nov. 1705, the House had heard the petition by Catherine Tooke in the case of Tooke v. Dolben in which Patrick had an interest with Sir Gilbert Dolben. Tooke pleaded for discharge from the order of chancery of 21 July 1705 allowing Patrick and Dolben to submit their pleas. Patrick and Dolben submitted their answers to the appeal to the House on 13 Dec., after petitioning that more time be allowed them, but the matter was frequently postponed throughout December until on 9 Jan. 1706, shortly after the House had resumed after the Christmas recess, Tooke’s appeal was dismissed.138 Patrick’s own account in his memoirs muddled the Tooke case and a different chancery suit against him regarding his Dalham estates, but is a remarkable testament to his faith in the judicial function of the House and of his ability to marshal support in the chamber. In managing this episode, he claimed, he had experienced:

no more trouble but to entreat all the lords of my acquaintance to be present and attend … and they were so kind, that not one of them failed to be at the house on the 9th of January, when the cause was heard. And moreover, they were so kind as to prevail with those lords who were not of my acquaintance to come to the house, and stay all the time. A fuller house to hear a private cause had not been seen a long time, and the case was so clear, that after the pleadings were over, it was soon ended by the confirmation of the decree in Chancery for me; and this so unanimously, that there was but one lord that dissented’.139

Wake was one of those friends who attended the hearing and Nicolson specifies that Heneage Finch, Baron Guernsey (later earl of Aylesford), was the sole peer to offer reasons for a dissent from the petition’s dismissal. He was not seconded, though, and no dissent was entered.140

In the summer following the prorogation of 19 Mar. 1706, Patrick was delighted with the news of military success at Ramillies, ‘the most glorious victory that we ever read of obtained over the French’.141 Despite a desperate need for Whig clerics in the Lords for the ensuing parliamentary session of 1706-7, Patrick remained away from the House for the session’s entirety, even though he appears to have been in London at the time. On 18 Feb. 1707, he registered his proxy for the remainder of the session with Bishop Burnet - a good 11 weeks after the session’s start, and the latest episcopal proxy submitted that session.142 On 8 Apr., the day that Parliament was prorogued, Patrick left the capital ‘extremely ill and thought to be in a dangerous state’ after taking medication that did not agree with him.143 He died in Ely on 31 May, having suffered repeatedly with bouts of poor health.144 His death occurred in the midst of the ‘bishoprics crisis’ and provided the queen with a perfect opportunity to offer a Whig promotion, as the inoffensive Bishop John Moore of Norwich was immediately put forward as Patrick’s successor at Ely, as a sop to defuse Junto anger at the choice of two Tory bishops for the vacant sees of Chester and Exeter. 145 Even this was not satisfactory, as Somers, while congratulating Tenison that he had thus been able to make ‘one good bishop without importunity and tearing’ still took the opportunity to point out that this still left the see of Norwich now open and ‘if time be lost, or if modesty prevails, it will (as in all other cases) be wrong disposed of and the Church and State will be undone’. Somers proceeded to take this occasion roundly and candidly to berate Tenison for his ineffectiveness in arguing the case for consistently Whig episcopal promotions before the queen.146 Even in his death, Patrick was at the heart of the party struggles within the episcopate.

Patrick’s will appointed his wife Penelope sole executrix and residuary legatee after confirming his real estate holdings in Glamorgan and Suffolk and leaving modest cash bequests to relatives and to the poor of Ely to the value of £200.147 He left a son Simon, also a clergyman, on whom he had already settled his ‘considerable’ Dalham estates.148 On 1 Apr. 1712, Patrick’s widow, together with her widowed daughter-in-law Ann Patrick (née Fountayne), petitioned the Lords on behalf of Patrick’s five grandchildren to bring in a private bill for the sale of Dalham. It was reported on the 28th by John West, 6th Baron De la Warr, and given the royal assent on 22 May. 149 Patrick was buried on 7 June 1707 in the presbytery of Ely Cathedral where his successor John Moore erected a monument to his memory.150


  • 1 S. Patrick, Works ed. A. Taylor (1858), ix. 407-9.
  • 2 Patrick, Works, ix. 409-18, 423-4, 428.
  • 3 Verney ms mic. M636/28, Sir R. Verney to E. Verney, 27 May 1675.
