John Hough (bishop)

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Bishop Hough

John Hough (/hʌf/; 12 April 1651 – 8 March 1743) was an English bishop. He is best known for the confrontation over his election as President at Magdalen College, Oxford that took place at the end of the reign of James II of England.


Hough graduated M.A. at Magdalen College in 1676.[1] When Henry Clerke died in 1687, there was a wide field of candidates as President of Magdalen College, but King James was determined not to have an anti-Catholic chosen. The college's Visitor was Peter Mews, and he proposed Baptist Levinz. John Younger and Thomas Smith of the college were reluctant to stand in the teeth of royal opposition. James recommended Anthony Farmer, a reputed Catholic, making the proposal one day after he announced universal religious toleration. Farmer's candidacy met with much opposition. James suggested Samuel Parker, Anglican Bishop of Oxford, as a compromise candidate. Hough was elected President in 1687, but was then officially replaced by Parker, after the prerogative Court of Ecclesiastical Commission was brought into the matter. Hough refused to submit, and three Commissioners arrived with cavalry: Thomas Cartwright, Sir Robert Wright and Sir Thomas Jenner. Parker then was put into place over protests, but died, early in 1688, and his successor was Bonaventure Giffard, Catholic vicar-apostolic, 26 Fellows of Magdalen having by then been deprived of their fellowships over the business. After the Glorious Revolution, Hough became President once more, until 1701.[2][3][4]

John Hough in 1690

He was Bishop of Oxford, and then Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry from 1699. He became Bishop of Worcester in 1717. There is a substantial memorial to Hough in Worcester Cathedral, by Louis-François Roubiliac.[5]


  1. ^ Concise Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ R. A. Beddard, The Catholic Challenge, pp. 940-945 in Trevor Henry Aston, Nicholas Tyacke (editors), The History of the University of Oxford: Volume IV: Seventeenth-Century Oxford (1984).
  4. ^ "Magdalen College | British History Online". Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  5. ^ Adrian Forty, Susanne Kuchler, The Art of Forgetting (2001), p. 102.

Further reading[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Clerke
President of Magdalen College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Samuel Parker
Preceded by
Bonaventure Giffard
President of Magdalen College, Oxford
Succeeded by
John Rogers
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Timothy Hall
Bishop of Oxford
Succeeded by
William Talbot
Preceded by
William Lloyd
Bishop of Lichfield
Succeeded by
Edward Chandler
Preceded by
William Lloyd
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Isaac Maddox