Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Duppa, Brian

DUPPA, BRIAN (1588–1662), bishop of Winchester, born at Lewisham 10 March 1588, was the son of Jeffry Duppa, vicar of Lewisham, according to the probable conjecture of Wood. He was educated at Westminster, where he greatly distinguished himself, and while there learned Hebrew from Bishop Andrewes, at that time dean of Westminster. He was elected to a studentship of Christ Church in May 1605. After taking his degree (1609) he was elected fellow of All Souls in 1612. For some years after he travelled in France and Spain, and upon his return served as junior proctor in 1619, having taken his M.A. degree 28 May 1614. He took his degrees of B.D. and D.D. 1 July 1625. He was chaplain to the Earl of Dorset, by whose interest with the Duke of Buckingham he became dean of Christ Church in 1628, in succession to Dr. Corbet, promoted to the see of Oxford. He was vice-chancellor in 1632 and 1633, and in the following year became chancellor of Salisbury, and soon after tutor to the Prince of Wales and his brother the Duke of Gloucester. For this post he was recommended by Archbishop Laud. In May 1638 he became rector of Petworth, a valuable benefice in Sussex. On 29 May of the same year he was elected, and on 17 June was consecrated to the see of Chichester by Archbishop Laud. From this he was translated to Salisbury, where he was elected bishop 11 Dec. 1641. Upon the suppression of episcopacy he retired to Oxford, and was much with the king till his execution. It was during this time that he acquired so much influence with the Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles II, the king having specially enjoined upon him submission to his mother on all points save that of religion, for which he was to trust entirely to the Bishop of Salisbury. After the death of the king he lived in privacy at Richmond, Surrey, till the Restoration. During all this time he kept up a correspondence with Sheldon, Hammond, and others of the dispossessed clergy, and appears to have been most anxious about continuing the episcopate. About 1651 he seems to have been somewhat despondent about the changes at Oxford, thinking that learning and religion will die together, and speaks of the church as ‘our expiring mother.’ In a letter of the following year, 21 March 1652, he comments somewhat favourably on the line adopted by Sanderson in keeping on his cure during the great rebellion, but would like to see what Sanderson says of the engagement. In another letter to Dr. Richard Baylie, president of St. John's and dean of Sarum, he strongly reprobates the views expressed by Jeremy Taylor in his ‘Doctrine of Repentance,’ which the author had dedicated jointly to him and the Bishop of Rochester, especially alluding to the sixth chapter of that work, which he thinks approaches the doctrine of Pelagians, Socinians, and anabaptists. He was one of those bishops who privately ordained priests and deacons during the great rebellion. Among others whom he admitted to holy orders was Thomas Tenison, the successor of Tillotson in the archbishopric of Canterbury.

As early as 28 Aug. 1653 he had been in correspondence with his friend Sheldon, the ejected warden of All Souls, about continuing the succession of bishops. Again, in 1655, he writes that nothing is more important for the expiring church than a care for the succession, as there was no chance of the extremity of the late act being abated. In another letter he finds fault with the preface to Faringdon's sermon for omitting to state that episcopal government is of the essence of the church. Later on, in 1659, communications were passing between Sir Edward Hyde, afterwards Lord Clarendon, and Sheldon and Duppa on the same subject, written under feigned names and alluding to the great business and its difficulty. On 11 Aug. 1660 he writes an important letter to Sheldon, then dean of his majesty's chapel, saying that the absence of the Bishop of London (Juxon) had been the cause of the delay; that Sheldon was the only person about the king in whom he had confidence; that others, meaning the presbyterians, would try to shake his constancy, and that he hopes Sheldon has the buried papers which must influence a dutiful son. He adds that he will come when he is wanted, but meanwhile he is satisfied that Sheldon will watch ne ecclesia aliquid detrimenti capiat. This letter is signed Br. Sarum; but a few days afterwards he was nominated to Winchester (10 Sept. 1660), and as bishop of that see was the principal consecrator of Sheldon and four other bishops, 10 Oct. 1660. He was then appointed lord almoner, and began at once to build his almshouses at Richmond to commemorate the king's return. He was much respected for his virtues as well as for his prudence and sagacity, and perhaps was the most important survivor of the nine bishops who lived till the Restoration; but he did not live to do much service, as he died 26 March 1662 at his residence at Richmond. The king paid him a visit on the day before he died, and on his knees at his bedside begged his blessing. His body was taken to York House in the Strand, where it lay in state, after which it was buried at Westminster, 24 April, and a funeral sermon preached by King, bishop of Chichester. He left large legacies to Christ Church and to All Souls, as well as to the sees of Chichester, Salisbury, and Winchester. He was of remarkable presence and courtly manners. His portrait by Vandyck is at Christ Church, and another at the palace, Salisbury. A bust is in All Souls' Library. An engraving is prefixed to 'Holy Rules and Helps to Devotion,' published after his death by Ben. Parry of Corpus Christi College in 1674, and often reprinted. Duppa married, 23 Nov. 1626, at St. Dionis Backchurch, Jane, daughter of Nicholas Killingtree of Longham, Norfolk (Genealogist, new ser. iv. No. 14, pn. 116-18).

He published the following:

  1. A sermon entitled 'The Soul's Soliloquy and Conference with Conscience,' preached before the king at Newport, 26 Oct. 1648.
  2. 'Angels Rejoicing for Sinners Repenting,' London, 1648.
  3. 'A Guide for the Penitent,' London, 1660.
  4. 'Jonsonius Virbius,' a collection of poems by thirty writers on the death of Ben Jonson (1637). It seems doubtful whether or not he wrote the preface to Spotiswood's 'Church History,' published in folio, 1664.

[Le Neve's Fasti; Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses (Bliss), iii. 541-4; Welch's Alumni Westmonast. p. 73; Biog. Brit. (Kippis); Tanner MSS. in Bodleian.]

N. P.