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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 469
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336 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. year he took the degree of Master of Arts at Cambridge, where he visited his old friends ; and, as wintep drew on again, retired to the seat of his family in Shropshire. Although maintaining views and conduct somewhat different from the Church of England, he was unwilling to be altogether without the pale of the Establishment. After considerable address, and through the good offices of his friends, he was at length assured of being admitted to orders. In the meantime, another important matter was also about to be concluded. Having gone to London for the purpose, he was married at Mary-le-Bone Church, on the 23d May 1773, to Miss Tudway, a relative of his own ; and immediately thereafter, having gone down to Somersetshire with Mrs. Hill, he was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Bath and Wells. His title to orders was the parish of Kingston, and his stipend forty pounds a year. This event is recorded thus in his own words :-'' On Trinity Sunday, June 6, through the kind and unexpected interposition of Providence was I ordained by the Eishop of Bath and Wells, without anypromise OT condition whatever.'' He was not permitted, however, to get into full orders. In a subsequent attempt to attain to the priestship, the Bishop of Carlisle refused him, on the ground of his continued irregularities. Having only officiated once or twice at Kingston, he renewed his former excursions, generally accompanied by Mrs. Hill. About this period, 1'7'74, he built a house and chapel at Wotton, in Gloucestershire, not far from the banks of the Severn, and with a complete view of the Welsh mountains to the left. This romantic and beautiful spot became his favourite resort ; and, even after his settlement in London, continued to be his summer residence. In 1775, he was frequently engaged in preaching in London and the neighbourhood. One night, when travelling in his phaeton, accompanied by Mrs. Hill, he was attacked by two or three fellows, who demanded his money. The same party had a few minutes before robbed his assistant, Mr. Whiteford, who was a short way in advance in his gig. When the robbers came to Mr. Hill, he set up such a tremendous unearthly shout, that one of them cried, "We have stopped the devil by mistake, and had better be off !"-upon which they all ran away. This anecdote M.r. Hill used to laugh and tell himself; and his biographer says it probably gave rise to " the foolish story of his taking a robber into his service." After continuing for several years to preach for a given period alternately in London, Bristol, and his own little chapel at Wotton, his fame had so much increased in the metropolis that his friends were desirous df erecting a settled place of worship for him there. Accordingly, in 1783, the Surrey Chapel, in St. George's Fields, was erected; at the head of the directors of which was his brother Richard. London now became his settled place of residence, but he still reserved a part of every year to visit Wotton, and to make excursions to other parts of the country. The Surrey Chapel soon became a place of notoriety, to which many flocked through curiosity, and no doubt others from better motives. The mode of worship adopted was strictly Episcopalian. Aided by
Volume 8 Page 470
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