son of George Harris, Milford, Pembrokeshire. He entered Jesus College, Oxford, in 1697 (B.A. 1701, and M.A. 1714). He was for some time rector of Rudbaxton, Pembrokeshire, and from 1708 to 1729 rector of Lampeter Velfrey. In 1728 he became Fellow of Oriel; in the same year he received the degree of D.D. from the university of Cambridge and was made canon of Canterbury cathedral. In 1729 he became vicar of Ticehurst, Sussex, dean of Hereford cathedral, and on 19 October was consecrated bishop of Llandaff by the archbishop of Canterbury in Lambeth Palace chapel. In 1736 he relinquished the deanery of Hereford to become dean of Wells.
Harris was an active bishop, as is instanced by his numerous ordinations, but he will be remembered chiefly for his restoration of Llandaff cathedral. Assuming his position as ‘head of the chapter,’ he threw himself into the task of collecting funds and commissioned the famous architect of Bath, John Wood, to erect the ‘Italian Temple’ within the walls of the cathedral — a work highly appraised in his day but unstintingly condemned in the following century.
He died 28 August 1738 and was buried in Wells cathedral. A mural tablet was erected to his memory, in the south cloister, by his son.
Published date: 1959
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