Beilby Porteus

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Beilby Porteus

Rt Rev Beilby Porteus, DD, Bishop of Chester and London (May 8, 1731May 13, 1809) was an Anglican reformer and leading abolitionist. He was the first Anglican in a position of authority to seriously challenge the Church's position on slavery.


  • He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over.

Death: A Poetical Essay (1759)

  • In sober state,
    Through the sequestered vale of rural life,
    The venerable patriarch guileless held
    The tenor of his way.
    • Line 108. Compare: "They kept the noiseless tenor of their way" (alternately quoted as "the even tenor of their way"), Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 19, line 4.
  • One murder made a villain,
    Millions a hero. Princes were privileged
    To kill, and numbers sanctified the crime.
    • Line 154. Compare: "One to destroy is murder by the law, And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe; To murder thousands takes a specious name, War’s glorious art, and gives immortal fame", Edward Young, "Love of Fame", Satire vii, line 55.
  • War its thousands slays, Peace its ten thousands.
    • Line 178.
  • Teach him how to live,
    And, oh still harder lesson! how to die.
    • Line 316. Compare: "There taught us how to live; and (oh, too high
      The price for knowledge!) taught us how to die", Thomas Tickell, On the Death of Mr. Addison (1721), line 81.; "He who should teach men to die, would at the same time teach them to live", Michel de Montaigne, Essay, book i. chap. ix.; "I have taught you, my dear flock, for above thirty years how to live; and I will show you in a very short time how to die", Sandys, Anglorum Speculum, p. 903.
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