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EGERTON, JOHN (1721–1787), bishop of Durham, son of Henry Egerton, bishop of Hereford, by Lady Elizabeth Ariana Bentinck, daughter of the Earl of Portland, was, born in London on 30 Nov. 1721, and educated at Eton and at Oriel College, Oxford, where he was admitted a gentleman commoner on 20 May 1740. He was ordained deacon and priest by Hoadly, bishop of Winchester, on 21 and 22 Dec. 1745, and on the 23rd of the same month was collated by his father to the rectory of Ross, Herefordshire, and on 3 Jan. following to the prebend of Cublington in Hereford Cathedral He took the degree of B.C.L. at Oxford on 30 May 1746, was appointed king's chaplain 19 March 1749, and dean of Hereford 24 July 1750. On 4 July 1756 he was consecrated bishop of Bangor, having previously received the degree of D.C.L. He continued to hold, in commendam, the rectory of Ross and the prebend of Cublington. He was translated to the see of Lichfield and Coventry on 12 Oct. 1768, and a few days afterwards was admitted to the prebend of Wildland, and a residentiaryship in St. Paul's Cathedral, London. On 8 July 1771 he succeeded Dr. Trevor as bishop of Durham. He had previously declined the primacy of Ireland. At Durham he displayed much address and talent for conciliation in promoting the peace and prosperity of the palatinate. He restored harmony in the county, which had been divided by elections, and in the city, which had been torn to pieces by disputes. In the discharge of his episcopal functions he was diligent, conscientious, just, and dignified; and in private life was amiable, hospitable, and scholarlike. He was a great benefactor to the county by encouraging public works. He promoted the enclosure of Walling Fen in Howdenshire; assisted materially in rebuilding a bridge over the Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead, and in 1780 granted a new charter, restoring ancient and affording new privileges, to the city of Durham. He also obtained acts of parliament to relieve a large body of copyholders at Lanchester, Hamsteel Fell, and in the manor of Howdenshire, from certain onerous dues. He made extensive improvements at the episcopal palaces, and was a liberal supporter of many religious and educational institutions.

His first wife was Lady Anne Sophia, daughter of Henry de Grey, duke of Kent, whom he married on 21 Nov. 1748, and who died in 1780. By her he had issue a daughter and three sons. The first son died in infancy, and the others, John William and Francis Henry [q. v.], both succeeded to the earldom of Bridgewater. He married secondly, on 31 March 1782, Mary, sister of Sir Edward Boughton, bart.

His only publications were three single sermons, 1757, 1761, and 1763. He died at his house in Grosvenor Square, London, on 18 Jan. 1787, and was buried in St. James's Church.

[Memoir by his son, H. F. Egerton, in Hutchinson's Hist. of Durham, vol. iii., the same subsequently reprinted by the author; Collins's Peerage (Brydges), 1812, iii. 217; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xiii. 82; Surtees's Hist. of Durham, i. cxxiii; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy); Nichols's illustr. of Lit. i. 456; Burke's Patrician, i. 274 (where a curious circumstance connected with the registration of the bishop's first marriage is narrated); Brit. Mus. Cat. of Printed Books, sub nom.; Evans's Cat. of Portraits, i. 111.]

C. W. S.