Porteus, Beilby, 1731-1809

Alternative names
Birth 1731-05-08
Death 1809-05-14

Biographical notes:

Beilby Porteus was born in York in 1731; his parents were Virginian colonists who had moved back to England. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1752 and tutored until 1757 when he was ordained. In 1759 he won the Seatonian Prize for his poem 'Death: a poetical essay'. By 1762 Porteus had been appointed domestic chaplain to Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury; in 1769 he became Chaplain to King George III, and was created Bishop of Chester in 1776. When Porteus was appointed Bishop of London in 1787, the British overseas colonies came under his jurisdiction. He had already shown a keen interest in the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and now organised missions to India and the West Indies. He also took part in House of Lords debates which opposed the slave trade, and was foremost amongst those trying to pass Sir William Dolben's Slave Carrying Bill in 1788. Porteus also published volumes of sermons and tracts on political and spiritual topics. He died in 1808.

From the guide to the Porteus, Bishop Beilby, n.d., (Senate House Library, University of London)

Bishop of Chester, Bishop of London.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : St. Cross [Winchester], to Mr. Cadell, 1783 June 17. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270618699


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  • Political doctrines
  • Anti-slavery


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