William Lucy

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William Lucy from an 1827 engraving

William Lucy (1594–1677) was an English clergyman. He was Bishop of St David's after the English Restoration of 1660.


Lucy was a student at Trinity College, Oxford.[1] He belonged to the Arminian party, and became Rector of Burghclere in 1619, Highclere in 1621.[2]

In the mid-1660s, Lucy clashed with William Nicholson, Bishop of Gloucester, over Nicholson's visiting rights as Archdeacon of Brecon. Lucy won the resulting court case.[3]

William Lucy's tomb and wall monument are at Christ College, Brecon. He has rebuilt the church there, demolished in the Civil War period.[4]

Opponent of Hobbes[edit]

In 1657, William Lucy published an attack on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, and in particular on Leviathan (1651), using the pseudonym William Pyke, Christophilus, and circulated by Humphrey Robinson.[5] A later and expanded edition, of 1663, was under his real name, as Observations, Censures and Confutations of Notorious Errours in Mr. Hobbes his Leviathan.

John Bowle considers Lucy's views as representative of the common view.[6] He attacked Hobbes's concept of the state of nature, as inconsistent with the Biblical state.[7] The popularity of the ideas he conceded, but he attributed it to neophilia.[8] His attack has been called traditionalist and moralistic.[9]


  1. ^ "Trinity College | A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 3 (pp. 238-251)". British-history.ac.uk. 1948-12-31. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  2. ^ Kenneth Fincham, Nicholas Tyacke, Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship, 1547–c.1700 (2007), p. 283.
  3. ^ "A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710". GENUKI. 2003-04-27. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  4. ^ "Brecon". Welsh Icons. Retrieved 25 September 2012. External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ Patricia Springborg, The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes's Leviathan (2007), p. 487.
  6. ^ John Bowle, Hobbes and His Critics (1951), p. 72.
  7. ^ Kim Ian Parker, The Biblical Politics of John Locke (2004), p. 79.
  8. ^ Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics: Regarding Method (2002), p. 268.
  9. ^ Norberto Bobbio, Thomas Hobbes and the Natural Law Tradition (1993 translation), p. 215.


  • Aloysius Martinich, Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes (2002), Appendix D, p. 580.
  • Andrew Pyle (editor), Dictionary of Seventeenth Century British Philosophers (2000), pp. 544–545.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Roger Mainwaring, vacant after 1653
Bishop of St David's
Succeeded by
William Thomas