A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Whateley, Richard

For works with similar titles, see Whately, Richard.

Whateley, Richard (1787-1863).—Theologian and economist, s. of the Rev. Dr. Joseph W., b. in London, and ed. at a school in Bristol, and at Oxf., where he became a coll. tutor. Taking orders he became Rector of Halesworth, Suffolk. In 1822 he delivered his Bampton lectures on The Use and Abuse of Party Feeling in Religion. Three years later he was made Principal of St. Alban's Hall, in 1829 Prof. of Political Economy, and in 1831 Archbishop of Dublin. As head of a coll. and as a prelate W. showed great energy and administrative ability. He was a vigorous, clear-headed personality, somewhat largely endowed with contempt for views with which he was not in sympathy, and with a vein of caustic humour, in the use of which he was not sparing. These qualities made him far from universally popular; but his honesty, fairness, and devotion to duty gained for him general respect. He had no sympathy with the Oxf. movement, was strongly anti-Calvinistic, and somewhat Latitudinarian, so that he was exposed to a good deal of theological odium from opposite quarters. He was a voluminous writer, and among his best known works are his treatises on Logic (1826) and Rhetoric (1828), his Historic Doubts relative to Napoleon Buonaparte (1819), intended as a reductio ad absurdum of Hume's contention that no evidence is sufficient to prove a miracle, Essays on some Peculiarities of the Christian Religion (1825), Christian Evidences (1837), and ed. of Bacon's Essays with valuable notes, and of Paley's Evidences.