William Godwin's Diary


Bishop Samuel Horsley (1733-1806) had in earlier decades been an open-minded fellow of the Royal Society and editor of Isaac Newton, but by the 1780s was a staunch defender of high-church Toryism in the face of dissent and revolution. From 1783 he was involved in a long-running dispute with Priestley over the latter’s denial of the doctrine of the Trinity and between 1789 and 1793 was a strong opponent of attempts to repeal the Test and Corporation Acts. From 6 May 1788 he was Bishop of St David’s, and it is unclear where Godwin heard him speak on this particular day. Given that it is a Sunday, he is more likely to have been preaching somewhere in London than speaking in the House of Lords.

See DNB and F. C. Mather, High Church Prophet (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).