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Full text of "The Annual biography and obituary"



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a^^'^Cl OF THE Ci-:J:':N or jr^'U3 CHRIST 
ti^ (^ I ^ OF L/ J 1 RR-D;^,Y SAiMTS 

Printed by Strahan and Spottiswood«, 
Printers-Street, London. 


1 HE year 1820, has ushered in a new volume, 
being the Fourth of the Annual Biography and Obi- 
tuary. The Editor is not unwilHng to assume some 
trifling credit, in consequence of an early and re- 
gular publication ; but for all that is curious, in- 
teresting, or original, in the present work, the Reader 
is wholly indebted to the assistance, correspondence, 
and communications of others. Some elucidations 
on this subject, may not prove altogether unworthy 
of attention. 

The Memoir of the greatest female singer* this 
country has ever produced, is drawn up with the 
most scrupulous attention to delicacy and decorum. 
It was composed by a gentleman, who both knew and 
admired her in the character of ?i professional tcoman, 
and he has been kindly and readily assisted with the 
most correct information on the part of one of her 
surviving trustees. 

* Mrji. BilHiigton. 


The life of the Anglo- American Colonel Tathani, 
will be found replete with incident and misfortunes : 
it is to the full as singular as that of Mr. Harriott in 
the preceding volume. 


The biography of a late Knight of the Bath *, to 
whom the Letters of Junius have been recently as- 
cribed, with a hardihood that at least challenges 
investigation, contains, what he himself was accus- 
tomed to term " Notes for History," most of 
which have been obtained iiom personal communi- 

We have prevailed on a gentleman, perhaps the 
only one in the kingdom, who had inclination and 
opportunities to execute such a task — to draw up 
an account of a celebrated character t, who, after 
expending upwards of 100,000/. in objects ofvertil, 
lately died in a jail ! By such as knew him, this 
article will be deemed at once curious, interesting, 
and original : indeed, like some fine specimens of 
his own shells, it must be termed unique^ as no 
other similar collection of facts is in existence. 

The Memoirs of a late celebrated poett, are 
drawn up by two of his friends. The one part, 
which is chiefly dedicated to the consideration of his 
early life, appears to have been compiled both 
from oral communication, and documents furnished 
by himself. The supplement, written by a gentle- 

* Sir Philip Francis, f H. C. Jennings, Esq. \ Dr. Wolcot. 


man who holds a very respectable situation in one 
of the public offices, while it rectifies some errors 
respecting his family, details a variety of curious par- 
ticulars connected with the latter portion of his life. 
Had it been received sooner, more justice would 
have been done to an article, which, in its original 
form, must have merited a double portion of praise. 
The whole, taken together, will, perhaps, be found 
to constitute one of the completest specimens of 
biography, lately submitted to the notice of the 
Public. A short but authentic life of the late James 
Watt, F. R. S. cannot fail to attract attention. It 
has been sanctioned by the approbation of those 
to whom his memory and reputation are peculiarly 

At a time, when the penal statutes are thought 
by some to stand in need of revision, and the con- 
dition of the criminal poor, has become a subject of 
frequent debate and investigation in both Houses of 
Parliament, the documents contained in the memoirs- 
of the late * Inspector-General of convicts, cannot 
fail tp prove worthy of attention. The rules laid 
down by him being the result of long experience 
both by sea and land, are well calculated to afford 
useful hints to such benevolent legislators as are 
occupied about meliorating the condition of those 
confined on board of hulks, conveyed to distant 
settlements by means of transports, or doomed to 
spend a large portion of their lives in Penitentiary 

* Aaron Graham, Esq. 

A3 ' 


Houses. It is greatly to be lamented, that we 
have been unable to mclude many celebrated cha- 
racters within the limits of the present volume. 
Among some others that excite our regret, are the 
Father of the English Bar* ; the venerable and learned 
Dean of Christ Church ; and a nobleman, whose name 
is connected with the Agriculture of this country, 
in all its various branches, having not only devoted 
the greater part of his Hfe to husbandry, experi- 
mental and practical, but to the improvement of our 
various breeds of cattle, both native and foreign. 
Of all these, memoirs shall appear in our next 

* Sir Arthur Pigot, late Attorney-General. 




1818 — 1819. 


1. Admiral Sir Robert Calder, K. B. and Bart. - 1 

2. Mr. Alderman Combe _ - _ - - 20 

3. Sir Richard Musgrave, Bart. - - - - 34? 

4. John Palmer, Esq. - - - - - G^ 

5. Patrick Btydone, Esq. - - - - - 85 

6. George Wilson Meadley, Esq. - - - - 112 

7. Mrs. Billington - 138 

8. Colonel Tatham - 149 

9. Sir Philip Francis, K. B. - - - - 169 
\0. Major Scott Waring, Ex M. P. - - - 235 

11. Dr. Wolcot, fPeteiPitidar J - - - - 263 

12. Henry Constantine Jennings, Esq. the celebrated Anti- 

quary .___--- 326 

13. Professor Playfair ------ 371 

14. James Watt, Esq. - - - - - - 391 

15. Sir Hemy Tempest, Bart. . - - - 400 

16. Aaron Graham, Esq. ----- 402 



1. His Grace the Archbishop of Tuam - - - 423 

2. Samuel Lysons, Esq. F. R. S. F.A.S. - - - 424 


3. James Forbes, Esq. F. R. S. F. A. S. - - 425 

']•. Heiinj P. Wyiulham, Esq. ----- 427 
5. Lord Bis/ioj) of Fctcrhorough - - - - ^ 428 
C. Right Hon. Lord Walsmghain , - - - - 434 




Memoirs of John Fhike of Marlborough, 4'C' '^c- ^y 
Mr. Archdeacon Coxe - - - - 437 

2. Letters from the Abbe Edgcworth to his friends, 'with 
Memoirs of his Life, i?iclttding some Account of the 
Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork, Dr. Moylan, and 
Letters to him from the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, 
and other persons of distinction. — By the Rev. 
Thomas R. England ----- 443 
3. Memoirs of George Hardinge, Esq. M. A. F. S. A. 

Senior Justice (f Brecon, Glainorgan, and Radnor 450 


A general Biog)-aphical List of persons "who have died 
in 1819. 



Admiral Sir Robert Calder, K. BJ and Bart. 







Mr. Alderman Combe - - - 




Sir Richard Musgrave, Bart. 




John Pahiicr, Esq. - - - - 




Patrick Brydone, Esq. - - - - 




George Wilson Meadley, Esq. 




Mrs. Billington, [Madame de Felessent) 




Colonel Tatham " - - - - 




Sir Philip Francis, K. B. ... 




Major Scott Waring, Ex M. P. - 




Dr. Wolcot, (Peter Pindar) ... 




Henry Constantine Jennings, Esq. the 7 
Antiquary _ . - - j 




Professor Playfair _ - - . 




James Watt, Esq. _ . - . 




Sir Henry Tempest, Bt. - - - - 




Aaron Graham, Esq. . - - - 






Abp. of Tuam - - - - - 




Samuel Lysons, Esq. - - _ _ 




James Forbes, Esq. - - - . 




H. P. Wyndham .... 




Lord Bishop of Peterborough 




Right Hon. Lord Walsingham 






JJILLINGTON, Mrs. - - - - - - -138 

Brydone, Patrick, Esq. - - - - - -85 

Calder, Admiral Sir Robert, K. B. and Bart. - - 1 

Combe, Mr. Alderman ------ 20 

Forbes, James, Esq. F. 11. S. F. A. S. - - - 425 

Francis, Sir Philip, K. B. - - - - - 1 69 

Graham, Aaron, Esq. ______ 4,02 

Jennings, Henry Constantine, Esq. the celebrated An- 
tiquary -__-____ 326 

Lysons, Samuel, Esq. F. R. S. F. A. S. - - - 424 

Meadley, George Wilson, Esq. - - - - 112 

Musgrave, Sir Richard, Bart. - - - - - 34 

Palmer Jolm, Esq. --____ 55 

Peterborough, Lord Bp. of - - - - - 428 

Play fair. Professor - - - - - - -371 

Scot Waring, Major, Ex M. P. - - - - 235 

Tatham, Colonel •- - - - - - -149 

Tempest, Sir Henry, Bart. - , - - _ 4Q0 

Tuam, His Grace the Abp. of - - - - - 423 

Walsingham, Lord - - - - - -434 

Watt, James, Esq. - - - - - -391 

Wolcot, Dr. (Peter Pindar) - - - _ _ 263 

Wyndham, Henry P. Esq. - - - _ _ 427 








No. r. 

Admiral Sir ROBERT C ALDER, Knt. and Bart. 


Ihe Calders of Muirtown, in the county of Moray, North - 
Britain, can boast of considerable antiquity on the score of 
descent. We aVe told by Shaw, in his History of Moray (4to . 
p. 113.) that the " surname is local, and that the family has 
been among the most ancient, and the most considerable in 
the North. About the year 104-0," continues he, " the tyrant 



Macbeth cut off the Thane of Nairn (Buchan.) This, no doubt, 
was the Thane of Calcler ; for no history or tradition meii- 
tioneth a Thane of Nairn, distinct from the Tiiane of Calder, 
who as constable resided in that town ; and Mr. Heylin, in his 
Geography, expressly calleth him Thane of Calder." We 
learn that WiUiam, Thane of Calder, in 1450, built the tower 
of Calder by a royal licence; and in 1499, we find the Calders 
giving battle to the Campbells about the possession of the 
heiress of Kilravock. But the descendants of this chieftain 
disposed of the baronies in the counties of Nairn and Kin- 
ross, and appear to have settled at Muirton, or Muirtown, in 
the immediate vicinity of Elgin, in which town they built a 
large house, with castellated battlements, and resided for up- 
wards of ji century. One of these was created a Baronet of 
Nova Scotia in 1686. 

8ir Thomas Calder, of Muirtown, had three sons, the eldest 
of whom. Sir James, having come to England, married Alice, 
tlaughter of Rear- Admiral Robert Hughes, and by this lady 
had four sons. He settled q^ Park- House, near Maidstone, 
in Kent, and being patronised by liis countryman the Earl 
of Bute, obtained a place. at couft. The second son is the 
subject of the present narrative., 

Robert Calder was born in the paternal mansion at Elgin, 
July 2. 1745. O. S., and received his education at the gram- 
mar school of that ancient town. At an early age, however, he 
was sent to England, and having entered a midshipman, first 
trod the quarter-deck of a man of war, when only fourteen. 
In 1766, he accompanied the Hon. George Faulkener, as 
Lieutenant of the Essex, to the West Indies ; but it was not 
until many years after that he obtained the rank, first of master 
and commander, and then of post-captain, in the navy. 

The officer whose memoirs form the subject of the present 
article, appears to have studied his profession, and to have 
actjuired considerable knowledge, in every thing appertaining 
to- it. He had also the good fortune to serve under very able 
men, by which means he obtained a considerable degree of 
knowledge in all braiichcs of naval tactics. 


During the American war, Captain Calder was employed in 
the Channel Fleet. In 1782, he commanded the Diana, 
which was employed as ii repeating-frigate to Rear-Admiral 
Kempenfelt. At this period he was doomed to witness one of 
the most disastrous events recorded in the annals of the British 
Navy. Sir Charles Hardy, who at that time commanded the 
English fleet, received orders not to risk an engagement with 
the combined squadrons of France and Spain, which then ap- 
peared on our coasts. He accordingly withdrew, and having 
hauled in between the Wolf-rock and the Main, so as to open 
the Bristol Channel, obtained shelter and security. On this 
occasion, the sailors were so indignant as to blind a figure of 
the King with their hammocks, swearing, " that His Majesty 
George the Third should not witness their flight." Captain 
Calder, who belonged to the rear division, appears to have 
participated in their indignation; for although within a short 
distance of one of the enemy's two-deckers, which might have 
sunk his vessel with a single broadside, he refused to retire, 
until expressly ordered by signal. The hostile fleet soon after 
this withdrew into port, and that of England has ever since 
maintained its accustomed superiority. 

Meanwhile Captain Calder, being desirous to settle in life, oi? 
the 1st of May, 1779, espoused Amelia, the only daughter of 
John Mitchell, of Bayfield Hall, in the county of Norfolk, 
Esq., a gentleman who had died (in I7f>6), several years pre- 
viously to this event, after having served during many par- 
liaments as member for Boston, in Lincolnshire. By this 
lady, who possessed great beauty, he never had any issue ; 
and although always tenderly attached to her, the union on 
the whole, perhaps, did not prove happy, as her health soon 
became bad, and this circumstance Avas occasionally accom- 
panied with a certain degree of mental estrangement, of a 
peculiarly distressing nature. Immediately on this event 
taking place, he purchased a residence at Southwic, in the 
vicinity of Portsmouth and Southampton, where he resided 
for many years. 

B 2 



At the commencement of the war with France, Captain 
Calder was immediately selected for employment, and such 
was his reputation for skill and intrepidity, that he was ap- 
pointed First Captain to Admiral Roddam's flag, while flying 
on board the Barfleur. He afterwards commanded the 
Theseus, of 74 guns, which formed part of Lord Howe's 
fleet in 1794. ; but having been dispatched with Rear-Admiral 
Monta^'ue's squadron to protect a valuable convoy, destined 
for the colonies, he did not participate in the brilliant victory 
of the 1st of June. 

Earl St. Vincent, then Sir John Jervis, an officer peculiarly 
gifted with the power of discovering and the wish of distin- 
guishing merit in others, in 1796, deemed the subject of this 
memoir a fit person to act in the honourable and confidential 
situation of Captain of the Fleet u^der his command. He 
accordingly served in that capacity on board the Victory, oiF 
Cadiz, with a squadron of fifteen sail of the line and seven firi- 
aates. The merits of the battle that afterwards ensued ought 
assuredly in part to be attributed to this officer ; for it was 
chiefly achieved by mere seamanship, and he alone occupied 
that station which was entrusted with the superintendance of 
tlie whole series of manoeuvres. 

On the 13th of February, 1797, the Commander in Chief, 
with the force just enumerated, descried a Spanish fleet, far 
superior in point of number, as well as of guns, for it con- 
sisted of twenty-six line of battle ships, and twelve frigates. 
A pursuit immediately took place, and it was so contrived 
that the English, who gained upon the enemy, had actually 
commenced the action before Admiral Don Joseph de Cor- 
dova, whose flag was flying on board a first-rate, was able to 
complete his line of battle, as a number of his large vessels 
had been separated from the main body. Having passed in 
full sail, through the enemy's squadron, and tacked at a criti- 
cal moment, so as to cut off" all that portion of the fleet which 
had fallen to leeward, the signal was immediately given for 
clobc fight ; and after a short, but severe and effectual can- 



tionade, the four following line of battle ships were obliged 
to strike their flags, viz. 

1. II Salvador del Mundo, carrying 112 guns. 

2. San Josef - - - - 112 

3. San Nicolas - - - 80 

4. San Ysidoro - - - 74' 

This memorable victory, fought off Cape St. Vincent in 
Spain, obtained for the British Admiral an earldom, while 
the Captain of the Fleet, who brought home the dispatches, 
was immediately knighted, and soon after received a patent of 
baronetage, by the style and title of Sir Robert Calderj of 
Southwic, in the county of Hants. 

On the 14th of February, 1799, Sir Robert obtained his 
flag as Rear- Admiral, by seniority; and, in 1801, was dis- 
patched with a small squadron in quest of Admiral Gan- 
theaume, who had sailed from France, with the express 
purpose of supplying the army in Egypt with stores, am- 
munition, &c. 

At the conclusion of the first peace with the French Re- 
public, Sir Robert once more retired to his estate in Hamp- 
shire ; but on the renewal of hostilities, he was immediately 
re-appointed, and in the promotion which took place the 23d 
April, 1804, he was advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral of 
the White. While employed in this latter capacity, he was 
selected, in 1805, by Admiral Cornwallis, who then com- 
manded the Channel Fleet, to blockade the harbours of Ferrol 
and Corunna. The force entrusted to him on this occasion 
proved very inadequate to the service; for, although there 
were then five French ships of the line and three frigates, to- 
gether with five Spanish line of battle ships and four frigates, 
all ready for sea, in the ports just alluded to ; yet he had only 
seven sail allotted to him on the present occasion ; these in- 
deed were afterwards increased to nine ; but notwithstanding 
he repeatedly demanded two frigates and some smaller vessels 
to be placed at the entrance of the harbours in question, 
they could not be spared. He, however, retained his station, 
notwithstanding the manceuvres of the Brest fleet, and, on 

B 3 


being joined by Uciir-Admiral Stirling with five sail of the 
line from before Rochefort, together with a frigate and a 
lugger, he proceeded to sea, for the express purpose of inter- 
cepting the French and Spanish squadrons from the West 
Indies, which were supposed to consist of no more than 
sixteen capital ships. Soon after this the combined fleet, con- 
sisting of no fewer than twenty sail of the line, seven fri- 
gates, and two brigs, were descried ; while the English force 
amounted to no more than fifteen ships, two frigates, a cutter 
and a lugger. As this action not only made a great noise at 
the time, but actually produced a court-martial soon after, we 
shall here give a precise and authentic list of the respective 

enemy's line of battle on the 22d of JULY, 1805. 








- 80 

Admiral Graviiia. 






- 6t 





Rafael (taken) 

- 84 

Don Francis Montts. 


Firme (taken) 


Don Rafael Villavicencio 




Le riuton 

- 80 





Mont Blanc 

- 74 




Admiral Villeneuve. 



- 74 




7 Frigates, — L'Hortense, La Cornelia, La Didon, LaPermalue, La Sirene, 

La Themis. Le Rhin. 


13. Formi-lable - - 80 Admiral Dumanoir. 

14. Intrepide - - - 74 

15. Swiftsure - - 74 

16. Indompiable • -80 

17. Scipion - - 74 

18. Aigle c - 74 

19. Achille - - 74 

20. Algeziers - - 74 Admiral Magon. 

a Brigs, — L' Argus, Le Faret. 









Hon. Captain Gardner, 



- 80 

W. Broun. 




H. Inmaii. 



- 98 

G. MaruM. 




J. Harvey. 


Windsor Castle 

- 98 

C. Boyies. 

Frigate, — Egyptienne. 

y. Defiance, 

8. Prince of Wales 

g. Repulse 

10. Raisonnable 

11. Dragon 

12. Glory 

13. Warrior 

14. Thunderer 

15. Malta 


74 P. Durham. 

5 Vice-Admiral Sir R. CaUler, Bart. 
'® I W. Cuming, Captain. 
74 Hon. A. K. Leggc. 
64 J. Rowley. 
74 W.Griffiihs. 

Rear-Admiral Stirling. 
Samuel Warren, Captain. 
74 S. H. Liiizee. 
74 W. Lechmere. 
- 84 E. Buller. 
Frisk cutter, Nile lugger, Sirius frigate. 


After a sharp contest against a superior force, with the 
weather gage in their favour, which continued until dark, 
two sail of the line, the Rafael of eighty-four, and the Firme of 
seventy-four, guns, were both captured. Here follows an 
account of the engagement, as contained in the official letter, 
addressed to Admiral Cornwallis : the paragraphs suppressed 
in the Gazette will be found marked in italics. 

" Prince of Wales, 23d July, Ferrol bearing E. distance 
forty-nine leagues. Cape Finisterre S. fifty-two E. dis- 
tance thirty-nine leagues. 

« gjj. 25th Juh/. 

" Yesterday, at noon, 1 was favoured with a view of the 
combined squadrons of France and Spain, consisting of twenty 
sail of the line, also three large ships armed en flute, of about 
fifty guns each, with five frigates, and three brigs. 

" The force under my direction, at this time, consisting of 
fifteen sail of the lin6, two frigates, a cutter, and a lugger; I 

B 4 


immediately stood towards the enemy with the squadrort, 
making the needftil signals for battle in the closest order; and 
on closing with them, I made the signal for attacking their 
centre. When I had reached their rear, 1 tacked the squadron 
in succession ; this brought us close up under their lee : and 
when our headmost ships reached their centre, the enemy were 
tacking in succession : this obliged me again to make the same 
manoeuvre, by which I brought on a very decisive action, 
which lasted upwards of four hours, when I found it necessary 
to bring the squadron to, to cover the captured ships, whose 
names are in the margin. 

" I have to observe, the enemy had every advantage of wind 
and weather. During the whole day the weather had been 
foggy at times : a great part of the morning, and very soon 
after we had brought them to action, the fog was so thick, at 
intervals, that we could with great difficulty see the ship ahead 
or astern of us. This rendered it impossible to take the ad- 
vantage of the enemy by signals, as I could wish to have done. 
Had the weather been more favourable, I am led to believe 
the victory would have been more complete. 

" I have very great pleasure in saying every ship exerted 
itself, and was conducted in the most masterly style ; and I beg 
leave here publicly to return to rear-admiral Stirling, and every 
captain, officer, and man, whom I had the honour to command 
on that day, my most grateful thanks for their very conspicu- 
Qlis, gallant, and very judicious good conduct. The honourable 
captain Gardner, of the Hero, led the Van squadron in a most 
masterly and officer-like manner : to whom I feel myself par- 
ticularly indebted, as also to captain Cuming for his assistance 
during the action. Inclosed is a list of the killed and wounded 
on board the diffiirent ships. If I may judge from the great 
slaughter on board the captured ships, the enemy must have 
suffered greatly. They are now in sight to windward ; and 
■when I have secured the captured ships, and put the squadron 
to rights, I shall endeavour to avail myself of any opportunity 
that may offer to give you some further account of these com- 
bined squadrons. Ai ike same time, it will behove me to be upon 


tni/ guard against the combined squadrons at Ferrol, as I am led 
to believe they have sent off' one or two of their a-ippled ships last 
night for that port ; therefore, possibly I may find it necessaty to 
make a junction isoith you immediately off" Ushant mth the whok 
squadron. I have the honour to be, with great respect and 
regard, sir, your most obedient, humble servant, 

" Robert Caldbr. 
" The Hon. Admiral Cornvvallis, &c." 

'* P. S. / am under the necessity of sending the Windsor Castle 
to you, in consequence of the damage she sustained in the actimi. 
Captain BuUer has acquainted me, that the prisoners on board 
the prizes assert Ferrol to be the port to which the enemy's 
squadron are bound, as you will perceive by letters inclosed 
with my original dispatch, together with other private in- 

The conduct bf Sir Robert Calder on this occasion, appears 
to have obtained the full approbation of his commander in 
chief, for he soon after dispatched him on purpose to cruize 
off Cadiz, with a considerable squadron, in order to watch the 
motions of the enemy. But the success did not appear suf- 
ficiently brilliant to the Lords of the Admiralty of that day, 
who had been accustomed to the most fortunate and decisive 
results, although the nation appeared to be perfectly satisfied 
with an action which had deprived a superior fleet of two sail 
of line of battle ships, and discomfited all further attempts on 
the part of the enemy. 

However, on learning that he had been attacked in the 
most cruel and unmerited manner by some of the English 
newspapers, Sir Robert Calder, in a dispatch to the Admi- 
ralty, dated October 2, 1 805, requested that an enquiry might 
immediately take place, respecting his conduct during the late 
action, " for the purpose," obsei-ves he, " of enabling mc to 
give my reasons publicly for my conduct at that time, and to 
refute all unjust, illiberal, and unfounded assertions; when I 
trust," it is added, " I shall make it appear to the satisfaction 


ot" my king, country, and friends, that no part of my conduct 
and character will be found deserving of those illiberal im- 
pressions, which at present occupy the public mind ; being 
conscious that every thing in my power, was done for the 
honour and welfare of my king and country, after a very mi- 
nute investigation of all the existing circumstances, and the 
very critical situation I was placed in with the squadron I had 
the honour to command at the time alluded to." 

This request having been acceded to by the Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty, a court martial assembled on 
board the Prince of Wales, in Portsmouth Harbour, on 
Monday, December 23, 1805. Admiral Montague having 
been nominated President, the witnesses on behalf of the 
prosecution were called in, sworn, and examined ; after whicli 
Sir Robert Calder's defence was read. In the course of this, 
lie contended, that he was fully justifiable in not renewing the 
action, even had he been able so to do, as this might net only 
have endangered the safety of his own fleet, but eventually that 
of the country itself. " I am ready to admit," adds he, " that it is 
so much the duty of an officer to engage the enemy wherever 
he meets with than, that it is incumbent upon him to explain, 
satisfactorily, why he does not ; but in making that explanation, 
it is not necessary for him to prove the physical impossibility 
of doing so. It may be possible, and yet there may be very 
many reasons why he should not. Indeed, the absurdity of 
a contrary opinion is such, that it would be an idle waste of 
time to trouble the court with any observations upon it. 

" It will, however, be permitted to observe that mine is not 
the only instance where a British fleet has laid in sight of 
that of the enemy without renewing an engagement. 

** In proof of this assertion, if it be necessary, I need only 
recal to your memory, out of many others, the example of twa 
very great and gallant officers, who, after having obtained 
most brilliant victories over the enemy, did not think them- 
selves justified in bringing them a second time to action, al- 
though they were in sight of them fiilly as long as I was. The 
two meritorious officers to whom I allude are Earl Howe, 


in the action of the 1st of June, 1794 ; and Earl St. Vincent, 
in that of the 27th of February, 1797. Of the latter I am 
competent to speak from my own knowledge, having had the 
honour to serve under his lordship as captain of the fleet in 
that engagement. 

" Of the propriety of the conduct of these noble lords, in 
both instances, no doubt has at any moment been entertained 
by any body. They certainly exercised a sound discretion 
upon the occasion ; but it may not be improper for me to re- 
mark, that although the advantages they had acquired were 
certainly superior to mine, that mine was a situation in which 
it was in every respect more necessary to exercise that dis- 
cretion, which, in every case, must be vested in the commander 
of a squadron, to judge of the propriety or impropriety of 
offering battle to a superior fleet. In the instances above- 
mentioned there was no other force to contend with, no other 
quarter from which an attack was to be apprehended, than 
the fleets which had been already engaged. In mine, it be- 
hoved me to be particularly on my guard against the Ferrol 
and Rochefort squadrons, consisting of twenty-one sail of the 
line, both which I had reason to believe were out, one qfisohicJi 
appears to have been actually on the sea, and to which the 
squadron opposed to me might easily have given notice of 
their situation, as will be hereafter more fully stated." 

The admiral then alluded to the action of the 22d, respect- 
ing which he observed, " that the victory certainly was ours, 
and most decisively so ; and that he had only to lament that 
the weather did not afford an opportunity of making it more 
complete." The firing, he added, did not cease until half past 
nine o'clock, and before this his night signals were hoisted, 
it being then dark. The enemy were to windward a long 
cannon-shot, the evening was " foggy and dirty," the fore* 
topmast of the Windsor Castle was shot away, and the other 
vessels were employed in repairing their losses, " and being 
then unacquainted," adds Sir Robert, " with the state of the 
damages which the several ships had received, I did flatter 
myself that I should, the next morning, have been in a con- 


dition to renew the engagement, and with that view I did alt 
I could, consistently with the attention necessary to prevent a 
separation between any parts of the squadron, to keep as near 
as possible to the enemy during the night." 

At day-break, however, notwithstanding all his endeavours 
to achieve this, the admiral found that he was eight or nine 
miles to leeward, with the Malta, Thunderer, the prizes, and 
frigates, entirely out of sight, while the Windsor Castle was 
in tow of the Dragon, and the Malta had one of the captured 
ships in tow also. A formidable list of the damages sustained 
by the ships in his squadron had been just sent in, and the 
enemy appeared to those on board the Prince of Wales (the 
flag-ship) not to have sustained any loss in their masts or 
yards, with the exception of a vessel which was in the act of 
replacing one of the latter. 

In this state of aifairs, the Admiral considered his own fleet,- 
on account of the crippled situation of several of the ships^ 
as not in a condition to carry sufficient sail to windward to.' 
force the enemy to a renewal of the action, particularly as 
there was a considerable sea, with a very heavy swell, which 
would have endangered both masts and yards, had he been rash, 
enough to have attempted it. 

" That my judgement," continues he, " respecting the- 
inability of these ships to carry sail was correct, requires, I 
apprehend, no other proof than, that early in the morning 
of the 23d, on edging down under easy sail to join the Malta 
and other ships to leeward, and effect a junction of my 
squadron, the Barfleur sprung a lower yard ; and that on the 
25th, after having parted company with the Windsor Castle 
and prized, and made sail to endeavour to regain the enemy, 
a few hours only had elapsed before the Repulse sprung her 
bowsprit, and the Malta her main-yard. This was the first 
time that any press of sail had been carried after the action, 
and affords a specimen of what might have been expected had 
I ordered them to carry so much sail on the morning after 
the action, as must have been necessary to have given me 
even a chance of getting up to the enemy. 


^' It has also been proved to you, by Captain Inraan, 
that when on the morning of the 23d I ordered his ship to 
drive away a frigate that was coming too near us, for the pur- 
pose of reconnoitring, he was every moment apprehensive that 
her masts would have gone by the board. 

« Another consequence, which must have attended my at- 
tempt to force a renewal of the action, would have been a 
separation, and probable capture, of the Windsor Castle and 
prizes ; for, independently of their falling in with the Roche- 
fort squatlron, had I sent them to England without taking 
care of them until they were past that danger, it was observed 
that the enemy had three sail of the line and three or four 
frigates constantly advanced on their weather bow, ready to 
act against any ships that might have been separated from the 
main body, provided I had made any movement to occasion 
such separation. This I conceive it was my duty on every 
account to prevent. By doing so I preserved the victory I 
bad acquired, in spite of their very great superiority, and in 
defiance of the many hostile squadrons I was surrounded by 
at this time. 

"In endeavouring to compel a renewal of the action, I 
should also have sustained a very considerable inconvenience in 
the want of frigates, a class of ships particularly useful at such a 
time, for purposes so obvious to the court, that it would be 
superfluous to point them out. 

"Permit me also to say a word or two upon the superiority 
of the enemy in point of numbers. I am far from encourag- 
ing the idea that on no account is an engagement to be risked 
where the enemy is even greatly superior ; I know too well the 
spirit, the valour, and bravery of my countrymen, to entertain 
such a thought; my conduct in commencing the action on 
this occasion is a decisive proof of it. But 1 do deprecate the 
idea that, under all circumstances, and in all situations, an en- 
gagement must be continued as long as it is practicable to 
continue it, whatever may be the opinion of the officer com- 
manding a squadron, that he puts to hazard, by such con- 
tinuance, the advantages he had gained by his original attack. 


The consequence of such an idea being encouraged and incul- 
cated, must, one day, become fatal to many good and gallant 
officers, as well as to my country. I contend that every case 
of an engagement with a superior force, must depend upon its 
own circumstances ; and the propriety of entering into or 
renewing it, must depend upon the discretion of the com- 
mander, to be exercised according to the best of his judg- 
ment, and subject to that responsibility which attaches to all 
persons in situations of command. 

" Circumstanced as I thus was, it appeared to me to be im- 
practicable to have forced the enemy to action, or, if at all with 
such advantage as would have justified the attempt, even if I 
had nothing to apprehend from any squadron but that which I 
was opposed to, and if the opposing squadron had been the 
only object to which, by my orders, my attention had been 
directed ; but when I reflected that in addition to that squa- 
dron and the Rochefort, which it appears were then actually 
at sea, there were sixteen sail of the line at Ferrol, within a 
few hours sail, who, if not already out, might, on receiving 
intelligence from the combined squadrons, have come out to 
their assistance; or, in the event of my not being in a situation 
to return to Ferrol, the continuance of which blockade was 
one main object of my instructions, there would be no force to 
oppose those squadrons, and that they would more than pro- 
bably have pushed for Ireland, or perhaps England, to faci- 
litate the invasion, which was then every moment expected ; 
I really felt that I should be running too great a hazard, and 
putting my fleet into a situation of danger which I could never 
have justified. 

" I therefore judged it most prudent to keep my squadron 
together, and not to attempt to renew the engagement unless 
the enemy offered it, or an opportunity afforded itself of my 
doing so under more favourable circumstances than at that 
time presented themselves. 

" At the same time conceiving that their object might be 
to effect a junction with the ships at Ferrol, I determined, if 
possible, to prevent their attaining that object, iind to keep 


myself between them and that port, and, if possible, to draw 
them' to the northward ; that, by so doing, I might accompany 
the Windsor Castle and prizes out of the reach of the Roche- 
fort squadron, and afterwards perhaps have an opportunity 
of re-attacking the enemy before they could reach their own 
shores ; that this was the determination formed at the time 
will appear from all my letters, and will be proved by a wit- 
ness whom I will call to this point. 

** Having formed this conclusion, I acted upon it during 
the two days that the enemy remained in sight, keeping my 
squadron collected under an easy sail, certainly never offering, 
but as certainly never avoiding, an engagement, had the 
enemy chosen to bring it on. On -the contrary, it has been 
proved, that upon all occasions where they bore down and • 
had the appearance of an intention to engage us, I imme- 
diately hauled my wind for the purpose of receiving them ; and 
have no doubt but that, had they persevered in what appeared 
to have been their intention, though I believe it was only 
done vauntingly, to use the expression of one vi'itness, or, as 
another has said, only done for the purpose of joining their 
leewardmost ships, and keeping their squadron together, they 
would have met with a proper reception. If, however, at any 
time, they really entertained any such intention, they very 
soon abandoned it, for on all the occasions I have mentioned 
they hauled their wind in a very short time after they had 
begun to bear down. 

" During the whole of the 23d the enemy had the wind. 
At the close of it they were at the distance of more than four 
leagues. I made signal that I should steer north-east, and 
that every ship should carry a light, to prevent separation 
during the night. 

" At day-break in the morning of the 24th the enemy's fleet 
was west six or seven leagues, seen only from the mast-head. 
It is true, that during the greatest part of this day the wind 
was in our favour, but they were light breezes ; there was a 
considerable swell ; their distance from us was considerable, and 
1 doubt much if I could have riiade sufficient way to have over- 


taken them. I did not, therefore, feel that an opportunity 
sufficiently favourable had offered itself to induce me to vary 
from the determination I had before formed. About fifty 
minutes after three one of them steered to the south-east, and 
at six they were entirely out of sight. 

" During the whole of the 25th I continued my course by 
north, and* having accompanied the Windsor Castle and prizes 
so far to the northward that I thought they might proceed 
with safety, I parted with them, and directed Captain Boyles 
to acquaint the Commander in Chief that I should make the 
best of my way to the rendezvous off Cape Finisterre, in the 
hope of falling in with Lord Nelson, and if 1 did not find his 
lordship there in a short time after my arrival, I should pro- 
ceed in search of the combined squadrons, supposed to be 
gone for Ferrol, and that if any favourable opportunity should 
offer of attacking them before they got in, I certainly should 
avail myself of it." 

The admiral concluded a very able defence by complaining 
of the disappointment of himself and his brave associates in 
consequence of the treatment they had received after their 
victory; and above all he loudly protested against the man- 
ner in which his dispatches had been garbled. 
The following is the sentence of the Court : 
** At a court-martial assembled on board His Majesty's 
ship Prince of Wales, in Portsmouth harbour, on the 23d day 
of December, 1 805, and continued by adjournment from day 
to day, until the 26th day of the same month, 

" Pursuant to an order from the Right Honourable the 
Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, dated the 1 5th day of 
November last past, and directed to the president; setting 
forth that Sir Robert Calder, Bart. Vice- Admiral of the Blue, 
had, by his letter to their lordship's secretary, dated the 13th 
day of September last, requested, for the reasons therein men- 
tioned, that an enquiry may be made into his, the said Vice- 
Admiral's, conduct on the 2'3d day of July last, the day afler 
the engagement with the combined fleets of France and Spain, 
or upon the whole or such part thereof (when in presence of 


tlie enemy) as should appear for the good of His Majesty's ser- 
vice, and for enabling him to give his reasons publicly for his 
conduct on that occasion. 

" And that their lordships thought fit, in compliance with 
the Vice- Admiral's request, and for the reasons mentioned in 
his said letter, that a court-martial should be assembled for 
the purpose above mentioned, and also for enquiring into the 
whole of the said Vice- Admiral's conduct and proceedings on 
the said 23d day of July, and into his subsequent conduct and 
proceedings, until he finally lost sight of the enemy's ships ; 
and to try him for not having done his utmost to renew the 
said engagement, and to take and destroy every ship of the 
enemy, which it was his duty to engage, the Court proceeded 
to enquire into the conduct and proceedings of the said Vice- 
Admiral Sir Robert Calder, with His Majesty's squadron 
under his command, on the said 23d day of July last, and also 
into his subsequent conduct and proceedings, until he finally 
lost sight of the enemy's fleet, and to try him for not having 
done his utmost to renew the said engagement, and to take 
or destroy every ship of the enemy, which it was his duty to 
engage ; and having heard the evidence produced in support of 
the charge, and by the said Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Calder, 
Bart., in his defence, and what he had to allege in support 
thereof, and having maturely and deliberately weighed and 
considered the whole, the Court is of opinion, that the charge 
of his not having done his utmost to renew the said engage- 
ment, and to take or destroy every ship of the enemy, has 
been proved against the said Vice-Admiral Calder ; that it 
appears that his conduct has not been actuated either by 
cowardice or disaffection, but has arisen solely from error in 
judgment, and is highly censurable, and doth adjudge him to 
be severely reprimanded, and the said Vice-Admiral Sir Ro- 
bert Calder is hereby severely reprimanded accordingly. 

« Signed 
" George Montague, President?. 
" J. HoUaway (Vice-Admiral). R.S. Rowley (Vice-Admiral), 
" E. Thornborough (Vice- Ad.). J. Coffin (Rear-Ad.) . 



« J: Sutton (Rear- Ad.). J- Bisset (Captain). 

« R. D. Oliyer (Captain). J. Ii'win (ditto). 

« J. A. Wood (ditto). J. Seater (ditto). 

« T. B. Capel, the Hon. (ditto). J. Larniour (ditto). 

" M. Greekham, jun. Deputy Judge Advocate of the Fleet." 

Tliis sentence did not at all prove popular ; for it was the 
first time in the annals of our naval warfare, that a commander 
who had engaged a superior fleet, and taken two of the 
enemy's line of battle ships, without losing a single sail of his 
own, had been " severely reprimanded." Indeed the Admi- 
ralty itself seems to have been of this opinion, for Sir Robert 
was soon after nominated Port- Admiral at Portsmouth, and 
until the last period of his existence experienced the greatest 
respect and attention, not only on the part of that board, but 
from persons of all ranks and degrees in life. The hardship of 
his case was also mentioned in parliament by two distinguished 
noblemen, the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Romney ; and 
had he not been restored to the service of his country, his dis- 
grace would have reflected discredit on the gratitude and 
justice of the nation. 

After these remarks on the oflicial conduct of the subject of 
this memoir, it now only remains to add, that Sir Robert 
Calder died at Holt, near Bishop's Waltham, in the county 
of Hants, the 3 1 st of August, 1818, in the 74th year of his 
age. He was an excellent ofiicer, well acquainted with all 
the different branches of liis profession, and admirably cal- 
culated, both by nature and education, for the government 
and superintendance of a large fleet. No better sailor ever 
existed in the service, and he was acknowledged to be parti- 
cularly expert at manoeuvres and the regulation of squadrons, 
by means of signals. 

By his will he proved his sincere wish and desire to provide 
every possible comfort for his widow, during the continuance 
or recurrence of her unhappy malady. The house, and 
grounds appurtenant to it, together with the stock, &c. are 
to be delivered to her ladyship at the end of one year, should 


any favourable change have taken place ; but if not, a suffi- 
ciency to be retained on the premises, to supply every pos- 
sible want ; and the remainder to be taken away by his nephew 
Sir Henry Roddam Calder, on condition of returning the 
same, in case of Lady Calder's recovery, 'l^he whole interest 
of all the property, is also left in trust for her ladyship during 
her natural life; and on her decease, the personality (estlu)ated 
at about S0,000l.) is to be invested in the purchase of freehold 
estates in England, which are devised to the said Sir Henry 
Roddam Calder, and ^is heirs male. 

c 2 


No. II. 



J. HE metropolis of the United Kingdom, if it has not 
actually produced, must be allowed to have selected a long 
series of bold, intrepid, and not unfrequently, enlightened 
senators, to represent it in Parliament. Eminently loyal itself, 
in the best sense of the word, on every great occasion, it has 
exhibited an ardent love of liberty, superadded to a certain 
tenaciousness, not only of its own privileges, but those also of 
the community at large. The example was first given during 
the reign of James II., anil still continues to operate with 
efficacy on the whole body of the commonwealth. At the 
Revolution, William III. found a powerful support in the zeal 
and enterprise of the citizens of London ; and no corporation 
in the three kingdoms displayed a greater degree of attach- 
ment at the accession of George I. when the present illustrious 
fataily was happily seated on the thrpne of these reahns. 


The peculiar and extraordinary privilege of sending four 
members to parliament, has enabled the livery to nominate a 
long and respectable list, of which it would be in vain to 
look for a parallel in any county, city, or borough in the 
Empire. It is only necessary, indeed, to recapitulate their 
names, to obtain a full assent to this proposition. Of Sir 
John Bernai'd and Sir Stephen Theodore Janson, the one ob- 
tained the spontaneous praise of the first William Pitt (after- 
wards Earl of Chatham), while the other, whose integrity 
became proverbial, was only inferior to the Russells, the 
Sidneys, and the Ilampdens of a former day, in consequence 
of the difference of the times in which he lived. Beckford, at 
once a member and Lord Mayor, introduced magnificence into 
the city, and was the first who entertained foreign monarchs 
at the Mansion House *, while he occasionally opposed the 
ministers of his own king in the House of Commons. Oliver, 
his successor, followed the same track, and rendered his 
name celebrated, by vindicating the franchises of the city, in 
the case of the Printers, for which he was sent to the Tower, 
in consequence of having committed the Serjeant at Arms, 
although provided with the written authority of the Speaker 
of the House of Commons, to the Poultry Compter. The 
more recent names of Townshend, Sawbridge, and Combe, 
are familiar to us all. They lived in our own times, and. 
constantly asserted and practised the ancient, and almost 
obsolete doctrine, that the representative is strictly bound by 
the instructions of his constituents. 

Harvey Christian Combe, whose talents and uniform inte- 
grity rendered him worthy of being associated with his pre- 
decessors, was born in the county of Hants, in the year 1752. 
He was the eldest son of an eminent attorney at Andover, on 
whose death, a landed estate of 500l. a year devolved to him, 
and he might have succeeded to a practice still more profit- 
able, had he been inclined to follow the profession of his 
father. But the law appears to have been uninviting, and 

* The King of Denmark was astonished at his superb reception by his lordship. 



almost odious to the whole family ; for, while his two younger 
brothers eagerly rushed into the ariny, he himself, after 
attaining a gootl provincial education resolved to dedicate 
Lis life to commerce. 

But us tiie country did not afford a suflicient scope for his 
ambition, young Combe rei)aired to the capital, and entered 
into the corn trade. The house of his maternal uncle, tlio 
late Boyce Trees, who was then a very eminent factor, afforded 
him ample opportunities for learning all the arcana of this 
very iinportant and profitable branch. While in the office of 
his relation, he addicted himself to business with an uncommon 
degree of assiduity, and his new home and manner of life, per- 
haps, were still more endeared to him by the charms of his lovely 
cousin, Catharine. Their affections proving mutual, a marriage 
in due time ensued; and on the death of the gentleman who 
imited in his own person the character of both uncle and father- 
in-law, Mr. Combe succeeded to the business. There is a cer- 
tain tact in the city by which rising men appear to be known to 
each other, so that their future fortunes are prognosticated with 
a degree of certainty that may seem singular and extraordinary 
to the uninitiated. Accordingly, an attorney of great acuteness, 
(Mr. Rudd) although he had only seen the subject of this 
memoir occasionally at a whist club, after enquiring into his 
character and connexions, hailed him, while yet a very young 
man, as the future representative and lord mayor of the me- 
tropolis. A distinguished member of the corporation *, who 

* Mf. Alderman Sawhr'ulge. Of this genileman the following brief account is 
taken from a tract now become very scarce : 

" He was descended from one of the most honeurahle and ancient families in Kent, 
whose ancestors free|uently represented that county in Parliament. He inherited a good 
fortune, and very early in lile captivated a lady with a fortune of I00,000l. This lady 
died in less than a twclvcmunih, and rewarded the kindness of Mr. SawbriJge with the 
whole of her fortune. 

♦'Mr. Wilkes introduced this gentleman into the practice of politics, and, in the 
theory, he had made a very rapid progress under the auspices of (his sister) Mrs. 

♦' He was sheriff in J 768, in conjunction with the late James Townshend, Esq. 

" In defiance of a threat of a bill of pains and penalties, held out by Government, he 
persevered in his duty, and returned Mr. Wilkes to Parliament five successive tunes, not- 
withstanding a resolution of the House of Commons, since declared illegal. 

" A schoolboy friendship introduced him to the notice of Lord Chatham, through 
whom he was brought into Parliament, and tins mutual friendship reflected bonour on 


had occupial both situations with no common degree of credit, 
contributed to verify this prediction. It was he who first 
introduced the subject of this memoir to that great municipal 
body, to whose charge is entrusted the care of the rights 
and the franchises of the city; and it was he too, Avho by 
his influence and advice, and it may be added his ]oatro?iagef 
paved the way for the respectable station of an alderman. 
This event afterwards conducted the fortunate candidate 
to all the remaining honours of the metropolis, such as 
the shrievalty, the pretorlan chair, and the still greater, be- 
cause more permanent distinction, of one of the represent- 

Meanwhile Mr. Combe aspired to greater distinction in the 
commercial as well as in the political world. On looking around 
him, he beheld not only the sujjerio?- but the most opulent classes 
engaged in trade to consist chiefly of brewers. The Ladd's had 
become baronets. The descendants of the Thrales had formed 
an alliance with one of the most ancient of the Scottish nobility ; 
while the Whitbreads, after purchasing landed estates, to an 
immense amount, in the county of Bedford, now shone in the 
British senate with unrivalled splendour ; and, in the person 
of the son of the founder of that house, seemed to eclipse the 
aristocracy both in magnificence and in talents. 

It is not a little remarkable, that all these great capitalists 
both rose and flourished in the borough of Southwark ; and 
this too within a few hundred yards of each other. Mr. 
Combe, who deemed it no great transition to convert his 

each. The Peer aided by his influence one who wanted Iiis patronage, and the party 
obliged repaid it by proper but independent exertions of gratitude and genius. 

" He (Mr. Alderman Sawbridge) was the constant and unshaken advocate of parlia- 
mentary reform, and the sworn enemy to corruption ; a man of talents, a man of edu- 
cation, and an useful speaker. 

'* He was an alderman of the ward of Langbouine, by which he was much esteemed, 
was never in anyplace, was steady in his principles, inviolable in his friendship, and con- 
sistent in his politics ; he was a staunch Whig. 

" In private life he was benevolent, hospitable, and sincere. He possessed all the 
manners and accomplishments of the gentleman and the man of fashion. Mr. Sawbridge 
died in 1794." 

c 4- 


barley into malt, at length determined to establish a great 
brewery in the neighbourhood of Bedford Square, as this new 
portion of the metropolis possessed the desirable advantages of 
a central situation tuid an increasing neighbourhood. Having 
selected two opulent friends as partners *, a capital was speedily 
collected out of their joint wealth ; and the projector lived to 
behold this new house, trading under the firm of Gilford 
and Co. f , become the fourth or fifth, in point of importance, 
in the metropolis. \ 

Soon after this, he was elected an alderman of the city of 
London, and conducted himself on all occasions, not only like 
an upright magistrate, but with a degree of urbanity, attention, 
and discernment, that speedily ensured a large portion of the 
public applause: while sheriff^ too, he gave general satis- 

On the death of his friend Mr. Sawbridge, in 1795, the 
alderman was encouraged to offer himself as his successor; but 
on this occasion, he was opposed by Mr. Lushington, then a 
very eminent merchant of the city of London, who united in 

* These were Mr. DelafielH, his brother-in-law, who had been with Mr. Whitbread, 
and Mr. George Shum. The business first commenced under tlie firm of Shum, 
Combe, and Delatield , but having purchased the extensive premises of GifFord and Co., 
they afterwards traded under that name. 

•f* It has been customary ever since the accession of the House of Hanover, for the 
great brewers (jf London to receive and entertain tlie royal fairiily in their respective ma- 
nufactories. If we mistake not greatly, our Henry V., when contending for the crown 
of France, was feasted in a most hospitable and sumptuous nianner by a wealthy brewer 
of Antwerp. 

George I. and II. honoured the Gascoynes with their presence. His present Majesty 
George III. condescended to visit the premises of the first Wiiitbread, (father to the 
late celebrated M. P. for Bedford,) on which occasion all the men were clothed in a 
complete uniform dress, while the liorses were decorated with new harness. 

In order to revive this ancient custom, which had become nearly obsolete daring a 
long reign, Mr. Alderman Combe, some years since, gave an eniertaiinuent to the 
Duke and Durhess of York and the Duke of Cambridge. On this occasion, the stoker, 
dressed in a clean white cap and jacket, broiled rump steaks, mwe majorum, on his 
polished iron shovel, and served them up hot and hot to his royal guests on pewter 
trenchers ; while the table, placed in the centre of the brew-house, was very appro- 
priately covered with hop-sacks, and the company regaled with hown stout, handed round 
in wooden mugs ! 

X In 1804, the maximum produce of the first strong-beer brewer in tl)e metropolis, 
according to the excise return, was 152,500 gallons. Mr. Combe's establishment paid 
the duty on 87,700 gallons. 


his own person both the East and West India interest. The 
election commenced on tlie 3d of March, and closed two days 
after, in consequence of Mr. Combe's wisely declining to pro- 
secute a losing cnuse. * 

But altliough balked on this occasion, In's disappointment 
proved but of short duration ; for we soon after find the sub- 
ject of this jnemoir returned one of the city representatives ; 
and sucli was his increasiiig po})ularity, that at the general 
election in ] 802, when there were no fewer than seven candi- 
dates, he wns manifestly the favourite, for his name was placed 
at the head of the poll. 

It is not to be concealed, however, that during the late war, 
when party-animosities ran high, Mr. Alderman Combe was 
both opposed and hated by a very formidable junto in the city 
of London. It is no less true, however, that he defeated their 
plans for his abasement, and finally triumphed over all his 
enemies. Having been nominated Captain-Commandant of 
the Aldgate Volunteers, it was hoped that no commission 
would be issued to him by the crown ; but His Majesty's 
Ministers were far more liberal than many of their supporters, 
and accordingly, in due time, he became first a major, and then 
lieutenant-colonel. On this, as on every other occasion, he 
displayed a manly spii-it ; for he disdained to exercise his au- 
thority over others without being sufficiently apprised of his 
own duty. Accordingly, before he presumed to give the word 
of command, the alderman submitted to the f?n7/ ,- and after 
being some time under the hands of the serjeant and the 
adjutant, repaired to head quarters, with the character of an 
excellent officer. 

* The numbers wore as follows, at tlie close of the poll : 

For William Lushingion, Esq. . . • 2-334 

— Harvey Christian Combe, Esq. . . . 1560 

In the course of the next year, the Alderman proved more fortunate, having polled 
.T865, and being the third candidate in point of numbers. 

In 1802, he was at the head of the poll, having . . 3377 votes. 

In 1806, he was again placed first, having .... 2294 ditto. 
In 1807, he stood fourth in order, with .... 2583 ditto. 

In 1812, he was once more first, having .... 5125 ditto. 


la 1800, Mr. Combe, who, in the mean time, had distin- 
guished himself greatly by his public spirit during his 
shrievalty, Avas at length exalted, after a variety of difficulties, 
to serve the ofiicc of lord mayor. The livery are accustomed 
to select and return certain candidates ; but the nomination of 
any one of these individuals, is expressly vested in the Court of 
Aldermen. It is usual, however, on this occasion, to choose 
the senior magistrates in rotation; but in 1799, a junior one 
was actually nominated, expressly on purpose to mortify him, 
and obstruct his preferment. Effectual means, however, were 
iidopted in the course of the preceding year to defeat this 
mana'uvre) which was at length fully accomplished by the inter- 
%'ention of the late Mr. Alderman Skinner. Accordingly, Mr. 
Combe was put in nomination with that respectable magistrate, 
who was his senior in the corporation, and had consequently 
been invqgted with the civic honours many years before this 
period. As was expected by all parties, Mr. Skinner declined ; 
and at the same time paid the highest compliment to the 
talents and integrity of the other candidate, who stood b}' Iiini 
on the hustings. This measure proved effectual ; for, as' be 
could not be forced to serve the office a second time, nothing 
now remained for the opponents of the subject of this memoir 
but acquiescence. 

During his mayoralty Mr. Combe conducted himself in such 
a manner as to excite the applause both of friends and ene- 
mies. He was requested by some of his constituents, on one 
trying occasion, to call out the military ; but my lord mayor 
disclaimed that course, and proved in the case of a mob, who 
had assembled at the Corn-market, that our ancient laws were 
still effectual, and that the constable's staff was more consti- 
tutional, as well as more efficacious, than the bayonet. 

In respect to his parliamentary conduct, Mr. Alderman 
Combe appears to have acted generally with the "Whigs. Ac- 
cordingly, during the first Avar with France, in conjunction 
with Mr. Fox and many others, he not only disapproved of 
the motives in which the contest had originated, but also in 


the manner in whicli it was prosnciited. It will naturally be 
concluded that he opposed the administration of the late Mr. 
Pitt with a consideiuble degree of zeal and uniformity. But 
let it be recollected, that on the occasion alluded to, he but 
obeyed the instructions of his constituents, cither expressed 
or implied : for the livery of London have always exhibited a 
marked antipathy to continental connections. 

In line, we no sooner fuid the alderman fairly seated in 
parliament, than he took an active part in the debate that 
ensued in consequence of a motion of -Mr. Fox *, against the 
premier of that da}'^, for presuming to meddle with the public 
purse, in express opposition to the rights and privileges of the 
House of Commons. Mr. Combe, in obedience to the voice 
of the livery, assembled that day in common-hall, who had 
enjoined him to vote a censure on His Majesty's Ministers, for 
lavishing the public treasure without the consent of Parlia- 
ment, not only supported, but also seconded the motion. 
The member for London commenced a maiden speech of 
some length, by expressing his pleasure, in obeying the voice 
of his constituents, as ex])ressed that very forenoon, at a 
numerous and respectable meeting. They had almost unani- 
mously disapproved of the conduct of His Majesty's Ministers 
on the present occasion ; and it was with peculiar satisfaction 
he now obeyed their commands, his duties as a representative 
being in strict unison with his own opinions. " After what 
had been advanced by his Right Hon. friend (Mr. Fox), he 
would not say a word upon the subject in a constitutional 
point of view. As the representative of the first commercial 
city in the world, he was well acquainted with the mischief 
produced by the money sent to the Emperor. The discount- 
ing of the bills drawn for the purpose of remitting money to 

* *' That His Majesty's Ministers having authorised and directed, at different times, 
without the consent," and during the sitting of Parliament, the issue of various sums of 
money for the service of his Imperial Majesty, and ;dso for the service of the army under 
the Prince of Condd, have acted contrary to their duty, and to the trust reposed in them, 
aJid have tliereby violated the constitutional privileges of this House." 


the Imperial troops had swallowed up so much of the wealth 
of the Bank, as to compel that great body to narrow their 
discounts; and the British merchants were made to suffer, 
that the German troops might be supphed. The remittances 
to the allied armies on the continent had, in fact, been a great 
cause of the alarming scai'city of money last year, and of most 
of the embarrassments which had been experienced in the 
commercial world." 

He next adverted " to the professions which had been scr 
recently made by members of Parliament, of love and respect 
for the constitution, and of regard and deference for the sen- 
timents of their constituents, which he hoped had not already 
evaporated ; on the contrary, he trusted that gentlemen would, 
on the present evening, give a proof of the contrary. He 
professed to be attached personally to no man, nor to have 
any prejudice against any of the members of administration. 
He voted with Mr. Fox, as a friend to human happiness, 
which was best secured by political liberty ; and this evening 
he came down, to use the phrase of the Right Hon. Gentle- 
man, impregnated with the sense of his constituents, which 
was this day so fairly and decidedly given by the Common- 

On the 19th of May, 1797, the alderman was pitched upon 
by Opposition, once more to instigate the immediate removal 
of the servants of the crown. Accordingly, having noticed 
all the principal events of the war, and dwelt on the most 
disastrous epochs of the history of that period, Mr. Combe 
contrasted the promises of the Cabinet with their actual con^ 
duct, and insisted on the consequent disappointment of the 
public. He concluded a harangue, which was listened to 
with great attention by both sides of the house, with the fol- 
lowing motion : " That an humble address be presented to 
His Majesty, beseeching him to dismiss from his presence and 
councils his present ministers, as the most Hkely means to obtain 
a speedy and permanent peace." Sir William Milner, Bart., 
one of the representatives for the city of York, seconded the 


motion, which was lost, however, on a division, by a majority 
of 183. 

We find the member for London, who appears to have been 
the only one of the four who would pledge himself explicitly 
to obey the instructions of his constituents, soon after sup- 
porting Mr. now Lord Grey, in his celebrated motion for a 
reform in Parliament. Here again, a failure in point of num- 
bers, rather than of arguments, ensued, and that measure 
has never since been carried into effect : nor is it now, we 
believe, an object of particular desire on the part of the 
nobleman then so eager for its success. 

In 1800, being then invested with the city regalia, the 
subject of the present memoir introduced a petition from 
** His Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the lord 
mayor^ aldermen, and livery of the city of London, assembled 
at the Guildhall of the said city, against the continuance of the 
present war." Instead of being supported by his colleagues on 
this occasion, the application was ridiculed by some, and dis- 
avowed by others, as not expressing the sentiments of their 
constituents at large. 

In 1803, he opposed the principle of the income tax as 
odious, vexatious, and unequal. Here again he obeyed the 
injunctions of the livery ; and yet two of his colleagues voted in 
favour of the new impost, in direct opposition to the orders 
received by them in the Common-hall. 

But Mr: Alderman Combe, although frequently, was not 
uniformly in opposition to all the measures of the cabinet of 
that day. On the contrary, at a time of great difficulty and 
danger, he warmly supported the *' General Defence Act," 
and boldly declared, that not only those actually under arms, 
*' but every man in the kingdom ought to go forth, in hostile 
array, against the enemies of their country, when called upon by 
the exercise of His Majesty's acknowledged prerogative. There 
could be no exemption but on the ground of express in- 
ability. The citizens of the metropolis," added he, " are 
not only ready, but anxious to learn, how they can come 
forward with most effect. If there were any apprehension, it 


could arise only from the probability of embarrassment, by 
tlie crowds that would rush forth to accomplish a sacred duty. 
In fine, in every Mard, parish, and street of London, the 
people arc only waiting with impatience until 1 lis Majesty 
shall be pleased to point out the means of organizing their 

On another occasion (March 19. 1804') Mr. Alderman 
Combe stated, "that the voliuiteer force, furnished in and about 
the metropoHs, then amounted to about L'OOO men. There 
was not a single individual of these, who, in case of an inva- 
sion, did not consider himself liable to be placed under the 
command of a general officer, and marched to any part of the 
kingdom. No one could presume to doubt of the well-known 
loyalty and zeal of the city of London, because, being expressly 
exempt by their charter from those military duties to which the 
rest of England is liable, they had no manner of occasion to 
seek for 'refuge from the ballot. It was accordingly evident, 
that the ofFer of their services, their zeal, and their energy, 
coidd alone originate in a pure and patriotic spirit." 

"When Mr. Pitt came a second time into place, Mr, Conibe 
divided against his *' Additional Force bill," and founded his 
objections both on constitutional and political grounds. In 
the Spring of 1805 he joined Mr. Grey, in his motion for 
papers, with a view to censure Ministers relative to their con- 
duct towards Spain. He also supported Mr. Brand in his 
motion for the removal of the Cabinet, and voted Avith Mr. 
Grey (then become Lord Howick), against the address to the 

There were two occasions, and we believe two only, about 
this period, on which Mr. Combe happened not to vote in a 
minority; on the former of these, he acted in direct unison 
with all the other city representatives, who declared themselves 
decidedly of opinion, that the supposed malversation of Mr. 
Dundas (afterwards Lord Melville), while treasurer of the 
navy, demanded immediate investigation; and they accord- 
ingly contributed to form the celebrated majority of one. The 
other included a subject of much personal delicacy, and he 


must have made a great sacrifice to his private, by his 
vote on that day. We now allude to tlie parliamentary 
accusation again his Royal Highness the Duke of York, 
during the first time he acted as commander-in-chief. On 
this occasion, notwithstanding a certain degree of inter- 
course, and even intimacy, with this Prince of the Blood, yet 
Mr. Combe, listening to the voice of his constituents only, 
joined in the proposition for an enquiry, and was the only one 
of the four members who obtained the thanks of the Com- 
mon-hall upon that occasion. 

It now remains to mention one peculiarity respecting the 
subject of this memoir. After the death of his friend Mr. 
Sawbridge, he began to be considered the best whist player m 
London. Having at length been admitted a membct of 
Brookes's, he there, of course, associated with some of the first 
personages in the kingdom, and was not unfi-equently accus- 
tomed, at other times and places, to try his skill with one of 
the Royal Dukes. On these occasions, the Alderman is allowed 
to have displayed a wonderful degree of recollection and self- 
command ; and this was not a little aided by his temperance, 
and even abstemiousness, previously to any grand match. We 
have yet to learn that he ever suffered this attachment to 
interfere with his duties, either public or domestic ; and there 
is reason to suppose, that on the wlwle, his fortune did not 
suffer any diminution by an occasional love of play. It 
may be questioned, however, whether late hours, and long 
and intense application, did not prove prejudicial to his 
health. The truth is, that he was seized with a paralytic 
affection, exactly in the same manner, and perhaps from ex- 
pressly the same cause, as the late Alderman Sawbridge ; and, 
like him, experienced a long and lingering illness for some 
years before his death. But although his lower limbs were 
debilitated, yet the vigour of his mind remained almost wholly 
unimpaired until the summer of 1817, when lie was greatly 
affected by an event of a public nature. Tliis was the resolu- 
tion of a Common Hall, which was very thinly attended, pur- 
porting that this member should be invited to resign his seat in 


parliament, as he was no longer capable of fulfilling its duties. 
Like Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Combe undoubtedly wished " to die in 
harness." Accordingly, his health was visibly affected by this 
measure ; and his enfeebled constitution proved unable to sur- 
mount the shock of what he deemed not only an injury, but an 
insult, to a man who expected a far different return for his long 
and faithful services. On this occasion, lie not only complied, 
as to his share in the representation *, but at the same time 
actually resigned all his civic honours. 

The subject of this memoir did not long survive this morti- 
fication, having died at Cobham Park, on the 4th July, 1818, 
in the sixty-seventh year of his age. In private life, Mr. 
Combe was a good husband, and the fond father of a very nu- 
merous family of ten children, chiefly consisting of daughters. 
To his eldest son he gave an excellent education at Eton, 
after which he placed him in his brewery, with a view of 
giving stability to his early habits, and instead of pursuing 
folly and frivolity, making him a man of business, an useful 
citizen, a good subject, and an opulent and independent com- 
mercial man. 

In his attention to the duties of the magistracy, the Alderman 
was impartial and upright. His attendance, too, was constant 
and unremitting, while health would permit, being always 
ready to sacrifice his time, and even his pleasures, to the per- 
formance of his duties. 

In respect to political opinions, he not unfrequently differed 
from the principal merchants of London, both as to the justice 
and mode of prosecuting the late war ; but his principles were 
marked by decision and consistency, and he was gratified with 
the full and frequent approbation of his constituents, who took 
every opportunity of evincing their respect, gratitude, and 

In his temper, he was ardent ; in his practice, resolute; in 
his manners, frank, open, and courteous. His constitution 

* His resignation took place June 10th, 1817 ; and at the election for a new mem- 
ber, The Rt. Hon, The Lord Mayor (Mr. Alderman Wood) was leturned wiilioul 


too, which for a long series of years was robust, enabled him 
to undergo fatigues which few other men were capable of 
enduring. With these qualities he united a vigorous under- 
standing and a correct judgment; and it was happily observed 
of him, " that no man had more personal friends, or deserved 
them better." 

The success of this gentleman in life was great and extraor- 
dinary ; for, in the language of the city, he died worth " a 
double plumb." He seemed to flourish, indeed, while all 
around him was bankruptcy and ruin. Mr. Boyce Combe, 
his eldest son, who was nominated sole executor, on proving 
his will, stated his personal effects at 140,000Z. ; and having 
real estates to the amount of at least 60,000/. more, he has 
thus left to his family the immense sum of at least 200,000^./ 

VOL. IV. i> 


No. III. 

OF •tuRH, lij'TriE di'^tiif o* wfiJiBditB; u.r. in thk late 


1 HE family, of which this gentleman was a younger branch, 
is supposed to have come over from the , continent with Wil- 
liam the Conqueror, and to have settled a|; Musgrave in West- 
moreland, whence they derive their appellation.* But, 
although the Musgraves are of English, or rather Norman 
descent, a branch of them has been long settled in the sister 
island, where they obtained very considerable possessions. 

Of these, Richard Musgrave, the subject of the present me- 
moir, has made a considerable figure in the history of Ireland. 
The exact year of his birth is unknown to the writer of this nar- 
rative, but it was, most probably, about J 757 or 1758. After 
receiving a good education, he entered early into the world, 
and was speedily enabled to gratify his youthful ambition, by 
means of an alliance that pointed out the path both to honour 
and fortune. Having paid his addresses to the Honourable 
Deborah Cavendish f the daughter of a great heiress, de- 
scended paternally from the " Lord President Bradshaw," as 
he is usually called, who presided over the tribunal that pre- 
sumed to decide on the fate of Charles I., he became the hus- 
band of that lady, T^ecember 20, 17S0. She was a younger 
daughter of the late Sarah, Baroness Waterpark in her own 
right, by the Right Honourable Sir Henry Cavendish, of 
Doveridge Hall in the county of Derby, Bart., who, for many 

• Tl>e first of ihi3 name noticed in ancient records, was Peter Musgrave, who lived 
during the reign of King Stephen. The present EngUsh baronet is the eighteenth or 
nineteenth in descent from this common ancestor. ' 

f This lady was then Miss Deborah Cavendish, her mother not having been ennobled 
until many years after. Ed. 


years, held the lucrative and important office of Receiver 
General in Ireland. 

Mr. Musgrave now became a Member of the Irish Parlia- 
ment and was strenuous in his support of government. This 
seat, however, was soon resigned for an acquisition of a more 
permanent and advantageous nature, as, soon after this alliance^ 
he was nominated Collector of the Dublin City Excise, and 
created a Baronet December 2, 1782, by the style and title 
of Sir Richard Musgrave, of Lismore in the county of Wex- 
ford, and province of Leinsler. 

One event of his life is very extraordinary, and appears 
almost incredible to an Entjlishman. When actinij as sheriff 
of his county, during a very disturbed period, a prisoner, 
regularly convicted by a jury, was committed to his cliarge for 
execution ; but the hangman was not to be found, and no deputy 
could ,be persuaded to execute the odious office. In this state 
of affairs, as the sheriffs department was merely ministerial, 
and he was consequently obliged to obey the orders of the 
Judges, after making every effort in his power to find a substi- 
tute, and offering a large sum of money, by way of recompence, 
in vain, the subject of this memoir was reduced to the fatal 
necessity of completing the sentence of the law, in propria 

That he was a man unquestionably loyal, cannot be doubted ; 
and, therefore, it is almost unnecessary to remark that the 
baronet was an uniform friend to and a mont strenuous advocate 
for the preponderance of English councils and interests in Ire- 
land. With an exception to the short administration of Earl 
Filzwilliam, and perhaps also that of the Duke of Bedfoid, he 
was a most zealous supporter of the existing government, and 
even on these occasions he exhibited his political discernment, 
as these noblemen exercised the vice-regal power but for a 
very short period. 

It is not without pain we recur to those unhappy times in 
the history of Ireland, when a large portion of her population 
was actually in rebellion, and a civil war en>:ued, during which 
many horrible and disgusting atrocities were perpetrated, 

D 2 


Soon after this insurrection was quelled, Sir Richard, who had 
remained firm to his principles and his duty, speedily distin- 
guished his loyalty by a work expressly written on this 

So eager was the public to gratify its curiosity on this oc- 
casion, that the whole quarto edition, consisting of 1 250 copies, 
was sold within the space of two months ; another soon fol- 
lowed, and was exhausted, so that a third became neces- 
sary. To adopt the author's own words, " some obloquy and 
abuse have been levelled against this work," but these were 
attributed, in his " Justification," to " the malice of the Jaco- 
bins of England and Ireland." The " Papists" too, were not 
forgotten ; and so very hostile to this sect v/as he, on this oc- 
casion, that he professes it to be his decided opinion, that two 
religions cannot exist at the same time in his native island, as in 
Germany. lu respect to the latter country, he observes, 
" They are all originally of the same stock or lineage, and 
the religious liberty of each is guaranteed by the treaty of 
Munster ; so that the intolerant or ambitious designs of either 
against the other, is completely repressed ; but in Ireland, the 
hope of recovering the forfeited estates, and of separating her 
from England, constantly fomented by bigotry, keeps alive 
their hereditary hatred to the latter, and of course to the mem- 
bers of the established church from their noted loyalty, and 
attachment to the sister kingdom, and gives full play to the 
deleterious doctrines of popefy, which the Irish priests never 
cease to foment. In short," adds he, " tor these reasons, no 
parallel can be drawn between the popery of Ireland, and that 
of any other country in Europe." 

Sir Richard, doubtless, gave great offence, both in England 
and Ireland, by his " Observations on Whipping and Free 
Quarters," in which he was supposed, not only to apologise 
for, but even to justify the application of torture by way of 
obtaining evidence. In short, his conduct on this particular 
occasion, was far from proving conciliatory, and accordingly 
he neither satisfied his friends nor his enemies. Indeed, the 
Irish Government, at length, deemed it necessary to disavow 


all connection with the author; and publicly disclaimed 
the idea of affording him either patronage or protection in 

As the former work, to which we again recur, is not only con*- 
nected with the history of his native country, but constitutes a 
leading feature in the biography of our author, an analysis 
may not, perhaps, be here improperly annexed. 

" Memoirs of the different rebellions in Ireland, from the 
arrival of the English : also a particular detail of that which 
broke out the 23d of May, 1 798 ; with the history of the con'- 
spiracy that preceded it, and the characters of the principal 
actors in it. To this edition is added a concise history of the 
Reformation in Ireland; and considerations on the means of 
extending its advantages therein. Second Edition, Dublin, 
1801. pp. 636. with Appendixes." 

We are told in a prefatory discourse, that instead of the 
Christian religion being introduced into Ireland by Roman 
missionaries in the beginning of the fifth century, it was esta- 
blished there by certain disciples of the Greek church. The 
Irish clergy, indeed, had no connection with, and did not sub- 
mit to the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff until the year 
1152, when Pope Eugenius sent, by Cardinal Paparon, four 
palls to the archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, Cashel, and 
Tuam : when the Romish ritual was substituted in the place 
of the Greek, which had been previously used in the Irish 
church ; an undoubted proof that it was independent of the 
Pope until that memorable epoch. 

" Our excellent primate Usher," adds he, " proves this in 
a most unquestionable manner, in a learned treatise on the 
religion of the ancient Irish, well worth the perusal of the na- 
tives of Ireland. As to celibacy, we know from Ware, that 
the four archbishops of Armagh, who preceded Celsus, and 
Celsus himself, who died 1129, were married; and not until 
popery was established at Cashel in 1 1 72, was marriage 

" In the end of the twelfth, and the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century, a season of midnight ignorance in Europe,, the 

D 3 


Roman pontiif, who was regarded wilh superstitious reverence, 
claimed, and gradually acquired, a superiority, not only of 
spiritual, but of temporal power, over all the potentates of Eu- 
rope, who considered his sanction as necessary to expiate the 
guilt of any crime, how heinous soever, or to promote the suc- 
cess of any adventure. For this reason, Henry ll. solicited Pope 
Adrian for a bull to give him the investiture of Ireland, and 
in consideration of it, agreed to grant him a tax of one penny 
on each house in it, called Peter Pence. Adrian, in his bull, 
empowered Henry II. " to propagate in Ireland the righteous 
.plantation of faith, and the branch most acceptable to God ;" 
which meant no more, than that he should subject this king- 
.dom to the dominion of the Pope, which, it is remarkable, 
was the last country in Europe that submitted to the ambitious 
and rapacious designs of his Holiness. 

" At this day, the Roman Catholics deprecate the grant of 
.Ireland to a foreign, and not a native prince. M'Geoghegan, 
although a Roman Catholic, in his history exclaims against 
rthe transaction as u violation of the rights of nations, and the 
•most sacred laws, under the specious pretexts of religion and 
the reformation of manners ; and he boldly adds, " could one 
suspect the Vicar of Christ of such gross injustice? Could one 
believe him capable of issuing a bull, by which an entire nation 
was overturned?" 

On this occasion. Sir Richard Musgrave observes, " if the 
aboriginal Irish lament the settlement of the English in Ireland, 
all its loyal inhabitants have to deplore that they introduced 
:popery into it, as it has been a constant source of disaffection, 
and has produced insuperable calamities in it. It is not the 
object nor the wish of the writer of the following pages," adds 
he, " to disparage Ireland, or its inhabitants, the former in 
point of soil and climate, the latter, in their intellectual and 
corporeal powers, being deservedly esteemed among the finest 
works of the creation ; but to evince the truth of that maxim, 
that an imjperium in imperio, or two separate sovereign powers, 
civil and ecclesiastical, cannot coexist in the same state without 
perpetual collision, producing discord and rebeUion ; and that 


the only remedy for the calamities attendant on such a state is 
either the extinctioi^ of one power, or the milder procedure 
of incorporating with the other. The latter mode has been 
adopted in Ireland : abstract reason must approve, and expe- 
rience will demonstrate the measure to be founded in the 
truest wisdom." 

Sir Richard describe? the people of Ireland as in a most 
deplorable state on the arrival of the English. Their num- 
bers, indeed, according to Sir William Petty, did not exceed 
800,000 souls, dispersed over more than twelve millions of 
acres. The country was overrun with forests, or infected with 
bogs ; while in all the arts of civilised life, the natives were 
but little superior to the Indians of NortTi America! Their 
Brelion laws were calculated to make-'them savage',, and to keep 
them so, as they rendered the enjoymenit of life and property 
insecure. Their kings, or princes, too, ;Jdid'qaotsacci9e<^ each 
other by hereditary descent, or any fixed principles, but by 
force of arms. : ■w'.'A. 

Our Irish baronet, from these considerations, seenls- to think 
that " it was a peculiar favour from Heaven tb seiid a civilised 
people among them, nor did the wiser part," adds he, " seem 
insensible to it ; for Matth. Paris tells us that, at a council 
at Lismore, they gratefully received the laws of England, and 
swore to obey them, which included their allegiance to the 
Crown of England." But he himself is obliged to add, that 
*''as soon as Henry II. returned, they rejected the laws, vio- 
lated their allegiance, and ran into rebellion : which excluded 
them from the benefit of them." 

