Richard Fiddes was born at Hunmanby near Scarborough and died at Putney on 8 July 1725. He entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1687, graduating BA (from University College) in 1691. He was ordained in 1694, created BD by diploma in 1714, proceeded DD in 1718 and incorporated at Cambridge in 1720. From 1696 until his death, he was rector of Hailsham in Holderness, Yorkshire, but a throat impediment largely deprived him of speech, as a consequence of which he obtained leave of non-residence, eventually moving to London where he set up as a man of letters in 1712. He was in poor circumstances and White Kennett records Swift soliciting the Earl of Arran to speak to his brother the Duke of Ormond, ‘to get a Chaplains place in the garrison of Hull for Mr. Fiddes, a clergyman in that neighbourhood, who had lately been in gaol, and published sermons to pay fees’ (Swift, Correspondence, vol. 5, p. 228). This worked though Fiddes lost the chaplaincy at the change of ministry in 1714. He then, clearly a Tory, became chaplain to Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.