  • 4 TNA, PROB 11/497.
  • 5 Lysons, Environs of London, iv. 580.
  • 6 CSP Dom. 1672, p. 335.
  • 7 CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 199.
  • 8 Patrick, Works, ix. 532; CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 158.
  • 9 CSP Dom. 1690-1, pp. 473-4.
  • 10 CSP Dom. 1691-2, p. 266.
  • 11 Add. 46527, f. 62; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 466; CSP Dom. 1699-1700, p. 276.
  • 12 G.S. Davies, Charterhouse in London, 355.
  • 13 Patrick, Works, ix. 407-569; Christ Church Lib. Oxf. Wake mss 23, ff. 66, 98; Bodl. Rawl. Letters 22, f. 31.
  • 14 Life and Errors of John Dunton, citizen of London (1818), i. 362-3.
  • 15 Burnet, ii. 216.
  • 16 Patrick, Works, ix. 407-23.
  • 17 Patrick, Works, ix. 419; HJ, xxvii. 8.
  • 18 Patrick, A Brief Account of the New Sect of Latitude-Men (1662); Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis [hereafter NAvK], lxviii. 169-70; J. Spurr, Restoration Church, 302.
  • 19 Patrick, Works, ix. 423-4, 426-8.
  • 20 VCH Cambs. iii. 210-35; Patrick, Works, ix. 436-7, 440-1.
  • 21 Patrick, Works, ix. 571-617; Cornelia Wilde, ‘Seraphic companions: the friendship between Elizabeth Gauden and Simon Patrick’, in Communities and Companionship in Early Modern Literature and Culture, ed. B. Price and P. Finnerty (Early Modern Literary Studies, xxii, 2014).
  • 22 LPL, F 1/C, f. 88; F II/3/203.
  • 23 Evelyn Diary, iii. 520, 543, iv. 103, 29, 160, 224, 297, 414.
  • 24 P. Seaward, ‘Gilbert Sheldon and the London Vestries’, Pols. of Relig. eds. T. Harris et al. 55-56.
  • 25 T. Hart, John Sharp, 81; Horwitz, Rev. Pols. 262-3.
  • 26 S. Patrick, A Brief Account of the New Sect of Latitude-Men (1662); The Parable of the Pilgrim (1665); NAvK, lxviii. 169-71.
  • 27 S. Patrick, A Friendly Debate betwixt Two Neighbours (1668); Reliquiae Baxterianae, iii. 39-40; NavK, lxviii. 172-3.
  • 28 Patrick, Works, ix. 450; Bodl. ms Eng. Lett. c. 210, f. 125; A Marvell, Mr Smirke, or the divine in mode (1676).
  • 29 Patrick, Works, ix. 451; Add. 4223, ff. 127-31; CSP Dom. 1672, p. 335.
  • 30 Evelyn Diary, iii. 631.
  • 31 S. Patrick, Advice to a Friend (1673); NAvK, lxviii. 174-5; Verney, ms mic. M636/26, W. Denton to Sir R. Verney 30 July, 9 Aug. 1673.
  • 32 Verney ms mic. M636/28, Sir R. Verney to E. Verney, 27 May 1675; Hirschberg, ‘Episcopal Incomes’, 214, 216; Chatsworth, Halifax Collection, B.98.
  • 33 PROB 11/497.
  • 34 CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 199.
  • 35 Bodl. Tanner 37, f. 146; Patrick, Works, ix. 472.
  • 36 S. Patrick, The Truth of Christian religion (1680); NAvK, lxviii. 175-6; Evelyn Diary, iv. 229.
  • 37 Sykes, From Sheldon to Secker, 27.
  • 38 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. ii. 375.
  • 39 Tanner 31, ff. 74, 117.
  • 40 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 52-3; Patrick, Works, ix. 490.
  • 41 Burnet, i. 328, iii. 99.
  • 42 NAvK, lxviii. 167.
  • 43 Patrick, Works, ix. 491-7, 564-5; W. Jane, A Relation of a Conference before his Majesty and the Earl of Rochester... Nov. 30, 1686 (1722); Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 325-6.
  • 44 Add. 34515, ff. 26-7.
  • 45 Patrick, Works, ix. 564.
  • 46 Patrick, Works, ix. 509-13; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 260; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 171, 172, 478-80.