By way of impressing a horror of the Church of Rome on 
his countrymen, the author now enters into an historical de- 
tail of its abuses. As the popes found themselves unable to 
maintain their immense power, great wealth, and extensive 
territories ; the moment that reason had reassumed her empire 
they resolved, we are told, to erect a system of terror in the 
bosom of every state, by a device, the ingenuity of which could 
be equalled by nothing but its monstrous iniquity. Accord- 
ingly, Pope Innocent III., in 1215, procured certain ordi- 

D t 


nances, to be agreed to by the fourtli council of Lateran, 
purporting : 

1. That heretics of every kind, against the true orthodox 
faith shall be condemned, and on not proving their innocence, 
shall be excommunicated, and their effects confiscated. 

2. All secular powers shall be compelled by ecclesiastical 
censures, to take an oath to extirpate, within their respective 
territories, such of their subjects as shall be condemned as he- 
retics by the Church ; but if any prince shall refuse, let him 
be excommunicated, and on omitting to make satisfaction in 
one year, let it be notified to the sovereign pontiff, that he 
may absolve his subjects from their oaths of allegiance, and 
transfer his territories to any other catholic prince. 

3. All catholics, who shall take up arms for the purpose of 
extirpating such heretics, shall enjoy the same indulgence, and 
the like holy privileges, with those who visited the Holy 

After a suitable comment on other doctrines. Sir Richard 
proceeds to exhibit the origin of the papal usurpation. For a 
long time, the " Bishops of Rome," continued to be elected 
by the people and the clergy ; and when so chosen, were con- 
secrated by some other prelates, but not until they had first 
obtained the express confirmation of the Emperor. But at 
length, on the extinction of the race of Charlemagne, 
Adrian III. made a decree, declaring this to be unnecessary. 
In the fifth century, equal honours were decreed to the Bishops 
of Rome and Constantinople. The seat of the Western empire 
having been transferred to Ravenna about the year 390, this 
capital disputed the primacy of Italy, with Rome. 

At length, that arrogant pontiff Gregory VII., raised to the 
popedom in the year 1073, not only claimed, but exercised 
the right of excommunicating and deposing sovereigns, by 
invoking their subjects to take arms against them. His ambi- 
tious efforts occasioned the factions of the Guelphs and Gibbe- 
lines, in Germany and Italy, which produced numberless 
assassinations, tumults, and convulsions, and no less than 
sixty pitched battles in the reign of Henry IV., and eighteen 


in that of his successor Henry V., when the claims of tlie 
Roman pontiff finally prevailed. 

It is to the extended power, and fatal influence of poperyj 
that the baronet mainly attributes all the wars, feuds, and re- 
volutions in Ireland. « Speaking a different language, and 
obedient to different laws, it is not to be wondered at, that the 
English and Irish did not cordially unite and coalesce into one 
people. Nothing was attempted that could materially conduce 
to effect this : for the operations of government were confined 
to pitiful experiments. The introduction of the reformed re- 
ligion, by increasing the antipathy of the native Irish to the 
English, was a new source of calamities ; for, as the Irish ec- 
clesiastics, to whom the ignorant and bigoted people were 
blindly devoted, received their education in foreign seminaries, 
particularly in those of France and Spain, they returned to 
their native country solemnly bound to the Pope, in unlimited 
submission, without any bond of allegiance to the king, and 
full fraught Avith those absurd and pestilent doctrines which 
the moderate of their own communion, at least, professed to 
abominate: of the universal dominion of the Pope, as well spi- 
ritual as temporal, of his authority to excommunicate and depose 
princes, to absolve subjects from their oaths of allegiance, and to 
dispense with every law of God and man, to sanctify rebellion 
and murder, and even to change the very nature and essential 
difference of vice and virtue. With such impious tenets, fa- 
bricated by their schools and councils, they filled their super- 
stitious votaries, contrary to the letter, the sense, and design 
of the Gospel, the writings of the apostles, and the comment- 
aries of their successors, to the belief of the Christian Church 
for ten ages, and to the clearest dictates of nature " 

" In that savage scene of butchery, the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew, planned with all the coolness of deliberation, 
five hundred gentlemen, and ten thousand persons of inferior 
rank were massacred in one night, at iParis alone, and great 
numbers in the provinces, because they were * protestants. 

* Thuanus, lib. 63. sect. 14. 


The Roman ponliff, on hearing of it, expressed great joy, an- 
nouncing thai the cardinals should return thanks to the Al- 
mighty for so signal an advantage obtained for the holy see, 
and that a jubilee should be observed all over Christendom.* 

" Sextus V. excommunicated Henry III. of France as a 
heretic, because he, contrary to his Holiness's orders, spared 
the blood of his protestant subjects. And he granted nine 
years indulgence to such subjects as would bear arms against 
him ; upon which Jacque Clement, a friar, assassinated him 
with singular treachery," 

After descanting on the objections raised against Henry I V.'s 
claim to the crown of France, as a heretic, the baronet insinu- 
ates that he was murdered by Ravilliac, at the instigation of 
the Pope, who had twice deposed him. Henry VIII. of Eng- 
land and his daughter Elizabeth were both deposed, without 
experiencing, however, a similar fate, although Robert Parsons 
and Edward Campion, we are told, came to England for the 
express purpose of plotting against the latter. 

" The popes, well knowing that riches are the sinews of 
power, adopted the following expedient to fill their treasury, 
by a constant, and never failing revenue. Having first esta- 
blished the doctrine of purgatory, and the pains and torments 
attending it, the deluded sectaries of the Roman pontiff had re- 
course to him to be relieved from their terrors. Fisher, bishop 
of Rochester, an eminent Roman divine, says, that indulgences 
were not necessary in the first ages of the Church, and that 
they were not devised till the people were frightened with the 
torments of purgatory. 

" Most of the schoolmen confess, that the use of indulgences 
commenced in the time of Pope Alexander III. towards the 
end of the twelfth or the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
and from that period, until the folly and iniquity of them occa- 
sioned the reformation, the sale of them was a fruitful source 
of wealth to the popes. They also inflicted penalties on the 
commission of sin, such as rigorous fasts, bodily pains and 

* Tlnianus, lib. 63. ;ect. 14. 



mortifications, long and frequent prayerr,, and pilgrimages to 
the tombs of saints and martyrs ; and as these penalties could 
be commuted or dispensed with for money, those who chose 
to lead voluptuous lives, and to continue in the course of licen- 
tious pleasure, embraced this new mode of expiation.* 

" At length, the remission of sins became so systematic, and 
such a constant and regular source of revenue to the Holy See, 
that they were reduced to a schedule in a book of rates, with 
the sums corresponding, for which they were to be remitted. 
The reader may judge of this extraordinary work by the fol- 
lowing short extracts : 

" A nun having committed fo^-nication several times, shall 
be absolved, and enabled to hold the dignities of her order, 
even that of abbess, on paying 39 livres Tournois, and 
9 ducats." 

" The absolution of him who hath deflowered a virgin, 
gr. 6. 

" The absolution of a clerk for all acts of fornication with 
a nun, within or without the limits of the nunnery, or with his 
relations in affinity or consanguinity, or with any woman what- 
soever, 36 livres," f 

" The Roman Pontiff very wisely gave great liberty to the 
clergy, as they were prohibited from marrying. When celi- 
bacy, (a doctrine justly reprobated in the Scriptures, and re- 
futed by the practice of the apostles, all of whom were married 
men, except Paul and John ; a doctrine peculiarly unfit for the 
Church of Rome to teach ; their founder, as they term him, 
and prince of the apostles, as they ridiculously call him, having 
exploded it by his example,) was first enforced in England. 
The bishops constantly granted licences to the parochial clergy 
to keep concubines, lest they might run into licentiousness 
ivith the wives and daughters of their parishioners." 

" Exclusive salvation, a doctrine invented by the artful 
policy of the Roman pontiff, for the purpose of encouraging 

* Muratorl, de redemptione peccSitoruin, in Antiq. Ital. Med. Sec. 

t " Every crime tliat human depravity can commit is inserted in this book." 


proselytes to his church, and for securing those wlio were al- 
ready within its pale, has been a fruitful source of discord and 
rebellion in many countries in Europe. It is not only con- 
trary to the doctrine of the Scriptures, but repugnant to the 
moral and physical perfection of the Deity, subversive of his 
attributes of wisdom, justice, and mercy, which are the main 
pillars of the divine administration ; and it is likely to end in 
Atheism, and has already produced all its baneful effects ; for 
any persons who can be brought to debase and disparage the 
Almighty, so much as to assert that He is so unwise, so unjust, 
and so unmerciful, as to ordain, that a very small portion of 
His creatures shall enjoy eternal happiness, and that the re- 
mainder shall be doomed to eternal punishment, because they 
differ from them in a few trifling ceremonies and tenets, will 
soon, probably, become Atheists. Mahomet," adds he, a Uttle 
after, « inculcates the same doctrine in the Koran, and it pro- 
duces the most intolerant and sanguinary principles between 
his votaries and other religionists." 

It is on this foundation, that our author built his whole po- 
litical superstructure, as will be seen by the following passage: 
" When those doctrines occasioned the dethronement and 
the murder of so many princes, the massacre of the Albigences 
and Waldenses in the thirteenth century, that of the protest- 
ants at Paris in the sixteenth, the extermination of many thou- 
sands of them in the low countries, the expulsion of the Moors 
from Spain, the persecution of the Vaudois in the King of 
Sardinia's dominions, we cannot be surprised that they should 
have produced so many rebellions in Ireland, as her inhabit- 
ants have been plunged in the most abject ignorance, and have 
been blindly devoted to their priests." 

•. It is thus obvious, according to the opinion just quoted, that 
all the disturbances in Ireland, for the last two or three cen- 
turies, have originated in religious disputes, totally uncon- 
nected with civil grievances; we are accordingly presented 
with a catalogue of insurrections, commencing with that of 
Shane O'Neil in Ulster, in 1567. In 1595 Hugh O'Neil 
raised disturbances which were continued until the end of 


Elizabeth's reign ; this was termed " Tyrone's rebellion," and 
branched into three different civil wars. On the accession of 
James I., the citizens of Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Kilkenny, 
and Wexford, derided His Majesty's title, « for no other 
reason, than that he was not a catholic." Next follow the 
« conspiracies," of Tyrone, O'Donnel, Maguire, Sir Cahir 
O'Dogherty, &c. In the reign of Charles I. the " popish 
lords," prelates, and clergy, assembled at Kilkenny, and regu- 
lated their proceedings according to the forms and solemnity 
of a parliament. 

We now come to more modern events, and under the head 
of " Origin of the Wliite Boys," we learn that the epoch of 
their appearance was 1 759, during the administration of a for- 
mer Duke of Bedford. They consisted of the lower class of 
Roman Catholics, and acquired their appellation from being 
dressed in white uniforms. They met in Munster, in 1762, 
in bodies of from 500 to 2000, and the pretexts for assembling 
were as follows : 

1. The illegal enclosure of commons. 

2. The extortions exercised by the Proctors. 

3. The exorbitant fees exacted by their own clergy. 

After being subdutxl by a military force, Sir Richard Aston 
was sent to try some of the ringlea<lers. On this occasion, we 
are assured, that the late Edmund Burke " sent his brother 
Richard, who died recorder of Bristol, and Mr. Nagle, a rela- 
tion, on a mission to Munster, to levy money on the popish 
body for the use of the White Boys, who were exclusively 

We are next told, that all our disgraces and misfortunes 
are to be found in the history of our i)cnal laws and m the feeble 
execution of them ; and it is added that about the year 1773, 
that system of conciliation and concession, which laid the 
foundation of the late rebellion, began." 

" Origin of the Volunteers." In the year 1779, when Eng- 
land was involved in a war with the French, Spaniards, and 
Americans; when the combined naval fleet of the enemy was 
superior, in point of nmnbci-, to the Channel fleet ; when con- 


stant and well-grounded apprehensions were entertained tlial 
Ireland would be invaded ; the loyalty of her parliament, trem- 
bling for the fate of the empire, left the kingdom almost desti- 
tute of any military force for its defence. At the same time what 
little commerce she then enjoyed, was completely stagnated by 
privateers, which constantly hovered on her coast. In this criti- 
cal juncture, some maritime towns, dreading that they might 
be plundered by the latter, applied to government for a mili- 
tary force for their defence ; but received an answer, that they 
must arm and defend themselves. This gave rise to the vo- 
lunteers." The baronet candidly allows, that these military 
associations deterred the French from attempting an invasion 
of the kingdom, which they meditated at that time; while 
they at the same time completely preserved the peace of the 
country, having not only exhibited the greatest respect to 
the laws, but the utmost zeal in enforcing the execution of 
them. Notwithstanding this, he maintains it to be an esta- 
blished maxim of civil polity, " that no power should be allowed 
to exist within a state capable of overawing or overturning it." 

At length, in 1782, delegates from 143 corps of the province 
of Ulster, assembled at Dungannon, and entered into certain 
resolutions, which were soon adopted by all the volunteer 
corps^ and grand juries of the kingdom. In October, 1 783, 
delegates from the corps of the province of Lcinster were con- 
voked at the Royal Exchange, Dublin, when -a reform of par- 
liantent, and the admission of Roman Catholics to the elective 
franchise were proposed ; soon after which, a grand national 
convention of volunteer delegates from all Ireland assembled, 
and entered into deliberations respecting a plan for new 
modelling the constitution. 

It is not the intention, we are told, of the author, whose 
work is now before us, to censure an assembly of men actuated 
by the generous design of improving the constitution, and of 
diffusing the blessings of civil liberty as extensively as possible. 
Yet, " it is to be lamented," adds he, " that such assemblies 
and their discussions, taught the mass of the people to speculate 
on politics, and as they cannot distinguish sophistry from 


Irutli, prepared their minds for the reception of those dele- 
terious doctrines which produced tlie rcbelUon." " In short," 
observes Sir Richard, sdou after, " it will appear that from 
the year 1 782, when our constitution was supposed to have 
arrived at the summit of perfection, an immoderate and 
alarming spirit of innovation, which ultimately produced the 
rebellion, never ceased to break forth, both in and out of 
Parliament ; and that Mr. Grattan and his adherents, who 
piqued themselves on being the chief authors of the consti- 
tution of 1782, were the principal promoters of that very 
Spirit of innovation, which shook the pillars of the throne in 
1 798, desolated some of the most fertile portions of Ireland, 
and aimed at its separatipn from England." 

" The Peep-of-day Boys," were Presbyterians; and the 
" Defenders," Catholics : their feuds are said to have originated 
in a private quarrel. " The passions of both parties being 
very much inflamed, they never missed an opportunity of ex- 
ercising hostilities against each other, which frequently ter- 
minated in the commission of murder. A detail of their 
battles would be as interesting as that of the kites and crows." 
We are told " that the people of Lurgan and its vicinity 
were remarkably quiet during the heat and frenzy of the in- 
surgents, because it abounds with Protestants of the Esta- 
blished Church ; the only sect uniformly attached to the con- 

Out of these feuds arose the " Orangemen ;" for in com- 
memoration of the battle of Diamond, fought in the county 
of Armagh, in the month of September, 1795, " and the du- 
. plicity and treachery of the Romanists on that occasion," the 
first Orange lodge was formed. " They were a society of 
loyal Protestants," observes our author, "associated and bound 
together solely for the purpose of maintaining and defending 
the constitution in Church and State, as established by the 
Prince of Orange, at the glorious Revolution, which they re- 
garded as a solemn and sacred duty. It confers distinguisiicd 
credit on its members, and they united, and stood forward for 
this truly patriotic purpose, unsupported and unprotected b\ 


the great and the powerful, to wliom their motives were mis- 
represented by traitors, who knew that the institution would 
form a firm barrier against their nefarious machinations. I 
have universally observed, that the disaffected, who arraigned 
with the utmost severity the Orange Societies, never uttered 
any censure on the committees of assassination, to whom so 
many loyal men fell a sacrifice." 

Another institution, that of the " Catholic Committee," 
next passes in review ; and it appears that this society was 
founded so far back as the year 1757, by Charles O'Connor, 
the Irish antiquary, while Dr. Curry, and Mr. Wyn, of Wa-^ 
terford, first established it in the city of Dublin. The ori- 
ginal subscribers consisted of seven only, but the numbers 
soon increased. Their object was to assemble and determine, 
with the greatest secrecy, on the best and most likely means 
of procuring a restoration of those privileges which they had 
been formerly deprived of. 

At length, members were duly elected, and regularly re- 
turned by towns and districts throughout the greater portion of 
the kingdom ; gentlemen of landed estate had a right to sit 
there, and they at length began to regulate their proceedings 
according to the forms and solemnity of a parliament. It 
appears indeed, by a resolution, on the 15th day of Novem- 
ber, 1783, Sir Patrick Bellew in the chair, that they con- 
sidered themselves " as the sole medium, for several years 
past, through which the voice of the Roman Catholics of 
Ireland has been conveyed, and the only one competent there- 
to." In 1 792, " a Popish convention," or " Back-lane par- 
liament," as it is Iiere styled, having met in Dublin, framed 
a petition to the king, praying for a redress of grievances, 
and transmitted the same by five delegates, and they actually 
succeeded so far as to obtain a repeal of many of the penal 
statutes then in force against them. 

If full credit be given to the assertions of our author, it 
will appear that the affairs of the Catholic committee were 
managed with great art and ability." " Knowing that Ed- 
mund Burke, a warm favourer of Popery, had in a liigh 


flcgrec conciliated the esteem of our most gracious Sovereign, 
and the government of Ireland, by his ingenious and ener- 
getic writings against the extravagant theories and frantic 
proceedings of the French republicans, they resolved to cm- 
ploy his son, an overweening, petulant young man, to be 
their agent in forwarding their pretensions ; hoping thereby 
to ensure the weight and consideration of his father, for that 

" Tliey then sent one of their body to London, in Sep- 
tember, 179], to Mr. Richard Burke, who, through his 
father, rendered them most important services ; and soon 
after, having gone to Ireland, he made a most extensive 
circuit there, and in the course of it visited many of the 
nobility and gentry , and endeavoured to conciliate them to 
support the claims of the Roman Catholics. As he vvas their 
liired agent, we are not to impute his conduct to disinterested 
and generous motives, though we may infer that he had a 
predilection for i)opery, from the strong attachment his father 
had to it, and because his mother was a most rigid Papist. 
Though he did not obtain the object of his mission, he 
awakened the ambition of the Roman Catholics, and gave 
them the strongest assurances that a steady perseverance in 
their claims would finally produce a repeal of the Popery 
laws. " As a very large sum of money," adds Sir Ri- 
chard, soon after, " had been levied on the Roman Ca- 
tholics, it is not improbable that their ambassador, who 
repaired to London in the year 1791, applied, with the assist- 
ance of Mr. Burke, a large portion of, it to very good pur- 
poses ; for otherwise how can we account for the extraordinary 
and sudden change which took place in the administration of 
England? A change which has been fatal to the peace and 
security of Ireland." 

Theobald Wolfe Tone, a barrister of considerable talents, 
hut far from being independent in his circumstances, is said 
to have been the leader of the " United Irishmen." The 
first society of this dcscrij)tion assembled at Belfast, in October 
I 791, and it is here boldly asserted, that assurances wore given lo 

VOL. i\. i; 


the " Republicans of Belfast," provided tliey came forward as 
a Protestant body, in behalf of their rights, " that the Ca- 
tholic committee, and such of their persuasion as they could 
influence, should co-operate with them, in subverting the 

The arrival of Earl Fitzwilliam, as viceroy, tended for a 
while to conciliate the Irish ; but they became greatly alarmed 
at his sudden recall, more especially as they were thereby 
precluded from hoping for that extension of their franchises, 
they had been taught to expect. During the government of 
Lord Camden many commotions ensued, and the gaols were 
full of prisoners. The following summary and irregular mode 
of emptying them is greatly praised by our author : " This 
year (1795) the sum applied for to the grand jury, by different 
persons, who suffered in the county of Meath, from the enor- 
mities committed by the Defenders, such as houghing cattle, 
and plundering and burning houses, amounted to 1700/." 

" Lord Carhanipton, finding that the laws were silent, and 
inoperative in the counties which he visited, and that they did 
not afford protection to the loyal and peaceable subjects, who 
in most places were obliged to fly from their habitations, re- 
solved to restore them to their usual energy, by the following 
salutary system of severity : in each county he assembled the 
most respectable gentlemen and landholders in it, and having, 
in concert with them, examined the charges against the 
leaders of the banditti, who were in prison, but defied jus- 
tice, he, with the concurrence of those gentlemen, sent the 
most nefarious of them on board a tender stationed at Sligo, to 
serve in the king's troops, and not in the navy, as has been 
falsely asserted. By this bold measure, founded in obvious 
princij^les of political necessity, he completely restored peace 
in the disturbed counties. The loyal inhabitants, and the 
grand juries in them, thanked Lord Carhampton for his wise 
and salutary exertions; but the disaffected in every part of the 
kingdom, exasperated that he had checked the progress of 
their revolutionary schemes, raised a great clamour in con- 
sequence of it; and as they meditated many prosecutions and 


civil actions against him, a law was passed in the month of 
February, \7^)C>, to indemnify such persons as had exceeded 
the limits of the law, in restoring peace and good order; 
which, as a matter of course, was violently opposed by the 
minority in the House of Commons." 

In 17J)6 an act passed, we are told, and is still in force, 
the principal enactments of which are, 

1. That all arms shall be registered, and any magistrate 
may search for arms the house of any person who shall not 
do so. 

2. If any county, or any parts thereof, be disturbed, the 
magistrates may notify it to the Privy Council, who are there- 
upon required to proclaim the disturbed part: on which the 
magistrates are enjoined to hold petty sessions as often as 
necessary, but never at a longer interval than fourteen days; 
and to punish offenders in a summary way. 

S. All persons are required by it, when the county or ba- 
rony has been proclaimed, to keep within their houses between 
sun-set and sun-rise; and are liable to be transported (with- 
out the intervention of a jury), if found out of their houses 
in the night. 

This bill, which was introduced by the Attorney- General 
of that day, has been the subject of much animadversion in 
England ; and, indeed, must be considered as a novelty in 
legislation. But we are here assured, " that to its salutary 
coercion, we may justly impute the salvation of the kingdom. 
Every person acquainted with the ferocious and sanguinary 
disposition of the lower class of people in Ireland," adds he, 
" will agree with me, that this wise law should never be 
repealed. It is inoperative, and cannot be enforced until the 
emergency of the times calls for it; and of this the magis- 
trates of the county, and Privy Council, are proper judges. 
The removal of the Irish Parliament to England, in conse- 
quence of the Union, makes it peculiarly necessary that this 
law should remain unrepealed ; for, from the spirit of insur- 
rection and rapacity of the common people in Ireland, an 

K 2 

0004412 ^^ ^^^ ciiu;: ;! cr .;.'-•:; •:!ii::isr 


entire province may be desolated before proper laws could be 
enacted in the Imperial Parliament to check it. 

" The common Irish," it is added, *' are doctrinally tanght 
that they are bound by their religion to resist the laws and 
ordinances of a Protestant state ; and that an oath of allegiance 
is null and void ; for which reason they uniformly oppose the 
administration of justice. A monster, stained with the blood 
of liis father, must be led to the gallows by a military guard. 
But in England, the mass of the people unite in enforcing 
the execution of the laws, because they know that the pre- 
servation of their lives and property depend on it. The late 
rebellion, as well as the former one, evince, that the lower 
classes of the Irish do not consider it a crime to injure the 
person or property of a Protestant fellow-subject." 

Under the head of " Military Organization," we are told 
that this was regulated m the following manner, by the in- 
surgents : The secretary of each subordinate society, com- 
posed of twelve, appointed their petty or non-commissioned 
officer ; the delegate officer from societies to a lower baronial 
committee was commonly appointed captain of a company, 
consisting of the five societies who delegated him, and who 
made up the number of sixty privates ; while the delegate of 
ten " lower baronials," to the upper or district committee, 
was commonly appointed colonel of a battalion, consisting of 
GOO. The colonels of battalions in each county sent in the 
names of three persons to the executive directory of the 
union, one of whom was appointed by them adjutant-general 
of the county, and whose duty it was to receive and commu- 
nicate military orders from the executive to the colonels of 
battalions, and in general to act as officers of the revolution- 
ary staff. 

The executive directory, we are told, although desirous of 
obtaining assistance from France, wex*e unwilling to admit 
such a body of troops into Ireland, as would enable a foreign 
nation to conquer and retain it; Avhilc their new allies 
showed a decided inclination lo send an iiiniy of such mag- 


nitudc OS might in the end achieve its complete conquest and 
subjugation ! A fleet, with a body of troops on board, was 
accordingly prepared in the Texel ; but the soldiers were 
soon after disembarked ; and it was a circumstance not a little 
fortunate for England, that during the most furious period of 
the insurrection which soon after ensued, no succours arrived 
from France. 

Meanwhile the disaffected continued to arm, and extend 
their connections. They appear to have succeeded in a cer- 
tain degree, in corrupUng a portion of the regular troops, 
while themselves and their adherents amounted to no incon- 
siderable body, in respect to numbers. 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald, brother to die Duke of Leinstcr, 
a nobleman who had acquired a high reputation for his talents, 
spirit, and enterprise, appears to have been the great osten- 
sible leader. In 1798, every thing seemed ripe for action, 
for in the beginning of that year, this nobleman presented a 
paper to a person, who has since attained a high degree of 
notoriety, purporting to be a return to a national committee, 
a few days before, stating the armed insurgents in Ulster, 
Leinster, and Munster, to amount to 279,896 persons. This 
appears a great numerical strength in respect to men; but 
their treasury was miserably defective, as the sum total con- 
tained in it amounted to no more than 14:851. 4s. dd. 

" This dreadful conspiracy," which aimed at the destruction 
of Ireland, its separation from England, and consequently the 
subversion of the British empire, was discovered and de- 
feated, we are told, in the following manner, by the wisdom 
and mercy of Providence. Mr. Thomas Reynolds, of the 
county of Kildare, where he had numerous and respectable 
connections, was bred to the business of a silk manufacturer, 
which he followed very extensively for many years in the 
city of Dublin; but having acquired a landed property at 
Kilca Castle, in his native county, he retired, and resided 
there, some years previously to the rebellion, and had con- 
siderable influence among the Romanists. Lord Edward Fitz- 
gerald and Oliver Bond, two leaders in the conspiracy, having, 

E 3 


for these reasons, considered him a proper person to assist in 
forwarding their treasonable designs, practised every art of 
seduction to attach him to their cause; and having at last 
succeeded, he was sworn a United Irishman af the house of 
Oliver Bond, in the beginning of the year i71>7 ; was induced 
to accept the commission of colonel, the offices of treasurer 
and representative of the county of Kiidare, and, at last, that 
of delegate for the province of Leinster. 

" Soon after he was raised to this elevated situation in the 
union, having discovered that the conspirators, instead of in- 
tending to reform the abuses of the state, and to abolish all 
religious distinctions, which was their professed object at 
first, meditated the subversion of the constitution, the mas- 
sacre of the leading members of the government, and of such 
persons as should oppose their designs ; he resolved to defeat 
them, by embracing the first opportunity of communicating 
them to some person in whom he could confide. 

" He had a very great friendship and respect for Mr. Cope, 
an eminent merchant ofthe city of Dublin, who, having lamented 
to him, in the course of conversation, the crimes and atrocities 
which were constantly committed, and which were undoubted 
symptoms of an approaching rebellion, Mr. Reynolds, upon 
whom this conversation made a very tleep impression, said 
that he knew a person connected with the United Irishmen, 
who, he believed, would defeat their nefarious projects, by 
communicating them to government, in order to make an 
atonement for the crime he had committed in joining them. 
Mr. Cope assured him that such a person would obtain the 
highest honours and pecuniary rewards that the administra- 
tion could confer; and that he would be admired and ap- 
plauded by the most virtuous and valuable portion of society. 
But Mr. Reynolds said, that nothing could tempt him to 
come forward and avow himself. 

" However, after the most earnest and pressing solicitations 
made on the part of Mr. Cope, for whom he had filial reve- 
rence, he said that liis friend would appear in person, and 


disclose the particulars of the plot, on the following con- 
ditions : 

" That he should not prosecute any United Irjshnian; 
that the channel throufjh which the information came should 
be kept a secret at least for a time ; that as his life would be 
in danger upon its being known, and he must leave the coun- 
try, and go to England till matters were settled, which would 
derange his affairs, and put him to considerable expense, he 
expected to receive some compensation. 

" Mr. Cope then told him, that he might draw on him for 
any sum not exceeding 500 guineas. Whereupon he told Mr. 
Cope, that the Leinster delegates were to meet at Oliver Bond's 
on the 12th of March, to concert measures for an insurrection, 
which was shortly to take place ; but did not at that time 
acknowledge that the information came directly from himself; 
but insinuated that it was imparted by a third person. 

*' In consequence of this, Justice Swan, attended by twelve 
Serjeants in coloured clothes, arrested the Leinster delegates, 
thirteen in number, while sitting in council at the house of 
Oliver Bond, in Bridge Street, on the 1 2th of March, 1 798, 
and seized, at the same time, the papers, which led to a discovery 
of the plot and the intended insurrection : and on the same day, 
Thomas A. Emmett, a barrister; William James M'Nevin; 
Messrs. Bond, Sweetman, Henry Jackson, and Hugh Jickson 
were seized ; and warrants were granted against Lord Htnry 
Fitzgerald, Richard M'Cormick, and Counsellor Samson, 
who were all leaders in the conspiracy ; but the three last 
made their escape. 

" On the 30th of March, the Lord Lieutenant issued a pro- 
clamation, giving the most positive and direct orders to the 
officers commanding His Majesty's forces, to employ them with 
the utmost vigour and decision for suppressing the traitorous 
conspiracy for the destruction of the constitution and the 
established government which broke out into acts of open vio- 
lence and rebellion. 

« On the 6th of May, Mr. Reynolds was arrested at Castle- 
Dermot by a party of the military, and conveyed a prisoner to 

E 4 


Dublin. On the 8th of the same month, the United Irishmen 
having discovered, by some means or other, that lie had 
revealed, and in a great measure defeated, their machinations, 
formed many plots against his life. He therefore found it ne- 
cessary to put himself under the protection of Government, who 
provided him with apartments in the castle.^ As the members 
of the Union, during his residence there, circulated the most 
infamous calumnies against his chai'acter, he resolved, in its 
vindication, to bring these miscreants to condign punishment, 
and to disclose the whole of their plots, and to prosecute 

Soon after this, a rebellion of a very formidable nature burst 
forth, and the capital itself was more than once in danger of 
being in possession of the insurgents. On this, martial law was 
proclaimed, and the troops entrusted to the command of 
Lieutenant-General Lake. 

Our author here gives a detailed account of the attacks upon 
Naas, Prospectus, Clare, and Ballymore-Eustace; the insur- 
rection at Kildare, the various skirmishes that took place at 
Rathangan, KilcuUen, Carlow, Kilcock; the insurrections 
near Athy and Narraghmore, and the battle of Tara : after, 
which he mentions the state of the metropolis, th6 inhabitants of 
which appear to have been greatly disaffected. The following 
is a character of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who died in jail, in 
consequence of the wounds he received while attempting to 
prevent his arrest. 

" Lord Edward had served with reputation in the 19th 
regiment, during a great part of the American war; and, on 
many occasions, had displayed great valour and considerable 
abilities as an officer. When in the army, he was considered 
as a man of honour and humanity, and was much esteemed by 
his brother-officers for his frankness, courage, and good-nature, 
— qualities which he was supposed to possess in a very high 
degree. After the war, he retired on the half-pay list ; but 
having again entered into the service, he obtained the majority 
of the 57th regiment, quartered at St. John's, Newfoundland, 
on the bay of Fundy, audjohied it hi May, 1788. 


" Tlie following adventure is a strong proof of that active 
mind, and enterprising spirit, which he displayed on all 
occasions. He set out from Frederick Town, on the river 
St. John, for Quebec, in the winter of 1788, through woods 
and desarts which never before had been traversed by any 
European, and without any other attendant than Captain 
Brisbane, of his regiment, a guide, and his own servant, who 
was a negro. From the great depth of snow, they were obliged 
to use snow shoes ; and they had no other provisions but what 
they carried on a sledge, which Lord Edward drew injiis 
turn. The journey, which was some hundred miles, took them 
many weeks to perform. 

" In the month of November, 1 791, the regirnent landed at 
Portsmouth, where Lord Edward received a letter from 
Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce, of the same corps^ from Naples, 
acquainting him that he was in a rapid consumption, and ad- 
vising him to take proper measures for succeeding him ; but 
as his Lordship and his family were at that time in opposition 
in Parliament, he would not solicit a favour from Government ; 
but at the same time expected that the commission would have 
been given to him without solicitation, though he had many 
competitors of longer standing. 

" On hearing that Colonel Short succeeded to the commis- 
sion, Lord Edward, soured with disappointment, and fired 
with indignation, repaired to Paris in the latter end of the 
year 1791, or the beginning of the year 1792, and became, 
from disgust, an enthusiastic admirer of the extravagant politi- 
cal theories of the French, which were repugnant and sub- 
versive of the glorious constitution under which he lived, but 
of whose defects he pretended to be a reformist ; and having 
manifested these principles without reserve, His Majesty 
thought proper to strike his name out of the army ; but 
allowed him, at the same time, to sell his commission. 

" He became so great a devotee to the French principles, 
that he married a little Frenchwoman whose birth * and origin 

» " She was suiipostJ to be llic iialuial daugliler of the laic Duke of Oilcans, l>) 
Mddaine Jc (jeiilib." 


were unknown, except by conjecture, and who had nothing to 

recommend her to him but the extravagance and malignity 

of her republican principles. 

" The fate of Lord Edward Fitzgerald affords a strong and 

instructive lesson to such gentlemen as oppose the Crown from 

motives of disgust and disappointed ambition, not to exceed 

the bounds of moderation ; for a person, inflamed and blinded 

by resentment, may, fiom an insatiable desire to gratify it, 

gradually sink into a dereliction of every religious, moral, and 

political duty, and a vehement reformist is often an incipient 


** Nerao repente fuit turpissimuB." 

We now come to the " rebellion in the county of Wicklow. 
We are assured, that previously to the introduction of 
the principles of the United Irishmen in 1796, this was 
the most peaceable district in the whole kingdoni. The war 
is here said to have been " purely religious," this consideration 
alone actuating the body of the people: the hope of plunder 
was merely " an additional encouragement. ' The Homish 
clergy were deeply engaged in it ; and the " old obsolete 
Popish holydays were revived, in order to give the seditious 
more frequent opportunities of assembling." 

" Rebellion in the county of Wexford." Here the in*^ 
surrection appears to have been general. It was preceded 
" with much hypocrisy," according to our author, who men- 
tions *' the deep disguise of the Popish multitude and their 
priests." It was the intention of the Irish Directory, that the 
insurrection should take place at one and the same time all over 
Ireland ; but the arrest of the conspirators at Oliver Bond's 
disconcerted this scheme. At length this measure was resolved 
upon by the remaining leaders at Dublin, but was not commu- 
nicated to the Wexford chiefs until some time after ; and as a 
certain period was necessary in order to apprise the different 
captains, the insurgents in the county of Wexford did not 
take the field until the 27th of May, 17J«. For a time they 
were triumi)hant : a large body of them, headed by Father 
John Murphy, cut off a detachment of the North Cork 



Militia; and soon after this the city of Wexford fell into their 
hands. Notwithstanding this, they were routed at the battle 
of Ross; and the " massacre of Scullabogue," which took place 
on the same day, and the cruelties committed on the brido-c 
of Wexford, arc just and legitimate subjects of execration. 

At length, General Lake attacked the principal camp at 
Vinegar Hill, which was assuredly a very strong and com- 
manding position. From the numbers of the enemy, the 
height and steepness' of the ascent, together with its frequent 
intersections by enclosures, the rebels were at first completely 
protected from the fire of the advancing columns : although 
their numbers were immense, and they possessed thirteen 
pieces of ordnance, well supplied with ammunition, yet they 
were speedily dislodged and driven away. On this, the main 
body retreated to Wexford, under the command of Father 
John Murphy, Father Kearns the priest, Anthony Perry, 
Edward Fitzgerald, and John Hay. Another column, headed 
by Rooke, a priest, John Hay, and a person called Murphy, 
made a retrograde motion towards the county of Kilkenny. 

Under the head of " Rebellion in the counties of Mayo and 
Sligo," we learn that certain prophecies, widely disseminated, 
had a great effect on the minds of the common people, who 
were firmly persuaded that the events so confidently predicted 
must necessarily come to pass ; and they were ready to catch at 
every rumour which seemed to correspond with the ideas which 
they had inspired. " They breathed nothing but death, 
bloodshed, and devastation; painted the rivers as running 
crimson with blood, and a pestilence raging through the 
country, occasioned by the efl^uvia of putrid carcases, which 
remained unburied, with every other 'horror which a dreadful 
civil war produces. Such prophecies were one of the many 
artifices used to instil hatred in the Popish multitude against 
Protestants, who were figured under the title of The Black 
Army, and were destined to commit these atrocities against the 
Catholics, and to furnish a pretext of massacring them when- 
ever an opportunity should present itself." 


On the other hand, the most bitter and inveterate enemies of 
the adherents to the Church of Rome are here treated with 
pecuhar favour and indulgence. Orange Societies had at that 
time commenced in the North. The avowed object of these 
was to protect themselves and their country from the machin- 
ations of a " set of Popish traitors, who had bound themselves 
by the most sacred and solemn ties to overturn the constitu- 
tion and extirpate the Protestants ; and that in so secret a 
manner, that many thousands were united before a discovery 
could be obtained. In their secret meetings, which were 
generally held at night, the Romanists, we arc told, methodised 
their operations, employed emissaries to propagate their doc- 
trines, collected money for the purchase of arms and ammuni- 
tion, laid plans for attacking the houses of Protestants and 
taking away their arms, and finally concerted the means of a 
general rebellion and massacre, ifi conjunction with the rebels 
of every other part of the kingdom. 

" The gentlemen and magistrates of the county were well 
aware that such mischiefs were hatching, but found it very 
difficult to procure full and convincing proofs to substantiate 
the facts, so as to bring the traitors to punishment. It was 
in this critical state of things, that the spirit and promptitude 
of the Orangemen, alive to the interests of their country, and 
attached to the constitution for which their ancestors fought 
under King William, associated under the strongest bonds of 
loyalty and affection, and relying on the goodness of the cause 
in which they had embarked, they, without fear or restraint, 
hunted the traitors to their dens, developed their dark proceed- 
ings, and dragged them to punishment. By their well-timed 
and spirited exertions, they delivered that part of the kingdom 
from those horrors which were ready to burst upon the heads 
of the loyal inhabitants. This was the persecution which the 
disaffected so much complained of, and which afforded a 
plausible pretext for the outrages afterwards committed by the 

" The peasantry of the counties of Mayo and Sligo (I mean 
those of the Roman Catholic persuasion) are savage, ignorant. 


and superstitious ; and though they were organised, and sworn 
to assist the French on their landing, yet I am continced that 
they would not have had spirit or resolution enough to rise in 
rebellion, if that event had not taken place, however well- 
inclined they might have been. The gentlemen and men of 
landed property, with but few exceptions, were Protestants of 
the Church of England, and consequently loyal, and strongly 
attached to the established government. To these were added 
an equally loyal and very respectable Protestant yeomanry, 
mostly freeholders, and planted rather thickly over the 
country. All these were tolerably expert in the use of arms, 
having served in the volunteer and yeomanry corps." 

They however appear to have been incapable of overawing 
and restraining " an ignorant and unarmed rabble, without 
men of property or consequence at their head," from immedi- 
ately joining the French on their landing. One circumstance, 
hitherto unnoticed, contributed not a little to the general 
defection : this was the propagation of the mysteries of the 
Carmelites among the Roman Catholics. At their initiation, 
the candidates received a square piece of brown cloth, with the 
letters J. H. S. (Jesus Hominum Salvator) irtscibed on it, 
which was hung around the neck with a string, and lying on 
the shoulder next to the skin, was, from its situation termed a 
scapular. This distinguished badge of the order, which cost 
only one shilling to the poorer class, after receiving the 
priest's benediction, was supposed to contain the virtue of pre- 
serving the disciple from all outward danger. The ignorance 
and credulity of the benighted multitude were imposed on by 
a gross device, which possessed all the effect of a miracle, for 
after the benediction it was committed to the flames, and was 
a,fterwards taken out, whole and entire. But the secret that 
the cloth was composed of asbestos, one of the properties of 
which is to resist fire, was carefully concealed. The parish 
priests in the counties of Mayo and Sligo, perceiving the sale 
of scapulars to be very profitable, solicited a power from the 
friars to dispose of them, and at tlic same time to admit can- 
didates into this holy ordoi-. P>agR of ihcni were accordiiiirly 


sent to fairs, and sold to the credulous multitude, previously 
to the 22d of August, 1798, when three French frigates ap- 
peared in the bay of Killala, from which a body of troops 
was immediately disembarked, and took possession of that 
place. Soon after this, they marched under General Humbert, 
accompanied by a rabble, some of whom were dressed in 
foreign uniforms, and advanced to Castlebar. Having taken 
poissession of that town after a skirmish, in which they proved 
victorious, their cause appeared to be triumphant. 

Tlu invaders are greatly praised for the moderation dis- 
played by them, as well as for the manner in which they 
restrained their allies. 

" The French eat the best of meat and bread, drank wine, 
beer, and coffee, and slept on good beds. They compelled 
the rebels to eat potatoes, drink whiskey, and sleep on straw. 
They beat and abused them like dogs, in the name of liberty, 
equality, fraternity, and unity. A volume would not contain 
an account of the brutal actions of the rebels ; and the women 
who were worse than the men, carried off hides, tallow, beef, 
cloth, and various other articles." 

At length a considerable army having been collected, Lord 
Cornwallis and General Lake advanced in two distinct 
Qplumns against the enemy. On this a retreat took place, 
which produced a close pursuit, and the French having 
been overtaken, were finally forced to surrender. Many of 
the insurgents were seized and executed on this occasion; 
but in the beginning of September, 1798, a general pardon, 
with very few exceptions, was published, an act of policy 'and 
of clemency, which does not appear to have entirely satisfied 
our author. 

** It is to be lamented,'* observes he, at the conclusion, 
" that at this time the Popish multitude are as much fraught 
with disaffection as ever, though they are still smarting from 
the former rebellion, and though the royal mercy has been 
extended to them in a very extraordinary degree. It might 
be skid, that I have gone far in exposing the errors of 
Popery, and have been severe upon them, but it should be 


recollected that the Popish clergy never cease to represent the 
Protestant religion as a pestilent heresy, which brings the 
frowns of the Almighty on its votaries in this life, and dooms 
them to eternal damnation hereafter, and tiiis not only orally, 
but by various publications, some of which I shall mention • 
one of them, entitled " Fifty reasons why the holy Roman 
Catholic religion ought to be preferred to all the sects in 
Christendom," contains the following extracts : « They (the 
Protestant ministers) are not priests, since they have not power 
to consecrate in the Eucharist, nor to forgive sins, which is yet 
the main office of priestly dignity," p. 80. 

" Heretics themselves confess that the Roman Catholics 
may be saved, whereas these maintain there is no salvation for 
such as are out of the Roman Catholic church. What mad- 
ness then were it, for any man not to go over to the Roman 
Catholics, who may be saved in the judgment of their adver- 
saries, &c. &c. 

" What can be expected from a rabble," exclaims Sir Ri- 
chard, " drenched with the inebriating poison of such pro- 
ductions, but treason, robbery, and assassination !" 

It has been already stated, that the present publication was 
not at ail pleasing to government. The truth is, that it 
proved both unsuitable and imseasonable. Mr. Pitt and the 
English cabinet, a considerable time before this, had con- 
ceived the idea of a union with Ireland, and all their measures 
were very properly directed towards this most important 
point. It was with this view, that a speedy end had been 
put to the violent operations of martial law and free quarters ; 
and the Marquis Cornwallis liaving been sent over with the 
olive branch, the benevolent and paternal viceroyship of 
that amiable nobleman, tended not a little to conciliate the 

Sir Richard Musgrave and his doctrines being now exceed- 
ingly unpopular, he was attacked in his turn by writers ol' 
all parties. Protestants and Catholics, both in England and 
Ireland, wished to render him odious ; and the latter part 
of his life was doubtless tormented with these hostile attacks. 


Iiideed, it would have occupied a large portion of the re- 
mainder of his existence to have read and to have answered 
the numerous books, pamphlets, and periodical essays in which 
he was daily and sometimes grossly assailed. To two of his 
adversaries, and two only, did he think fit to reply; they 
were both men of some rank and estimation in Ireland. * 

In private life, Sir Richard Musgrave was greatly esteemed 
and respected. Indeed, he was capable both of friendship and 
kindness ; he loved and he practised hospitality ; his tongue 
was sometimes eloquent at the festive board, in praise of good 
men of all denominations ; and it was only while the pen was 
in his hand, and his mind agitated with the occurrences of 
the day, that he displayed a spirit of bitterness, seldom to bo 
equalled, and scarcely ever surpassed in modern times. 

This baronet died at his house in Holies-street, Dublin, on 
April 7th, 1818, and having no male issue by his lady, the 
title, according to the provisions of the patent, has de- 
scended to his brother, now Sir Christopher Musgrave. 

List of the Works 
Of the late Sir Richard Miisgrave, Bart. 

1. A Letter on the present situation of public affairs, Svo, 
1 794. 

2. Considerations on the present state of England and 
France, Svo. 1796. 

3. Short view of the political situation of the Northern 
Powers, Svo. 1801. 

l'. Memoirs of the different rebellions in Ireland, from the 
arrival of the English , with a particular detail of that which 
broke out in 1798, 4to. 1801. 2d ed. with appendix, 'Ito. 
1801. ,Sd cd. 2 vols. Svo. 1802. 

5. Observations on the reply of Dr. Caulficld, Svo. 1802. 

6. Observations on Dr. Drunigoole's speech, at ihe Catholic 
Board, December 8, 1313. 8vo. ISll. 

* The Doctors Drum£;ooli' and (^Bulfit Itl. 


No. IV. 



1 HE name of this gentleman has been long before the public, 
and during a period of more than half a century was constantly 
advancing into repute and respectability. With a versatility 
of character, joined to a degree of ability that falls to the lot 
of but few, we behold him, now governing a theatre, — now 
giving laws to the General Post-Office. Thus, the same man 
who at one period of his life superintended the dramatic amuse- 
ments of the gayest city in the empire, at another was busied in 
projecting a new system of mails, aiding commerce by the accel- 
erated rapidity of his contrivances, and at length accomplishing 
and perfecting his grand original plan to facilitate the inter- 
course, not only between different parts of the kingdom, but 
with all the nations of the universe. 




John Palmer was born at Bath, in the year 1742. His 
father was a respectable brewer in that city; and the maiden 
name of his mother, Miss Long, descended from an old and 
respectable family, which had been settled there for more than 
a century. The boy was sent at a very early age to Coleme, 
a village at some little distance from the place of his birth, for 
the express purpose of being educated under the Rev. Mr. 
Needham. While there, he not only displayed an uncommon 
degree of sprightliness, but an extraordinary aptitude for 
learning ; which was not always accompanied, however, with 
the inchnation to excel, although he fully possessed the 

When young Palmer had acquired some knowledge of the 
classics, he was removed to the public school at Marlborough, 
annexed to which there are certain valuable scholarships and 
exhibitions, whidh enable the higher class of pupils, when 
duly qualified, to repair on very easy terms either to Oxford 
or Cambridge. These advantages were carefully pointed out 
by a relation, the Rev. Mr. Palmer, who recommended the 
church as a profession, and in both of these plans the father 
most readily joined ; he wished his offspring to be freed from 
the embarrassments and difficulties attendant upon trade, and 
longed above all things to behold his son John in holy 

His son John, however, longed to he an qffica- ,- and it is not 
a little remarkable, that this same propensity, as if hereditary, 
devolved on his two grandsons, one of whom has risen to an 
honourable station as a field-officer in the army, and another 
to the rank of a post-captain in the navy. But the old gentle- 
man proved inexorable; and, as the subject of this memoir was 
accustomed to observe, " after a stout contention between the 
sword and the surplice, it proved a draiun battle." 

As it was necessary, however, that he should be something, 
and as he would not consent to become a clergyman, he was 
destined to be a brewer. With this view, his father removed 
him, when scarcely fourteen years of age, to his own counting- 
house, which proved a fresh subject of complaint ; for by this 


time he had taken a great fancy to lumling, as his reverend 
relation kept a small pack of hounds, and occasionally mounted 
liis cousin during a holiday on one of his own horses. To 
quit such a scene of amusement for the drudgery of mercantile 
concerns, to abandon all ideas of a scarlet coat and the com- 
mand of a regiment for the enumeration of casks of beer, and 
the superintendence of draymen, was a most miserable fallino- 
off; and accordingly he bitterly lamented his destiny for many 
years after. 

At first, young Palmer exhibited an equal degree of con- 
tempt and negligence in respect to business, which produced 
bitter reproaches on the part of his parents; but he at length 
altered his plan, and betook himself to his daily avocations 
with a degree of zeal and assiduity that had nearly proved 
fatal. A timely retreat into the country, however, restored 
him to his wonted health ; and soon after his return to Bath, a 
new and important event occurred, which, by affording em- 
ployment to his talents, and giving a new direction to his 
pursuits, banished for ever all the ideas so long and so fondly 
cherished of a military life. 

Bath, which had even then outstripped every provincial city 
and town in the empu-e, and in many points of view was deemed 
preferable as a residence even to the metropolis itself, still proved 
deficient in one essential requisite for a place of entertainment. 
From the first appearance of Garrick, the histrionic art began 
to be cultivated in England with great attention, and new 
theatres were every where erected for the accommodation 
of the public. At Bath, however, an old, mouldering, ruinous 
building, had been converted to this use, although wholly un- 
suitable for a genteel audience, and at the same time utterly 
inconvenient to the actors themselves. 

To remedy this glaring defect, ten of the principal inhabit- 
ants determined to erect a new and elegant play-house, on the 
most solemn assurances that the proprietors of the old one, who 
pretended to be actuated solely by the good of the city, would 
instantly apply their premises to some other purpose the 
moment that the new building was completed ; but no sooner 

r 2 


did this occur, than the old play-barn was re-opened, and a 
most violent opposition, equally fatal to both parties, imme- 
diately took place. The partners of the new house, disheart- 
ened by continual losses and disputes, now withdrew one by 
one ; on which, the senior Mr. Palmer, who was a complete 
man of business, immediately conceived the notion of taking 
the whole under his own immediate management. He accord- 
ingly purchased all the remaining shares on very easy terms, 
and completed the whole by granting an annuity to his 
adversary. From this moment all opposition ceased, and the 
new theatre became the sole point of attraction. 

The wonderful increase of the city of Bath, which of course 
produced an influx of company, made this species of property 
every tlay more valuable. But that very circumstance rendered 
the prosperity of the theatre precarious ; for being situate in 
the old town, it was of course at a considerable distance from 
the new buildings, and the proprietors of these began already 
to conceive the idea of erecting one for themselves. In addi- 
tion to this, the new house was still unprotected by law, as a 
very severe act of parliament at that time existed against the 
public exhibition of dramatic performances. 

The poor actor, also, to adopt the humiliating language of 
Churchill, was actually deemed a vagrant, and consequently 

" Of the beadle's lash afraid !" 

The manager, too, when he travelled along with his company 
of comedians, from town to town, was not ujifrecjucntly 

" To cringe, for wretched means of life, 

•' To niadame may'ress, or liis worship's wife.'' 

Nay, the very prerogative of the crown was so strictly limited, 
as to be precluded from granting any future patent or licence 
beyond those already in existence for Drury-Lane and Covent- 

His Majesty himself, therefore, had he been so disposed, had 
it not in his power to extend his protection to the theatre at 


Bath ; so that an act of pailianieiit could alone giuiiantee the 
})ro{)rielor fioin hazard, and secure the personal safety of the 
perl'ormcrs from the penalties then most unjustly ainicxed 
to their profession. 

To obtjiin these desirable ends, the elder Mr. Palmer pre- 
sented a petition to both houses of parUament, which was 
warmly supported by the corporation, partly with a view of 
benefiting the city, and partly with a wish to gratil'y an old 
friend. His son John was selected on this occasion to solicit 
the act, and for this purpose, he immediately repaired to 
London. Although scarcely a man in point of years, he had 
uniformly distinguished himself by his vigour, abihty, and 
l)erseverance ; while a recent event had contributed not a 
little to his reputation. Arthur, the contemporary and friend 
of Garrick, and then acting manager of the theatre, had been 
most imjustly attacked by Derrick, the master of the ceremo- 
nies. To repel a wanton accusation, he published two letters 
in the Bath Journal, which restored one party to the public 
favour, and assigned the other to disgrace. 

Flushed with this successful effort of his " maiden pen," 
his zeal and good conduct during his residence in the metro- 
polis, procured him so many friends, that on this occasion 
also, he proved victorious. Accordingly after the lapse of two 
or three months, he returned home armed with a double autho- 
rity; for in addition to an act of parliament, he had obtained 
all the splendour arising out of a patent, which conferred the 
title of Theatre Royal. * 

Immediately after this, he was entrusted with the superin- 
tendance and direction of it. One might have supposed that 
this alone would have proved sufficient to occupy all his at- 
tention. But he was young, and his mind was active and 
vigorous, so that he was enabled, even at this early period, to 
carry a new project, of which he had sometime since conceived 
the idea, into immediate execution. Singular as it may 
seem, this plan had nothing military, nothing theatrical in it ; — 

* 'I'lii. wd3 lilt (ilol " Tlitdtie Rojal" out cl London. 

r o 



it was a spcrmaccli manufactory ! and what is still more 
singular, it not only succectled, but proved highly advan- 
tageous I 

Meanwhile, an histrionic revolution threatened the downfall 
of the theatrical empire, which had been some time committed 
entirely to his charge. The management of the stage had 
been lately entrusted to the sole superintendance of Mr. 
Lee*, who possessed considerable dramatic talents, but was 
accused to be somewhat too rigid in his official department, 
and a little too impetuous, perhaps, in his natural temper. 
Squabbles,- disputes, and altercations soon ensued between him 
and the actors and actresses, and to such a height were these 
contentions carried, that a rou7id robin was at length signed by all 
the performers, both male and female, with onef only exception, 
frankly declaring, " that unless the proprietors would dis- 
charo-e the acting manager, they would immediately throw up 
their engagements." 

On this, young Palmer, instead of entering into a treaty, or 
making conditions with the nuitineers, instantly determined to 
demonstrate, that their insurrection could only be attended 
with ruin to themselves. He accordingly mounted his horse, 
and proceeded on a theatrical tour, for the express purpose of 
enlisting a fresh company. Accordingly, so successful did he 
prove, that after a journey of many hundred miles, he re- 
turned at the end of a fortnight, with an entire new set of 
performers. These, very luckily, were approved of by the 
public, so that the insurgents, crest-fallen and disappointed in 
their aim, were obliged to depart in search of engagements 

The Bath stage now became the cradle of dramatic genius ; 
for here were fostered a Henderson, an Edwin, and a Siddons ! 
To keep up his stock of players, he paid an annual visit to 
most of the provincial companies in the kingdom, and con- 
stantly prepared a list of all candidates of any promise, with a 

• This gcntlcmiin, who had been for many years on the stage, was tlie father of ih« 
Miss Lee, who wrote the " Recess," and many other elegant iirodnctions. 

f This jiroveJ to be the late Mr. Kcasbury, vrlio afterwards became j(iint-j)atentes. 


view to resort to them, whenever opportunity oifercil. About 
this period, too, he obtained a patent for the Biistol theatre, 
from which, on account of its immediate vicinity to his native 
city, he derived many great advantages. 

Having now brought both his playhouses into great vogue, 
and rendered them highly beneficial, he at length determined, 
soon after' the death of his father, to dispose of the property 
of his family in them. Accordingly, an agreement was entered 
into with Mr. Dimond, an actor reared under his own aus- 
pices, and Mr. Keasbury, who had refused to join the contu- 
macious comedians against him ; and to these he disposed of 
the patents, on terms highly advantageous to all * parties. 
Thus, Mr. Palmer fully proved to the world, that his talents 
were of a practical kind, and that every thing subjected to 
his controul, seemed to be constantly accompanied with the 
most prosperous results. 

Meanwhile, the subject of this memoir contrived to make 
himself both beloved and respected by his fellow citizens. 
His predecessor, indeed, had rendered himself eminently dear 
to them, by dedicating the latter part of his life to their in- 
terests. The rivalship existing between the new and the old 
towns is well known to every one ; and the inhabitants of the 
latter were greatly indebted to him, for his constant inter- 
vention in behalf of their interests, which were always watched 
with a jealous eye. The son profited not a little by this 
conduct, which, together with his own popularity, proved 
highly serviceable in the career pointed out by his ambition. 
He commenced by filling some of the subordinate, and con- 
cluded with attaining the highest honorary offices, in the 
power of the corporation to bestow. His mayoralty was 
more than usually splendid ; and he endeavoured, during the 
whole course of it, to be more than usually loyal, a circum- 
stance that could not fail to be agreeable to a city which has 
uniformly supported the existing government. At the period 
now alluded to, the late war was exceedingly unpopular, and 

* Tlic sum of 20,000l. is said to liave been obtained on this occasiuii. 

V 4 


Mr. Fox, at the licad of an able, rather than a minieroiis 
opposition, opposed its progress with a degree of ability sel- 
dom before witnessed. To cheer and arouse the drooping 
spirits of the ministerial party, Mi'. T^Iayor published a circular 
letter, in which he proposed to raise a general subscription for 
the public service. His relations, the Longs, presented three 
thousand guineas on this occasion, and he himself was not 
wanting to set an example, having commenced by advancing a 
donation, amounting to a proportionate share of his fortune, 
which was by this time considerable. An endeavour was 
made to extend this plan throughout the kingdom at large; 
but it did not succeed to the extent hoped for, and first a five, 
and then a ten per cent, tax was proposed, which, although 
greatly disliked at first, proved eminently productive. All this 
paved the way to the future representation of the city of Bath, 
to which office both the subject of this memoir and his eldest 
son, have been elected in succession. 

We have now arrived at that ejx)ch when Mr. Palmer be- 
came connected with one of the principal public offices in the 
state, and his plans and pursuits ultimately blended with 
the commercial and manufacturing interests of the nation. 
"While at home, it was impossible for him to look at Prior 
Park, witJiout contemplating the rewards so justly bestowed 
on a man, who had contributed so much to the prosperity of 
the post-office department. The friend of Pope, and of 
Warburton, Mr. Allen, had risen from humble beginnings^ 
and attained both wealth and respectability by his ta- 
lents. * Abroad, it was impossible for a man of observation 
to travel a hundred miles without perceiving the difficulties 
attendant on a direct communication between distant parts. 
The post was so slow, and even so uncertain in its deliveries^ 
that expresses were often substituted by connnercial men ; the 
roads, too, were bad; and the, danger of robbery imminent.. 

* In consequence of his impruvemenis ii) tlie cross-posts he was rewarded with 
lijOOOl. per ann. during his life, and as tliis lasted for the term of funy-two year* 
ifter the grant, the sum total thus obtained amounted tu about lull :i milliot^ 
»cetliiij^ ! 


Mr. Palmer's long and circuitous journeys on theatrical affairs 
had made him have frequent recourse to relays, when pressed 
ibr time; and he perceived, by long experience, that he could 
easily anticipate the delivery of a letter by the usual convey- 
ance. This, doubtless, suggested the idea, that what could 
be done for an individual, might with equal ease, and still 
greater benefit, be effected for the public at large. It was 
not, however, until he had traversed the whole kingdom, al- 
most in every possible direction, and made himself acquainted 
with all the impediments, and all the abuses in the post-office 
department, that he deemed his projects sufficiently concocted 
and complete. 

Accordingly, in 1782 or 1783, he applied to the Lords 
Commissioners of the Treasury, by means of a memorial, in 
which he stated all his plans with great minuteness and pre- 
cision, and forgot not to add, that their execution would be 
attended not only with great advantage to commercial men, 
but produce an immediate increase of the revenue. Mr. Pitt, 
then minister, was busily employed at this very moment 
in devising means for rescuing the country from those pecu- 
niary difficulties which had been entailed in consequence of 
the prosecution of the American war ; by him, therefore, this 
proposition, fraught with increasing revenue, and many public 
advantages, was received with due attention. On this Mr. 
Palmer removed with his family to town, and a successful ter- 
mination, as it was then hoped, had now taken place in respect 
to all his negociations with the superior powers. 

But the manner in which this was effected proved ineffi- 
cient ; and, strange to tell, in a matter of such importance 
no iSDritten aineement had ever been entered into. A verbal 
one, indeed, took place with the premier, but even that hap- 
pened to be through the intermediate agency of a third person. 
This third person was no other than Dr. Prettyman, the pre- 
sent Bishop of Lincoln, then Mr. Pitt's private secretary, as 
appears from the testimony of the projector himself, when 
examined before a conunittecoftlic House of Connnons: " I Icit 
some papcrb with Dr. Prellyniau" obiscrve^ he, " stating thai 


if my plan succeeded, for the reform and improvement of the 
posts, I demanded for my life 2i per cent, on the future in- 
creased revenue of post-oHice, beyond the present nett profits, 
and not to have one shilling if 1 did not succeed in my plan. 
This happened in the spring of 178l. The answer brought 
to me by Dr. Prcttyman was, that the terms were thought 
fair, and would be fully complied with, provided the plan 

Mr. Palmer accordingly commenced his operations, and 
actually effected a considerable saving above the original esti- 
mate of 20,0001. in the contract for the mails. It was deemed 
convenient, soon after, however, to modify the first agree- 
ment ; in consequence of which, it was finally settled that 
Mr. Palmer was entitled to 15001. a-year, and a per centage 
for the nett revenue exceeding 240,0001. per ann. 

The scheme succeeded far beyond expectation, and was 
praised by every one but the postmasters-general and their 
immediate dependants. According to them, it was highly 
injurious both to the mercantile interest and the public reve- 
nue ; and it would appear that some of them were in conse- 
quence so scrupulously conscientious as actually to oppose the 
full and entire execution of the project. 

In the spring of 1785 (5th May) Mr. Palmer addressed a 
letter to the premier, complaining of the conduct of Mr. Todd, 
the secretary, and also of the interior mismanagement of the 
office committed to his charge. 

" The success of the plan. Sir, I believe," adds he, " has 
exceeded both yours and the public's expectation. I am 
sure it has my own in some points, though not in others, 
but has not fallen short in one. A circumstance, I believe, 
almost as new to administration in the various plans that 
are submitted to them, as a popular tax, which the post- 
tax really is, where the accommodation has been given with 
it. It incurred no new expense, or inconvenience in the old 
establishment, even in the trial, but what was occasioned by 
the opposition from the general office. It conveys the mails in 
half the time they used to be, and guarded under regulations 


that will in a great measure enforce themselves ; and where it 
has been carried into execution, has immediately occasioned 
an increase of revenue to the post-office. It having been 
proved, that it is scarce possible for greater neglect or abuses 
to prevail than in the conduct of the old post ; that in conse- 
quence of it, a great share of the correspondence was carried 
on by coaches, to the detriment of the post revenue; that the 
new * tax, coupled with the old plan, would have increased 
such dedication, which, by the statements given in to the 
treasury, comparing the great improvement in the revenue 
from the tax upon the new opposed to the old establishment, 
has been very fully proved. 

" It was promised in the plan, to give the improved ex- 
pedition and security to the great roads from London, and 
some of the cross roads, for the payment of three-pence per mile, 
the allowance for guards, and the exemption from turnpike tolls. 
The contracts are now made for the greater part of the king- 
dom for the alloiaance of guards and the exemption from tnr7i- 
j)ike tolls only. Likewise, for all the cross posts, six times 
a-week, instead of three, so as to make those posts as regular 
and perfect as the general one. 

" This accommodation will be given to the public, and the 
arrival and departure of the mails all over the country will 
now be regular, expeditious, and safe, on plain, certain, and 
simple principles, instead of the reverse. It will not only save 
many thousands a-year, in the expense of the riding work, 
&c., but in consequence of the superior mode of conveyance 
to any other, add greatly to the revenue, by the increase of 
correspondence through the post-office. 

" In the progress of the business, I have had every possible 
oppositioji from the office ; I have neither spared trouble nor 
expense to inform myself in every department of it, so that I 
may carry my plan completely into execution, and defeat 
their repeated attempts to ruin it. I have been perfectly 
open, and kept no one secret from government, or desired 

* AdJitioDal postage on leltert. 


one shilling advantage from any contract, but acted in every 
respect to the best of my judgment for the benefit of tiie 
jiublic ; nor can I gain the least advantage from my agree- 
ment till I have completed the plan over the whole kingdom, 
as my per centage from the increased revenue by the tax, 
without the accommodation, will not pay the very great ex- 
penses I am obliged to incur in the establishing it." 

As many conflicting interests seemed to oppose the full and 
complete establishment of Mr. Palmer's plan, and as it was 
supposed likely to affect the perquisites of a variety of persons 
from the lowest to the highest in that department, Mr. Pitt, 
actuated solely by a regard for the public good, wished to 
render Mr. Palmer completely independent of the post-office. 
With this view, the draft of a commission was made out, con- 
stituting and appointing him, for and during his life, surveyor 
and comptroller general of the general post-office of Great 
Britain, with all its postmasters, contractors, deputies, ac- 
comptants, surveyors, clerks, sorters, window-men, &c. &c. 
with the power of suspending all such for the neglect of 
duty. On being laid before the attorney-general, it was 
suggested that such extraordinary powers were incompatible 
with the act of parliament for regulating the office of post- 
master-general. This objection, on the part of a great officer 
of the crown, impeded the proposed appointment for almost 
a year ; but Mr. Palmer was at length invested with the office, 
on an understanding that he should be under the controul of 
the treasury alone, and thus derive his powers from the same 
source and authority as the postmasters-general themselves. 

It was now supposed that every thing would go on smoothly ; 
but this was impossible in the nature of human events. The 
passions and interests of too many were likely to be affected by 
the new regulations ; and there were some who supposed that 
the projector would be audacious enough to extend his reform- 
ing arm from Lombard-street to Falmouth, Harwich, and the 
other out-ports whence foreign packets were forwarded, and thus 
convert to ihe public advantage nnuiy thousands of pounds. 


supposed to be swallowed up and unaccounted for by indi- 

A strong opposition was accordingly made to the new plan : 
every impediment to its success was presented, and a party 
formed against it within the precincts of that very office which 
ought to have made every effort to ensure its completion, and 
thus contribute to the prosperity of the commerce and the re- 
venue of the kingdom. This called forth new remonstrances to 
the Treasury on the part of the new comptroller, who accused 
Lord Walsinghara, then joint postmaster-general, of gross 
injustice. Notwithstanding this, in 1787, that nobleman 
transmitted the foUowinj; note : 

" I have long wished to see that point cleared, of your plan 
costing less than the old one ; for I have understood that it 
cost more, but that the benefits overpaid the expenses. Be it 
one or the other, it was a most profound regulation, and you 
will well deserve the salay-y and commission on the increased 
revemie, for which the faith of Government is pledged 
to you. " Yours, 

« W." 

In reply to this, Mr. Palmer referred his Lordship to docu- 
ments in his own office, by the aid of which he might correct 
the mistake in the former part of the above communication. 

Meanwhile, commissioners, nominated for that purpose, 
delivered in their report respecting the existing state of the 
post-office, in the course of which much commendation was 
bestowed on the plan and conduct of the comptroller-general. 
On this, the nobleman alluded to above, after having first 
communicated the contents to the old officers^ took every clerk 
from the new establishment, and carried them to Windsor, 
where they were kept at an inn close to his own residence for 
near three months, to make private copies of the document just 
referred to ; all communication of the contents being, in the 
meantime, refused, and all the persons employed enjoined by 
the postmaster-general to keep the whole a secret from their 
superior the comptroller-general. It was also discovered soon 


after, that previously to the communication of the report of 
the Treasury Board, his Lordship furnished it with maroinal 
notes contradictory of the text, and in direct hostiUty to the 
new and improved plan. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Palmer, perceiving that Lord Walsingham's 
influence had become hostile to him, determined to countermine 
his projects. This nobleman having, of his own accord, entered 
into an improvident engagement with a mail-contractor of the 
name of Wilson, afterwards refused to complete the same. 
On this, Mr. Palmer most unfortunately committed himself, by 
writino- a confidential letter to Mr. Bonner, his deputy, in 
which the following prominent passages appeared : 

" The matter should be, quietly to throw this load upon his 
lordship : let him be bullied, perplexed, and frightened, and 
made apprehensive that his foolish interference may even oc- 
casion a rising of the mail prices, at 20,000/. per annum 
difference, to the office. Think of all this; for he must not 
escape this bout. The fun would be to get Wilson aboard, 
and let him bamboozle his lordship with his slouch, and slang, 
and his blackguard. Wilson must be lessoned: tell him 
Lord W.'s declaration to me in his letter about the bill, but 
that I shall still advise payment." 

On another occasion, he betrayed a wish, in a certain case, 
for Mr. Freeling " to put back the business of his department 
in the same irregular and confused state he found it." In a 
third communication (October 3d, 1790), he expresses himself 
in the following incautious terms : 

" Though the conduct of the Lords (the Earl of Chesterfield 
and Lord Walsingham) is the very thing I ought to wish (this 
alludes to their appeal to the Treasury), and must end well; 
yet it revives old quarrels and feelings, and fevers me in spite 

of myself. D them ! I never can be absent to get a little 

bathing or quiet, but this is the case. 

" Did Bartlett mention to you they had been telling 

their story to the king ? Pretty masters ! So they complain 
to domine of the great boy." 


Soon after mis, a violent dispute took place; in consequence 
of which Mr. Palmer suspended his deputy, who, it appears, 
communicated all the above papers to the postmasters-general, 
and thus rendered the breach with them irreparable ! Their 
h)rdships immediately took the case of Mr. Bonner into con- 
sideration, and ordered him to be restored ; but the comptroller- 
general refused the key of the office to the applicant himself; 
and although he delivered it up, on a second application, to 
the solicitor of the post-office, yet he himself was in his turn 
suspended ! Thus, the success of all his schemes was put in 
jeopardy, the new improvements in the posts retarded, his 
prospect of future remuneration hazarded, and his whole 
fortune placed in a state of the utmost uncertainty. He had 
risked his all; for, by an express contract with Govei'nment, he 
was precluded from reaping any advantage in case of failure, 
and had actually advanced several thousand pounds out of his 
own capital. Under his management, the revenue had risen 
from 150,000/. in 1783, to 600,000/. in 1798: not a single 
mail robbery had occurred, and yet his remuneration was now 
absolutely fixed at 3000/. a year. On this, Mr. Palmer took 
the opinion of eminent counsel*; but although this was 

* *♦ VVe are of opinion, ihat Mr. I'almer lias fully performeJ his ])art of tlie agreement 
much to the advantage of the public. We are also of opinion (which, indeed, is impos- 
sible to doubt), that if a patent had been granted to Mr. Palmer, as originally intended, 
noihing which has since passed could have deprived him of the benefit, of his agreement ; 
because ail that is imputed now to Mr, Palmer arises from misunderstandings and dis- 
putes between the Postmasier-General and him, and which could never have txisted if a 
patent had been granted to him, as originally intended, under which he would not have 
been, in any respect, under the Postmaster General. 

" We are also of opinion, that though by the appointment whicli was given 
to Mr. Palmer, different from tliat originally intended, he was made subject to the 
coiitro'l of the Postmasters-Genera! (because, by the constitution of the post-office, as 
estjblishf d by act of parliament, no patent could be granted to him, by which he was to 
act independetitly of the Postmaster-General) : yet there is nothing In the above-men- 
tioned evidence that ought to deprive him of the benefit of his agreement, nor which 
could in a court of justice have that effect. 

" It is established by this evidence, the public derived from Mr. Palmer's exer- 
tions all the benefits which lie had held forth as likely to accrue from them ; and although 
we do not approve of the letters written by Mr. Palmer to liis deputy, Mr. Bonner, 
which are the grounds for depriving Mr. Palmer of the benefit of his agreement. 


entirely in his favour, yet it was found impossible to commence 
a suit at law against the Government with any probability of 

Anterior to this, he had petitioned the Treasury Board ; to 
which he received for answer, " that their lordships conceived 
3000/. per annum, for his life, a sufficient compensation for his 
services; and that they did not think themselves justified on 
the part of the public, in making a farther allowance." 

On this, in 1797, Mr. Palmer applied, by petition, to the 
House of Commons, and a committee was nominated to report 
on the causes of his suspension, and also on the nature of his 
agreement. Mr. Pierrepoint in a very able speech, pointed 
out the merits and success of Mr. Palmer's plan, which was 
attended with this peculiarity, that in case of failure, he was 
to receive no pecuniary indemnification, and no reimbursement 
for his expenccs. During the forty years preceding his inter- 
vention, notwithstanding the great increase of trade and manu- 
factures, the nctt revenue of the post-office had experienced no 
increase whatever, except what was necessarily derived by the 
enhancement of the rate of postage, and restriction of franks . 
on the contrary, indeed, taking an average of the nine years 
preceding the new plan, it had actually experienced a decrease 
of 1 3,1 98/. I Ss. per annum. After the first gleam of success, the 
projector was obliged to submit to a new agreement, by whicli 
he lost 750/. per annum, but this was to be followed by every 

yet we tliiiik tliat those Idlers arc far fruin a suRicient ground lo deprive him of that 

« We also tiiink ii very doubtful whether a court of justice would have thought that 
any atieniion ought to be paid to those letters ; because they were written in confidence 
tohisdtpuiy, and under an impression (though probably ill-founded) that the Postmas- 
ters-General were unfavourable to hira, &c. 

" Signed, 

«« J. I\I.\NSFIELD, (afterward! ChiefJustice of the 

Comnicn Fleas,) 
•' V. GIBBS, (also Chief .Justice of tlie Common 

" T. ERSKINE, (afterwards Lord Chanrtllor,) 
" W. ADAM, (afterwards Lord Commissioner in 
" April 24, 1799." Scotland.) 


possible facility in the furtherance of his ultimate designs. 
Ami yet, the commissioners appointed by the House of Com- 
mons to enquire into this very subject, reported, that Mr. 
Palmer had experienced " opposition from the oldest and 
ablest officers in the service, who represented his plan not only 
to be impracticable, but dangerous to commerce and the re- 
venue ;" and it was nevertheless added, " that he lias 
exceeded the expectations which he held forth in his first 
proposal, both with regard to dispatch and expense" They 
further state, that the country has derived great advantage 
by the new scheme ; while the poSt-ofTice revenue had increased, 
since 1783, to the amount of nearlj' half a million ! 

Mr. Sheridan, on this occasion, supported the pretensions 
of the claimant in a very brilliant speech ; in the course of 
which he expressed himself as follows : 

" None but an enthusiast could have imagined or formed 
such a plan ; none but an enthusiast could have made such an 
agreement ; none but an enthusiast could have carried it into 
execution : and I am confident," adds he, " that no man in 
this country, or any other, could have performed such an 
undertaking, but that very individual John Palmer." 

