Lisle, Samuel (DNB00)

LISLE, SAMUEL (1683–1749), successively bishop of St. Asaph and of Norwich, the son of Richard Lisle, esq., was born at Blandford, Dorset, in 1683. He received his education first at the grammar school of his native town, and then at Salisbury, under Edward Hardwicke, ‘one of the most eminent schoolmasters of that time’ (Bouchery, Memoir). On 4 March 1699–1700, being then seventeen years of age, he matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he was admitted scholar in 1701. He graduated B.A. in 1703, and M.A. in 1706. He became Goodridge exhibitioner in 1707, and the same year was elected fellow, and received holy orders both as deacon and priest. In 1710 he went as chaplain to the Levant Company to Smyrna, where he remained six years, visiting Constantinople, and making several journeys into Ionia, Caria, and other parts of Asia Minor, with the view of collecting inscriptions. In 1716 he exchanged the Smyrna chaplaincy for that of Aleppo, which he held till 1719, taking a journey into the Holy Land, and visiting Jerusalem and the adjacent country. In 1719 he came back to England by way of Italy and France. On his return he was appointed bursar of his college, and soon received much church preferment. In 1720 he was appointed chaplain to Thomas, the second baron Onslow (whose father, Richard, baron Onslow [q. v.], had been a governor of the Levant Company). In 1721 he became rector of Holwell, Bedfordshire, Tooting, Surrey, and St. Mary-le-Bow, London, to which last benefice he was presented by George I. In the same year he was appointed domestic chaplain by Archbishop Wake, himself a Blandford man, by whom in 1724 he was appointed archdeacon of Canterbury; and in 1728 he was presented by George II to a prebendal stall in Canterbury Cathedral. He appears also to have held the rectory of Fetcham, Surrey, from 1726 to 1737 (Manning and Bray, History of Surrey, i. 487). In 1729 he was presented by his patron, Archbishop Wake, to the vicarage of Northolt, Middlesex, which he held in commendam till his death, and became in 1728 deputy prolocutor of the lower house of convocation (which, however, had been practically silenced in 1717), and prolocutor in 1734, and again in 1741. On 22 March 1738–9 he was elected in difficult circumstances warden of Wadham College, Oxford. His predecessor, Thistlethwayt, had had to resign his office and leave the country, and Lisle was generally regarded as specially competent to meet the emergency. He received the degrees of B.D. and D.D. by diploma on 10 April 1739. He held the wardenship for five years, and on the translation of Bishop Isaac Maddox to Worcester was appointed to succeed him at St. Asaph, to which see he was consecrated by Archbishop Potter on 1 April 1744. He only held the bishopric four years, being chosen to succeed Bishop Gooch (translated to Ely) at Norwich on 17 March 1747–1748. He died in Lisle Street, Leicester Fields, on 3 Oct. 1749, and was buried in the church of Northolt. His epitaph is given by Lysons (Environs of London, iii. 312).

Lisle printed one or two sermons, a ‘Concio ad Synodum,’ preached at the opening of convocation in 1734; a sermon preached on the consecration of a predecessor in the wardenship, Dr. W. Baker [q. v.], to the bishopric of Bangor in 1723; and Fast sermons in 1744, 1745. His chief claim to literary fame is based on the valuable series of inscriptions collected by him and his fellow-travellers during his Levant chaplaincies, which were printed in Edmund Chishull's [q. v.] ‘Antiquitates Asiaticæ,’ 1728. Those published formed only a small part of the notes of his eastern journeys, the whole of which, together with his other literary remains, were, according to the directions of his will, burnt by his executor. Two letters from Lisle to Dr. Ward of Gresham College, giving biographical information respecting certain alumni of Wadham, are preserved among the manuscripts at the British Museum (Addit. MS. 6209, f. 137). There is a portrait of Lisle in Wadham College Hall.

[Hutchins's Dorset, i. 143; Manning and Bray's Surrey, i. 487, iii. 379; Wood's Hist. of Oxford, ed. Gutch, iv. 594; Gardiner's Registers of Wadham Coll.; Bouchery's manuscript Memoir in Wadham Coll. Library.]

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