BINGHAM, JOSEPH: Church of England; b. at Wakefield (9 m. s. of Leeds), Yorkshire, Sept., 1668; d. at Havant (6 m. s.e. of Portsmouth), Hampshire, Aug. 17, 1723. He studied at Oxford and was fellow of University College 1689-95, when he resigned and withdrew from the university because his controversial sermon on the Trinity preached before the university had led to the charge, wholly unmerited, of heresy. He was immediately appointed rector of HeadbournWorthy (2 m. n. of Winchester), which made the rich cathedral library accessible to him. In 1712 he was transferred to the better living of Havant. His fame rests upon his Origines Ecclesiasticæ , or the Antiquities of the Christian Church (8 vols., London, 1708-22). This is exhaustive for the field it covers and can never be superseded, as it is derived from the sources and interestingly written. It has been a quarry for many books and itself several times reprinted; the best edition is by the great-great-grandson of the author, Rev. Richard Bingham (vols. i-viii of Bingham's Works, 10 vols., Oxford, 1855). There is a separate edition of the Antiquities in the Bohn Library (2 vols.), a Latin translation by Johann Heinrich Grischow (Grischovius; 11 vols., Halle, 1724-38), and an abridged German translation by an anonymous Roman Catholic author (4 vols., Augsburg, 1788-96). Unfortunately Bingham invested his savings in the South Sea Bubble and so lost them in 1720.
Bibliography: Bingham's biography by his great-grandson is given in the Oxford ed. of his works. Consult also: J. Darling, Cyclopædia Bibliographica, pp. 312-315, London, 1854; S. S. Allibone, Critical Dictionary of Eng. Literature, i, 189-190, Philadelphia, 1891; DNB, v, 48-50.