Dr. Lawrence also observed, in the course of a very energetic 
harangue, which, like the former, proved ineffectual, " That 
it was to be apprehended, from what he had Iieard and what 
he knew, that men of talents, who might hereafter be willing 
to employ their genius and their industry in the service of the 
public, would discover, that Mr. Palmer had one fault greater 
than any which had been pressed against him. This was 
the fault of an over-hasty and improvident zeal, to do, without 
regard to his own interests, whatever good it was in his power 
to achieve for his country." Nor ought it to be here omitted, 
that the joint postmasters-general, with whom he had many 
disputes and contentions, on being required to deliver their 
opinion as to his motives, readily exhibited the most ample 
testimony on behalf of his character and integrity. * 

* Extiaa of Lord Wdlsingliain's evidence frOrn the report pp. 29 and 30. *' Have 
on any reason lo <1 .uln of tlie personal integrity of Mr, Palmer.' — *' No, neysr m 

VOL. IV. a 


At lengtli Mr. Palmer, after an interval of some years, de- 
termined, undismayed by his former defeat, to apply once more 
to parliament for redress ; and it must be allowed, that he never 
displayed greater perseverance and abilities than upon this oc- 
casion. He had taken care to make his pretensions known 
from one end of the kingdom to another ; he canvassed al- 
most every member of parliament, either by himself or others, 
and as his cause was good, and his friends full of enthusiasm, 
the best founded hopes were entertained of success. 

His eldest son. Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel) Palmer, 
who had succeeded him as M.P. for Bath, was entrusted 
with the management of this delicate and interesting business. 

Accordingly, on May 12, 1808, in a committee of the whole 
house, after a short introductory speech, it was moved by him, 
" That this House is of opinion, that Mr. Palmer is entitled 
to 21. 10s. per cent, on the net revenue of the post-office, ex- 
ceeding the sum of 21-0,000;., to be paid up from the 5th of 
April, 1793, and during his life, according to the provisions 
of his appointment of 1789 ; deducting the sum of 3000/. a- 
year, received subsequently to the Sth of April, 1793." 

This proposition was opposed by Messrs. Long and Rose, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Attorney-General ; 
but supported by Lord Henry Petty, Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. 
Windham, &c. ; and, after a long debate, carried against Mi- 
nisters by a majority of 86. In a committee of supply, leave was 
soon after given to bring in a bill to secure to the subject of this 
memoir the benefits of the late vote ; and it was soon after 
moved and carried, " that a sum not exceeding 54,702/. 05. 7^. 
be granted to His Majesty, to be paid to John Palmer, Esq., 
being the balance of the per centage due to him on the net 
revenue of the post-office, from the Sth of April 1793 to the 
Sth of January, 1808." " 

theim&llest degree." — On the same question being put lo die Earl of Chesterfield, 
he replied, *' I desire to abide by the answer given by Lord Walsinghain." 


The House of Lords having, by its votes and proceedings, 
exhibited a certain degree of hostility to Mr. Palmer's 
claim, it was now determined by his friends, not to bring 
in a separate act for remuneration. On the contrary, the 
business was completely effected, by introducing a distinct clause 
for this purpose in the Appropriation bill, which precluded the 
possibility of a negative from the other chamber of parlia- 
ment. A very large claim had been made for arrears, but it 
was deemed impolitic to urge this in the present state of public 

After this final decision, by which 5^,702/. was secured to 
Mr. Palmer, his mind appears to have been entirely at rest 
concerning pecuniary matters. Certain it is, that he had lost 
a very considerable sum, under the head already alluded to, 
which many supposed he was to the full as much entitled to as 
to the money which had been voted ; but on the other hand, his 
per centage, which he still retained, became daily more pro- 
ductive, and as he lived about eleven years in the enjoyment 
of it, his reward, although granted with a niggard and reluct- 
ant hand, must, on the whole, have proved very handsome. 

The subject of this memoir had also the satisfaction, in his 
declining years, to behold his family flourishing around him. 
His eldest son, the lieutenant-colonel, had attained considerable 
rank in the British army, in which he had distinguished him- 
self as an officer of cavalry, by his valour and good conduct. 
Another son had conducted himself with great gallantry in 
the navy ; and, after obtaining prize-money to a considerable 
amount as a post-captain, he had now settled in life, and mar- 
ried the great niece of his former patron, Admiral the Earl 
St. Vincent, with whom he obtained an ample fortune. At 
length, amidst every prospect of future happiness for his 
family, he resigned his breath at Brighton, in 1818, in the 
76th year of his age. 

Mr. Palmer, in point of person, approached the heroic 
size. His eyes, which were full of fire and expression, de- 
noted a certain energy of mind which proved characteristic of 

G 2 


him during the whole of a pretty long life. He was concili- 
atory and pleasant in no ordinary degi'ee in his intercourse, 
and it is not a little creditable to his talents, that he proved 
successful in all his plans. He not only perfected and simpli- 
fied the complex machinery of the post-office, encreased the 
revenue, and gave new facilities to commerce, but at the same 
time secured and rendered in some measure sacred, the remit- 
tances and correspondence of the public, by putting an entire 
stop to mail-robberies. A higher eulogium to his memory 
cannot possibly be paid, than what occurs in the minutes of 
the evidence of Mr. Francis Freeling, who now so worthily 
presides over the post-office department: 

** I always conceived I was best serving the interests of 
the public, by following the plans laid down by Mr. Palmer." 

The remains of this gentleman were deposited within the 
precincts of a city, which himself and his father had so essen- 
tially contributed both to embellish and enrich. The corpse 
was accordingly brought from Brighton to Bath, where it was 
deposited in the house of Mrs. Ricketts, sister to the venerable 
Earl St. Vincent, a lady with whom he was connected both by 
friendship and alliance. From her mansion the body, in due 
time, was removed, in funeral procession, attended by the 
mayor and members of the corporation. The chief mourners 
consisted of his two sons. Colonel Palmer, M. P., and Cap- 
tain E. Palmer of the royal navy, together with his nephew, 
Mr. Bartlett. 


No. V. 


It is greatly to be lamented, that the materials for a life of 
this ingenious gentleman are scanty and incomplete. We 
know little of him indeed, but from his travels ; and even in 
respect to these, he does not appear to have communicated to 
the public an account of all his peregrinations. 

Mr. Brydone, who claimed his descent from an ancient family 
in the North of England, was born about the year 1 741, and 
received an excellent education at one of the universities. His 
first wishes were pointed towards the profession of arms ; but 
he chiefly distinguished himself by his tours in foreign countries. 
At the commencement of these, Dr. Franklin had aroused the 
curiosity of mankind by his discoveries in electricity ; and 
when the subject of this memoir first set his foot on the Con- 
tinent, he was provided with the best instruments that England 
could furnish, for the purpose of making discoveries as to the 
precise state and temperature of the air on the summits of 
the highest mountains of Europe. He accordingly visited 
Switzerland as well as Italy, and crossed both the Alps and 
Appenines. In these excursions, he often witnessed pheno- 
mena not uncommon in the regions just alluded to ; for more 
than once he beheld a thunder-storm bursting under his feet ! 
His apparatus, and his experiments, acquired for him the 
reputation, not of a philosopher, but of a conjurer, amidst the 
habitable recesses of the elevated summits to which we have 
just alluded; while his talents and conversation charmed all 
whom he approached. 

G 3 


It was in the year 1767, or 17C8, that Mr. Brydone accom- 
panied Mr. Beckford of Somerly, in Suffolk, in a scientific 
excursion to the Continent. He afterwards travelled with the 
late Mr. Fullarton, then only seventeen years of age, to Italy, 
and some of the islands of the Mediterranean. In the course 
of these voyages and journeys, he w^as introduced to the first 
order of society ; and it is evident, indeed, that every attention 
and information possible to be communicated by the higher 
circles, was most readily afforded. A certain degree of eclat 
was accordingly obtained for our traveller ; and on his return 
to England, an account of his journey was expected with 
a certain degree of impatience. The public were accordingly 
gratified soon after by a very masterly publication ; and in 1 790, 
a second edition of the " Tour through Sicily and Malta," in 
two volumes, octavo, made its appearance. 

This work consists of a series of epistles addressed to his 
friend William Beckford, esquire, the first of which is dated 
" Naples, May H, 1770." Both Sicily and Maha were then 
almost considered as non-dcscripts ; and the author, indeed, 
very modestly observes in his preface, " Had there been any 
book in our language on the subject of the following letters, 
they never should have seen the light." It may be fairly 
doubted, after the lapse of near fifty eventful years, whether 
there be any publication of a similar kind so deserving of 
otice as the one now under consideration. 

Letter I. contains an account of the climate of Naples, 
which is here termed one of the warmest and most inconstant 
of all Italy. According to his account, it disagreed with all 
English valetudinarians, particularly young people, who found 
themselves far better at Rome, which, although colder in winter, 
was deemed more healthy. The former, however, is stated to 
be eligible in summer, as the air is constantly refreshed with 
sea-breezes ; and in 1 769, Fahrenheit's thermometer never 
rose higher there than 76., while at the latter it was at 89. : at 
the end of January, it stood at 3G. ; at Rome, it fell to 27. : 
so that the difference between the two extremes of heat and 


cold, lit the one was only 40 degrees, while at the other it was 
no less than 62. " The rain, which often endures for six weeks, 
and the Sirocco, or south-east wind, are, however, both highly 
disagreeable at Naples ; for the last gives the vapours in a 
much higher degree than the worst of our rainy Novembers ; 
and it has now blown for these seven days without inter- 

" Sea-bathing," observes he, " we have found to be the 
best antidote against the effects of the Sirocco ; and this we 
certainly enjoy in great perfection. Lord Fortrose, who isthe 
soul of our colony here, has provided a large commodious 
boat for this pjirpose. We n)eet every morning at eight 
o'clock, and row about half a mile on the sea, where wc strip 
and plunge into the water. My Lord has ten watermen, who 
are in reality a sort of amphibious animals, as they live one 
half the summer in the sea. Three or four of these generally 
go with us, to pick up stragglers and secure us from all 

" To accustom us to swimming in all circumstances, my lord 
has provided a suit of clothes, which we wear by turns ; and 
from a very short practice, we have found it almost as com- 
modious to swim with as without them : we have likewise learned 
to strip in the water, and find it no difficult matter. After 
bathing, we have an English breakfast at his lordship's ; and 
after breakfast, a delightful little concert, which lasts for an 
hour and a half. Barbella, the sweetest fiddle in Italy, leads 
our little band. This party, I think, constitutes one principal 
part of the pleasure we enjoy at Naples. We have also some 
very agreeable society amongst ourselves, though we cannot 
boast of much of that with the inhabitants. There are, to be 
sure, many good people amongst them ; but in general, there 
is so little analogy betwixt an English and a NeapoHtan mind, 
that the true social harmony, that sweetener of human life, can 
seldom be produced. 

" In lieu of this (the exchange, you will say, is but a bad 
one), the country round Naples abounds so much in every 

G 4 


tliinfT that is curious, both in art and nature, and affords so 
ample a field of speculation for the naturalist and antiquary, 
that a person of any curiosity may spend some months here 
very agreeably, and not without profit. Besides the discover- 
ies of Herculaneumand Pompeia, which of themselves afford a 
great fund of entertainment, the whole coast that surrounds 
this beautiful bay, particularly that near Puzzoli, Cuma, 
Micaenum, and Baia, is covered with innumerable monuments 
of Roman magnificence. 

" Yesterday we rode over the greatest part of Baia, a 
shooting of porcupines, a new species of diversion which I have 
never heard of before. We killed several of these animals on 
the Monte Barharo, the place that formerly produced the 
Falernian wine, but now a barren waste. I do not know if 
you are acquainted with this kind of sport : to me, indeed, its 
novelty was its greatest merit ; and I would not, at any time, 
give a day of partridge for a month of porcupine shooting." 

Our travellers, consisting of Mr. Beckford, Mr. (afterwards 
Colonel) Fullarton, Mr. Glover, and Mr. Brydone, now pre- 
pared for their intended expedition to Sicily, which was deemed 
impracticable by the Italians, partly because there then were 
no inns on the island, and partly because many of [the roads 
lay over dangerous precipices, or through bogs and forests, 
infested with the most resolute and daring banditti in 

However, all these considerations, formidable as they ^pcr- 
tainly were, did not deter Mr. Hamilton (afterwards Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton, K. B.), his lady *, and Lord Fortrose, who had 
actually engaged in this expedition during the course of the 
preceding summer, and these were all amply gratified by the 
pleasure and entertainment resulting from it. But instead 
of crossing from Regiuni to Messina, to avoid the bad accom- 
modation of, and the danger from the banditti in, Calabria and 
Apulia, our travellers preferred to hazard all the feiguci! 

* Tliis was Ilia filil wife. 


terrors of Scylla .and Charybdis, together with the more real 
ones of sea-sickness. 

They accordingly hired an Enghsh vessel called the 
" Charming Molly," and taking advantage of a brisk tra- 
monlancj or north wind, advanced towards the island of Capre, 
or Caprea, once so famous for the abode of Augustus, and 
afterwards so infamous for that of Tiberius. A little to the 
west lay Ischia, Procida, and Nisida; the celebrated pro- 
montory of Micaenum, where jEneas landed ; the classic fields 
of Baia, Cuma, and Puzzoli, with all the variety of scenery that 
formed both the Tartarus and Elysium of the ancients; the 
Campi Phlegrei, or Burning Plains, where Jupiter overcame 
the giants, &c. &c. 

Those extensive coasts, along which they afterwards navi- 
gated, consisting of mountains, valleys, promontories, and 
islands, covered with an everlasting verdure, and loaded with 
the richest fruits, are all the produce of subterraneous fire. 
The traces of such dreadful conflagrations are still conspicuous : 
they have been violent indeed in their operations, but in the 
end have proved salutary in their effects. The fire in many 
places, indeed, is not yet quite extinguished, although there is 
only one spot where it rages with any degree of activity. 

During a very dark evening, Vesuvius flamed at a dreadful 
rate, so that they could distinctly behold the red-hot stones 
thrown to a vast height in the air, and after their fall rolling 
down the side of the mountain. This was a fine specimen of 
the sublime ; but in the course of the next morning, the 
sirocco wind returned, accompanied by sea-sickness. At 
length, however, a fresh breeze from a different quarter 
sprung up, and they came in sight of Strombolo and 
the mountains of Calabria. About eleven at night, they 
beheld part of the coast of Sicily, the irruptions of which 
appeared of a different kind from those of Vesuvius; and on 
llie 19th, found themselves within half a nnle of the object of 
their rcscarclics. Soon alter which they entered the buy of 


Messina ; not so grand, indeed, but far more beautiful, than 
that of Naples. 

After landing and refreshing themselves, this party of 
En«Tlishmen visited several of the convents, assisted at the 
festival in honour of St. Francis, and in their excursions into 
the country, observed in the fields many of the flowers so care- 
fully cultivated in our gardens, and several others we are still 
unacquainted with. Larkspur, Flos Adonis, Venus's looking- 
glass, hawk-weed, and very fine lupins, grow wild over all the 
adjacent mountains. There, also, were to be found a variety 
of flowering shrubs, particularly the pernio d'ojo: the low 
lands, too, are covered with the richest white clover, inter- 
mixed with a variety of aromatic plants, which perfume the 
air, and render a walk exceedingly delightful. 

" But what is remarkable," observes our traveller, we were 
most sensible of this perfume when walking on the side of the 
harbour, which is at the greatest distance from these fields. I 
mentioned this peculiarity to a Messinese gentleman, who tells 
me that the salt produced here by the heat of the sun, emits a 
grateful odour, something like violets ; and it is that, probably, 
which perfumes the sea-shore. On consulting Fazello de 
rebus Sictdis, I find he takes notice of the same singularity ; and 
likewise observes, that the water of the straits has a viscous or 
glutinous quality, which by degrees cements the sand and 
gravel together, and at last consolidates them to the solidity 
of a rock. 

" There are fine shady walks on all sides of Messina ; some 
of these run along the sea-shore, and are for ever fanned by 
the cooling breezes from the Straits. The houses are large, 
and most of the articles of life are cheap, and in plenty; par- 
ticularly fish, which are reckoned better here than any where 
else in the Mediterranean. The hire of lodgings is next to 
nothing ; almost one-half of the noble range of buildings I 
have described being absolutely uninhabited since the desola- 
tion of IT^S; so that the proprietors arc glad to get tenants 
on any terms. It now occurs to mc, that from all these con- 


siderations, there is no place I have seen so admu-ably cal- 
culated for the residence of that flock of valetudinarians 
which every autumn leaves our country with the swallows, in 
search of warm climates. In winter, they allow, they have 
sometimes heavy rain for two or three weeks ; but it never 
lasts longer ; and besides they have always some few hours 
every day, when people can go out for exercise : for the mo- 
ment the rain is over the walks are dry, the soil being a light 

After paying their respects to the prince-viceroy, they set 
out for Giardini, with ten mules for themselves and servants, 
and two for their baggage. They had also a front and rear 
guard, consisting of natives, armed with swords, pistols, 
and arquebuses. The road was romantic, and the sides of 
the mountains, which are highly cultivated, present the most 
agreeable aspect that can be imagined : corn, wine, oil, and 
silk, all mixed together, and in the gseatest abundance. The 
sides of every path are covered with a variety of flowers, and 
flowering shrubs; many of the inclosures are fenced with 
hedges of the Indian fig, or prickly pear ; while their guides 
assured them, that in some of the ravines around Etna there 
are trees, which produce a bastard kind of cinnamon, and 

..After visiting and admiring the great theatre of Teuro- 
minum they went to examine the Naumachia, and the reser- 
voirs for supplying water. They next contemplated the 
celebrated tree, known by the name of // castogno de ccnta 
Cavalli (the chesnut-tree, capable of affording shelter to a 
hundred horses,) which, for some centuries past, has been 
deemed one of the greatest wonders of Etna. 

In the journey from Jaci to Catania, one of the most an- 
cient cities in the island, the road is entirely over lava ; they 
counted eight mountains formed by eruptions, with every one 
its crater. The whole of the coast has been formed by the 
labours of Mount Etna, and for many miles, even thd sea 
itself has been driven back from its ancient boundary. It u 


difficult to conceive what it is impossible to deny : the front 
of a torrent of fire, ten miles in breadth, and heaped up to 
an enormous height, rolling down the mountains, and pour- 
ing its flames into the ocean. 

Signior Recupero, who acted as their Cicerotie, reasoning 
from analogy, asserted that the different beds of lava, with earth 
above each, lately discovered in a draw-well, fairly indicate, 
that the lowest stratum must have flowed from the mountain 
at least H,000 years ago. "Recupero tells me," adds our 
traveller, " that he is exceedingly embarrassed by these dis- 
coveries, in writing the history of Etna. — That Moses hangs 
like a dead weight upon him, and blunts all his zeal for in- 
quiry ; for that really he has not conscience to make his moun- 
tain so young as that prophet makes the world. — What do 
you think of these sentiments from a Roman Catholic divine ? 
The bishop, who is strenuously orthodox — for it is an excel- 
lent see — has already warned him to be on his guard, and 
not pretend to be a better natural historian than Moses ; nor 
to presume to urge any thing that may in the smallest degree 
be deemed contz'adictory to his sacred authority." 

The revenues of this bishop chiefly arise from the sale of 
snow, on Mount Etna, one small portion of which, lying on 
the north of the mountain, is said to bring liim in upwards of 
lOOOl. a-year; this is sent to Sicily, Malta, and great [part 
of Italy, where it makes a considerable branch of commerce, 
as even the peasants in those hot countries regale themselves 
with ices during the summer heats. A famine of snow, there- 
fore, would be more grievous perhaps than either a famine of 
corn or wine. But the mountain not only keeps the inhabit- 
ants of Sicily cool in summer, but likewise keeps them warm 
in winter ; the fuel for the greatest part of the island being 
found in the immense and inexhaustible [forests of this vol- 
cano : this also constitutes a principal branch of trade. 

After remarking that many of the churches were formerly 
heathen temples, purged and purified from all the infection 
occasioned by their rites, our author observes, " thai the 


Blessed Virgin lias long been constituted universal legatee 
and executrix of all the ancient goddesses, celestial, terrestrial, 
and infernal ; and, indeed, litle more than the names arc 
changed," adds he, " the things continue much the same as 
ever. The Catholics themselves do not attend to it; but it 
is not a little curious to consider how small is the deviation 
in almost every article of their present rites from those of the 
ancients. I have somewhere seen an observation, which seems 
to be a just one, that during the long reign of heathenism 
superstition had altogether exhausted her talent for invention; 
so that, when superstition seized Christians, they were under 
the necessity of borrowing from their predecessors, and imi- 
tating some part of their idolatry. I took notice of it to 
Signor Recupero, who is not the most zealous sectary in 
the world, and who frankly ownal the truth of the ob- 

*' In some places the very same images remain : they have 
only christened them; and what was Venus or Proserpine, 
is now Mary Magdalene, or the Virgin. The same ceremo- 
nies are daily performed before these images ; in the same 
language, and nearly in the same manner. The saints are 
perpetually coming down in person, and working miracles, 
as the heathen gods did of old. The walls of the temples are 
covered with the vows of pilgrims, as they were formerly. 
The holy water, which was held in such detestation by the 
first Christians, is again revered, and sprinkled about with 
the same devotion as in the time of paganism. 

" The same incense is burnt by priests arrayed in the same 
manner, with the same grimaces and genuflections, before the 
same images, and in the same temples too. In short, so 
nearly do the rites coincide, that were the pagan high-priest 
to come back and reassume his functions, he would only have 
to learn a few new names ; to get the mass, the Paters, and 
the Aves by heart ; which would be much easier to him, as 
they are in a language he understands ; but which his modern 
successors often are ignorant of. Some things, to be sure. 


would puzzle him, and he would swear that all the mysteries 
of Eleusis, were nothing to the amazing mystery of tran- 
substantiation ; the only one that ever attempted to set both 
our understanding and our senses at defiance, and baffles 
equally all the faculties of the soul and body." 

On the 27th May our four Englishmen, attended by pro- 
per guides, and furnished with provisions, liqueurs, &c. set 
off to visit Etna, and passing through the two first tracts 
or belts, called La Regione Ctdta (the fertile region), and La 
Regione Sylvosa (the woody district), at length arrived at La 
Regione Deserta (the barren region). The mountain at this 
period was tolerably quiet, but Recupero assured them that dur- 
ing one eruption he had seen large rocks, blazing with fire, 
discharged to the height of some thousand feet, with a noise 
far more terrible than that of thunder. On measuring from 
the time of their greatest elevation till they reached the 
ground, he found they took twenty-two seconds to descend ; 
which, according to the rule of the spaces, being as the 
squares of the t:mo. are here calculated at upwards of 7000 
feet. Our author, who had measured the height of the ex- 
plosions of Vesuvius by the same mode, never observed any 
of the stones thrown from it to take more than nine seconds to 
descend ; which shows that they had risen to little more than 
1200 feet. 

After sleeping all night on a bed of leaves in a cavern, 
the travellers ascended through the snow, notwithstanding the 
<;teepness ; and comforted themselves, amidst their fatigues, with 
Axe recollection, tliat the Emperor Adrian, and the philoso- 
pher Plato, had both encountered the same obstacles ; and 
from the same motive too, to behold the rising sun from the 
top of Etna. Thoy arrived before dawn at the iniins of an 
ancient structure called " II torre del Filosofo," supposed to 
have been built hy the philosopher Empedocles, who took up 
his habitation heje, the better to study the nature of Mount 
Etna. At this period the mercury had fallen to 20° 6', and 
they found that the immense vault of heaven shone in more 


awful majesty and splendour than below. To add to their 
astonishment, the number of stars seemed to be infniitely in- 
creased, while the light of each of them appeared brighter than 
usual. The whiteness of the milky-way resembled a pure 
flame shot across the heavens : and with the naked eye they 
could observe clusters of stars that were invisible in the re- 
gions below : for they had now passed through ten or twelve 
thousand feet of gross vapour, that necessarily blunts and 
confuses every ray, before it reaches the surface of the earth. 
This produced a distinctness of vision to which they had not 
before been accustomed. 

After contemplating the novel objects around them for 
some time, they rested themselves at the foot of the great 
crater, which is of an exact conical form, with a circumfer- 
ence of about ten miles, with the volcano in its centre : the 
mercury had fallen to 20^ 4^'. In about an hour's climbing, 
they at length arrived at a place where there was no snow, 
which induced them to make another halt : the mercury at 
19° 6^'. From this spot it was only 300 yards to the highest 

On their arrival there the whole atmosphere by degrees 
kindled up, and showed dimly the boundless prospect around. 
The stars were extinguished, and the shades disappeared ; 
while the forests, which at first seemed black and bottomless 
gulphs, caught life and beauty from every increasing beam. 
" The scene still enlarges, and the horizon seems to widen 
and expand itself on all sides ; till the sun, like the great 
Creator, appears in the east, and with his plastic ray completes 
the mighty scene. The senses, unaccustomed to the sublimity 
of such a scene, are bewildered and confounded ; and it is 
not until after some time that they are capable of separating 
and judging of the objects that compose it. The body of the 
sun is seen rising from the ocean, immense tracts both of sea 
and land intervening ; the islands of Lipari, Pinare, Alicudi, 
Strombolo, and Volcano, appear under your feet ; and you 
look down on the whole of Sicily as on a map : and can trace 


every river, through all its wiiuliiigs, from its source to its 
mouth; and I am persuaded, it is only from the imperfection 
of our organs that the coasts of Africa, and even of Greece, 
are not discovered, as they are certainly above the liorizon. 

" The circumference of the visible horizon, on the top of 
Etna, cannot be less than 2000 miles. At Malta, which is 
near 200 miles distance, they perceive all the eruptions from 
the second region ; and that island is often discovered from 
about one-half the elevation of the mountain ; so that, at the 
whole elevation, the horizon must extend to near double the 
distance, or 400 miles, which makes 800 for the diameter of 
the circle, and 2-100 for the circumference. But this is by 
much too vast for our senses, not intended to grasp so bound- 
less a scene. 

It was not without a mixture both of pleasure and pain, that 
they quitted this awful scene. On returning, however, an ac- 
cident occurred, which might have been productive of serious 
consequences, for on running over the ice, Mr. Brydone's leg 
folded under him, and he received so violent a sprain, that lie 
found himself, for some time, unable to move. In this condi- 
tion our poor philosopher was obliged to hop on one leg, with 
two men supporting him, for several miles over the snow. 

On their return, he began to calculate the altitude of the 
mountain ; this, according to Kircher, who pretends to have 
measured it, is 4000 French toises in height, which is more 
than the steepest of the Andes ; some of the Italian mathema- 
ticians make it eight miles, some six, and some four;{7Amici, 
the last who made the attempt, reduces it to 3 miles 2G4 paces ; 
but we are here told that the perpendicular altitude, probably, 
does not exceed 1 2,000 feet, or little more than two miles. Mr. 
Brydone was astonished to find that the mercury fell almost 
two inches lower than he had ever observed it on the very 
highest of the accessible Alps; and Mont Blanc, which is inac- 
cesssible, is higher than Etna. The magnetical needle took a 
longer time in ascertaining the North point above than below, 
being greatly agitated near the summit. Soon after the erup- 


tion of 1755, on a compass being placed on the lava, it entirely 
lost its magnetical power, standing indiscriminately at every 
of the thirty-two points ; and it never recovered till again 
touched with the loadstone. 

It ought not to be forgotten here, that our traveller carried 
with him a magnetical needle and a small electrometer, &c. to 
examine the precise state of the atmosphere. " I found," ob- 
serves he, " that round Nicolosi, and particularly on the top 
of Montpelieri, the air was in a very favourable state for elec- 
trical operations. Here the little pith halls, when insulated, 
were sensibly affected, and repelled each other above an inch. 
I expected this electrical state of the air would have encreased 
as we advanced on the mountain ; but at the cave where we 
slept, I could observe no such effect. Perhaps it was owino- 
to the exhalations from the trees and vegetables which are ex- 
ceedingly luxuriant ; whereas about Nicolosi, and round 
Montpelieri, there is hardly any thing but lava and dry hot 
sand. Or, perhaps, it might be owing to the evening being 
farther advanced, and the dews beginning to fall. However, 
I have no doubt that upon these mountains formed by erup- 
tion, where the air is strongly impregnated with sulphureous 
effluvia, great c'lectrical discoveries might be made. And, 
perhaps, of all the reasons assignedfor the womicrful vegetation 
that is pcrtbrmed on thi> mountain, there is none that cJontri- 
butes so much towards it, as this constant electrical state of 
the air: for from a variety of experiments it has been found, 
that an increase of the electrical matter adds much to the pro- 
gress of vegetation. It probably acts there in the same man- 
ner as on the animal body ; the circulation, we know, is per- 
formed quicker, and the juices are driven through the small 
vessels with more ease and celerity. 

" Thib has often been proved from the immediate removal 
of obt/uetions by electricity; and probably the rubbing with 
dry aiu! uarni flannel, esteemed so efficacious in such cases, is 
doing nothing morpthan striking a greater degree of electricity 
in the part; but it has likewise been demonstrated by the 



common experiment of making water drop through a small 
capillary syphon, which, the moment it is electrified, runs in 
a full stream. I have, indeed, very little doubt, that the 
fertility of our seasons depends as much on this quality in the 
air, as either on its heat or moisture. 

*' Electricity," it is added, " will probably soon be considered 
as the great vivifying principle of nature, by which she carries 
on most of her operations. It is a fifth element, distinct from 
and of a superior nature to the other four, which only compose 
the corporeal parts of nature ; but this subtile and active fluid 
is a kind of soul that pervades and quickens every particle of 
it. When an equal quantity of this is diffused through the 
air, and over the face of the earth, every thing continues calm 
and quiet ; but if, by any accident, one part of matter has ac- 
quired a greater quantity than another, the most dreadful con- 
sequences often ensue before the equilibrium can be restored. 
Nature seems to fall into convulsions, and many of her works 
are destroyed : all the great phenomena are produced ; thun- 
der, lightning, earthquakes, and whirlwinds. For I believe 
there is little doubt that all these frequently depend on this 
sole cause. 

" And again, if we look down from the sublime of nature 
to its minutiae, we shall probably some day discover, that 
what we call sensibility of nerves, and many of these diseases, 
that the faculty have only as yet invented names for, are 
owing to the body's being possessed of too large or too small 
a quantity of this subtile and active fluid ; that very fluid, per- 
haps, that is the vehicle of all our feelings, and which they 
have so long searched for in vain in the nerves : for I have 
sometimes been led to think, that this sense is nothing else 
than a slighter kind of electric effect, to which the nerves serve 
as conductors ; and that it is by a rapid circulation of this 
penetrating and animating fire that our sensations are 

" We all know, that in damp and hazy weather, when it 
seems to be blunted and absorbed by the Immidity ; when its 


activity i« lost, and little or none of it can be collected, we ever 
find our spirits more languid, and our sensibility less acute : 
but in the Sirocco wind at Naples, when the air seems totally 
deprived of it, then the whole system is unstrung, and the nerves 
seem to lose both their tension and elasticity, till the north or 
west wind awakens the activity of this animating power, which 
soon restores the tone, and enlivens all nature, that seems 
to droop and languish during its absence. 

" It is likewise well known, that there have been instances 
of the human body becoming electric without the communica- 
tion of any electric substance, and even emitting sparks of fire 
with a disagreeable sensation, and an extreme degree of ner- 
vous sensibility. About seven or eight years ago, a lady in 
Switzerland was affected in this manner, and though I was 
not able to learn all the particulars of her case, yet several 
Swiss gentlemen have confirmed to me the truth of the story. 
She was extremely sensible of every change of weather, and 
had her electrical feelings strongest in a clear day, or during 
the passage of thunder-clouds, when the air is known to be 
replete with that fluid.* 

" Two gentlemen of Geneva had a short experience of the 
same kind of complaint, though still in a itiuch superior degree. 
Professor Saussure, and young Mr. Jalabert, when travelling 
over one of the high Alps, were caught amongst thunder- 
clouds, and, to their utter astonishment, found their bodies so 
full of electrical fire, that spontaneous flashes darted from their 
fingers with a crackling noise, and the same kind of sensa- 
tion as when strongly electrified by art. 

" It seems pretty evident, I think, that these feelings were 
owing to the bodies being possessed of too great a share of elec- 
tric fire. This is an uncommon case, but I do not think it at 
all improbable that many of our invalids, particularly the hy- 

• We (ire afterwards told, in another place, that the complaints of this female were 
owing entirely to her dress, her head being surrounded with wires, and her hair stuck 
full of metal pins, while she herself stood in dry silk stotkings. A trifling change "f 
<lress, would, in our author's opinion, have entirely relieved the patient. 

H 2 


pochondriac, and those we call Malades Luaginaires, owe their 
disagreeable feelings to the opposite cause, or the bodies being 
possessed of too small a quantity of this fire ; for we find that 
a diminution of it in the air seldom fails to encrease their 
uneasy sensations, and vice versa, 

" Perhaps it might be serviceable to these people," adds 
our intelligent author, " to wear some electric substance next 
the skill, to defend the nerves and fibres from the damp or 
from electric air. I would propose a waistcoat of the finest 
flannel, which should be kept perfectly clean and dry ; for the 
effluvia of the body, in case of any violent perspiration, will 
soon destroy its electric quality ; this should be covered by 
another of the same size of silk. The animal heat and the 
friction that exercise must occasion betwixt these two sub- 
stances, pn)duce a powerful .electricity, and would form a kind 
of electric atmosphere around the body, that might possibly 
be one of the best preservatives against the effect of damps." 

On the 3 1st of May our travellers, having now fully satisfied 
their curiosity in respect to Etna, embarked on board a fe- 
lucca, and set sail for Syracuse. On this occasion they 
crossed the mouth of the Giaretta, formerly the Simethus, 
which throws up great quantities of the finest amber ; this is 
worked up at Catania, into crosses, relicks, beads, &c. One 
of the artists, of more than ordinary skill and contrivance, 
succeeded in leaving a large blue bottle fy^ with its wings sus- 
pended over the head of a saint, to represent " lo spirito 
Santo I" 

At Syracuse our party of Englishmen visited the " Ear of 
Dionysius," and whatever else appeared curious ; but they 
searched in vain for the sepulchre of Archimedes which had 
been designated at his own request by the figure of a sphere in- 
sci'ibcd in a cylinder. They examined, however, the fountain 
of Arethusa, which was actually discovered by Cicero's ac- 
count of it: the sole difference is, that it does not now possess 
any fish. It was dedicated to Diana, but none of her nymphs 
were here to be seen ; they were replaced by a few washer- 


women, up to the knees in water, and busied in cleansing 
some woollen garments. Near to the smaller of the two har- 
bours of Syracuse, they still show the spot where the house of 
Archimedes stood; as also the tower, whence he is said to 
have set fire to the Roman galleys with his burning glasses, 
which are of late asserted to be common mirrors. 

As they found the once mighty city of Syracuse so reduced 
as not to afford sufficient beds and lodgings for three or four 
weary travellers, after a short residence, they hired a small vessel 
called a sparonaro, to carry them to the Island of Malta, which 
next became an object of attention ; accordingly on the 2d of 
June, by day break, they left the Marmoreo or great port, 
and proceeded in their six oared boat, calculated rather for 
speed than convejiiency, the chief object being to avoid the 
African pirates. Having reached Cape Passero, the most 
southerly point of Sicily, consisting of an island of about a mile 
round, they landed, and made a very comfortable dinner in a 
small cavern. 

After a voyage of two days, they landed at the city of Va- 
letta, and were conducted by Mr. Rutter, the English consul, 
to an inn which had the appearance of a palace. There they 
had an excellent supper and plenty of good burgundy, and as 
this happened to be the king's birth-day, they almost got 
tipsey, in drinking His Majesty's health. 

Next morning they proceeded to visit the principal villas of 
the island, particularly those of the grand master and the 
general of the galleys. " These are nothing great or magni- 
ficent, but they are admirably contrived for a hot climate, 
where, of all things, shade is the most desirable The orange 
groves are indeed very fine, and the fruit they bear is supe- 
rior to any thing you have seen, either in Spain or Por- 
tugal. The aspect of the country is far from being pleasing ; 
the whole island is a great rock of very white free-stone, 
and the soil that covers this rock, in most places, is not more 
than five or six inches deep ; yet, what is singular, we find 
their crop in general very abundant. They account for it 

H 3 

10'2 Patrick: brydone, esq. 

from the copious dews that fall during the spring and sum- 
mer months, and pretend likewise, that there is a moisture 
in the rock below the soil, that is of great advantage to the 
corn and cotton, keeping its roots perpetually moist and 
cool; without which quality, they say, they could have no 
crops at all, the heat of the sun is so exceedingly violent. 

*' Their barley harvest has been over some time, and they are 
just now finishing that of the wheat. The whole island pro- 
duces corn only sufficient to support its inhabitants for five 
months, or little more ; but the crop they most depend on i» 
the cotton. They began sowing it about three weeks ago, and 
it will be finished in a week more. The time of reaping is in 
the month of October and beginning of November. It is 
manufactured into stockings, coverlids, and blankets, all very 
famous. Their principal fruit is produced from the common 


orange-bud, engrafted on the pomegranate stock ; the juice is 
blood red. Such is the industry of the Maltese that not a 
single inch of ground is left uncultivated in the island. 
Where the soil is deficient, they import earth from Sicily. 

*' St. John's is a magnificent church : the pavement, in par- 
ticular, is reckoned the richest in the world. It is entirely 
composed of sepulchral monuments of the finest marbles, por- 
phyr}', lapis lazuli, and a variety of other stones admirably 
joined together, and at an incredible expense, representing, 
in a kind of mosaic, the arms, insignia, &c. of the persons 
whose names they are intended to commemorate. In the mag- 
nificence of these monuments, the heirs of the grand masters 
and commanders have long vied with each other. 

" We went this day to see the celebration of their church 
service. It seems to be more overcharged with parade and 
ceremony than what I have ever observed, even in any other 
Catholic country. The number of genuflections before the 
altar, the kissing of the prior's hand, the holding up of his 
robes by the subaltern priests, the ceremony of throwing in- 
cense upon all the knights of the Great Cross, and neglecting 
the poorer knights, with many other articles, appeared to us 


highly ridiculous, and most essentially different, indeed, from 
that purity and simplicity of worship that constitutes the very 
essence of true Christianity, and of which the great pattern 
they pretend to copy sets so very noble an example." 

After making an expedition in coaches drawn by one mule 
each, which was the only kind of vehicle the island then af- 
forded, they left the principal port early in June. Having 
landed at Gozzo, they were greatly disappointed on examining 
this island, which is supposed to have formerly belonged to 
Calypso, to find nothing either very fine or very beautiful ; 
nor, after a close investigation, could they discover even the 
grotto of the goddess. 

In the course of that night they once more beheld the smoke 
of Etna, and having a fair windj by ten o'clock next morning 
they discovered the coast of Sicily. Having gone on shore 
near the ruins of a village in Hybla, they contrived to sup 
there ; they then launched their bark once more, and soon 
reached the celebrated port of Agrigentum, now called Gir- 
genti ; which is both " regular and ugly ;" yet, at a few miles 
distance, it makes a noble appearance, like that of Genoa ; 
for it is built on the slope of a hill, so that the houses assume 
an amphi-theatrical appearance. 

" The captain of the port gave us a polite reception, and. 
insisted on accompanying us to the city, which stands on the 
top of a mountain, four miles distant from the harbour, and 
about 1 100 feet above the level of the sea. The road on each 
side is bordered by a row of exceeding large American aloes, 
upwards of one third of them being at present in full blow, and 
making the most beautiful appearance that can be imagined. 
The flower-stems of this noble plant are in general between 
twenty and thirty feet high (some of them more) and are co- 
vered with flowers from top to bottom, which taper regularly, 
and form a beautiful kind of pyramid, the base or pedestal of 
which is the fine spreading leaves of the plant. As this is 
esteemed in northern countries one of the greatest curiosities 
of the vegetable tribe, we were happy at seeing it in so great 

H 4 


perfection ; much greater, I think, than I had ever seen it 

" With us, I think, it is vulgai'ly reckoned (though I beheve 
falsely) that they only flower once in a hundred years. Here 
I was informed, that at the latest, they always blow the sixth 
year, but for the most part the fifth. As the whole substance 
of the plant is carried into the stem and the flowers, the 
leayes begin to decay as soon as the blow is completed, and 
a numerous offspring of young plants are produced round 
the root of the old one; these are slipped oftj and formed 
into new plantations, either for hedges, or for avenues to their 
country houses." 

After visiting the ruins of Agrigentum, they discovered 
that the mountain on which it stands, is composed of a con- 
cretion of SL-a-shells, cemented by a kind of sand or gravel. 
On the very summit, our curious travellers discovered cockles, 
muscles, oysters, &c. " By what means they have been lifted 
up to this vast height, and so intimately mixed with the 
substances of the rock, I leave to you (Mr. Beckfbrd) and 
your philosophical friends to determine. This old battered 
globe of ours has probably suffered many convulsions not re- 
corded in any history. You have heard of the vast stratum 
of bones lately discovered in Istria and Ossero; part of it 
runs below rocks of marble, upwards of forty feet in thickness, 
and they have not yet been able to ascertain its extent : some- 
thing of the same kind has been found in.Dalmatia, in the 
islands of the Archipelago ; and lately, I am told, in the rock 
of Gibraltar. 

" Now the deluge recoided in Scripture, will hardly ac- 
count for all the appearances of this sort to be met with, 
almost in every country in the world ; but 1 am interrupted 
by visitors, which is u lucky circumstance both for you and 
me, for I was just going to be very philosophical, and con- 
sequently very dull. Adieu !" 

Having crossed on mules from Agrigentum to Palermo, 
they found the intervening country at once very rich and 


very fertile, prodiicinfr corn, wine, oil, oranges, lemons, pome- 
granates, almonds, pistachio nuts, &c. Notwithstanding the 
almost spontaneous gifts of Nature, the people were poor, 
miserable, and oppressed. 

" Accursed tyranny !" (exclaims our British traveller) 
" what despicable objects we become in thy hands I Is it 
not inconceivable, how any government should be able to 
render poor and wretched a country which almost produces 
spontaneously everything that even luxury can desire? But, 
alas I poverty and wretchedness have ever attended the 
Spanish yoke, both on this and on t'other side of the 
globe. They make it their boast, that the sun never sets 
on their dominions ; but forget, that since they became 
such, they have left him nothing to see in his course, but 
deserted fields, barren wildernesses, oppressed peasants, and 
lazy, lying, lecherous monks. Such are the fruits of their 
boasted conquests. They ought rather to be ashamed that 
ever the sun should see them at all. 

" The sight of these poor people has filled me with in- 
dignation. This village, whence I now address you, is sur- 
rounded by the finest country in the world, yet there was 
neither bread nor wine to be found in it ; and the poor 
inhabitants appear more than half starved. 

" Midst Ceres* richest gifts, with want oppress'd, 
And 'midst the flowing vineyard, die of thirst." 

After a journey of fifty miles over rocks and precipices, 
this party of Englishmen reached Palermo, the capital of 
Sicily, where there was then but one inn, which happened to 
be kept by a chattering, imposing Frenchwoman, to whom 
they were obliged to concede her own terms, of five ducats 
a day. This city is built in a regular manner, the two great 
streets intersecting each other in the centre, where they 
form a handsome square, called the Otfangola^ adorned 
with elegant, uniform buildings. From this square, not 
only are the whole of these noble streets seen, but also 
the four gates of the city, which terminate them. The four 


gates are each at the distance of about half a mile (the 
diameter of the city being no more than a mile) and two of 
them, the Porta Nova and Porta Felice^ the latter of which 
terminates the Corso, are elegant pieces of architecture, while 
the former communicates with the marino, a delightful walk, 
which constitutes one of the great pleasures of the nobility of 
Palermo. It opens on one side to the sea, whence, even at 
the most scorching seasons, there is always an agreeable 
breeze. In the centre is an elegant temple, which serves as an 
orchestra for music, and being obliged in the hot season to 
convert night into day, the concert does not begin until the 
clock strikes midnight. Meanwhile, the better to favour in- 
trigue, there is an order that no person of whatever quality, 
shall presume to carry a light with him ! The Sicilian ladies 
marry at thirteen or fourteen years of age, and aie sometimes 
grandmothers before they are thirty. The Princess Partana 
has twelve children, and yet is still in her bloom. She was 
cured of all her usual complaints on being delivered, immedi- 
ately after which, her highness saw and enjoyed the company 
of her friends more than ever. She lamented the fate of 
our Enfflish ladies, and thanked God that she was born a 
Sicilian ! 

Our philosopher, after reasoning on this subject, attributes it 
solely to the climate. In cold, but more particularly in moun- 
tainous countries, births are difficult and dangerous ; in warm 
and low places, they are more easy; the air of the first 
hardens and contracts the fibres ; that of the second softens 
and relaxes them. Among the Alps, the women frequently 
go down to the low countries a few weeks before they lie in, 
and find their deliveries much easier. 

This is here attributed to the additional pressure of 
a column of air of 2 or 3000 feet more than they are ac- 
customed to; and if muscular motion is performed by the 
pressure of the atmosphere, as some have alleged, how much 
must this add to the action of every muscle ! Mr. Brydone 
deduces from these premises, that physicians are wrong, when 


they send patients with the same complaints to Aix and 
Marseilles, where the air must be essentially different; the 
latter city being on the level of the sea, while the former, 
according to his own admeasurement, is near 600 feet above 
it. In such a country as Switzerland, or on such a mountain 
as Etna, it is easy at all times to take off a weight from the 
human body of many thousand pounds ; and thus, not only 
the quantity, but the quality also of the air, v/ould be 
changed, which on the side of any very high mountain is 
more varied than in travelling through fifty degrees of 

Our travellers were all present at the superb feast in honour 
of St. Rosolia ; and Mr. Brydone declares, that the illumin- 
ation of St. Peter's is no more to be compared to that of the 
chief church at Palermo, than the planet Venus to the sun. 
The heat by this time had become intolerable, for the quick- 
silver in the thermometer had now risen to above eighty- 
two degrees. In this state of the atmosphere the sea became 
too hot for bathing ! 

" I am sure," observes our author, " that in such a day as 
this, in England, we should be panting for breath ; and no 
mortal would think either of reading or writing. — This is 
not the case here ; I never was in better spirits in my life : 
indeed, I believe, the quantities of ice we eat may contribute 
a good deal towards it; for I find that, in a very violent heat, 
there is no such cordial to the spirits as ice, or a draught of 
ice-water; it is not only from the cold it communicates, but, 
like the cold bath, from the suddenness of that communication 
it braces the stomach, and gives a new tone to the fibres. It 
is strange that this piece of luxury (in my opinion the greatest 
of all, and the only healthy one) should be still so much 
neglected with us. 

•' I knew an English lady at Nice, who in a short time was 
cured of a threatening consumption only by a free indulgence 
in the use of ices ; and I am persuaded that, in skilful hands, 
few remedies would be more effectual in many of our stomach 


and inflamiuatory complaints, as hardly any thing has a 
stronser or more immediate effect on the whole frame ; and 
surely our administration of warm drinks and potions in these 
complaints tend often to nourish the disease. It is the com- 
mon practice here, in inflammatory complaints, to give ice- 
water to drink ; nay, so far have they carried it, that Doctor 
Sanghes a celebrated Sicilian physician, covered over the 
breast and belly of his patients with snow and ice, and they 
assure us in many cases with great success. But, indeed, I 
ought in justice to add, that this physician's practice has not 
been generally adopted." 

Our author found in his own person the efficacy of ice. He 
could sit in his chamber, and encounter the severest heat, 
without his spirits being in the least affected, while his store 
of that commodity lasted ; but he became greatly depressed 
when no longer supplied with the exhilarating draught. 

Treating of the opera, Mr. Brydone informs us, that Pa- 
cherotti was then the first man, and Gabrieli the first woman ; 
but Farinelli produced greater effect than either of them. All 
these three performers have since appeared at the Hay- 
market, as then predicted, and experienced a most brilliant 

At length the whole party left Sicily, infinitely delighted 
with the island, and at the end of a voyage of two days, found 
themselves once more at Naples, on the 30th of June. There 
they remained for about three months, partly in order to enjoy 
the society of Mr. and Mrs. (afterwards Sir William and 
Lady) Hamilton, together with that of the Walshes, another 
English family, and partly till the time of the Mai Aria was 
entirely over. 

" You know the danger of travelling through the Campania 
during that season; which, although it is looked upon by 
many of our doctors as a vulgar error, yet we certainly shall 
not submit ourselves to the experiment. We propose to pass 
the winter at Rome, where we shall probably find occupation 
enough for four or five months. From thence, by Loretto, 


Bologne, &c. to Venice; the old beaten track. We shall 
then leave the parched fields of Italy, for the delightful cool 
mountains of Switzerland ; where liberty and simplicity, long 
since banished from polished nations, still flourish in their 
original purity ; where the temperature and moderation of the 
climate, and that of their inhabitants, are mutually emble- 
matical of each other. For whilst other nations are scorched 
by the heat of the sun, and the still more scorching heats of 
tyranny and superstition, there the genial breezes for ever fan 
the air, and heighten that alacrity and joy, which liberty and 
innocence alone can inspire ; there, the genial flow of the soul 
has never yet been checked by the idle and useless refinements 
of art ; but opens and expands itself to all the calls of affection 
and benevolence." 

Having indulged in a few more excursions in the vicinity 
of Naples, the subject of this memoir accompanied the late 
Colonel Fullarton to Rome, where they spent the winter. On 
the approach of spring they repaired to Venice; and after 
passing the summer partly at Geneva and partly in Switzer- 
land, they arrived in England in the autumn of 1771. 

Soon after their return, Mr. Fullarton, who was intended 
for the diplomatic line, commenced his career at the Court of 
France, and became, first, private secretary to the late Lord 
Stormont, then our ambassador at Versailles, and, at length, 
secretary of legation. He afterwards engaged in the military 
profession, commanded a large body of troops in India, and 
was finally nominated one of the three commissioners for the 
government of Trinidad. As for Mr. Brydone, he also ob- 
tained a respectable appointment under government, and after 
the publication of his travels, which procured for him no 
common share of credit and respect, was nominated a mem- 
ber of several learned societies, and occasionally published 
many able papers, in the Philosophical Transactions. The 
latter part of his life was spent in retirement, and almost 
in obscurity; and, having quitted the busy scenes of life, he 


died In 1818, at an advanced age, greatly respected by all his 

Our author made his appearance in the world at a period 
when the doctrines laid down by Newton, respecting attrac- 
tion and gravitation, began to be generally received ; while 
those whose tenets he had objected to had sunk into insigni- 
ficance. " I have seen many rigid Newtonians," observes he, 
in one of his publications, " who could bear with much more 
temper to hear the Divinity of our Saviour called in question, 
than that of Sir Isaac ; and looked on a Cartesian or a Ptolo- 
mean as a worse species of infidel than an atheist. I remem- 
ber when I was at college to have seen one heretic to their doc- 
trine of gravity, very suddenly converted by being tossed in 
a blanket ; and another, who denied the law of centripetal 
and centrifugal forces, soon brought to assent by having the 
demonstration made on his shoulders, by a stone whisked at 
the end of a string." 

It was at this period, too, that the Franklinian philosophy 
began to be disclosed. The doctrine of electricity made a 
deep impression on the subject of these memoirs, who was 
accustomed frequently to make the experiment with the electri- 
cal kite that entitled the Trans- Atlantic philosopher to the 
" Eripuit Fulmen Caelo," and both his writings and convers- 
ation were deeply imbued with this subject. It must have 
been already perceived that Mr, Brydone attributed many 
of the phenomena of nature to electricity ; and, indeed. Dr. 
Franklin, a little before his death, was accustomed to observe, 
" that we were on the verge of some great discovery, and 
that this branch of science was but in its infancy." Our tra- 
veller, who was one of his most zealous disciples, had early 
in life imbibed the very same notion ; and this was greatly 
fortified by an accident that occurred to a lady of his acquaint- 
ance, Mrs. Douglas, of Kelso, who had almost lost her life dur- 
ing a thunder-storm, by exposing herself at an open window, 
with a fashionable cap, mounted on wire, without using an 


electrical conductor. The lightning was attracted by the 
wire, and the cap was burnt to ashes. Happily the hair was 
in its natural state, without paper, pomatum, or pins, which 
alone prevented a catastrophe ! He himself was at length 
accustomed to observe, that he never combed his head or 
took off his stockings without dtjtecting the electric fluid. In 
short, he deemed this a fifth element, distinct from, and 
superior to the other four. 

Many celebrated writers have agreed fully with him, as to 
the beneficial effects of electricity on vegetation. Bertholon, 
in support of it, quotes the testimony of the Abbe Toaldo, 
who beheld two wild jasmines on the borders of the Brenta, 
that happened to be twisted around a conductot-, attain 
a most astonishing size. On the other hand, it must be fairly 
added, that Saussure, during his travels among the Alps, 
thought he discovered the order of nature to have taken a v 
contrary direction. 

It has been objected to Mr. Brydone, that by means of his 
justly celebrated performance he has contrived to engender 
some doubts in the Christian world. It is urged, in particular, 
that his philosophical speculations are not consonant to the 
opinions received and propagated by the Church, " having in- 
fused the infidel objections of the Canon Rccupero into the 
minds of his readers." 

Indeed, his insinuations against the Mosaic account of the 
creation have been answered by several eminent divines, to 
which, we believe, he on his part never took the trouble to 

List of the Works of the late Patrick Brydone, Esq. 

1. Tour through Sicily and Malta, 

2. Several Papers in the Philosophical Transactions. 


No. VI. 


1 HE subject of this memoir was esteemed by his friends on 
account of his amiable manners, his rare endowments, and his 
ardent, but judicious, love of constitutional liberty-. , To the 
world he was known by a series of publications, which occasion- 
ally conferred a certain degree of celebrity on his name, and to- 
wards the close of his short career, raised him considerably in 
the public estimation. During one of his periodical excursions, 
he visited the author of this article in the country ; and he had 
afterwards frequent communications with him in the succeeding 
autumn and winter, in London. 

George Wilson Meadley first saw the light at the con- 
fluence of the Wear and the ocean, having been born at 
Sunderland, in the county-palatine of Durham, January I, 
1771. At a very early period of life he lost his father; but 
his education does not appear to have been neglected. After 
the usual initiatory studies, the youth was sent to school at 
Witton-le-Wear, a small village three miles from Bishop- 
Auckland ; and it was his good fortune to have the Rev. John 
Farrer, who is represented " as a very able teacher and excel- 
lent man," for his instructor. While there, he either acquired 
or displayed a certain tenaciousness of memory, which not only 
distinguished him from his class-fellows, but actually proved 
serviceable to his future pursi4ts in life. He was accordingly 
enabled to master his lessons with a singular degree of ease and 
facility ; and to this he afterwards, at a maturer period, added a 
certain felicity of classification and combination, which conferred 
great advantages in respect to his studies. Thus, both in the 



Ocpartments of history and biography, he wa* enabled to 
acquire and to maintain a certain degree of excellence that 
could not fail, in due time, to acquire him fame. 

His family was respectable, and his father had succeeded in 
trade : it was not, therefore, the Res Augusta Domi that entirely 
precluded him from completing his studies at one of the two 
Eno-lish universities. He appears to have been satisfied with 
the resources of a provincial education, and the usual routine 
of a country school. 

Either unable or unwilling to accomplish this grand object, 
his youthful ambition was soon after fixed on another, which 
he at length happily accomplished. Mr. Meadley had been 
induced, like some others of his family, to embrace commerce 
as a profession ; but lie soon became weary of a sedentary em- 
ployment, and tare and tret, and every thing connected with 
old Cocker at length became odious to him. 

He had, by this time, imbibed an ardent desire for foreign 
travel. He longed to realise the dreams of his early youth ; to 
visit the classic land of Italy ; to breathe the same air with the 
poets, historians, and patriots, of ancient times; to contemplate 
the beautiful scenery which Virgil had so aptly and elegantly 
described ! He was eager to visit the country which had 
twice subdued mankind ; once by arms, and once by super- 
stition. But he languished, above all things, to behold the 
capitol, and to contemplate that spot where the first usurper 
of the Cesarean line, whose life was devoted by the laws to the 
infernal deities, perished under the steel of Brutus, and the 
other avengers of Roman liberty. 

But to accomplish all this, required wealth as well as energy ; 
and unluckily the former of these was not then exactly at his 
command. However, he at length made a compromise with his 
feelings ; and, as it was impossible for him to view the ancient 
Latium as a mere traveller, he determined to unite two charac- 
ters in his own person, better known to ancient than to modern 
times. Mr. Meadley accordingly sailed for the Mediterranean, 
about the year 1796, in the strange and singular character of 



a merchant- tourist. He perhaps recollected, that Solon, the 
great lawgiver of antiquity, had addicted himself to com- 
merce in the earlier part of his life, and during the time when 
he imbibed and united in his own person all the wisdom of 
distant nations. Nor would he be displeased, perhaps, to 
recollect that " the divine Plato" did not disdain to make an 
investment of the produce of Greece, to defray the expenses of 
his voyage to Egypt ; and that the oil of Attica obtained for 
him a knowledge of the secrets of Memphis 1 

After visiting the Continent, Mr. Meadley landed in several 
parts of Italy ; and while at Naples, visited one of his senatorial 
countrymen*, ebbing out the last remains of an interesting 
but scanty life, dedicated to virtue, and distinguished by 

public spirit. 

Not content with this, he touched at several of the islands of 
the Mediterranean, and thus contemplated many of the places 
described by the majestic muse of Homer. He beheld with 
rapture several parts of the Archipelago, where the females, as 
in ancient times, still ply the shuttle beneath the shade of a 
neighbouring grove. He visited Smyrna and Byzantium ; he 
beheld the modern Greek sighing for liberty, amidst the ruins 
of the palaces and temples of his ancestors ; and he had an 
opportunity to witness the manners of the modern Turk, at 
once a tyrant and a slave. 

Our traveller doubtless kept a journal of his voyages, and 
his adventures; and it is greatly to be lamented that he did 
not publish it on his return. The whole of his peregrinations 
abounded with incidents, and those not unfrequently of a new 
and singular kind. We know not, indeed, whether he could 
have enriched his narrative with a shipwreck, or described his 
piteous situation as a slave at Tetuan or Algiers. Certain it 
is, however, that the subject of this memoir was exposed to all 
the horrors of war, both by land and sea ; that he was captJted 
by the enemy, experienced soon after all the joys of an unex- 

* Tlie late Mr. Laiubtou, Kiiiglu of ilic Sliiie for the County-Palatine of 


pected deliverance; and in short, underwent and overcame 
many more difficulties and dangers, than are usually conceived 
by the utmost stretch of imagination on the part of one of our 
modern novel writers. 

Mr. Meadley returned to his native country, at the end of 
about a year and a half, with his mind refreshed by foreign 
travel, and his ideas greatly enlarged by what he had seen and 
what he had heard. 

Soon after he had entered the paternal mansion at Bishop- 
Wearmouth, he visited Dr. Paley, who had become at once 
the rector and a resident in that parish which contains the 
mother-church of Sunderland ; to this valuable living he was 
presented by his friend the Bishop of Durham. From this 
period, the subject of this memoir appears to have kept up an 
intercourse, and to have lived in a certain degree of familiarity, 
with that celebrated divine: a circumstance not a little credit- 
able to both, as they differed in important religious points ; 
and doubly honourable to the Doctor, who was of course firmly 
attached to the tenets of the church of England. 

After a short residence of about two years at home, Mr. 
Meadley, whose fortune had not been greatly benefited by his 
voyage to the Mediterranean, contrived once more to indulge 
his taste for contemplating the manners and customs of differ- 
ent countries. Accordingly, in 1801, we find him in the city 
of Dantzic; and in 1803, he found means to visit a large por- 
tion of Germany. His peregrinations, on this occasion, appear 
to have been regulated with the strictest economy. 

After residing a short time at Hamburgh, and rendering 
himself acquainted with the commerce of the Elbe, he actually 
travelled on foot from that city through the duchy of Holst6in, 
and took up his abode for a few days at Lubeck. Of this pe- 
destrian tour, an account drawn up by himself is still in 

Of the former of these excursions he has also left an 
account, which shall be here transcribed ; but it may be neces- \ 

sary to premise, that although the youthful bosom of Mr. ^^^ 

I 2 


Meadley had beaten responsive to the first efforts for hberty in 
France ; yet, as will be immediately seen, he detested the usurp- 
ation of Bonaparte, who had violated public freedom, and all 
laws, both human and divine, solely to gratify his ambition. 
Accordingly, he augured nothing but evil, both at home and 
abroad, to arise to a neighbouring nation from his domination. 
" At this important period," observes he, " when the un- 
principled ambition of a military despot, after triumphing over 
the independence of Southern Europe, has turned his ferocious 
troops into the North of Germany ; and, devastating the fertile 
fields of Hanover, threatens the political anniliilation of the 
yet remaining Hanse towns : at a time, too, when the naval 
superiority of Britain is once more boldly asserted by the 
blockade of the Elbe, and the Powers of the North invited by 
a f^reat example to maintain inviolate the independence of their 
countries, and resist the intrusion of a foreign host, the public 
attention is naturally directed towards these scenes of action, 
and every connected region becomes an object of particular 

*' The Elbe claims peculiar distinction among the rivers of 
Europe, not merely from its commercial importance, but as 
the boundary of the Roman conquests towards the North ; for 
there the veteran troops whom Drusus had long led to victory, 
were awed, under the command of Tiberius, by the warlike 
appearance of the Saxon hosts, frowning defiance from its 
northern banks. From this once sacred stream to the western 
shores of the Baltic, decisive marks of human industry arc 
every where displayed, whether in the crowded streets and 
stately buildings of the proud commercial city, or in the cul- 
tured fields and rustic habitations of the adjacent plains. A 
general view of this important country, as it appeared during 
a short but recent excursion, and a more minute description 
of these two great commercial emporiums, which once formed 
distinguished membei-s of the Hanseatic league, and still retain 
the name of independent cities *, may not, at this moment, be 

* Hamburgh and Lubeck. 


tlevoid of interest with the British public, however feeble the 
abilities of the writer, or inadequate his information concerning 
objects he is thus attempting to describe. 

" I embarked on board a small merchant-vessel, early in the 
-month of April, which, taking her departure from ****#**• 
******, in the North of England, with light and variable 
breezes : made, during the sixth night of her voyage, the 
light-house on Heligoland. This important beacon for all 
vessels whose course is directed to the Eyder, the Weser, or 
the Elbe, presents itself at the distance of five or six leagues in 
clear weather, rises 240 feet above the flat surface of the island, 
and is kept burning during the whole year. Though now the 
residence of none but fishermen or pilots, Heligoland, or Holy 
Island (probably deriving its name from some monastic foun- 
dation), claims consideration in the annals of Europe durino- 
the darkness of the middle ages. It was an important station 
of the Anglo-Saxons previous to their settlement in Britain, 
and a terror to Europe during the subsequent depredations of 
the lawless pirates of the North. Situated in 54° 11' north 
latitude, and in 8° 33' longitude east from the meridian of 
Greenwich, it affords shelter and anchorage, in times of dan- 
ger, both behind its eastern cliffs and in the channel, three 
quarters of a mile in breadth, which now divides it from the 
once contiguous sand-downs. Subjected for some years to the 
Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp, it became finally dependent on the 
Crown of Denmark in 1714. The navigation, in these parts, 
is rendered peculiarly difficult by the force and rapidity of the 
currents, when these are not surmounted by a strong and steady 
breeze. We were consequently plying for many hours, 
alternately favoured and retarded by each of these contending 
elements, before we were enabled to anchor for the night at 
the mouth of the Elbe. 

" At the dawn of day, on Sunday the 10th of April, we 
took a pilot from the hoy stationed near the red buoy, and 
with a flowing tide, and a favourable west wind, rapidly 
ascended the river. Passinir the beacons at Nicuwerk, and the 


town of Cuxhaven, a small dependency of Hamburgh, from 
whence the principal communication between England and the 
North of Europe has been hitherto maintained, we coasted 
along the flat shores of Hanover*, which present a frequent 
recurrence of villages, houses, windmills, and churches, but are 
very sparingly decorated with wood. Still more bare, but 
equally populous, the coast of Holstein, once the principal 
residence of our Saxon ancestors, gradually rose above the 
horizon, and marked the bounds of the majestic river, through 
which we smoothly glided with the ascending tide. The chan- 
nel is carefully marked out with black and white buoys, placed 
in regular succession from the mouth of the river, alternately 
verging towards either shore. About two P.M. we conse- 
quently approached the coast of Holstein, and afterwards 
changed our pilot at the creek near the village of St. Margaret, 
Before the ebbing tide obliged us to bring up for the night, we 
passed Gluckestadt, one of the principal cities in this territory, 
situated on the river Storre, a stream which once gave the 
name of Stormania to that division of Holstein which is situated 
towards the east. A thick mist after sunrise prevented our 
taking advantage of the earliest flood, and the morning was far 
spent before we reached Stadt, a city in the Hanoverian terri- 
tories, where a toll is collected from all vessels passing up the 
Elbe, to the annual amount, I believe, of eighty thousand 
pounds sterling. The ships of England and Hamburgh alone 
are excused from anchoring here ; but a boat is regularly dis- 
patched from the guard-ship to convey a messenger with their 
papers to the shore. 

* The roads in this coumry, if we may give unlimited credit to travellers, who, having 
reached Cuxhaven in the English packets, pursue their journey from thence to Ham- 
burgh by land, are execrably had, the carriages in the highest degree inconvenient, and 
the landlords imposing knaves. But ought we not to make some allowance for the 
chagrin of those who probably fur the first time exchange the ease of a stage-coach, and 
the accommodations of an English inn, for the jolting of a stoi>l-waggnn, and the enter- 
tainment of a German post-house ? For such, therefore, ivho cannot, or who will not, 
submit patiently to the inconveniencies of the only modes of land-travelling this country 
affords, it ia more advisable to proceed, if the wind permits, by water, either in the 
packet-boat lately established between Hainbiirgli and Cuxhaven, or in such other con- 
veyance as opportunity presents. 


" The country on both sides now assumes a more engaging 
aspect ; frequent groves contribute to enlivfen the scenery, and 
the dull uniformity of a flat surface is interrupted by the view 
of distant hills. But slimy marshes here occur more frequently 
on either coast ; and strong embankments are necessary, in 
many places, to prevent the encroachments of the river. To 
the. great detriment of the navigation of this important river, 
and perhaps to the still greater annoyance of the anxious tra- 
veller, the principal bars in the Elbe occur in the environs of 
Blankenese, and almost within prospect of the wished-for 
port. On some of these the water is so shoal as to render the 
passage of loaded vessels impracticable, except when the tide is 
at its height. In other places, the channel in this spacious 
stream is so narrow as to render a beating-passage difficult, 
more especially where its winding course changes every mo- 
ment the track of the vessel, and a hilly coast occasions a 
frequent recurrence of variable winds. Wind and tide being 
thus equally requisite to ensure an expeditious voyage, with a 
favourable breeze, the vessel is too frequently detained for want 
of water ; and at the height of the flood-tide, impeded by light 
and variable winds» Such was precisely our case ; for we 
experienced each varying hindrance, as we approached or 
passed Blankenese, a chain of barren hills, which we had seen 
in distant prospect, and which rise on the coast of Holstein, 
from the margin of the stream. A large village, the residence 
of fishermen or pilots, whose boats were moored along the 
shore, is situated in the hollows towards the eastern extremity, 
whilst some more conspicuous buildings crown the summits of 
these hills. The lofty towers of Hamburgh now rose in dis- 
tant prospect ; and as we advanced, the rattling of carriages 
upon the shore announced the near approach to this distin- 
guished city. But the wind was still light and variable, the 
flood-tide was almost done, and it was scarcely probable the 
vessel could reach her port before the close of day. 

" Expressing a wish to land, I was readily accommodated 
with the boat, and in a few minutes landed at the Devil's 

I 4 


Bridge, a small village in Holstcin, situated immediately on the 
beach. After walking about two hundred paces, I ascended a 
rising ground to the eastward, and soon found myself in the 
midst of a spacious road, fringed with gardens, which were 
decorated with houses both of wood and stone, pavilions, and 
various other ornaments, in the fashion of the country. I pro- 
ceeded along a spacious causeway, alternately losing and 
regaining very beautiful prospects of the Elbe. The road 
was covered with carriages, some of them in the fashion of 
England, but for the most part long wicker baskets, capable of 
holding with ease ten or a dozen people, and all crammed with 
a promiscuous concourse of men, women, and children, driving 
furiously towards the city. Though the rapid succession of 
these vehicles covered me continually with dust, the direction 
they all moved in rendered me perfectly easy with regard to 
the road I had taken ; for though a stranger to the country, I 
determined not uselessly to betray my ignorance by the inac- 
curacy of the dialect in which, for the first time, I should 
attempt to converse. 

" Several houses of entertainment, all thronged with visitors, 
occurred successively upon the road. It was the festival of 
Easter Monday : the demon of commerce was asleep, and the 
Hamburghers were all making merry. As I advanced, a 
nmltitude of foot-passengers, continually augmenting, joined 
upon the road. With them I paraded through the Paille 
Maille, and various streets of Altona, and passed the sentry 
stationed at the eastern extremity of this city. We proceeded 
along a stately walk leading through a sandy plain, about a 
quarter of a mile in length, towards the gates of Hamburgh, 
which I entered unnoticed with the crowd. 

" The silence I had hitherto preserved could now no longer 
serve me : the day was drawing to a close, and I wanted lodg- 
ings for the night. After some ineflcctual efforts to procure a 
direction to some merchants for whom I had letters of intro- 
duction, or to the Kaiser's Hof, the hotel at which I intended 
to fix my quarters, I casually rencountered an English ac- 
(juaintance. After exciting titc abtonishment of one of his 


companions (at least so the gentleman pretended) at my bold- 
ness, in thus daring to enter Hamburgh, a stranger and alone, 
I was enabled, by my countryman's assistance, to procure a 
porter, and particular directions for every gentleman to whom 
I was addressed. Fortunately one of these (for on a holiday it 
was doubtful) I found at home ; and, after delivering my cre- 
dentials, was by him conducted to the Kaiser's Hof." 

After a residence of some duration in England, Mr. Meadley 
in 1809, published « Memoirs of William Paley, D.D,," 
which were inscribed " To the Friends of Civil and Religious 
Liberty, of Private Happiness and Public Virtue." He 
laments, that after the lapse of three years, such slight notice 
has been taken of a Divine, whose character as a man, and 
services as an author, stand in high estimation. 

** It often happens," observes he, " that the cast of an 
aulhor's sentiments may be traced to something peculiar in the 
liabits or situation of the man. It is often lamented that the 
man should be very unlike the author. But in the case of 
Dr. Paley, the author is a genuine, grave, and dignified exhi- 
bition of the man himself; and those who knew him personally 
enjoy much more vividly, on that very account, every quaint- 
ness of phrase, and every shrewdness of remark, that occurs in 
his writings. 

" His biography, therefore, should by no means bo com- 
I)Osed on too solemn and sombre a plan ; for unless his ori- 
ginality and humour in common life be brought forward, 
there is no clue to discover the sources of that strong home- 
touch of his pen, that iwacticality and tact in his reasoning, 
in which he has been very rarely excelled. Hence, the lighter 
anecdotes related in these iricmoirs, became necessary to a just 
delineation of his character, though their undue intrusion has 
been avoided, as they form the relief rather than the ground- 
work of the design." 

William Paley was born in Peterborough in July, 1743, his 
father being a minor canon of that cathedral. He is repre- 
sented as a boy of groat promise iVom his early youth. He 
was sent to Cambridge in 1751), at the age of sixteen; on 


iccasion, his father observed to a pupil, " My son is- 
sc, !<» college; he'll turn out a great man, — very great 
indeed. I'm very certain of it ; for he has by far the clearest 
head I ever met with in my life." 

"While resident there, much agitation took place on the part 
of those who prayed for relief from a subscription to articles 
of faith as practised by the church of England. Young Paley 
appeared friendly to their views ; but when urged to join, he 
used jocularly to allege in excuse for his refusal, that " he 
could not afford to keep a conscience ! " 

Having become chaplain to the celebrated Dr. Law, Bishop 
of Carlisle, he soon after preached an ordination sermon, in 
which he insisted, that " frugality is a virtue of the first im- 
portance :" he, at the same time, inculcated the advantage of 
** learning to live alone," since retirement is the foundation of 
ahnost every other good habit. 

After being presented, in succession, with the respectable 
ecclesiastical appointments of Archdeacon and Chancellor of 
Carlisle, Dr. Paley most unexpectedly obtained from Dr. 
Barrington, the present Bishop of Durham, the valuable 
rectory of Bishop Wearmouth, estimated at 1200/. per 

It was during his residence there that Mr. Meadley became 
first known to him. " The writer of these Memoirs, who, during 
the period of his acquaintance with Dr. Paley, made three 
separate excursions into foreign countries, generally underwent 
the most minute investigations after his return. On their first 
interview, after a voyage of several months to the South of Italy 
and the Levant, Dr. Paley pressed him with a succession of 
enquiries, both as to the direct objects of his attention and 
incidental occurrences, during many hours ; nor was the dis- 
course closed even then, but was fre(]uently renewed in 
conversation afterwards. The queries thus proposed were 
pertinent, often very forcibly expressed, and pointing to the 
answer required, but by no means methodically pursued. It 
is much to be lamented that the heads of such conversations 
could not be accurately preserved ; for they were strongly 


marked with Dr. Paley's keen and sagacious manner of put- 
ting questions, and with his extraordinary grasp of intellect." 

The author concludes his interesting volume, with a very 
favourable character of his ecclesiastical friend, whom he 
praises for having discharged all the offices of life with distin- 
guished reputation. He was a good husband, an excellent 
father, and a warm-hearted friend ; and his charity was sp 
extensive as even to include the street beggar. 

" Few men," we are told, " enjoyed the pleasures of life 
with greater zest than Dr. Paley ; few men bore more firmly 
with its pains. He always appeared well satisfied with the lot 
assigned him, and in all the changes of his fortune, attributed 
more to the munificence of his patron, than to his own deserts. 
His hfe he often stated to have been a happy one, and his suc- 
cess to have far exceeded his most sanguine hopes. His early 
preferments he deemed a liberal provision, much exceeding, 
his pretensions ; and the ecclesiastical situations in which he 
was afterwards placed, as more than adequate to every object 
of reasonable ambition.* 

" Dr. Paley, indeed, could never be deemed a preferment- 
hunter in any period of his life ; he was not of a nature to 
take root ,• he had a mind superior to all those little arts, by 
which patronage is too frequently acquired. The patronage 
actually bestowed on him, was either the fruit of private 
friendship, or the reward of great and universally acknow- 
ledged merit. That such a man, in this enlightened age 
and nation, was not advanced to a bishopric, will ever remain 
an indelible blot on the character of those, who dispensed the 
honours of the British hierarchy during his latter years. It 
has, however, been reported that a late prime minister did ac- 
tually ivcnii.mend him for a vacant mitre; but that a very 
high dignitary of the church being consulted, prevented his 
elevation by hinting against some passages in his works. His 
most important services to Christianity were therefore, as it 

* Natural Theolopy, Dedication, p. iv. 


seems, neglected ; because, in one department of his loritings, 
he had boldly maintained the claims of conscience and reli- 
gious liberty ; and, in another, had given a forcible expression 
to some obvious but uncourtly truths. 

