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HOADLY, JOHN (1711–1776), poet and dramatist, born in Broad Street, London, on 8 Oct. 1711, was the youngest son of Benjamin Hoadly (1676–1761) [q. v.], bishop of Winchester, by his wife Sarah Curtis. After attending Dr. Newcome's school at Hackney, where he distinguished himself by his performance of the part of Phocyas in J. Hughes's ‘Siege of Damascus,’ he was sent in 1730 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and at about the same time was entered at the Middle Temple in order to qualify himself for the bar. He assisted his brother Benjamin (1706–1757) [q. v.] in writing ‘The Contrast; or, a tragical comical Rehearsal of two modern Plays, and the Tragedy of Epaminondas,’ which was brought out at the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields on 30 April 1731, and performed three times without success. It ridiculed living poets, especially James Thomson. At the desire of Bishop Hoadly it was suppressed, and the copy was restored to the authors (Baker, Biog. Dram. ed. Reed and Jones, ii. 125–6). Having graduated LL.B. in 1735 Hoadly decided to become a clergyman, that he might avail himself of the rich patronage at his father's disposal. On 29 Nov. 1735 he was appointed chancellor of the diocese of Winchester, and was ordained deacon by his father on the following 7 Dec., and priest the 21st of the same month. He was immediately received into the Prince of Wales's household as his chaplain, as he afterwards was in that of the princess dowager, on 6 May 1751. He obtained the rectory of Mitchelmersh, Hampshire, on 8 March 1737, that of Wroughton, Wiltshire, on 8 Sept., and that of Alresford, Hampshire, and the eighth prebendal stall in Winchester Cathedral on 29 Nov. of the same year. On 9 June 1743 he was instituted to the rectory of St. Mary, near Southampton, and on 16 Dec. 1746 to the vicarage of Overton, Hampshire. On 4 Jan. 1748 Herring, archbishop of Canterbury, conferred on him the degree of LL.D. (Gent. Mag. 3rd ser. xvi. 637). In May 1760 he was appointed to the mastership of St. Cross, Winchester. All these preferments he retained until his death (16 March 1776), except the rectory of Wroughton and the prebend of Winchester, which he resigned in June 1760 (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 40). Such was his fondness for theatrical exhibitions that no visitors were ever long in his house before they were solicited to accept a part in some interlude. He himself, along with Garrick, who was a great friend and correspondent of Hoadly's, and Hogarth, once enacted a vulgar parody on the ghost scene in Shakespeare's ‘Julius Cæsar.’ Besides his share in ‘The Contrast,’ which was never printed, he wrote: 1. ‘Love's Revenge: a dramatic pastoral’ (anon.), 1734 ([1737] and 1745); set to music by Maurice Greene. 2. ‘Jephtha, an oratorio’ (anon.), 1737; music by Greene. 3. ‘Phoebe, a pastoral opera’ (anon.), 1748; music by Greene. 4. ‘The Force of Truth, an oratorio’ (anon.), 1764. He composed the fifth act of J. Miller's tragedy of ‘Mahomet,’ 1744, and completed and revised G. Lillo's ‘Arden of Feversham,’ 1762. He is said to have assisted his brother Benjamin in the composition of ‘The Suspicious Husband.’ He left several dramas in manuscript; among others ‘The Housekeeper, a farce,’ on the plan of J. Townley's ‘High Life below Stairs,’ in favour of which piece it was rejected by Garrick, and a tragedy on the life of Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex. Some of his poems are in Dodsley's ‘Collection;’ the best is a translation of Edward Holdsworth's ‘Muscipula’ in vol. v. He also edited his father's works in three folio volumes in 1773, to which he prefixed a short life originally contributed to the ‘Biographia Britannica.’

[Authorities quoted; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xvii. 518–20; Baker's Biog. Dram. (Reed and Jones), ii. 396, iii. 148; Foster's Life of Goldsmith (1886), ii. 102, 187, 352; Garrick Correspondence, passim.]

G. G.