HUNTINGFORD, George I. (1748–1832), college master. ALS re publication of his sermons. 1796

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HUNTINGFORD, George Isaac (1748–1832), college head and bishop of Hereford. Autograph letter signed, addressed ‘Gentlemen’, 1 side quarto, Winchester College, April 17th 1796, acknowledging their communication of the 15th and discussing a publishing project “It will certainly be more eligible to me, that the Second Volume should be undertaken by you on the same conditions as the first, as the business will be more simplified. Since then you are pleased to make me that offer, I shall be glad to accept it; and of course think no more of the proposals I had made, before I could hope you would engage again as in the former Work ”. Written in a very neat readable hand.

The work referred to in the letter is Huntingford’s sermons entitled Twelve discourses on different subjects published by T. Cadell junior and W. Davies in two volumes in 1795 and 1797, and the letter is clearly addressed to the publishers. Not for the first time in his career, the critics were not kind about his published work.

George Huntingford was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, where he became a Fellow in 1770, graduating M.A., 1776 and D.D. in 1793. He was ordained curate of Compton, Winchester, and became a master at Winchester College, where he was also warden from 1789 until his death. He set out to be an active warden attempting to restore discipline, but gained a reputation for lack of imagination and severity that has become part of Winchester College legend. In 1793, faced with a rising in college, he reasserted order with the help of a deputation of gentlemen from the town and the threat of intervention by the Buckinghamshire militia. Thirty-five members of college were expelled.

Huntingford was a close friend of Henry Addington (prime minister 1801-1804), who he had taught at Winchester, and his patronage brought Huntingford opportunities to preach official sermons. He preached before the House of Commons on the occasion of the general fast on Good Friday 1793, when he was forthright about the expected fate of the French revolutionary government: ‘National iniquity shall lead on to national ruin’. In 1797 he gave the annual sermon to the charity school children of London and Westminster at St Paul's Cathedral, on the subject of ‘Education, as necessary and beneficial to man’. Huntingford was ordained Bishop of Gloucester, 1802–1815, and of Hereford, 1815–32.(ODNB).

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