John Egerton (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Egerton

Bishop of Durham
DioceseDiocese of Durham
In office1771–1787 (death)
PredecessorRichard Trevor
SuccessorThomas Thurlow
Other post(s)Dean of Hereford (24 July 1750[1]–1756)
Bishop of Bangor (1756–1768)
Bishop of Lichfield (12 October 1768 {translated}[1]–1771)
Personal details
Born(1721-11-30)30 November 1721
Died18 June 1787(1787-06-18) (aged 65)
Mayfair, Middlesex, Great Britain[1]
BuriedSt James's Church, Piccadilly[1]
ResidenceGrosvenor Square, Mayfair (at death)[1]
Parentsthe Hon Henry Egerton (Bishop of Hereford) & Lady Elizabeth Bentinck[2]
Spouse1. Lady Anne Grey (21 November 1748 {married}–1780 {her death})
2. Mary Boughton (31 March 1782 {married}–1787 {his death})[1]
ChildrenAmelia Egerton, Lady Hume
John Egerton, 7th Earl of Bridgewater
Francis Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater
ProfessionChurch of England
EducationEton College[1]
Alma materOriel College, Oxford[1]
Ordination history of
John Egerton
Diaconal ordination
Ordained byBenjamin Hoadly, Bishop of Winchester
Date21 December 1745
PlaceGrosvenor Chapel
Priestly ordination
Ordained byHoadly
Date22 December 1745
PlaceGrosvenor Chapel
Episcopal consecration
Date4 July 1756

John Egerton (30 November 1721 –18 June 1787) was a Church of England clergyman from the Egerton family who eventually rose to be Bishop of Durham. As a young man he was associated with the beginning of tourism down the River Wye and later with the controversial appointment of an English monoglot to a Welsh-speaking parish in Anglesey.


John Egerton was the son of Henry Egerton, Bishop of Hereford, by Lady Elizabeth Ariana Bentinck, daughter of the Earl of Portland. After education at Eton College and at Oriel College, Oxford, he followed his father into the church and was ordained priest on 22 December 1745, and on the 23rd of the same month was collated by his father to the rectory of Ross-on-Wye. The rectory at Ross was a favorite residence of his for much of his life, to which he often invited friends and family members. Having had a boat specially made, he began taking his visitors on trips down the River Wye and such was their popularity that they became a regular feature. In consequence Egerton was later credited as "the father of the voyage down the Wye".[5]

Egerton was later made Bishop of Bangor 1756–68, during which time he caused controversy by appointing Thomas Bowles, a priest who spoke no Welsh, to a parish where almost no one spoke English. The case did not come to court until after Egerton had become Bishop of Lichfield (1768–71). Afterwards, having previously declined the primacy of Ireland, he shortly succeeded as Bishop of Durham and held that office until his death in 1787. At Durham he displayed a talent for conciliation in promoting peace and prosperity in the county, which had been divided by elections, and in the city, which had been torn by disputes. He was also a benefactor to the county by encouraging public works: He promoted the enclosure of Walling Fen; assisted materially in rebuilding a bridge over the Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead; and in 1780 granted a new charter to the city of Durham. In addition, he made extensive improvements at the episcopal palaces and was a liberal supporter of many religious and educational institutions.[6]


Egerton was the eldest son of Henry Egerton, himself a younger son of the 3rd Earl of Bridgewater. On 21 November 1748, he married his cousin, Lady Anne Grey, a daughter and coheiress of the 1st Duke of Kent. They had four children, one of whom died in infancy; the three others were:

Lady Anne died in 1780, and on 31 March 1782, Egerton married Mary Boughton, a sister of Sir Edward Boughton. Egerton died in 1787 and the title Earl of Bridgewater (a subsidiary title of his childless cousin, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater) later passed to his eldest son in 1803.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Egerton, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8590. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "Egerton, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/63756. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "Egerton, John (CCEd Ordination ID 194753)". The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Egerton, John (CCEd Ordination ID 194759)". The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  5. ^ The excursion down the Wye, from Ross to Monmouth, Charles Heath, Monmouth 1808, “On the origin of the excursion”
  6. ^ "John Egerton", Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1900), Volume 17


Church of England titles
Preceded by Dean of Hereford
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Bangor
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Lichfield
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by