Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Terrick, Richard

TERRICK, RICHARD (1710–1777), bishop successively of Peterborough and London, born at York and baptised in its minster 20 July 1710, was probably a descendant of the family of Terrick, whose pedigree is given in the ‘Visitation of London,’ 1633–5 (Harl. Soc. xvii. 279). He was the eldest son of Samuel Terrick, rector of Wheldrake and canon-residentiary of York, who married Ann (d. 31 May 1764), daughter of John Gibson of Welburn, Yorkshire, and widow of Nathaniel Arlush of Knedlington in that county. Admitted at Clare College as pensioner and pupil to Mr. Wilson on 30 May 1726, he graduated B.A. 1729, M.A. 1733, and D.D. 1747. On 7 May 1731 he was elected a fellow on the Exeter foundation, was transferred to the Diggons foundation on 1 Feb. 1732–3, and elected a fellow on the old foundation on 30 Sept. 1736. He resigned this fellowship about the end of April 1738. Terrick soon obtained valuable preferment. He was preacher at the Rolls chapel, London, from 1736 to 1757, and performed the funeral service for two of the masters, Sir Joseph Jekyll (August 1738) and William Fortescue (December 1749). He held the post of chaplain to the speaker of the House of Commons to 1742, and from that year to 1749 was a canon of Windsor. By 1745 he had become a chaplain in ordinary to the king. He was installed as prebendary of Ealdland and canon-residentiary of St. Paul's Cathedral on 7 Oct. 1749, and was instituted as vicar of Twickenham on 30 June 1749.

Through the influence of the Duke of Devonshire he was appointed to the bishopric of Peterborough, being consecrated at Lambeth on 3 July 1757. This appointment forced him to vacate all his preferments, excepting the vicarage of Twickenham, which he retained in commendam. Horace Walpole says that the new bishop, who was without parts or knowledge and had no characteristics but ‘a sonorous delivery and an assiduity of backstairs address,’ soon deserted the duke for the rising influence of Lord Bute, and, to ingratiate himself still more with that favourite, made out ‘a distant affinity’ with one of his creatures, Thomas Worsley, surveyor of the board of works. In April 1764 the claims of Terrick, Warburton, and Newton for the see of London were severally pressed by their friends. Warburton applied to George Grenville for the reversion on 5 May 1764, before the bishopric was vacant, but the answer was that the king considered himself pledged to Terrick. Grenville would have preferred to translate Bishop Newton, but he was obliged to acquiesce in the appointment of Terrick, who, on the same day that Warburton made his application, addressed a letter of thanks to Grenville for his approval of the king's gracious disposition (Grenville Papers, ii. 312–15).

Terrick was confirmed as bishop of London at Bow Church, Cheapside, on 6 June 1764, and the appointment carried with it the deanery of the chapels royal, but he was obliged to resign the vicarage of Twickenham. The anger of Warburton at the appointment was shown in his pointed sermon in the king's chapel, when he asserted that preferments were bestowed on unworthy objects, ‘and in speaking turned himself about and stared directly at the bishop of London’ (Gray, Works, ed. Gosse, iii. 202).

Terrick was created a privy councillor on 11 July 1764. At the close of 1765 he began ‘to prosecute mass-houses,’ and he refused his sanction to the proposal of the Royal Academy in 1773 for the introduction into St. Paul's Cathedral of paintings of sacred subjects on the ground that it savoured of popery. His interference on behalf of the tory candidates in the contested election for the university of Oxford in 1768 provoked a severe letter of remonstrance (Almon's Political Reg. May 1768, pp. 323–326); but when Lord Denbigh clamoured against a sermon preached in 1776 by Keppel, the whig bishop of Exeter, on the vices of the age, the sermon in question was defended by Terrick. He declined the archbishopric of York in 1776 on the ground of ill-health, and died on Easter Monday, 31 March 1777. One of his last acts was to issue a circular letter for the better observance of Good Friday.

The bishop was buried in Fulham churchyard on 8 April 1777. His wife was Tabitha, daughter of William Stainforth, rector of Simonburn, Northumberland (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. vii. 104), and she died 14 Feb. 1790, aged 77, and was also buried in Fulham churchyard. They had issue two daughters, coheiresses. The elder, Elizabeth, married, on 22 Jan. 1762, Nathaniel Ryder, first lord Harrowby, whose children inherited most of Mrs. Terrick's fortune; the younger married Dr. Anthony Hamilton, then vicar of Fulham, and from her was descended Walter Kerr Hamilton [q. v.], bishop of Salisbury.

Alexander Carlyle thought Terrick ‘a truly excellent man of a liberal mind and excellent good temper,’ and ‘a famous good preacher and the best reader of prayers I ever heard’ (Autobiography, pp. 517–18); Dr. Goddard, master of Clare from 1762 to 1781, noticed in the admission book of the college his ‘goodness of heart, amiable temper and disposition, and the graceful and engaging manner in which he discharged the several duties of his function, particularly that of preaching.’ Seven of his sermons were separately published.

Terrick presented to Sion College a portrait, now in its hall, of himself, represented as seated and holding a book in his left hand, and in 1773 he gave 20l. to its library. The portrait was painted by Nathaniel Dance about 1761, and an engraving of it by Edward Fisher was published in April 1770. A copy of it by Stewart is at Fulham Palace, where Terrick rebuilt the suite of apartments facing the river, and moved the position of the chapel. A second copy, by Freeman, hangs in the combination-room of Clare College. The bishop consecrated the existing chapel at Clare College on 5 July 1769, and gave a large and handsome pair of silver-gilt candlesticks, which still stand upon the super-altar.

[Gent. Mag. 1742 p. 331, 1764 p. 302, 1777 p. 195, 1790 i. 186, 1793 ii. 1089, 1794 i. 208–209; Walpole's Letters, iv. 217, 238; Walpole's George III, ed. Barker, i. 331, ii. 60, 164; Walpole's Journal, 1771–83, ii. 28, 90, 106; Leslie and Taylor's Sir Joshua Reynolds, ii. 37–8; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, ix. 583–4; Faulkner's Fulham, pp. 103, 179, 187, 247–8; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 305, 384, 537, iii. 408–9; Lysons's Environs, ii. 348–9, 391; Cobbett's Twickenham, p. 121; Sion College (by Wm. Scott), pp. 62, 67; Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. App. p. 364; information from Rev. Doctor Atkinson, master of Clare College.]

W. P. C.