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Ward, Seth

WARD, SETH (1617-1689), English bishop, was born in Hertfordshire, and educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he became fellow in 1640. In 1643 he was chosen university mathematical lecturer, but he was deprived of his fellowship next year for opposing the Solemn League and Covenant. In 1649 he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, and gained a high reputation by his theory of planetary motion, propounded in the works entitled In Ismaelis Bullialdi astronomiae philolaicae fundamenta inquisitio brevis (Oxford, 1653), and Astronomia geometrica (London, 1656). About this time he was engaged in a philosophical controversy with Thomas Hobbes. He was one of the original members of the Royal Society. In 1659 he was appointed master of Trinity College, Oxford, but not having the statutory qualifications he resigned in 1660. Charles II. appointed him to the livings of St Lawrence Jewry in London, and Uplowman, Devonshire, in 1661. He also became dean of Exeter (1661) and rector of Breock, Cornwall (1662). In the latter year he was consecrated bishop of Exeter, and in 1667 he was translated to the see of Salisbury. The office of chancellor of the Order of the Garter was conferred on him in 1671. In his diocese he showed great severity to nonconformists, and rigidly enforced the act prohibiting conventicles. He spent a great deal of money on the restoration of the cathedrals of Worcester and Salisbury. He died at Knightsbridge on the 6th of January 1688/1689.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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