Phillpotts, Henry (1778–1869)

Anglican cleric and controversialist. A native of Bridgwater, Somerset, Phillpotts was educated at Gloucester Cathedral School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He occupied a series of increasingly prestigious church appointments in Durham and its environs, and in 1830 became Bishop of Exeter. Phillpotts was an outspoken supporter of the Tories and wrote to Southey in 1819, enclosing some of his political pamphlets. But he was equally controversial on doctrinal matters, denouncing both evangelicals and Tractarians. His refusal to appoint George Cornelius Gorham (1787–1857) to a living in Devon in 1847, because Phillpotts felt Gorham’s views on the sacrament of baptism were opposed to Anglican doctrine, produced a legal dispute that was only resolved by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and led to an important group of Anglicans defecting to the Catholic Church at this lay interference in Church matters.