Rt Rev Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St Asaph's

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Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St Asaph

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Of, Turvey, Bedford, England, United Kingdom
Death: December 6, 1786 (72)
Chilbolton, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: Twyford, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Jonathan Shipley and Martha Shipley
Husband of Anna Maria Shipley
Father of Very Rev. William Davies Shipley; Anna Maria Hare-Naylor, Lady Jones; Amelia Sloper; Elizabeth Shipley; Georgiana Hare-Naylor and 1 other
Brother of William Shipley; Martha Shipley and William Shipley

Managed by: Woodman Mark Lowes Dickinson, OBE
Last Updated:

About Rt Rev Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St Asaph's

Jonathan Shipley (1714 – 6 December 1788) was a clergyman in the Church in Wales, also having held offices in the Church of England (including Dean of Winchester from 1760 to 1769), who became Bishop of Llandaff from January to September 1769 and Bishop of St Asaph from September 1769 until his death.

In 1774, after voting against the alteration of the constitution of Massachusetts, proposed as a punishment for the tea-ship riots at Boston, Shipley published a speech which for some reason he had not delivered. It was considered a masterpiece at the time. ‘I look upon North America,’ he said, ‘as the only great nursery of freemen left on the face of the earth.’


  • Son of Jonathan Shipley and Martha (Davies) Shipley
  • Husband of Anna Maria (Mordaunt) Shipley

From http://welshjournals.llgc.org.uk/browse/viewpage/llgc-id:1256711/llgc-id:1259251/llgc-id:1259284/getText

The bishop, in addition to his son, had five daughters.

  1. Very Rev. William Davies Shipley (b. 5 Oct 1745, d. 1826.) Married Penelope Yonge.
  2. Anna Maria (1748-1829). Married 1) Sir William Jones 2) Francis Hare-Naylor. "The Bishop's eldest daughter, Anna Maria, born 24 November 1748 (Old Style), married on 8 April 1783 Sir William Jones, one of the East India judges who was a celebrated linguist. He is said to have mastered eight languages."
  3. Amelia or Emily (1750–1800) Married William Sloper. "The second daughter, Amelia, was born 23 September (O.S.) 1750. She married William Charles Sloper and they had a daughter, also named Amelia, born 25 October 1775."
  4. Elizabeth 'Betsy' (1754-1794). Did not marry. "Elizabeth was born 2 September (New Style), 1753."
  5. Georgiana, (b. c 1755, d. 6 Apr 1806) Married Francis Hare-Naylor. "born 24 July, 1756 (according to Mrs. John Dykes, Twyford Moors), "threw away her beauty on a rake.' Her marriage to Francis Hare (the Naylor was subsequently dropped) took place on 14 November, 1784. Her epitaph states that she was of amiable and gentle disposition.' After infinite suffering she died in Switzerland, 6 April, 1806. There were four children: Augustus, Julius, Marcus, and U.C.N.W., Stapleton -Cotton Papers."
  6. Catherine 'Kitty' (1759-1840). Did not marry. "the fifth daughter, Catherine Louisa, born 2 January, 1759."

family notes

From Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 52 Shipley, Jonathan by Henry Leigh Bennett

SHIPLEY, JONATHAN (1714–1788), bishop of St. Asaph, born in 1714, was son of Jonathan Shipley (d. 1749), a native of Leeds, who resided in after life at Walbrook, and was a citizen and stationer of London. His mother, Martha (d. 1757), was a member of a family named Davies, owners of Twyford House, near Winchester. The Twyford property came to the bishop at the death, in 1765, of his mother's brother, William Davies. William Shipley [q. v.] was the bishop's brother (cf. Jackson, St. George's Church, Doncaster, p. 116).

The bishop's son William Davies is noticed separately. His eldest daughter Anna Maria, married Sir William Jones [q. v.], the orientalist, while Georgiana married Francis Hare-Naylor [q. v.], and was mother of Julius and of Augustus Hare.

From "The Welsh book-plates in the collection of Sir Evan Davies Jones, bart., M. P. of Pentower, Fishguard; a catalogue, with biographical and decriptive notes" page 118

Jonathan Shipley (s. of Jonathan Shipley and Martha Davies, his wife); b. 1714; m. Anna-Maria Mordaunt ; bishop of Llandaff, 176-; translated to St Asaph, 1769; ob. 1786.


From Wikipedia, December 2014:

Jonathan grew up at Walbrook in the City of London. He was educated at Reading School in Berkshire. He received his college training at St John's College, Oxford, from where he received a BA degree in 1735, an MA degree in 1738, and a DD degree in 1748. He was ordained about 1738, and acted as tutor in the household of the 3rd Earl of Peterborough. In 1743, he became rector of Silchester and Sherborne St John in Hampshire, and prebendary of Winchester. He was appointed to a canonry of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1748, and in 1760 to the deanery of Winchester and the living of Chilbolton, also in Hampshire, which he held in addition to his earlier preferments.

In 1769, he was consecrated successively Bishop of Llandaff and of St Asaph. He was much concerned with politics, and joined the Whig party in strong opposition to the policy of George III towards the American colonies.

He maintained a strong friendship with the Philadelphia printer Benjamin Franklin, who stayed with Shipley in Winchester, and while there wrote much of his autobiography. In 1784, in a letter to Henry Laurens, Franklin called Shipley "America's constant friend, the good Bishop of Asaph."

In 1774, when the British Parliament were discussing punitive measures against the town of Boston after the Tea Party incident, Shipley was apparently the only Church of England Bishop (who were legally constituted members of Parliament) who raised his voice in opposition. He prepared a speech in protest of the proposed measures, but was not given the opportunity to present it. Therefore he had it published, but due to the general feeling in England against the rebellious colonies, the speech had no effect. In the speech he pointed out that in the year 1772, the Crown had collected only 85 pounds from the American colonies. He stated: "Money that is earned so dearly as this ought to be expended with great wisdom and economy."[2] For these views, St. Asaph Street in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States, is named in Shipley's honor.

In 1779, Shipley was the only bishop to advocate the abolition of all laws against Protestant dissenters.

Shipley's portrait presently hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. It was painted by John Raphael Smith, after Joshua Reynolds.[3]

His brother, the portrait painter William Shipley (1714–1803), originated the Society of Arts; and his son, William Davies Shipley (1745–1826), became Dean of St Asaph.

He was a Patriot during the American Revolution. And died in his own home.

Jonathan Shipley married Anna Maria Mordaunt, daughter of Rev George Mordaunt and Elizabeth Doyley, and left descendants.[4]


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Rt Rev Jonathan Shipley, Bishop of St Asaph's's Timeline

October 2, 1713
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Turvey, Bedford, England, United Kingdom
October 5, 1745
Age 31
Midgham, West Berkshire, England, United Kingdom
December 5, 1748
Age 34
Flintshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Age 36
Saint Asaph, Wales, United Kingdom
Age 40
Saint Asaph, Wales, United Kingdom
Age 41
Saint Asaph, Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdom
Age 42
Saint Asaph, Wales, United Kingdom
December 6, 1786
Age 72
Chilbolton, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom