Hill, Samuel (DNB00)


HILL, SAMUEL (1648–1716), archdeacon of Wells, born in 1648, was son of William Hill of South Petherton, Somerset; became a servitor of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1662, and, subsequently migrating to St. Mary Hall, was admitted B.A. on 15 Nov. 1666 (Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 321). He took no further degree at Oxford. He was instituted, on 18 Feb. 1673, to the living of Meare, Somerset, which he resigned on being instituted, on 10 May 1687, to the rectory of Kilmington in the same county, on the presentation of Sir Stephen Fox (Weaver, Somerset Incumbents, pp. 117, 143). He was appointed prebend of Buckland Dinham in the church of Wells on 5 Sept. 1688, and was installed archdeacon of Wells on 11 Oct. 1705, being then styled master of arts. He died on 7 March 1715–16. There is a mural monument to his memory in Wells Cathedral (Davis, Hist. of Wells Cathedral, ed. 1825, p. 87). Wood says he was ‘much esteemed for his learning and zeal for the church of England’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 564).

His works are: 1. ‘The Catholic Balance: or, a Discourse determining the Controversies concerning (I) The Tradition of Catholic Doctrines, (II) The Primacy of St. Peter and the Bishop of Rome, (III) The Subjection and Authority of the Church in a Christian State, according to the Suffrages of the primest Antiquity’ (anon.), London, 1687, 4to. 2. ‘The Necessity of Heresies asserted and explained in a Sermon ad Clerum [on 1 Cor. xi. 19],’ London, 1688, 4to. 3. ‘De Presbyteratu, Dissertatio Quadripartita, Presbyteratus Sacri, Origines, Naturam, Titulum, Officia, et Ordines ab ipsis Mundi Primordiis usque ad Catholicæ Ecclesiæ consummatum Plantationem complectens,’ London, 1691, 8vo. 4. ‘A Vindication of the Primitive Fathers against the Imputations of Gilbert, Lord Bishop of Sarum, in his Discourse on the Divinity and Death of Christ,’ London, 1695, 8vo. Bishop Burnet complained to the Bishop of London that his chaplain, R. Altham, had licensed such a book, ‘full of scurrility,’ and Altham was accordingly obliged to make a submission or recantation. Burnet published anonymously, ‘Animadversions on Mr. Hill's book, entituled, A Vindication of the Primitive Fathers. … In a Letter to a Person of Quality,’ London, 1695, 4to; and this reply elicited from Thomas Holdsworth, rector of Stoneham, ‘Some Account of the late Scandalous Animadversions on Mr. Hill's book, intituled, A Vindication, &c.,’ London, 1695, 4to. There also appeared ‘Remarks of an University Man upon a late book, falsly called A Vindication of the Primitive Fathers,’ London, 1695, 4to. James Crossley had a manuscript ‘Defence of the Vindication,’ prepared for the press by Hill, but never published, and also a copy of the ‘Vindication’ revised for a second edition, with considerable additions. 5. ‘Municipium Ecclesiasticum, or the Rights, Liberties, and Authorities of the Christian Church: Asserted against all Oppressive Doctrines and Constitutions. Occasioned by Dr. Wake's Book, concerning the Authority of Christian Princes over Ecclesiastical Synods’ (anon.), London, 1697, 8vo. A reply appeared under the title of ‘The Divine Right of Convocations examined,’ London, 1701, 4to. 6. ‘The Rights, Liberties, and Authorities of the Christian Church; with a Vindication of Municipium Ecclesiasticum,’ London, 1701, 8vo. A reply, published anonymously by Dr. Turner, is entitled ‘A Vindication of the Authority of Christian Princes over Ecclesiastical Synods from the Exceptions made against it by Mr. Hill. … To which are added some letters that passed between Dr. Wake and him relating to that controversy,’ London, 1701, 8vo. 7. ‘Solomon and Abiathar: or the Case of the depriv'd Bishops and Clergy discuss'd; between Eucheres, a Conformist, and Dyscheres, a Recusant,’ London, 1692, 4to (Halkett & Laing, Anon. Lit.); reissued in ‘A Collection of State Tracts,’ London, 1705, fol. i. 640–56. The preface is dated 20 May 1692. Samuel Grascome [q. v.] wrote two letters in reply to this work. 8. ‘A Thorough Examination of the False Principles and Fallacious Arguments advanc'd against the Christian Church, Priest-hood, and Religion: In a late pernicious Book [by Matthew Tindal], ironically intituled, The Rights of the Christian Church Asserted, &c. In a Dialogue between Demas and Hierarcha,’ London, 1708, 8vo. 9. ‘Compendious Speculations concerning Sacerdotal Remission of Sins,’ London, 1713, 8vo. 10. ‘Speculations upon Valid and Invalid Baptism,’ London, 1713, 8vo. 11. ‘The Harmony of the Canonical and Apocryphal Scriptures with the Catholic Tradition of Faith in the Trinity and Unity, and the Incarnation of the Eternal Word and Son of God,’ London, 1713, 8vo. William Whiston replied to this book in his ‘Argument to prove that all Persons set apart for the Ministry are real Clergymen,’ 1714.

A ‘Student of the Temple’ (J. Bleaman) published ‘A Letter to the Reverend Mr. Brydges, Rector of Croscombe in Somersetshire. Occasion'd by a Sermon preached at that place, by Mr. H[ill], Arch-Deacon of W[ell]s. Being a Vindication of the Dissenters,’ London, 1715, 8vo.

[Addit. MS. 5872, f. 36 b; Jones's Popery Tracts, pp. 258, 270; Bodleian Cat.; Cat. of Lib. of Trin. Coll. Dublin; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 162, 188; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Darling's Cycl. Bibliographica.]

T. C.