Zachary Pearce was born in London, at Holborn, on 8 September 1690, and died at Little Ealing on 29 June 1774. He was educated initially at Westminster School, where he was a King's Scholar. In 1710 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, MA) and was elected a Fellow in 1716. In the same year, he published an edition with commentary of Cicero's De oratore, which won him wide reputation as a classical scholar, as well as influential patronage. He was ordained deacon in 1717, and priest in 1718. He was elected FRS in 1720. He was, successively, chaplain to the Lord Chancellor, Thomas Powell, later Lord Macclesfield (1718), rector of Stapleford Abbots in Essex (1719), rector of St Bartholomew, London (1720), vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields (1724) and Dean of Winchester (1739). In 1748 he was made Bishop of Bangor and in 1756 was translated to the see of Rochester, which he held simultaneously with the deanery of Westminster. In 1761 he refused the bishopric of Bath, pleading old age. His ambition had long been to resign all his preferments to spend the remainder of his life ‘In Thoughts, which raise the soul to truths sublime; / To live with innocence, with peace and love, / As do those saints who dwell in bliss above’. He resigned as Dean of Westminster in 1768, but was prevailed upon not to resign his prelacy.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.