DEEP in the papers of the Duke of Newcastle, the Whig 'ecclesiastical minister', lie the thirty or so letters written by the Rev. Dr Lucius Henry Hibbins to the Duke from 1741 onwards. It is a remarkable collection, spanning eighteen years, and one overlooked by historians who have considered Newcastle's exercise of Church patronage. Mary Bateson ignores the correspondence, even though her aim was to exemplify the Duke of Newcastle's dealing with place-seeking clergy. More curiously Norman Sykes also ignores the collection and Daniel Hirschberg dismisses it in passing. The omission is significant since, among other things, the correspondence indicates that the censorious attitude of historians to placeseeking and self-recommendation for preferment should be reconsidered. Hibbins's appeals for a place represent the claims of a clergyman who had worked for the Church through a political 'interest', which he felt had then deserted him.
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