Bearcroft, Philip (DNB00)

BEARCROFT, PHILIP, D.D. (1697–1761), antiquary, descended from an ancient Worcestershire family, was born at Worcester on 1 May 1697 (Susannah Bearcroft's preface to Relics of Philip Bearcroft). He was educated at the Charterhouse, of which he was elected a scholar on the nomination of Lord Somers in July 1710. On 17 Dec. 1712 he matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford. In 1716 he took his B.A. degree, in 1717 he became probationary, and in 1719 actual, fellow of Merton College, taking his M.A. degree in the same year. He was ordained deacon in 1718 at Bristol, and priest in 1719 at Gloucester. He accumulated the degrees of B.D. and D.D. in 1730. He was appointed preacher to the Charterhouse in 1724, chaplain to the king in 1738, secretary to the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts in 1739, rector of Stormonth, Kent, in 1743, and master of the Charterhouse on 18 Dec. 1753. In 1755 he was collated to a prebendal stall in Wells Cathedral.

Bearcroft published 'An Historical Account of Thomas Sutton, Esquire, and of his foundation of the Charterhouse' (London, 1737). He also intended to publish a collection of the rules and orders of the Charterhouse, but was prevented by the governors, some extracts only being printed in a quarto pamphlet and distributed among the officers of the house (Gough, British Topography, i. 691). From his account of Sutton, Smythe's historical account of the Charterhouse was largely derived. In Nichols's 'Bowyer' Bearcroft is spoken of as 'a worthy man, but with no great talents for writing.' Some of his sermons were published both before and after his death. He died on 17 Oct. 1761.

[Gent. Mag. xxxi. 538; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 650; Le Neve's Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, ii. 202. In the Rawlinson MSS. fol. 16152 (Bodleian Libr.), where a brief account appears, the date of birth is given as 21 Feb. 1695.]

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