BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 335 and presents a very lively picture of the remarkable individual whom it describes. The REV. ROWLANHDI LLwa s the sixth son of Sir Rowland Hill of Hawkstone, in Shropshire, and uncle of the famous Lord Hill, who distinguished himself so much in the Peninsular war ; for his services in which he was ennobled.’ Rowland possessed from infancy an open, lively disposition; and gave early indication of that playful humour which clung to him so pertinaciously throughout his future years. On one occasion, being brought into the apartment where his father and mother were sitting with some company, the question was put to him-“ Well, Rowley, and what should you like to be 1” Looking archly at his father, who was sitting in an arm chair, he replied-“ I should like to be a baronet and sit in a great chair !” Rowley was sent to Eton; and, having early imbibed strong religious notions, which were ardently fanned by his elder brother and sister, he was subsequently placed at Cambridge, to study with a view to the Church. Here he soon became conspicuous for his religious zeal, by visiting the prisons and preaching to the poor in the neighbourhood. In this course, which gave much offence to the heads of the College ‘of St John’s, he was greatly encouraged by Mr. Whitfield, to whom he had been introduced, and who continued to correspond with his young protege for several years. His father and mother were also nearly as much offended at his illethodistical conduct as the heads of the College ; and did everything to counteract his propensities. Nothing, however, could relax the devotion of the young enthusiast, In 1769 he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts ; and being then twenty-three years of age, he immediately exerted himself to obtain orders, but was refused by no fewer than six bishops. Thus rejected, he retired to his father’s seat at Hawkstone, where, for several years, he continued to reside during the winter season; and, with the “voice of spring,” went forth to preach throughout the country. In consequence of his father’s displeasure, the allowance he received for several years was extremely limited, so much so that he was frequently reduced to considerable embarrassments ; and sometimes he and the little pony which he kept to carry him over the country were at a loss where to find provender for the night. During his peregrinations he was in frequent danger from the tumults of the mob ; but he was of a fearless disposition, and regardless of personal danger. In his journal of 1771 this entry occurs-‘‘ 10th May, at Stowey, to the most outrageous congregation I ever saw. There was such a noise with beating of pans, shovels, etc., blowing of horns and ringing of bells, that I could scarce hear myself speak. Though we were pelted with mud, dirt, eggs, etc., I was enabled to preach out my sermon.” The excursions of the ‘‘ Baronet’s Son,’’ as he was called, were extended, in this manner, over a great portion of the country, and even to Wales, where he was well received. Rowland Hill first visited London in 1772, where he preached to immense congregations at the Tabernacle and at Tottenham Court Chapel. The same There were five brothers of this family at Waterloo, all of whom survived the action.
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