Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WYNNE , JOHN ( 1667 - 1743 ), bishop of S. Asaph and principal of Jesus College, Oxford ;

b. in 1667 , the son of Humphrey Wynne of Maes-y-coed , Caerwys , and his wife Elizabeth ( Wynne , daughter of John Wynne of Copa'rleni , Trelawnyd , and his wife Catherine Thelwall , of Bathafarn , see J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees , 369 — the bishop was, accordingly, the second cousin of the John Wynne of Copa'rleni described in the preceding article). He went to school at Northop and Ruthin , and in 1682 was admitted into Jesus College , where he graduated in 1685 ( B.D. 1696 , D.D. 1706 ), being elected a Fellow the same year. The name being a very common one, there has been, both in Foster and in the D.N.B. , a good deal of confusion about his career; if D. R. Thomas 's lists of S. Asaph clergy are studied it will be seen that he was not the John Wynne who was at Nantglyn and Llansilin as alleged by Foster , nor the John Wynne (another of the same name) who, according to Foster , was at Efenechtyd . Indeed, the bishop 's career was comparatively straightforward: he was chaplain to the earl of Pembroke , who gave him the rectory of Llangelynnin, Mer. ( 1701-1714 ); furthermore, in 1705 , he became prebendary of Christ College , Brecon . From 1705 until 1716 he was Lady Margaret professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford , and in 1713 became rector of Llandysul, Cards. , in plurality. He was already ( 1712 ) deputy-principal of Jesus College , and in Aug. 1712 , after a hard tussle between Whig and Tory Fellows, succeeded in obtaining the principalship . In Jan. 1715 he was appointed bishop of S. Asaph , but, in spite of much grumbling at Oxford , continued to hold his post at Jesus College until 1720 , when he m. Anne , daughter of Robert Pugh of Pennarth , Penmachno (see under Lloyd , Richard , of Esclus — the bishop was one of Lloyd 's executors ). While he was at S. Asaph he spent his money freely on repairs to the cathedral and the palace ; it should also be noted that Wynne was the last Welshman to be bishop of that diocese until 1870 . In 1727 he was translated to Bath and Wells , where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1732 he bought the Soughton estate in Northop (Flints.) , and it was there that he d., 15 July 1743 ‘at the age of 85,’ according to his tombstone at Northop . He published a few sermons and, in 1696 , an abbreviation of Locke 's essay On the Human Understanding — an abbreviation which was commended by Locke himself, which ran into five editions, and which was translated into French and Italian . Edward Lhuyd felt in 1704 ( Arch. Camb. , 1859 , 253) that Wynne was cold, if not actually hostile, to him — Moses Williams , on the other hand, received from him a letter of recommendation when he was applying for the post of secretary of the Royal Society .

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Foster , Alumni Oxonienses ;
  • Hardy , Jesus College (1899) , 163-7;
  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , ii, 432;
  • A. Ivor Pryce , Diocese of Bangor During Three Centuries, seventeenth to nineteenth century inclusive being a digest of the registers of the bishops (1929) , 15.

Author:



Two of the bishop 's sons were buried at Northop . The elder, JOHN WYNNE ( 1724 - 1801 ), barrister , was a Bencher of the Middle Temple . The other was Sir WILLIAM WYNNE ( 1729 - 1815 ), also a barrister ; he went to Trinity Hall , Cambridge , in 1746 , graduated in law in 1751 ( LL.D. 1757 ), was a Fellow of the college from 1755 to 1803 , and Master from 1803 until his death. He specialised in ecclesiastical law , and was a pleader in the Court of Arches from 1757 to 1788 , when he was appointed Dean of Arches and a judge in the archbishop's Prerogative Court , appointments which he held until 1809 . He became a member of the Privy Council in 1789 , and one of the lords of the Treasury in 1790 — he had been knighted in 1788 . Soughton was inherited by the bishop 's daughter, who m. Henry Bankes , an ancestor of the late Sir John Eldon Bankes .

Sources:

  • Thomas , A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , ii, 432;
  • Venn , Alumni Cantabrigienses .

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959