  • 47 Patrick, Works, ix. 513.
  • 48 E. Carpenter, Tenison, 95; From Uniformity to Unity ed. G.F. Nuttall and O. Chadwick, 239-42.
  • 49 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iv. 437.
  • 50 T. Claydon, William III and the Godly Revolution, 65; Add. 32681, ff. 317-18.
  • 51 J. Gascoigne, ‘Politics, Patronage and Newtonianism’, HJ, xxvii. 9-10.
  • 52 Patrick, Works, ix. 516-17; Tanner 28, f. 318; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 507-8.
  • 53 Patrick, A Sermon Preached in the Chapel of St James’s ... the 20th of January, 1688 (1689); A sermon Preached at St Pauls Covent Garden … Jan. XXXI. 1688 (1689).
  • 54 Verney, ms mic. M636/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 17 Mar. 1689; Clarendon Corresp. ii. 269; Patrick, Works, ix. 519, 520.
  • 55 NAvK, lxviii. 167 n19; HJ, xxvii. 6.
  • 56 HP Commons, 1690-1715, iv. 501; Patrick, Works, ix. 520-1; Verney, ms mic. M636/43, A. Nicholas to J. Verney 10 Sept. 1689, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney 11 Sept. 1689.
  • 57 Verney, ms mic. M636/43, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 12 and 18 Sept. 1689.
  • 58 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 175; Lathbury, Hist. of Convocation, 321.
  • 59 Patrick, Works, ix. 522-23.
  • 60 Add. 72516, ff. 87-8.
  • 61 Patrick, Works, ix. 524; Carpenter, Tenison, 102.
  • 62 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 203.
  • 63 Tanner 27, f. 93.
  • 64 Patrick, Works, ix. 526-7.
  • 65 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 221, 222, 227, 235.
  • 66 Patrick, Works, ix. 527-9; From Uniformity to Unity, 253.
  • 67 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 594-8, 603; iv. 777, 824.
  • 68 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 423.
  • 69 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 427.
  • 70 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 437.
  • 71 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. v. 442.
  • 72 Patrick, Works, ix. 529.
  • 73 Patrick, Works, ix. 532-3.
  • 74 Tanner 26, f. 82.
  • 75 Add. 72516, ff. 132-3.
  • 76 CSP Dom. 1690-1, p. 410; LPL, Reg. Tillotson, f. 9v; Patrick, Works, ix. 534.
  • 77 VCH Cambs. iv. 90-5.
  • 78 HJ, xxvii. 13.
  • 79 Patrick, Works, ix. 535-8.
  • 80 Add. 29565, f. 494; Add. 29584, ff. 78, 80, 81, 83, 86.
  • 81 Patrick, Works, viii. 443-64; ix. 539.
  • 82 Add. 70015, f. 276; HMC Portland, iii. 486.
  • 83 Luttrell, Brief Relation, ii. 413.
  • 84 Patrick, Works, ix. 540.
  • 85 Tanner 25, f. 2.
  • 86 TNA, C 22/249/18; Verney, ms mic. M636/45, C. Gardiner to Sir R. Verney, 14 Feb. 1693.
  • 87 Verney, ms mic. M636/47, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 21 Oct. 1693; PROB 11/497.
  • 88 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 44; iii. 709, 817.
  • 89 Bodl. ms Rawl. Letters 91, f. 263.
  • 90 Add. 46527, f. 62; Luttrell, Brief Relation, iii. 466; Essays in Modern Church History ed. G.V. Bennett and J.D. Walsh, 124.
  • 91 W. Suss. RO, Add. Mss. 29144.
  • 92 R. Beddard, ‘The Sussex General Election of 1695’, Suss. Arch. Colls. cvi. 145-57; HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 595, 598-9, 604, iii. 700.
  • 93 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 44.
  • 94 State Trials, xiii. 413.
  • 95 E. Suss. RO, ASH 840, pp. 134, 137, 143, 149, 159, 171-2, 182, 187, 190-1, 248.
  • 96 Patrick, Works, ix. 542.
  • 97 Verney, ms mic. M636/49, A. Nicholas to Sir J. Verney, 13 Oct. 1696.
  • 98 Verney, ms mic. M636/49, A. Nicholas to Sir J. Verney, 30 Nov. 1696.
