John Parsons

Academic Administrator and Bishop
Born Jul 6, 1761

John Parsons was an English churchman and academic, Master of Balliol College, Oxford from 1798, and Bishop of Peterborough from 1813.

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1761 Birth He was son of Isaac Parsons, butler of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and his wife Alice; born in the parish of St Aldate's, Oxford, he was baptised in St Aldate's Church on 6 July 1761. … Read More


1777 16 Years Old In his 16th year, he was admitted to Wadham College on 26 June 1777, and was elected a scholar of the college on 30 June 1780.


1782 21 Years Old He graduated B.A. in 1782, and M.A. in 1785. … Read More
1785 24 Years Old He was elected Fellow of Balliol College on 29 November 1785, and in July 1797 was presented by the college to the united livings of All Saints and St Leonard's, Colchester.


1798 37 Years Old 1 More Event
On 22 January 1798, Parsons married Elizabeth Parsons, probably a cousin, at St Aldates church. … Read More


1801 40 Years Old An academic reformer, he made college examination a reality, and in conjunction with John Eveleigh, Provost of Oriel College he gave a lead to the University, elaborating the examination Statute of 1801, by which university honours were for the first time awarded for real merit; and he was one of the first examiners, the earliest class list under the new system appearing in 1802. … Read More
1809 48 Years Old He was the senior of the three heads of houses who, on the death of William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland in 1809, proposed John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon for the chancellorship of the university, to which William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville was elected.
1810 49 Years Old In 1810, he was appointed to the deanery of Bristol, and in 1812 he was presented to the chapter living of Weare in Somerset, which he held in commendam till his death. … Read More


1812 51 Years Old He supported the National Society for the Education of the Poor, with Provost Eveleigh; and Parsons, together with Joshua Watson, is credited with drawing up in 1812 the terms of union for the district committees of the provincial schools.
1819 58 Years Old In the House of Lords he seldom spoke, but was active on committees. He died at Oxford on 12 March 1819, and was buried in the chapel of Balliol College, where a monument was erected. Only two of his sermons were printed; all his manuscript sermons were burnt after his death, by his express desire. In the acrimonious controversy concerning the 1784 Bampton Lectures of Joseph White, the Arabic professor, of which Samuel Badcock was asserted to have been the author, and portions of which were claimed by Samuel Parr, Parsons was appointed one of the arbitrators, but declined to act; and it was believed that he also had a share in the lectures, as Parr knew.
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