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William Paley

(1743-1805), Theological writer

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 4 portraits
William Paley graduated from Christ's Church, Cambridge, in 1763. He was ordained into the Church of England in 1765 and following year was appointed as a Fellow and Tutor of his college. In 1782, he was made Archdeacon of Carlisle and later became a Canon of St. Paul's. Paley is remembered as a theologian and moralist. His most important works were The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy (1785), A View of the Evidence of Christianity(1794), which was required reading for entrance to Cambridge until the twentieth century, and Natural Theology (1802). In Natural Theology, he famously used the analogy of a watchmaker to argue for the existence of God.

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William Paley, after George Romney - NPG 145

William Paley

after George Romney
oil on canvas, based on a work of 1789-1791
NPG 145

William Paley, by John Jones, after  George Romney - NPG D9534

William Paley

by John Jones, after George Romney
mezzotint, published 1792
NPG D9534

Web image not currently available

William Paley

by R. Cooper
line and stipple engraving, circa 1825
NPG D16026



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