" The promotion of Dr. Paley to a bishopric, would have 
done honour to the administration of Mr. Pitt, as it might 
justly have been attributed to disinterested motives. But, un- 
fortunately for the reputation of the premier, and for the pub- 
lic interest, whilst men, whom it is no disparagement to call 
inferior, were successively raised to that dignity, Dr. Paley 
passed through life in comparatively private stations, and died' 
a rector, a prebendary, and a sub-dean. 

** But the truly liberal, of his own and succeeding times, 
will confer the highest honours on his name. They will ever 
rank him in the number of those who, by the exertions of a 
clear and vigorous understanding, have risen to the office of 
instructing nations, and of contributing, by their wisdom, to be- 
nefit the most essential interests of mankind." 

Soon after the death of that very extraordinary woman, 
Mrs. Jebb, Mr. Meadley, at the request of a gentleman, men- 
tioned in the following dedication, undertook to write her life. 


The Reverend JOHN DISNEY, D.D. F.S.A. 




Dr. jebb, 

these memoirs 








We arc told, by way of introduction, that " to preserve 
the memory of departed worth, and more especially to dis- 
play the advantages of intellectual and moral culture, and 
their united influence in alleviating the pains of bodily suf- 
fering, and making age at once happy and venerable, is the 
object of these brief memoirs." The maiden name of Mrs. 
Jebb, was Ann Torkington : she was the eldest daughter of 
the Reverend James Torkington, by Lady Dorothy Sherard, 
daughter of Philip, second Earl of Harborough. The birth 
of this accomplished female took place, November 9, 1785, 
at King's Rippon in Huntingdonshire, of which her father 
was rector. 

" As her education was for the most part private, and her 
early life passed chiefly in retirement, her manners, when she 
was first introduced into society, were unusually timid and re- 
served. But by cultivating a turn for reading and reflection 
she had so sedulously improved herself, as to display, even 
then, the promise of a vigorous and comprehensive mind. 
In person, she was thin and small ; her complexion was pale 
and wan, indicating a very delicate constitution ; but her 
figure and her hand were elegantly formed, and her counte- 
nance, beaming with animation and benevolence, was strik- 
ingly characteristic of her heart. 

" At a ball in Huntingdon, she was introduced to Mr. 
Jebb, a young clergyman, residing at Cambridge, as a private 
tutor in the university, and a fellow of Peter House. As 
* their hearts and understandings were formed for each other,' 
a mutual attachment soon ensued, and they were married 
December 29, 1764?, when Mr. Jebb had been recently pre- 
sented to his first preferment in the Church. His connection 
with. the university, however, was not closed with the loss of 
the fellowship, and his lectures on mathematics and theology 
were, for several years, most respectably attended. Amongst 
his friends and pupils he was highly and deservedly esteemed, 
as well for the superiority of his talents and attainments, as 
for the integrity of his principles and the manly independence 


of his mind. In Mrs. Jebb, he had cliosen a companion of sen- 
timents and feelings congenial to his own, and regarding her 
with the liveliest affection, he consulted her opinion on every 
subject in which he was successively engaged." 

This accomplished lady now presided over the " tea parties!' 
at which her husband and herself were accustomed to receive 
their friends; her conversation, we are told, and, indeed, we our- 
selves know, was sprightly, argumentative, and profound ; and 
it was soon discovered by her friends, that such superior powers 
of female intellect were, by no means, inconsistent with the 
liveliest sensibilities of a female heart. On all occasions, she 
was an able advocate for, and gave the most decided support 
to the opinions of heu husband, both ecclesiastical and 

*< At length," observes her biographer, " the great contro- 
versy on the propriety of receiving subscription to articles of 
faith, as practised by the Church of England, led to a more 
general display of those abilities, which had hitherto been con- 
fined to the intercourse of her private life. Mr. Jebb, con- 
ceiving every attempt to interfere with the rights of conscience 
in the interpretation of Scripture, to be an infringement of the 
true protestant principles, was one of the most active of the 
clerical petitioners, vindicating, in the boldest language, the 
justice of their claim to relief; and Mrs. Jebb, who entered 
into all his feelings, was equally strenuous in their support : 
by turns appalling the most formidable champions of subscrip- 
tion, whose productions appeared, like her own, in the nexvs- 
p'aperSi or whose sa-rnotis and charges more openly provoked 
her attack. Amongst others, she repeatedly addressed her- 
self to Dr. Randolph (the President of C. C. C, and Arch- 
deacon of Oxford,) Dr. Hallifax (aftei-wards Bishop of St. 
Asaph), and Dr. Balguy (Archdeacon of Winchester), in the 
London Chronicle, under the signature of Priscilla, detecting 
the weak point of their argum(jnt, and exposing the sophistry 
by which it was maintained. But superior to the little arts of 
controversy, she defended her cause by reasoning alone. 



' Calumny,' she observed in her letter to Dr. Hallifax, March 
24, 1772, ' never gained a disciple, never satisfied a doubting 
mind; invectives may harden, but can never enlighten lh6 
understanding ; no difficulty was ever solved by abuse.' 

" Are you, Dr. Hallifax," continued she, " acquainted with 
the petitioners ? If you are, I think you must know them to 
be worthy of your esteem. If you know them not, why call 
you them perfidious ? Why talk of their malignity ? Their 
ignorance of antiquity ? Why think you that they have an 
overweening fondness for novelties ; and say that they use un- 
due arts to mislead the rising generation, and to bring in 
damnable heresies ? Have they published their opinions ? If 
so, you should have directed us to their works. Or have you 
been intimately connected with them ? Have you been in- 
dulged with their private thoughts, and under the mask of 
friendship dived into the secrets of their soul ? And do you 
thus requite their confidence ? It cannot be ; the honest heart 
shudders at the base idea ! The serpent who beguiled Eve 
would not be more dangerous than such a man. No, it is im- 
possible; it is report alone that has raised the alarm of danger 
to religion ; you suddenly started up to combat an imagined 
foe ; and perceived not, till you had discharged your enve- 
nomed darts, that you wasted them in air." 

Dr. Hallifax, we are told, felt the keenness of " Pi-iscilla's" 
pen so poignantly, that he called on Wilkie, the publisher, to 
advise him " to print no more of her letters, for it was only 
Jebb's wife ;" and in her reply to Dr. Randolph's charge, it 
was so completely answered by this distinguished female, that 
Dr. Paley, " both quaintly and happily observed on the occa- 
sion, * the Lord hath sold Siscra into the hands of a iscomanJ* 

Mr. Jebb, having declared in favour of annual examinations 
at Cambridge, his wife very ably supported him on this occa- 
sion ; and when, in consequence of his belief in the divine 
unity^ he grew uneasy under the discharge of his clerical du- 
ties she most heartily concurred in the resignation of his pre- 
ferments in September, 1775. After this they removed to 


London, where Mr. Jebb, having obtahicd a diploma from St.. 
Andrews, practised as a physician. They now frequented the 
chapel where the late JNIr. Lindsey in Essex then preached, 
and cultivated an intimacy with the archdeacon Black- 
burne and Dr. Priestley. 

Both aUke reprobated the war of coercion, just under- 
taken against America ; took a leading part in the nieiisurcs 
then adopte<l for a reform in parliament ; and in all the great 
constitutional questions which were agitated in the public 
prints. " Amongst these the liberties of the Irish were pre- 
eminent, from the formidable attitude which that nation had 
of late assumed ; and they were amongst the first to point out 
the propriety of admitting the Roman Catholics to the full 
enjoyment of the elective franchise, as a means of consolidat- 
ino- their recently acquired independence, and of interesting 
every portion of the inhabitants in pursuit of the much wished 
reform. For a time, they concurred in applauding the prin- 
ciples and conduct of Mr. Fox ; and again in condemning the 
apparent desertion of those principles, on the ill fated coalition 
with Lord North, in 1783. And yet, when Dr. Jebb, in a de- 
sponding moment, was lamenting that great man as irretriev- 
ably lost to the cause of freedom, his wife encouraged him 
never to despair ; " for Mr. Fox, she was convinced, on some 
happier • occasion, would prove himself still worthy of his 
former fame." 

" But they were far from being deluded by the speciqus 
pretences of Mr. Pitt, whose sincerity they doubted, and whose 
new connexions they deemed, on the whole, as objectionable as 
those in which his rival were involved. As a reformer, indeed, 
Dr. Jebb had approved Mr. Pitt's early exertions, and, on 
his first appearance as a candidate jo represent the University 
of Cambridge, had given him a decided support ; but after- 
wards, on his elevation to the premiership, he saw so much to 
disapprove in his proceedings, that he was actually hesitating 
to vote for him, when Mrs. Jebb observed, that * as he pro- 
mised fairly, she thought a fair trial, at least, should be given 


him.* They were also sufficiently aware, that it was a contest 
for power, rather than for principle, in which the opposing 
papties were engaged, and saw much stronger grounds of alarm 
than of satisfaction in the conduct of either side. And they 
were consequently very desirous that the real friends of liberty 
should withhold their support from any administration which 
might be formed, until the members should decidedly declare 
their resolution to bring forward and carry into effect a sub- 
tantial reform in the constitution of the house of commons." 

The following passages, also extracted from Mr. Meadley's 
work, will still further elucidate the opinions of both, while 
they record the death of one of the parties. 

" On their return from an excursion to Buxton, in the au- 
tumn of 1784, their attention was again directed to the great 
cause of parliamentary reform, while, from the alarming pro- 
ceedings of the government in Ireland, tliey were induced to 
form no very favourable presage of the intentions of the mi- 
nistry at home. They were led into a discussion of the 
RIGHTS OF JURIES and the law of libels, from the me- 
morable case of the Dean of St. Asaph, and the important 
questions which that case involved. They took, if possible, a 
still more lively interest in the benevolent design of improving 
the construction and management of prisons, and of mitigating 
the severities of the penal code. And, as the decided enemies 
of oppression and intolerance, they deprecated the continuance 
of the slave trade, and the imposition of any restraints or 
penalties, for a difference of religious faith. No disappoint-- 
ments, no illiberal aspersions, could narrow the philanthropy 
of their hearts ; looking forward in the firm persuasion, that 
under the care of a presiding Providence, all things would 
ultimately and infallibly terminate in good. 

« Mrs. Jebb's affection for her husband, thus identified with 
her love of freedom and of virtue, was unimpaired by the lapse 
of years. But a union of this deep and intimate nature, was 
too soon unfortunately closed. Dr. Jebb, whose professional 
and public exertions had brought on a premature decay in 

VOL. IV. K. 


his constitution, was sinking fast in a decline, and his af- 
flicted wife, after attending him in a fruitless excursion to 
Cheltenham for relief, watched over his pillow with most 
anxious solicitude, and received his last sigh on the evening of 
March 2, 1786." 

After a long and painful interyal of grief for the loss of so 
excellent a husband, this lady soon evinced, that her zeal in 
the cause of civil and religious liberty had experienced no 
abatement. During the combat about the regency, in 1789, 
she saw indeed, in the conduct of both parties, much more to 
censure than to approve, and she considered them as still en- 
gaged in a mere contest for place. She deprecated the doc- . 
trine of hereditary right , as advanced by Mr. Fox, though she 
considered it as expedient to invest the heir-apparent with 
the royal powers. She had no objection to the restrictions 
proposed by Mr. Pitt, which she thought strictly consti- 
tutional; but she was very far indeed from approving the 
whole of his proceedings. 

" Mrs. Jebb had already hailed the auspicious dawn of the 
French revolution, and sympathised in the emancipation of a 
great people from despotic power. Having deprecated the 
attempt of the allied sovereigns to restore the degrading yoke 
of the Bourbons, with every friend to freedom and humanity, 
she rejoiced in their defeat. She lamented still more the rash 
determination of her own country, to take a part in their 
iniquitous design, and saw no glory or advantage in the most 
successful warfare, which could in any respect compensate for 
the misery and desolation to which it must inevitably lead. 
And, therefore, during the alarm, which in 17i>2 was so art- 
fully excited, to cover the apostacy of Mr. Pitt from the cause 
of reform, and to involve England in the intrigues of the 
continent, she endeavoured to dispel the public infatuation, 
and to induce a more calm and dispassionate consideration of 
the real dangers to be apprehended from the delusions of the 
day. In two spirited and judicious letters, addressed under 
popular titles, to " John Bull^ from one of his brethren," she 



opposed the absurd reasoning of the alarmists, with equal vi- 
vacity and shrewdness : and, vindicating the great cause of public 
freedom, she deprecated the idea of interfering in the concerns 
of the French republic, and pointed out the calamities which 
must result from a war as unnecessary as unjust." 

Meanwhile, it seems Mr. Fox was gradually regaining the 
place which he had originally held in this lady's esteem. At a 
latter period she lamented his rapidly declining health, and 
wished most heartily that he might live to make a peace ; an 
event, on the completion of which, the wishes of that great 
statesman were most ardently bent. When he was no more, 
she turned her eyes towards Mr. Whitbread and Sir Samuel 
Romilly, whom she described as " continuing honest." 

After a long and painful illness, accompanied by a confine- 
ment of many years, Mrs. Jebb died at her house in Half- 
Moon-Street, Piccadilly, January 20, IS 12; and we have 
been the more particular concerning her life, and quoted 
more fully from her biography, as this work has never been 
regularly published, and is therefore in the hands of a few 
of her friends, one of whom has been kind enough to transmit 
a copy. 

In ]813 Mr. Meadley published his " Memoirs of Algernon 
Sydney," which he dedicated to the Rev. John Disney, 
D. D. F. S. A. " on account of his steady attachment to the 
cause of civil and religious liberty, and the early sacrifice 
made to conscience and to principle." 

Our author laments, that while the name of Algernon 
Sydney has been held out as an example of pure and disin- 
terested patriotism, so little should have been known of his 
personal history. The meagre detail of Collins has been 
chiefly followed by every subsequent writer, notwithstanding 
the numerous and important documents since presented to the 
public. An enlarged view of his life and character has, 
therefore, long been wanting to remove the prejudices of the 
ignorant, and to strengthen the attachment of more generous 

K 2 


" In attempting to supply this obvious desideratum in our 
national literature, the present writer has spared no pains in 
his enquiries after new and important facts. And, notwith- 
standino- many disappointments, he trusts that some curious 
and interesting information will be found to have rewarded 
his research. If, indeed, he had fortunately succeeded in re- 
covering Sydney's letters to his uncle, the Earl of Northum- 
berland, or those successively addressed to Sir John and Sir 
William Temple, he might have done greater justice to the 
theme. But whilst every attention was paid to his enquiries, 
by the noble families in whose possession there seemed to be 
the greatest probability of their being still preserved, no traces 
of these letters could be found. 

" The author's access to manuscript authorities has con- 
sequently been confined to a few documents which still remain 
at Penshurst, unnoticed or misquoted by Collins ; and such, as 
being deposited in the public offices, which are now, for the first 
time, presented to the world. But he has endeavoured to 
supply the defect of original information, by a careful search 
after all that is contained in the histories, or even in the 
journals of the times : and he has neglected no means of pro- 
curing either facts or illustrations which might tend to the 
impi'ovement of his work, ever remembering the chief duty of 
a hiograplm-y to trace the progress of his hero through sur- 
rounding circumstances, and not too minutely to detail the 
story of his age." 

The Sydneys, or Sidneys, as they formerly denominated 
themselves, were originally of French extraction. They settled 
in England in the reign of Henry II., at which period, one of 
that family (Sir "William) accompanied the king as his cham- 
berlain from Anjou. They chiefly resided in the counties of 
Sussex and Surrey until the reign of Edward VI., who in 
1.552, was pleased to reward the services of his tutor, Sir Wil- 
liam Sydney with the forfeited park and manor of Penshurst, 
in Kent, on which they removed to Sussex. His son, Sir 
Henry, was for many years chief-governor of Ireland ; one 


of his grandsons was the gallant and accomplished Sir Philip; 
and Sir Robert, another, obtained the honours of the peerage 
from James I., first as Baron Sydney, of Penshurst, and after- 
wards as Viscount Lisle and Earl of Leicester. 

Algernon, the second son of Robert, the second Earl of 
Leicester, by the Lady Dorothy Percy, daughter of Henry, 
Earl of Northumberland, was born in 1622; and it is no 
less surprising than true, that the precise month and day has 
never been ascertained by the present or any former bio- 
grapher. Descended from a line of ancestors, distinguished 
no less by the splendour of their family alliances, than the 
eminent virtues displayed, and the high offices exercised by 
them, this youth soon exhibited talents of no ordinary kind. 
During the unhappy civil wars, he took part with the parlia- 
ment, and enjoyed high military rank both in England and 
Ireland. When it was proposed by the ruling party to bring 
Charles to trial, his name was included in the list of judges ; 
but although he was present at one or two meetings of the 
commissioners, yet he declined to sit in judgment on his sove- 
reign. Notwithstanding this, on the restoration, he was 
obliged to live a considerable time, as an exile, in foreign 
countries, and was on^ permitted to return, at the request of 
his dying father. Being afterwards included in the act of in- 
demnity, he resided in his native country, until cut off, during 
the reign of Charles IL, by one of the most flagitious violations 
of justice that ever disgraced any state in Christendom. 

It is supposed that Algernon Sydney gave great offence to 
the court, by his answer to Filmer, in which he not only 
maintained the doctrine of resistance to tyranny, but the right 
of the people " to change the families or persons who abused 
the power with which they had been entrusted." The perjury 
employed to cut him off"; the nomination of a packed jury 
by a sheriff" of London ; the brutal conduct of Sir George 
Jefferies, by constantly interrupting the prisoner in his de- 
fence, as well as by the virulence of his charge ; his subse- 
quent conviction and execution; are all facts well known to 
the pubHc. Indeed, in the reign of William III., the attain- 

K 3 


der was reversed, and the whole of the proceedings, on this 
memorable occasion, obliterated from the public records. 

The name of the presiding judge has been long held in 
execration. We are told, indeed, " that the inhuman JefFeries 
boasted to the king of the important services he had ren- 
dered him by such a gross violation of law and decency ; and 
is said to have been afterwards rewarded for such services, 
with a present of a valuable ring !" 

After estimating his various claims as a patriot, an author, 
and a statesman, his biographer concludes as follows : 

" Such was Algernon Sydney ; such, by the liberal and en- 
lightened, has he ever been esteemed. His little errors are 
lost in the blaze of transcendent genius ; of virtues, such as fall 
not to the common lot of man ! Let those who calumniate his 
character, and revile his principles, remember, that to the 
practical assertion of those very principles, at the revolution, 
England has owed her best superiority over the nations of 

" If he formed too favourable an opinion of the dignity of 
human nature, and recommended a freedom too pure and too 
lofty for the passions and prejudices of the mass of mankind; 
it was the error of a mind sublime an*' generous : the greatest 
benefactors of their species have uniformly cherished an equal 
enthusiasm. And while the censures of the venal and the base 
are heard of but for a moment, the name of Sydney will live 
in the memory of the just, and his conduct will excite the 
emulation of the honourable ; while his character and prin- 
ciples will be applauded by every friend to the liberties of 

" And if, in the revolving annals of her history, that day 
shall ever anive, when the despotic prince and the profli- 
gate minister shall again prompt the patriot of noble birth to 
do or to die for his country ; then may the image of Algernon 
Sydney rise up to his admiring eye ; and against the darkness 
of fate, whether its smile or his frown awaits his " well-con- 
sidered enterprise," let him fortify its spirit by an example of 
magnanimity so choice and so complete." 


Meanwhile the health of Mr. Meadley began sensibly to 
decline, notwithstanding which he had enffajred in a life of his 
friend, the late Dr. Disney. This, however, he never lived to 
complete; for, after a lingering illness, he expired towards 
tlie conclusion of 1818, to the great sorrow of his family and 

Inscription Tablet^ now placed in the Sunderland StdjscrijHion 
. Library, hj a Vote of a General Meeting, Dec. 22. 1818. 




WHO DIED 28th NOV. 1818, IN THE 45th YEAR OF HIS AGE, 


The following composition, which first appeared in a 
periodical publication, was afterwards printed for the use of, 
and circulated among his friends, by one of whom it has been 
kindly communicated to us. 


At Bishop- Wearmouth, on Saturday last, after a short but severe 
illness, aged 45, George Wilson Meadley, Esq. author of the Me- 
moirs of Dr. Paley, Algernon Sydney, &c. He was endowed with 
an acute and comprehensive understanding; his mind was stored 
with the treasures of literature in a degree seldom attained but by 
the most painful and laborious application ; and his memory was 

K 1 


^so powerful and tenacious that he could recal at pleasure the de- 
tails of any event, or the contents of any book that had ever en- 
gaged his attention. 

He had perhaps read more than any man of his j'ears, and yet 
his mental arrangement was so clear and distinct, that his ideas 
were always expressed with firmness and decision ; and on the sub- 
ject of general literature his authority was unquestionable. 

** In his opinions he was liberal, although it must be acknow- 
ledged that on some subjects, (of which he was undoubtedly the 
master,) his manner occasionally betrayed a conscious superiority; 
but, with his great and universal acquirements, some shade is ne- 
cessary to complete the picture. 

" Of the merit of the two works above mentioned the public 
have formed a favourable opinion, and a second edition of the for- 
mer is nearly exhausted. If the language of this interesting me- 
moir has been considered occasionally deficient in the graces of 
harmonious diction, it is sufficiently compensated by an inflexible 
adherence to truth ; and by a determined expression of exalted 
and manly sentiment. The Life of Sydney is remarkable for per- 
spicuity of arrangement and energy of style ; and the political opi- 
nions of the author are fully expressed in this bold and vigorous 
sketch. Of his minor tracts and fugitive pieces it is feared no cer- 
tain account has been preserved. — A Memoir of Mrs. Jebb, how- 
ever, is entitled to distinct notice, from its dignified and chastened 
feeling. It was intended * to preserve the memory of departed 
worth,' and was dedicated, with much propriety, to Dr. Disney, 
who was one of the author's literary friends. In the manner and 
deportment of Mr. Meadley there were certain peculiarities, which 
generally accompany studious habits, but which gradually wear 
away by the collision of polished society. In his general habits he 
was cheerful and communicative ; and in his domestic life, he was 
a warm friend, a kind brother, and an affectionate son. — His re- 
mains were interred in the burial-ground of the family in Sunder- 
land church-yard, attended by a numerous train of friends, who 
spontaneously joined the funeral procession, to pay their last and 
melancholy tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased." 

Thus died, at the age of 45, George Wilson Meadley, a 
man original in his manners, character, and modes of life. 
In respect to religion, he was an Unitarian ; in politics, he 
was a Whig of the last century : he deemed the crimes of 
Charles I. deserving of his fate ; of course, he venerated the 
memory of Hampden, Sidney, and all the patriots of that day, 
who contributed to his fall. William III. hi his eyes appeared 


a hero ; and he hailed that revolution, which, altering the or- 
dinary mode of succession, expelled James II. from the throne, 
and drove him into exile. Faithful to his principles, he con- 
templated with equal pride and pleasure that second revolu- 
tion which seated the present illustrious house of Brunswick 
on the throne, and, by limiting the prerogatives of our kings, 
rendered their reigns n^ore safe and durable. 

As a writer, Mr. Meadley rather studied to be useful 
than elegant. His sentiments were bold and manly; and 
he discovered on every occasion an inflexible adherence to 
truth. He delighted greatly in history, and was enabled, by 
a retentive memory, to shine in conversation, when that sub- 
ject happened to be introduced. But most of his compositions 
were of a different description ; and it must be allowed that 
in the lives of Algernon Sidney, Dr. Paley, and Mrs. Jebb, he 
has added considerably to the stock of English Biography. 

List of the Works of the late Mr. Meadley. 

1. Memoirs of Dr. Paley, 2 editions, 1 vol. 8vo., 1st edit. 
1809; 2d edit. 1810. 

2. Memoirs of Algernon Sydney, 1 vol. 8vo. 1813. 

3. A Memoir of Mrs. Jebb, Widow of Dr. John Jebb. 
(It has already been remarked, that this was never published^ 
being printed solely for private distribution.) 

4. A Sketch of various Proposals for a Constitutional Re- 
form in Parliament, from 1770 to 1812. 

5. Collections for a Life of John Hampden. These being 
still incomplete, of course were never published. 

In addition to the above, Mr. Meadley was a frequent con- 
tributor to many periodical publications, particularly the 
" Monthly Magazine." 


No. VII. 

Madame DE FELESSENT, better known by the name 

1 HE English nation has of late both cultivated and patronised a 
taste for music, with a degree of zeal bordering on enthusiasm. 
Distinguished foreigners, male and female, have accordingly 
been invited to this country for upwards of a century, and 
after enchanting the inhabitants of the banks of the Thames 
with Italian melody, have retired to the vicinity of the Arno 
and the Tiber, to spend the remainder of their days in peace, 
luxury, and ease. This country, indeed, can only lay claim 
to one single vocal performer of native gronath^ that can be 
fairly said, to have equalled, nay eclipsed, those prodigies of 
musical science occasionally imported from the other side of 
the Alps. 

Of this singularly gifted female, the ablest singer of her day, 
an^ the richest professional woman in Europe, some memorial 
ought, assuredly, to be transmitted to posterity. But as it is 
difficult to detail some of her adventures, without violating the 
rules of delicacy and decorum, care shall be taken lest any 


thing offensive should make its appearance in a work which, 
while it celebrates genius of every kind, respects morals, and 
lauds all the domestic virtues. 

Elizabeth Weicschell, the subject of this brief memoir, was 
born in London, according to her own statement, in 1 769 ; 
but, on searching the parish register, it will perhaps be disco- 
vered that three or four years may be superadded with- 
out any great violation of truth ; chronological inaccuracies 
have always been deemed pardonable in the fair sex. Talents 
of any kind are not now deemed hereditary ; yet, if a predis- 
positio7i to any particular art, can be supposed to exist in the 
human frame, it will not be difficult to account for the early 
excellence and surprising execution of this celebrated female; 
for both her parents had attained some celebrity in the musical 
world a considerable time before her birth. Her father, Mr. 
Weicschell, who was a native of Germany, had also some pre- 
tensions in point of descent ; for he considered himself as a 
branch of a noble family, and his brother was said to have 
acted in the capacity of a provincial judge at Erbach. Having 
resorted to music as a profession, he soon acquired a consider- 
able degree of skill and execution on several instruments, and 
united himself to a young woman who also excelled in the 
same art. Mrs. Weicschell, however, attained eminence in a 
different branch of it. She was the favourite pupil of John 
Christian Bach*, who came to England in 1 763, and distin- 
guished herself in various concerts, during which that excellent 
master presided. After this we find her in the orchestra at 
Vauxhall Gardens, where she held the rank of first singer for 
many years : many fine songs were composed expressly for 
herf, and, although she never attained the fame of her 
daughter, yet she long enjoyed a certain degree of reputation. 

* The Bachs were a musical family, Jolin Sebastian Bach, the father, became mu- 
sician to the Duke of Saxe Weimar, an! obtained a victory at Diesden, over a famous 
French organist, who had challenged all the German musicians. His two sons, Charles 
and John, were also celebrated perf irmers as well as composers. See Burney's Hist. Mus, 

•f- Among tho:i>, was the ranch admired rondo, 

" In this shady blest retreat." 
One of her contemporaries, describes her style, " as elegant and florid, and her voice 

140 MttS. BlLLlNGTON. 

Miss Weicschell, while yet a child, displayed a decided pro- 
pensity to the profession which had obtained bread and celebrity 
for her parents. Such an early taste for music could not fail 
to be highly gratifying to them both. Her father, in particular, 
was eager to initiate his offspring in the first principles of the 
art, and he waS; seconded on this occasion by his countryman, 
Schriieter, together with some of the first masters of the day, 
who were astonished at her rapid progress and early profi- 
ciency. Those lessons which to most beginners are considered 
as a task, to Eliza Weicschell appeared a pastime. The Piano 
Furtey was deemed a mere toy, a plaything, which, like a doll, 
contributed to her amusement as well as delight, and as the 
keys were incessantly under her fingers, it is but little wonder 
that she obtained all the advantages to be derived from a 
good taste and a brilliant execution. 

The Amateurs were accordingly astonished at her precocity. 
When only seven years old she performed a concerto at the 
little theatre in the Haymarket ; and immediately after attain- 
ing the age of eleven, she evinced both original talents, and a 
double degree of merit, by means of a composition of her own 
production, adapted to her favourite instrument. Her mar- 
riage, too, like her life, may be said to have been musicaly for, 
in direct opposition to the will of her parents, she became 
united to one of the band belonging to Drury Lane. This 
proved to be Mr. John Billington, under whose care she had 
been, in some measure, educated, and who was not insensible 
to those personal attractions which youth, innocence, and 
beauty, then exhibited in a high state of perfection. The 
match, however, did . not prove happy ; for, although both 
were votaries of the god of music, their harmony was but of 
short duration. 

extensive anil melodious ; although she sometimes affected a ready tone, which, at that 
time, was too much the fashion." 

A son and daughter, emulated, and even excelled their parents, so that like the 
Bicht, this also may be truly deemed a musical family. They were extremely fortunate 
too, in another point of view, as they obtained a considerable degree of opulence early 
in life, by meaiu of which they were exempt from ail pecuniary cares. 


Scarcely waiting for the completion of the honey-moon, the 
new-married pair, equally urged by love and poverty, deter- 
mined to leave England. They accordingly repaired to 
Dublin : and it was in the theatre of that metropolis, where 
Mrs. Billington first exerted her vocal powers as an actress. 
Her debut was propitious in no common degree ; and, indeed, 
such acknowledged merits entitled the fair possessor to every 
mark of attention. So great, indeed, was her success, that 
fame soon wafted back the tidings of so brilliant a reception to 
her native country, and Mrs. Billington was accordingly in- 
vited to accept of an engagement at Covent Garden theatre. 
On her arrival in 1 785, the play of " Love in a Village," so 
well calculated for the display of musical powers, was com- 
manded by their Majesties, and the new performer, in the 
character of Rosina, realised the fondest hopes of her numer- 
ous friends and admirers. Our heroine, who possessed a great 
sweetness of voice, accompanied with a considerable portion 
of taste, from this moment was considered as a first-rate 
actress, and in this quality maintained her high reputation 
for a long series of years. 

In the course of the following summer, the subject of the 
present memoir repaired to Paris, for the express purpose of 
completing her studies, under one of the greatest composers 
of the age. We now allude to Sacchini *, who died soon 
after ; she was his last pupil indeed, and derived no small be- 
nefit from his instructions. 

On her return, Mrs. Billington was received with increased 
rapture by crowded audiences, and contributed not a little to 
fill the coffers of Covent Garden theatre by her various at- 
tractions. But while her theatrical fame was on the increase, 

* Mrs. Billington had ihe good fortune to receive the instructions of the first mas- 
ters of her day. Schroeter, was an instrumental performer, celebrated umonj: the ama- 
ttitrs for the exquisiteness of his taste, the delicacy of his touch, and what is termed 
*• an elegant volatility of fingers." y 

Sacchini, a native of Naples^ composed many operas, and, after residing some time in 
London, died at Paris, in 1786. From him she quickly caught "much of that 
pointed expression, neatness of execution, and nameless grace, by which her perform- 
ace was so happily distinguished." 


scandal, which was on the increase also, began to whisper 
away her private character. It is to be hoped that all the' 
stories of that day proceeded from the envy of unsuccessful 
rivals, and that mean wish, which too frequently prevails in 
society, to mortify acknowledged excellence. Be this as it 
may, she quitted England in 1 794, with a professed intention 
to visit Italy. On that occasion she was attended by her hus- 
band, and also her brother Mr. Charles Weicschell, the 
infant associate of her musical studies. He excelled on 
the violin, and by his taste and style of accompanying his 
sister, is thought to have contributed not a little to set off her 
talents to the best advantage. This may be literally stiled a 
musical tmr, and she nmst be acknowledged to have been the 
first Englishwoman, who, in return for the immense sums 
levied by foreign artists in this country, laid the continent 
itself under contribution. The cognoscenti at Milan, Venice, 
Leghorn, Padua, Genoa, Florence, and Trieste, were en- 
raptured with her notes ; they were astonished at her taste : 
they heard and confessed the wonders of voice which they 
almost allowed to surpass every thing hitherto produced on 
their own side of the Alps. But Naples, so renowned for 
musical excellence, became the theatre of her glory. The noted 
Lady Hamilton, then ambassadress from England, imme- 
diately took her accomplished countrywoman under her pro- 
tection, and introduced her at court ! Both the king and 
queen received her with the most marked respect, and lavished 
the most magnificent proofs of high favour and protection. 
Nor were the English, then resident in that city, deficient in 
point of attention. It now became the fashion to entertain 
and patronise Mrs. Billington in a national point of view, as 
well as on account of her own particular excellence. Accord- 
ingly, the royal example was followed by Lady Templeton, 
Lady Palmerston, Lady Gertrude Villars, Lady Grandison, 
and all the English and Irish nobility then residing in that 
part of Italy, who either affected or possessed taste. 

While at Naples, Mr. Billington died suddenly. This cir- 
cumstance was at first attributed at home to assassination, and 


all the horrors of the stiletto were enumerated and aggravated 
in the English newspapers. It appears, however, that he be- 
came a martyr to apoplexy *, with which he was seized while 
walking up stairs, in order to bring down a book of music for 
his wife, and expired on the spot. 

This enchanting Syren did not long remain a widow. By 
the irruption of Buonaparte, at the head of the French army, 
into Italy, she lost a considerable sum of money, to the 
amount of twenty thousand sequins, which had been deposited 
in the bank of Venice ; but nearly at the same time she found 
a second husband, f Monsieur de Felessent, who had ac- 
companied the troops of his native country in the commis- 
sariat department, became exceedingly dear to her, and made 
ample amends for the pecuniary losses experienced on the part 
of his countrymen. He was a handsome man, and possessed 
such fascinations, that his English wife often declared, " she 
was then in love for the first time in her life !" Having re- 
signed his post, they lived for some time together on an estate 
purchased out of the remnant of her wealth, within the ter- 
ritories of Venice. 

Meanwhile the English public was eager to pay homage to 
the talents of a female, who had charmed the Transalpine na- 
tions. Invitations from the managers, accordingly, poured in 
so fast upon her, that it was determined to return to England, 
for the purpose of receiving the golden shower that awaited 
the arrival of this new Danae. Accordingly, leaving her dis- 
consolate husband behind, who appeared extremely reluctant 
at the separation, to superintend her casino, and take care of 
nearly all that remained out of the wreck of her fortune, 
Mrs. Billington, after a cohabitation of about two years and 
a half, re-visited the land that gave her birth. The enchant- 
ress re-appeared at Covent Garden Theatre on the 3d of 


* A dignitary of the Church (,f England, who inhabited part of the hotel, witnessed 
the catastrophe. It occurred afier eating a heariy dinner. As Mrs. Billington was to 
rerform that night before the Court, the secret was kept from her until her return, late 
in the evening. 

f The marriage took place in 179". 


October, 1801, as the heroine in the serious opera of Ar- 
taxerxes. This was peculiarly appropriate on the present 
occasion, as Dr. Arne is said to have effected a happy as 
well as judicious combination of the Italian and English 
schools. In short, we have been told by an adept, that in 
tlie music of this drama " he has consolidated the beautiful 
melody of Hasse, the melifluous richness of Pergolese, the 
easy flow of Piccini, and the finished Cantahile of Sacchini, 
with his own pure and native simplicity." 

" At the drawing up of the curtain," observes the same 
writer, who was also a spectator, " Mrs. Billington was wel- 
comed with that warmth which bespoke the high expectations 
of the audience, and the pleasure they felt at seeing her 
again on the London stage. At the very commencement of 
her performance all their expectations were justified. In the 
duet of " Fair Aurora," which she sung with Mr. Incledon, 
she glided through the chromatic passage which closes the first 
and second strain, with a sweetness of effect which no one 
but herself could produce, and gave the minor third at 
the words, 

" Torn from the idol of my heart," 

with a delicacy and tenderness that came from the soul, and 
touched the nerves of the whole audience. 
" In the beautiful and richly-accompanied air 

" Adieu, thou lovely youth !" 

she was equally charming ; her expression was every where 
perfectly just, and her divisions infinitely neat. In 

" If o'er the cruel tyrant, Love," 

she was exquisite. We never witnessed a higher degree of 
taste, or a more sweet and impressive manner, than she dis- 
played in almost every bar of this fine and original air. Her 
ornaments, though abundant, were chaste ; and the additional 
notes at the final close, in which she soared with ease to D in 
alt, were as ingenious and tasteful as they were forcible and 
expressive. Her 

- '* Let not rage," &c. 


•was also enchanting, and admitted no idea but of excellence 
of the first order. The winning softness with which she ac- 
cented the notes ; her high-wrought yet chaste embellish- 
ments ; the melting delicacy of her turns, and the affecting 
emphasis with which she enforced the sentiment at the 

" Father, brother, lover, friend," 

sunk to the heart of every hearer, and convinced the whole 
audience of the powers of vocal music. In a word, nothing 
remained to crown the delight of the evening but her execu- 
tion of the noble bravura, which precedes the finale. In 

<* The soldier tir'd of war's alarms:" 

she displayed the triumph of her art. We, who have heard 
the once celebrated Miss Brent, (afterwards Mrs. Pinto,) in 
this fine song, were utterly astonished to find the performance 
of that accomplished singer so far exceeded by that of Mrs. 
Billington. With fewer liberties than first-rate performers 
generally take with songs of this description, she gave it a force 
and novelty of effect which perfectly enraptured us. The 
distances were Jiit W\\h a clearness and precision that evinced 
her perfect intimacy with the first secrets of fine performance ; 
and the variation she introduced at the repetition of the con- 
cluding division^ as also the energy with which she darted to 
the key note, in alt. kept pace with every expectation her 
previous excellence had created, and impressed us with ideas 
of admiration and astonishment." 

Mrs. Billington, at that period, was such a favourite with 
the public, that both houses vied for her support. She ac- 
cordingly played alternately at Drury-Lane and Covent- 
Garden, and was also commonly engaged at all the fashion- 
able concerts. This charmer, who neither improved the head 
nor the heart, actually earned more in the course of a couple 
of seasons than all the men of genius in the Augustan age of 
English literature obtained during the course of almost half 
a century. In the year 1801-2, the profits of her various en- 



gagements are supposed to have exceeded the sum of 10,000/.; 
the next season ecpialled the former in point of emolument ; 
and several subsequent ones were no less productive. Many 
large acquisitions, too, were obtained under the names of pre- 
sents, allowances, benefits, &c. &c. : so that at one period, her 
fortune, the chief part of which was wisely placed for a time 
in the hands of trustees, " for her own sole use and benefit," 
did not fall far short of 65,000/. ! 

To enter into a minute description of her life, and mention 
a series of noble and distinguished personages, who declared 
themselves captivated with her voice and person, would nei- 
ther be very delicate nor very edifying. After leaving the 
stage she lived at a charming residence in the vicinity of Ham- 
mersmith in a princely style, both as to elegance and expen- 
diture. Her villa was fitted up with a degree of taste and 
magnificence seldom witnessed in any rank of life ; and under 
the character of a j^^'of-'ssiojial 'woman^ she received royal, 
noble, and plebeian visitors, while some ladies of high title, 
and connexions, "did not disdain to appear at her concerts;, 
and partake of her entertamments, all of which were magnifi- 
cent and gratuitous. 

At length, in IS17, M. de Felessent, who had lived separ- 
ately from his wife since 1801, suddenly made his appearance 
in England. It would appear that an absence of full sixteen 
years had not in the least abated the ardour of his attach- 
ment 1 Flying on the wings of love and expectation, he 
traversed Italy, advanced rapidly through France, and threw 
himself at the feet of his long-lost spouse. She, in return, 
received her husband with open arms, and preparations were 
instantly made for their return together to the continent. 

Her plate and valuable ornaments were accordingly trans- 
mitted by sea, while the two old, but newly-united lovei's, 
crossing at Calais, proceeded by land towards the shoi'es of 
the Adriatic. After re-visiting their mansion at St. Artien, 
near Venice, it was their intention to proceed to Rome, and 
to Naples. But the hand of death interposed, and put a period 
to the travels of Mrs. Billington, who was taken ill on the 18th 


toF August, 1818, and died apoplectic on the 25tli of the 
same month. 

The public is well aware that the private conduct of Mrs. 
Billington has been subjected to much censure. During her 
life she was annoyed by some of the most defamatory public- 
ations that ever issued from the English press ; and, after her 
death, her memory has not been spared. We decline enter- 
ing on a subject that shrinks from investigation; and, while 
\ve draw a veil over her real or supposed failings, are eager 
to testify her merits. She was the best of daughters. Her 
father, in his latter years, amidst declining fortune and in- 
creasing infirmities, found a comfortable asylum under her 
roof. She never was fated to appear in the character of a 
mother; but what nature denied was supplied by adoption. 
Two little girls were taken under her immediate protection, at 
different periods of life. The first of these was selected at 
nine years of age, and educated at a convent at Brussels ; the 
second, who was the daughter of a friend, was brought to her 
when only seven days old, and brought up with great care, 
and the most fastidious attention to morals, at a reputable 
boarding-school. To this young lady it was designed at one 
period to bequeath all her fortune ; two thousand pounds of 
which, we believe, were once actually settled upon her. She 
accompanied Mrs. Billington and her husband to Italy, and 
was always an object of particular care and solicitude. 

It is now confessed by all, that in point of musical talents, 
the subject of this memoir was the first private shiger, not of 
her country only, but of her age ; and this will doubtless be 
adduced as a proof, that these almost hyperborean regions, 
may one day equal Italy itself, in point of musical excellence. 
We hail not ; on the contrary, we deprecate such an event ; 
as, before this can occur, the manly character of an Englishman 
must be obliterated ; our manners must become degenerate ; 
and our national pre-eminence be lost for ever ! 

In point of person Mrs. Billington appears to have been 
lovely in early youth; and to have preserved her charms 
during a long protracted period. But towards the latter 

L 2 


part of her life, she became somewhat coarse and masculine^ 
Such was her prudence, arising perhaps from her early 
poverty and acknowledged good sense, that she always con^ 
trived to live under, rather than above her income. The 
pencil of Sir Joshua has depicted her as St. Cecilia, by way 
of companion to that of Mrs. Siddons, in the Tragic Muse ; 
while Ward has executed a very faithful and spirited re- 
presentation of the original. 

It is not a little singular, that this lady had amassed, at 
different epochs, three different fortunes. One was spent with 
her friends ; another was chiefly seized by the enemy ; a third 
is partly in possession of, and the remainder claimed by her 
surviving husband, to the amount of about 20,000/. 


No. VIII. 


{With original Specimens of his Writings.'] 

i>OTH the life and death of the subject of the present memoir 
were singular in no common degree ; the former was replete 
with adventures, the latter presents a catastrophe , novel in its 
kind, and, indeed, such as never appears to have occurred be- 
fore. Happily, we are furnished with authentic particulars of 
both ; and intend also, to present to the public some specimens 
of his literary labours, which' were never before printed. 

William Tatham was a native of England. He was born 
in the year 1752, at Hutton-in-the-Forest, in the county of 
Cumberland, of which parish his father, the Reverend Sand- 
ford Tatham, afterwards became rector, holding it with the 
living of Appleby. That the family was both ancient and 
respectable, may be seen from 'Burn's history of Cumberland 
and Westmoreland ; and according to some accounts, can be 
traced up to Lord Morville, who was the remote * ancestor. 
His parents had five children, four sons and a daughter, and 
of these the eldest, of whom we now treat, was brought up at 
Lancaster, by his maternal grandmother, the widow of Henry 
Marsden, of Gisborne Hall, in the county of York, Esq. 
With this worthy lady he resided until her death, which 
occurred in 17G0, when he was only eight years of age. 

Before this unfortunate event William had received the ru- 
diments of education under the tuition of Mr. Ashburner, 

* The late William Tatham, Esquire, of Askham Hall, in the county of Westmore- 
«nd, wag liis paternal uncle ; and lie was nearly related to the family of Lowthcr, of 
which the Bail of Lonsdale is the head. 



who supeiiiiteiitletl the '• Friends' School" at Liiucabtcr, and 
by whom tlie Rawlijisons, the Dclworths, the Luwsons, and 
other respectable inhabitants of that little commercial town, 
were brought ui\ 

After this he was placed for a short time under Mr. Lee, a 
clergyman of the established church ; then he removed to 
Over Kellet, where he obtained the remainder of the " scanty 
education," as he was accustomed to term it, bestowed on him. 
Whether it was that his father was estranged from him, in 
consequence of his long absence from the paternal mansion, 
or that his own circumstances were too narrow to provide 
properly for his offspring, it is now difficult to determine; but 
certain it is, that but little care was taken of his future wel- 
fare. Here follows his own account : — 

" Some of the events of the life of this gentleman, (alluding 
to himself, ) are equally singular and surprising ; nor is 
it one of the least remarkable, that, although the eldest 
son of respectable parents, he was sent across the Atlantic 
before he had finished his studies, and actually ' launched,' 
to yse his own words, * into a world of strangers,' in the 
month of April, 1769, when he was only seventeen years of 
age, without profession, trade, or employment, and with no 
more than one single family guinea in his pocket. Bred to 
no occupation, brought up to no calling, utterly unacquainted 
with business, although abandoned and forsaken, he was not 
however lost ; for meeting with an acquaintance, he was by 
him introduced into the house of Messrs. Carter and Trent, 
respectable merchants on James' River, in Virginia ; and what 
reflects no little credit on him, possessed their friendship until 
the end of their lives." 

Our young adventurer, wlio appears to have acted for some 
time in the capacity of a clerk to those gentlemen, at length 
aspired to become a trader himself. Two powerful obstacles, 
seem, however, to have intervened, and for a time to have 
frustrated his hopes. In the first place, he was destitute of 
capital, and in the next, prevented by political considerations 
from acting with due effect. At this period, the British 


cabinet had conceived the idea of subjecting America, al- 
though unrepresented in parhamcnt, to internal taxation. The 
inhabitants, who disowned any such right to exist on the 
part of a distant legishiture, resisted the claim, and recurred 
to 7ion-imporlation associations. Measures such as these, by 
cuttino; off" all commercial communication with the mother- 
country, proved highly detrimental, and indeed fatal to the 
spirit of mercantile enterprise. Finding all views of this kind 
blasted, young Tatham inmiediatcly repaired to the western 
frontier, in search of better fortune, and remained some time 
there, with a steady determination to declare himself on the 
side of his adopted country. Mettnwhile his family in England 
considering resistance as rebellion, signified its displeasure at 
the part he was likely to take; but as this advice was unaccom- 
panied by any pecuniary assistance, and no feasible means 
were presented to enable him to withdraw from the threatened 
conflict, he resolved to swim along the stream of public 
opinion, which was now most decidedly directed towards 
emancipation on the part of the colonies. 

Settling for a time in theTenessce country, Mr. Tatham under- 
took the task of systematising its jurisprudence, at a period when 
he liad scarcely attained the age of twenty-four I Nearly at the 
same time, he obtained a commission as adjutant of the military 
force of the new district of Washington, where a flourishing 
capital has since been erected. In this capacity he served 
during the Indian war. On the attack of the Cherokees and 
Creeks, at Fort Caswell, on Wantage River, he acted under 
Colonel John Carter. Towards the latter end of the campaign 
of 1 776, he joined the troops encamped at the long island of 
Holsten, under the command of Brigadier-General Russell, 
and during the following year, he also served, with the ad- 
ditional commission of quarter-master, at Fort Williams, on 
Nolochuckie river, under General Sevicrs, being then major- 
commandant. At the treaty, which soon alter took place with 
the Cherokee Indians, our young officer appears to have taken 
an active part, having assisted in preparing the documents, 
and conducting the conferences. 



It was about this period that he began to study the cha- 
racter of the Indian nations, either connected by treaty with, 
or distinguished by their hostihty against, the inhabitants 
of the United States. He was also enabled, from personal 
inspection and communication, to draw up a biographical 
account of their most celebrated warriors. Accordingly, 
in another place will be' found memoirs of Attakullahkullahi or 
the little Carpenter ; and Oconistoto, a chief invested with kingly 
power by the Cherokees. In addition to these, will be found 
an account of Onitossitahf or the Corn Tassel, &c., two of the 
Shawanees chiefs, particularly Corn-stalk and Savanooka, or 
the Raven of Chota ; all of which are now printed, for the 
first time, from his own original manuscripts. And it may 
not be altogether unnecessary here to add, that he was uni- 
formly accustomed, so far as truth and integrity were con- 
cerned, to prefer the conduct of the Indian nations to that of 
both the English and Americans, who made war on and sub- 
dued them ! 

In 1778, we again find Mr. Tatham engaging in mercantile 
pursuits in Virginia, but he appears to have entertained a 
strong prepossession in favour of a military life, for he soon 
after served in the volunteer cavalry, under the American Ge- 
neral Nelson. In 1779, having entered once more on active 
service, he was employed under General Scott, who surrendered 
at Williamsburgh. Having been sent to reconnoitre the 
enemy, he entered the town of Suffolk, while in flames, just 
as the rear of the English marched out. 

It was on this occasion the subject of this memoir first be- 
came acquainted with Mr. Hardy, one of the representatives 
of Virginia, who was a counsel of some eminence. With a 
versatility of character seldom to be met with, he now placed 
himself under the direction of this gentleman, and began to 
study the law I Soon after this, he returned to the western 
frontiers of North Carolina, to assist in arranging the business 
of the land-office. Having spent the winter of that same 
year, in the western woods, under the imperfect shelter of an 
open log cabin, our adventurer repaired in 1 780 to Richmond, 
in Virginia, where he commenced Historian ! 


Willie at this place, in conjunction with Colonel John Todd 
of Kentucky, he compiled the first regular account of the 
western country which was ever submitted to the inspection of 
the inhabitants of the Trans-Atlantic continent. Here, too, 
it was his good fortune to become known to Mr. Jefferson, 
then Governor of Virginia, since President of the United 
States, who appears to have befriended him on more than one 

When Virginia was invaded by the Generals Phillips and 
Arnold, Mr. Tatharii marched against the enemy, in the suite 
of General Nelson ; and at the siege of York, he acted as a 
volunteer with that body of the American army which stormed 
the redoubts, during the memorable night of the 14 th of 
October 1781. 

After the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, Mr. Tathani 
was invited to occupy a place dependent on the Board of Privy 
Council in Virginia. Soon after this, we find him shipwrecked 
on the coast of East Jersey, while embarked in a new ad- 
venture; and this was followed by his settling in Philadelphia 
as a merchant. 

W^e next hear of his repairing to the Havannah, in the island 
of Cuba, " in order," as he himself observes, " to combine a 
knowledge of the Spanish interests in the West Indies, with 
that which he had acquired in those western countries of the 
United States which border on the Mississippi territories of 
His Catholic Majesty. After spending some weeks at the 
Havannah," adds he, " and satisfying myself concerning the 
importance of that place, in respect to the settlements just 
alluded to, I retui'ned to Virginia, and proceeded immediately 
to General Davies (a counsel in North Carolina), under whom 
I finished my studies in the law, and was admitted to the bar 
of the county courts in that country, by a licence dated 
March 24, 1784', under the hands and seals of the three 
Judges of the Superior Courts of Law and Equity, Samuel 
Ashe, Samuel Spencer, and John Williams." 

In 1786, in conjunction with Mr. Willis of North Carolina, 
he was busily employed in establishing the prosperous settle- 


iiieiit of Lumbarton, tliiity-onc miles south of Fayette-^'ille. In 
1787, Mr. Tatluun was elected a member of the State 

Lemslation of North Carolina. As he was well aware of the 


nefarious projects of the land-jobbers and speculators, he entered 
his protest against their encroachments on the territories of the 
Chickasaw Indians ; and was soon after elected by a joint vote 
of both houses of legislature, to fill the office of lieutenant- 
colonel in the division of Fayette. 

Having, about this time, received letters of a conciliatory 
nature from England, he immediately sailed thither, and arrived 
in ihis country in October, 1788. On his revisiting the place 
of his nativity, he was treated very " politely" by his lelatives, 
particularly the late Earl of Lonsdale. When that nobleman 
gave his memorableyt'/t' at Whitehaven Castle, to celebrate the 
centenary of the revolution, he was one amqng the numerous 
guests who commemorated the landing of William III. 
in 1GS8. 

In the summer of 1 789, the Colonel returned to America, 
as no inducements were offered by his family to detain him at 
home. He had originally determined to proceed to Carolina ; 
but was detained in Virginia by the Governor and Privy 
Council of that state, for the purpose of affording information 
to the war office relative to the southern and western frontiers ; 
for, although self-taught, he had obtained very great skill, as 
well as much experience, in geography. Apartments at the 
public expense were accordingly provided for him, and he had 
uninterrupted access to the archives of the state. He next 
accompanied General Lee, then Governor, in his tour to the 
south-western frontiers ; and also made other excursions in the 
same direction, in 1792 and 1793, during which he visited the 
watei's of the Mississippi. 

Meanwhile, he appears to have practised the law occasionally 
in the Tenessee counti'y ; and some gentlemen of the profession 
having advertised in the Knox Ville Gazette, that they would 
not give any advice " without being first paid the fees esta- 
blished by law," our barrister also thought fit to lay down 
certain rules for his own conduct in the same newspaper, some 
of which we shall here tra^iscribe : — 



" Having adopted the above motto as early as I had the 
honour of admission to the bar, 1 have covcjianted with myself 
that 1 will never willingly depart from it ; and on this founda- 
tion I have built a few maxims which afford my reflections an 
unspeakable satisfaction. 

" J. I will practise law, because it affords me opportunities 
of being a more useful member of societj^ 

" 2. I will not turn a deaf ear to any one because his purse 
is empty. 

" 3. I will advise no man beyond my comprehension of 
his cause. 

" 4. 1 will bring none into law who my conscience tells 
me should be kept out of it. 

" 5. I will never be unmindful of the cause of humanity ; 
and this comprehends the fatherless, widow, and bondage. 

" G. I will be faithful to my chent; but never so unfaithful 
to myself as to become a party in his crime. 

" 7- No man's greatness shall elevate him above the justice 
due to my client. 

" 8. I shall advise the turbulent with candour; and if they 
will go to law against my advice, they must pardon me for 
volunteering it against them. 

" 9. I will acknowledge every man's right to manage his 
own cause if he pleases, &c. 

" The above are my rules of practice ; and though I will not 
(at this critical juncture) promise to finish riiy business in per- 
son, yet, if the public interests should require my removal from 
home, I will do every thing in my power for those who like to 
emj)loy me, and endeavour to leave them in proper hands if I 
should be absent. 

« Signed, 

" William Tatham. 
" KnoxVille, March '2 1, 1793." 


In 1794, Mr. Tatham repaired to the city of Washington, 
and soon after visited Philadelphia, in search of geographical 
knowledge ; but yet he did not entirely lose sight of his pro- 
fession, for while here he published a case in which he had been 
engaged. This i-eflected great honour on the independence of 
the Judges of the General Court of Virginia ; for by their de- 
cision on that occasion, they overruled a new jurisdiction not 
sanctioned by the constitution. 

In the year 1795, one novel and singular occurrence was 
added to the history of a man whose life had been variegated 
with adventures. Some disputes, of a serious nature, at this 
period occurred between the settlers in the back woods of 
America and the Spanish Government. Urged by the roman- 
tic idea of preventing a war, after several conferences with the 
ambassador of that nation, Don Joseph de Jandennes, who 
appears to have furnished the pecuniary resources, he embarked 
at New York in the month of November, and sailed for Cadiz. 
As the yellow fever had recently raged in some of the American 
ports, he was subjected to a quarantine, and obliged, in the 
mean time, to transmit his despatches in a pail of vinegar. On 
his deliverance, he repaired to Seville, had an interview with 
the Prince of Peace, and was most grat;iously noticed by the 
Queen and Royal Family. He afterwards repaired to Madrid ; 
but having interfered in some matters of a national kind, 
and aroused the "jealousy of the Government by frequent 
visits to the residence of the late Marquis of Bute, then am- 
bassador from England, an order was issued for his leaving 
Spain. He accordingly proceeded to the coast, and embark- 
ing for England, landed at Plymouth on the 16th of 
August, 1796. 

The following particulars are from his own pen, having been 
written subsequently to his second return : — 

" Since his arrival in the British capital, he (Colonel 
Tatham) has published several literary works, all of which are 
calculated to promote pacific employments, to attain the 
increase of mechanical powers, and to contribute to the exten- 
sion of agriculture and commerce. The character of an author, 



however, is best discovered in his writings. The Colonel has, 
in particular, directed his attention to the success of English 
agriculture, and the benefits to be derived from civil engineer- 
ing, which constitute his favourite pursuits. He has en- 
deavoured to awaken the notice of the merchants and citizens 
of London, concerning the crowded state of commerce in their 
streets and in their ports ; and he has held out the means of 
relief in an extensive book, containing a plan for insulating the 
metropolis by means of a navigable canal. 

" In an early part of the year 1801, Colonel Tatham was 
called to the superintendance of the London Docks at Wrap- 
ping, where he took charge of the Office of Works, and the 
various operations of an undertaking, so replete with interest 
and variety, as to present a most extensive field for the display 
of that general knowledge which is only to be acquired by 
experience and intercourse with the world. On this occasion, 
however, he was somewhat mortified by the idea of checking his 
own ideas in faVour of those of others ; for as the directors had 
condescended to receive instructions from a committee of en- 
gineers, who are now dismissed, it became necessary that their 
plans should be executed without opposition, although his own 
should be superior on the score of method, expedition, and 

" He was therefore, in general, restrained in his desires that 
the company should profit by those improvements which result 
from travelling and observation ; but on some occasions he was 
indulged in his plans. And he hath left a lasting memorial in 
the first piling for the foundation of the Drainage Pipe, which 
was executed under his superintendance, and driven in 
interpiled quincunx, according to his own suggestions ; and 
although subject to many of those obstacles which ever occur 
in the progress of new and magnificent undertakings, he has 
happily succeeded so far as to obviate the principal difficulties 
by zeal and perseverance. 

" Theprimary operation of taking down buildings, reducing 
the ground to a proper level, enclosing and preparing the 
work-yards, putting the public sewers in good condition, 


constructing the jettie for landing materials, digging the steam- 
engine foundation, piling the engine for boring the sectio?is of 
strata, flanking the drainage pipes, receiving large quantities 
of timber and stone, in addition to the preparations of tide and 
other works, have simplified the after parts of the engineer- 
ing ; and a court of directors have at length come to a deter- 
mination, to complete what remains to be done, by contract. 
This resolution of course precludes the further services of 
Colonel Tathara, who is not witliin that description of persons; 
and we learn that he accordingly surrendered the keys of ofiicc 
to his successor, at the head of near five hundred orderly work- 
men, who were mostly discharged on tliis occasion, and whose 
prudent deportment, and grateful hearts, bore an ample testi- 
mony of the kindness and attention which they had experienced. 
Whether this radical change of system will be attended with 
benefit to those connected with the property of the Docks, is a 
question which time alone can determine; but, as far as their 
late supervisor is concerned, it would be unjust to omit that 
his conduct has been amply approved of by his employers." 

Some time after this period *, Colonel Tatham made hi§ 
third and last voyage to America. Deprived, by the neglect 
of his family, of any regular profession or employment, and 
embarking in a variety of different projects, in succession, all 
dictated by a sanguine temperament, it is but little wonder that 
wealth, although always present to his imagination, was never 
fairly within his grasp. An author, an advocate, an engineer, a 
surveyor, a merchant, a military man, a geographer; yet, with all 
these resources, he became poor; and as old age advanced, he 
found that no provision had been made for the wants and in- 
firmities with which it is generally accompanied. This led to one 
of the most singular catastrophes recorded in modern times. At 
Alexandria, in Virginia, after participating freely in the fes- 
tivities of the anniversary of that Revolution which he had 

. * In 1805. He cliiefly employed himself, during this long interval, in preparing 
works for ilie press ; and lie was a contributor to the columns of the Montldy, 
Philosophical, and Commercial Magazines. Colonel Tathaip, also, drew up a memoir 

of his own lif<^. 


Contributed all in his power to promote and confirm^ 
Colonel Tatham ran up to an eighteen-pounder, then in the 
act of being fired, and at the very moment when the gunner 
had touched the priming, placed himself immediately before 
the muzzle, in consequence of which he was blown to atoms by 
the explosion ! 

The following articles were some time since prepared for 
publication by the unfortunate gentleman who is the subject ol' 
the present memoir; and they now appear in print for the 
first time. 


Attakullahkullah, one of the leaders of the Cherokees, 
who inhabited the banks of the river Tennessee. 

This Indian chief, better known among the whites, by the 
appellation of Little Car2)eiiter, was born in the Big Island of 
French Broad River (being the same island through which 
the Nolochuckie war-path, formerly passed towards the Over- 
hill towns) so long ago, that he recited various facts of 
ancient dates (in 1777) the truth of which were strongly cor- 
roborated by many respectable testimonies. The place of his 
nativity, indeed, was then covered with stately and venerable 
6aks, supposed to be coeval with the last century. This 
warrior, who was reputed to be a deep and sound politician, 
took a lead in many of the councils and treaties of his own 
countrymen ; he spoke well, and had considerable influence. 
The Little Carpenter professed uniformly to be a friend to the 
white people ; and had, at least, sagacity enough to persuade 
them he was sincerely so. But if we are to believe the ac- 
counts of some of his contemporary countrymen, who were en- 
titled to equal credit ; he was a sly, artful, cunning hypo- 
crite, who deceived both parties to serve his own views, and 
under the mask of friendship, he was often the secret stimu- 
lator of bloodshed ! Certain it is, that he preserved his in- 
fluence to a good old age, and died a natural death in his 
native country, about the termination of, or a little after the 
American war. Attakullahkullah was a man of small stature. 


biit when young, was admitted, by those who had long known 
him, to have been as alert in the field as he was latterly 
in the council. He had several friends of similar age and 
standing ; of them it may suffice to mention, Oconistoto and 
Onitossitak, or the Com Tassel. The first of these was the 
chief king or emperor of all the Cherokee tribes and di- 
visions ; and the latter was reputed to be the best statesman, 
as well as the greatest orator of their country. 


This ancient chieftain was a strong, athletic, large man, 
pitted with the small-pox, and of blunt, plain, downright 
manners, such as might be expected from a rough English 
countryman, who takes the shortest road to arrive at the 
truth. He made it his business to attend and listen to what 
passed in all treaties ; and he took care to preface them with 
a candid acknowledgment, that he was no speaker and not 
much of a statesman ; but that he had a high confidence in 
the abilities of his nephew and representative {Savanooka, or the 
Raven of Chota) in these matters ; and that he should set his 
hand to whatsoever he said, reserving to himself the privilege of 
putting him right if he went astray ; this, indeed, was a liberty 
which he would take with any man, however great or powerful. 
The relator of these facts was once present, when one of the 
ancient inhabitants of Kentucky asserted a position concerning 
his purchase of that country, which the old warrior dissented 
from, and his reply may be exhibited here as a specimen of 
his manners. After commenting for some time on the terms 
" sale of these lands," he spoke nearly as follows : " Why, 
you know you are telling lies ! We always told you these 
lands were not ours ; that our claim extended not beyond 
Cumberland Mountain ; that all the lands beyond Cumber- 
land riverlaelonged to our brothers, the northward Indians ; 
and those below the Suck on Tenessee, to our brothers, the 
Chickasaws. It is true you gave us some goods, for which 
we promised you our friendship in the affair, and our good 
will. Tliese you have had according to bargain, and more we 
never promised you : but you have deceived your people 1" 


It was a favourite topic with the old king, to recite the 
military exploits of his youth ; and the writer of this narrative 
was present at a singular conversation between him and 
Thomas Price, a respectable old trader with the Cherokees, 
who had accompanied him in some unsuccessful expeditions 
in early life. Speaking of one of these, against the Shawanees, 
Mr. Price reminded his majesty, that they were beaten at a 
particular place on the river Ohio ; and asked him if they had 
not been forced to retreat ? " True, Thomas," replied the 
old man, " I confess that we had the worst of it; but they 
did not make us rmi ; we only "walked very fast /" 


Onitossitaky or the Corn Tassel, of the Cherokee nation of 
Indians, though somewhat younger, was the leading counsellor 
of Oconistoto, and consequently his contemporary, as well as 
that of AttaJcuttakuUa Willanawaughf and the Pigeon. He 
added to the reputation of a profound Indian statesman and 
orator, the inestimable character of being uniformly respected 
for his integrity and truth ; in this last point it was said of 
him by all his acquaintance, that throughout a long and 
useful life in his own country, he was never known to stoop 
to a falsehood. The Corn Tassel was a stout, mild, and de- 
cided man, rather comely than otherwise ; and of a smooth 
and somewhat fat and inflated face. 

At the treaty of Long Island, in July, 1777, he was tlie 
principal spokesman, and on the proposition of the American 
commissioners, that the Cherokees should cede a much greater 
extent of country than was agreed to in the result, the following 
able reply on his part is given from the memorandum of a 
gentleman who was present ; yet it is supposed to have been be- 
reaved of much of its native beauty by the defects of interpret- 
ation ; for the manly and dignified expression of an Indian 
orator, loses nearly all its force and energy in translation. 




" It is not a little surprising, that when we enter into 
treaties with our brothers, the whites, their whole cry is 
more land.' Indeed, formerly, it seemed to be a mere matter 
of formality with them to demand what they knew we durst 
not refuse. But on the principles of fairness, of which we 
have received assurances, during the conducting of the present 
treaty, and in the name of free will and equality, I must 
reject your demand. 

Suppose, in considering the nature of your claim, (and in 
justice to my nation I shall and will do it fully,) I were to ask 
one of you, my brother warriors, under what kind of authority, 
by what law, or on what pretence he makes this exorbitant de- 
mand of nearly all the lands we hold between your settlements 
and our towns, as the cement and consideration of our peace. 

Would he tell me it is by right of conquest ? No ! If he 
did, I should retort on him, that we had last marched over 
his territory ; even up to this very place which he has Jbrti/ied 
so far within his former limits ; nay, that some of our young 
warriors (whom we have not yet had an opportunity to recall 
or give notice to, of the present treaty) are still in the woods, 
and continue to keep his people in fear, and that it was but till 
very lately that these identical walls were your strong holds, 
out of which you durst scarcely advance. 

If, therefore, a bare march, or reconnoitering a country is 
sufficient reason to ground a claim to it, we shall insist on 
transposing the demand, and your relinquishing your settle- 
ments on the western waters, and removing one hundred milea 
back towards the east, whither some of our warriors advanced 
against you in the course of last year's campaign. 

" Let us examine the facts of your present irruption, into 
our country ; and we shall discover your pretensions on that 
ground : What did you do ? You marched into our territories 
with a superior force ; our vigilance gave us timely notice of 
your majiceuvres ; your numbers far exceeded us, and we fled 


to the strong liolds of our extensive woods, there to secure 
our women and children. 

Thus, you marched into our towns ; they were left to your 
mercy; you killed a few scattered and defenceless individuals; 
spread fire and desolation wherever you pleased ; and returned 
again to your own habitations. If you meant this, indeed, 
as a conquest, you omitted the most essential point; you should 
have fortified the junction of the Holstein and Tennessee rivers, 
and have, thereby, conquered all the waters above you. But, 
as all are fair advantages during the existence of a state of 
war, it is now too late for us to suffer for your mishap of 
generalship ! 

" Again, were we to enquire by what law or authority you 
setup a claim; I answer, jione! Your laws extend not into 
our country, nor ever did ; you talk of the law of nature 
and the law of nations, and they are both against you. 

" Indeed much has been advanced on the want of, what 
you term, civilisation among the Indians ; and many proposals 
have been made to us to adopt your laws, your religion, your 
manners, and your customs. But, we confess, we do not yet 
see the propriety or practicability of such a reformation ; and 
should be better pleased with beholding the good effects of 
these doctrines on your own practice, than with hearing you 
talk about them, or reading your papers to us upon such 

" You say, " Why do not the Indiam till the ground^ and 
live as "we do r"' May we not with equal propriety, ask ivhy the 
White people do not hunt and live as xice do? You profess to 
think it no injustice towards us to kill our deer and other 
game, from the mere love of waste; but it is very criminal in 
our young men if they chance to kill a cow or hog for their 
sustenance, when they happen to be on your lands. We wish, 
however, to be at peace with you ; and, to do as we would be 
done by. We do not quarrel witii you for killing an occasional 
buffaloe, bear, or deer on our lands when you need one to eat; 
but you go much farther ; your people hunt to gain a live- 


lihood by it ; they kill all our game ; our young men res«nt 
the injury ; and, it is followed by bloodshed and war. 

*' This is not a mere affected injury ; it is a grievance which 
we equitably complain of, and it demands a permanent re- 

" The great God of Nature has placed us in different situ- 
ations. It is true, he has endowed you with many superior 
advantages ; but he has not created us to be your slaves : We 
are a separate people ! He has given each their lands, under 
distinct considerations and circumstances ; he has stocked 
yours with the cow, ours with the buffaloe ; yours with the 
hog, ours with the bear; yours with the sheep, ours with the 
deer. He has, indeed, given you an advantage in this, that 
your cattle are tame and domestic, while ours are wild, and 
demand not only a larger space for range, but art to hunt and 
kill them ; they are, nevertheless, as much our property as 
other animals are yours ; and ought not to be taken away 
without our consent, and for something equivalent." 


One of the Warriors of the Shaivanees. 

This chief was averse to the commencement of hostilities 
against the Whites; but when his nation had concluded upon 
it, he is said to have boldly addressed them to the following 
effect : 

" You have now declared a war against the White people, 
in direct opposition to my counsel, my experience, and my 
opinion ; but as it is the sense of my country, I hold it to be 
my duty to acquiesce. Remember, however, that I am of 
long-tried courage as a man and a warrior, and that the right 
©f commanding rests with me. I shall not fight, because I 
disapprove the quarrel. I shall, nevertheless, be on the ground, 
and see that you perform the task you have undertaken. 
Concaving this to be my duty, I obey ; but I shall not advance 
farther : and no man amongst you will dare impute my refusal 
to a want gf courage." 


Early in the morning, before sun-rise, the proposed action 
was brought on, through a mere casual discovery of the 
Indians (in council), by the late General Robertson, Valen- 
tine Seveir (brother to the general of that name), and a 
third person, who was killed ; and the action lasted till the 
curtain of the night afforded the Indians a safe retreat. 

In the early part of the day, Corn Stalk performed his pro- 
mise, and lay at some little distance back, in the rear, resting 
on his elbows upon the trunk of an old tree, and viewing the 
action as a spectator. 

When the militia approached, he is reported to have said to 
the young warriors, " You now behold the birds which you 
have been looking after: let me see you pluck their 
feathers !" 

After the action began to be very warm, a young warrior, 
who had boasted pretty roundly beforehand, began to fly back 
towards the place where he lay. In the first instance, he up- 
braided him, and drove him forward to his post ; but finding 
the Whites getting the better, and the same warrior giving 
way a second time, he shot him, stepped forward himselti en- 
couraged his men, and assumed the commatul. 

From this moment (say those who were in the en;;agcmcnt), 
the success of the day wore a different feature. He formed his 
men in three orderly ranks, each succeeding the other; and 
the front always carried off their dead and wounded, as they 
retired to the rear to load there, while the centre advanced 
to replace the front which had last fired. 

Thus the conflict continued till dark, and numbers were 
slaughtered on both sides. The Whites, however, remained 
all night on the ground ; and the Indians made good iheir 
retreat, with an address and ability which would have honoured 
a regular army. 


Known among the Whites by the ?iame of The Raven of Chota. 

This Indian warrior was by birth a Shawanee; but, by 
marriage, he belonged to the Cherokees, with whom be 

M 3 


resided : and he was the hereditary representative of the 
Cherokee empire ; but whether as the sister's son of Oconistoto 
or by marriage, is not recollected by the writer, who was well 
acquainted with him. 

He was a stout, manly, firm, and dignified person ; of an open, 
yet serious deportment, dark complexion, stedfast and comely 
countenance ; and was reputed to be the most powerful man in 
the Cherokee nation, at all athletic exercises. 

He bore the reputation of a great warrior ; and was certainly 
not inferior, in council or oratorical abilities, to any one of his 

Notwithstanding his fame in war, he was naturally disposed 
to cultivate the enjoyments of peace; and he gave several 
strong proofs of this disposition in the campaign of 1776, 
■when he commanded the left division of the Cherokees, pro- 
fessing openly his aversion to the conflict, and directing their 
mischief to objects short of murder, so far as he had power to 
extend his influence. 

In the autumn of that year he came to the frontier garrison 
of the United States, accompanied by Ninatoogah (or the 
Bloody Fellow), a noted young warrior of the Cherokees, a 
Chickasaw called Nahoolah (or the Little Owl), and two or 
three others, who spent the winter at the fort, and laid the 
foundation of the next year's treaty. At that treaty, held in 
July following, at the Long Island of Holstein, he was a 
principal speaker. 

Little more can, now, be said of him, except that a cir- 
cumstance happened during the treaty which fully evinced his 
power over the nation, and is somewhat descriptive of their 
obedience to superiors. While the Corn Tassel (Onitossitah) 
was speaking on a very interesting branch of the treaty, some 
of the Indians (who were encamped, to the amount of about 
four hundred, in the island opposite, which was overlooked 
from the arbour where the assembly was held) had got so drunk 
and outrageous in camp, that the women were busily em- 
ployed in hiding guns, tomahawks, and other weapons ; and 
the whole encampment had become a scene of riot and con- 



fusion, which disturbed the spectators at the treaty. The 
speaker on this ceased, for a moment, on which the Raven 
arose from his seat, and directed two young warriors, v/ho 
composed a part of the audience, to step over and tie the 
rioters. They sprang immediately to a canoe, crossed the 
river, and in a few minutes quieted the camp, as if nothing 
had happened ; and rejoined the audience, who experienced 
no farther interruption. 

It may be remarked that such an affray would have been 
harder to quell under the boasted regulations of a civilised 
system ; yet these were savages ! 

List of the Works of the late Colonel Tatham. 

\ . A Memorial on the Civil and Military Government of 
the Tenessee Country, published in America. 

2. A History of the Western Country, America. — N. B. 
The facts were furnished by Colonel Todd, of Kentuckie, and 
the text by Col. Tatham. 

3. An Analysis of the State of Virginia. Philadelphia, 

4. The Case of Kamfer against Hawkins. Philadelphia, 

5. Plan for insulating the Metropolis, by means of a Na- 
vigable Canal. London. 

6. Remarks on Inland Canals, the small System of Interior 
Navigation, and various Uses of the Inclined Plane. London, 

7. The Political Economy of Inland Navigation, Irrigation 
and Drainage, with Thoughts on the Multiplication of Com- 
mercial Resources. London, 1799. 

8. Communications concerning the Agriculture and Com- 
merce of the United States of America, being an Auxiliary 
to a Report made by Wm. Strickland, Esq. London, 1800. 

9. The same subject continued, with the addition of a Me- 
morial on the Commerce of Spain. London, 1800. 

10. An Historical and Practical Essay on the Culture and 
Commerce of Tobacco. London, 1800. 

M \ 


11. Auxiliary Remarks on an Essay on the Comparative 
Advantages of Oxen for Tillage in Competition with Horses. 
London, 1801. 