  • 99 Add. 29584, f. 80.
  • 100 Add. 29584, ff. 81, 83.
  • 101 PA, HL/PO/RO/1/53, HL/PO/JO/10/1/494/1192.
  • 102 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 43.
  • 103 Tanner 305, f. 72.
  • 104 Patrick, Works, ix. 547-9.
  • 105 Tanner 21, ff. 124-5; Rawl. B 380, f. 211; Ballard 23, f. 100.
  • 106 Add. 4274, f. 168.
  • 107 CSP Dom. 1699-1700, pp. 255, 259.
  • 108 NLW, St Davids Episcopal, SD/MISC B/14, 48-50; Bodl. Ballard 23, f. 98; Rawl. B 380, f. 211.
  • 109 Conflict in Stuart England ed. W.A. Aiken and B. Henning, 236.
  • 110 Carpenter, Tenison, 172-6; Add. 4292, ff. 34-5; LPL, Ms 930, f. 110; Ms 942, no. 158,
  • 111 Add. 4274, f. 170.
  • 112 Patrick, Works, ix. 543-5.
  • 113 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 43, 49.
  • 114 HJ, xxvii. 13; HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 49; J.H. Monk, Life of Richard Bentley (1833), i. 156, 335.
  • 115 Christ Church Lib. Wake mss 17, ff. 139, 140.
  • 116 Patrick, Works, ix. 549-51.
  • 117 Patrick, Works, ix. 545-6.
  • 118 Bodl. Ballard 36, f. 6.
  • 119 Herts. ALS, DE/P/F29 (Sarah Cowper diary, July 1700-Dec. 1701), 17 June 1701.
  • 120 Christ Church Lib. Wake mss 17, f. 138.
  • 121 Add. 70020, f. 129; HMC Portland, iv. 27, 29.
  • 122 Add. 29584, f. 86.
  • 123 HALS, DE/P/F29 (Sarah Cowper diary, July 1700-Dec. 1702).
  • 124 Patrick, Works, ix. 551.
  • 125 Patrick, Works, ix. 552.
  • 126 Verney, ms mic. M636/52, C. Gardiner to Sir J. Verney, 21 and 30 July 1702.
  • 127 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 43.
  • 128 W. Harris, Some Memoirs of the Life and Character of the Reverend and Learned Thomas Manton DD (1725), 33.
  • 129 Patrick, Works, ix. 553-5.
  • 130 Nicolson, London Diaries, 137-40; Patrick, Works, ix. 553-4.
  • 131 Herts. ALS, DE/P/F30 (Sarah Cowper diary, Jan. 1703-Dec. 1704).
  • 132 Add. 70075, newsletter 16 Dec. 1703; Patrick, Works, ix. 555.
  • 133 Patrick, Works, ix. 557.
  • 134 HP Commons, 1690-1715, ii. 49, 54-5.
  • 135 Christ Church Lib. Wake mss 1, f. 11.
  • 136 Nicolson, London Diaries, 317.
  • 137 Timberland, ii. 159; HJ, xix. 767; Nicolson, London Diaries, 328; PH, xxxii. 262.
  • 138 PA, HL/PO/JO/10/3/194/32, 33, 34; HMC Lords, n.s. vi. 308-9.
  • 139 Patrick, Works, ix. 559.
  • 140 LPL, ms 1770 (Wake diary), f. 10r; Nicolson, London Diaries, 350.
  • 141 Patrick, Works, ix. 558.
  • 142 Nicolson, London Diaries, 36.
  • 143 NLW, Plas-yn-cefn, 2734.
  • 144 Glos. Archives, D3549/6/1/E9; Tanner 25, f. 311.
  • 145 Add. 72494, ff. 33-4; Add. 61124, f. 201.
  • 146 Christ Church Lib. Wake mss 7, ff. 346-7; G. Bennett, ‘Robert Harley, the earl of Godolphin and the Bishoprics Crisis’, EHR, lxxxii. 737-8.
  • 147 PROB 11/497.
  • 148 Verney, ms mic. M636/52, C. Gardiner to J. Verney, 21 July 1702.
  • 149 PA, HL/PO/JO/10/6/220/2893.
  • 150 Patrick, Works, ix. 569; Add. 4223, ff. 127-31.