Davys, George (DNB00)

DAVYS, GEORGE (1780–1864), bishop of Peterborough, son of John Davys of Rempstone, Nottinghamshire, by Sophia, daughter of the Rev. B. Wigley of Sawley, Derbyshire, was born at Loughborough, Leicestershire, 1 Oct. 1780. In 1799 he entered as a sizar at Christ's College, Cambridge, and came out tenth wrangler in 1803. He was elected a fellow of his college 14 Jan. 1806, and in the same year proceeded M.A., and became curate, first of Littlebury, Essex, then of Chesterford to 1817, and afterwards of Swaffham Priory. In 1811 he was presented on his own petition to the small vicarage of Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, Lincolnshire, which he held until 1829. The education of the Princess Victoria having been entrusted to his care by the Duchess of Kent, he took up his residence at Kensington Palace in 1827, and very satisfactorily filled the position of principal master to the princess until the death of William IV. In April 1829 he was presented by the crown to the rectory of Allhallows-on-the-Wall, London, which he continued to hold until his elevation to the episcopal bench. He was appointed dean of Chester 10 Jan. 1831, and at the following commencement at Cambridge was created D.D. On 7 May 1839 he was advanced to the bishopric of Peterborough, and was consecrated on 16 June. Belonging himself to the evangelical section of the church, Davys was fair and liberal towards all religious creeds throughout his diocese. He took no active part either in religious controversy or in politics. He compiled various educational works, which appeared from time to time anonymously in the ‘Cottagers' Monthly Visitor,’ the ‘National Church Magazine,’ and in other works. He died of bronchitis at the Palace, Peterborough, 18 April 1864, and was buried in the graveyard of the cathedral on 23 April. He married in 1814 Marianne, daughter of the Rev. Edmund Mapletoft, rector of Anstye, Hertfordshire. She died at the Palace, Peterborough, 14 Dec. 1858, aged 69. He was the writer of:

  1. ‘Village Conversations on the Liturgy of the Church of England,’ 1820; 8th ed. 1829.
  2. ‘Village Conversations on the principal Offices of the Church,’ 1824; another ed. 1849.
  3. ‘A Village Conversation on the Catechism of the Church of England,’ printed in Religious Tracts of Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, vol. iii. 1836.
  4. ‘Letters between a Father and his Son on the Roman History and other subjects,’ 1848.
  5. ‘A Plain and Short History of England in Letters from a Father to his Son,’ 1870, besides several charges and single sermons.

[Gent. Mag. June 1864, p. 796; Guardian, 20 and 27 April 1864.]

G. C. B.