12. National Irrigation; or the various Methods of water- 
ing Meadows. London, 1801. 

13. Report on a View of certain Impediments and Obstruc- 
tions, in the Navigation of the River Thames. London, 

14. Navigation and Conservancy of the River Thames, 
London, 1803. And, 

15. Characters of the American Indians, now published for 
the first time, in the present volume. 


No. IXi 



W MILE detailing the memoirs of the subject of the present 
narrative, the writer is well aware that he has undertaken no 
ordinary task. It is his object to describe a most singular 
and a highly-gifted man, on whom the public eye has been 
steadily fixed during a period of nearly half a century. En- 
tering into active life at a period when our youth are still 
employed in their studies, he soon exhibited rare talents for 
business. His conduct in India ; his deportment afterwards in 
parliament, in conjunction with Mr. Fox ; the numerous and 
important productions that issued from his pen and, above all, 
perhaps, the reputation lately assigned to him, as the sup- 
posed author of Juniys, taken in the aggregate, have ren- 


dcred liim one of the most conspicuous characters of the age 
in which he Hvcd. 

Phihp Francis, was a native of Ireland, having been born 
in the capital of the sister nation, October 22. 1740. His 
family was resjjectable, and if not proved both ancient and 
honourable according to all the forms of the college of arms, 
it was his own fault : for he disdained to purchase a pedigree ; 
and trusting to his name and talents and integrity, waved the 
mercenary assistance of the; Ij^r^ds' office. * The public re- 
cords of Ireland have necessarily. t)i€!.en in a confused state, in 
consequence of the almost, i^j^i^t^^ifpted civil war that, until 
of late, has prevailed in thaj; i^j^fi^ppy and distracted country. 
Yet there are traces of the a,|^|quit^ of this family ; although 
it is pretty evident from tj^e^ n£i^^ that it could not have been 
aboriginal. The probabjlity^ indeed, is, that the Francises 
emigrated from England, in the train of some of our great men, 
and we find them dignitaries of the Established Church in that 
kingdom at a period comparatively remote. John, the pater- 
nal grandfather of the subject of this memoir, was nominated 
dean of the cathedral of Lismore in 1 722, and his great-grand- 
father, also named John, who became dean of Leighlin in 
1696, appears, from Ware's History, to have afterwards sat 
in convocation at Dublin, in 1704. Beyond this, we believe, 
all is conjecture; and if we are not greatly mistaken, but 
few of the English settlers in Ireland can boast either so re- 
mote or so respectable a genealogy. Yet, in the opinion of 
the luminous historian of the " Decline and Fall of the 
Roman Empire," Philip Francis has still greater claims than 

* A friend, who drew up a memoir of Sir Philip Francis, which was inserted in 
a periodical publication, while treating of his descent, observes as follows : " These 
particulars have been carefully collected from the Heralds '-office, Dublin, and D«t- 
tors' Commons. In the form it was discovered by a great antiquary, whose business it 
was to find materials for tlic pedigree of Sir Philip, on his admission to the order of 
the Bath ; that previous to the coronation of Richard II., Richard Francis, who bore 
exactly tlie same arms as tiie present knight, was created knight of the Bath; and 
if Sir Philip does not descend lineally from that person, it is his own fault. 
The heralds offered to prove it by an exact genealogy ; provided always, that Sir 
Philip would pay down two hundred pQunds for such advantage. After maturely 
weighing the honour against the price, he is believed to have declined that liberal 


those arising from cither high birth or high station. After 
classing celebrated authors with great warriors and accom- 
plished statesmen, Mr. Gibbon observes, " That in the esti- 
mate of honour, we should learn to value the gifts of nature 
above those of fortune ; to esteem in our ancestors the qua- 
lities that best promote the interests of society ; and to pro- 
nounce the descendant of a king less truly noble than the 
offspring of a man of genius, whose writings will instruct or 
delight the latest posterity. The family of Confucius," adds 
he, "is in my opinion the most illustrious in the world. 
After a painful ascent of eight or ten centuries, our barons 
and princes of Europe are lost in the darkness of the middle 
ages ; but in the vast antiquity of the empire of China, the 
posterity of Confucius have maintained, above two thousand 
two hundred years, their peaceful honours and perpetual 
succession. The chief of the family is still revered by the 
sovereign and the people, as the living image of the wisest of 

Philip, the father of the gentleman of whom we now treat, 
was educated at the university of Dublin, and after distinguish- 
ing himself there, as an excellent scholar, determined, like his 
progenitors, to become a churchman. As his patrimony was not 
very ample, he settled in the county of Surry, about the year 
1 750, where his talents and his writings soon attracted the 
sons of a very respectable class of society to his academy. 
As the translator of Horace, his version still maintains a high 
esteem ; and he obtained far greater reputation for learning 
by clothing Demosthenes in an English dress. We learn his 
own liberal sentiments on the subject of government from the 
introduction. * He was also the author of two tragedies, 

* " Our orator now appears upon the scene in a character well wortliy of his own 
great abilities ; endowed with all the powers of elequence. We behold himjn personal 
opposition to, perhaps, the greatest prince that ever sat upon a throne ; yet neither 
awed by his power, imposed upon by his artifices, or corrupted by his gold. Ani- 
mated by the love of liberty, that noblest of all human passions, he stands forth the 
guardian and defender of his country ; an equal terror to the tyrant who would en- 
slave her, as to the traitois who would betray. Whatever sentiments that passion 
can inspire ; wliatever arguments good sense can dictate; whatever ideas of highest 
sublimity his own great genius could conceive, the reader will find in the following 


" Eugenia" and " Constantia," and of several political 
tracts. He is mentioned in Wilkes's Letters as being en- 
gaged in some delicate negociations on the part of the 
Right Hon. Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, which 
doubtless precluded that minute application so necessary for 
the superintendence of his pupils ; and Gibbon, one of the 
most illustrious of them, accordingly complains of inatten- 
tion. * By the influence of the nobleman alluded to above, 
to whom he was chaplain, during which period he assisted 
in the education of Mr. Charles Fox, he obtained the 
rectory of Barrow, in Suffolk ; and it also appears, by an 
authentic document, that on May 9, 1 764, he was appointed 
to the preferment of joint-chaplain to Chelsea College. Being 
thus amply provided for, he obtained the degree of Doctor in 
Divinity ; and as he was now exempt from all cares relative to 
fortune, he had nothing to attend to but the advancement of 
his son Philip, a subject which formed the chief object of his 
attention 'towards the latter part of his life. Meanwhile he 
lived in intimacy with all the ablest men of the age. His 
friendship with Garrick is well known, and we learn from 
Murphy, that he lived in intimacy with Dr. Johnson. 

Until he had attained the age of ten, young Philip Francis 
remained in the land that gave him birth, and was educated 

orations, philippics, and olynthiacs. After such a character of them, what modest excuse 
can be made for the translator ? He professes, and surely without suspicion of af- 
fectation, his apprehension of sinking under the attempt. Yet, while he feels the 
influence of the same passions that animate the original, he will not wholly despair 
of the translation." This version was dedicated to his patron the first Lord Holland, 
to whom he was domestic chaplain. 

* '♦ As I approached my 16ih year, nature displayed in my favour her mysterious 
energies ; my constitution was fortified and fixed ; my unexpected memory again en- 
couraged the hope of my education; and I was placed at Esher in Surry, in the 
house of the Rev. Mr. Philip Francis, in a pleasant spot, which promised to unite the 
various benefits of air, exercise, and 3(udy (January, 1752). The translator of Horace 
might have taught me to relish the Latin Poets, had not my friends discovered, in • 
few weeks, that he preferred the pleasures of London to the instruction of his pupils. 
My father's perplexity at this time, rather than his prudence, was urged to embrace a 
singular and desperate measure — Withotit preparation or delay, he carried roe to 
Oxford, and 1 was mawiculated in the University as a gentleman conmoner of Mag- 
dalen College before I had accomplished the fifteenth year of my age. (April 3„ 
1753,)" &e. 


under Mr. Thomas Ball, the successor of Dr. Dunkin, names 
well known in the metropolis of Ireland, in a school kept in a 
church, in Ship Street Dublin. In the beginning of 1750, he 
came over to England, and was soon after placed on the found- 
ation of St. Paul's school, the master of which then was Mr. 
Oeorge Thicknesse, brother to the celebrated governor of the 
same name, and consequently uncle to the late Lord Audley. 
Here he remained for about three years, and was ever after 
■accustomed to mention his very I'espcctable instructor with 
reverence and regard. Indeed the esteem was mutual, for the 
writer of this article has heard from one of the near connexions 
of this gentleman, that he was accustomed to observe " that 
Francis and Rosinghagen were the two most promising youths 
€ver placed under his care." And it is not a little remarkable 
that such was their estimation in after life, that each of these 
in succession, obtained the credit of being Junius. Henry S. 
Woodfall, the printer of the Public Advertiser, was another of 
his schoolfellows. 

In 1750, when only sixteen years of age, the patron of 
his father nominated the youth to a place in the Secretary 
of State's office; and Mr. Wood, secretary to the first 
William Pitt, recommended him to that celebrated commoner, 
when he succeeded to the department of Mr. Fox. Thus 
early in life he was honoured with the acquaintance of the 
greatest statesman England lias produced in modern times, 
and to whom, if we mistake not, he sometimes acted as an 

It was through his influence that, when scarcely eighteen 
years of age, young Francis was appointed private secretary to 
General Bligh, who was nominated to conduct one of those nu- 
merous expeditions by which the attention of France was at that 
time distracted, and her king, ministers, and troops finally har- 
rassed into a sincere desire for peace. In 1758, Conunodorc, 
afterwards Admiral Lord Howe, who was entrusted with the 
command of the naval forces, having eflectcd the disembarc- 
ation of a body of troops, seized on, and destroyed the harbour 
and basin of Cherbourg. Soon alter this, General Bligh 


landed his forces, under the protection of the guns of the 
fleet, about two miles to the westward of St. Maloes, but 
nevertheless did not deem it prudent to attack the city ; 
and when the Due D'Aguillon, then Governor of Bri- 
tanny advanced against him, he thought fit to retire towards 
St. Cas, where the English squadron was stationed. Young 
Francis, not content with the labour of writing the dispatches 
announcing the retreat, was actually present and in the ranks, 
although without arms, when that action commenced, which 
ended in the slaughter and capture of a portion of our rear 


The next station occupied by him, was a diplomatic one. 
In 1760, by the same recommendation that was before inter- 
posed in his favour, he was nominated Secretary to the Earl 
of Kinnoul. * This Scotch nobleman, having been appointed 
ambassador to Portugal ; he and his suite witnessed two extra- 
ordinary events, while residing at the court of Lisbon. One 
of these, in conformity to the policy of the House of Braganza, 
was the marriage of the late queen to her uncle, which was 
afterwards followed by an union on the part of the Prince of 
Brazils, their son, with his own aunt. The other was the fate 
of Gabriel Malagrida, an eloquent Jesuit, who was burnt by 
the inquisition, under pretext of being a heretic. As Mr. 
Francis is likely to have witnessed the latter act, and as he 
lived long enough in that country, to observe all the secret 
springs of its government, it is not at all improbable, that his 

* " In the early part of my life, I had the goo(< fortune to hold a place, very inconsi- 
derable in itself, hut imraediatcly under the Earl of Chatham. He descendel from his 
station to take notice of mine, and he honoured me with repeated marks of his favour 
and protection. How warmly, in return, I was attached to his person, and how far I 
have been grateful to his memory, they who knew me, know. I admired him as a great, 
illuslriousy faulty, human being, whose character, like all the noblest works of human 
composition, should le determined hy its excellencies, not its defects. 

" I should not have mentioned these circumstances, though I confess I am proud of 
tbeiu, if they did not lead me to the subject immediately in question. In the year 
1760, Mr. Secretary Pitt recommended it to the late king, to send the present Earl of 
Klunoul Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of Lisbon. The 
same recommendation engaged the noble lord to appoint me his secretary." 

Mr. Francis's Speech, February 12. 1787- 


hatred of tyranny, in every shape and foi ni, was heightened, 
if not created, during the period he spent in this mission. 

But his residence on the continent was not of long duration, 
for in 1763 we find him once more in England, where he ob- 
tained an appointment of considerable importance, from the 
Right Honourable Wellebore Ellis, afterwards Lord Mendip, 
and then Secretary at War, in his own oflice. Tiiis place, which 
required constant attendance, enabled him, at the same time, to 
liave free and constant intercourse both with public men and 
public measures, during the space of eight or nine years. It 
was at this period, according to Mr. Taylor, in his '* Junius 
identified," that he appeared as a writer in the Public Adver- 
tiser, under that and other signatures *, and occupied, nay 
ingrossed the public curiosity. 

In March, 1772, Mr. Francis resigned his employment, in 
consequence of the treatment of Lord Barrington, wiio had 
succeeded Mr. Ellis. This event took place in March, 1772, 
and we find the retreat of himself, and another gentleman, 
noticed by " Veteran," on the 23d of that same month, who 
is supposed to have been " Junius" in disguise, in the Morn- 
ing Advertiser, in the following terms : " The worthy Lord 
Barrington, not contented with having driven Mr. D'Oyley 
out of the War Office, has, at last, contrived to expel Mr. 

Soon after this, all intercourse on the part of Junius, with 
the public, appears to have ceased, for a considerable periotl ; 
and it is not a little remarkable, that in the interim Mr. Fran- 
cis was abroad. The spring, summer, and autumn of 1772 
were all spent by him in travelling on the continent, in con- 
junction with his friend the late Mr. Godfrey. In company 
with him he passed over to Flanders, and thence penetrated 
into Germany. The Tyrol and Italy were also visited by 
them ; and, in opposition to the practice of most travellers, 
instead of proceeding, they returned by France. During 
his residence at Rome, Mr. Francis repaired to Castel Gon- 

* Veteran, Marcus, Biutu'', &c. )tc. 


dolfo, where lie had an interview with Pope Ganganelh*, the 
particulars of which are said to have been communicated to a 
man of letters, of some celebrity, with whom he was intimately 
acquainted, the late John Campbell, LL. D., author of the 
*' Political Survey of Great Britain." It will be doubtless 
found among his papers. 

It appears from Woodfall's edition of the letters of that ce- 
lebrated writer, that Junius did not renew his intercourse with 
the printer during this interval, and much stress has been also 
laid on this ciixiumstance, by the ingenious gentleman who has 
been at such pains to prove that the subject of this memoir 
was the author. 

In about a year after Mr. Francis's return, he was no- 
minated one of the members of the council of Bengal. To 
this high and honourable situation, which, we believe, was ac- 
companied by a salary of 1 0,000/. per annum^ he appears to 
have been recommended through the influence of Lord 
Barrington with Lord North, afterwards Earl of Guil- 
ford, who was then prime minister. He was appointed in 
June, 1773, in conjunction with the late General John Cla- 
vering, a man of great integrity, who was also appointed Com- 
mander-in-chief *, Colonel George Monson, who had served 
and distinguished himself in India ; and Richard Barwell, Esq. 
who, like himself, was a civilian : all of whom are now dead. 
He was not presented, however, to his Majesty, until Novem- 
ber 19th of the same year. Indeed, it was not until the sum- 
mer of 1774, that these gentlemen set out on iheir mission, 
and by that time Dr. Francis was no more. This fond father 
did not live long enough to behold all his own plans realised, 
in the prosperity of a darling son, having died about a twelve- 
month before. * 

It may be here necessary, by way of elucidation, briefly to 
state the precise situation of the East India Company at this 
juncture, in order to point out the real or supposed necessity 
for the intervention of government in its affairs. 

• Dr. Francis expired, ifier a tedious illness, at Bath, in Marth, 1 7 73- 


Asia was but imperfectly known to the ancients, not- 
witlistancling the conquests of Alexander, and the loni;- 
continued intercourse kept up with the East, through Egypt, 
by the Romans. The writings of Marco Paolo, a Vene- 
tian traveller, afforded but an imperfect glimpse of the 
remote portions of this continent, and it was not imtil Vas- 
qaez di Gama had doubled the Cape of Good Hope, in modern 
times, that any just idea could be formed of the wealth, in- 
dustry, and resources, of so many distant nations. The Por- 
tuguese were the first to enjoy the advantages of this disco- 
very; and England, at length, during the enterprising reign 
of Elizabeth, began to participate in the trade to the East. 

A company of merchant adventurers having been formed, 
soon acquired considerable commercial eminence, by the esta- 
blishment of factories which facilitated the interchange of 
commodities. Poor, humble, and dependant, they at first 
courted the native princes, with the most servile marks of 
adulation, and willingly became the tributaries of the Great 
Mogul. Attaining wealth, numbers, and consequence, by the 
immense profits derived from trade, they soon exhibited a train 
of policy, a display of ambition, and an extent of succes£» 
hitherto unexampled in the annals of any commercial company 
in the world. But it was reserved for one of their clerks, who 
happened to assume a military garb, to open the way to the 
sovereignty of a large portion of Asia. This v,as effected by 
Mr. Clive, at the battle of Plassey, which, in the end, produced 
the downfall of the native chiefs, and the entire dependence, 
not only of rajahs and nabobs, but «ven of the Empeior of 
Hindostan himself. At this present moment, above fifty mil- 
lions of mankind arc, in some measure, consigned to the charge 
of the heads of one great commercial Jirm in Leadenhall- 

But a grand question soon originated in another quarter^ 
This respected the territorial sovereignty of the newly-acquired 
provinces; and, according to the opinions of all the great English 
lawyers, soon after acted upon by the legislature, this could 
alone appertain to the King of England, who had grantctl a 



monopoly of trade, wholly distinct from any supposed rights 
arising out of conquest. Accordingly, the Minister of that 
day introduced a bill, in 1773, by which the civil government 
of Bengal was to be vested in a governor-general and council, 
while the judicial administration was to be regulated by a 
supreme court of justice. At this period, appeared on the 
scene Governor Warren Hastings *, a man of great and 
original abilities, well acquainted with the affairs and languages 
of India, and in whose character there cannot possibly be any 
medium ; for he was either the most virtuous or the most guilty 
of all those adventurers who have exchanged the banks of the 
Thames for those of the Ganges. Replete with projects, he 
kept up diplomatic agents at every court in India; burning 
with ambition, he recurred to war on all occasions, for the 
purposes of consolidating his dominion ; and if there be any 
sound policy, or conspicuous merit, in the late additions to our 
Asiatic dominions, he must be allowed to have laid the foundar 
tions of our present extensive, and perhaps unwieldy empire. 

The new Counsellors, together with the new Chief Justice 
(Sir Elijah Impey), at length arriN-ed in Bengal, in the month 
of October, 1774. Sir John Clavering, Colonel Monson, and 
Mr. Francis, among whom an entire union of sentiment pre- 
vailed, from the first seem to have been detected by Mr. 
Hastings, who neither treated them with the honours due to 
their rank, nor the attention which their personal merits 
entitled them to. 

The affairs of India were discovered by them to be in a 
most critical situation ; for while Hyder Ally menaced the 
safety, and even the existence of the British possessions, on one 
hand, the Mahrattas, then a powerfuV state, threatened war, in 
consequence of the protection of the English Government, to 
jRaganont Roiv, the assassin of his own nephew, who was then 
Peishwa. In obedience to their instructions at home, the 
triumvirate determined to adopt a new and more liberal 
policy ; and they accordingly entered a minute on the records, 
*' That peace with the country powers, together with an invio- 

* Irfi'e .1 memoir (i! ilu! tilylii Hnntmrahlr Wmii'ii ll.isilii--,, \,>l.iii |i.'^lo. 


lable observance of public faith, and a strict attention to 
justice in all transactions with the natives, constituted the 
system of policy most advantageous for the interests of the 
British nation." As they constituted a majority, they were 
enabled to carry some of their plans into execution, in oppo- 
sition to Mr. Hastings, and his faithful adherent Mr. Barvvell. 
The alliance with Rugobah was accordingly disavowed, and 
peace was effected with the Mahrattas. In consequence of 
express orders from the Court of Directors, they also made 
enquiries into all the acts of bribery, peculation, and oppres- 
sion, committed by any of the Company's servants. 

Among the persons adduced as evidences on this occasion, 
were Nundcomar, a native of great power and consequence, 
and his son Rajah Goudrass, both of whom, in the most direct 
and unqualified terms, accused the Governor-General of 
bribery ! This charge was corroborated by a letter from 
Munny Begum, who had transmitted the sums in question ; 
and Cantoo Baboo, the Banyan of Mr. Hastings, was sum- 
moned as one privy to the whole transaction, but was never 
allowed to be produced. Instead of meeting the charge fairiy 
and openly, Nundcomar was instantly arrested on a charge of 
forgery ; and having been committed to the common jail, was 
convicted and executed, for the breach of an act of par- 
liament that did not extend to Scotland, and was never before 
supposed capable of being applied to Asia. 

The sudden death of General Clavering and Colonel Monson 
obtained a superiority for the Governor- General in founcil ; 
and this circumstance, in addition to a bad state of health, ren- 
dered Mr. Francis anxious to return to Europe. But not 
content with his triumph, Mr. Hastings communicated the 
following minute to his adversary, on the night of the l^lth of 
August, 1780, which led to the most serious consequences, as 
it was both personal and offensive in no common degree : — 

" My authority for the opinions which I have declared con- 
cerning Mr. Fj-ancis, depended on facts which have passed 
within my own certain knowledge. I judge of his public conduct 
by my experience of his private, which I have found to be 

N 2 


void of truth and honour. This is a severe charge, but 
temperately and deliberately made, from the firm persuasion 
that I owe this justice to the public and myself, as the only 
Tedress to both for artifices of which I have been a victim, and 
which threaten to involve their interests with disgrace and ruin. 
The only redress for a fraud, for which the law has made no 
provision, is the exposure of it." This outrageous paper pro- 
duced an immediate challenge, and the subject of this memoir 
was shot through the body. 

Soon after his recovery, Mr. Francis embarked for England. 
He left Bengal in December 1 780, and, after spending five 
months at St. Helena, arrived in England in October 1781. 

On his return, the gates of the India House were shut against 


him, notwithstanding he had enforced some of, and endeavoured 
to fulfil all their orders. On the other hand, Mr. Hastings, 
who had been twice recalled for malversation by the Court of 
Directors, and accused by Mr. Dundas, while occupying a 
high situation in the Government, " of the most flagrant vio- 
lence and oppression, and of the grossest breach of faith, com- 
mitted against Cheyt Sing, the Rajah of Benares," was now 
in high favour. Fortunately for him, he had concluded the 
war in India with success. He had, indeed, increased the 
debts to a fearful extent ; but he had also enlarged the terri- 
tories of the Company, and the means were supposed to be 
justified by the end. Some of his friends deprecated enquiry 
during his absence, and ridiculed the idea of a Governor- 
General of India " weathering the storm by an European 
compass ;" while others calmly declared, " that it would be 
the greatest injustice to punish him for malversation, without 
restoring the property so obtained to the right owners." 

On the other hand, one of the greatest orators of this or 
any other age or country, soon after taunted the Governor- 
General with his misdeeds, in open parliament. After accusing 
the Court of Directors of that day with the grossest hypocrisy, 
bitterly remarking, " That utter ruin, and premature death, 
had been among the fruits of their favour," he continued as 
follows : — 


" The death of Colonel Monson and Sir John Clavering, 
ajid the disgrace of Mr. Francis, men who had been sent out 
to reform the abuses of the Company's government, and whose 
conduct had received their uniform applause, amply confirm 
this observation ; but far worse has been the fate of the poor 
creatures the natives of India, whom the hypocrisy of the 
Company had betrayed into complaints of oppression, and 
discoveries of peculation. The first woman in Bengal, a per- 
son of princely rank, who had paid above 200,000^. a year 
quit-rent to the State, was, according to very credible informa- 
tion, so completely beggared by her thoughtless trust in the 
Company's honour, as to stand in need of alms. The affair of 
Nundcomar is well known : by an insult on every thing which 
India held respectable and sacred, he had been hanged for a 
pretended crime, by an ex post facto act of parliament, in the 
midst of his evidence against Mr. Hastings. The accuser they 
saw hanged. The culprit, without acquittal or enquiry, 
triumphed on the ground of that murder : a murder, not of 
Nundcomar only, but of living testimony, and of evidence yet 
unborn. From that time, not a complaint has been heard from 
the natives against their governors. All the grievances of 
India had found a complete remedy." 

Meanwhile, Mr. Francis hoped that a day of account would 
come, when the character of his adversary should be developed, 
and that of himself and his deceased friends fully and success- 
fully vindicated. On the dissolution of parliament in 1784, he 
was elected for the borough of Yarmouth, in the Isle of Wight, 
and is supposed soon after to have given offence to Mr. Pitt, 
by emphatically exclaiming, after he had pronounced an ani- 
mated eulogy on the late Lord Chatham, " But he is dead, 
and has left nothing in this world that resembles him I" He 
now took an active and independent part in the debates of the 
House of Commons ; and while he was looked up to as an 
oracle, in respect to the affairs of the East, no one ever dis- 
played more zeal and activity in securing for his own country- 
men the blessings of a free constitution. 


At length, on the 9th of October 1785, alarmed, perhaps, 
at the clause of the bill introduced by Mr. Pitt, and generously 
objected to by Mr. Francis, to oblige every person returning 
from India, to deliver in a statement of his fortune, on oath, 
Governor Hastings embarked for Europe. He had conciliated 
a number of great families in England, by providing for, and 
enriching their younger branches and dependents. His agents, 
too, were not sparing of their favours : the press was subsi- 
dised, a host of venal writers was enlisted, and the spoils of the 
East were said to have been lavished profusely, to secure new 
and retain old adherents. So little alarmed were his friends, 
that a member of parliament *, who had undertaken the 
management of his political concerns, actually dared his advor- 
saries to the contest, and invited a parliamentary enqi'iry. 

Notwidistanding this, on the l7th of February, 1786, Mr. 
Burke moved for certain papers ; and on the 4 th of April, pre- 
sented several articles, charging Warren Hastings, esquire, 
late Governor of Bengal, with high crimes and misdemeanours, 
and with exhibiting gross cruelty, treachery, and injustice, by 
hiring British soldiers for extirpating the Rohillas ; for bereav- 
ing the Great Mogul of territory and tribute ; with extortion, 
followed by expulsion, in respect to the Rajah of Benares ; 
Avith cruelty to the royal family of Oude; with having ruined 
the fertile province of Farruckabad, by six successive revolu- 
tions ; with receiving money in opposition to the orders of the 
Company ; with having conducted himself with treachery to 
Muzuffer Jung, who had been placed under his guardianship ; 
and with enormous extravagance and bribery, with a view to 
enrich his dependents and favourites. All these charges, 
originally eleven in point of number, were afterwards reduced 
to four: Benares, the Begums, the presents, and the contracts. 
Whatever was done on this subject was doubtless effected 
with the privity of Mr. Francis : for without him, even Mr. 
Burke himself would have been bewildered in the mazes of 
oriental politics. But the assistance afforded on this occasion, 

* ISlajor Scoil. 


SIR rillLir FRANCIS. 183 

became a ground of disapprobation, and even of displcasin'e, in 
a certain quarter. Notwithstanding this, in the spring of 1787, 
lie moved the revenue charge against Mr. Hastings, and 
that, too, with such ability and efficacy, that he carried it with 
a high hand, against the eloquence of the premier, and the 
whole strength of Government and the Indian interest, the 


numbers being 71 to 5.5. This excited a certain spirit of op- 
position, if not of revenge ; and, accordingly, when the managers 
were nominated, the subject of this memoir was excluded from 
the list of candidates. Mr. Fox proposed his name, in a speech 
highly complimentary both to his talents and his virtues; for, 
after enumerating the different qualities requisite in a public 
accuser, he declared that they all centred in the gentleman then 
proposed by him. " In such a character, innocence and 
integrity were indispensable ingredients. It was necessary that 
he who preferred an accusation against another, should himself 
be blameless, and his reputation unsuspected. That this was 
the case with Mr. Francis was universally known. He had 
been selected a parliamentary delegate to India in the year 
1773, in consequence of the reputation he bore. He had 
returned with the approbation and confidence of the East India 
Company ; and the testimony of his friends was confirmed and 
corroborated by those of his enemies. 

" By a steady hostility to the malversation of others, he had 
provoked the most rigid scrutiny into his own conduct. Had 
any acts of delinquency been discoverable in him, they must 
long since have been brought before the public. 

" It was fit that an accuser should possess talents. What 
were the natural abilities of Mr. Francis, it was needless to 
state in a place where they were so well known. What were 
his acquired abilities on the subject of the prosecution, must be 
equally evident from the opportunities he had enjoyed. It was 
much to have been in India; it was much to have been ac- 
quainted with the evasions and tergiversations under which 
Mr. Hastings had been accustomed to screen his obliquities. 
There were but few men from that quarter who would dare to 

N 1 


assume the character of an accuser, or whose own conduct 
would stand the test of enquiry. 

" Lastly, he conceived that it was no less requisite in an 
accuser, that he should entertain no partiality in flivour of the 
accused ; that he should not be indifferent to the end of the 
prosecution, and that he should be animated with an honest 
indio-nation against the crimes, and the criminal whom he 
attempted to bring to justice. 

" If Mr. Francis was disposed to cherish enmity to Mr. 
Hastings, it was not a private but a public enmity ; a dislike 
not founded on antipathy to his person, but in a just sense of 
the crimes he had committed, and the trust he liad abused." 

Tov^jprds the conclusion, Mr. Fox entered into an culogium 
on the conduct of this gentleman, relative to his plans for the 
government of our Asiatic settlements, and observed, " If ever 
India should be well governed, if the corruptions that had 
prevailed in that country should ever be corrected, the disco- 
very was to be imputed to Mr. Francis. He had, with 
inlinite application and ability, brought forward the abuses of 
the East India administration to the notice of this country. 
By means of his local and personal knowledge, he had de- 
veloped the whole niystcry of corruption. He had enforced it 
on the conviction of the house ; he had peisuaded an unwilling 
audience ; for no man was willing to become an accuser. 
Would the house, now that they had adopted the accusation, 
and made it their own, prevent its author from supporting it 
at the bar of the House of Lords, where he only could support 
it with effect ?" 

The late Mr. Windham delivered his sentiments on the 
same subject. He observed, " That in all judicial proceed- 
ings, the truth was to be discovered through the contention and 
opposition of the parties, or their advocates. It was, perhaps, 
by confounding the functions of a witness and an accuser, that 
niembers were induced to entertain so ill-fouuded an idea, as 
that private resentment unfitted a man for the character of an 
nccuser. Even a witness was not disqualified for partiality ; 


for, in fact, every witness was in some degree partial ; and if 
the judge perceived in him a more than ordinary degree of 
animosity, he only heard him with the more caution, and ques- 
tioned him with the greater strictness. 

" But did Mr. Francis really labour under that impression ? 
He could see no reason to imagine it, unless the necessary con- 
sequence of a duel was perpetual enmity. Would a private 
individual, having a law-suit with another, and that other fast- 
ening a quarrel upon him, immediately, on that account, 
relinquish his cause, and give up his property ? Mr. Windham 
lioped that no one would pretend to argue, that it would be 
more incumbent where the person was only a trustee for 
another. This was Mr. Francis's case : he had been entrusted 
by the public, he saw the public wronged by Mr. Hastings, 
and he determined to do justice to his masters by bringing the 
delinquent to an account for his malversation. The delinquent 
quarrelled with him, and they fought ; and for that reason, 
merely because a private injury was superadded to public 
offences, the public were to lose the means of bringing to 
punishment the person who had violated the trust they had 
reposed in him." 

Mr. Pitt having observed, " That the question, in his 
opinion, was a question of feeling, and not of argument ; and 
that he was disinclined to appoint, as a representative of the 
House of Commons, the only member who had, on a former 
occasion; been engaged in a personal contest with the accused," 
Mr. Burke ridiculed these allegations with considerable force 
and effect. 

" Was it fit or becoming in the character of a legislator, on 
a great and important question, to say that his feelings were so 
much hurt, that he found himself compelled to abandon inves- 
tigation and argument, that he might not violate his delicacy ? 
What was delicacy ? It was but a term to Avhich no definite 
idea had been found. It was at best but a superadded flower to 
virtue; an ornament, the absence or the presence of which was 
alike indifferent to the substance. Delicacy and feeling might 
be very proper terms to express the sensations arising from the 


exertions of an opera singer, but they were an insult to the 
solemnity and magnitude of parliamentary deliberation." 

Mr. Francis at length arose and observed, " rhathe had at- 
tended the debate very much against his inclination, although he 
could not with any propriety have avoided it. It was incumbent 
on him to appear, and be ready to give answers to any thing 
which, in the judgment of the House, might have called for ex- 
planation. But he now found, that the objection turned upon 
no imputation against his character, no suspicion upon his 
conduct, but merely on a point of honour." 

Turning round to the friends of the accused, he then apos- 
trophised them in a manner that extorted even their applause. 

" Thirteen years are now elapsed," observed he, " since I 
first was connected in office with Mr. Hastings ; six of them 
were wasted in India in perpetual contest with him. Seven 
years ago, I left him there, in possession of absolute power. In 
all that time, no charges have been produced agauist me. 
Surely, Sir, if accusation is ever to come, it is high time it 
should appear. If now, or at any other period, I should be 
obliged to change place with Mr. Hastings ; if hereafter it 
should be my lot to be accused, I shall assuredly never object 
to his being my prosecutor ; for though by removing a power- 
ful, a well-inforjned, and in the sense of the present argument, 
an inveterate accuser, I might provide for my safety, my 
honour would be lost. Let those centlemen who are entrusted 
with the care of Mr. Hastings' honour, look to what they are 
doing I" 

Mr. Francis then entered into a review of his conduct in 
respect to Mr. Hastings, since his return to England. Seven 
years before, when he had been almost immediately called on 
to give evidence before a committee of the House of Commons, 
" Could he, without treachery to the public, have refused any 
information in his power ? If not, the single question was, in 
what form did it become him to act ? In the character of an 
evidence only ? Would that have been a part to which no 
enmity, no n)alice could have been imputed ? Would it have 

sill I'HILir FRANCIS. 187 

been honourable in him to stand aloof and hide himself, while 
in fact he supplied the information, furnished the materials, 
and prompted the prosecution ? Was he thought to have 
acted dishonourably, because he declared himself the respon- 
sible accuser of Mr. Hastings, — because he avowed his prin- 
ciples, and hazarded all the consequences of obloquy, retaliation, 
and revenge, which a public prosecutor must encounter, but 
which a secret and skulking accuser might easily avoid ? 

" I had originally advised on this subject with Sir William 
Draper ; my conduct has been more recently approved by 
General Burgoyne; men who might be supposed no mean 
judges of a point of honour. But while I lament the conse- 
quences of a vote, that shall exclude me from any share in the 
impeachment of Mr. Hastings, I trust that no person will think 
it possible, that I mean to solicit this House to alter its reso- 
lution. I owe every assistance to my friend Mr. Burke, in 
the task he has undertaken ; but exclusively of that consider- 
ation, what can I deserve better, than to be absolved without 
disgrace, from any further concern in this toilsome, invidious, 
and most unthankful office ?" 

The friends of Mr. Hastings triumphed on the division, al- 
though fairly beaten in the debate; for the ayes in favour of 
Mr. Francis's admission were G2^ and the Jiocs 122 ! On 
this the name of Mr. Frederick Montague was substituted. 

It was now supposed — perhaps hoped, by some — that the 
great talents of Mr. Francis, added to his critical and minute 
information on all subjects connected with India, would be 
lost on the part of the prosecution. But it proved otherwise, 
as will be seen from the following document, which reflects so 
much honour on the good conduct and abilities of the subject 
of the present memoir ; nor ought it to be omitted here, 
that the late Lord Minto declared, that after perusing the 
records of the Company, he had there found inculcated the 
most wise and steady principles of government, an inflexible 
integrity, and a firm resistance to all corrupt principles on 
Hie part of Mr. Francis. 


Copy of a Letter from the Committee of Managers of the Im- 
'peachmcnt, to Philip Francis, Esq. dated Committee Room, 
House of Commons, Dec. 18, 1787. 

" Sir, 

" There is nothing in the orders of the house which pre*- 
vents us from resorting to your assistance; and we should 
shew very Httle regard to our honour, to our duty, or to the 
effectual execution of our trust, if we omitted any means that 
are left in our power to obtain the most beneficial use of it. 

" An exact local knowledge of the affairs of Bengal is re- 
quisite in every step of cur proceedings ; and it is necessary 
that our information should come from sources not only com- 
petent but unsuspected. We hiive perused, as our duty has 
often led us to do, with great attention, the records of the 
Company, during the time in which you executed the important 
office committed to you by Parliament ; and our good opinion of 
you has grown in exact proportion to the minuteness and 
accuracy of our researches. We have found that as far as in 
you lay, you fully answered the ends of your arduous dele- 
gation. An exact obedience to the authority placed over you 
by the laws of your country, wise and steady principles of 
government, an inflexible integrity in yourself, and a firm re- 
sistance to all corrupt practices in others, crowned by an 
uniform benevolent attention to the rights, properties, and 
welfare of the natives (the grand leading object in your ap- 
pointment) appear eminently throughout those records. Such 
a conduct, so tried, acknowledged, and recorded, demands our 
fullest confidence. 

" These, Sir, are the qualities, and this is the conduct on 
your part, on which we ground our wishes for your assistance. 
On what we are to groimd our right to make any demand 
upon you, we are more at a loss to suggest. Our sole titles, 
we are sensible, are to be found in the public exigencies, and 
in your public spirit. Permit us, Sir, to call for this further 
service in the name of the people of India, for whom your 
parental care has been so long distinguis^hcd, and in support 


of whose cause you have encountered so many difiicultics, 
vexations, and dangers. 

" We have expressed sentiments in which we are unanimous, 
and which, with pride and pleasure, we attest under all our 
signatures, entreating you to favour us as frequently as you 
can, with your assistance in the committee ; and you shall liave 
due notice of the days on which your advice and instructions 
may be more particularly necessary. We have the honour to 

" With the most perfect respect. Sir, 
*' Your most faithful and obliged humble servants, 

" Edmund Burke, Chairman. 
Charles James Fox, Maitland, 
R. B. Shei-idan, Dudley Long, 

Thomas Pelham, John Burgoyne, 
W. Windham, Geo. Aug. North, 

Gilbert Elliot, St. Andrew St. John, 

Charles Grey, Richard Fitzpatrick, 

William Adam, Roger Wilbraham, 

John Anstruther, John Courtenay, 
M. A. Taylor, James Erskine." 

As there was neither rule, nor precedent, nor regulation of 
Parliament, to prevent such auxiliary succour, Mr. Francis 
instantly attended the committee, and gave his aid and assist- 
ance on every occasion. The fate of this prosecution carried 
on by the ablest men in England is well known. Notwith- 
standing the sanguine temperament, the wrongs, and the injus- 
tice experienced on the part of Mr. Francis, his conduct was 
firm, indeed, but mild and manly. On the other hand, the 
proceedings of Mr. Burke were violent, and his language bitter 
and vituperative in the extreme ! The original prosecution was 
at first, both popular and just ; but an impeachment of seven 
years duration, during which ;i large jiortiou of the ori- 
ginal judges were either removed by death or disability, while 
many new ones, utterly unacquainted with the proceedings, had 
been introduced into the House of Lords, seemed to violate 


every principle of criminal justice. In addition to all these 
considerations, there are certain circumstances of a delicate 
nature, connected with the secret history of this country, that 
concurred in the escape of the Governor-General ; and let it 
also be recollected, that notwithstanding his great and acknow- 
ledged abilities, he was never afterwards employed or trusted, 
or consulted, by that or any subsequent administration. True 
it is, that towards the conclusion of his life, he was admitted 
an honorary member of the Privy Council. Yet this must be 
considered merely as a personal favour, as the votes of the 
House of Commons for his impeachment, on the score of 
cruelty, rapacity, and injustice, have never to this day been 

Meanwhile Mr. Francis continued to act an important part 
in all the debates of the House. He supported Mr. Fox, who 
finally triumphed respecting the subject of the Westminster 
election. He opposed both the facts and conclusions annually 
stated by Mr. Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville, on opening 
the India budget ; he deprecated the delusive idea then held 
out of an excess of revenue, and ridiculed the project of lessen- 
ing the debts and burdens of Great Britain, by means of the 
super-abundant wealth of Asia ! Such a wild project no longer 
finds supporters, even now, when our territories and popu- 
lation have obtained such a sudden increase, and we have be- 
come the sole preponderant power in Asia. 

The conduct of the House of Commons durinjx the war 
with America, superadded to many gross and unqualified in- 
stances of abuse, induced many persons of consideration, both 
in and out of Parliament, to call aloud for a reform. Mr. 
Pitt had been one of tlie first to patronise this measure, which 
proved the ladder, indeed, that mounted him to power and 
consequence, and enabled that great orator to display those 
siniiulai" and commandin£>- talents which for a time attracted' 
the applause and attention of his countrymen.- 

M)-. Francis was not inattentive to this great and important 
subject. On the contrary, he took the lead, in recommending 
measures likely lo obtain llie object in question. It was he 


who founded the celebrated society, called " the Friends of 
the People," and associated Mr. Fox, Mr. Tierney, Lord 
then Mr. Grey, &c., &c., in his labours. On this subject, he 
published a pamphlet, and circulated it for the inspection of 
the friends of that cause, which we may notice hereafter, as an 
interleaved copy now lies before us. Such proceedings as 
these could not fail to call for the animadversions of his quon- 
dam friend, Mr. Burke, who was about this period, rewarded 
for his zeal, with reversionary and other grants, equal to 
35,000/. of the public money ; while the royal favour designated 
a peerage in addition to his pension. The following docu- 
ments, including both the charge and the refutation, ought 
assuredly to find a place here. 

Copy of a Letter from Philip Francis, Esq. 

" St. James's Square, Feb. 20, 1 797. 

*' In the 71st page of a printed letter from Mr. Burke to 
the Duke of Portland, without a date, I find the following 
assertions : 

" ' Some of these gentlemen, who have attacked the House 
of Conmions, lean to a representation of the people by the 
head; that is, to individual representation. None of then), 
that I recollect, except Mr. Fox, directly rejected it. It is 
remarkable, however, that he only rejected it by simply 
declaring an opinion : he let all the arguments go against liis 
opinion. All the proceedings and arguments of his reforming 
friends lead to individual representation, and to nothing else. 
It deserves to be attentively observed, that this individual re- 
presentation is the only plan of their reform which has been 
explicitly proposed.' 

" And in page 81, I am named as one of a phalanx, lo 
whom not only these views, j>roceedings, arguments, and plans 
of parliamentary reform are imputed, but who had thought 
proper to treat him as a deserter, as if he had sworn to live and 
die in our French principles. I believe I shall suiliciently 
clear myself from these imputations by declaring as I do: — 


" 1st, That having been a member of tlie society of the 
Friends of the People, and having had a share in the conduct 
of their proceedings, I know not of any act, order, resolution, 
proposition, motion, or proceeding of any kind, in that so- 
ciety, in favour of individual or universal representation. 

" 2d, That I am morally certain, that, if any motion to that 
effect had been proposed, it would have been rejected by a 
very great majority of the whole society. 

" .Sd, That, if it had been possible for such a motion to 
prevail, I would have quitted the society, and opposed their 

" 4th, That in fact a very different principle of reform, 
and incompatible with that imputed to us, viz. by extending 
the right of voting to all householders paying parochial taxes, 
and stopping there, was unanimously adopted by the society on 
the 9th of April, 1794. 

" 5th, That on the 30th May, 1795, the society unanimously 
approved of a plan formed by me on this principle, and 
recommended it to the consideration of the public ; and that 
this plan was published in all the newspapers. 

" 6th, That I have, on all occasions, resisted and repro- 
bated to the utmost of my povi^er the idea of individual or 
universal representation, particularly at a meeting of the so- 
ciety on the Sth of March, 1 794, at which I expressly treated 
it as a dangerous chimera, set up on purpose to delude the lotvcr 
classes of the peap)le. 

" In the House of Commons, on the 23d of January, 1795, 
the following words make part of my answer to the Attorney- 
General : — 

" ' With respect to universal representation, and all the 
dangers and all the reproaches attached to it, I must say, that 
I think the learned gentleman oug;ht to be careful to distin- 
guish those who profess to have such a scheme in contem- 
plation, and ot^iers who reject it with a disapprobation as full 
and entire, though not perhaps with such extravagant horror 
as he does. He ought to have known that the idea of uni- 
versal representation was never encouraged or countenanced 


by any act or declaiatioii whatever of our association. If lie 
knows any thing to the contrary, I call upon him now — I 
challenge him to point it out. Of me m particular, lie must, 
have known, and, in candour, he ought to have acknowledged, 
that it is not possible for any man to go further than I have 
done, to reject, to resist, and to explode every project of that 
nature, and every jirinciple and argument set up to support it ; 
a project, however, so chimerical, and so utterly impracticable, 
that it is superfluous to load it with charges of danger and 
malignity. But, let the doctrine I allude to be ever so mis- 
chievous, is it in fact, is it in truth, the real object of all the 
apprehensions and terrors which are said to be excited by it ? 
- — I do not believe it ; I do not believe that the enemies of 
reform are so much terrified by it as they pretend to be. 
They know, as well as I do, that it is nothing but a vision 
which can never be realised. No, Sir ; whatever they may 
pretend, this is not the true ground of their uneasiness. It is 
the reasonable, the moderate, the practicable plan whicK 
really fills them with terror and aiixiety. That, perhaps, 
might be accomplished ; the other never can, nor, if it were 
even to obtain for a moment, could it possibly subsist ; and I 
am convinced, that, if it were possible to drive those persons 
to an option, ihey would prefer the worst to the best ; because 
they would foresee that the mischiefs inevitable in 'the exe- 
cution of such a scheme, or even in the attempt, would de- 
termine every reasonable man in the country to revert and 
submit to the present system ; that is, to suffer the constitution 
to languish and dissolve in its corruption, or gradually to 
perish by decay, rather than to encounter the direct and posi- 
tive dangers of a change so violent and extreme, to which 
their minds would naturally unite the certainly of instant 

" In my speech on the slave trade, on the 1 1th of April, 
179fi, there is the following passage: — 

" ' In the lowest situations of life the people know as well 
as we do, that wherever personal industry is encouraged, and 
property protected, there must be inrqualitjcs of pos'^e'^ .ion 

vol,. IV. « 


and consequently distinction of ranks. Then come the form 
and the order, by which the substance is at once defined and 
preserved. Distribution and hmitation prevent confusion, and 
government by orders is the natural result of property pro- 
tected by freedom. Take care that you adhere to it. Where 
the few possess all, and the multitude have nothing, there is no 
government by orders. Every thing is in extremity, and 
nothing in gradation.' 

«' Whether these are French principles or not, 1 neither 
know nor care. I assert that they ai'e mine. 

" Philip FnANcis." 

On the great question of war with France, in 1792-3, 
IMr. Francis joined and acted in unison with his friend, INIr, 
Fox. He contended with him, as to the injustice and im- 
policy of their country's interposing in continental disputes, 
more especially when in opposition to a nation, that wished to 
throw off its chains, and become free, as England herself had 
done by the revolution of 1688. Accordingly, when, as a 
first step towards hostilities, a motion was made for the aug- 
mentation of the navy, he explained his opinions in parlia- 
ment, and did all in his power to impress both the House of 
Commons and the nation, with the propriety of effecting a 
chano-e in the administration. He enquired, " whether it 
was to the fault or the misfortune of ministers, that the present 
situation of the country was to be attributed ? they owed it 
to their own character, to the House, and to the country, to 
show, we were not brought into our present perilous crisis, by 
any fault on their part. At a moment like this, when we 
were called on to struggle even for our existence as a nation, 
it was a lamentable consideration, that the whole ability of 
the country was excluded from the government." 

At the dissolution of that parliament, Mr. Francis was un- 
able to obtain a seat. At the general election, in 1 796, he 
stood for Tewkesbury, in conjunction with his friend Mr. 
Moore, now member of parliament for Coventry, and they 
jointly endeavoused on this occasion to establish the franchises 


of the freemen and fsecholders ; but their two opponents, 
who advocated the exclusive rights of the housekeepers, were 
seated by the return ing-officcr, who considered this as a 
scot and lot borough. On this they presented a petition; but 
the decision of a committee was adverse to their claims. In 
consequence of this event, Mr. Francis remained during a long 
period of about six years out of parhament. In 1802, how- 
ever, he again resumed his place in the house. On this occa- 
sion he was nominated for Appleby, and sat for that place 
during several subsequent parliaments, without opposition and 
without expense. 

The affairs of India, as usual, still continued to enffajre his 
attention, and occupy his researches. He lost no opportu- 
nity to remind the House of Commons and the nation, that 
our frequent wars in Asia were equally impolitic and unjust, 
and that even our conquests tended to precipitate our ruin. 
In 1 804, he commenced an elaborate speech with reading the 
following clause of an act of parliament : " Whereas to pur- 
sue the schemes of conquest and extension of dominion iii 
India are measures repugnant to the wish, the honour, and 
policy of this nation, &c." 

" Since this prohibitory act passed in 1784," says he, " I 
appeal to the House whether we have heard of any thing from 
India but war and conquest; many victories and great acqui- 
sitions, with only now and then a short interval of repose, to 
take breath and begin again. There is another ground of 
presumption against the necessity and justice of these wars, 
which seems to me as strong and conclusive as any presumption 
can be before the contrary is proved ; I mean. Sir, that almost 
all these wars arc supposed to originate in acts of provocation 
and aggression committed by the weak against the strong. 

" The sti-ength of any single Indian state at any time, and 
now I believe of all of them put together, is not to be com- 
pared to the military pov/er and resources of the EiJglish. 

" I do not say that these nations have no means of defence, 
or tliat the Mahrattas, for example, can do us no mischiel ; 
but that considering the great disjiarity of force, it requires 

r> i; 


very clear evidence to make it credible, that whereas the dis- 
position of the British power in India is always, if possible, to 
preserve the peace, and to be satisfied with what we possess, 
this excellent disposition is never suffered to prevail, because 
the Indian princes are so restless and unruly, that we cannot, 
in common justice to ourselves, refrain from invading them. 
The fable says — the fierce, rebellious lamb would never suffer 
the mild, gentle, moderate wolf to be quiet : if it was not you^ 
it voas yonrfallier. 

" These propositions may be true, but they require some 
proof; and, when the proof is jiroduced, I shall desire it 
always to be observed and remembered, that the evidence 
Avhich comes before us is ex ■parte. We hear little or nothing 
of wliat the opposite, and possibly the injured party, have to 
say for themselves. 

" Ever since I have known any thing of Indian affairs, I 
have found that the prevailing disease of our government there 
has been a I'age for making war. The strong, though inellec- 
t«al remedies which have from time to time been applied to 
this disorder, are a sufficient proof of its existence. That in- 
dividuals may find their account in the conduct of such wars, 
I do not mean to dispute ; but I deny that they are or can be 
for the benefit of the India Company, or the nation, parti- 
cularly in the present circumstances of the Company's affairs. 
In these circumstances, and in actual possession of half the 
peninsula, you engage in a new war with the Mahrattas, the 
success of which can give you nothing but an addition of ter- 
ritory, which you cannot keep without an intolerable increase 
of your military establishment, and a perpetual drain of all 
your resources, of men as well as money, and which you 
ought not to keep if you could. A\'hether the Mahrattas have 
united in defence of their country, or to carry the war into 
the heart of our best provinces, as they have done in former 
times, or with what loss or expense our success against them 
may have been purchased, are questions on which we are 
utterly in the dark. By public report alone we are informed, 
that war of great cKtent at least, and liable to many import- 


ant consequences, is now carrying on in Incliii, and that no 
information of it has been communicated to parliament." 

A few days after this (May 3, 1804) he opposed tlie })ro- 
position " that the thanks of the House be given to the Mar- 
quis Wcllesley, and to the oHicers and soldiers concerned 
in achieving our late successes in India, &c." on the princij>le, 
that the terms were so worded, as to include an approbation 
of the causes of the war. 

" The Noble Lord (Castlereagh)," said ho, " talks with 
triumph and exultation of the rapid progress of our arms, and 
the immense acquisitions of territory we have made in the 
Guzzerat, and elsewhere. He forgets that the positive law 
of this country, founded on the best-considered principles of 
policy and justice, and confirmed by the advice of every man 
in this country whose authority deserves to be regarded, for- 
bids any further acquisition of territory in India. Prima facicr 
a British governor, who makes war for the acquisition of ter- 
ritory, offends against the law, and is bound to justify himself 
on the case before he can be acquitted. |i 

" On the whole. Sir, it is my opinion that this motion of 
thanks to Lord Wellesley ought to be ixleferred. I have no 
personal object to obtain, or even a wish to gratify, in the 
part I have taken on this subject, unless it is to preserve the 
consistency of my own character, and to adhere to the prin- 
ciples with which I set out in the government of India, and 
from which I never have departed. 

" Thanks given without knowledge or deliberation do no 
honour to those who give, or to those who receive them. They 
have no root, and cannot live. Let the evidence come before 
us. Let the Noble Lord's conduct be examined, and then if 
it should appear that the war in which India is involved was 
not voluntary on his part; that it was founded in justice and 
necessity ; I shall be as ready as any man to join in the thanks 
proposed by this motion. The thanks of the House of Com- 
mons, founded on due examination, and including all the 
considerations that belong to the question, will then pro- 
ceed with di<rnitv. Their impression will be dcrp, and ihcir 

o .{ 


effect lasting. 1 therefore think that the motion ought to 
be postponed." 

On tlie 21st of January, 1805, Mr. Francis moved for an 
enquiry into the origin of the war with Jesswunt Rao Holcar ; 
and on Friday, April 5th of the same year, he gave the fol- 
lowing detail relative to our Asiatic possessions. 

" The origin of our connection with India, and the founda- 
tion of our establishment there, was commercial. Appearing 
in the character of merchants, and for many years assuming no 
other, we were received by the native princes, not only with hos- 
pitality and protection, but with extraordinary favour and en- 
couragement ; and certainly, as far as the commercial interests 
of their subjects or their own were concerned, they acted wisely. 
*' In the natural course of things, it is not possible to open 
a trade of any kind between India and Europe, without 
making it a channel of profit and an influx of wealth to India. 
Comparatively speaking, India, and especially Bengal, sells 
every thing to foreign nations, and buys very little. In this 
intercourse with Europe, the native princes saw and under- 
stood their immediate advantage. Their commercial eye was 
open; but their political eye was shut. They saw that the 
balance of foreign trade was immensely in their favour ; but 
they did not foresee the fatal consequence of granting tc foreign 
merchants a stationary establishment in their country. 

" The conduct of another Eastern nation, in similar cir- 
cumstances, exhibits an example of sounder policy. The 
Chinese will never suffer us to have a footing in China. On 
this subject, their own institutions are wise, and they know 
how we have acted in India. From factories to fortifications ; 
from fortifications to garrisons ; from garrisons to armies, and 
from armies to conquest; the gradations were natural, and 
the result inevitable. For my present purpose, it is not 
material to look back to our transactions in India before the 
year 1765. 

*' Up to that period, our affairs were in a state of pro- 
gression, without a solid security, and exposed to many 
hazards. The grant of the Dewanny of Bengal, Bahar, and 

SIR rillLlP FRANCIS. 199 

Orixa, obtained by Lord Clive, gave us a powerful establish- 
ment, and in effect a sovereignty in India, under the name or 
shadow of a country government. 

" From foreign merchants we suddenly became a great ter- 
ritorial and political power : from adventurers, who had every 
thing to win, we became possessors, who had every thing va- 
luable to lose. No wise man continues the game, by which 
his fortune is once made. Accordingly we changed, or pro- 
fessed to change, our maxims with our situation. The 
fundamental principle immediately recommended by all the 
authorities abroad, and acknowledged and adopted by all the 
powers at home, was limitation of dominion. The same great 
man, to whom we owe the acquisition, and who laid the 
foundation of our dominion, bequeathed to us the wisest 
counsels for preserving it. His words are *, ' My resolution 
and my hopes will always be to confine our conquest and our 
possessions to Bengal, Bahar, and Orixa. To go further is, 
in my opinion, a scheme so extravagantl}' ambitious and 
absurd that no governor and council in their senses can ever 
adopt it, unless the whole system of the Company's interest be 
first entirely new-modelled.' On this principle, when the 
dominions of Suja ul Dowla, when the whole country of Oude 
was at his disposal, he restored it to that prince. To the 
same effect, there is another authority, particularly weighty in 
the scale with any argument of mine, I mean that of Mr. 
Hastings, whose name assuredly I should never have men- 
tioned, if I had not an tjpportunity of doing it with appro- 
bation, as well as with advantage to my opinion. No words 
can be stronger than those in which he gives his own. In a 
letter addressed to the Court of Directors, the President and 
Council of Fort William say, * The security and tranquillity 
of these provinces shall be the ultimate end of all our nego- 
ciations; and you may trust, that we are too well aware of ihc 
ruinous tendency of all schemes of conquest, ever to adopt 
them, or ever to depart from the absolute line of self-defence, 

* Si'|ii. ■■',{), I -I, J. 


unless impelled to it by the most obvious necessity, and imme-' 
diate exigency of the circumstances. 


' Warren Hastings and Council.' 

" These were the principles most solemnly declared and 
established by the court of directors, in concert with his 
Majesty's ministers, at that time, for the future government of 
India. In their instructions to the governoi'-general and 
council appointed by Parliament, their first injunction is to 
Jix oicr attention to the "preservation of peace throughout Indiay 
and to the security of the Compan\jS possessions. Their letters 
are filled with maxims and orders to the same effect." 

On the 10th of March, 1800*, when the House was engaged 
in a discussion relative to the conduct of the Marquis Wel- 
lesley, Mr. Francis, after a few words on that subject, in reply 
to some marked compliments from one of the directors *, so- 
licited the attention of the House for a few words, in respect 
to himself, and the rather, as they would probably be the last 
he should ever address to them on that subject. 

" He had passed six years," he said, " in perpetual misery 
and contest, in Bengal, at the hazard of his life, for which he 
appealed to the chairman of the court of directors : then a 
wretched voyage of ten months, and two and twenty years of 
labour in the same course, unsupported, and alone. 

" By endeavouring through all that portion of his life to 
maintain right against wrong, he had sacrificed his repose, and 
forfeited all hopes of reward or personal advantage ; but now 
lie had taken his resolutions, and would do so no more. He 
"would never more take an active part, nuich less a lead, in 
any discussion of Indian questions. 

" When he made a motion, which had been alluded to, last 
year, it was not to impeach Lord Wellesley, but to arm Lord 
Cornwallis with the authority of Parliament, and to satisfy the 
princes of India, that this nobleman acted not merely on his 
own sentiments, but on the permanent principles of the British 

* Mr. Huddlcrton. 

sin rillLlP FIIANCIS. * 201 

legislature. That motion was set aside, and he would never 
renew it. 

" With regard to personal proceedings against any man, he 
was resolved to take no part in thcni. The impeachment of 
Mr. Hastings had cured him of that folly. It was he^ in fact, 
who had been tried, and Mr. Hastings acquitted. 

" He had reason enough to feel a spirit of prejudice, if not 
of animosity, against Lord INIelville, from the perpetual con- 
tradiction he had maintained against him ; yet in all the pro- 
ceedings relative to that noble lord, he had never uttered one 
word; nor would he now concern himself in any prosecution 
against Lord Wellesley. His spirits were exhausted, and his 
mind was subdued by a long, unthankful, and most invidious 
application to one pursuit, in which he had never been able to 
do any good. 

" He was not, nor would be, standing counsel for the nation, 
or for the Company, on the subject of Iijdia. There was one 
view only, in which he should attend to future proceedings in 
parliament on Indian questions, because he would not relin- 
quish the duties of his station while he held a seat in parlia- 
ment ; he would watch and take care, if he could, to protect 
the finances of Britain from being ruined by those of India. 

" I have passed," added he, " almost thirty years in endea- 
vouring to defend the India Company's property from ruin, 
and to support their lawful authority; I have laboured to pre- 
serve the peace of Asia, and to protect the natives from op- 
pression. The only duty now left me, is to defend England 
against India." 

In respect to the conduct of Mr. Francis with regard to the 
affairs of Asia, and still more with reference to the war with 
France, a considerable difference of opinion may exist; but as 
to his great and singular merits on another occasion, there 
can be no one dissentient voice. Mr. Francis was not opulent J 
he inherited but a very trifling, if any, patrimonial fortune ; 
his acquisitions in India had been considerably reduced by his 
expenses in England ; he had not enriched himself by mar- 
riage, nor had he received one shilling of the public money for 

^2()2 siu PHILIP riiANcis. 

many years. With a family to be provided for, he Uvcd liker 
a gentleman, and had to maintain an establishment in St. 
James's Square, with a country house in the county of Surrey. 
Such was his precise situation when the new and great question 
of African slavery engaged the attention of the nation. At 
this period, when, to a man getting old and infirm, affluence 
became desirable and indeed almost necessary, Mr. Francis 
was placed in a most disagreeable dilemma. A relative, 
possessing considerable plantations in the West Indies, alarmed 
at the new and ui'gent claims now made on the score of hu- 
manity, held out a temptation, that to other men and other 
characters, would have proved irresistible. On one hand, he 
beheld all the allurements of great wealth ; on the other, he 
was to contemplate its privations, both in respect to him and 
his descendants. He did not hesitate, however, for a single 
moment, as to the conduct fit for him to pursue, as will be 
seen from his sentiments, when Mr. Wilberforce brought in a 
bill " to prevent the further importation of slaves into the 
British colonies in the West Indies." Here follows the sub- 
stance of his speech on that occasion, as given in the debates 
in parliament, commencing with his attack on the premier, on 
account of the slow progress made by him, in putting an end 
to the nefarious traffic in human creatures. On this occasion, 
(April 11, 1796) he made a motion for leave to bring in a 
bill to meliorate the situation of the slaves in the West In- 
dies. After reminding the House of the pledge that had 
been given, and the faith that had been violated, he turned 
round to the Treasury Bench, and spoke as follows : — 

" There is one person * left. Sir, whose support, if I really 
had it, would undoubtedly be of more use than all the rest ; 
but whose support I disdain to solicit. 

" I will not, for any purpose of this world, much less for 
any interest of my own, descend from the independence of my 
character, or from the station attached to the duty of this day, 
to submit myself to a capricious, mean, injurious enmity, not 

* Mr. Pill. 

SIR rillLlP FRANCIS. 203 

the less bitter because utterly groundless, not the less perse- 
vering because utterly unprovoked. 

" Neither is it necessary. I have a surer course to take 
with the right honourable person I allude to. If I am not 
grossly mistaken in my opinion of his character, I have a 
powerful resource in the judicious quality of his calculating 
mind. I am not alluding now to the general purity of his 
morals, or to his sincerity in particular. Without disput- 
ing his virtues, I hold it to be fortunate that I am not driven 
to rely on them. I depend upon his support, because 1 think 
I can put an honourable force upon his mind. I know the 
scruples and the prudence with which he weighs and balances 
the specific value of profit against praise. Whatever you may 
think of him, he is not a man to be driven, even by a favourite 
passion, to sacrifice a great portion of reputation for an in- 
considerable advantage, and still less for a gratuitous indul- 
gence of temper. I am safe, then, when I say, that my present 
intention is neither to solicit nor to offend, but to provoke 
him, {Hear ! hear!) — yes. Sir, not to oifend, but to provoke. 
Provocation is not of necessity offence. To inflame is not to 
irritate. They know nothing of the language who think that 
these words represent the same idea. 

" I tell him frankly that the last decision of the House has 
left a shade, 1 will not call it a stain, upon his reputation. Is 
he not yet satiated with the possession of power and emolu- 
ment ? Is he not weary of the drudgery of office, compared to 
■which the mere labour of a negro is in my mind a service to 
be endured ? And does he think it possible that the country ; 
that any rational being should give credit to a proposition so 
extravagant and so monstrous, that the all-powerful Minister 
of the Crown, with all his eloquence, and with all his influ- 
ence, and with the accession of thirty voices from this side of 
the house, should not have been able to engage more than 
seventy votes on a favourite question of his own, if, in earnest 
and hoiid Jtdc, he had desired to carry it ? Is there nothing 
in his mind to elevate him for a moment above the level ot 
his station ? Docs he never look forward to u time when the 


merits ol" his character will be canvassed by posterity ? And in 
it possible for him to endure the thought of passing for 

an * * * * 

[Mr. Secretary Dundas here rose to call the honourable 
gentleman to order. He spoke of his right honourable friend 
as a member of parliament only; and it vas the established 
rule of the House, to presume that no member ever delivered 
opinions or expressed sentiments in which he was not in 
earnest. That to assert or insinuate the contrary was unpar- 
liamentary, and a high breach of order.] 

Mr. Francis. " I submit to correction, though I really do 
not think that I said any thing to deserve it. Certainly what I 
meant was, not to express a suspicion of my own concerning 
the right honourable gentleman's sincerity, but to indicate to 
him the impression which the fact, as it stood, seemed likely to 
make on the general judgment of mankind at present and here- 
after. I have no time now to debate a point of. order ; nor is 
it necessary. The full idea which I meant to give may be con- 
veyed in another form. Instead of a comment, allow me to 
tell you a short story from good authority ; but whether it be 
true or not is immaterial ; it will serve to illustrate an obscure 
subject, without the risk of giving offence. A member of 
this honourable House was asked, how he voted on the last 
question of abolition? 'Sir, I voted with my friend the 
minister.' ' How so ? I thought you had divided against the 
bill. ' Very true ; I certainly divided against the bill, but I 
voted with my friend the minister.' 

" At the moment when the secretary of state called me to 
order, I was going to make an acknowledgment in favour of 
the ri^^ht honourable gentleman, and to pay him, what I never 
refuse even to hostile merit, an honest tribute of applause. 

" What judgment I possess is a good deal governed by im- 
pression. I cannot calculate the value, while I feel the effect. 
I have not forgotten that illustrious night*, when all the power* 
of his elo(juence were summoned to the service, and exerted in 
the defence of justice and humanity , when he took the House, 

* Momljy, Jil AjMil, ir''.i. 


at a late hour, exhausted with watching and wearied with 
debate ; when worn-out attention revived at his voice ; wlieii 
he carried conviction to our hearts ; when reason in his hand 
seemed to have no office but to excite the best of j^assions in 
our breasts : then, Sir, Avas the time, if he had nothing to con- 
sider but his own glory, — then was the moment for him to 
have chosen to retire from parliament, perhaps from the world. 
He had arrived at the pinnacle of parliamentary honour, and 
at the summit of his fame ; and there he should have quitted 
the scene. From that moment and from that station, in my 
judgment, he has done nothing but descend." 

Mr. Francis then proceeded to state, that the slaves in our 
colonies were under no law but that of arbitrary will ; that 
they know of no government but that of the whip; that they 
have no effective protection in laws or in magistrates, against 
personal cruelty on the part of their owners and overseers ; 
that there is no bond of marriage among them ; and finally, 
that in this state they neither have, nor can have, nor in fact is 
it intended that they shoifld have, any idea of morals or 

He then opened his plan, which was intended to do away 
those grievances, and proposed : 

1. That marriage should be encouraged. 

2. That the evidence of negroes in certain cases should be 

3. That the hours of labour should be limited, with a refer- 
ence to age and sex. 

A. That no negro should be removed from the spot to which 
he has been accustomed, without his consent; and no husband 
be separated from his wife, or children from their parents, on 
any pretence whatsoever. 

5. I'iiat every negro should have the privilege of applying 
his peadium, or the potty profits arising from his own industry, 
to the recovery of his freedom. 

6. That fathers and mothers, who have brought up a certain 
niimber of children, should be rewarded with premiums, and 
the motliers exempted from Inbour. 


7. That there should be a couservator of the negroes in every 
island, witii an advocate and attorney to act for them, appointed 
by the king, dependent solely on the crowii, and no way 
interested in the property and produce of the plantations, for 
the purpose of receiving complaints, to prosecute, and to 

" As it is still permitted," adds he, " to be the will of par- 
liament, that this infernal trade should continue, let us 
endeavour to mitigate, if we can, the horrors that belong to it. 
There ought to be commissioners stationed at the principal 
places of traffic on the coast of Africa, with salaries sufficient to 
engage men of character to accept the office, and with legal 
powers to examine the accommodation in the ships ; to superin- 
tend and regulate the purchase of negroes ; to act as magistrates 
of the market ; to prevent or put a stop to treacherous or 
fraudulent transactions ; to see that iniquity and injustice are 
at least conducted fairly, on their own pretended principles, 
and without unnecessary aggravations. Surely the substance 
of this traffic is enough of itself to satisfy the most savage or 
brutal mind. Above all things, it should be the care and duty 
of such commissioners to prevent the separation of families ; not 
to suffer the wife to be divided from her husband, the sister from 
the brother, the infant fi-om its mother. The sales in the islands 
should be governed by the same rules. A multitude of other 
duties and offices, with which the cominissioners should be 
charged, will occur upon reflection. 

" That a case should exist, with the consent of an enlight- 
ened government, in which such an institution should be 
wanted, is shameful, is intolerable. I am sure it is an oppro- 
brium to the name of England. In the ti'eatment of the 
negroes in our islands, of all its evils the most grievous and 
afflicting remains to be considered. As long as it exists, I 
know that general institutions, laws, and magistrates, will avail 
but little in their defence. 

" The arbitrary power of the whip, committed to men with- 
out feeling, to be exercised in anger, and unchecked even by 
the interest of tui owner in the well-being of the object, is not 



in its nature capable of regulation, or subject to controul. To 
limit the number of stripes, to interpose between the naked 
helpless wretch — a pregnant woman perhaps — and the up- 
lifted hand of the driver, would be an unjust invasion of 
necessary authority, and possibly in its consequences might 
hazard the crop. For a mischief of this kind there is no par- 
tial remedy. 

" In the place of a despotic power of punishment, entrusted 
to a single person, I would substitute a form of trial, not less 
effectual to insure the reasonable demand on labour, and 
equally safe to the only interests which the planters seem to 
think of. I would give jurisdiction to the negroes in every 
plantation over one another. The whole gang of male adults 
should constitute the pannel, out of which a kind of jury should 
be formed by lot, or by selection ; with a right of challenge, on 
one side to the offender, and on the other to the master, or to 
his representative, who should superintend and regulate the 
proceedings, and mitigate or remit the sentence if he thought 

" Gentlemen who are fond of justice may apprehend, per- 
haps, that a black tribunal would rarely, if ever, inflict 
sufficient punishment on a negro. I, for my pait, am confi- 
dent, that as soon as they understood their office, and were 
sensible of the trust reposed in them, they would rather Icar. 
to severity, and that the overseer would often find himself 
obliged to restrain it. On this principle, the discipline of our 
armies in India is effectually maintained. An honourable 
gentleman near me can give you better information on this 
subject. But I know enough of it to be able to assure you, 
that no sepoy can be punished but by the sentence of a court- 
martial composed of native officers, who have all been taken 
from the ranks, and with an European officer to act as judge- 
advocate; and that I never heard the justice of their proceed- 
ings disputed. As long as they are tolerably well treated, they 
are attached to their officers, and will follow them as far iis the 
best B? Itish troops." 


At length, wearied out, and indeed exhausted, by a fruitless, 
opposition, Mr. Francis determined to relinquish his seat in 
parliament. This was accoi'dingly consented to ; and if we 
are not greatly misinformed, effected in a manner exceedingly 
honourable to himself, and a great political friend with whom 
he had been long connected ; for he was complimented with 
the nomination of his successor. 

On the accession of Mr. Fox to power, some thoughts were 
entertained of sending Mr. Francis to India as Governor- 
General ; and he once observed to the writer of this article, 
" That he wished to have concluded his career in that remote 
part of the globe, where he received his first disgrace !" 

As this appointment never took place, something seemed 
due to such a man ; and accordingly, at the recommendation 
of Lord Grenville, he was invested with the insignia of the 
Bath, October 29, 1806. Sir Philip now possessed ample 
leisure, and he accordingly occupied his time in literary pur- 
suits. On June 22, 1817, he very unexpectedly appeared at a 
meeting of the freeholders of the county of Middlesex, and 
moved a petition to the House of Commons against the act 
for the suspension of the habeas corpus, of which here follows a 
copy, as we have every reason to believe, dravm up by, or at 
least corrected with his own hand : 

" Gentlemen, 

*' I never had a turn oi' a relish for long speeclies, and now 
the little habit I had of speaking in public is lost by disuse. 
Besides my natural aversion to prolixity, the time and the 
occasion call for energy and resolution nuich more than for 
debate. It is to be regretted that this county, which, including 
the wealth and population of ihe capital, is at the head of the 
country, has not had an opportunity of meeting sooner, and 
taking the lead on the business of this day, and giving the ear- 
liest example to the rest of the three United Kingdoms, of the 
course that ought to be pursued in this great eniergency. 
Still, I hope, your jiroceedings will not appear too late 


useful. Wherever your sentiments can be known, I am sure 
they will make a general and deep impression. This is not a 
question of precedence. It is, and ought to be, a subject of 
emulation ; not who shall go first, or who shall go second, but 
how we shall all unite with the greatest vigour and effect in the 
common cause of the community. The case concerns every 
man in the kingdom, from the higliest in station to the lowest 
in misery, from the first county to the poorest village, from the 
palace to the cottage. Once renew the power which has been 
m\en and still exists, then ask yourselves what security has the 
first or the last man in the kingdom, that he shall be able to 
escape from its grasp ? I know of none, unless you think that 
exorbitant power may safely be trusted, because you are sure 
it will never be abused. Even so, remember that ' the mild- 
ness with which absolute masters exercise their dominion, leaves 
them masters still.' Of myself I shall only say, what it is fair 
to presume of any man in the same circumstances, that, at mi/ 
time of life, and afflicted as I am with bodily infirmities, I 
should not come forward now to take an active part in any of 
the common transactions of a world, in which I must very soon 
cease to have a personal concern, unless I were in earnest. It 
is not for ostentation that I make this claim to your confidence ; 
or to court a little transitory applause. These vanities are 
gone by. I know their full value and esteem them accordingly, 
as you will do if you live to jut/ age. In disclaiming all 
interest, I mean to prove my sincerity, as far as the heart of 
man can be judged of on rational presumptions, or human 
actions accounted for by natural motives. 

