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Samuel Willes and the 7th Earl of Huntingdon
William Gibson

This chapter considers the development of the culture of patronage in the relationship of a chaplain and his patron. It argues that there was an essential patronage association at the centre of the relationship. The relationship of the 7th Earl of Huntingdon and Samuel Willes, his chaplain between 1660 and 1684, was a building block and foundation on which other patronage networks rested. Willes's dependency on Huntingdon was naturally legitimised and magnified by the claims of Willes's own dependents. In 1682, Willes had been appointed prebendary of Bubbenhall in Lichfield Cathedral by Bishop Thomas Wood of Lichfield and Coventry. The facility shown by Willes in poetry and epistolarity extended into the spiritual aspects of his writing. One of the few published sources for Willes's chaplaincy is a poem contributed in 1665 to Hesychia Christianou; or, A Christian's acquiescence in all the products of divine providence.

in Chaplains in early modern England