Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Todd, Hugh

TODD, HUGH (1658?–1728), author, born at Blencow, Cumberland, about 1658, was son of Thomas Todd, rector of Hutton in the Forest in the same county, who was ejected by Cromwell's sequestrators and imprisoned at Carlisle (Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, ii. 375). On 29 March 1672 he matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, graduating B.A. On 4 July 1677, and becoming taberdar of the college. In the following year, on 23 Dec., he was elected a fellow of University College, whence he proceeded M.A. on 2 July 1679, and accumulated the degrees of B.D. and D.D. on 12 Dec. 1692. In 1684 he became vicar of Kirkland in Cumberland, but resigned the charge on being installed a prebendary of the see of Carlisle on 4 Oct. 1685. In 1685 he was collated to the vicarage of Stanwix in the same county, which he resigned in 1688, on becoming rector of Arthuret. In 1699 he was also appointed vicar of Penrith St. Andrew. In 1702 the fiery William Nicolson [q. v.] became bishop of Carlisle. Throughout his episcopate he was continually at strife with Todd, whose disposition was singularly uncompromising. After several minor disputes, in one of which Todd scandalised the ecclesiastical authorities by constituting his curate a churchwarden, Todd, in company with the dean, Francis Atterbury [q. v.], undertook to defend the chapter against the bishop, who exhibited articles of inquiry against them. He boldly denied the right of visitation to the bishop, declaring that it belonged to the crown. For this conduct he was first suspended and then excommunicated by Nicolson, ‘e cathedra and in solemn form,’ but continued to officiate in his parish as priest, ignoring the bishop's action. The rest of the hierarchy were much alarmed by Todd's limitation of episcopal authority, and a bill was passed in parliament in 1708 to establish their rights of visitation more firmly. After its passage the sentence of excommunication on Todd was removed. He died in Penrith on 6 Oct. 1728. Besides publishing several poems, Todd also contributed ‘The Description of Sweden’ to Moses Pitt's ‘English Atlas’ (vol. i. Oxford, 1680, fol.), furnished ‘An Account of a Salt Spring on the Banks of the River Weare in Durham,’ and ‘An Account of some Antiquities found at Corbridge, Northumberland,’ to the Royal Society (Phil. Trans. xiv. 726, xxvii. 291), and translated ‘How a Man may be Sensible of his Progress in Virtue,’ for ‘Plutarch's Morals, translated from the Greek by several hands’ (London, 1684, 8vo; 5th edit. London, 1718, 12mo; new edit., revised by William Watson Goodwin, London, 1870, 8vo), and the life of Phocion for ‘The Lives of Illustrious Men, written in Latin by Cornelius Nepos, and done into English by several hands’ (Oxford, 1684, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1685). Among other manuscript writings he left:

  1. ‘Notitia Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Carliolensis, et Notitia Prioratus de Wedderhal,’ 1688, which was edited for the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquarian and Archæological Society by Chancellor Ferguson (Tract Ser. No. 6, Kendal, 1892, 8vo).
  2. ‘An Account of the City and Diocese of Carlisle,’ 1689; edited by Ferguson for the same society (ib. No. 5, Kendal, 1891, 8vo).

He also assisted Walker in compiling his ‘Sufferings of the Clergy.’

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, life prefixed, pp. xcviii, cxvi, vol. iv. p. 535; Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 360, 369; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict. 1816; Nicolson and Burn's History of Cumberland, ii. 407, 443, 455, 472; Nicolson's Letters, ed. Nichols, 1809, passim; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Notes and Queries, i. i. 246, 282, 340.]

E. I. C.