« Gentlemen, Neither the country nor the government can 
stand long in their present position. You cannot stop where 
you arc. We are falling still. We must either recover the 
station we have lost, or sink deeper every day until we reach 
the lowest gulf of degradation, from which there is no return. 
We have already lost our original right to the habeas corpus. 
To-morrow the trial by jury may be suspended. The next 
step will be the abolition of both, as it is said of kings that 
the interval is short between their imprisonment and their 

VOL. IV. I* 


gravc^;. Why slionid nol llie trial by jury be siispeiuloil ? If 
it be true, as ministers aflirm, ' that a traitorous conspiracy 

* has been formed to ovcrtlnow the- government, laws, anil 

* constitution of tiiis kingdom,' and it' juries will not find 
such supposed traitors guilty, then I say that ministers are 
bound by their principles, if they are sincere, or by their pro- 
fessions at least, if tlicy arc not so, to take some shorter course 
to save the state. They would be traitors themselves, if 
they did not resort to it. They have necessity to plead, 
which, if it be real, is irresistible. They are bound to take 
care that the government shall not perish in their hands. If 
I am driven to a choice, and no other option left me, I am 
not at all sure that I ought not to prefer an abolition of the 
trial by jury to that of the habeas coj^pus : because I know that 
in fact juries have been and may be corrupted or overawed. 
Otherwise, how was it possible that a verdict of Guilty could 
have been returned against Lord Russell? But juries will 
not always answer the spur, and the best governments may 
be compelled to have recourse to a high commission court, 
and to revive the Star Chamber. In process of time, even 
those formalities will be found too slow or too ti'oublesome for 
the rapid patriotism and ardent zeal of cabinet ministers to 
save their coimtry. Then come the use and real purpose of 
a standing army of foreigners, in the heart of the country. 
I call them foreigners, though at present most of them 
may bejiatives. What is it to us, where they were born ; in 
England, or Scotland, or Ireland; in France or in Germany? 
If they draw their swords against the freedom of their birth- 
place, to the destruction of every thing that ought to be dear 
even to themselves, they are foreigners to us^ and enemies to 
ihe well-being of their country. His most Faithful Majesty, 
the King of Portugal and Algarve, and His Catholic Ma- 
jesty, the King of Spain, at the head of tlie edicts, say ,To el 
Reij. The most Christian King says, Car tcl est notre plaish: 
There are still two topics, on which it is indispensible that I 
should detain you for a few minutes. The first is the pro- 
priety, and indeed the .advantage of adhering slrictly, M?v 


day, to the object for wliicli you are regularly convened by 
the autliority of the shci ilfs of the county, who preside here. 
You will find it quite enough to animate all your zeal, and 
to occupy all your attention. In the true spirit and lan- 
guage of the field, for I suppose there may be many sports- 
men present, I say that, by starting other hares, you spoil 
your own sport, you mar the chace, and lose the attainable 
object immediately in view. The second is still more import- 
ant. Observe what I say, not how I say it. Something worse 
than a military government aw^aits us, and shows itself already. 
An armed force, having taken what it wants, commonly suf- 
fers the enslaved nation to enjoy the little remnant that is left^ 
or at least to exist in quiet. Not so when a feeble government 
shall resort for its support to the ministry of spies and in- 
formers, who penetrate into your house, who win your con- 
fidence by professing to adopt your opinions, who worm 
themselves into your famil}^, who watch your unguarded 
words, who delude or corrupt your servants, who invent when 
they have nothing to discover, or excite that they may have 
something to betray. No sooner was the Roman common- 
wealth converted into an empire, but men, such as these, I 
mean the delatores *, became the favourite instruments of go- 
vernment, under those devils, whom they called emperors. 
Your house is no retreat, the utmost prudence gives you no 
security. You well know who I mean ; — by whom they 
are employed, and by whom they must be paid. I will not 
mention their names: among Christian men, they are not 
fit to be named. I say they mud be rewarded ; aye and 
liberally too ; that is, in proportion to the odious character of 
their service. I did not see the thirty pieces of silver paid 
by the high-priest to Judas, but I believe it. It is not yet 
in human nature, let it be corrupted how it may, let it be 
ever so degraded and depraved, to undertake a service so 

* Nee minus praemia delatorum invlsa quam scelera : cum alii sacerdolia et con- 
siilalus ut spolia adepti, procuratioiies alii et inleriorem potcntiam, agerent verterent 
cuncta odio et teirorc. Comipti in dominos servi, in pntronos libera : et, quiims 
defrat iuiniirii<;, per aniiros ojipressi, rAtnus Hist. 1.2, 

)' 2 

j|12 sill rilIMP FRANCIS. 

ignominious and so hazardous without an expectation, with- 
out an agreement or stipulation perfectly understood between 
the contracting parties. Now, gentlemen, though it be not 
very likely, it is far from impossible that one or more of the 
beings I allude to may have found their way unobserved into 
this assembly. A villain is not easily distinguished or disco- 
vered by his countenance ; for his face may be a mask. If 
such a man be among us, I exhort and invite him to come 
forward to declare his mission and to avow his purpose. I chal- 
lenge him to watch every word I utter, and to write it down 
at this table, where I will solicit the sheriffs to giant him all 
the accommodation that can be had in so crowded a place. 
As far as may depend on my utmost efforts, he shall then be 
at liberty to depart unmolested, under the safe conduct of 
contempt, and to carry with him the proofs of liis services 
and merits to those who enij)loy him. The pctitio\i, which 
I am now going to j-ead to you, is in effect an argued case. 
We have no time to lose, and this on the whole has been 
thought the plainest and shortest course. Whether well or 
ill argued will be for t/ou to determine. One thing alone I 
venture to assert, that there is not in this paper a single prin- 
ciple maintained, which the true constitution of England does 
not warrant, which our laws do not avow; no sentiment which 
a British heart ought not to feel; no word, which the voice 
of England ought not to pronounce. If, in any instance, the 
contrary shoulil appear, it must be jut/ i'ault, and / alone ought 
to answer for it." 

When Sir Philip Francis read that part of the petition 
which refers to the solitary confinement of persons im- 
prisoned without a charge assigned, he made the following 
remark : — "In this particular place, I would gladly have 
solicited the attendance, and should have rejoiced at the prc>- 
sencc of some of those Right Reverend persons, who are said 
to exalt their mitred fronts iii courts and parliaments, in 
gorgeous palaces, and in the presence of kings. I speak oi 
the dignitarie> of the Church of Englaiul, ax hj laiv est a- 


blished : — for ours is happily a religion of law as well as 
Gospel. Were it otherwise, I cannot help fearing that the 
Gospel, ere long, would be left to provide for itself. Those 
reverend persons, I am sure, would support the principle I 
contend for, and bow with submission to the authority which 
I shall appeal to. When St. Paul was accused by the Jews, 
before a Roman governor, of every crime which they could 
invent or imagine, and especially of sedition, that despotic 
tribunal, with all its power, appears to have been governed 
by a natural sense of justice. Festus said, " It seemeth to me^ 
unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the 
crimes laid against him." Felix ordered him to be kept in cus- 
tody for trial ; but how ? " He commanded a centurion to keep 
Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid 
none of his acquaintance to minister or to come unto him." 

A petition, on the motion of Sir Philip Francis, was then: 
read, and agreed to unanimously. 

About the same time, he was invited to an entertainment in 
the city given by the liverymen of London to Mr. Alderman 
Wood, just elected, for the second time, Lord Mayor. On 
Sir Philip's health being toasted from the chair, in which tlie 
Duke of Sussex presided, he rose and spoke as follows : — • 
" Sir, and Gentlemen, 

*' I am first to thank you for the honour you have done me, 
and still more for the cordiality, with which it was expressed 
and received. Between the cup and the lip there may possibly 
be design; but no Englishman is a hypocrite in his cups. You 
will not therefore suspect me of insincerity in saying that I 
devoutly hope that no gentleman here will have injured his 
health by drinking mine. Though little equal now to any 
public function, I was earnestly desirous of the honour of at- 
tending His Royal Highness on this occasion. I wished for an 
opportunity, which in all probability will never recur to me, 
of expressing to this honest man [turning to the Lord Mayar, 
xvho sat next to him\ the respect I feel for his character, and 
my tribute of applause to his conduct. I give him the title, 
which I revere most, and which kings can no more bestor' 


than they can, or would if they could, the virtue that deserves 
it. The state of the country wants such men and such magis- 
trates. They deserve to be honoured, and they ought to be 
supported. The well being of the nation is included in the 
justice done to those who defend it. Throughout his last 
mayoralty, he has acted for the public service, not only with 
zeal and fortitude, but with consummate judgment; and in the 
face of difficulties, which it would be superfluous to state to 
this assembly. To you, gentlemen of the Livery, I am bound, 
as a member of the community, by the obligation of gratitude 
for continuing the office of Lord Mayor of London in his 
faithful hands ; an office important at all times, but, in the 
present exigency, beyond all common calculation essential to 
the safety of the kingdom. I cannot believe it possible, that 
the example you have given to every rank and office in society, 
in calling as you have done, on personal virtue to take her pub- 
lic station, will not have made a general and deep impression, 
and that it will not be imitated by every independent corpora- 
tion in the kingdom. The case demands an universal effiart in 
following the impulse of your principles, in the direction you 
have given it j not merely in the selection of mayors and ma- 
gistrates, but in the free choice of a real representation of the 
nation in the House of Commons. 

" It is to be seriously regretted that this meeting has not been 
attended by many more individuals of the higher orders in the 
community. Of some, I am sure that they have been pre- 
vented by accident or distance, as ray noble friend Lord Hol- 
land is by a severe indisposition. T^£?/r interest, even as inter- 
est is commonly understood, is more in question than that of 
others; because, in proportion to their superior possessions, 
they have a greater stake to hazard, and more to lose, than we 
have in the ruin of their country. I wish that a more general 
animation could be perceived among them. Their own im- 
mediate danger ought naturally to rouse them from such le- 
thargy. A dormant nobility, a sleeping gentry in the country, 
a drowsy race of rank and fortune men, who walk in their 
sleep, or who shut their eyes to their situation, and daro not 
look at the crisis that approache:i and thrcalcii?> them; thcbc 

1111 riiiLir FiiANCis. 215 

are the persons who are most in view, :iiul will be the first 
victims to their siipiiieness. Remember the Roman * story, 
which we have all read at school, that the tall poppies were 
the first cut clown by the tyrant, whom they were mad enough 
to intrust with the command oi a standing army. 

" Now, Gentlemen, I shall conclude with a sentiment, which 
I stated and urged to another meeting two days ago at Fish- 
monger's Hall, where it was received with approbation, and 
where I had the pleasure of partaking of nmny miraculous 
draughts besides the fishes. We live in times that call for 
wisdom in contemplation and virtue in action; but in which 
virtue and wisdom will not do without resolution." 

Soon after this, Sir Philip Francis experienced a long and 
severe illness. His maladies produced a considerable state of 
irritation, which affected him exceedingly, and gave a certahi 
degree of impetuosity both to his conduct and character. At 
length, worn out by infirmities, which age only tended to aggra- 
vate, the latter part of his life was spent in pain and in misery, 
which, however, he suffered with a considerable degree of 
fortitude. Sir Philip expired at his house in St. James's 
Square, on tlie 22d of December, 1818, leaving behind him 
a son, Philip Francis, esquire, bred to the bar, and two 
daughters, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Cholmondeley, all of whom 
were by his first wife. At a late period of his life, indeed, after 
he had become a septuagenarian, he married a second time. 
The maiden name of this lady was Miss Watkins, the daugh- 
ter of a clergyman. 

In person, Su' Philip Francis was tall, thin, and elegant, even 
in old age. His features were regular, his voice sonorous, his 
eye piercing, his look discriminative. In youth, and even at 
an advanced period of life, he was active in no common degree. 
In respect to spirits, and a certain happy flow of conversation, 
he was proverbially felicitous ; and he himself was accustomed 
frequently to observe, " that the sword wore out the scab- 

* Livy, i. .vt. Tarqulnius summa |is|>ai'ermn cajMta dicitur Imtulo decussianr. Sir 
riiil.p Fraiich >va5 edutaleJ al 5i. Paul-. Stlpml in the licait df the tlvy flLondon. 

P i 


There is something singular, and even great, in the charac- 
ter of this gentleman. His conduct was so pure, that neither 
Mr. Hastings nor any of his enemies ever charged him with 
corruption. Had he chosen to succumb to the governoi- 
general, the treasures of the East were at his feet ; and, like 
many others, he might have returned to his native country 
with an immense fortune. His conduct in respect to the 
original contest with France, was at least disinterested; his 
opposition to the government of his rival in India was noble 
and intrepid; his hostility to the slavery of the Africans, 
coupled as it was with expectant ruin, transcends all vulgar 
praise ! But his talents were overlooked, his virtues under- 
valued and forgotten : his rewards, accordingly, were not 
commensurate with his merits. A barren title, and a blazing 
star, were all the honours obtained for a long life devoted to 
his country, and consecrated to her best interests I With an 
heroic fortitude, single and unsupported, he opposed Mr. 
Hastings, when death had bereft him of his associates, with an 
unshaken constancy to vindicate the honour of the English 
name in the East, — to rescue the unhappy natives from op- 
pression, — to preserve princes and begums from European 
rapacity, and render our government in Asia beneficial both 
to the conquerors and the vanquished. 

As an orator, Sir Philip, in point of fact and information, 
stood pre-eminent, not only on all subjects connected with 
India *, but also in regard to such as respected the laws and 
constitution of Great Britain. He was neither so copious, so 
ready, nor so fluent in debate, as many inferior men of his day ; 
this may be partly attributed, however, to the late period of life 
at which he came into parliament. 

As a man of letters, he was allowed by Mr. Burke, assuredly 
no incompetent judge, — to have excelled in one species of com- 

* " I cannot jvoiJ paying tliat tribute of applause," observes Mr. Fox, " to the 
Industry, perseverance, and clear-sighied policy, of my honourable friend (Mr. 
Francis), on questions relative to India, which they so much deserve. In my opinion, 
there is no one subject of His Majesty, or person in ail his dominions, whose merit, in 
regard to the aflTdirs of India, could be put in competition with my honourable 


position ; for he acknowledged him to have been " the best pam- 
phlet writer of his age." We shall not presume to decide as to 
his being the author of the " Letters of Junius," but certain 
it is that these productions have been assigned to him, with 
a greater degree of verisimilitude than has yet attached to any 
other of the numerous candidates set up by their respective 

As a statesman, his plans were turned towards the per- 
manent security and prosperity of our Asiatic settlements ; 
but as peace and economy are not calculated to dazzle the 
multitude, and war and conquest alone held out temptations 
for cupidity, his humble but just views were never sufficiently 
appreciated. In his ideas of a reform in England, he wished to 
steer a middle course; he accordingly advocated the purity of 
election, but was a stern enemy and steady opposer to universal 
suffrage, and all those violent and impolitic counsels, which are 
calculated to render melioration hopeless. 

In conversation, he was often pithy and sententious. One 
of his maxims was, " That the views of every one should be 
directed towards a solid, however moderate, independence, 
without which no man can be happy or even honest." When 
the property-tax was imposed, he exclaimed, " that the 
ministers were now coming to the life-blood of the country, 
and the more they wanted the less they would get !" 

Towards the conclusion of his life, like most others of the 
same standing, he became somewhat suspicious as to the motives 
of mankind, particularly politicians : like the philosopher of 
Wimbledon, he considered " confidence to be a plant of slow 

Few men of the present age have been more familiarly con- 
nected with the British press than Sir Philip Francis, or 
possessed more skill either in writing or in circulating his pro- 
ductions. Even after he had passed the age generally allotted 
to man, he still continued his usual habits, and published some- 
times one, and sometimes two or three pamphlets within the 
year. If he did not possess the copia verborwn as an orator, 
he jnet must be allowed to have exhibited the ars narrandi as a. 

218 sill PHILIP FPvANClS. 

man of letters. Elegance, perspicuity, and simplicity, were 
characteristic of his style and manner ; and he enjoyed the 
happy art of being able to communicate his own impressions to 
others, without circumlocution and without difficulty. What- 
ever appeared intricate, he could explain ; whatever was diffi- 
cult, he rendered facile. He possessed strong passions, and 
consequently strong feelings : this, perhaps, contributed to 
his excellence. He was always of opinion, that with a cal- 
lous heart there can be no genius, — no imagination, — no 
mind, — no wisdom. " Resolute thoughts," observed he, 
" find words for themselves, and make their own vehicle. 
Impression and expression are relative ideas. He who feels 
deeply, will express strongly : the language of slight sensations 
is naturally feeble and superficial." 

Of his works, a large portion naturally and necessarily ap- 
pertain to the affairs of India. His speeches in the House 
of Commons are immerous, and have been all caiefully revised 
by himself. Indeed, he appears to have commenced his career 
as a parliamentary reporter ; and whoever will take the trouble 
to turn to Wright's Parliamentary History, will there find many 
of Lord Chatham's best orations edited with a degree of 
spirit, ability, and eloquence, that is seldom to be met with in 
the present day. 

In his plan of reform, intended to be proposed to the 
** friends of the people," he contends, " That to have stated 
an enormous public grievance without proposing a remedy, 
would only tend to alarm and agitate the minds of the people, 
as well as to disturb the peace of society. The House of Com- 
mons," observes he, " ought to be the constitutional instru- 
ment or weapon of the people. With an honest and vigorous 
House of Commons, really representing and acting for the 
country, die removal or correction of oppressive or expensive 
iustitutions, the repeal of bad laws, and the mild but steady 
administration of good ones, would follow of course, — Avith 
the reduction of all extravagant expenditure, the exorbitant 
arants of the public money, and useless establishments, — and 
with a real economy in the collection and appropriation of the 


taxes raised on the people. Such a parliament would, above 
all things, never suffer the nation to be involved in the calami- 
ties of war for any purpose but defence : in providing the 
means we shall secure the end. The restoration of the rights 
o^ free election, is a preliminary indispensable to every other 
reformation. The constitution, thus restored to genuine 
health, would soon recover its real and genuine beauty. What 
image does it exhibit now but the false, fictitious cliarm 
of prostitution, ruined by treachery, wasted in riot, and 
perishing in the profligate embraces of seduction ! " Notwith- 
standing this, our author praises the act (8th of Henry VI.) 
which restricted the votes at county elections to forty-shilling 
freeholders, and prevented all freemen^ as heretofore, from 
being convened to choose a knight of the shire. " We ap- 
prove," observes he, " of suspending the right of voting in 
persons of no substance ; but, far from confining it to one 
species of quahfication (lands or tenements), we shall contend 
for its extension to every kind of property, where the amount, 
combined with other circumstances, is sufficieht to afford a 
reasonable security that the right will be properly exercised. 
In a word," continues he, " whoever observes the course of 
the English history, and the progress of the constitution, will 
find that liberty and property have invariably gone hand in 
hand, and protected each other ; and while the lands were en- 
grossed by the church and the nobility, the clergy and barons 
did, in fact, constitute the parliament ; but that as fast as entails 
were unfettered, as industry and trade were encouraged, and as 
the means of acquiring property were laid open, the liberties, 
the rights, the privileges, and the power of the com- 
mons expanded along with them." It is also maintained in this 
work, that every member shall possess an adequate qualifica- 
tion, and that a fictitious or borrowed one ought to vacate his 
seat. One great object only is here attempted, and that is, 
*' To take the choice of the House of Commons out of the 
hands of a few privileged persons, and replace it in the hands 
ol" the many to whom it belongs by common right." 


Sir Philip thinks that " wages" as heretofore, ought to be 
paid to the members ; and this new expense, at forty shillings 
a day, would not exceed 100,000/. for a single session. It is 
also proposed that all the elections should commence on the 
same day and hour, and that the day should be Sunday, im- 
mediately after divine service. As to the franchise itself, the 
plan here stated is to confine it to all freeholders paying parish 
taxes, except peers, so that the kingdom being divided into 
districts, every 2400 houses should return a member. 

This work was repubUshed, with a new introduction, in 
1817, in which the venerable author once more maintains, 
*' that the possession of competent property ought to be a 
sine qua non to a right of disposing of the property of others." 
He at the same time deprecates the ideas of a former Duke of 
Richmond, respecting universal suffrage, and also the ballot, 
the latter, in the language of Cicero, " affording a skulking 
shelter for corrupt transactions, over which the sense of shame 
can have no check." 

Of his letters, a s})ecies of composition in which Sir 
Philip greatly excelled, that to Earl Grey, published in 1814, 
passed rapidly through two editions. " Though my interest 
in the miserable transactions of the world," observes our ve- 
nerable author, " abates every day, and must soon be at an 
end, I will not now or with my latest breath, consent to resign 
my share in the censorial controul which the public voice has 
or might have over the measures of government. The pacific 
check of opinion against power, is a jurisdiction inherent in 
the community, not to be wantonly or factiously applied, 
but never to be relinquished in silence, or lost by disuse; 
because, as far as it operates, the necessity of maintaining 
right against wrong, in a more resolute form of opposi- 
tion, is, in the same degree, exercised and preserved." He 
next animadverts on his political junction with Lord, then 
Mr. Grey, in 1798: " when we drank pure wine together; 
when you were young and / was not superannuated ; when 
we left the cold infusions of prudence to fine ladies and 
gentle politicians ; when true wisdom was not degraded by the 


name of moderation ; when we cared but little by what ma- 
jorities the nation was betrayed, or how many felons were 
acquitted by their peers ; and when we were not afraid of being 
intoxicated by the elevation of a spirit too highly rectified." 
After alluding to the dangers of an immense standing army, 
barracks in every part of the country, the Bill of Rights sus- 
pended, and in effect a military government, he turns to the 
intended cession of Norway to Sweden, which is termed 
" a flagitious project," and then, in his usual excursive strain, 
proceeds as follows : — 

" I will never look again to the right or to the left for po- 
litical virtue. When I find it in individuals, they shall have 
all the honour that I can contribute to give them, si quid mea 
carmina jtossunt. Nor shall the names of some other politicians 
be sheltered from infamy by sneaking out of life and skulking 
into oblivion. Their true character and merits are already on 
record, and shall be kept in preservation, like reptiles iu 
spirits, for the wonder of posterity, llechim est index sui et 
obliqui! They who cross the right line, or deviate from it, 
must have arguments on their side equal to mathematical de- 
monstration. But, as Sheridan said one day — Imi quantum ! 
* it is not possible ; you might as well expect a serpent to 
take the direction of an arrow.' That speech alone would 
have made him immortal, if, as he ought to have done, he had 
died at the end of it, de airru descendens TciitonicoJ' 

After this digression, he states, that in the year 1810, the 
then reigning hereditary King of Sweden was dethroned and 
banished. " In truth," adds he, " it was an act of absolute 
indispensible necessity, and ought to have been done much 
sooner. It saved Sweden from utter destruction, which his 
madness and vanity would soon have accomplished." He then 
treats of Bernadotte, both in respect to character and conduct, 
with a considerable degree of freedom, and loudly condemns 
otn- blockade of Norway, in order to subjugate the nation to 
the Swedes, as cruel, base, and unmanly. He also blames 
those who advised the Prince Regent to address the Crown 
Prince (now King) and give him the title of " Sir. my 


brother ;" subscribing himself, " your good brother, cousin, 
and friend." 

" In former times," adds he, " when 1 had the honour to 
be known to the Prince Regent, and when, I think, he had 
no doubt of my attachment to him, I am sure he would never 
Imve spoken to me again, if it had been possible for me to 
have proposed it to the Prince of Wales, to unite himself on 
any terms with su( ^ i person as Bcrnadotte. 

*' His Royal Higiiiiess's kindness to me has been for some 
years interrupted ; but I have yet no positive reason to believe, 
that it is totally effaced. If he should not take in good part, 
this last unquestionable proof of my unabated disposition to 
serve him, the loss, if any, will be his own. To myself, there 
is nothing left to hope or to fear, from the events of this world. 
Where favour is not expected, fortune has no power." 

A letter missive from Sir Philip Francis, K. B. to Lord 
Holland, dated 10th June, 1816, as usual, contains much 
miscellaneous matter, and commences with many sincere 
testimonies of respect to the noble baron, to whom he addresses 

" After some severe warnings to quit this tenement of clay, 
and with sundry good reasons to be as willing to change 
my state as a virgin turned of forty, there is but one thing 
left," observes he, " to reconcile me to a removal. For my 
own credit, and for nothing else, I should like to leave a me- 
morial to those who are to follow me in my ov/n line, and to 
their children, legitimate or natural, as it may happen, that, 
since I had an oppoitunity of observing others and knowing 
yoji, n voluntary attachment grew with my knowledge of you. 
This affection was not planted or trained, but came of itself, 
and has thriven of its own accord. But when, with a sight 
sharpened by experience, I examined your principles and con- 
duct as a public person, though possibly subject to deviations 
which have escaped me, impression changed into conviction, 
and is now the final act of my understanding. Some men have 
passions in their heads and no where else ; mine are in my 
lieart, and from that source nil the ebbing intellect I pretend 
to, is derived. 

Sir PHiLir fiiancis. 29.S 

" It is not quite an act of vulgar ignorance m* suJ)erstition- 
to deify the virtues, by which the faculties of eminent men 
have been instructed as well as animated, to inform and en- 
lighten mankind. You see I am giving you the petligree of 
your abilities. As to myself, I am old enough to be my own 
.ancestor. My actions can disgrace nobody except a select 
committee of the House of Commons, who signed the record 
of my conduct in India, with the names of Burke, of Fox, 
and of Grey at the head of it. We all wish to live somewhat 
longer than our lives, more or less according to the measure of 
our merits or pretensions. My name can be of no service to 
you, but yours will sustain it. That argument, though I have 
many others, would be enough to make me adhere to you. 
The feeble parasite clings to the supporting power, and when 
it drops off, leaves the noble stem uninjured. I feel and 
know too well, that my disposing mind is in disorder as well 
as decay, and least of all equal to the regular rules of method 
and coiinexion. You are too good a Spaniard, however to 
dislike an o//a, or not to relish some of its ingredients. Take 
the following items by themselves, and not as if they led or 
belonged to one another. On the whole, though you are not 
a party to the bargain, I entreat you to make the best of it, 
as you would do of the last testimony of an old frienti, who 
has left his affairs in confusion, and appointed you to be his 

After observing, " that whether you look up to the top or 
down to the bottom, whether you mount with the froth or 
sink with the sediment, no rank can in this country support a 
perfectly degraded name ;" Sir Philip turns towards Ireland, 
and laments the unhappy condition of five sixths of the popu- 
lation. " You believe in the real presence," observes the 
Church of England; " we believe only in dogmas, which we 
all understand, since they fall within the range of connnon 
sense and the compass of right reason. Ergo, yon are not fit 
to bo trusted by us in the higher offices of society, though we 
trust you in many others, which require as full a confidence 
in vour trood faith and fidclitv to the eslnbiished sfovcrnmeiit. 


as those fi-om which you are excluded. You acknowledge die 
spiritual jurisdiction of a foreign tribunal over questions of faith 
only, or in cases exclusively subject to that conscience which 
the Deity has not given to his creatures for nothing ; therefore 
you cannot be loyal subjects to the king, to whom you are bound 
by all the oaths and all the moral obligations, which are held 
sacred in your own religion, and in every religion that exists on 
earth, and which ive are very well contented to profess ? 

« I will not submit," adds he, " to hold a trembling balance 
between the extremes of suffering right and triumphant 
^v^ong ; to blink the true question, or to spare the aggressors. 
— These are the pretences of hypocrisy, not the motives or 
result of honest conviction — the principles of devils pursuing 
their prey with whips of scorpions, and fighting and destroy- 
ing still, under the pretended banners of religion. At sight 
of such audacious profligacy, with such means to enforce it, 
the human heart, if there be a human feeling in it, recoils 
with abhorrence. If the happiness, or even the repose of 
Ireland were your object, the road to it, as you well know, is 
open and direct, with or without what you call Emancijjatioii. 
By that very term, which will not give wa}'^, if you understand 
your own language, you have made a voluntary engagement, 
a strict union with five or six millions of slaves, and you refuse 
to set them free." 

He advises government to pay a moderate salary to the Ca- 
tholic clergy of Ireland, who are nothing less than mere beg- 
gars ; he also recommends an abolition or abatement " of 
Catholic tithes to pay a Protestant establishment, for no service 
in return, adverse to their faith, to their prejudices, to their 
religious madness if you will. Have you deliberated, have 
you resolved to murder those tenants of hogsties, which 
you call cabins, &c. ? If the principle, but too often acted 
upon by barbarous injustice, of forcing the same tenant of a 
few acres of bog and potatoes to maintain two church esta- 
blishments could be endured on anv terms, the mode of ex- 
action would excite terror, in England at least, or anywhere 
but in Ireland." 



Our venerable author next tells us that time has not yet 
made him garrulous, whatever it may do hereafter. " My 
recital concerning myself shall be inflicted on you, as if it 
were an operation with compassion for the patient, with the 
brevity of impatience, and the rapidity of youth ; for I feel 
or fancy that I am gradually growing young again, in my way 
back to infancy. The taper that burns in the socket, flashes 
more than once before it dies. I would not long outlive my- 
self if I could help it^ like some of my old friends, who pre- 
tend to be alive, when, to my certain knowledge, they nave 
been dead these seven years." 

The next subject brought under review, is a great orator 
of our own times. ** In my long intimacy with Edmund 
Burke, to me a great and venerable name, it could not escape 
me, nor did he wish to conceal it, that Cicero was the model 
on which he laboured to form his own character, in elo- 
quence, in policy, in ethics, and philosophy. With this 
view, he acted on a principle of general imitation only ; and, 
in my opinion, infinitely surpassed the original. Yet in the 
year 1700, when the French revolution had takeh effect, the 
first thing he did was to discard one of the wisest political 
maxims to be found in his archetype, and by him at least, to 
be revered as the instruction of ^ master : " Peregrini offi- 
cium est minimi in aliens esse'republica curiosum." As long 
as the French were content, and desirous, as they were assur- 
edly at that period, to settle their own future constitution 
among themselves, and within the limits of their own ter- 
ritory, we had neither right nor interest to meddle with their 
proceedings, much less to coerce them. 

« Under various pretences abroad^ it was deterriiined in 
the closet that there should be a war, nominally of kings 
against a republic, but really of military despots against the 
freedom of Europe. ' So we hdvfe had the war, with all its con- 
sequences ; ex ilia fonte. But the weather-beaten vessel has 
weathered the storm, kept afloat by the pump, and driving 
under jury-masts. Existence on terms, on which, in other 
times, the nation could have refused to exist, is said to be tri- 



umph. We have military fame to show for the loss or sur- 
render of real honour, of general happiness, of personal liberty, 
and general independence." 

He compares our " thousand millions of debt" to an 
imposthume ; he talks of the whole " metallic currency" of 
the united kingdom being annihilated, or carried out of it, 
and " finally, a deluge of paper, immoderately inflaming the 
liorainal price of every thing saleable. At last came peace," 
adds he, " armed at all points, and issuing like Pallas, with- 
out her wisdom, from an empty skull, with all and singular 
the furniture and properties of war, pride, pomp, and circum- 
stance," except one, a singular omission of an indispensible 
ingredient: — without a Jbreign enemy \" 

Whatever may be the difference on this subject, all must agree 
in opinion wh^n he paints the flight of Buonaparte, leaving the 
French army to despair, and Egypt to its fate. " Whether I 
viewed him in the base subversion of the liberty of France; in 
the treachery of a consul, who degrades and crushes a com- 
monwealth entrusted to his care, into a furious military des- 
potism for himself; or under the infernal visage of war, with 
Ate by his side, laying Europe waste in carnage and desola- 
tion from the Seine to the Volga, for the pitiful rage of being 
talked of, which he thought was ambition — what was he, 
even to eyes that admired him most, but a glaring meteor, 
driven by some mad projectile power, crossing the system of 
Europe in every direction, destroying or disturbing the consti- 
tuted spheres within its vortex, and on all the rest shaking 
pestilence and war ? What could he be in wj/ mind but a frantic 
idiot, wielding a force irresistible with the desperate animation 
of a daemon, or a compound out of both !" The following 
characters of two great statesmen, are drawn with a masterly 

" They know nothing of Mr. Fox who think that he was 
what is commonly called well educated. I know it was di- 
rectly or very nearly the reverse. His mind educated itself, 
not by early study or instruction, but by active listening and 
rapid apprehension. He said so in the House of Commons 


when ho and Mr. Burke parted. His jrowcrful understanding 
grew like a forest oak, not by cultivation but by neglect. 

" Mr. Pitt was a plant of an inferior order, though mar- 
vellous in its kind : a smooth bark, with the deciduous pomp 
and decoration of a rich foliage, and blossoms and flowers 
which drop off of themselves, leaving the tree naked at last, to 
be judged of by its fruits. He^ indeed, as I suspect, had 
been educated more than enough, until there was nothing 
natural or spontaneous left in him. He was too polished and 
accurate in the minor embellishments of his art, to be a great 
artist in any thing. He could have painted the boat, and tiie 
fish, and the broken nets, but not the two fishermen. 

** Unques exprimet Sf mollcs imitahitiir cere cajnllos. On one 
occasion only he was sublime ; but never in my hearing pa- 
thetic. He knew his audience, and with or without eloquence, 
how to summon their generous passions to his applause. 

*' The human eye soon grows weary of an unbounded plain, 
and sooner, I believe, than of any limited portion of space, 
whatever its dimensions may be. There is a calm delight, a 
ddce riposo, in viewing the smooth-shaven verdure of a 
bowling-green as long as it is near. You must learn from 
repetition that those properties are inseparable from the idea 
of a flat surface, and that flat and tiresome are synonymous. 
The works of Nature, which command admiration at once, 
and never lose it, are compounded of grand inequalities." 

Historical Questions, exhibited in the Morning Chronicle, 
in January, 1818. 

These questions, since republished in the form of a pamph- 
let, are chiefly directed against " legitimacy ;" and may be 
considered as the last work from the author's pen. In reply 
to " Who was the lather of James I. ?" the answer is cer- 
tainly or apparently not Henry Darnley, " as all the conclu- 
sion to be derived from circumstances which cannot lie, lead 
directly and powerfully to David llizzio. It is hardly to be 
beheved," adds he, " that even the saviigcs of those barbarous 
limes (1567) would have nnndcred that man in the presence 

Q 2 


of the queen, eyiceintc as slic was, had they suspected him of 
nothing but being a favourite fiddler or ballad-singer." 

The Masque de fer^ in the second historical question, is 
said to be the eldest son of Anne of Austria, with whom her 
husband did not cohabit for twenty years, and, consequently, 
the brother of Louis XIV., who was produced long after. 
In the third, Henrietta-Maria, widow of Charles I., is termed 
" a canting Carmelite," who, with all her affliction for the loss 
of her martyred spouse, supplied his place as soon as she 
could by the Earl of St. Alban's, " by whom she was directed 
and governed in all things." The Chancellor, Lord Claren- 
don, is accused as the original projector of the fate of Dun- 
kirk ; and his sincerity is much questioned, as to his outcries 
against his daughter for marrying the Duke of York, after- 
wards James II. 

In the fourth historical question, David Hume is severely 
handled. In the fifth, great doubts are expressed as to the 
legitimacy of Louis XV. The sixth contains some delicate 
remarks relative to Mademoiselle Tremouille, afterwards con- 
sort of" George I. 

Some curious particulars relative to the Ex-king of Swe- 
den are noticed in the seventh ; and it is asked at the same 
time if legitimacy be the only or main title to succession, on 
what principle was Bernadotte constituted one of the legal 
sovereigns of Europe ?" The author of the Gowrie conspir- 
acy is the subject of the next enquiry ; in the succeeding one 
Charles L, in the case of Felton, is said to have had the 
animus tortor, sulhcient to qualify him for a grand inquisitor 
of Toledo, and would have gladly introduced the rack and 
all its attendants into England, if he could. 

" It is well known, that Thomas Wentwordi, (afterwards 
Earl of Strafford,) before he basely sold himself, and his name 
and all his descendants to Charles, was deemed and called by 
the court a fierce and furious democrat. Now does any one 
who bears the name of Wentworth, to have it proved, that 
he is legitimately descended from that rdon? On delicate ques- 


lions, tastes may differ. For my jiart, I would rather be known 
for the spurious issue of a highwayman, ditch-dclivcrcd of a drab.' 
The tenth historical question commences by an account of two 
celebrated women in the court of George I. " one of these was 
created Duchess of Kendal, and tlie other Countess of Darling- 
ton, to reward their merits in their respective departments, and 
to encourage the surrender of prudery, in younger and hand- 
somer subjects." The former of these ladies is said to have re- 
ceived eleven thousand guineas from Bolingbroke, for the re- 
covery of his estate ; and the profits of Wood's patent " for 
deluging Ireland with bad halfpence," appertained also to Her 
Grace, who obtained several thousand pounds by way of in- 
demnification when it was recalled. 

The twelfth and last, respects the widow of Henry V., who 
married a Welch gentleman, called Owen Tudor, " with 
empty pockets, a personal appearance that indicated a power- 
ful constitution, and as proud as Cadwallader with all his sup- 
porters. For taking this liberty with the king's widow, he was 
afterwards hanged. Out of this Owen and his French wife 
came a son, and out of him came Henry VII. By what right, 
title, or pretence of inheritance, legitimate succession, or even 
consanguinity, he held and transmitted the crown of England 
to his successors, is still a (luestion to be settled by every man 
for himself, not by evidence, for there is none in his favour; 
but by conjecture, by argument, by party prejudice, or mere 


Sir Philip Francis possessed a highly cultivated taste, and ex- 
hibited a strong relish for the fine arts. For the Italian painters 
and their works, he entertained no ordinary esteem : every 
thing appertaining to the great masters was deemed sacred in his 
eyes. We never recollect to have seen him in such a rage, as on 
hearing of the hard fate of the Cartoons ; when he learned that 
they had been cut and shortened, in order to fit the paimels 
of a palace, he declared with indignation, « that the person 
who had advised such a sacrilege deserved to be crucified 1" 

He rejoiced greatly, that the Elgin marbles had been 
bought by government and were intended to be kept here. 

2 3 


While treating on this subject, he observed as follows : •' Now 
I confess that my temper is so impatient, and my judgment so 
infirm, that I could not endure to listen to a money debate, 
whether England shall keep and preserve the sublime remains 
of Phidias, and of all the wonderful artists of his time, as if it 
were about a tax upon lobsters, or the toll of a turnpike/* 
He also entered into a learned dissertation, to prove that there 
were admirable statues in Athens, as well as temples, before 
the erection of the Parthenon. 

In private life. Sir Philip was extremely pleasant, agree- 
able and gallant with the fair sex ; gay with the young, he was 
at the same time sententious and didactic with the old. As he 
advanced in years, he became anxious, above all things, to 
avoid garrulity, the usual concomitant of age, and indeed was 
himself too impatient to listen to the tedious details, and long 
and tiresome stories of others. 

Extremely accomplished, he was greatly addicted to music, 
he was also familiar with the two modern languages in greatest 
repute in our times, which he quoted frequently and appositely, 
Italian and French. In respect to the learned tongues, he was 
highly gifted, for his Greek and his Latin did honour to St. 
Paul's School, where he was educated. 

The writer of this article, was honoured with a last visit 
from Sir Philip Francis, on the 23d of December, 1817. His 
frame was then evidently shattered, and disease had begun to 
prey on his vitals ; but at times, he ralUed, and seemed to for- 
get that he was on the very brink of the grave. The original 
malady, for which he had submitted to an operation, proceeded 
from the iirostate gland, and to this cause he attributed the 
constant irritation, and occasional pains, with which he was 

The conversation was miscellaneous, and proved highly 
interesting, for care was taken that he should both lead 
and select the subjects. Of these Junius, that fertile theme 
for investigation, occupied a distinguished rank. He ridi- 
culed the idea of his being the author ; — he had already writ- 
ten on that subject until he was tired, — would write no more 

sill PHILir FRANCIS. ?31 

kttei-s, — answer no more questions relative to it. " If maW- 
kiiid are so obstinate as not to believe what I have already 
said, I am not fool enough to humble myself any more with 
denials, — I have done." 

We next talked of the news of the day ; he was astonished 
at the times in which he lived. Hone had displayed great 
talents in his defence, — had beaten both judge and counsel — 
three different trials for three different counts of the same libel, 

— this was intolerable. There was a general diffusion of 
knowledge, — every body wrote, and wrote well now-a-days ; 

— he had read Wooller's productions ; — Cobbet was able, but 
hurt his cause by his violence. — 

Great events produced great men, as well as energetic and 
singular characters. Mr. Fox was a truly great man, — a 
master-spirit ; — he possessed uncommon powers of debate, 
but attributed too much effect to this talent, and, in the end, 
was miserably deceived and disappointed. Mr. Burke also, 
was a truly great man, — the opposition refreshed themselves 
with his conversation, as if it had been a fountain of living 
water whence they drew their supplies J - — he was a poor crea- 
ture in parliament, unless agitated by some great object ; yet 
he was always in earnest, or soon became so, — the noble ani- 
mal knew his defect, " and lashed his sides with his tail, until 
he animated himself into a passion, — he was then glorious." 
The extremity of personal distress made him go over to the 
enemy, and he carried two great whig noblemen, bound hand 
and foot into their camp, although they were not in want, like 
himself; — his great crime was the abuse of the party he had 
left, and, above all, his conduct to Mr. Fox : — notwithstand- 
ing this, he (Sir Philip) had always preserved his private 
friendship, although he differed entirely in respect to public 
affairs. — His rejiard for Mr. Fox's character remained unal- 
tered and unalterable, notwithstanding some mortifying cir- 
cumstances ; — he had sat near twenty years in parliament, 
and spent 16,000/. in the cause, from which he had never 
flinched. — He had, indeed, been mobl heartily invited to join 
the seceders, yet he had stuck to Charles Fox, who was pledged 


to him. But his friend was a ilifFerent man in and out of 
office. — " He (Sir Philip) had wished to go to India, perhaps 
to die there, — but assuredly to make a rally for reputation in 
that country where he had first shone, and first fallen j — the 
name of a noble baron was used as if he had been adverse to 
him. — Mr. Fox patronised a Scotch lord, whom the East In- 
dia Company would not patronise." 

Sir Philip Francis then spoke of a late meeting of the county 
of Middlesex, — his last public act was performed there. Re- 
curring to his own personal situation, he lamented his indis- 
position, chiefly as it prevented him from sitting in ladies' 
company, and dining with his good friend Lord Holland, a 
man whom he loved exceedingly. 

At a subsequent period. Sir Philip told the writer of this 
article, during a visit in St. James's Square, " that if any one 
had dropt 30,000/. into the pocket of Mr. Burke, there would 
not have been any war with France." 

The last time he saw him was at Tunbridge Wells, during 
the summer of 1818 ; but although able to walk a little on the 
pantiles, he was then in ruins. He afterwards visited Brighton, 
returned to his residence in Westminster, and soon after 

Such was the character, conduct, and opinions of the late 
Sir Philip Francis, as they appeared to the writer of this me- 
moir. After expending a considerable portion of his life in 
India, and his fortune in parliament, and living and acting, 
during many years, with the greatest orators and statesmen of 
England, his remuneration must be allowed to have been 
wholly incommensurate with his virtues, his talents, and his 
sacrifices. Indeed, to adopt the language of one of the most 
eloquent men of his day, he may be truly said to have " lived 
and died, with no other reward, but that inward sunshine of 
the soul, which a good conscience can always bestow." 


List of the Worh and Speeches 
Of Sir Philip Francis, K.B. M.P., ^c 3fc. 

1. Qriginal Minutes of the Governor-General and council 
of Fort William, on the settlement and collection of the Reve- 
nues of Bengal, with a plan of settlement, recommended to 
the Court of Directors in January, 1776. 4to. 1782. 

2. Speech in the House of Commons, Friday, July 2, 1784, 
on India affaii^s. 8vo. 1784. 

3. Two Speeches in the House of Commons, on the ori<rinal 
East India Bill, and on the amended bill, on the 16th and 
26th of July, 1784. 8vo. 

4. Speech in the House of Commons, Tuesday, March 7, 
•1786, on moving for leave to bring in a bill to amend the In- 
dia Act of 1784. 8vo. 

5. Observations on Mr. Hastings' Narrative of his Trans- 
actions at Benares, in 1781. 8vo. 1786. 

6. Observations on Mr. Hastings' Letter relative to Pre- 
sents. 8vo. 

7. Observations on Mr. Hastings' defence. 8vo. 

8. Speech in the House of CommMi^, April 19, 1787, for 
the impeachment of Mr. Hastings on the Revenue Charge. 
With an Appendix. 8vo. 1787. 

9. Answer of Philip Francis, Esq. to the charge against Sir 
John Clavering, Colonel George Monson, and Mr. Francis at 
the bar of the House of Commons, on February 4, 1788, by 
Sir Elijah Impey. 8vo. 1788. 

10. Speeches in the House of Commons, 28th February, 
and 2d of March, 1791, printed in Proceedings in Parliament 
relative to the origin and progress of the war in India, &c., 

1792. 8vo. 

11. Letter to Lord North, late Earl of Guilford, with an 
Appendix, dated Calcutta, September 17, 1777, 8vo. 1793. 

12. Heads of a Speech in reply to Mr. Dundas, April 23d, 

1793, on the government and trade of India. 

1 3. Draught of a resolution and plan, drawn up in 1 793, 
and intended to be proposed to the Society of the Friends of 
ihe People, 1794. 8vo. 


H'. Speech in answer to Silvester Douglas, now Lord Gkn- 
befvie, 1796. 

15. Proceedings in the House of Commons on the Slave 
Trade, &c. 1796. , 

16. The question as it stood in March, 1798. 179B. 8vo. 

17. Speech on the affairs of India, July 19, 1803. 

18. Speeches in the House of Commons, on the war against 
the Mahrattas. 1805. 8vo. 

19. Speech against the exemption of foreign property in 
the funds from the income tax, 1 806. 8vo. 

20. Letter to Viscount Howick, (now Earl Grey), on the 
state of the East India Company, 1 807. 

21. Reflections on the abundance of paper in circulation. 

22. Letter to Earl Grey. 8vo. 1S14. 

23. Letter missive to Lord Holland. 181C. 

24. Plan of a reform in the election of the House of Com- 
mons, adopted by the Society of the Friends of the People, in 
1795; with a new introduction, and other documents. 8vo. 

25. Petition of the freeholders of the county of Middlesex, 
to the Honourable House of Commons ; preceded by the 
Speech with which it was introduced, by Sir Philip Francis, 
K.B. IS 1 7. 8vo. 

26. Historical Questions, exhibited in the Morning Chro- 
nicle, in January, 1818, enlarged, corrected, and improved. 
1818. Svo. 


No. X. 



1 HE name of this gentleman has been scarcely mentioned of 
late years, and indeed he has taken but little share in any 
political proceedings of a recent date. There was a time, how- 
ever, when he acted a very conspicuous part, and was continu- 
ally before the public, either as a writer or a parliamentary 

John Scott was born in or about the year 1737, or 1738. 
He is said to have been descended from a respectable Scottish 
family of the same name : and towards the latter part of his 
life he assumed the addendum of Waring, in consequence 
of one of his relatives having settled a considerable estate on 
him, in the county palatine of Chester. 

At an early period of life, Mr. Scott entered into the service 
of the East India Company, and rose by degrees to the rank 
of a major. While a subaltern, quartered at Futtygur, he 
displayed a taste for writing, and, as we have heard, at one 
period attacked the administration of Mr. Hastings with a 
considerable degree of ability and effect. But they were after- 
wards reconciled, and a friendship equally warm and sincere 
took place between them. The governor-general, being 
certain that an impeachment had been determined on, selected 
Major Scott, who possessed his full confidence, as his agent 
and he accordingly repaired to England, as his precursor. 
They were both sensible that nothing could be effected without 
a scat in parliament ; and the jnoper means for obtaining this 
were not wanting. The subject of this memoir accordingly 


appeared in the House of Commons, as the authorised repre- 
sentative of Mr. Hastings, and displayed no common degree 
of zeal in his behalf; nor can it be denied, that on many try- 
ing occasions, he conducted himself with considerable ability 
and effect. On the other hand, he must be acknowledged to 
have displayed a certain degree of temerity, in the manner in 
which he commenced his career. It is well known, indeed, 
that in the character of champion to the governor-general, 
he was the first to throw down the gauntlet in the House 
of Commons, to set his enemies at defiance, and to dare 
them to the contest. How far this might have been piudent 
it is now difficult to decide ; but certain it is, that he appears at 
least to have confirmed Mr. Burke in his original purpose, and 
perhaps rendered him still more determined, and even more 
personal and vituperative, than he otherwise might have 

In this state of affairs the subject of this memoir, of course, 
was particularly anxious to have the public voice in his favour. 
Many of the first families in the kingdom were indebted to 
Mr. Hastings for a provision for their younger sons. The 
East India Company (supposing the accusation of his enemies 
to be true), had profited by his peculations, his rapacities, his 
wars of ambition, and still more by his wanton aggressions 
ao-ainst the defenceless natives, under the immediate protection 
of Great Britain. Some of the ministers themselves were 
under obligations to him ; and, in addition to all this, by means 
of presents he had gratified the cupidity, and excited the gra- 
titude, of many distinguished personages. Thus, a numerous 
and powerful body was already interested in the defence of 
Mr. Hastings; while the public at large, listening to the 
tales of rapacity and injustice displayed towards the most 
distinguished princes and princesses in India, without regard 
cither to rank, or age, or sex, at first leaned towards his 

In this state of affairs, it became necessary to conciliate those 
who were neutral, to confirm those who were wavering, to 
countenance his dLl'ciidcrs, and to attack his foes. 


All this was effected in a very able and cfRcaciotis manner, 
by the avowed agent of Mr. Hastings. Well aware of the 
immense power of the press (and it was never more fully de- 
monstrated than in the course of this very impeachment), he 
subsidised several of the newspapers : some of the reviews, too, 
were at his devotion. Pamphlets innumerable were also writ- 
ten and circulated, either by himself or under his immediate 
direction ; and thus the public mind was monthly, daily, and 
almost hourly occupied either by his own labours, or those of 
his adherents. When the contest became warmer, the speeches 
of each side were published, and perused with an eagerness 
now scarcely to be conceived ; and while the periodical press 
incessantly groaned under the innumerable letters, paragraphs, 
puffs, and squibs, which issued from it. This must have 
proved an expensive operation ; and a very curious bill of the 
sums paid on this occasion was published in the Morning 
Herald, in 1787. Of the total expenditure, it is now difficult 
to form any guess, but it could not have been much short of 
one-fourth of the law expenses, which alone amounted to 
71,080/. on the part of Mr. Hastings. Indeed, the avowed 
productions on the part of Major Scott himself, relative to 
India, amount to upwards of thirty in point of number, some • 
of which are of considerable extent. Many of these, indeed, 
were published with his name, and some with his initials 
(J. S.), while others appeared under the signature of Asi- 
aticus. Detector, &c. &c. &c. In addition to this, he rose 
frequently in the House of Commons in support of his patron ; 
he mingled in all the debates relative to the affairs of Asia ; 
and it was admitted by Mr. Pitt that his information was 
various, original, and authentic. 

While Major Scott contended with a host of periodical 
writers, he was anxious that history should not record any 
thing unworthy of his friend. Accordingly, in 17!n, head- 
dressed a letter to Mr. Doddesley, for the purpose of contro- 
verting some of the facts stated in the Annual Register for 
1788. Perhaps his zeal was considerably heightened by the 
consideration that Mr. Burke had been, and still was supposed 


to be the editor of tliat work. In 1796, he also addressed 
a letter to Mr. Belsham, who, in his history of the reign of 
George III. had treated Mr. Hastings, as he thought, with a 
considerable degree of asperity and injustice, particularly in 
the character drawn of a great Asiatic Statesman. * He had 

* The following is the portrait of the Ex-Governor-General of India, as depicted by 
the pencil of Mr. Belsham, vol.vii. p. 225. of the History of Great Britain: " The 
]M>litlcal character of Mr. Hastings, on a cool and impartial review of his conduct, so 
forcibly impresses itself on the mind, that it can derive little aid from any adventitious il- 
lustration. Daring in the conception, and ardent in the prosecution of his designs, — 
fertile in resources, and relying with confidence, and even with pride, on the strength of 
his own genius,— -his character acquired a certain stamp of dignity and superiority from 
the inflexibility of his temper, and the apparent force of his own conviction respecting 
the rectitude and propriety of his measures ; to which must be added, that in his public 
despatches he possessed the dangerous art of giving plausibility to the most absurd and 
pernicious measures, by artful and imposing glosses, branching out sometimes into stu- 
died ambiguities, sometimes into bold assumptions, under a perpetual external show of 
ingenuousness, liberality, and candour. 

*' The numerous individuals returning in rapid succession from India, whom 
Mr. Hastings bad engaged in Ms interest by various obligations, contributed also to 
enhance his reputation, by the high eulogiums which they almost universally bestowed 
upon his conduct ; and in which, dazzled by the brilliant exterior of the Governor's 
administration, and unequal to the clear comprehension of an extensive and complex 
system, they were probably for the most part very sincere. The truth, however, is, that 
this man, for thirteen years the scourge of the East, aud whom ignorance and folly have 
preposterously ranked with the Sullys and Chathams of the West, has never been, and 
never can become, the theme of discerning and rational panegyric. 

" Not to speak of his total and flagrant disregard of the sole kgiiiinate end and 
object of government, — the happiness of the governed, — his conduct will be found, in 
aln)Ost all its p.irts, and in the choice and prosecution of his own purposes, absurd, per- 
plexed, capricious, and inconsequent. His course was one perpetual deviation from the 
straight and luminous path of political and sound rectitude; and his general reputation 
was supported chiefly by his habitual vigour of mind and personal courage, which wert; 
in him internally blended, and seemed to rise on some occasions even to the semblance 
of magnanimity. 

" His exertions in the last war for the preservation of the Camatic, which he had so 
wantonly and uselessly endangered, were generally and justly spoken of as highly meri- 
torious ; but even in this most splendid and boasted part of his political conduct, he 
could challenge only the praise of a madman, who first fires the house, and then labours 
strenuously to extinguish the flames. 

" The administration of Mr. Hastings has been truly said, in the glowing expressions 
<if eloquence, ' to exhibit a medley of meanness and outrage, of dtipliciiy and depreda- 
tion, of prodigality and oppression, of the most callous cruelty contrasted with the hollow 
affectation of liberality and good faith. The sordiil system of commercial policy, to 
which all the arrangements and regulations of the Company arc ultimately to bo traced, 
was under his government carried to the utmost extent. Thus have nations been extir- 
pated for a sum of money, — whole tracts of country laid waste to furnish an invest- 
ment, — princes expelled for the balance of an account, — and a bloody sceptre wielded 
in one hand, in order to replenish the emjity purse of mercantile mendicancy displayed 
ill the other.' 


pronounced, " That his ilcfcnce, precipitately and prematurely 
delivered, was of no service to his cause, and contributed 
in a very slight and inadecjuate degree to the vindica- 
tion of his character." While ho reprobated the " languor" 
with which the trial was carried on, the writer lamented, 
" that the enthusiasm of those who wished and expected to 
have seen a great delinquent brought to speedy and exemplary 
justice, was fast changing to compassion for the man who 
seemed destined to live a life of impeachment, and to have 
been the object of a relentless persecution." If the Major was 
annoyed by the charges of delinquency, he was still more mor- 
tified at the affected compassion for the " criminal ;" and he 
was consequently at great pains, on the present occasion, to 
enforce the innocence of his patron, and insists on the guilt of 
his numerous and relentless enemies. 

" The concessions of Mr. Hastings lilmseU are, indeed, occasionally very large 
and ample ; for liis views seldom seem to liave extended beyond the precise object 
which he wished at the moment to compass. The ruinous effects of British perfidy, and 
ISritUh barbarity, in India, are very strongly and distinctly stated in his letters, dispatches, 
and minutes of council. In his minute of September 20, 1783, he says, •♦ By a sacrcl 
and tmdeviaiing observance of every principle of public I'lith, the British dominion 
might by this time have acquired the means of its extension, through a virtual submission 

to its autiiorlty, to every region of Hindostan and Decan. But the powers of India 

ALL dread the connection. The subjecticn of Bengal, the usurpations in the Cainutic, 
tlie licentious violation of the treaty with the Nizam, the effects of our connections with 
the Vizier, stand as tebbible trkcedents Bgaiiist us.' 

" Yet as to himself, the primutn mobile of the wliole system, lie declares in liis 
famous minutes of defence, ♦ That he had the conscious satisfaction to see all his mea- 
sures terminate in their designed objects; that his political conduct was lnvari:ibly 
regulated by truth, justice, and good faith; and that he resigned his charge in a state 
of established peace and security, with all the sources of its abundance unimpaired, and 
even improved.' 

" To reconcile these apparent incongruities, we are required, therefore, by a species 
of faith which can work miracles, to believe that there existed in India crimes without a 
criminal, oppressions without an oppressor, and tyranny without a tyrant. In fine, when 
we consider, with serious attention, the origin and progress of the British government in 
India, the friendship and generosity with which the English nation was received, and 
permitted to form establishments in that country, the black and base ingratitude with 
which those obligations were requited, and the unexampled, unprovoked, and unatoncd 

excesses, which have been perpetrated on the princes and inhabitants of Hindustan 

Is it the weakness of superstition merely to tremble at the secret apprehension that some 
mighty vengeance is yet in store for this kingdom, such as finally, by the intervention of 
obvious causes, overwhelmed and subverted the proud, corrupt, and tyrannic emjiires of 
antiquity ?" 


Yet what was above prognosticated actually look place. 
The numerous delays and continual procrastination of the 
proceedings against Mr. Hastings, at length aroused a spirit 
of indignation both in the House of Commons and the nation, 
against the tardy method of conducting the prosecution. Ac- 
cordingly, Major Scott was heard with patience and temper, 
when, in opposition to Mr. Francis, he insisted on the then 
prosperous condition of Bengal, arising out of the government 
of Mr. Hastings, while that gentleman was placed over it. 

" The increased and accruing revenue had been obtained," 
he observed, " from sources branded on the journals of the 
House, as procured by acts of injustice, oppression, and breach 
of faith, viz. 

" Benares increased rent - - 1 70,000 

" Salt - . - - - 600,000 

" Opium - . - - 140,000 

" Oude - - - - 200,000 

Total - ^1,110,000 

" I affirm," added he, " that if such an increase of wealth 
has flowed into the coffers of the Company, during the right 
honourable gentleman's administration (Mr. Dundas, after- 
wards Lord Melville, and then President of the Board of 
Controul), it proceeds from the source I have enumerated; it 
has all been created by Mr. Hastings, and all condemned by 
the journals of the House, in the st/"ongest possible language ; 
and yet this country takes, without scruple, all those wages of 
iniquity, as it has been pleased in effect to term them ; and the 
minister glories in the great amount of his Bengal resources, 
and in the flourishing state of the countr}' I Such absurdities 
and injustice cannot last for ever. Gentlemen must know, 
that I neither misrepresent nor exaggerate. 

" There was a time, when a right honourable gentleman 
(Mr. Pitt) was pleased to compliment me in very flattering 
terms, for th.e uncommon accuracy with which I have given 



India details in tliis house. The same honourable gentleman 
was pleased, a short time since, to speak of them with a 
marked contempt. But I have never varied in my accounts, 
and it is extremely singular, that the India minister and my- 
self scarcely differ as to a single fact. 

" I thank the House for the indulgence with which they 
now hear me ; and cannot omit the present opportunity of 
once more callinjj its attention to the situation in which it and 
the country now stands, approving year after year the reso- 
lutions moved by the India minister — taking credit for every 
rupee arising from the revenues of Bengal — agreeing that that 
country has been and still was, in the most flourishing state 
— yet going year after year into Westminster Hall (and we 
are now in the sixth year of the impeachment !) when the 
world is solemnly told, in the name of the Commons of 
England, that Bengal is ruined and undone — enjoying the 
resources, yet abusing the man and the means by which they 
were procured ! Fully convinced, as I am, that this House is 
composed of men of sense, and of honour, I am confident that 
the time must arrive, when they will be ashamed of such dis- 
graceful transactions !" 

Major Scott, on the fifteendi day of the trial, was examined 
by Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Fox, &c. before the House of Lords, 
on the second charge, relative to the very dark and dubious 
transactions about the treasure of the Begums. On this occasion 
he asserted, that Mr. Hastings' defence had been chiefly 
drawn up, not by himself, but by his friends ; and that 
Messrs. Halhed, Gilpin, Middleton, and himself, had all as- 
sisted on that occasion. 

On the 1st of May, 1789, the subject of this memoir 
entered into a laboured defence of Mr. Hastings' conduct again 
before the House of Commons, and maintained that the 
petition presented to the House of Lords by that gentleman, 
was founded on facts, and unanswerable in point of argument. 
« As to the affair of Nundcomar, all the transactions had 
been laid before government, and yet the governor-general 
H'as repeatedly confirmed in his high office, subsequently to 



that period. After such appointments, what could be the 
opinion of Mr. Hastings or of the world," added he, " but 
that the charge ought to be looked upon as a base and 
unfounded calumny ? yet this was the mass of evidence which 
the manager (Mr. Burke) had been talking of for two days, 
and which he was so anxious to produce. The manager, 
after the decision of the House, thought proper to affirm that 
Mr. Hastings murdered Nundcomar by the hands of Sir 
Elijah Impey." Not content with this, he published the two 
following letters, in a newspaper of that day, in reply to one 
addressed by Mr. Burke to his friend Mr. Montague : 

Letter I. 

« To the Printer, 
« Sir, 

" Mr. Burke's motive for publishing the letter which Mr. 
Montague read in the House of Commons, ought to be, to 
enable those gentlemen who differ with him to enter into a fair 
discussion of its contents. 

" Some of the assertions of the letter are of so very extraor- 
dinary a nature, that I should have been sorry indeed, if so 
fair an opportunity had not been given to me of meeting them 
with a most direct and unequivocal contradiction. Mr. Burke 
says, that the House having, upon an opinion of his diligence 
and fidelity, put a great trust into his hands, ought to give him 
an entire credit fw the veracity of every fact that he affirms or 
denies. Never was there, I believe, so monstrous a propo- 
sition, and the vote of the House has j'roved already the fallacy 
and the absurdity of it. If it were true, observe what a 
dilemma Mr. Burke would involve the House in. We have 
had two India budgets since this impeachment began. In each 
year the India Minister has dwelt with peculiar force and em- 
phasis upon the mildness, the justice, and the excellency of 
the government of Great Britain in Bengal ; has explained 
the situation of its foreign connections and dependencies, and 
has last year taken credit, as the aggregate of the resources of 
Bengal, for a surplus, after the payment of all its expenses, of 


two millions sterling. The House has heard these statements 
with great satisfaction, and has voted those resolutions which 
Mr. Dundas moved. Could the House have done so, had 
they believed Mr. Burke ? No ; for, in contradiction to every 
man's declaration who has any means of information, Mr. 
Burke obstinately persists in painting to the world, in the name 
of the Commons of Great Britain, the miserable, distressed, 
depopulated, and ruined state of Bengal, Benares, and Oude. 
I affirm, therefore, that the House has not, cannot, and ought 
not to give entire credit to Mr. Burke, for the veracity of every 
fact that he affirms or denies. 

" In another paragraph he says, that the committee must 
be the sole judges of the relevancy of the facts, till the com- 
petent court finally decides ; and he adds, * In that court the 

* agent of Mr. Hastings will soon enough be called upon to 

* give his own testimony with regard to the conduct of his 

* principal. The agent shall not escape from the necessity of 

* delivering it, nor will the principal escape from the testi- 

* mony of his agent.' 

" In this passage / hwiv Mr. Burke is not serious, nor will 
the world believe him, because every man of common sense 
knows, that there is a common-sense way of doing business, 
and that if I could give the testimony which Mr. Burke in- 
sinuates / can give, Mr. Fox, the managers, the five lawyers 
they employ, would insist upon Mr. Burke's coming to the 
point at once, they would not permit him to speak four days 
upon presumptions, and the probabilities of presumptions i 
but, as Mr. Burke has now committed himself, I hope the 
public will not forget the broad assertion that he has made. 
For the present, I will inform them, that I was examined 
upon this subject in Westminster-hall above four hours, with 
all the ability, ingenuity, and industry of Mr. Fox, Mr. 
Burke, and Mr. Sheridan ; and this is not the only instance 
they have given of skill in putting questions, as the world 
well knows. I had been examined upon the same subject by 
a Committee of the House of Commons five years before. 
When I was called as a witness in Westminster-hall, no in- 

R 2 


formalion was given to me of the point I was called to depose 
to; and, in the course of my examination, Mr. Sheridan ob* 
served, that there was a contradiction between my evidence 
then given, and that which I gave formerly on the same sub- 
ject, A Noble Lord afforded me an opportunity of calling 
for that former evidence. It came; it was read; but the 
ability of Mr. Sheridan did not enable him to point out a 
difference, and, armed with the robe of magistracy, he left 
his assertion to shift for itself. No question can be put to me 
that I will not answer most unreservedly ; and as to money 
transactions, I should have no objection if all that I am con- 
cerned in were proclaimed at Charing-Cross. I have never 
lent my name to give currency to a bond, and afterwards re- 
fused to discharge it. 

" Mr. Burke says, that their perseverance may be called 
obstinacy inspired by malice, and adds, ' Not one of us, how- 

* ever, has a cause of malice. What knowledge have we of 

* Sir Elijah Impey, with whom you know we began ; and of 

* Mr. Hastings, whom we afterwards found in our way ? — 

* Party views cannot be our motive. Is it not notorious, 
' that, if we thought it consistent with our duty, we might 

* at least have an equal share of the Indian interest, which 

* now is almost to a man against us ?' 

" One would really imagine that Mr. Burke was writing to 
an old woman born in the last century, or to an infant in the 
nurse's arms. That he should gravely put such a question to 
a gentleman of character and information, and deep political 
knowledge, is, indeed, most wonderful. Does not Mr. Mon- 
taffue know, that those who have been his bosom friends 
through life, took up the cause of Mr. Hastings most 
warmly and successfully in the year 1776, when Lord North 
wanted to remove him, because he had been accused P Does 
not Mr. Montague know, that the Marquis of Rockingham 
then defended him, because the accusation iaias not proi>ed F 
Does not Mr. Montague know, that the accusations were 
actually those which, at the distance of fourteen years, Mr. 
Burke has revived, though three several times since they 



were made, Mr. Hastings has, by the unanimous voice of the 
legislature, been appointed the governor-general of Bengal? 
Does not Mr. Montague know, that in 1781, when he s^t as 
a member of the Judicature Committee, they examined very 
particularly into the circumstances of the execution of Nund- 
comar? Does not Mr. Montague know, that precisely at the 
same period Lord North brought in a bill, by which Mr. 
Hastmgs was a fourth time appointed governor-general of 
Bengal, and for ten years? Does not Mr. Montague know, 
that neither Mr. Burke, nor any one man of his committee, 
intreated Lord North to suspend the appointment because 
Mr. Hastings was concerned in the death of Nundcomar? 
He knows that at that time no such suspicions existed, nor do 
they now, though it was found expedient to say that which the 
Commons have disavowed. 

" But, says Mr. Burke, ^e found Mr. Hastings in our ixay^ 
He never spoke more truly in his life. 

" They did so, hut not in April 1 78 L They found him in their 
tooy when they had tui-ned out Lord North the next year; 
then, and not till then, did the plot thicken; nor was Mr. 
Hastings the only man they found in their ^ay> They found 
Mr. John Macpherson in their •way; and they made a report 
which had for its object his removal^ and a censure of Lord 
North for appointing him. They found Mr. Whiter, in their 
way; for they made another report, in which they affirmed, 
that both he and Sir John were implicated in the criminality 
of Mr. Hastings. The resistance of the proprietors, and the 
death of the Marquis of Rockingham, prevented their plans 
from taking effect. They resigned, and in a 'ievi months came 
in with additional power, by an unexpected junction with an 
old enemy. Then Mr. Fox brought in his memorable bill, 
and again they found Mr. Hastings in their -jcay, for his friends 
joined most heartily in opposition to that measure, with a very 
great majority of the nation. I cannot possibly look into the 
heart of a man, and discover the motives of his actions; but, 
I believe, there is not in Great Britain one man of common 
sense, or who has read beyond the history of Tom Thumb, 

R 8 


who will say with Mr. Burke, that party views cannot be the 
object of their prosecution of Mr. Hastings. 

" Mr. Burke says, * Is it not notorious, that if we thought it 

* consistent with our duty, we might have at least an equal 

* share of the Indian interest, which now is almost to a man 

* against us ? ' 

" There is an insinuation here, which it is incumbent upon 
Mr. Montague to do away. I deny the truth of it in the most 
solemn and unequivocal manner. None of us have forgot the 
late important struggles, nor the active part which Mr. Burke 
took in them. During that period, or any other, never was 
the least overture made, directly or indirectly, on the part of 
Mr. Hastings, by any man living, to deprecate the resentment 
of Mr. Burke, or his party. I affirm there was not, and at the 
very moment when their possession of power appeared (whe- 
ther with or without cause I know not) to be inevitable, I 
spoke of them precisely in the manner that I had done, 
when their elevation appeared to be more distant. If no 
reply is given, the insinuation will be treated by the world 
as it deserves. 

" I will take upon me to declare, that no overtures were at 
any time made by Mr. Hastings or his friends to deprecate the 
violence of his opponents, though an overture was made to 
them. At a very critical period, namely, the night before Mr. 
Fox brought in his bill, Mr. Sheridan, who made it, would 
have met me the next day, had I not declined it. How far 
he was empowered, or by whom empowered to treat, I know 
not ; but after having declined that meeting, which was in- 
tended as an opening to an accommodation, I did not expect 
to hear it gravely asserted at any time, as a matter of no- 
toriety, that Mr. Burke and his friends ' might, if they 

* thought it consistent with their duty, at least have an equal 

* sh^-e of the Indian interest.* Mr. Burke's meaning is 
too obvious to be missed, but it has no sort of foundation 
in fact. 

" I am. Sir, your humble Servant, 
" Holies-street, Mmj 9. " John Scoit." 


Letter II. 

" To the Printer. 
« Sir, 

** I am oblifred to you for inserting my letter so early in your 
paper, and as I must look upon the publication of Mr. Burke's 
letter to be a fair appeal from him to the public, I shall sub- 
mit some further remarks to the candour and good sense of the 
same tribunal. 

In his late speech, he gave us a long account of Munny 
Begum, whom he called " a Dancing Girl, a common prosti- 
tute, a wicked woman," and bestowed upon her a variety of 
opprobrious epithets, in so far that three-tenths of the ladies 
who heard him must have departed with the most unfavourable 
opinion of this venerable matron. If the House were to give 
Mr. Burke entire credit for the veracity of every fact that he 
either affirms or denies, it would upon this occasion be 
in one of the most unfortunate dilemmas that any public 
body was ever involved in ; for Mr. Burke Jiimselfy in the 
eleventh report of the select committee, gave the House the 
following very different account of Munny Begum in the year 
1783 ; ' It will be proper to state to the House the situation 

* and circumstances of the women principally concerned, who 

* were in the seraglio of Jaffier Ally Cawn at his death. The 

* Jirst of these was called Munny Begum, a person originally 

* born of poor and obscure parents, who delivered her over 

* to the conductress of a company of dancing girls, in which 

* profession, being called to exhibit at a festival where 
' the late Nabob took a liking to her, after some co- 
' habitation, she obtained such influence over him, that he 

* took her for one of his wives {and she seems to have been the 
^favourite), jiut hei' at the head ofhisharam^ and having a 
' son by her, this son succeeded to his axdhority and estate ; 
' Munny Begum, the mother, heing by his mil a devisee of 

* cojisiderable sums of vioney, and other effects, in which he 

* left a charge, which has since been applied to the service 

* of the East India Company.' 

R 4 



All the latter part of this account we know to be strictly 
true; and the first may be so also, although it will be impos- 
sible for Mr. Burke, or any other person in England, to prove 
it. Munny Begum, by Mr. Burke's own account, was the 
wife, and the favourite wife, of Jaffier, the superior of his 
seraglio; and Lord Clive took a legacy of five lacks upon the 
strength of her testimony, which forms a fund for the half-pay 
of our army. If she ever was a dancing girl, it must have 
been nearly fifty years ago ; for the last twenty-seven years she 
has been treated as the first woman in Bengal. How she 
acquired her power and influence originally, long antecedent 
as it was to our own influence in Bengal, is not a matter of 
the least consequence ; but I should be glad to know, if the 
House is to give entire credit to Mr. Burke for the veracity of 
every fact he affirms or denies, how they are to act, when he 
differs so materially from himself? In the eleventh report, and 
in the articles presented to the Lords, this lady is called the 
wido'w of Mcer Jaffier. In his speech, which iioe might most 
religiously to believe, she is styled ' a wicked woman, and 
a common prostitute.' 

" I shall proceed in further elucidation of the danger, as 
well as of the absurdity, of Mr. Burke's doctrine. 

" He has affirmed, that to let the lands of Bengal in farm, 
was a most wicked, corrupt, and oppressive system, invented 
by Mr. Ilasiings, unauthorised by the Directors, and a scan- 
dalous violation of the rights of the nobility anJ country 
gentlemen of Bengal. 

" Mr. Burke has represented himself as a laborious, plodding, 
and inquisitive man, who has been intent upon the discovery 
of Indian grievances for eight years. What reliance ought 
the House, or the public, to whom he has appealed, to place 
upon his accuracy or fidelity, when it is a notorious fact, that 
the plan for farming the lands was adopted in various instances 
three years before Mr. Hastings adopted it ; and is thus men- 
tioned by Governor Verelst and Mr. Becher, in a letter to the 
select committee in Bengal, dated from Morshedabad, the 
30th of July, 176')? 


" ' The plan we wish to see generally followed is, that of 

* letting the lands to farm, for a term of years, as we are per- 

* siuided that mode tends most to the welfare of the inhabit- 

* ants, the improvement of the country, and of course the 

* benefit of our employers. We are happy to find the Hon. 

* Court of Directors seem to have adopted the same senti- 

* ments ; and we flatter ourselves the hef[inning that is no-jo 

* maJcing, iti leftmg out to farm the districts of Raje Shahy and 

* Nuddea, 'will in time be follo'wcd throughout the Province of 

* Bengal.* 

" Here is another strong instance brought, in order to prove 
that the House cannot, and ought not, to give entire credit to 
Mr. Burke. 

" In his last speech, he read a testimonial which Lord Corn- 
wallis and his council had transmitted to the court of Directors 
from the Rajah of Dinagipore, a boy whom he represented to 
be eleven or twelve years of age. Mr. Burke might well say, 
indeed, that such a testimonial, from such a child, was only 
to be mentioned with ridicule, or with contempt ; and in such 
a contemptible light he did represent it. This testimonial the 
House has not seen ; but if they were to give entire credit to 
Mr. Burke, they might suppose, that no other signature ap- 
jpeared to the testimonial. The fact, however, is, that it is signed 
by all the j^uhlic officers of the Rajah, who manage the business 
of the Zemindary for him; and the next name to the raj;di's is 
that of the Naib Zemindar, or Public Minister. I have been 
asked seriously, of what validity the testimonial of such a child 
could be ; so completely were Mr. Burke's auditors convinced, 
by his general argument, that no other signature was affixed 
to it, but that of the infant, as he called him ! 

" I should encroach too much upon your time and your 
paper, were I to produce the various instances that have oc- 
curred, by which I could prove that Mr. Burke's doctrine is 
a most dangerous one indeed. The good sense and the justice 
of the House rejected it at once ; but it appears to nie, that 
Mr. Burke wishes for the decision of the public also upon the 
^amc point. Jf J am right in thi« conjecture, I am justified in 


laying before them a few facts, by which they may determine^ 
that neither the House nor the public ought to give him 
credit for the veracity of the facts he either affirms or denies. 

" I am, Sir, your humble servant, 

" John Scott. 

" Holles-streety May 11, 1789." 

As no notice was taken of these letters, Mr. Scott was em- 
boldened to publish the following one. 

*' To the Printed' of the Diary. 
" Sir, If a man of the rank of one of His Majesty's 
Privy Counsellors does not conceive it below his dignity to 
revive a calumny long ago refuted, it is not unbecoming in me 
asrain to take notice of it. 

" The story that appears in your paper of Wednesday, as 
told by Mr. Burke in the House of Commons, was circulated 
last year, and a noble earl and a learned judge (who is a peer 
of the realm) were said to have mentioned it. Mr. Burke, 
who made the first enquiry on the subject in Leadenhall- 
street, informed Mr. Hudson, that Major Scott had told 
the respectable nobleman who presented Mr. Hastings' pe- 
tition, that he had paid three thousand pounds for copying 
papers at the India House. Mr. Hudson, from whom I re- 
ceived this information, told Mr. Burke, at my express desire, 
that I had never made such an assertion to any person. 

