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was among the bishops who bastened to tender their allegiance to the new queen, as she was on her way from Hatfield to London; but her majesty, shocked with the recollection of his cruelties, refused to see him. He was degraded from his office and thrown into the Marshalsea, where he perished miserably.
John King, who was promoted to be bishop of London by James the First, was remarkable for his eloquence in the pulpit, and hence styled by that facetious monarch the King of preachers. His successor was of name still happier in a punning age, for it was said to have enabled the king to effect a miracle, by throwing a Mountain into the sea (see). George Mountain, who was translated from the bishopric of Lincoln to that of London, became afterwards archbishop of York; thus verifying an old saying, that he who " Lincoln was,
London is, York sball be.”
The next bishops of London were Laud and Juxon, the one celebrated for his active participation in those measures which brought his royal master to the scaffold; and the other for his courageous fidelity, in administering to the unhappy Charles the consolations of religion, not only during his trial, but in his last moments.
In the catholic reign of James II. Henry Compton, bishop of London, was styled, by way of pre-eminence, the Protestant bishop, on account of the noble stand which he made in defence of the rights of the Protestant church, against the encroachments of that prince.
He had been a soldier in his youth, when the country was torn with civil wars; and proved now a courageous champion of the sacred
order of which he had become a member. King James once observed to him, after a discussion between them on some point of difference, that " he talked more like a colonel than a bishop.” Compton smartly replied, “ that his Majesty did him honour in taking notice of bis having formerly drawn his sword in defence of the constitution, and that he would do the same again if he lived to see it necessary.” The bishop was as good as his word. From the very commencement of James's measures for the establishment of despotism, Compton was to be found in the foremost rank of opposition. The king having, in one of his speeches to parliament, broached sentiments hostile to the rights of the subject, the bishop animadverted upon them with freedom and severity, and moved, that they should be made the subject of a special inquiry. Although this conduct might have taught James that he had nothing in the shape of concession to expect from Compton, it did not prevent his sending to him, shortly after, a letter, desiring that he would forthwith suspend Dr. Sharp, rector of St. Giles's in the fields, “ from farther preaching in any parish church or chapel in his diocese, till satisfaction had been given” by the doctor for presuming to expose, in his sermons,
the errors of popery, and thereby, as James declared, endeavouring “ to beget an evil opinion of him and his government.” The bishop promptly
“ that he could not proceed otherwise than by the established law, and as a judge ; and that, by such law, no judge could condemn any man before he had knowledge of the cause, and the parties had been cited to answer the accusation.” The king, deeply
incensed at his refusal, resolved to make the bishop feel all the weight of his vengeance. The bigh commission court which had been abolished by parliament, 1640, was, by the advice of the infamous Jeffries, revived, under the name of the Court of Delegates, for the express purpose of punishing Compton. Being cited to appear before it, to answer for his disobedience, he demanded a copy of the commission by which it pretended to exercise judicial authority. Jeffries refused to give him any satisfaction on this head, telling him, insultingly, that “ the commission might be had in any coffee-house.” Compton then firmly denied the legality of its jurisdiction, and maintained that, as a bishop, he had no judge but his metropolitan.” The court, however, heedless of his protestations, proceeded to decree, that he should be suspended from his episcopal functions, for the act of disobedience of which he had been guilty. Compton had now “ lived to see the time when it would be necessary again to draw his sword in deferice of the constitution ;” and, true to his promise, he appeared in arms at Nottingham, at the head of a troop of gentlemen, and their attendants, prepared to support the elevation of the Prince of Orange to the throne.
Among the bishops of London since the restora. tion, the names of Sherlock, Lowth, and Porteous, have been justly distinguished for those qualities which, in times of domestic peace and tranquillity, do most honour to the clerical character, learning and piety.
The Bishop of London ranks, in dignity, next to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. The dio
cese comprehends not only Middlesex, Essex, and part of Hertfordshire, but the British plantations in America. The following parishes in the city are, however, exempt from the bishop's jurisdiction, being peculiars, under the immediate government of the Archbishop of Canterbury: viz. Allhallows, Breadstreet; Allhallows, Lombard-street; St. Dionis, Back-church; St. Dunstan in the East ; St. John the Baptist ; St. Leonard, Eastcheap; St. Mary Aldermary; St. Mary Bothau ; St. Mary le Bow; St. Michael Royal; St. Pancras, Soper-lane ; and St. Vedast, Foster-lane.
The chapter consists of the bishop, a dean, a precentor, or chanter, a chancellor, a treasurer, five archdeacons, (styled of London, Middlesex, Essex, Colchester, and St. Albans,) thirty canons or prebendaries, twelve minor canons, six vicars choral, a sub-dean, and other inferior officers.
The election to the bishopric, in cases of vacancy, is vested in the dean and chapter; but the right is now reduced to a mere matter of form, the person recommended by the king's writ of Congé d'elire, being invariably chosen.
The sum at which the see is entered in the king's books, is 1000l. ; but it is estimated to be worth, at least, 12,0001. per annum.
The bishop has, in common with other prelates, the power of holding courts, for the trial and punishment of spiritual offences within his diocese; and possesses a privilege which no other judge possesses ; namely, that of delegating his authority to a chancel. lor, suffragan, or other officer. The writs of the bishop's court too, proceed not in the name of the king,
but of the bishop; thus distinctly is the line drawn, in this country, between the spiritual and temporal authorities.
THE OLD CATHEDRAL OF ST. PAUL. The early historians of London have been very anxious to prove, that St. Paul's cathedral occupies the same site on which the Romans bad dedicated a temple to Diana ; in the same manner as Westminster Abbey is fabulously said to have arisen on the ruins of a temple of Apollo. The opinion, however, rests only on a tradition, that a great many bones of animals had been dug up at this spot, and on an inference, by no means self-evident, that these were remains of heathen sacrifices. When Sir Christopher Wren, however, opened and explored the whole of the ground in order to lay the foundations for the present cathedral, he met with no relics of this description, nor any thing else which furnished the least countenance to the popular notion. “I must assert," he says, " that, having changed all the foundation of Old St. Paul's, and upon that occasion rummaged all the ground thereabouts, and being very desirous to find some footsteps of such a temple, I could not discover any, and can therefore give no more credit to Diana than to Apollo."
It does not indeed appear certain, that any Christian church was erected on this spot till long after the first introduction of Christianity into Britain. The new faith had been nearly expelled the island, but restored, through the apostolic labours of Augustine,