Meggot, Richard (DNB00)


MEGGOT or MEGGOTT, RICHARD (d. 1692), dean of Winchester, was a native of Surrey. He was admitted as a pensioner to Queens' College, Cambridge, on 4 March 1650, and graduated B.A. in 1653, M.A. in 1657, and D.D. in 1669. From 17 Nov. 1668 to 1686 he was vicar of Twickenham, being at the same time rector of St. Olave's, Southwark. He was appointed canon of Windsor on 18 July 1677, and on 9 Oct. 1679 he was installed dean of Winchester. As chaplain in ordinary he preached several times before the court at Whitehall, Hampton Court, and Windsor. James II, when at Winchester in September 1685, ‘lodged at the dean's (Dr. Meggot)’ (Evelyn, Diary, ii. 233). Evelyn heard several sermons by Meggot, and especially commends one preached on 7 March 1684 as an ‘incomparable sermon … on Hebrews xii. 15’ (ib. ii. 195, cf. ii. 7, 256, 262). He seems to have passed much of his time in London, and to have been on bad terms with the canons at Winchester.

Meggot died on 7 Dec. 1692, and was buried in Windsor Chapel. In the funeral sermon preached on him by Dean Sherlock at Twickenham on 10 Dec. 1692 the preacher said of Meggot: ‘He was abundantly furnished with all good learning, both for use and ornament. … He had true and clear notions of religion, and he was master of them. He knew why he believed anything, and was neither prejudiced nor imposed on by popular opinions. … He was an admirable preacher, not for noise and lungs, but for well-digested, useful, pious discourses, delivered with all that becoming gravity, seriousness, and a commanding elocution, as made them sink deep into the minds of his hearers.’ Ten of Meggot's sermons were printed together in 1699. Several of his letters are in Winchester Cathedral library.

Kneller twice painted Meggot's portrait. In one case it was engraved by White, in the other by Loggan. The latter engraving is described as ‘fine and very rare.’

[Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, iii. 258; Wilford's Memorials of Eminent Persons, p. 277; Le Neve's Fasti Eccles. Angl. iii. 22, 404; Luard's Grad. Cant. abridged, 1659–1823; Newcourt's Repert. Eccl. Lond. i. 758; Lysons's Environs of London, iii. 585; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 899, note, iv. 832; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Evans's Cat. Engraved Portraits, pp. 229, 276; information from Queens' College, Cambridge, and from the Dean of Winchester.]

G. Le G. N.