« The story, as told by the learned judge, if I was rightly 
informed, was materially different, namely, that Mr. Hast- 
ings was the person who gave the information to the no- 
bleman who presented his petition. It was now become 
a most serious affair; aiul, effectually to counteract the 
mischief which such a story, coming from such a quarter, 
might do, I published the real state of the fact on the 
3d of July last, and hearing nothing from either of the 
parties who had circulated the tale (a tale so much in the 
style of Mr. Sheridan's story in his School for Scandal), I 


concluded that my explanation cleared up the matter, and 
that they were not a little chagrined, upon considering the 
injury they might have done a persecuted man, by repeating a 
table conversation, in vk^hich the mistake of a single word 
makes the whole difference between the truth and falsehood of 
the story. 

" Mr. Burke, after almost a year's silence, has thought 
proper to repeat this calumny, and has reduced me to the 
necessity of again refuting it. Indeed it was one of the most 
cogent arguments that he adduced, in order to persuade the 
Commons of Great Britain in parliament assembled, to per- 
severe in a prosecution which has already been dragged on to 
a length that excites the regret of every honest man in 
England, and the astonishment of every enlightened statesman 
in Europe. 

" I am ready at all times to do justice to Mr. Burke, and 
I sometimes follow his example, by laying before the public 
my sentiments on points in which the public has a material 
interest. Upon this principle I shall examine the truth of an 
assertion which, as appears by your paper, fell from him on 
Tuesday last : — ' That the delays which had hitherto oc- 
* curred (m the trial were imputable to Mr. Hastings.* Mr. 
Burke might have said in the words of Richard, 

I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl. 
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach, 
I lay unto the grievous charge of others. 

" That it was Mr. Burke's origmal intention that the trial 
should not come to a close in the jjresent parlia?ne}it, I consci- 
entiously believe; and therefore I looked upon the motion 
inserted in your paper as nugatory. I will state the grounds 
upon which that opinion has been formed. 

" In the Jirst year of this extraordinary trial, the Lords sat 
thirty-five days; they generall}^ met at twelve, sometimes 
earlier, and sat often till after five ; therefore Mr. Burke's cal- 
culation of three hours a day is entirely erroneous. There 
was not a single dispute in that year about evidence to 


cause delay. Is there a man of common sense will tell me, 
that thirty-five days were not sufficient for the trial, had 
Mr. Burke 7ra/(y wished to bring it to a close? What im- 
pediments did Mr. Hastings's counsel throw in his way ? 
Thirteen days were wasted in speeches; four by Mr. Burke, 
four by Mr. Sheridan ; by INIr. Fox, Mr. Anstruther, Mr. 
Adam, Mr. Pelham, and Mr. Grey, one day each ; I say 
wasted, without meaning to detract from the merit of those 
gentlemen ; for neither the Lords who are to decide, the Com- 
mons who are the prosecutors, nor the men, women, and 
children who heard the speeches, can possibly recollect a word 
of them, except Mr. Burke's story of Deby Sing, and Mr. 
Sheridan's exquisite eulogium upon filial love and parental 

" This was undoubtedly the year of Mr. Burke's triumph ; 
for as he kneu) Mr. Hastings could not tJien be heard, elo- 
quence and harsh epithets could be applied with perfect 
safety, but the second year was commenced under singular 
disadvantages. The malicious story of Deby Sing had been 
fully refuted. Many gentlemen had arrived from Bengal 
since the commencement of the trial, who were perfectly 
disinterested as to the event of it. These gentlemen con- 
curred in their report of the astonishment and regret with 
which the account of the prosecution of Mr. Hastings had 
been received in India ; and no man possessed of three grains 
of common sense cm believe that the testimonials subscribed 
by all ranks of people in India could have been transmitted 
through Lord Cornwallis, if his lordship had not been tho- 
roughly convinced that they contained the real sentiments of 
the people. All rational men execrated the trial, and certain 
well-known occurrences in England had considerably added 
to the unpopularity of the leading managers of it. Mr. Burke 
began this second year, by a second speech of four days. The 
remainder of the year was chiefly consumed in altercations 
upon the competency of evidence ; of twelve questions sub- 
mitted to the decision of their lordships, ten were determined 
against the managers, and two in their favour. 


« It will hardly be credited, that this whole year was 
consumed in an enquiry into the merit of transactions that 
happened in Bengal in the year 1772, which were fully known 
in England in 1770, upon which Mr. Burke has not once said 
that he can produce a tittle of new evidence. But the no- 
velty of the proceeding will strike gentlemen more strongly, 
when they know, that upon the ground which Mr. Burke took 
last year in Westminster Hall, Lord North exerted his whole 
•influence in 1776, to remove Mr. Hastings from the govern- 
ment of Bengal, and that the Marquis of Rockingham, with 
all his friends, voted for his continuance, and beat the minister, 
though at that time in the plenitude of his power. 

" In the winter of 1778, Lord North himself proposed to 
the legislature, that Mr. Hastings should be re-appointed 
governor-general of Bengal. He did the same the next year, 
and the year following, and it is something singular, that Mr. 
Fox and Mr. Burke, who could not discover common sense 
in any other measure that his lordship proposed during the 
■late war, concurred with him in the propriety of this. 

" Lord North, in reply to a question that I once took the 
liberty to put to him, acknowledged that he had wished to 
remove Mr. Hastings, in 1776; that he had since that period 
proposed his re-appointment th:»ee several times when his term 
of service expired by law ; that he did so, because it was in a 
season of war, and of great difficulty and danger, and because 
Mr. Hastings possessed firmness, vigour, and abilities, and 
the confidence of the East India Company. 

" How far it was just or honourable in the representatives 
of a great nation to keep a man in a high office, by various 
re-appointments, and then to prosecute him upon accusations 
well known some years prior to the first of those re-appoint- 
ments, I will not venture to determine; but I am confident 
there will be but one opinion upon the subject, when it shall 
be considered, without prejudice, passion, or party. 

" Thus ended the second year of the trial. — To impute the 
obstructions that occurred in the course of it to Mr. Hastings, 
is to add insult to injury. 


" The thh'd year of the trial began on the 16th of Febru- 
ary. Much of the time, as in the last year, has been con- 
sumed in disputes upon evidence. — Four questions have 
been referred to the judges, and all of them determined against 
the managers. This great national trial stands thus : For the 
Jirst year there was not a single dispute upon evidence ; the 
Court met early, sat late, had thirty-five sitting days, thirteen 
of which were consumed on speeches. 

** The tisoo next years have been chiefly spent in disputes 
upon evidence, Mr. Burke's second speech oi four days, and 
Mr. Anstruther's of one, excepted. Sixteen times have the 
Lords adjourned to the chamber of parliament to determine 
upon the admissibility of evidence. Fourteen of the decisions 
were against the managers, and two in their favour. The lords 
acted constantly with the advice and assistance of the judges 
of the land. 

" After this plain recital of facts, I would ask any candid 
and impartial man, if I am not well grounded in believing 
that Mr. Burke had pre-determined not to close the prosecution 
before the dissolution of parliament. As to the two motions 
which appear in your paper, I shall not presume to comment 
on them. When Mr. Burke gave his first notice in the 
House, if your paper is correct, he mentioned something of 
the new and dangerous doctrines delivered in Westminster 
Hall. Possibly he afterwards thought it a point of too much 
delicacy to attack all the law of the land, and therefore changed 
his battery, thinking, perhaps, that Mr. Hastings, who had 
already borne so much abuse, could sustain a little more. 

" Upon one other part of Mr. Burke's speech, I shall say 
a word or two, because in the pressed state of the funds it 
was calculated to sink them still lower. 

" He read a partial extract from a letter of Lord Corn- 
wallis, in which mention is made of the poverty and wretched- 
ness to which the natives of Bengal are reduced, by the defects 
of our former system. The conclusion drawn by Mr. Burke 
from this passage was, that Mr. Hastings had grossly mis- 
managed the country. The defects to which Lord Cornwallis 


alluded (that of not letting the lands in perpetuity), Mr. 
Hastings never had the authority to remedy, nor was it given 
to the Bengal government until the year 1786; but Mr. 
Burke's argument is totally destroyed by the contents of another 
letter from Lord Cornwallis, received by the same ship. His 
lordship in that letter assures the Directors, that they may 
depend upon the continuance of an annual surplus of more than 
two hundred lacks — a surplus far beyond what I calculated 
upon, when I was accused of being too sanguine in my ex- 
pectations — a surplus that totally overturns every argument 
used by Mr. Fox in support of his bill. 

" But as this is a point on which the public credit of the 
country is concerned, I shall state it from the journals of the 
House of Commons. 

" The year preceding Mr. Hastings' accession to the go- 
"vernment of Bengal, the total receipts of that government 
were only three hundred and thirteen lacks of rupees. 

" The annual receipts of that government, in the average 
of three years from 1781-2 to 1783-4, were five hundred and 
two lacks of rupees. From 1 782-3 to 1 785-6, five hundred 
and twenty-one lacks. From 1785-6 to 1787-8, five hundred 
and eight lacks. From 1786-7 to 1788-9, five hundred and 
thirty lacks. 

" Let any gentleman who has the least knowledge of bu- 
siness determine, whether a country producing so equal a 
revenue for so many years is in danger of being ruined. The 
fact is, that in the same period that the British nation nearly 
doubled its debt, and lost its western empire, Mr. Hastings 
increased the revenues of Bengal two millions sterling a year, 
and extended the British Empire in India ; and while the in- 
genuity of the present minister has been exhausted in an at- 
tempt to raise the revenues of Great Britain a million beyond 
its expenditure, without the imposition of additional burthens, 
Lord Cornwallis assures his constituents that this may be de- 
pended upon, an annual surplus of more than tis:o millions 
sterling from Bengal. 


" These circumstances strike me with no little astonishment, 
and often occur to my mind when I cast my eyes upon some 
of Mr. Hastings's old friends in the manager's box, or when 
I hear it gravely affirmed, in direct opposition to the evidence 
of figures, to truth, and to common sense, that his measures 
have been attended ' with great loss and damage to the 
East India Company,' and that they were carried on, ' to 
the vexation, oppression, and destruction of the natives of 

" I am. Sir, your humble servant, 

" John Scott. 

« Bombay, May 16, 1790." 

General Burgoyne, having complained to the House of 
Commons, of the liberties taken in the last letter, the three 
following propositions were moved and carried. 

1. " That the letter published in the Diary of May 18, 
( 1 790) is a scandalous and libellous paper, reflecting on the 
honour and justice of the House, and on the conduct of the 
managers appointed to conduct the impeachment now pending 
against Warren Hastings, Esq. 

2. " That John Scott, Esq. beiaig, by his own acknowledg- 
ment, the author of the said letter, is guilty of a violation of his 
duty as a member of this House, and of a high breach of the 
privilege of this House : and, 

3. " That John Scott, Esq. do attend and be reprimanded 
in his place." This was done accordingly by the Speaker, in 
the following terms : — 

" Mr. Scott, — The House have resolved, that you, being 
the author of a Letter which the House have declared to be a 
scandalous and libellous paper, reflecting on the honour and 
justice of this House, and on the conduct of the managers 
appointed to manage the impeachment now depending against 
Warren Hastings, Escj. are guilty of a violation of your duty 
as a member of this House, and of a high breach of the privi- 
lege of this House. 


*' On the nature and magnitude of your oilencc it is unne- 
cessary for nic to dwell : whatever has a tendency to depre- 
ciate the honour and justice of this House, particularly in the 
exercise of its inquisitorial functions, tends, in the same pro- 
portion, to weaken and degrade the energies and dignity of 
the British constitution. 

" The privileges of this House have a claim to the respect 
of every subject of this country. As a member of this House, 
it is your duty, as it is a part of your trust, to support and 
protect them. Had a sense of these obligations produced its 
due influence on your mind and conduct, you would have 
avoided the displeasure of this House, and I should have been 
spared the pain of declaring to you the result of it. The mo- 
<leration of the House is not, however, less manifest on this 
occasion, than their just sense of their own dignity, and of the 
importance of their own privileges. It is my duty, in address- 
ing you, to be guided by the lenity which marks their pro- 
ceedings ; and, in the persuasion that the judgment of the 
House will operate as an effectual admonition to yourself and 
to others, I forbear to say more, than that the House have di- 
rected that I reprimand you for your said offence ; and, in 
obedience to their commands, I do reprimand you accord- 

Anterior to this event, Major Scott had frequently experi- 
enced the support of the House, and moved several questions, 
in most of which he proved successlul. But the current, alter 
the reprimand, appears to have run in a contrary direction ; 
and, indeed, his enemies seem to have considered this as a 
complete triumph over him. 

However, the major continued to harrass the managers 
in every possible way, sometimes with, and at other times 
without the assistance of ministers. In 1792, he stoutly 
opposed the production of papers, then moved for, on the 
part of those who conducled the impeachment. This was 
founded on the danger arising from such coninuinications, so 
far as they regarded the native powers iri India. " A light 
honourable gentleman" (Mr. Dundas), observes Jic, " has 

VOL. IV, s 


changed his ophiion on this subject, but I have not altered 
mine. He sets up a distinction between the events of the 
present and the former war, because the original enquiry in 
respect to it, originated in a secret committee ; but that com- 
mittee reported every thing to the House, even including all 
secret consultations, minutes, and negociations ; and upon these 
were formed a series of criminatory resolutions now upon the 
journals, closing with the solemn opinion of a former parlia- 
ment, that the first subject in India, the governor-general, 
should be removed. 

" These resolutions arrived in India, in August, 1782; the 
most critical moment of the last war, when the British empire 
actually hung by a thread, and I can bring proof to your bar, 
that these mischievous resolutions stopped the ratification of 
the Mahratta peace, for seven months, and most absurdly 
weakened the government of Bengal, on which every thing de- 
pended, at the time when, of all others, it required every pos- 
sible support from home. So thinking, I shall certainly op- 
pose the production of papers in this war, though our situation 
is so materially different ; having all India with us now, except 
Tippoo Sultan, and no European army to contend with.'* 

But Major Scott did not confine his opposition to the pro- 
duction of papers, for he objected to the expenses of the pro- 
secution, as outrageously excessive; and at the same time 
complained, that in some of their proceedings, the Managers 
were actuated by personal hostility against himself. He 
accordingly moved the printing a statement of the charges 
made by Messrs. Wallis and Troward. 

** On a former occasion," observed he, " when the Marquis 
of Graham made a similar motion, which was supported by 
His Majesty's Ministers, I took no part ; but when, by a late 
correspondence, the Lords of the Treasury appear to be 
alarmed at the expenditure, I have been led to examine the 
accounts with some accurac}', and must say, that they are 
enormous in their amount, unauthorised in their matter in 
many instances, and contain items truly disgraceful. The 
more clearly to show the grounds on which I proceed, it will 


only be necessary to read an extract from the Treasury letter, 
with the managers' answer. By those documents it will ap- 
pear, that 3495^. had been expended in eleven days of the 
trial ; and as the lords were apprehensive lest a very heavy 
charge might be incurred by the public, they recommend to 
the managers to consider whether that charge might not be 
diminished in future. The reply was, that a great part of the 
sum alluded to, had been spent in applying and arranging the 
general body of the evidence. 

*' It is upon these papers," continues he, " that I found my 
opinion of the enormous and profligate waste of the public 
money. After reading over all the accounts with great atten- 
tion, I am ready to prove, that there are charges to a very 
large amount which the solicitors, who are the servants of this 
House, had not the least authority to contract. Among the 
rest there is one too inconsiderable, in its amount, to be no- 
ticed, but which betrayed a spirit that would have disgraced a 
Spanish inquisition. One item of this bill, is 25 guineas for 
reading over newspapers from 1788 to 1790, in order to select 
censurable or libellous passages written by me. This was no 
part of the business delegated by the House to the solicitor ; 
and the man, be he whom he would, who employed him in such 
a character, degraded his own character, and disgraced the 
House of Commons. But this was too trivial for notice, ex- 
cept that it was one among many instances, where the public 
interest had been sacrificed to private purposes. There were 
also many other improper items, and the expense of this pro- 
secution having now amounted to 33,000/., I shall move that 
Mr. Troward be called to the bar of the House, at some 
future day, to give an account of these things." 

The agent of Mr. Hastings, on this occasion, was treated 
with great harshness by both sides of the House. Lord North, 
one of the managers, observed " that if the person to whom 
the 25 guineas had been given, did but his duty, he had 
feirly earned this sum, as it was not easy to find any one to read 
as fast as the major could write." Mr. Sheridan flippantly 
observed, that " if any attorney had the patience to read all 

s 2 


the trash alluded to, no person could say that this sum was 
extravagant ; but the officer in question possessed the very 
singular consolation, that he had, at least, one reader," the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer who " was pleased to consider 
this * as a very niggardly payment,* for reading all the ho- 
nourable member's productions," and on dividing the House 
for the production of papers, but one member appeared for 
the affirmative, while 104' voted against the motion. 

Major Scott, however, finally triumphed ; for, after a trial, 
unexampled either in point of length or expense, Mr. War- 
ren Hastings was finally acquitted by the House of Lords. 
In addition to this, the East India Company passed a vote, 
to indemnify him from the heavy charges accruing in conse- 
quence of the prosecution ; to that was superadded a liberal 
pension; and although never employed by the Crown, yet, 
after a decent interval, during which Mr. Burke ceased to 
exist, he was raised to the rank of a Privy Counsellor of 
Great Britain. 

When the hurry of the impeachment was over. Major Scott 
Waring determined to retire from public affairs, and dedicate 
the remainder of his life to domestic comfort. He accordingly 
led to the Hymeneal altar. Miss Hughes, a lady of some cele- 
brity, who, a little before this, had withdrawn from the stage. He 
accordingly bought a charming house and estate near Fulham, 
where he lived for some years ; and by this lady he had a son, 
now an officer in the army. This union was dissolved by a 
catastrophe equally singular and affecting ; for his lady, hap- 
pening, in 181 2, to go to bed unattended, is supposed to have 
fallen backwards, by some unlucky accident, the body being 
discovered at the foot of the well-staircase early next niorning, 
entirely deprived of life. 

After some time spent in widowhood, the major made choice 
of the beautiful Mrs. Eston, who, in the former part of her 
life, had also been on the stage. 

By this time he had attained a good old age, and it became 
evident, a few years after, from his infirm state of body, that 
the period of his dissolution was fast, approaching. Major 


Scott Waring, accordingly, after occupying the public atten- 
tion during many years, died at his house in Half Moon Street, 
Piccadilly, on Wednesday morning. May 5, 1819. 

List of the Woih of Major Scot t Warmg. 

1. A Short Review of the Transactions of Bengal during 
the last Ten Years, 8vo. 1782. 

2. A Narrative of the Transactions in Bengal during tlu? 
administration of Mr. Hastings, 8vo. 1784-. 

3. Two Letters to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, 
in reply to the insinuations and palpable misrepresentations 
contained in a pamphlet entitled, The Ninth Report from the 
Select Committee, Svo. 1783. 

'X. Letter to Mr. Fox on his India Bill, Svo. 1783. 

5. Reply to Mr. Burke's Speech on Mr. Fox's East India 
Bill, Svo. 1784. 

6. The Conduct of His Majesty's late Ministers considered, 
as it affected the East India Company and Mr. Hastings, 
Svo. 1784. 

7. Speech in the House of Commons on the Declaratory 
Bill, Svo. 1783. 

8. Observations on Mr. Sheridan's Compai'ative Statement, 
4to. 1788. 

9. Charge against Mr. Burke, Svo. 1 788. 

10. Seven Letters to the People of Great Britain, by a 
Whig, Svo. 1789. 

1 1. Letter to the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, on 
the extraneous matter contained in Mr. Burke's Speeches in 
Westminster Hall, Svo. 1789. 

12. A Second Letter to Mr. Fox, containing the final 
decision of the Governor-General and Council of Bengal on 
the charges brought against Rajah Deby Sing, Svo. 1 789. 

13. A Third Letter to Mr. Fox, on the same subject, 
Svo. 1789. 

14. Speech in the House of Commons, proving the increase 
of the revenue of Beniral during the administration of Mr. 
Hastings, Svo. 1791. 

s :{ 


15. Letter to Mr. Dodsley, in refutation of certain misrepre- 
sentations contained in the historical part of the Annual 
Register for 1788, 8vo. 1791. 

16. Letter to Philip Francis, Esq., 8vo. 1791. 

17. Two Letters to George Hardinge, Esq., M.P., 8vo. 

18. Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, 
8vo. 17:)1. 

19. Observations on Belsham's Memoirs of the Reijjn of 
George IIL, 8vo. 1796. 

20. Observations on the Present State of the East India 
Company, 4th edition, 8vo. 1 808. 

21. Reply to a Letter addressed to John Scott Waring, 
Esq., in refutation of the illiberal and unjust observations of 
the anonymous writer, 8vo. 1808. 

22. A Letter to the Reverend John Owen, in reply to his 
Strictures on the Observations of the Present State of the 
East India Company, 8vo. 1808. 

23. Remarks on two Sermons preached before the University 
of Oxford, on the probability of converting the natives of India 
to Christianity, 8vo. 1808. 

24. Letter addressed to the Editor of the Edinburgh 
Review, in reply to the Critique on Lord Lauderdale's View 
of the East India Company, 8vo. 1810. 

25. Supplement to the above Letter, 8vo. 1810. 

26. Remarks on the Reverend Doctor Buchanan's Christian 
Researches in Asia, 8vo. 1812. 

27. Remarks on Mr. Weyland's Letter to Mr. Hugh Inglis, 
on the State of Religion in India, 8vo. 1813. 


No. XI. 




It has been frequently remarked, with more point, perhaps, 
than propriety, " that the best account of autliors is to be 
found in their works." This, even as a general proposition, is 
inaccurate in no common degree, and in the present instance 
would prove fallacious in tiie extreme. The life of the subject 
of the present memoir is interesting on many accounts. It has 
been varied by incident, distinguished by poetical success, and 
chequered with both good and ill fortuive. Unlike iliose men 
of Icttns, who seclude themselves from society, and scarcely 
ever wander beyond the precincts of their native village, or the 
snburbs of a great capital, he became acquainted with the 
world at an early period; and, not content with the limits of 

s \ 

^64 DR. WOLCOT. 

provincial practice, actually went abroad in search of fortimtr 
and adventures. 

On his return to England, after a residence of some years in 
tropical climates, London became the theatre of his literary 
labours ; and he soon rendered his borro'wed name celebrated 
by a new species of poetry, while he connected his I'cal one with 
the progress and history of the fine arts. Happily, too, almost 
every particular of his life is known to his fx-iends ; he him- 
self, also, has left ample memorials behind him ; so that 
public curiosity cannot fail to be amply gratified in this 
respect. The greater part, indeed, of what follows is the im- 
mediate result either of oral communication, or authentic 
documents; so that little or nothing is hazarded either by 
vague speculation or loose suggestions. 

Jt appears from a letter written with his own hand, and now 
lying before the writer of tije present article, to whom it was ad- 
dressed, that Dr. Jolui Wolcot was born at a village in the 
hundred of Coleridge, and county of Devon, which he terms 
Dodbrook, in express opposition, both to geographers and 
natives, who usually terminate the name with a *vowelo 
This may appear a trivial remark ; but, lest the birth-place of 
Peter Pindar should be hereafter disputed, as was the case with 
that of Homer of old, it may be proper to ascertain the precise 
spot, and thus set future conjecture at defiance. Nor ought it 
to be forgotten, that at the time this little obscure hamlet had 
the honour to produce our bard, it did not contain above twenty 
or thirty houses. Of the fertility of the surrounding country 
he was accustomed to boast, and would frequently term it 
the garden of England. 

It is evident from the Parochial Register f, that he was 
christened May 9, 1 738, O. S. His father, Mr. Alexander 

* Dodhrooke. It appears, from the last survey, now to contain 84 houses and 608 
inhabitants ; a considerable Increase both in respect to population and tenements having 
lately taken place. The disunce from Londun is 207 miles ; and before the epoch 
alluded to ai)0ve, this retired village was only known to fame by the excellence of its 
Tvkile leer, for which the Rector once claimed tithe ! 

f «' Ih 1738, May 9, John Wolcot, son of Alexander and Mary." This, like 
every other nine in tlie kingdom, nnt even excepting the illustrious one of Sidney 

DU. WOLCOT. 205 

Wolcot, dppears to have been a substantial yeoman, wlio 
possessed and lived on a little freehold of lus own, consisting 
of a small house or homestead, a barn, and some fields, which 
afterwards descended to the subject of this memoir by inherit- 
ance. His family consisted of a son and two daughters, both 
of whom w^ere lately alive. 

John received the rudiments of his education at Kings- 
l)ridge, a market town, situate on an inlet of the English 
Channel called Solcomb River, and connected with the hamlet of 
Dodbrooke by a bridge, along which he passed daily for the 
laudable purpose just mentioned. The Free-School of Kings- 
bridge had at that time for its master a person originally bred 
a Quaker. Mr. Morfis, to whom we allude, possessed the 
rcimtation of being a good scholar: in addition to this, he was 
a man of amiable manners and benevolent disposition. Ac- 
cordingl}', he was always mentioned by his pupil with respect, 
and was undoubtedly deserving of it. Had it been otherwise, 
he would have been often subjected to the keenness of the poet's 
satire, who w'ould most readily have detailed, and perhaps 
exaggerated all the bad qualities, concealed under primitive 
manners, and a decorous simplicity of dress. This must have 
furnished a rich harvest for the exercise of that 17*5 comica, in 
which he stood unrivalled I 

After having learned all, or nearly all, that the quondam 
disciple of Fox, Barclay, and Penn, was capable of teaching, 
John Wolcot was next sent to the seminary of a Mr. Heydcn, 
at Liskeard, to complete his studies. Thence, however, he 
removed once more, with the same view, to the academy of 
the Reverend Mr. Fisher, at Bodmin, which, like the former, 
is also in the county of Cornwall. 

Having now concluded the usual course of a provincial edu- 
cation, it was determined by a near relation, who appears to 
have acted with all the zeal and kindness of a father, that he 

(Sidny, Sydny, or Sydney), has been spelt different ways, at different times, 
'in deeds, instrumems. Sec, viz. Woolcot, Wolco(t, Woobcot, Walcot,and VVolroi, ili" 
list of which ippcars tohuvc been iinikirnily ad'ipf'd boib by the Tather ami son. 

^66 DR. WOLCOT. 

should repair to the Continent, with a view of acquiring a cer- 
tain polish, by learning the language and imitating the manners 
of a people, at that period deemed the politest in all Europe. 
He accordingly took his departure for Normandy, where he 
remained about a year ; and if he did not imbibe a relish for 
elegant demeanour and graceful attitudes, he at least acquired 
a knowledge of the vernacular tongue of that country, which 
proved highly serviceable to him through life. 

On his return, " Jack," as he was familiarly termed, im- 
mediately proceeded to the house of his kind uncle, at Fowey 
in Cornwall ; and as it was now absolutely necessary to 
make choice of some profession, that of a practitioner in medi- 
cine was determined upon. This gentleman, then a respectable 
surgeon and apothecary, had already borne the chief, if not the 
whole expenses of hi> education ; and having been fortunate 
in his pursuits, was, of course, anxious to bring up this young 
man under his own immediate auspices. He had already 
julopted his nephew as his heir ; and he was now bound to him 
in the usual manner, as an apprentice, for seven years, with 
a view of making him, first, his assistant, and then his 

The following are some ludicrous directions, addressed 
to the pupils of country apothecaries, supposed to have been 
'written about this period : — 

Keep the shop clean, and watch it like a porter ; 

Learn to boil clysters ; nay to give them too, 

If blinking nurses can't the business do ; 
Write well the labels, and wipe well the mortar. 

Before the boys can rise to master tanners, 

Humble these boys must be and mend their maimers ; 

Despising pride, whose wish it is to wreck 'em : 
And mornings with a bucket and a stick, 
Should never once disdain to pick. 

From street to street, rich lumps of album grcecnm. 

At what precise period the Muse first visited our youthful 
bard, or in what particular guise, it is difficult now to deter- 


ttiine. But certain it is, that wliilc an apprentice, among the 
" gallants of Fowey *," he might, with a trifling variation, 
have exclaimed, in the language of the celebrated Scottish bard : 
" The poetic Genius of my country found me, as the prophetic 
bard Elijah did Elisha — at the Mmtar, and threw his inspiring 
mantle over me !'* 

His relation, who was a plain, unsophisticated, and sensible 
man, had so long and so intimately associated the words 
" poetry and poverty," in his own mind, that he deemed 
them almost synonimous. He was extremely anxious that his 
nephew should " attend to the main chance," and conse- 
quently apply himself to business alone. But the young 
apothecary was not, according to his own account, very 
zealous tb become, what in scorn he termed a " plodder ;" 
and he accordingly withdrew as often as possible, to indulge 
the master-passion of his heart in secret. 

** As my uncle was always averse to my shining," observes 
he, in a letter now before us, " I used to steal away to an 
old ruined tower, situate on a rock close by the sea, where 
many an early and late hour was devoted to the muses. This 
old tower I have painted, and it makes one of my picturesque 
views engraved by Aiken." 

Here follows an " Ode to the River Fowey," which may 
be supposed to have flowed at his feet, during these moments 
of inspiration ; and, although it appears to have been actually 
composed, or at least retouched, at a latter period, there is 
but little doubt that the original ideas were conceived in his 
mind at the epoch to which we now allude. 

lovely flood, on whose fair banks 

1 play'd in early youth my pranks, 

And often sail'd thy clear expanse along, 
And from thy bosom hook'd up fish, 
Pollock and bream, a dainty dish, 

Salmon and mackarel, worthy epic song. 

* The inhabitants of this town were so denominated in the reign of Edward III., on 
•ccount of their naval exploits. They were, at that period, half merchants, and half 
pirates. Preface to Burn's works. 


Lobster, turbot, and Joi\n Dory, 
As nice as e'er were put before ye, 
O epicures ! and plaice and mullet, 
Fit to descend a royal gullet ! 

Thy margin green, and castles hoar, 
Where heroes dwelt, and fought of yore. 
And smote the daring Gaul with dread, 
Boast not a miise to sing their praise 
The tribute of immortal lays, 

And cast a glory round their head. 

Full oft in summer's golden hour. 
We made in boats a happy tour. 

Full many a nymph and swain ; 
And frequent on a verdant bank. 
Our tea and well-cream'd coffee drank, 

While music poui"'d her strain, 
Loud on the zephyr's pinions borne, 
The triumph of the echoing horn. 

The walks of Graham and Trefry, 
The walks of Hall delight mine eye, 

And pleasant valley of Lewire ; 
With villas on the winding stream. 
That rather look of Fancy's dream, 

And claim the Muse's loudest lyre. 

Tliough Britain's king and Britain's queen 
Are every year at Weymouth seen, 

Thy spirits let me cheer ; 
For hark! this instant on the breeze. 
In sounds of thunder from the seas, 

A voice salutes mine ear ! 

The majesty of Ocean speaks ! 
And thus the god sublimely breaks ; 

Ye rivers list around ! 
Though some of ye on Britain's coast, 
May many a beauty justly boast, 

And much with fish abound ; 

Though far and wide may fly your name, 
Yet it shall be your harbour's lot, 
That pretty yet neglected spot. 

To fill the largest trump of Fame. 

PR. WOLCOT. ^69 

Should Amphitrite ai>d her maids, 
Sigh for the shore and rural shades, 

Variety t'enjoy ; 
I'd swear by all my brine and fish, 
If such should be the lady's wish, 

I'll take a house at Foy. * 

Notwithstanding all these untoward propensities, it appears 
that our young Esculapius soon attained a competent share of 
medical knowledge, and also conducted himself in such a man- 
ner as to acquire the esteem of all to whom he was known. 

In the art of drawing, too, he exhibited such an early 
proficiency as enabled him to depict surrounding objects 
with a considerable degree of taste and verisimilitude. He 
found means, at the same time, to improve both his head and 
his heart, by a sedulous perusal of the best modern writers. 

His kind master, however, still persisted in his resolution of 
rendering him eminently expert in his art. It was accord- 
ingly with this view, that he fitted him out and sent him to 
London, for the express purpose of obtaining every possible 
professional assistance. It appears, indeed, from a note, [that 
the chief object was " hospital practice," and this could be 
alone attained by a residence, of some duration, in the me- 

After this, young Wolcot went back to Cornwall, not a little 
improved, no doubt, both in his own estimation, and that of 
his neighbours. But he himself was not greatly attached to 
his present situation, and he began to consider Fowcy as a 
place too small in point of importance, to become the theatre 
of his ambition. A lively imagination, too, had been set to 
work, and he was anxious to rush into the world, in search of 
fame and achievements. Accordingly, panting after distinction, 
he longed for an opportunity to change the scene and gratify 
his taste for variety, while he improved his condition. 

One at length occurred. Sir William Trclawney, in the 
year 1 7G7, had the good fortune to be nominated governor ol 
Jamaica, a very lucrative as well as important office ; and, even 

*• Fuivey is alwavi »u pioiiouuctd by the inhabiuiil^. 

270 DR. WOLCOT. 

at that period, the second or third in the gift of the crown. 
To go thither as the medical attendant of his excellency and 
family, and be considered one of his suite, was an object 
exactly fitted to the curiosity and ambition of Mr. Wolcot. 
Nor were his pretensions at all despicable, for he was either 
related or allied to the new governor, had by this time at- 
tained a mature age, and was duly qualified, both by the period 
he had spent in the capital and the circle of his provincial 
practice, for such a station. But it was not without great 
difficulty, and after many entreaties, that he could prevail on 
his uncle, who was known to and respected by the baronet, to 
interpose. Reluctant, however, as he was to part with his 
nephew, this kind hearted man so strongly urged his claims 
and pretensions, that the appointment actually took place. On 
this, he immediately applied for, and obtained a degree. As 
some doubts had been formerly engendered on this subject, we 
shall here quote a passage from the Doctor's own written com- 
munication : " I qualified myself for the medical walk solely, 
and the honour of M.D. * was conferred on me by one of 
the Scotch universities ; so that on my arrival in Jamaica, I 
acted only as physician." 

On the voyage outward the frigate, as usual on similar oc- 
casions, anchored at the island of Madeira, for the express 
purpose of laying in a stock of wines, fi*uits, and other refresh- 
ments. The eyes of our bard had hitherto been only accus- 
tomed to the wild scenery of Cornwall; rocks, mountains, 
water, and these too on a grand scale were familiar to him. 
But here he beheld all these component parts of beauty under 
new modifications, arising from a sun almost vertical, a soil 
eminently fertile, and a climate warm, healthy, pure, and 
serene. Here too the woods and plantations exhibited a 

* It would appear that the diploma was not transiuiited until afier the leceipi of 
proper certificates, testifying the skill and respectability of the candidate. The cele- 
brated Dr. Huxhain, then residing atPlymoiuh, was so conscientious on the present oc- 
casion, that he would not affix his signature, until after a strict examitiation by himself. 

It is not however correct, althougli repeatedly stated, that Dr. Wolcot accompanied 
his Excellency in the character of " Physician General to the island," m no sucii ap- 
poiulnicnt existed cither then or now. 

DR. WOLCOT. 271 

degree of luxuriance seldom witnessed by an Englishman, wliilc 
the vineyards, loaded with the white and purple grape, pro- 
claimed the approach of vintage. The apple and the pear were 
indeed almost unknown ; but the face of the country secmeil 
to present the gardens of the Hesperides to his enraptured 
view ; for it exhibited the pine, the orange, the pomegranate, 
the fig, and an endless variety of other productions, in a 
degree of beauty, excellence, and abundance seldom witnessed 
by mortal man. 

Perched on the back of a mule, Doctor Wolcot gratified 
his curiosity by ascending the neighbouring hills ; now view- 
ing the boundless ocean to the right, and now turning to the 
left, to contemplate the objects around him, every one of 
which attracted his attention, by its richness, novelty, or 
picturesque appearance. He endeavoured to transfer some of 
these enchanting views to paper ; but without much success : for 
here were not to be found any of his favourite objects : ruined 
battlements, decayed castles, and solitary rocks. 

The efforts of his pen proved far superior to those of his 
pencil ; the Muse, which had so often visited him in G)rn- 
wall, did not forsake him here : for he composed some sonnets, 
which, from their elegant simplicity and plaintive air, were 
deemed highly deserving of attention. 

After a residence of a few days in the capital, where they 
were treated with great hospitality by the Portuguese Go- 
vernor, Sir William Trelawney and suite reimbarked ; and, 
receiving and returning a salute, the same as on their ar- 
rival, proceeded on the destined voyage. Having shaped 
their course for the West India Archipelago, wliich forms a 
crescent in the Atlantic, thickly studded with islands, they at 
length experienced the benignant influence of the trade-winds, 
and passing the tropic soon after espied land. Meanwhile they 
were all amused with the singular scene around them. Here 
was one of the numerous clusters of little islands, discovered by 
Columbus, within sight, and almost within grasp. The shore 
was level and swampy, but it soon swelled, first into delight- 
ful ascents, and then into bills and mouiitnins, the latter 

;272 pR. woLCOT. 

of which scornetl to hitle theii- heads in the clouds. Midway,, 
a number of black little animals were to be seen, forming one 
long continuous line, amidst fields which were tinged with a 
deep yellow. On recurring to the spy-glass, it could be 
plainly perceived, that these were male and female negroes 
employed in cutting down canes. The sound produced by the 
whips of the drivers, although reverberated from the rocks, 
could not be heard ; but the motions of the overseers inciting 
the flagging slave to his daily labours, might be distinctly 

The ocean itself exhibited a similar scene of cruelty, in- 
justice, and oppression, as if emulous to outdo man in his 
misdeeds ! Here was the albicore pursuing the flying-fish, 
and forcing whole shoals of them to take refuge in a new 
element. There was the shark, attended by the perfidious 
pilot-fish) ready to devour whatsoever living creature came 
within the reach of his perfidious jaws. But they w^re all 
incited by the dire cravings of hunger, to carnage. Man 
alone ^can be brutal and unfeeling from the vile and degrading 
passion of avarice ! 

These painful reflections were for a time soothed, if not 
forgotten, by the cooings of the turtle-dove in the neigh- 
bouring grove, the beautiful plumage of the humming-bird, 
scarcely larger than an humble bee, and the scarlet wings 
of the flamingo, that wheels gracefully around in rapid 

All these were new and interesting subjects to our young 
physician. He treasured up every thing in his memory, and 
in a poetical mind, constituted like his, a variety of beautiful 
imagery was thus suddenly produced, fresh objects of refer- 
ence and comparison were unexpectedly discovered, while all 
the wonders of a new world burst with tenfold lustre on his 
dazzled senses. 

On arriving at Port Royal, Jamaica, Dr. Wolcot, of course, 
proceeded in his Excellency's train to St. Jago de la Vega, 
commonly called Spanish Town. This was the scat of Go- 
vernment, but it was then, and still is a very dull town, l)cing 

i)H. w.)Lcor. 27\^ 

totally devoid of commerce. To attain an extensive practice 
here was difficult, if not utterly impossible, from the scanti- 
ness of the white population ; for little or nothing could be 
obtained from the Mestizes, the Quadroons, the Mullatos, 
the Sambos, and the Negroes, who form the chief portion of 
the motly inhabitants. 

Dr. Wolcot had been instigated to this voyage by a variety 
of motives and desires, some of which were now fully grati- 
fied. But to encounter all the fervours of a scorching sun, to 
expose himself to all the diseases of a tropical climate — 
and yet to have no prospect of acquiring moderate wealth, or 
even of attaining a permanent provision for old age, produced 
a variety of disagreeable reflections. 

The truth is, that the Governor of Jamaica then possessed 
but a very trifling patronage; and that the island, at the period 
alluded to, was impoverished by a war with the runaway 
negroes, a body of whom, under the name of Maroons^ and 
with promises of freedom and protection, had just been per- 
mitted, or rather allured, to settle at a place named Trelawney- 
town, in compliment to his Excellency, who had signed the 

Amidst this scene of gloom and despondence. Sir William 
spoke to the Doctor as follows : " You know, my dear Wol- 
cot, that I am eager to serve you ; but you must also be 
convinced of the insufficiency of my means. What a pity 

you were not bred a parson. The rector of is just 

dead, and the presentation is in my gift." 

" I wish your Excellency would confer this piece of prefer- 
ment on me ; if it did not render me rich, it would at least 
make me comfortable. You know that Sunday is the market 
and holiday of the negroes, and that the planters being more 
busy on that than any other day of the week, in settling their 
accounts and adjusting their affiiirs, there is little or no at- 
tendance. In short, it would prove a mere sinecure." The 
Governor acceded ;- 'he request, and it would appear, from 
the following pass.Li,., >vrittcn by our Reverend Divine, that 
he applied to his diocesan, the Bishop of London, and passed 

YOt. IV. T 

'iy^i DR. VVOLCOT. 

through the usual ceremonial. Nor ought it here to he 
fomotten that the island where he was now settled presented a 
very different appearance, in point of civilisation, half a cen- 
Uxry a'^o, to what it does at present. The white people were 
more lax in their morals ; the clergy inattentive to their duty ; 
and the negroes deemed incapable of instruction ; so that the 
prelate who presided over this colony was not indisposed to 
consent to the introduction of any decent clerical functionary. 
"■ The Bishop of London did ordain me," observes he, " and 
I held a living in Jamaica, but not of consequence sulficient 
to detain me in the island; so that on the death of his Excel- 
lency Siv William Trelawney I accompanied Lady Trelawney 
to England, in His Majesty's frigate the LeostolFe, Captain 

It appears that the new rector entered on his employ- 
ment with a considerable decree of reluctance. Indeed at 
first he both preached and prayed occasionally, when a con- 
gregation could be found ; but he at length relaxed into 
apathy and indolence. The truth is, among his audience he 
seldom saw a wMte man ; and as consequence, in a country 
cursed with slavery, depends solely on colour, his hearers 
were not deemed very reputable. I have been told by a re- 
spectable plante)', that he was very fond of shooting rhig- 
tailed jngeoiis, which are equal if not superior in flavour to 
our choicest game; and as every day was pretty much the 
same among the inhabitants in respect to sporting, on the 
forenoon of a fine Sunday the Doctor was particularly anxious 
to proceed to the neighbouring bay in search of diversion. 
On these occasions he was always accompanied by his clerk, 
who was a, good shot ; and they at length so contrived it, that 
after opening the doors of the church for ten minutes, if no 
persons presented themselves for admission, they constantly 
proceeded towards the sea-side, in quest of pastime ! 

An old negro, on seeing this, determined to raise a weekly 
contribution on, and make his rector pay for the dereliction 
of his duty. He accordingly presented himself regularly, 
with his wife and children, at the proper houi', who seated 


DR. WOLCOT. 275 

themselves in great form. « What do you come here for 
Blackee ?" exclaimed the parson ; " Why, Massa, to hear 
your good sermon and all the prayers of the church." 
" AVould not a hit * or two do you more good ;" " Yes, 
Massa Doctor, mq love your prayers much, but me love your 
money too !" Having said this, he pocketed the donation, and 
gladly withdrew. This convention lasted for about a year, 
and the precise stipulations were regularly enforced during the 
whole of that period. 

While rector of the parish of Vere, to which he was after- 
wards preferred, the duty was chiefly performed by means of 
a deputy, which of course entitled the subject of this memoir 
to all the advantages arising from non-resuknce. He accord- 
ingly returned to Spanish-Town, and appears to have ren- 
dered himself useful to his Excellency in a variety of depart- 
ments, some of which were both novel and extraordinary. 

Of his several occupations, that of grand master of the 
ceremonies was not the least conspicuous. 

Among other great personages occasionally confided to his 
superintendence, was the king of the Musquitoes, an Indian 
tribe on the Spanish main, who owned allegiance to the king 
of England ; and on the arrival of every new governor, their 
chief repaired to Jamaica, for the express purpose, not of 
giving, but receiving presents, which generally consisted of a 
tawdry laced coat, &c. " His Majesty f," observes the 
Doctor, " was a very stout black man, exceedingly ignorant, 
nevertheless possessed of the sublimest ideas of royalty ; very 
riotous, and grievously inclined to get drunk. He came to 
me one day, with a voice more like that of a bullock than a 
king, roaring : — ' Mo' drink for king I Mo' drink for king !" 

P. P. — ' King, you are drunk already.' 

King. — ' No, no : King no diunk. Mo' drink for King ! 
Broder George, (meaning the king of England,) love drink I' 

P. P. — ' Broder George does not love drink ; he is a 
sober man.' 

* A bit is a small piece of coin, of the vnlu? of five-j'cncr. 
■\~ Sc Vol. ii. of Peter Piii'lar's Works. Note to poi^e 50(i. 

T 2 

iijG DK. WOLCO'l'. 

King. — * But king of M usquito love drink. Me will hav6 
mo' drink. Me love drink like devil. Me drink vk'hole ocean." 

On the demise of his patron*, which occurred at St. Jago de 
la Vega, after a short iilqess, all further hopes of preferment, 
and every inducement to a longer residence vanished. In ad- 
dition to this, neither the society of the planters nor the situ- 
ation now occupied by our bard, was in unison with his 
feelings. He was a poet, whose genius was lost amidst the 
fervours of the torrid zone, being calculated for temperate 
climes alone. 

His muse seemed to droop in the vicinity of the Equator. 
His curiosity too, was,' by this time, fully satiated ; the sound 
of the merciless lash, and the cries of the tortured slave were 
not congenial either to the ideas or the pursuits of a man of 
taste. Perhaps also, as observed by James VI. of Scotland, 
after a short residence in England : " he felt a salmon-like in- 
stinct to return to the place where he was first spawned." 
Accordingly, in consequence of the express invitation of Lady 
Trelawney, Dr. Wolcot embarked on board a frigate, ex- 
pressly provided by government, for the purpose of conveying 
her to England, and bid adieu to Jamaica and the pulpit, for 

An attempt was first made, to shorten the voyage, by sail^ 
ing along what is called the 'windward passage ; but after 
beating up against the currents and trade wind, for a consider- 
able time, they fell to leeward, and coming in sight of Cuba, 
instead of St. Domingo, as was once intended, entered the 
Gulph of Florida, a more certain, although a more circui- 
tous track. 

* Sir William Trelawney, of Trelawney in the county of Cornwall, Hart, was origin- 
ally bred in the royal navy, and rose to the rank of Post-Captain. The j^overninent 
of Jamaica was obtained for him by Lord Shelhurne, (the first Marquis of Lansdowne,) 
through the influence of Mr. Dunnirg, afierwanls Lord Asltburton. He died at 
Spanish-Town, in December, 1768, leaving behind a uidow, who was at- 
tended to Europe by Dr. Wolcot. This lady's maiden name was Luitia Trelawney, she 
being the grand-d:ius;hter of a Bishop of Biistiil, and daughter of Sir Harry Treliiwncy, 
Aide de Camp to the Duke of Marlb'trough. Her Ladyship was const'()uenily first 
cousin to her liusband, whom she speedily followed to the grave, having died «oon after 
hi» reinrn to Cornwall. 

DIl. WOI-COT. 277 

It is likely, tlmt by this time, tiieir fresh provisions were 
nearly consumod, as the captain touched at the Grand Cay- 
manas*, tor the sole purpose, in all probabilitj', cf obtainin<r a 
supply of turtle, wliicli are there to be found in great 

This little desolate spot, secluded from all the rest of the 
world, appears to have proved the scene of a very curious ad- 
venture to the subject of the present memoir, which shall be 
mentioned hereafter. It is thus, that with the kindred pas- 
sions of poetry and romance, he celebrates this speck in the 
ocean, under the title of the " Island of Innocence," while in 
a note he describes the history of two lovers, whom he there 
met with. 

To thee, my friend f, amid the peaceful isle, 

Where beauteous nature blooms with sweetest smile ; 

Wiiere never winter, or his northern blast, 

Howls on the hill, and lays the valley waste, 

O'er a pale sun the cloud of horror throws, 

And buries nature iu his vast of snows; — 

Ah, no ! where endless summer, ever gay, 

Opes a pure ether to the orb of day, 

That gilds the tree, and flower, and grassy blade, 

And works his threads of gold in every glade : — 

* Two clusters, or r.iiher ol rocks, are lai'l down in tlic maps, by ihe Eng- 
^isli i^oograiiliers, under t!>c lianiCs of ' Great and Little Ciyman.' They are situate in 
tlie Gulph of Florida, between the coast of Yucata in Spanish America, and Negril 
Point, in the Lland of Jamaica. To the latter, they have always been cousidercJ as 

t A gentleman, whom ihe author of liiis poem met by the merest accident on 
a small island, situated near the Gulf of Mexico. His companions were, iii8_ 
wife, a n)ost lovely woman, and four beautiful children, whose history would form a 
most inter. Sling romance. Persecuted by their parents fur a mutual love ettachment, 
they forso;ik their native country (America), to seek some distant asylum. On their 
voya<:e tin v wtrc wrecked; but fortunately escajjed with their lives, and preserved their 

" Finding the little isUnd on whicii tltey were thrown te be in possession of a ftw 
iniiabitiinis, of die most perfect sinijilicity of manners, and the most lively friendship ; 
pleased, also, wlih the salubrity as wrll as beauty and ftrtiliiy of the sj.nt, they adopted 
til- rcsob.tion uf passing their days in this n mote corner of the plobe, convinced 
tl^at tiie most p-rf-ct happiness resides oftener in simplicity than in splcitdour. Their 
ojn.don soon became realised : fond of the innocent natives, and equally beloved 
again, the delightful little republic flourished under tlieir auspices, and restored the 
^Men age." 

T .-? 

f278 DR. WOLCOr. 

To thee, my friend, where shrubs of incense risc^ 
And pour their grateful fragrance to the skies; 
Where rills, in wanton mazes, wind away, 
Diffusing health and plenty as they play ; 
Where the rich treaeui'es of the pine reside, 
And orange branches bend with golden pride ; 
Where, from the boughs of odour, mingled notes 
Of rapture warble from a thousand throats; 
And, blest from vale to vale, the cooing dove, 
Wings with his mate, and teaches man to love: 
To thee I yield the Muse's artless line, 
And envy all the blessings that are thine. 

Our author next represents the beautiful Julia, surrounded 
by her progeny, employed sometimes in rural, sometimes in 
scientific cares : 

Pleased to explore the insect world, they rove ; 

Tribes of the flood, and minstrels of the grove; 

With all the varying species of the field. 

Whose forms and lives delight and wisdom yield. 

Display the page of Providence's plan, 

That shows his wond'rous works to wondering man. 

No wish is theirs (forbid it Heaven !) to hurt. 
To wound and murder a poor wretch in sport ; 
To lift the tube ef death with hostile eye. 
And dart a fluttering victim from his sky; 
To bait with writhing worms the barbarous hook, 
And drag the finny nation from their brook : 
Justly forbid the cruelty to know, 
And gather pleasure from the pangs of woe. 

Yes ; oft in Fancy's eye thy cot I view, 
Enwrapp'd with vines, and flowers of vivid hue ; 
The pebbled avenue, the murmuring spring, 
Crowded with fearless birds of various wing, 
That sportive, fluttering, pour the happy lay, 
A mingled minstrelsy, the happy day : 
And oft, in Fancy's ear, thy Julia's lute, 
Whose melting sounds the soul of Pity suit, 
Complaining die ; and oft I hear again 
A loud, a happ3s cheerful, grateful strain, 
Join'd by a little offspring's throats, that raise 
The song of wonder in their Maker's praise. 


Lady Ticlawney and her suite, after repassing the tropic, 
immediately steered for Europe, and were in hopes of soon 
reaching an English port; but the captain of the inau ofniary 
mider whose jirotcction tliey were placed, eitlicr actuated by a 
wish of obtaining more refreshments, or obhgcd to alter his 
original destination by adverse winds, shaped his course for the 
Canaries, and anchored in sight of what is deemed the 

On landing there, in the autumn of 17G2, Lady Trclawney, 
and those who accompanied her, were entertained with the 
most distinguished marks of attention, by the representative of 
the King of Spain. Dr. Wolcot, in particular, appears to 
have been highly delighted with the generous reception ex- 
perienced by him from the Donna Marias and Donna Isabellas, 
whom he saw at the palace. * "I was there," observes he, 
" in con)pany with the Governor's widow. We remained for 
some time ; and this also was the scene of several ot my 
sonnets." Of the latter, unluckily, we cannot, at present, 
present our readers with any specimens. Indeed, a visit to 
the Fortunate Islands of the ancients, a view of the Peak of 
Tenerifte, to climb which he appears to have made an ineffec- 
tual effort; and the almost classical appellations of Palma 
Hiero, Gomera, &c., were all calculated to excite the happiest 
efforts of his muse. Fortune, however, has been careful to 
preserve some verses, which display his taste, even at that 
period, for the ludicrous. 

It seems, that while Lady Trclawney was lodged at the 
Governor's house at Santa Cruz, Peter, and a son of the late 
Admiral Boscawen, were accommodated under the hospitable 
roof of Mr. Mackernick, one of the principal merchants of that 
place. His bed, for the first night at least, appears to have 
been a very uncomfortable one, for iu the course of the very 
next morniuj^ he addressed an " elegy to the fleas of 



* Two of these females were afterwanls celebrateil l)y hiiii ; tl>e one nn.lcr llic 
apprllaiion of '■ Tlie Nyw\A\ Joamia," ilie other as "Tlie I3catilc<m3 Ciiilidriiu." 

S280 DR. vvoLcor- 

We shall here give a short quotation : 

But, O ye ruthless hosts, an Arab train, 
Ye daring light-troops of that roving race, 

Know ye the strangers whom \vit!> blood ye stain ? 
Know ye tlie voyagers yo thru disgrace ? 

One is a doctor of redoubted skill, 

A Briton born, that dauntless deals in death, 

Who to the Western Ind did haste to kill, 

And probably of thousands stop the breath : 

A bard, whose wing of thought, and verse of fire. 
Shall bid with wonder all Parnassus start ; 

A bard, whose converse nionarchs shall admire 
And haply leai'n his lofty odes by heart. 

The other, lo ! a pupil rare of Mars, 

A youth who kindles with a father's flame, 

Boscawen called, who fought a kingdom's wars. 
And gave to immortality a name. 

Lo ! such are we, freebooters, whom ye bite ! 

Such is our British quality, O fleas ! 
Then spare our tender shins this one, one night, — 

To-morrow, eat Mackernick's, if ye please." 

Dr. Wolcot, on his arrival in England, after an absence of 
about two years, immediately repaired to the residence of his 
kind and affectionate uncle, who received him with open 
arms. The old gentleman died soon after, and bequeathed 
his all to his nephew and two nieces, the sisters of our bard, 
who afterwards settled at Fowey. It was, however, divided 
into unequal portions, and the largest of these, amounting to 
nearly 2000/., fell to the lot of the subject of these memoirs, 
who, we believe, was nominated sole executor, and residuary 

About the year 1769, or 1770, Dr. Wolcot lomoved to 
Truro, with a view of sqttling there, and for about four years 
practised as a physician in that ancient corporate town. But 
he unfortunately rendered himself obnoxious to some of the 
principal inhabitants, aTid had to maintain a long, expensive, 
and litigious dispute with the churchwardens and over»eerg, 

nu. woLtoT. Cl'M 

who had imposed on him a parish apprentice not only with- 
out his consent, but also against his repealed remonstrances. 
Failing in this suit, in the prosecution of which he had lis- 
tened to rash and imprudent counsels, our hard determined to 
bid an eternal adieu to Truro. This circumstance is to be 
greatly lamented in )-iore than one point of" view, for nolwith^ 
standing scenes so hostile to the muses, our bard had become 
acquainted with Mr. Polwhele, then a school-boy, and was ac- 
customed, now and then, to write compositions for that young 
gentleman which had been imposed by his master, for occa- 
sional omissions ; while, at other timcn, they entered into com- 
petition with each other, and rendered versification more facile 
to both, by a mutual, but inoffensive rivalship. Here follows 
the translation of an epigram by honest Peter, achieved at the 
period to which we now allude, which has been greatly 
admired : — 

Somne levis, quamque ccrtissinia mortis imago 
Consortem, cupio te, tamen esse tori ; 
Alma quies, optata veni ; nam, sic, sine vit& 
Vivere, quam suave est : sic, sine morte, mori. 

Come, gentle sleep, tittend thy vot'ry's prnyer, 
And thougli death's image, to my couch repair; 
How sweet, thus lifeless, yet with life, to lie, 
Thus, without dying, O how sweet to die! 

From Truro, our bard removed to Helstone, a borough, 
like the former, appertaining to the duchy of Cornwall. Here 
he also remained, about the period of two years; but without 
any better success than before. He was a poet, and there was 
a versatility in his manners, studies, and pursuits, that seemed 
to preclude all confidence on the part of his patients. Dr. 
Darwin, we believe, concealed his taste for composition, during 
many years, from the public eye ; and although he cherished 
this talent in secret, yet he never ventured to print until he 
had secured his independence. The passion appears to have 

<2iS'2 DR. VVOIXOT. 

been much stronger on the part of Dr. Wolcot; it proved 
paniniount, irresistible. 

It was about the 3'ear 1779 that Dr. Wolcot discovejed the 
talents of the late Mr. John Opie *, and rescued him from 
worse than Egyptian bondage. Of their first meeting, and 
early connexions, more shall be said hereafter. 

The Doctor took the youth home with him, and under his 
inspection, he soon improved himself greatly in drawing. He 
also placed several original paintings by way of models before 
him ; and as it was necessary that he should earn a livelihood, 
portraits were of course preferred. Opie's fame at length got 
abroad, and several of the neighbours wished, in the language 
of his patron, " to iiave their I'kenesses executed by him, at 
five shillings a piece." To increase the circle of his cus- 
tomers, he made occasional excursions in the country. 

The reputation of Opie was now so great, and his talents 
in so improving a state, that his friend and benefactor, in 
1780, determined to accompany him to Exeter. While in 
that cit}'^, he may be considered as having practised on a far 
greater scale than before. There were not only some good 
judges in that place, but also a number of genteel persons, 
eager to encourage a young and rising artist. 

Yet even this provincial theatre proving inadequate to the 
display of the talents of the young portrait painter, they at 
length repaired to London, where, as usual, they maintained 
themselves out of one common purse. 

In the capital of the empire the talents of the pupil could 
not fail to attract attention, and no sooner were his merits 
known than he met with due encouragement. In the mean- 
time, the genius of the patron also began to expand, and 
his fame to be disclosed ; nor was he unmindful of his friend ; 
for amiilst volleys of critical abuse against some of the fiist 
painters of the age, he found both time and oppoitunity to 
praise ISIr. Opie. 

Speak, Muse, who form'd that matchless head? 
The Coi-nish boy, in tin-mines bred; 

* His real name was Oppij. 

OK. woLcor. 283 

Whose native genius, like his diamonds:, shone 
In secret, till chance gave him to the sun. 
'Tis * Jackson's portrait ; put the laurel on it, 
Whilst to that tuneful swain I pour a sonnet. 

At length, towards the close of the eighteenth century, after 
long, numerous, and un\vea.ried efforts, the talents of Peter 
Pindar became so conspicuous, and liis renown so universally 
diffused, that Paternoster-Row and Whitehall, — the book- 
sellers and themini'^ters, — alike contended for bis favour, and 
actually wooed b'm, like Danae of old, in showers of gold. 

Accordingly, in 171)5, Messrs. Robinson, Golding, and 
Walker, agreed to grant Dr. Wolcot an annuity of 250/. pay- 
able half-yearly, for the copy-right of bis works. Unfo)tu- 
nately, the original document was drawn up with a very 
illaudable degree of obscuiity, and each party, of course, 
adhered to that interpretation most consonant to his own 
interests; for, while the one claimed the Htipeiulinm movQ\y 
as a remuneration for the works already published, the other 
contended that it included all future ones, now or hereafter to 
be printed. As the two cases were drawn, as usual, with a 
leaning in behalf of the respective clients, the counsel em- 
ployed were, of course, obliged to draw unfair inferences fi-om 
false premises ; and thus, as is usual, a law-suit became inevi- 

The equity of the case appears to have been clearly on the 
side of the poet; for his works were already exceedingly pro- 
ductive, and the sum granted to our annuitant, on the verge 
of sixty, was not at all an uni-easonable compensation. Indeed, 
estimating at 10 years' purchase, it did not exceed 2500/. ; and, 
in our own time, 3000/. have been given for a single poem ! 

Here follows Peter's own statement, in 1 799 : " With 
respect to my annuity from the Robinsons, it is L'50/. per 
annum. It vvas not a part of the ag)eement, that they were to 
have my future works included for the annuity : those they 
were to purchase, provided 1 chose to sell them. Such is the 

"" The late Mr. .)acl:soii, of Ex'Mev. 

'2Hi DK. M'OLCOT. 

agreonient. But possibly they M'ish to dragoon me into 
a sale." 

After this, vvc believe, an action at common law was com- 
menced, followed soon after by a suit in chancery ; but, if we 
mistake not greatly, the annuity was at length paid with great 
regularity, first, by the Messrs. Robinsons, and after their 
death by Mr. Walker. But much slcimiishing constantly took 
place on these occasions ; and when the receipt was presented, 
at the end of every six months, many angry words passed, so 
that Peter was at length obliged to employ the good offices of a 
third person to transact the business. On these occasions he 
was particularly bitter, being accustomed to send most offensive 
messages, which the good sense of his friends, of course, either 
softened or supijressed. 

Our bard did not forget to erunneratc these squabbles 
among the miseries to which his life had been unhappily 
subjected : — 

Fir'd with the love of rhyme, and, let me say, 

Of virtue, too, I sound the moral lay ; 

Much like Saint Paul (who solemnly protests, 

He battled hard at Ephesus with beasts), 

I've fought with lions, monkeys, hulls, and bears, 

And got half Noah's ark about my cars ; 

Nay mire (which all the courts of justice know), 

Fought with the brutes of Paternoster-Row. 

He also was not slow in proclaiming his hatred to book- 
sellers in general, whom he was always anxious to represent 
as hard-hearted and unfeeling : — 


Muse, we have finisheil now our Odes, 

And, verily, the songs of gods; 
But, lot mo tell thee, Mus.- (and much it pains). 

That those great trafKckers in words, 

Those high and mighty pompous lords. 
The booksellers, will barely give me grains. 

* Hog's-tvash is good enough !' they cry : 

Thus can I neither roast, nor fvy. 

Dll. WOLCOT. ^2^3 

'Tis hard that my poor mental mill 

Is never suffer'd to lie still ; 
Such, such, indeed, the avarice of the clan : 

Forced every minute of the hour, 

To grind, forsooth, for them ihejlmtr. 
And feed myself, alas ! upon the bran. 

Hard is their bridle : Lord ! with pain I shrink ; 

Too hard upon my bleeding jaws they pull. 
What shame that they, the lazy imps, should drink 

Claret and Burgundy from my poor scull ; 
And, with a saucy mortifying sneer, 
Bid me be happy — upon dead small beer ! 

I bonst one coni^olation, I allow. 

My name will never l)c forgotten ; 
When to posterit}^ I make my bow, 

These rogues are in oblivion rotten ! 

As to his connexion with Government, it was but of short 
duration, and occurred, if we mistake not, at a time vvhcn the 
*' Res Angusta Domi" weighed heavily on Ills mind. Tlie 
negociation commenced on the part of the editor of a ministe- 
rial evening paper. This event occurred during Mr. Pitt's 
administration, at a period wiicn that minister had become 
ratlier unpopular; and although j)raise was not expected from 
so satirical a pen, yet a liope seems to have been entertained, 
tliat by a witty und vituperative attack on the adverse party, 
they also might be obliged to share in the public indignation. 

Peter was first introduced to Mr. , then an under-sccre- 

tavy of state, wlio, at that period, possessed the full and entire 
confidence of the premier. (^ur poet was accustomed to 
ridicule the pomposity of this gentleman, and to mimic his 
voice and manners while he repeated the lollowing emphatical 
sentence : " There are certain sums, Dr. Wolcot, floating in 
His Majesty's treasury for tiiose wlio defend the cause of 

But here follows Peter's own account of this transaction, 
observing, at the same time, that the expressions are somewhat 
coarse, .Tiid consecjucntly tliat this communication could only 

^86 I>R. WOLCOT. 

have been made at a moment when actuated by no common 
degree of hostility : — 

"As to the imputed pension, the fact is this; application 
was made to me by the friends of government, that if 1 
would employ my pen in their favour, they would remune- 
rate mc with a pension. My reply was, in a jocular way, 
that as for varnishing knaves, I would never consent to it; I 
had no whitewash for devils ; but if they would give me 
three or four hunched pounds per annum to be mute, I miglU 
accede. This I said without the most distant idea of the 
proposal being accepted ; however they did accept it ; a half 
year elapsed, when it was intimated to me, that something 
was expected from me in favour of administration. My reply 
was, that they had infamously violated the agreement, and 
that sooner than write for a set of men I despised, it should 
•be void from that moment ; and I pronounced it void ; adding 
with some acrimony, that rascality might think itself happy 
in passing without nolice. As I had taken up * ten pounds 
of the annuity, I sent it back to them, and gave the pitiful 
scoundrels my half year's due. This is a fair picture of the 
matter, which they may have impudence enough to deny, but 
not powers to refute. 

" I called on and complained to Mr. , but his answers 

were ministerial — that is to say, replete with equivocation." 

Although not expressly specified here, there is reason to 
think that the pension in question amounted to 300/. per 


It was not until he was in full possession of all his fame, 
had got into easy circumstances, and attained the mature 
ao-c of sixty-one, that by the intervention of a common friend, 
the writer of this article became acquainted with the celebrated 
Peter Pindar. Here follows a transcript from a note taken 
immediately after. 

The first interview took place at his own apartments, No. 1. 
Chapel-street, Portland Pvoad, February 28, 1801, where 1 

« He actually borroweil lliis money from a fiiciul in jikce. 


was receivctl with the most hearty welcome. Tlie drawing- 
room, which was handsome, with three windows in front, had 
a painted cieUng, and was adorned with pictures. These were 
few, but choice, and consisted of the celebrated " Sleeping 
Girl," by Sir Joshua; an excellent beggar by Opic, in which 
the foreshortening of the arm was effected with great skill ; and 
a landscape by Wilson. In addition to these, was one of his 
own efforts, in crayons, together with a drawing, I believe, by 
General Kosciusko. 

" At first sight the owner appeared to exhibit a stiong 
resemblance, both in face and figure, to the late Dr. William 
Thomson, who completed Dr. Watson's History of Philip II. 
I could not forbear to intimate my opinion on this subject ; 
and he very readily acknowledged that I was not singular in 
this idea. 

" Soon after my arrival he seized on what he teamed ' a 
dumb fiddle,' by means of which he endeavoured to play me 
a Welch tune. He then pointed to a inano forte placed there 
for the accommodation of his friend Shield, * whose veins 
run milk,' said he, * until once affionted, when the lamb is 
turned into the lion.' 

" My host appeared to me to be a man of various excel- 
lence; he possessed much general knowledge, and was fa- 
miliar v/ith every thing respecting the fine arts. He affected, 
however, on this occasion, to be a hon xnvant. 

" While talking of medicine, notwithstanding he was a 
physician himself, yet he very candidly confessed, ' that 
although the sons of Esculapius might alleviate acute dis- 
orders, yet it was but seldom they could cure them.' Being 
in a convivial humour, with plenty of wine, &c. before us, 
he soon after exclaimed, with much animation, * that he 
intended to live initil he was a hundred ;' and then gaily 
added, ' that while he possessed the free command of three 
things — brandy, fire, and flannel, a man must make interest 
to die I' 

" By way of explanation, he immediately stirred the fire, 
mingled a very small portion of the right ' Nant/,' sonie water. 

288 1)K. WOi.COT. 

and orange juice together, and pointing to his body, observed 
* that moisture was the greatest enemy to man ; that his trunk 
and feet were cased in wool, and his very shoes stuffed withflan- 
nel. Peter was in exceeding high spirits on this occasion, for 
he had not only dissolved an injunction in chancery, obtained 
by two booksellers against him, but also procured a decree in 
his own favour, which, while it subjected them to costs, insured 
payment of the annuity they had formerly granted him. 

" Life, he thought, even if accompanied with torture^ was a 
blessing ; he would willingly live over again his former days, 
and he seemed at this moment eminently possessed of all the 
pleasures I'esulting from enjoyment. 

" Among other things, he talked to me of Jamaica ; and 
observed, that he would not return to be governor ! He 
then mentioned the Maroons and the bloodhounds ; nor did 
he forget the ring-tailed pigeons. We had both crossed the 
Monte Diabolo, vi.sitcd Kingston, Spanish-Town, &c. &c., and 
had also touched at the grand Caymanas, where I had only 
seen 5 or 600 wretched turtle, kept in salt-water penns ; while 
he, roving in search of adventures, had encountered a shoe- 
maker, in the person of governor, and entered a miserable 
negro hut, which was converted into the residence of the com- 
mander-in-chief I 

" But what delighted him still more, was to behold a lovely 
Anglo-American, most unexpectedly inhabiting a humble 
dwelling, who recounted part of her adventures to him, and 
added, ' that she and her lover had been wrecked here !' 

" 1 could not on this occasion, relVain from smiling, on 
Peter assuring me, that when the lovely stranger had arrived 
at this part of her story, he arose, and with much animation 
exclaimed, " I hope to God, madam, he lost his life :' But 
the fair mcognita, who peiceived that this was merely intended 
as a con)pliment to her beauty, and an avowal of his own gal- 
lantry, relieved him from his embarrassment, by calmly ob- 
serving, ' that the gentleman in question had gone out to 
shoot doves for her dinner.' He in fact returned soon after; 
and they all kissed and cried at parting." 

DR. WOLCOT. 289 

On a subsequent occasion, he recurred to the fine arts, 
and spoke of Sir Joshua with rapture; but his praise was 
not indiscriminate, for he chastened eulogium with somethin<r 
approaching to rebuke. " He was a great, a very great man, 
yet it must be candidly owned that he was also vei-y little at times, 
particularly when soliciting the place of scrjeant-painter from 
Lord Salisbury *, which the King had intended for West ; and 
also, when on inviting himself to breakfast, on his entrance. 
Sir Joshua appeared deeply intent on a volume of Peter Pin- 
dar !" 

He frankly allowed " Barry to be a man of great genius," 
but in his dispute with Reynolds, " it was a mouse nibbling 
at the tail of the Nemean lion." " And yet," adds he, *' his 
veins flow with aqua fortis, rather than with blood — wher- 
ever it falls it burns — either the feet or the clothes, as it may 
happen to light." 

One day, on our return from a visit to the city, in the 
same carriage, the conversation happened to be directed to- 
wards the artist whom he had patronised, and who had 
formed one of our dinner party. He was of opinion " that 
Opie did not possess any intuitive genius, but rose chiefly on 
account of his enthusiasm for his art. His manner consisted 
of a happy imitation of a variety of painters ; and, above all, 
he had learned to give breadth to his productions, by studying 
Sir Joshua." i 

I confess I at first thought, that this decision, which 
seemed to preclude all originality^ had proceeded from some- 
what like a settled resentment. The quondam friends now 
seldom met, indeed, even at table, and among strangers, 
without hiclccring and sjmrring ,• but I at length discovered, 
that this was actually the settled opinion of our Bard. 

At my particular desire, he gave the following account 
of his first acquaintance and subsequent connexion with this 
artist. " Being on a visit to a relation in Cornwall," observed 
he, " I saw either the drawing or print of a farm-yard in 
the parlour, and after looking at it slightly, remarked, that 

* This mill, man was for many years Lord Cliainberlain. 


it was a busy scene, h\x\ ill executed. This point was imme- 
diately contested by a she-cousin^ who observed, * that it wa» 
greatly admired by many, and particularly by John OpiCf a 
lad of great genius.* 

" Having learned the place of the artist's abode, I in- 
stantly sallied fort^i, and found him at the bottom of a saw- 
pit, cutting wood, by nioving the lower part of an instru- 
ment which was regulated above by another person. Haying 
enquired in the dialect of the county, if he could paint ? 

" < Con you patent P' 1 was instantly answered from below, 
in a similar accent and language ; that he could patent Queen 
Charlotte, and Duke William *, and Mrs. Somebody's Cot !' 

" A specimen was immediately shown me, which was rude, 
incorrect, and incomplete. But when I learned that he was 
such an enthusiast in his art, that he got up by three o'clock 
of a summer's morning to draw with chalk and charcoal, I 
instantly conceived that he must possess all that zeal necessary 
for obtaining eminence. A gleam of hope then darted through 
my bosom ; and I felt it possible to raise the price of his labours 
from eight-pence or a shilling to a guinea a-day. Actuated 
by this motive, I instantly presented him with pencils, colours, 
and canvas, to which I added a few instructions." 

The Doctor then proceeded to state, that Opie had the run 
of his house during the last three or four years that he re- 
mained in Cornwall. 

" The young artist now got himself a nag," added he, " to 
carry him from place to place, in order to ease his limbs, and 
support the dignity of the profession. Though not so wel- 
come as the master, the horse constantly lived in clover" 

After two or three months absence from his patron, he re- 
turned to Truro with specimens of further progress, when the 
Doctor bade him boldly demand a half guinea for a head ; to 
which the viodest youth replied, that he vfas afraid that so 
great a sum was superior to his merits, and, moreover, that he 
really believed that the county could not crffbrd it. The Doc- 
tor, however, persisted; and a half guinea was the future 

* WilRam Duke of Cumbertand. 

DR. WOLCOT. ^[)\ 

stipulation between painter and sitter. In short, the youth, 
by liis assiduity rose, to his own astonishment, to a guinea, to 
the entire satisfaction of his marvelling employers. " At 
length I proposed to him, first to go to Exeter, and then to 
London, and having lost an income of SOOl. or 400/., by the 
change of scene, entered into a written engagement, by 
which it was agreed, that we should share the joint profits in 
equal divisions. We actually did so for a year ; but at the 
end of that time ray pupil told me I might return to the 
country, as he could now do for himself." 

" Notwithstanding this provocation, I got Opie introduced 
to Mrs. Bos. {perhaps Bosville), who introduced him to Mrs. 

Delaney, who introduced him to the king ; but his d d 

democratic principles spoiled all I Being ignorant how to get 
on, he disobliged every body. 

" A lady wished that her portrait should be * very hand- 
some," and expressed an inclination accordingly. ' Then, 
Madam,* replied the artist, * you wish to be painted otherwise 
than you are — I see you do not want your own face !' " The 
Doctor concluded with asserting, " that during the first year 
he actually took out writs against several of his sitters, who 
were rather tardy in their payments ;" and closed the whole by 
remarking, " that he was possessed of capacity rather than of 

Here follows a short note, received after a dinner-party, 
where he had been treated with singular attention, by some 
persons of distinction. 
" My dear Sir, 

" I beg a thousand pardons for not sending before — in- 
closed are a few hints for your next production — when shall I 
see you again ? — O quando ego fe auspiciam ? 

" I am truly yours, 

«J. W. 

" To-morrow my pamphlet comes out, baptised — * Out at 

last I* I shall inclose an order for one, if you will take the 

trouble of sending. 

" Esq. 

