Faringdon House, close to the church, was built by Henry James Pye (1745-1813), poet laureate from 1790 to 1813, who also caused to be planted the conspicuous group of fir-trees on the hill east of the town called Faringdon Clump, or locally (like other similar groups) the Folly.
The progress of the "higher criticism," and the gradual surrender of attempts to square scientific facts with a literal interpretation of the Bible, are indicated in the shorter account given in the eighth edition, which concludes as follows: - "the insuperable difficulties connected with the belief that all the existing species of animals were provided for in the ark, are obviated by adopting the suggestion of Bishop Stillingfleet, approved by Matthew Poole, Pye Smith, le Clerc, Rossenmiiller and others, that the deluge did not extend beyond the region of the earth then inhabited, and that only the animals of that region were preserved in the ark."
Pye, poet laureate (1795), and an Italian version by F.
D'Israeli dedicated his first book, A Defence of Poetry, to Pye in.
° " Thursday, June 24th: His Majesty was pleased to confer the honour of knights banneret on the following flag officers and commanders under the royal standard, who kneeling kissed hands on the occasion: Admirals Pye and Sprye; Captains Knight, Bickerton and Vernon," Gentleman's Magazine (1773) xliii.
Pye, brought him under further suspicion, and his revival of the powers of convocation lessened his influence at court; but his unfailing tact and wide sympathies, his marvellous energy in church organization, the magnetism of his personality, and his eloquence both on the platform and in the pulpit, gradually won for him recognition as without a rival on the episcopal bench.