" Baker -street, Portnian-square." 

u 2 

292 DR. WOLCOT. 

The protracted existence of the subject of this memoir, 
notwithstanding his three grand desiderata, was not wholly 
exempt from disease. But from two maladies — asthma and 
deafness — he not only recovered, but endeavoured to render 
the skill obtained, by their endurance, beneficial both to others 
and himself. At length he was assailed by one of those in- 
firmities which are reckoned the most melancholy that can 
fall to the lot of a mortal ; this was blindness, arising fi-om 
two cataracts. At first it assumed a mild aspect, and only 
operated as a slight impediment to his lucubrations ; but he 
soon after became, first a viiops, and then totally dark, not- 
withstanding an attempt, on the part of Sir William Adams, 
to couch his right eye. After this he was led about by a 
young man ; and still continued to visit such of his friends as 
resided in the vicinity of Somers' Town, within the precincts 
of which he had now taken up his abode. 

This unhappy event proved a great hindrance to the dif- 
fusion of the productions of his muse — for she still continued 
to visit him with her inspirations. Yet on great occasions he 
was accustomed to dictate to an amanuensis, and thus to prove 
that neither age nor blindness was able to deprive him of his 
poetic excellence. 

His body, indeed, seems to have decayed faster than his 
mind. Being at length confined by habit rather than dis- 
ease to his house, he seemed to lie in bed, either from indo- 
lence or whim. A respectable gentleman, to whom he had 
been long known, on his arrival from the country, paid a 
visit to Peter about three months before his death. " What 
is the matter with you ?" observed this friend, " you lie here, 
apparently from choice, with your face to the wall, and your 
body enveloped in wool and calico ?" — " It signifies but little," 
was the reply, " in what position a blind man takes his de- 
parture : and what should I rise for ? It would be folly in me 
to be groping around my drawing-room ; and with what un- 
easiness would it not be attended, to one now become so weak? 
When up and in motion, I am obliged to carry a load of eleven 
or twelve stone; but while here, I have only a few ounces of 
blankets to support !" 

DR. WOLCOT. 293 

On being askeil by another acquaintance at an interview, a 
very short time before his decease, " What he could bring him, 
to add to his comfort?" he replied, with a Sardonic smile, 
*' Bring me back my youth !" 

On the very next day, January 14, 1789, he breathed his 
last, at Montgomery's cottage, Somcrs' Town, where he had 
resided for many years ; having been first attracted thither on 
account of the surrounding nursery grounds. At the end of 
a week his corpse, accompanied by a band of chosen friends, 
whom, we understand, he himself had expressly nominated, 
was buried in a vault in the church-yard of St. Paul's, Co- 
Tent Garden, in a very appropriate position; for it was .so 
contrived, at his own request, that the coffin of the author 
of the Lousiad should be so near as to touch that of the bard 
who had produced Hudibras, whose genius and originality he 
greatly admired. 

Thus died, in the eighty-first year of his age. Dr. John 
Wolcot, not in poverty and want, as may be supposed by 
those who are disposed to infer penury from the usual fate of 
poets, both in ancient and modern times, but in comparative 
affluence. He was surrounded, indeed, by all the comforts 
that can render a sick-bed tolerable, and actually left a con- 
siderable property behind him, which he disposed by will, 
among those who were dear to him. 

The person of Dr. Wolcot was not calculated to convey 
any favourable impression ; there was nothing prepossessing, 
either in his countenance or figure. He wi*s what was usually 
termed a thickj squat man ; his face was large, dark, and flat, 
and there " was no speculation in his eye." In respect to 
manners, too, he was not deemed in general either elegant or 

It must be allowed, however, that he conversed with ability, 
on several subjects, more especially when tete-a-tete with a 
friend, and displayed a most humane and beneficent character 
on a variety of occasions. 

But it is from his works, and his works alone, that any 
lasting fame is to be expected ; and yet such is the imcer- 

TJ 3 

i294< DR. WOLCOT. 

tainty of human praise, that by ceasing to appear so fre- 
quently as formerly before the public, and living to a very old 
age, Peter Pindar had almost survived his reputation ! 

Of his prose productions nothing has as yet been said. 
Indeed they were few in number, and not entitled, per- 
haps, to much celebrit}' : for^ with an exception to his poetical 
effusions, he always seemed to compose with difficulty, and 
never, indeed, could express his sentiments with any degree 
either of facility or neatness. The Doctor, however, some 
years since, superintended a new edition of Pilkington's Dic- 
tionary of Painters, to which he made some f^ew additions ; and 
to this he was fully competent. The character of Richard 
Wilson, the famous landscape painter, was also drawn up by 
him ; and of that artist he was always accustomed to speak 
with unbounded eulogium. 

An attempt shall here be made, by means of what the late 
Horace Walpole (Earl of Orford) was pleased to term *' Re- 
miniscences," to contribute a few facts and anecdotes towards 
completing the biography of this extraordinary character. 

His merits as a poet are well known ; but his pretensions as 
a critic must be familiar only to a few of his associates. In 
the first character he attacked every rank in life, from the king 
to the cobler ; but in the second, he flew at high game alone ; 
for, like the eagle, he disdained to stoop to offal. 

Accordingly, Dryden, 

« The great High Priest of all the Nine," 

was not unfrequently the subject of Peter's severest remarks, 
and of all his pioductions, he constantly selected and fixed 
on " Alexander's Feast ; or the Power of Music, an Ode on 
St. Cecilia's Day," for his keenest animadversions. This, 
doubtless, proceeded from the consideration, that it was gene- 
rally supposed to possess more fire, fancy, and genius, than 
any other of the compositions of that celebrated poet, and 
had now been consecrated by the uniform applauses of both 
natives and foreigners lor about a century and a half. 

Dll. WOLCOT. ^295 

After assuming a serious air, and nuanner, the doctor 
was accustomed to exclaim, " How wofully have mankind 
been mistaken in their admiration of this paltry production I 
In the first place, the subject is immoral, the catastrophe unjust, 
and the language vulgar and imperfect. Here are a soldier 
and his trull, seated tbgether on a bench, which they call 
* an imperial throne.* They are evidently surrounded by 
pimps and parasites, ready to assent to all their freaks ; these 
ridiculously enough, are denominated * valiant peers.' And 
what is the conclusion of all this ? exactly what ought to be 
expected, — a foreign concubine, — an Athenian xvoman of the 
town in a state of intoxication ; — for assuredly there was in- 
toxication of more than one species : — seizes on a burning 
brand, no matter whether a flambeau or a farthing candle, 
and seconded by her paramour, and the drunken crew by 
whom they were accompanied, basely destroys the noble city 
of Persepolis, to gratify her vile resentments. 

*' But softly, — let us proceed without passion or prejudice : 

'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won 
By Philip's warlike son : 

'Twas ! how prosaic ! here Dryden commences with an elision, 
arid that tod^ of the twb poorest and meanest words in our 

*' This apjJears to have been a feast or banquet, to comme- 
morate a sanguinary triumph over an innocent, feeble, and 
luxurious nation ; and who were the guests, and in what a 
fantastic manner were they dressed ? exactly like our Irish 
milkmen on a May-day morning : 

His valiant peers were plac'd around, 

Their brows with ros6S and with myrtles bound. 

Now for the punk, xvho, at first affects to be a modest matron : 

The lovely Thais by Iiis side 

Sat like a blooming Eastern bride ; 

In flower of youth, and beauty's pride. 

296 DR. WOLCOT. 


Here follows the very edifying burthen of the song 

Happy, happy, happy pair ! 

None but the brave, 

None but the brave. 

None but the brave, deserve the fair. 

" We now come to the blind fiddler, or rather Welch 

harper : 

Timotheus plac'd on high 

Amid the tuneful quire, 

Witli flying fingers touch'd the lyre. 

« And what did he sing ? Why, that the mother of this 
mock-hero was as great a strumpet as she who then sat by his 
side; and that she even lavished her indiscriminate favours on a 
brute beast, who, as she pretended, was Jupiter Ammon: 

A dragon's fiery form belied the god ; 

Sublime on radiant spheres he rode. 

When he to fair Olympia prest, 

And while he sought her snowy breast ; 

Then round her slender waist he curl'd, 

And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the world. 

And pray what does this soldier do, when he is told that his 

mother is a , himself a bastard, and his pretended 

father, good-man Philip, a cuckold? Why, he encourages 
the delusion, and seems to think it a very good joke : 

With ravish'd ears. 

The monarch hears ; 

Assumes the god, 

Affects to nod, 

And seems to shake the spheres. 

" I told yoti at first my good friends," he was accustomed 
to add, " that this was a mere drimken lout : 

The praise of Bacchus, then the sweet musician sung. 
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young : 

Now give the hautboys breath. He comes ! he comes ! 
Bacchus ! ever fair and young, 

DR. WOLCOT. 297 

Drinking joys did first ordain ; 
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure ; 
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure ; 
Sweet is pleasure after pain. 

" The consequences are exactly such as might liave been 
expected, after all this ribaldry, for the great personage, 

Unable to conceal his pain, 

Gazed on the fair 

Who caus'd his care. 
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd, 
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again. 
At length, with love and wine, at once opprest, 
The vanquish'd victor sunk upon her breast. 

" Now, is this a king of Macedon and his consort, presiding 
over a royal banquet in a spacious and noble palace, or is it 
a Serjeant of the Guards, sitting along with Moll Flanders, 
at a bear garden ? 

'* As to * love and wine,' this is a mere poetica liccjitiOf to 
endeavour, if possible, to impress dignity ; as for me, I can 
perceive nothing but lust, gin, and two-penny. ' Love and 
wine,' generally inspire noble sentiments ; it Is the spirit of 
juniper or the juice of barley alone, that lead to burning, 
desolation, and murder. 

" And with what bad taste does the whole conclude? We 
are told that this beastly scene of low desire, drunkenness, 
music, and conflagration, 

rais' d a mortal to the skies ! 

What then, in the name of wonder, would entitle that same 
mortal to shame, infamy, and punishment ?" 

No opinion is here intended to be given, as to the justice or 
injustice of the criticism. A period of fifteen years may have 
produced some slight omissions, and even a few trifling varia- 
tions in this singular travestie of one of our first poets ; but in ^ 
all its essentials it is correctly and fairly given. As it was a 
frequent theme, indeed, in every company, many living wit- 

$298 Dll* WOLCOT. 

iiesses might be appealed to, for its authenticity and cor- 

Happening one day to dine along with a number of literary 
men, at the house of a very spirited publisher, our host was 
suddenly called out on some particular business, immediately 
after the cloth was removed. A long, and awful pause now 
ensued, at the close of which it was proposed to drink the 
health of the bookseller, at whose table we were then seated. 
" No !" exclaimed honest Prter, rising, and, at the same time 
brandishing a bottle of red Port in his hand, " No ! let us 
drink a bumper to our own, for this is author's blood 1" The 
effect was electric, and his advice was instantly followed amidst 
shouts of applause. 

The Doctor, at no very remote period, determined to dedicate 
himself to a particular branch of the profession. Accordingly, 
after rendering himself master of every thing respecting the 
structure, conformation, and properties of that delicateorgan the 
human ear, he presented himself to his friends and the public 
as an aurist; and yet, it is not a little remarkable, that both 
at and after this very epoch, he was always considered to be 
somewhat deaf himself. 

What his success may have been, it is not now easy to 
determine ; assuredly not great, else he would not have dis- 
continued the pursuit. The author of this article well recol- 
lects, that he complained bitterly of the ungenerous conduct 
of one patient, who, although lie had cured him completely, 
not only denied it, but still affected to be thick of hearing, 
that he might not pay the stipulated honorarium. Peter, by 
way of trying the effects of his skill, abused, and even called 

* lu a noie, to the first stanza of the parody of " Frogmore Fete," beginning with 

'Twas at the royal seat on Frogmore Green, 
With Britain'* gold, uprcar'd by Britain's queen ; 
To charm a court, &c. 

Peter forcibly alludes to this very subject. " In spite of all the praises bestowed on 
Aloxander'a Feast, 1 dare pronounce it a downright dr\inken Barllioloniew-fair scene : 
ilie poetrv \.6r> but little s-.iperior to the ful>j((l." 

fill. woLcoT. Qgg 

him names, in the* middle tone of voice usually employed in 
conversation, which putting the impostor off his guard, he 
replied, with a degree of bitterness, that at once demonstrated 
the meanness of his conduct, and the keenness of his newly 
acquired hearing. 

Of medicine in general, he observed, " that he did not like 
the practice of it as an art. He was entirely ignorant, in- 
deed, whether the patient was cured by the vis medicatrix 
natures, or the administration of a little pill, which was 
either directly or indirectly to reach the part affected." The 
Doctor had conceived a new and ingenious theory of topical 
diseases, among which he included rheumatism, aches, pains, 
&c. He considered " the joints as blocks, the nerves as 
ropes, and the whole system, as a ship full-rigged: in fine 
weather all was lax, loose, and agreeable — in wet, every thing 
being tight and uncomfortable, disease was superinduced ; — 
this, on the other hand, was alleviated by warmth, or in 
other words, by relaxation, which restored the body to its 
original tone." In short, he was a great friend to warmth and 
a great enemy to cold. Above all things he dreaded ncet 
feet. Much too depended on diet. He considered food as 
the conductor of disease, and maintained that the poor were 
far more liable to maladies than the rich. 

The subject of this memoir, while he excelled in poetry of 
two dififerent and distinct kinds, possessed a fine taste for the 
kindred studies of sculpture and painting. Accordingly, both 
in town and country, he cultivated the friendship and society 
of artists ; while in London, he frequently spent the whole 
forenoon in visiting their workshops. He contemplated with 
delight the bust, just emerging from the block, and the pic- 
ture, when first starting into life on the easel ! Their progress 
was surveyed by him with the most patient attfention ; he 
hailed the dawn of genius in a young artist, with rapture ; 
while he beheld the master touches of an experienced pencil 
with enthusiasm. Whatever bore the stamp of merit, re- 
ceived due praise ; and he might have fairly exclaimed, with a 
great man of a former age, " I also am a painter !" 

300 DR. WOLCOT. 

Dr. Wolcot was much addicted to music in general ; but 
he deUghted most in the Italian school. Speaking one even- 
ing on this subject, a gentleman addressed him as follows : 
" I think, Sir, tho Germans excel, at least in execution !" 
" Yes, Sir," was the reply, " they execute every thing — they 
strangle melody I" 

Happening one day, when politics ran high, and a great 
ferment prevailed in the nation, and indeed throughout Eu- 
rope, to speak on the subject of government, he " considered 
absolute monarchy as a solecism in politics, and was asto- 
nished that four — kings and a queen (whom he mentioned by 
name) should be permitted, at that very moment, to govern 
thirty or forty millions of subjects !" It is but justice to ob- 
serve, however, that he was a great admirer of a constitution 
duly balanced like that of England, and accustomed frequently 
to praise its excellence ! Nay, although no one had been for- 
merly more eager to break a joke on a palace, yet he actually 
died one of the most loyal men in the kingdom. 

Peter was accustomed to speak of the friendship exhibited 
towards him by a celebrated Polish patriot, with an honest 

Here follows his account of their first acquaintance, from 
a paper in his own hand-writing. " When the famous 
General Kosciusko came to England, he sent his compli- 
ments to me from Sabloniere's Hotel, in Leicester-Fields, the 
place of his abode. After apologising at not being able to 
wait on me, on account of weakness, arising from his wounds, 
he hoped I would call on him, which I immediately did. 
In the course of our interview, he said that he could 
not visit England without seeing an author, who had given 
him so mijch pleasure, particularly in his prison at St. 
Petersburgh. I constantly visited him, and, at parting, 
I gave him a couple of my crayon landscapes, and he in re- 
turn, presented me with a drawing by himself, as well as some 
of his choicest wines and liqueurs. On his arrival from 
England in America, I composed a little ode in honour of 

DR. WOLCOT. 301 

Our author was not insensible to fame; indeed he was 
accustomed to mention a number of circumstances, all tending 
to prove in what high degree of estimation his writings, 
which had been translated into six different languages, were 
held, both abroad and at home. 

We shall here insert the following little anecdote, which 
is in his own hand writinjr. 

" When the Duke of Kent was last in America, he took 
a stroll into the country, and entering a neat little cottage, saw 
a pretty girl with a book in her hand ; ' what books do you 
read, my dear?' said his royal highness. The girl with the 
most artless innocence replied ' Sir, the Bible and Peter 
Pindar.' " 

Dr. Wolcot, at an early period, discovered a strong at- 
tachment to theatrical entertainments. This, of course, was 
connected with a liking for actors and actresses, and he once 
had an opportunity of both evincing and illustratinfr this 
partiality ; for when an itinerant company was driven by 
legal violence from Kingsbridge, in Devonshire, he kindly 
interposed, and afforded it an asylum within his own 
premises in the neighbouring parish of Dodbrooke. This 
gave birth to an " Ode to my Barn," which appears to have 
been the receptacle in which the comedians took refuo'e 
from the joint prosecution of the justices, churchwardens, and 

Sweet haunt of solitude and rats, 

Mice, tuneful owls, and purring cats. 
Who, while we mortals sleep, the gloom pervade ; 

And wish not for the Sun's all-seeing cje, 

Their mousing mysteries to espy; 
Blest, like philosophers, amidst tlie shade ! 

When Persecution, with an iron hand, 
Dared drive the moral-menders from the land, 

CalI'd Players — friendly to the wandering crew, 

Thine eye with tears survey'd the mighty wrong, 
Thine open arms receiv'd the mournful throng, 

Kings without shirts, and queens with half a shoe. 


Alas ! what dangers gloom'd of late around ! 

Monarchs and queens, with halters nearly bound ; 
Duke, dukeling, princess, prince, consign'd to jail : 

And, what the very soul of pity shocks, 

The poor old Lear was threaten'd with the stocks, 
Cordelia, with the cart's unfeeling tail. 

Peter Pindar was a bachelor : indeed, he appears to have 
entertained a decided objection to matrimony, in his old age 
at least. He candidly allowed* however, that he was formerly 
of a different opinion ; for he had more than once experienced 
a refusal ! This, indeed, he was not at all unwilling to avow, 
either in prose or rhyme*, in conversation or ia an ode. 

It is not a little singular, too, that although he entertained 
an unfavourable opinion of the human race as a body, yet he 
would have been content to have lived on almost any condi- 
tions. He was accordingly accustomed to observe, " that he 
had no objection to renew his lease ; nay, to extend it to all 
eternity !" 

To his friends. Dr. Wolcot was kind and beneficent ; to 
those he deemed his enemies, splenetic, harsh, and unforgivino-. 
Although not at all delicate about exposing others to the lash 
of his satire, yet it is no less singular than true that he deemed 
himself exempt from animadversion, and almost from retaliation. 
He was grievously offended with the author of the " Baviad" 
and the " Maeviad," on account of the outrageous liberties 
taken with him in these productions, and actually attempted 
to inflict personal chastisement on the gentleman in question, 
at a bookseller's shop in Piccadilly. Failing in this, lie had 
recourse to other weapons of a still more deadly kind ; and, 
actuated by resentment, accused his opponent of offences, which 
it would be ungenerous to conceal, appear to have had no found- 
ation but in poetic vengeance. 

* Tliat I liave often been in love, deep love, 
A hundred doleful ditties plainly prove. 

By marriage never have I been disjointed ; 
For matrimony deals prodigious blows: 
And yet, for this same stormy state, God knows, 

I've ijroaii'd, and, thank my stars, been disnppoinleJ. 

DR. WOLCOT. 303 

Peter, as has been already observed, was in no small degree 
attached to the female sex, and had been a great admirer of 
beanty while able to contemplate it. In his old age, and at a 
period too when he had passed his grand climacteric, and indeed 
become a septuagenarian, he was obliged to defend a suit for 
crim. con., in which he was fortunate enough to defeat his ad- 
versary. And here it is but just to remark, that this accusation 
is said to have originated in an attempt on his purse. 

That his satire was by far too indiscriminate and too severe, 
cannot be denied. He has been much blamed for his frequent, 
indelicate, and vituperative attacks on His Majesty. It 
should be recollected, however, on the other hand, that he 
became mute, on this subject, the moment the sovereign was 
visited by mental affliction. Nor ought it to be forgotten, 
that Mr. Bone, the famous painter in enamel, was brought up 
under his fostering wing; that Opie was chiefly indebted for 
fortune and celebrity to his patronage ; antl that it was not 
his fault if a third artist did not profit by his instructions and 

There is an excellent portrait of Dr. Wolcot, by Opie, in 
which both manner and likeness are admirably preserved. He 
is also depicted as one of the assassins, in the picture repre- 
senting the death of David Rizzio ; and, by a strange whim, 
was actually introduced in this horrible character, by the above 
artist, at his own particular request. 

By way of conclusion, we shall here present the reader with 
some account of the works of the subject of the present 

The labours of Peter Pindar form a new epoch in the history 
of English poetry : they possess many excellencies, and many 
defects. His satire has been objected to as temporary; but this 
equally applies to the productions of Juvenal and of Churchill. 
Works of this kind must necessarily borrow the hue and com- 
plexion of the age in which they were composed ; and if the in- 
discriminate and unsparing nature of his lampoons, which are 
occasionally levelled against some of the best men and ablesf 

304 DR. WOLCOT. 

artists of the present age, can be forgiven, this fault will re- 
quire but little apology. 

In 1812, all the poetical effusions of this extraordinary bard 
were collected, and published in 5 volumes, 8vo. ; to which was 
prefixed a short life, entitled " Memoirs of the Author." 
Vol. 1 . contains twelve articles, viz. : — " Epistle to the 
Reviewers;" " Lyric Odes for 1783, 1785, and 1786;" "The 
Lousiad ;" " Epistle to James Boswell, Esq. ;" " Bozzy and 
Piozzi;" "Ode upon Ode;" " Apologetic Postscript; "In- 
structions to a celebrated Laureat ;" and, " Brother Peter to 
Brother Tom." In his Odes to the Royal Academicians, 
Peter criticises some of Sir Joshua's performances with much 
freedom; but he still allows, that in comparison to any other, 
painter, he is like " an eagle to a raven." To Mr. West, lie 
docs not do common justice. The following lines have been 
condemned by some, as approaching to blasphemy; they 
must, at least, be allowed to be highly irreverent and im- 
proper : — 

O West, what hath thy pencil done ? 

Why painted 

Like an old-clothes-man about London street ! 

Place in his hand a rusty bag, 

To hold each sweet collected rag, 
We then shall see the character complete. 

Th' Apostles, too, I'm muc h afraid. 
Were not the fellows thou hast made ; 
For Heaven's sake, West, pray rub them out again : ~ — 

Although they might not look Wkc gcnfleincn, it is but justice 
to observe, that the reputation of Mr. West has outlived this 
satire, and he is now deservedly esteemed at the head of his 

As Peter had before censured the tm-hair-Wkc mane, and 
•woodeti carcass, of " Tarleton's horse," so he now condemns 
the portraits of " Saint Leger and Prince," just then produced 
by Gainsborough ; while he satirically praises his Pig, which 
he terras,- " a well-painted sow," at the expense of its female 



nttendant," and advises him to keep to landscape. He, at the 
«ame time, tells Chamberlin, that when men arc formed out of 
*« board," liis pictures shall be " tolerable nature : — 

*' And Loutherbourg, when Heaven wills 
To make brass skies and polden hills. 
With marble bullocks in glass pastures grazing ; 

Thy reputation too will rise, 

And people gapiag with surprise, 
Cry, ' Monsieur Loutherbourg is most amazing !' 

But thou must wait for tiiat event, 

Perhaps the change is never meant; 
Till then with me thy pencil will not shine; 

Till then, old red-nos'd Wilson's art 

Will hold its empire o'er my heart. 
By Britain left in poverty to pine. 

But, honest Wilson, never mind ; 

Immortal praises thou shalt find. 
And for a dinner have no cause to fear. — 

Thou start'st at my prophetic rhymes ; 

Don't be impatient for those times ; 
Wait till thou hast been dead a hundred year." 

The Lousiad, an Heroic-comic Poem, begins thus : 

** The Louse I sing, who from some head unknown, 
Yet born and educated near a throne, 
Dropp'd down, (so will'd the dread decree of fate,) 
With legs wide sprawling on the Monarch's plate : 
Far from the raptures of a wife's embrace ; 
Far from the gambols of a tender race, 
Whose little feet he taught with care to tread 
Amidst the wide dominions of the head ; 
Led them to daily food with fond delight. 
And taught the tiny wanderers where to bite ; 
To hide, to run, advance, or turn their tails 
When hostile combs attack'd, or vengeful nails : 
Far from those pleasing scenes ordain'd to roam, 
Like wise Ulysses from his native home ; 
Yet, like that sage, though forc'd to roam and mourn, 
Like him, alas ! not fated to return ; 



Who, full of rage, and glory, sau' his boy * 
And wife f again, and dog % that died for joy. 
Down dropp'd the luckless Louse with fear appall'd. 
And wept his wife and children as he sprawl'd. 
Thus on a promontory's misty brow, 
The poet's eye with sorrow saw a cow 
Take leave abrupt of bullocks, goats, and sheep, 
By tumbling headlong down the dizzy steep, 
No more to reign a queen among the cattle. 
And urge her rival beaus, the bulls, to battle ; 
She fell, remembering ev'ry roaring lover, § 
With all her wild courants in fields of clover, " 

Tliere can be no doubt as to the excellence of this com- 
position, although not a few have nfiected to charge the 
author with indelicacy, as to the subject, and others with some- 
thing approaching to disloyalty, in regard to the great per- 
sonage connected with the story, and so frequently introduced 
in the course of this little poem. 

'^rhe whole is said to have originated in the discovery 
of a very obnoxious insect on the royal plate among some 
green pease, the first that had been produced that season. 
This offensive object produced a solemn decree, which occa- 
sioned great murmurings; but as George III. was absolute in 
his kitchen, although not in his kingdom, it was carried into 
effect with unrelenting severity. All the cooks, assistants, 
scullions, and attendants, of whatsoever rank in the royal 
kitchen, accordingly had their heads shaved, one only ex- 
cepted, who was obliged to retire, and were accustomed, while 
on duty, ever after to wear white night-caps ! 

It was supposed that Peter, in respect to the title of his 
work, had made use of the poetica liceniia ,• but it will be 
seen by the following passage under his own signature, dated 
January 21, 1/99, that he was literally correct: " The story 
of liie Louse is a fact — it was a Louse; but whether a garden 
or a body louse was never ascertained. — I had this from the 
cooks themselves, with whom I dined several times at Buck- 

• Telonnrlui--. f PpiipIoi*e. J A'f^iu. 

§ Morierii iiul..c3 reminiiciuir Ari^os. ViituiL. 

DR. WOLCOT. 307 

Jngliain House and Windsor, immediately after tlie shave took 

" It was agitated in the Privy Council," observes lie in an- 
other private letter, " to attack nie for my writings, particu- 
larly the Lousiad. But on its being discovered that the poem 
liad its foundation in truth, all idea of prosecution was ex- 
tinguished. ' Are you sure of a verdict? said a lord hicrh in 

the law (the Chancellor Thurlow) ; if not so, by we shall 

look like a parcel of fools !" 

The de?iouement in Canto V. is preceded by an eloquent 
«peech from " the son of Nit," who boasts his high descent, 
and apologises for the royal cooks. 

* Lies ! lies ! lies ! lies !' replied the furious king, 

* *Tis no such thing : no, no, 'tis no such thing.' 
Then quick he aim'il, of red-hot anger full, 
His nails of vengeance at the louse's skull. 

But Zephyr, anxious for his life, drew near, 
And sudden bore him to a distant sphere ; 
In triumph rais'd the animal on high. 
Where Berenice's locks adorn the sky. 
But now he wish'd him nobler fame to share. 
And crawl for ever on Belinda's hair. 
Yet to the Louse v^'^s greater glory given; 
To roll a planet on the splendid heaven, 
And draw of deep astronomers the ken, 
The Georgium Sidus of the sons of men. 

The fate of the poor cooks was very different from that of 
the illustrious stranger ; for it appears that fifty -one belonging 
to that department were all shaved ; and that a young man, 
named John Bear, lost his place, in consequence of his refusal 
to submit to the operation. 

The publication of the celebrated Journal of a Tour to the 
Hebrides, about this period, afforded ample opportunity for 
the satire of Peter Pindar, which was vented in " a Poetical 
Epistle" to a celebrated Biographer of that day. 

O Boswell, Bozzy, Bruce *, whate'er thy name, 
Thou mighty shark for anecdote and fame; 

* Viile nine, p. 16. of his " Jouinal." 

X 2 

308 DR. WOLCOT. 

Thou Jackall, leading Lion Johnson fortli 
To eat Macpherson, 'midst his native North ; 
To frighten grave Professors with his roar, 
And shake the Hebrides from shore to shore. 
All hail ! 

Triumphant, thou, through Time's vast gulph shalt sail, 

The pilot of our literary Whale ; 

Close to the classic Rambler shall thou cling, 

Close as a supple courtier to a king ; 

Fate shall not shake thee off with all its power ; 

Stuck like a bat to some old ivied tower. 

Nay, though fliy Johnson ne'er had bless'd thy eyes, 

Paoli's deeds had rais'd thee to the skies : 

Yes, his broad wing had rais'd thee (no bad hack), 

A Tom-tit twittering on an Eagle's back." 

In his " Bozzy and Piozzy," written soon after the death of 
the great lexicographer, he again attacked this same gentle- 
man with still more severity, if possible, than before. 

The second volume contains " Peter's Pension," and his 
Ode to Mr. Paine; the latter of which seemed to entitle him 
to one, had it not been either preceded or followed soon after 
by an " Epistle to a falling Minister :" 

Blind to an artful Boy's insidious wiles, 
Why rests the genius of the Queen of Isles ? 
While Liberty in irons sounds th' alarm, 
Why hangs suspense on virtue's coward arm ? 
While tyranny prepares her gaols and thongs, 
Why sleeps the sword of justice o'er our wrongs ? 
Oh ! meanly founding on a father's name, &c. 

" Sir Joseph," too, is characterised for his attachment to a 
minute branch of natural history. 

A President in butterflies profound 

Of whom all insect-mongers sing the praises, * 

Went on a day to catch the game renown'd 

On violets, dunghills, violet-tops, and daisies, &c. 

For the epistle " to the Earl of Lonsdale," we believe, a 

DR. WOLCOT. 3(^9 

prosecution * was either commenced, .or threatened. Some 
verses relative to tliis subject, with an address to " Loid 
Macartney and his Ship," and " Odes to Kien Long," form 
the two prominent articles of the third volume. The fourth 
opens with " Pindariana, or Peter's Portfolio," containing 
fable, translation, elegy, song, &c. Some transitory and float- 
ing subjects, such as " Lord Auckland's Triumph, the 
Middlesex Elections, Pitt and his Statue," occupy the greater 
part of the remainder. The " Tales of the Hoy," were ex- 
tremely popular, for a time: but like his " Tears and Smiles," 
his Epistle to Count Kumford," " Great Cry and Little 
Wool ;" " The Horrors of Bribery ;" all of which are in- 
cluded in the last volume, seem to have experienced a pre- 
cocious oblivion ! 

Dr. Wolcot was actually unacquainted with the num- 
ber and extent of his own productions. Many unpublished 
poems are in possession of his friends, and whole bundles of 
manuscripts have been confided to the care of his executor ! 


Dr. wolcot, olim PETER PINDAR, Esq. 

The following memoir may be considered as having less 
pretensions to novelty than truth. On commencing author by 
profession, no man, perhaps, ever acquired more sudden 
celebrity than Dr. Wolcot; nor, during a space of near forty 
years, was popularity ever retained with less diminution. 
Although at an early period he manifested his affection for 
the Muses, he did not offer himself to public notice until his 
judgment was matured, and his mind stored with knowledge. 

• This suit, whicii was happily concluded by means of a compromise, is alludrd 
to by the Bard himself, in the Ode beginning with 

Fie, fie, my Lord ! attack a saint-like poet. 
Oh let not Askelon nor let Gath know it ! 

What ". by Law Bull-dogs bid tlie Lambkin groan ? 
O Lonsdale! genuine Poetry is rare. 
Half of our verse adulterated ware, 
I speak of other verses, not my own. 

X 3 

310 DR. WOLCOT. 

John Wolcot, the son of Alexander and Mary, was born on 
a small freehold of his father's, at Dodbrook, in Devonshire, 
a town and parish so connected with Kingsbridge as to have 
the appearance of a suburb. The precise day of his birth is 
uncertain; it is, however, known to have been but a short 
time previous to his baptism, which, as already mentioned, 
took place at Dodbrook church, on the 9th May, 1738. His 
native place having been minutely described by an elegant 
poet and historian, Abraham Hawkins, Esq., in a History of 
Kingsbridge and its Environs, an extract may not here 
prove uninteresting. 

*' In descending the Estuary (generally denominated Kings- 
bridge River, although nothing superior to the degree of a 
mill-stream falls into any part), on the east shore a smart 
little mansion, with a white front, on a gentle, verdant, de- 
clivity, extending to the water's edge at the flow of the tide, 
opens to view. It is Pindar-lodge, formerly the property of 
the distinguished bard, whose poetic name, in compliment, it 
now bears, and where his respected ancestors for many gener- 
ations resided 

avi numeratur avorum. 

" The celebrated lyric and satirical poet, generally known 
by the name of Peter Pindar, Esq. first drew his breath within 
the precincts of these premises. He received his education 
under a gentleman of the name of Morris, a good classical 
scholar, beloved and respected through life by all his pupils 
and neighbours for sound learning, great worth, and un- 
assuniing manners. Many of the early strokes of humour 
and smart repartees of the facetious author of the Lousiad 
are still recollected by a few of the companions of his school- 
hours, who yet survive in Kingsbridge and its vicinity." 

The father of Wolcot was a medical practitioner of great 
respectability, as were several of his ancestors. The subject 
of this memoir was the fourth child, and only son who at- 
tained to manhood ; he had two sisters younger than liimself^ 

DR. WO I, COT. 311 

the eldest of whom married a Mr. Stephens, also a surgeon. 
He died many years since, and his widow settled with her 
sister at Fowey, where they continned to reside, and preserved 
a regular correspondence with their brother till the death of 
Mrs. Stephens, which happened about a year before the doc- 
tor's. The survivor, a maiden lady, has now to lament the 
double loss of two relatives, between whom and herself the 
strongest affection subsisted. 

About the age of eleven, it was young Wolcot's misfortune 
to lose his father. His tuition was soon after transferred from 
Mr. Morris to the Reverend Mr. Fisher, master of a grammar 
school at Bodmin, under whom he completed his classical 
education. With what attention he pursued his scholastic 
studies is unknown. He was accustomed, however, to de- 
scribe himself as having been a dull scholar, and to consider 
that for the learning he possessed he was more indebted to the 
unremitted attention of his masters, whom he always men- 
tioned with respect, than to his own inclination or assiduity. 
His propensity and superior abilities for composing verses 
were known, and confessed by his school competitors. The 
senior boys were occasionally required to translate their Latin 
themes into English verse, a species of exercise in which Wol- 
cot was so generally allowed to excel, that some of his com- 
panions gladly availed themselves of his assistance : this he 
willingly gave on condition that he might retain the copy he 
most approved. The following is an anecdote he was accus- 
tomed to relate of himself: by the desire of two fellow stu- 
dents he wrote their themes as he considered tolerably well, 
but intentionally rather worse than his own, to which he de- 
signed to impart more loftiness and dignity. Confident of a 
favourable result, at the hour of examination he presented 
his verses, but not only endured the mortification of hearing 
his rivals commended for what he had written, but his own 
were considered such pompous nonsense that, instead of gam- 
ing the applause anticipated, he received a flagellation. 

On leaving school, young Wolcot^^was removed to Fowey, 
« borough and sea-port on the coast of Cornwall, where he 

X 4 

312 Till. WOLCOT. 

had an uncle likewise of the medical profession, in good prac- 
tice and high repute. This gentleman, desirous that his 
nephew should add to his other acquirements a knowledge of 
the French tongue, sent him to France, where he resided 
a year or more, and fully attained the object of his journey. 
He then returned to his uncle, whose pupil he became for the 
space of seven years. During this period he is said to have 
applied himself to his professional studies with commendable 
diligence, and to have imbibed every information in his power, 
deduciblc from books and practice. He also sought oppor- 
tunities to gratify his naturally fervent passion for the Belles 
Lettres and fine arts, and availed himself of every occasion to 
peruse any works in the least connected with those subjects. 
His love for the Muses, however, was regarded with extreme 
jealousy, not only by his uncle, but also by two paternal 
aunts, who, although women of strong understandings, and 
literary acquirements, considered that the study of medicine 
■would contribute more to his advantage, and under this idea 
uniformly discouraged his favourite pursuits. At the expir- 
ation of his apprenticeship he came to London, for the pur- 
pose of passing through the usual hospital routine, and having, 
under the ablest professors, completed his medical studies, he 
returned to Fowey, and continued in successful practice until 
his departure for the West Indies. 

On the promotion of his friend, Sir William Trelawney, 
to the government of Jamaica, Wolcot expressed a desire to 
accompany him as his physician, which was readily complied 
with ; but previously to receiving the appointment, he under- 
went a strict and even severe examination by the celebrated 
Dr. Huxham, of Plymouth, at whose recommendation he re- 
ceived, in September, 1767> the degree of M. D. from the 
University of Aberdeen. Thus qualified, he embarked with 
Ins excellency and his suite, and on his arrival at Jamaica was 
appointed physician-general to the island ; a nomination said 
to convey greater honour than profit. Soon after this, he 
transferred his views from physic to divinity. The incumbent 
of a valuable living being dangerously ill. Sir William con- 

DR. WOLCOT. 313 

ceivcd that he could more cfTcctually promote his friend's in- 
terest in the church; he, therefore, advised his return to 
England to obtain orders, and for that purpose sent him to 
the Bishop of London. The doctor accordingly waited 
on that prelate, and having obtained ordination, speedily 
returned to the West Indies. But on his arrival he found 
that the rector was not merely alive but in improved 
health, while in liis patron he discerned symptoms of ap- 
proaching dissolution. Wolcot's disappointment, however, 
was somewhat alleviated by receiving the inferior living of 
Vere, in which he was allowed to place a curate; that he 
might continue his residence in the Government-house at 
Spanish-Town. By this arrangement the Governor both 
served his friend and secured to himself the society of a man 
who, to a very social disposition, united that wit, vivacity, 
and instruction, which ever rendered him the delight of his 
associates. Here he remained in the full enjoyment of every 
pleasure the island aiforded until his Excellency's demise, a 
catastrophe that at once annihilated all his prospects of pre- 
ferment in the West Indies. He had now but little induce- 
ment or desire to remain abroad, and being requested by 
Lady Trelawney, he accompanied her to England, where, 
soon after their arrival, she also died. The premature con- 
clusion of the doctor's foreign expectations makes it probable 
that, from his travels he derived little pecuniary benefit. But 
he certainly enjoyed the advantage of viewing nature in her 
more varied scenes, which, to an eye like his, vigilant and 
penetrating, must have proved of inestimable value. And 
from this arose some of his most pleasing poems, enriched 
with conceptions to which his mind might otherwise have ever 
remained insensible. 

Dr. Wolcot immediately retired to Cornwall and, his uncle 
being dead, established himself as a physician at Truro. In 
professional success, whether we contemplate his abilities or 
emoluments, he excelled all his predecessors in that county. 
At the same time he multiplied his friendships ; but from the 
quickness with which he discerned human weaknesses, and an 



unconquerable pioncness to pourtray them in colours of ridi- 
cule, lie was involved in many disputes which prevented his 
obtainino- that jrenei'^l esteem and admiration which his talents, 
if otherwise employed, would have infallibly secured. Of his 
provincial satires, but little is now known ; they were generally 
personal, but, on the whole, better calculated to excite laugh- 
ter than resentment. 

During the Doctor's residence at Truro, a celebrated com- 
poser, Mr. W. Jackson of Exeter, set some of his most de- 
lightful sonjTs to music, with his accustomed taste and feeling. 
The combined excellencies of the music and poetry attracted 
observation, and were deservedly admired. About this period 
also, the poet met with that surprising artist, John Opie, the 
son of a little carpenter, who, but for Wolcot's discernment 
and friendship would probably have never emerged from his 
native obscurity. 

" Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear, 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen. 
And waste its sweetness in the desert air/' Gray. 

Dr. Wolcot, at length, removed to Ilelstone, about seven- 
teen miles towards the lands-end, where he resumed his pro- 
fessional career. After an occasional contribution to periodical 
works for near twenty years, he now determined on trying the 
strength of his talents by the publication of some poems, the 
success of which should entirely depend on their merit. He 
first revealed his intentions by producing, in 1 778, " A poeti- 
cal, supplicating, modest, and affecting Epistle to those Lite- 
rary Colossuses, the Reviewers," which the " Fathers of 
Wisdom" noticed with respect, forgiving his satire for the 
sake of his wit. About the same period, he also published a 
poem entitled " The Noble Cricketers, a poetical and familiar 
Epistle addressed to two of the idlest Lords in His Majesty's 
three Kingdoms." This was treated with less lenity by the 
critics, and, as it was never included in any of the editions of 

DR. WOLCOT. 315 

his works, it may be presumed tliat he considered it would 
not add greatly to his fame. 

The young man, whom he had patronised, havin^r realised 
his most sanguine expectations, in 17S0, or the sprinrr of the 
following year, he quitted Cornwall and his practice, for the 
purpose of introducing the artist to the notice of the London 
connoisseurs. The poet and painter having arrived at the 
grand emporium of genius, each soon obtained an eminent 
degree of distinction. Opie had previously acquired reput- 
ation as an itinerant pourtrait painter, and had therefore only 
to perfect himself in an art for which nature had given him a 
strong predilection. His talents and strength of mind, aided 
by indefatigable exertion, shortly placed him in that exalted 
rank to which his works so justly entitle him. Wolcot, alive 
to every thing ludicrous, determined on being a satirist, and 
for a pursuit so congenial with his inclination, discerned in 
the metropolis exhaustless resources. He therefore bid a final 
adieu to both physic and divinity. 

His attention was at first naturally directed to the fine arts, 
and he conceived the novel design of writing poetical criticisms 
on the annual exhibition which was then rising into celebrity. 
Our bard accordingly commenced with a series of poems en- 
titled " Lyric Odes to the Iloyal Academicians, for 1782, by 
Peter Pindar, Esq. a distant relation of the poet of Thebes, 
and Laureat to the Academy." The highly flattering recep- 
tion with which these compositions were honoured, encouraged 
him to pursue his design, and the next year he wrote some 
" More Lyric Odes," which considerably enhanced his repu- 
tation. During the succeeding exhibition his muse was suf- 
fered to slumber, but in 1785 made ample reparation for her 
somnolency by producing no less than twenty-three odes, one 
of which was addressed to His Majesty with that uncourtly 
freedom which characterises most of his subsequent writings. 
The following year produced his " Farewell Odes," in whicii 
he took an ail'ectionate leave of the academic gentlemen. He 
now commenced a mock heroic poem, entitled the " Lousiad :" 
many of the dramatis persona; although caricatured, wer' 

316 DR. WOLCOT. 

probably drawn from nature, as he actually visited the royal 
kitchen incog. Although a determined enemy to excess of 
ministerial influence, and ever fond of exposing the follies of 
the great, Peter was a sincere admirer of monarchical govern- 
ment and the noble institutions of his country. A suspicion 
which prevailed, that he cntcitained democratical principles 
was supposed to have influenced him in his attack on the cele- 
brated Tom Paine. 

His popularity, and the fertility of his muse soon placed him 
in the road to fame and fortune. In 1 792, if not earlier, the pro- 
duce of his literary labours enabled him to effect a considerable 
purchase in the funds, notwithstanding his constant intercourse 
with the gay and fashionable world, and the unlimited ex- 
penses of such society. The love of pleasure, which, in him, 
was ever predominant, now veigned with little restriction ; but 
irregular living, could not be long supported without its usual 
baneful effects, and he was accordingly visited by a violent 
asthma, which threatened a speedy dissolution. The pro- 
bability of this, strange as it may appear, enlarged his income 
and contributed to the ease of his declining years. His fame 
and the partiality the public had shown for his works, made 
his booksellers desirous of securing the copyright. This the 
doctor was disposed to transfer, and would willingly have sold 
for four or five hundred pounds ; but under existing circum- 
stanceSf the purchasers preferred granting him an annuity, and 
accordingly, offered 250/. for life, stipulating that, in addition 
to the copyright, they should have the refusal of certain 
descriptions of his future compositions, a proposal to which 
the doctor ultimately acceded. This event, so important to 
his finances, occurred in 1793. In the course of the following 
year, he took chambers in the Middle Temple, and, shortly 
after, visited Devonshire to try if he could obtain relief from 
the salubrity of his native air, an experiment that was attended 
with the most happy effects. On returning, his renovated 
health surprised his publishers, who had reasonably antici- 
pated his journey " to that undiscovered country, from whose 
bourn no traveller returns." A suit at common law, followed by 

DR. WOLCOT. 317 

a bill in Chancery, ensued ; in both of which Peter proved vic- 
torious. The transaction altogether affords a singular and strik- 
ing example of the uncertainty of human calculations, for the 
^\'hole of the original purchasers quitted this mortal scene before 
the doctor on whose death they had so confidently speculated. 

Having now resolved to fix his abode in London, our poet 
disposed of his family freehold at Dodbrook. As this circum- 
stance is correctly related in a recent publication*, a short 
extract may be acceptable. " He, (Dr. W.,) always evinced 
an inherent love of his native spot, and at one period thought 
so seriously of building thereon, that he went so far as to have 
a plan, and estimate of the expense. By his own direction, 
the house was to consist of nine rooms, which drew from a 
friend the remark, that it was just one for each of the muses, 
and that the place ought to bear the name which has since been 
conferred upon it by the present owner. A few years, how- 
ever, so entirely changed his intentions, that not only he aban- 
doned the design of building, but, in 1795, disposed of the 
fee-simple to the late Reverend Nathaniel Wells, the husband 
of the lady who now possesses it, who took down most of the 
old fabric, and laid the foundation of the present mansion, which 
was ultimately finished by her, after her husband's death." 

To Dr. Wolcot's talents for the fine arts, allusion has been 
already made, but the specimens of his abilities were, hitherto, 
to be found only in the cabinets of his private friends. In 
1797, he appeared as a candidate for public patronage, both 
as a poet and painter. Having had a series of his landscapes 
engraved in aqua-tinta by Aiken, they were published with 
poetical allusions, under the appellation of " Picturesque 
Views." The principal productions of his pencil are executed 
in crayon, and, like most of his poems, have the strongest 
claims to originality. Though without pretensions to finishing, 
or the minutiae of the art, they must be regarded as vivid re- 
presentations of nature. He appears, indeed, to have only 
aimed at producing grandeur of effect, in which he happily 
succeeded by judicious and forcible contrasts. 

* History of Kingsbridge. 


Wc purposely pass over tlie unfortunate dispute with Mr. 
W. Gifford in 1800, and the trial for crim. con. in 1807, which 
have been alluded to in another place. 

In the latter part of his life, the doctor's literary pursuits 
were considerably impeded by the appearance of cataracts in 
both his eyes, whic(), though they did not wholly exclude 
light, prevented his reading, and so deprived him of one of 
his greatest pleasures. He had recourse to an amanuensis, 
in whose absence, however, he continued to write himself, till 
within a short period of his death. His method was to tear a 
sheet of paper into quarters, on each of which he wrote a 
stanza of four or six hues, according to the nature of the 
poem, the paper he placed on a book held in the left hand, 
and, in this manner, not only wrote legibly, but with great 
ease and celerity. 

In 1810, the subject of this memoir experienced a serious 
disiister, and narrowly escaped an untimely end, One of his 
servant's clothes took fire while in the room with him, of which 
accident he was not aware till apprised by her screams; she ran 
to the window, and was seen by a person passing in the street, 
who immediately alarmed the house. In the mean time, the 
doctor rendered such assistance as he was able, but before the 
fire could be subdued " poor Nell" was so much scorched as 
to occasion her death. His own hands were dreadfully burnt 
in attempting to extinguish the flames, and had his gown been 
of linen instead of woollen texture, he must have shared the 
unhappy fate of his attendant. At the time of this catastrophe 
he resided in Howland-Strcet, Tottenham-Court -Road; but 
soon after removed to Somers-Town, 

As the infirmities of age grew upon him, Dr. Wolcot be- 
came more and more desirous to withdraw from the fashion- 
able and busy world. Notwithstanding his former fondness 
for society, he now rarely went out, and had but little desire 
for company. The private reason he assigned for declining 
dinner invitations was " to avoid the danger of loading his 
stomach with more than nature required." In his retirement 
he observed that rcaularitv and abstemiousness which every 


man, who July appreciates tin? value of life, fnnU iudis- 
pensible. He continued, however, to be visited by persons of 
the highest rank and talents, and though glad to sec or hear of 
his friends, he Avas most pleased with short visits, and seldom 
at home to idle intruders. 

Dr. Wolcot's habits, though regular, were rather peculiar ; 
for he seldom retired to rest belbre midnight, and rarely rose 
until afternoon. He first amused himself with his violins, or, 
as well as his sight would permit, in examining his crayons 
and pictures. Of the latter he had a small but choice collec- 
tion, which included a few by Wilson, his favourite master in 
the landscape department. The greatest portion of liis time, 
however, was devoted to his Muse; and such was the industry 
and fertility of his imagination, that he has left manuscripts 
nearly equal, in quantity, to his published works. 

Thus, after moving for years in the gayest circles, Peter 
Pindar contentedly retired from pleasures he was no longer 
able to enjoy ; and by his intellectual resources afforded a 
striking example of the benefits attending a cultivated under- 
standing, when its possessor is overtaken by bodily infirmities. 
He constantly advised young people to lurnish their minds 
with knowledge, and pointedly observed, that by so doing 
they created a bank from which they might draw in old age, 
and secure an enjoyment independent of the fickleness of 
friendship. His own security, however, was sometimes dis- 
composed by an irritable disposition and great distrust. The 
former he endeavoured to controul, as he conceived a disturbed 
mind the primary cause of most maladies, and was, therefore, 
desirous to preserve his own in a tranquil state: with regard 
to the latter, his intercourse with the world had been verv 
considerable during a long and chequered existence ; he had 
associated with all classes, and when he coolly reflected on the 
sordid views by which human pursuits are usually guided, he 
conceived of mankind in general a most unfavourable opinion. 
It must be admitted that he frequently laboured under strong 
prejudices, and after his sentiments were once formed they 
were rarely known to change. He wns not, however, so far 

520 DR. WOLCOT. 

opiniative as to think meanly of another's judgment, because 
differing from his, but rather wished every one should re- 
tain his own persuasion, and readily acknowledged his own 

A desire to recover his lost sight, strengthened by the ad- 
vice of some friends, induced our bard, in 181 4, to undergo 
the operation of couching. Sir William Adams was consulted, 
and from the favourable opinion he expressed of the pro- 
bability of success, he was allowed to operate on the right 
eye, in which vision was most obscured. But the experiment 
completely failed, and the eye became totally dark ; the doctor 
was, therefore, deterred from undergoing a second operation. 
He now became more abstracted, and wholly discontinued to 
visit; but received a few friends at home, who were enter- 
tained with his former wit and vivacity ; an increasing deaf- 
ness, however, rendered much conversation fatiguing. 

His interest in politics was unabated, and as he continued 
to write, he occasionally gratified the public with a new poem. 
Excepting fugitive pieces, his last work was an " Epistle to 
the Emperor of China," occasioned by the uncourtly recep- 
tion Lord Arnherst experienced in his late disastrous embassy. 
Various poetasters having endeavoured to impose on the pub- 
lic by assuming his popular signature, it was deemed expedient 
to affix his real as well as poetical name. But this precaution 
was necessary only so far as to guard against purchasing the 
impostors' publications, as Peter's readers could soon discover 
his original style and humour in the ironical strain with which 
the author eulogises the modern mania for Chinese frivolity. 

During the excessive heat which occurred in August, 18^18, 
the doctor took to his bed, which he never expected to leave; 
he felt his strength decaying, and became resigned to the 
dispensations of Providence. Having determined on the dis- 
posal of his property, he dictated a short will, in which he 
directed his musical instruments, (excepting a piano forte) 
pictures, prints, crayon drawings, and two folio copies of 
Shakspeare, to be sold. He bequeathed a few pecuniary lega- 
cies to friends, and his furniture, piano forte, and 110/. to one 

i)R. woicor. 3 '21 

s>frvant, and 50/. to the other. * Such was the nicety of his 
lionoiir with regard to the just settlement of his debts, that 
he desired a sum of five pounds, formerly borrowed, niiirht 
be repaid, if, on enquiry, it should appear to be still 
owing. He also directeil an old {)icture by lluysdale, then 
in his possession, but not his property, to be returned to the 
owner; and left instructions for 50/. to be paid each of liis 
executors. The residue he intended for his sister, whom, 
as the only surviving relative of near affinity, lie considered 
the most equitable inheritor. During the months of October 
and November lie considerably recovered, and at intervals 
his manuscripts were brought to his bed-side, and cursorily 
examined, when he directed several, which he intended 
should never meet the public eye, to be destroyed. In De- 
cember he grew much weaker, and, having become quite 
helpless, lie with calmness and resignation patiently waited 
for that event he had so much reason to expect. Notwith- 
standing he had himself been a successful practitioner, he had 
little faith in medicine. The day preceding his death he 
took, as he considered, a final farewell of soidc fiiends, and 
the next morning, Thursday, the Ikh January, 1S19, ex- 
pired about ten o'clock, with such perfect ease, that his attend- 
ants knew not the exact moment. 

Thus closed the long and eccentric career of one of the 
most original poets England has produced. Many of his 
poems evince a sound and cultivated understanding, profound 
knowledge of the world, combined with a consummate and 
keen penetration into the human heart. He possessed great 
command of language; a strong and luminous mind, enriched 
by study, and replete with images drawn from nature. His 
ideas were exuberant, original, and ingenious; and though 
more frequently ludicrous than sublime, his reflections and 
conclusions will generally be found true. 

* The two executors nominated by Dr. Wolcot were, Jolin Taylor, Esq. anil Mr. 
Francies, colourinan in Long Acre. Tl\e former having declined acting ; on the latter, 
wlio, we believe, is residuary legaife, has of course devolved tiie sole and entire ina* 
iiageme nt of the personal euate of \hc testator. Mr. Taylor aiiended him alinosl to 
{lis last moments, and probably heard his last words. — Ed. 


322 DR. WOLCOT. 

Although his wit was often tainted with vulgarity, he rarely 
offended the ears of the fair sex, in whose society lie was care- 
ful to observe the strict bounds of propriety. He always pro- 
fessed himself their warm admirer, and by his afiability and 
politeness gained an unusual share of their partiality and 
esteem. Notwithstanding his attachment to their company, 
lie was never married. He confessed himself to have been 
often captivated, and once thought so seriously of settling, as 
to make proposals. His offers were favourably received, but 
his inamorata required time for consideration, and by her 
delay lost her lover, as he changed his mind, and omitted to 
renew his application. In the latter part of his life he spoke 
of this event with great satisfaction, and considered that he 
had had a narrow, but fortunate escape. 

Our poet was not only master of the French, Latin, and 
Greek tongues, but likewise possessed some acquaintance with 
the Italian language. 

In addition to his acknowledged genius for poetry and paint- 
ing, his musical talents exceeded mediocrity. He was not mci*e- 
ly a respectable amateur performer, but composed melodies to 
several of his songs, which were favourably received, and sub- 
sequently pubhshed with accompaniments by an eminent pro- 
fessor. He possessed a general knowledge of the charac- 
teristic qualities of the most distinguished composers, and could 
speak with fluency and correctness on their principal works. 

It is but justice to add, that he was not without a sense of 
religion ; for few men ever conceived a more sublime idea of 
the Divine Being, as observable in the universe, or surveyed 
his marvellous works with more reverential awe. The follow- 
ing was his principal, if not only, prayer, which he considered 
sufficiently comprehensive, and repeated in a manner pecu- 
liarly emphatical : « The Lord gave, and the Lord taketh 
away, blessed be the name of the Lord." 

The liberties he took with our venerable sovereign, are 
such as will scarcely admit of extenuation. In a conversation 
with the writer hereof, who questioned him respecting those 
freedoms, he replied, " I confess there exists this difference 

DR. WOLCOT. 323 

between us, the king has been a good subject to me, but I have 
been a had subject to His Majesty." In respect to his face and 
person, while young, Dr. Wolcot had the appearance of 
being old ; but when old, became somewhat handsome. To 
appearance, he suffered little from age, and, for a long time, 
the cataracts were not conspicuous ; but after the experiment 
of couching his eye sunk, and the fine uniformity of his features 
fell a sacrifice to the operation. 

Although but a short period has elapsed since the death 
of our bard, yet his countrymen are not unmindful of his 
merits. It is proposed that Devonshire shall honour her 
Wolcot, as Lichfield did Johnson. Accordingly, the ad- 
mirers of our poet have already commenced a subscription to 
perpetuate his memory by erecting a cenotaph in the church 
of Dodbrook, the place that gave him birth. 

List of Dr. Wolcot* s Works. 

1. A Supplicating Epistle to the Reviewers, 4to. 1778. 

2. The Noble Cricketers. 4to. 

Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians, for 1 782. 4to. 

4. More Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians, for 1 783. 

5. Lyric Odes for 1785. 4to. 

6. Farewell Odes for 1786. 4to. 

7. The Lousiad, an Heroi-comic Poem, in five Cantos. 4to. 

8. A Congratulatory Epistle to James Boswell, Esq. 4to. 

9. Bozzy and Piozzi, or the British Biographers. 4 to. 

10. Ode upon Ode, or a Peep at St. James's, &c. 4to. 

11. An Apologetic Postscript to Ode upon Ode. 4to. 

12. Instructions to a celebrated Laureat, &c. 4to. 

13. Brother Peter to Brother Tom, an Expostulatory 
Epistle. 4to. 

14. Peter's Pension, a Solemn Epistle to a Sublime Per- 
sonage. 4to. 

15. Peter's Prophecy, or the President and Poet, &c. 4to. 

16. Sir Joseph Banks and the Emperor of Morocco, a 
Talc. 4to. 

V 2 

321 DR. WOLCOT. 

1 7. A Poetical Epistle to a Fallen Minister, &c. 4lo. 
IS. Subjects for Painters. 4to. 

19. Expostulatory Odes to a Great Duke and a Little 
Lord. -tto. 

20. A benevolent Epistle to Sylvanus Urban, alias Master 
John Nichols, Censor-General of Literature, &c. 4to. 

21. A Rowland for an Oliver, or a Poetical Answer to 
the Benevolent Epistle of Mr. Peter Pindar, &c. 4to. 

22. Advice to the future Laureat, an Ode. 4to. 

23. A Complimentary Epistle to James Bruce, Esq, the 
Abyssinian Traveller. 4to. 

24. The Rights of Kings, or Loyal Odes to Disloyal Aca- 
demicians. 4to. 1791. 

25. Odes to Mr. Paine, Author of « Rights of Man," &c. 
4 to. 

26. The Remonstrance, &c. 4to. 

27. A Commiserating Epistle to James Lowther, Earl of 
Lonsdale, &c. 4to. 

28. More Money ! or Odes of Instruction to Mr. Pitt. 4to. 

29. Odes of Importance. 4 to. 

30. The Tears of St. Margaret, &c. 4 to. 

31. A Pair of Lyric Epistles to Lord Macartney, and his 
Ship. 4to. 

32. Odes to Kien Long, Emperor of China, &c. 4to. 

33. A Serious, and possibly Impertinent Epistle to the 
Pope. 4 to. 

34. Pathetic Odes. 4to. 1794. 

35. Celebration ; or the Academic Procession to St. James's. 

4to. 1794. 

36. Hair Powder ; a Plaintive Epistle to Mr. Pitt, &c. 

37. Pindariana; or Peter's Portfolio. 4to. 1794. 

38. The Royal Tour, and Weymouth Amusements. 4to. 

39. The Convention Bill, an Ode. 4to. 1 795. 

40. Liberty's last Squeak, &c. 4to. 1795. 

41. The Royal Visit to Exeter. 4to. 1795. 

42. One thousand seven hundred and Jiincty-six, a Satire. 
4to. 1797. 

DR. woLcoT. ■ 325 


43. An Ocic tq the Livery of London. 4to. 1797. 

-14. Picturesque Views, with Poetical Allusions, fo. 1797* 

iifj. Out at last ! or the Fallen Minister. 4to. 

46. Nil Admirari, or a Smile at a Bishop, &c. 4to. 

47. Lord Auckland's Triumph, or the Death of Crim. 
Con. 4to. 1800. 

48. Odes to Ins and Outs. 4to. 

49. Tales of the Hoy. 4 to. 

50. Tears and Smiles. 8vo. 

51. A Poetical Epistle to Benjamin Count Rumford, &c. 
4to. 1801. 

52. The Island of Innocence. 4to. 1 802. 

53. The Middlesex Election. 4to. 1802. 
54-. Pitt and his Statue, &c. 4 to. 

55. The Horrors of Bribery, 4to. 

56. Great Cry and Little Wool, &c. 4to. 1804. 

57. An Instructive Epistle to John Perring, Esq. Lord 
Mayor of London. 4to. 1804. 

58. Tristia, or the Sorrows of Peter. 8vo. 1 806. 

59. The Fall of Portugal, or the Royal Exiles, a Tragedy. 
Svo. 1 808. 

Written in conjunction mth a friend. 

60. One more Peep at the Royal Academy. 4to. , 

61. A Solemn, Sentimental and Reprobating Epistle to 
Mr^. Clark. 4to. 1809. 

62. Carlton House Fete, &c. 4to. 1811. 

68. Anticipation, or the Prize Address to be delivered at 
die Opening of Drury-Lane Theatre. 4to. 1812. 

64. A Most Solemn and Important Epistle to the Emperor 

of China. 4to. 1817. 

Dr. Wolcot also superintended an edition of Pilkiugton's 
Dictionary of Painters, and compiled a selection of the 
" Beauties of English Poetry." 

y 3 


No. XII. 


1 HIS singular being seemed more properly to appertain to the 
last than to the present age, in every thing — character, dress, 
manners, and pursuits. He came into the world at a time when 
vertu was held in great estimation in England, and while the 
name of Sir Hans Sloane was still treated with a high degree of 
respect, as a collector of every rare and curious production of 
nature. To this school he appertained; notwithstanding he 
superadded a taste for the fine arts, and to the pursuits con- 
nected with both dedicated a long life and ample fortune. 
Close application and great sacrifices enabled him to emulate 
the late Duchess Dowager of Portland in England, and 
M. Lionette in Holland ; and, as he survived them both, his 
collection became enriched with their spoils, and dignified with 
their choicest acquisitions. 

An acquaintance of above fourteen years' duration, originally 
produced through the intervention of a very amiable nobleman, 
who had long known him, in addition to frequent and recipro- 
cal visits, enabled the writer of this article to contemplate at 
leisure, and almost in every possible attitude, the singular olcl 
man whom he now endeavours to pourtray. He has known him 
both in opulence and in poverty ; he has beheld him, at one time 
rolling in riches, and at another visited him in a jail, where he 
was subjected to the lot of the meanest of mortals, after having 
lived with the primati both of his own and foreign nations. Of 
the life and adventures of this eccentric personage, he was 
accustomed to take notes in his presence, and with his full 
approbation ; indeed, he always seemed highly flattered v/ith 


ihis circumstance, which he deemed a mark of particular 

Henry Constantino Jennings, the only son of 

Jennings, esquire, of Shiphikc, in the county of Oxford, was 
born hi 1731, O. S. He descended from a very ancient and, 
indeed, a very illustrious family, which claimed its origin from 
William Moritaente, Earl of Salisbury, and reckoned Richard 
Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, among its progeni- 
tors. While speaking on this subject, he was accustomed to 
be very high and lofty, and always treated the present 
Marquis of Hastings, and his uncle, the Earl of Huntingdon, 
as junior and comparatively obscure branches of his family ! 

Certain it is, that the Jenningses of Sandridge, near St. 
Albans, whom Coxe, in his recent biographical * work, 
mentions with high respect, on account of their distin- 
guished lineage, were of the same race. The beautiful 
and high-minded Sarah Jennings, afterwards the celebrated 
Duchess of Marlborough, whose talents and whose charms 
enabled her to govern a queen of England and the hero of 
Europe at the same time, always termed the elder Mr. 
Jennings her cousin. " My father," observed the son, while 
speaking on this subject, " was one of her members of par- 
liament ; she bequeathed him 20,000/. in one of her many 
wills, some of which were printed ; but he died before her, and 
it became a lapsed legacy. She was a clever jade, and I," 
added he, in his usual blunt manner, " only wonder that she 
did not leave the money to me !" f 

There can be no manner of doubt of these facts, which have 
been lately confirmed, indeed, from the most respectable 
authority. In a recent communication with one of the 

* Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough, with his original correspondence, 
t In his old age, the great Duke of Miulhorougli adighted to have plays performed 
jn his presence, at Blenheim. We find, ihat in "All for Love, or ilie WorM 
Well Lost," the character of Ventidius was supported by " old Mr. Jennings," wliom 
we lake to have been the grandfather of the subject of this memoir. We also learn 
tliat " Mrs. Jeimings" was a visitor tlierc. — See Coxe's Memoirs of John Duke of 
JMarlbuiough, vol, iii, 

Y I 


Marlborough family, this very subject happened incidentally 
to be mentioned, and the alliance was not disowned. 

Henry Jennings, at an early age, was sent to Westminster 
school for liis education. Dr. NichoUs, at that time, was head 
master; and of his class-fellows he was accustomed to state, 
that they all turned out remarkable men : Mr. Hastings, Sir 
Elijah Impey, an Earl of Buckinghamshire, and, if we mistake 
not, cither Churchill or Lloyd, or both, were usually enu- 
merated in this catalogue. A former Duke of Richmond was 
at school at the same time, but he did not appertain to these. 
While at this celebrated seminary, the subject of our memoir 
acquired a fine taste for the classics : this was accompanied, at 
the same time, with a very laudable proficiency ; and neither 
of these qualifications ever forsook him, at any time, through 
the whole of a very long and protracted life. 

At the age of seventeen, Mr. Jennings obtained a commis- 
sion in the Jst regiment of foot-guards. At that period 
( 1 718), the mall in St. James's Park had a large iron ring at 
one end of it, for playing the game which gave rise to the 
appellation by which this fine walk is still designated. This 
diversion has long ceased to be practised in England, and was, 
indeed, introduced from the Continent, where it is still in 
vogue, pai-ticularly in Germany. A kind of club-stick is em- 
ployed on this occasion ; and the grand contest is, who shall first 
drive the wooden ball through the iron circle, an event which 
constitutes the victor. At the same period, according to the 
testimony of our informant, after the lapse of far more than 
half a century, St. James's Park exhibited a very different 
appearance from what it assumes at present. It was mostly 
under water, out of which arose several duck islands; and 
there was a house of entertainment, where company Avere 
accustomed to drink tea, and amuse themselves' on holidays. 

Our young ensign did not long wear his fine rich regimental 
coat, which, at that period, was nearly all covered with gold 
lace, like the present full dress, and cost 40/. or 50/. He 
resigned in consequence of some " innovations" on the part of 


ft prince of the blood, whom he was accustomed to characterise 
as follows: " The Culloden Duke of Cumberland was a great 
i''%) — ^ Martinet, — very disagreeable and troublesome to 
the young ollicers of that day, by his regulations, his alterations, 
and his frequent changes. However, after the afl'air at Closter- 
Scvcn, when lie had, for the first time, tasted of adversity, he 
began to think for himself, and ever after continued a great 

Mr. Jennings was now sent abroad on his travels, and, not 
content with a partial view of foreign countries, resolved to 
make the grand tour of Europe. This occupied a long period ; 
for it appears, from a note, that after residing some time in 
France, he crossed the Alps, and spent eight whole years in 
Italy, three of which were passed at Rome. In company 
with Lord Mount-Hermor, only son of the Duke of Mon- 
tague, he afterwards visited Sicily. Of this young nobleman 
he was always accustomed to speak with the highest possible 
Vlegree of love, respect, and admiration. His praises were 
uttered with a kind of rapture not easily to be described ; and 
seldom could he mention his name, in after life, unaccom- 
panied with a tear, which stole down his furrowed cheek, and 
marked the sincerity as well as constancy of his friendship I 
He alone, was allowed to rival and even to excel himself in 
respect to a knowledge of the fine arts. " Mount-Hermor 1" 
he was accustomed to exclaim, " possessed a certain inde- 
scribable tad — he could discern the merits of a fine pic- 
ture at a single glance — he could discriminate an original 
statue at first view — I never yielded to anyone but him — 
but, alas ! he is no more ; he was snatched from his family 
and from me, while a very young man — and I have never 
since been able to find a sincere friend and confidential ad- 
viser I" This recognition did honour to the feelings of the 

While in Italy, Mr. .lennings formed, or rather, perhaps, 
renewed his ac(iuaintancc with the late Duke of Marlborough, 
then Marquis of Blandford. The latter travelled in a grand 
style, and .'^ccmcd to poi^sc^:^ an unlimitctl power from hi« 



father to draw on England for any sums he plouscd. At 
Genoa, he expended 6000/. in velvet hangings, which were 
sent home; and, if we are not greatly misinformed, the world 
is indebted to his cousin for the the first hint of " the Marl- 
borough gems." Mr. Jennings suggested the idea of the 
cabinet of antiques, the precious contents of which were after- 
wards engraved by Bartalozzi ; and one of the few volumes 
ever printed, was presented as an acknowledgment to the sxibject 
of the present memoir. According to his testimony, the found- 
ation of this rich collection was laid, with a total disregard to 
expense, two fine specimens obtained at Rome, having cost 
1200/., and two at Venice, 150/. each. 

It was about the same period, doubtless, that Mr. Jennings, 
with a less extensive fortune, but still greater zeal, was ino- 
culated with the prevalent passion of that day ; a passion for 

WTiile at Rome, our connoisseur commenced his first col- 
lection, and ever after obtained the coarse and vulgar name of 
" Dog * Jennings," in consequence of a little anecdote, which 
shall be here faithfully detailed in nearly his own words, from 
a short note : " I happened one day to be strolling along the 
streets of Rome, and perceiving the shop of a statuary, in an 
obscure street, I entered it, and began to look around for any 
curious production of art. I at length perceived something 
uncommon at least ; but being partly concealed behind a heap 
of rubbish, I could not contemplate it with any degree of ac- 
curacy. After all impediments had been at length removed, 
the marble statue I had been poking for was dragged into 
open day — it proved to be a huge but fine dog — and a fine 
dog it was, and a lucky dog was I to discover and to purchase 
it. On turning it round I perceived it was without a tail — this 
gave me a hint. I also saw, that the limbs were finely pro- 
portioned ; that the figure was noble ; that the sculpture, in 
short, was worthy of the best age of Athens ; and that it must 

* As tliis appcUaiiuii liisgasleil liiiii, I was uccu^touied lu call him " AlcibiaJes 
Jennings;" a compliinenl iliai graiificJ liim cxtecdiiiK')'. 



be coeval with Alcibiadcs, whose favourite dog it certainly 

" I struck a bargain instantly on the spot, for 400 scudi ; 
and as the muzzle alone was somewhat damaged, I paid the 
artist a trifle more for repairing it. It was carefully packed, 
and being sent to England after mc, by the time it reached 
my house in Oxfordshire, it had just cost me 80/. I wish all 
my other bargains had been like it; for it was exceedingly ad- 
mired, as I well knew it must be by the connoisseurs, by more 
than one of whom I was bid 1000/. for my purchase. In 
truth, by a person sent, I believe, from Blenheim, I was 
offered 1 4)00/. But I would not part with my dog ; I had 
bought him for myself, and I liked to contemplate his fine 
proportions, and admire him at my leisure, for he was doubly 
dear to me, as being my own property, and of my own se- 
lection." The unlucky f,nale of the history of this favourite 
dog shall be mentioned hereafter. 

Mr. Jennings, on his arrival in England, repaired to his 
fine seat at Shiplake, which had descended to him by the 
death of his father, and resided there for some time. It was 
seated in a delightful part of the country, with the Thames 
meandering along the side of his garden. Part of this had been 
laid out by his predecessor as a vineyard; and he assured 
me, that it proved so productive that he made from ten to 
fifteen hogsheads of claret yearly from its fruit. It must be 
confessed, that it is scarcely possible to conceive such a vintage 
in England. The late Mr. Bond Hopkins, indeed, afterwards 
tried the same experiment in Surrey, under very favourable 
circumstances, but without success ; and whoever has beheld 
the vineyards extending from within a few miles of Rouen, in 

* The story Is thus told by Plutarcli, witli liis usual stmpliciiy : 
" Alcibiades had a dog of an uncommon size atid beauty, v.liich cost hltn seventy 
mince, and yet his tall, whicli was his principal ornameni, lie caused to be cut off. Some 
of his acquaintance found great fault with his aciing so strangely, and told him, that all 
Athens rung with the foolish story of i\is treatment of thodo- ; at which hi- laughed and 
said,." This is the very thing I wanted ; for 1 v-ould iiavc the Athenians talk of this, 
lest they should find soinclhhig worse lo say ul nic" 

Laimlioitit'b Tiaiis. vol. ii. p. 109. 


Normandy, to the plain of St. Dciiys, near Paris, must know 
that they are miserably deficient both in point of quantity 
and quality. On candidly stating this objection to Mr. Jen- 
nings, he endeavoured to solve one paradox by means of 
another ; " our grapes were ripened by the reflection of the 
sun from the river !" 

As he kept a good house, and was surrounded by several 
packs of hounds, the gentlemen in the field rode frequently 
up, when fatigued, and demanded a draught of beer. But it 
was Impossible for the butler to grant the supply fast enough, 
and some accordingly went away without any refreshment. 
To rescue his hospitality from such a disgrace, our antiquary 
ordered a large mahogany pail, encircled by brass hoops, to 
be constructed immediately; and by means of this device was 
enabled to supply the whole hunt at once. * 

He complained one day bitterly, that His Majesty with the 
V royal hounds, having come to Shiplake, enquired for the 
owner by the name of " Dog Jennings," and thus christened 
him for life ; but the latter part of the story is not likely to be 
coiTcct, as the favourite of Alcibiadcs, had been then for 
many years in his possession. 

The present is, perhaps, the proper place to mention a new 
species of eccentricity, that had nearly brought ruin on the 
subject of the present memoir. This was the turf, — and 
yet of all the men in England, he must be allowed to have 
been the least qualified for such a pursuit. Plain, open, can- 
did, ingenuous, as he is represented to have been at that 
period, he was but little fitted for the wiles and tricks of Epsom 
and Newmarket. The event fully justifies the supposition, 
that he must have been the dupe of his own jockeys, and the 
prey of most, if not all, his adversaries. 

Mr. Jennings commenced his 'operations with considerable 
ecldi, and selected the late Duke of Queensbury and the Earl 
of Abingdon as his opponents. With the former of these, he 

* The j)dil ai iliis luumcut, lUnJs umltr ilic tideboanl of ilic wiilcr of tlic present 
article. Ti wao lueiciited him l)y Mi. Jennings in rcUiin for a series of Friiith rnedils 
in l>ron/c. 


entered into engagements to a considerable amount on t!>e 
wuhopped foals of certain mares, to be respectively named 
by them, the match to be " play or pay." One promimiit 
leatme of his life, was the purchase of the famous Chillaby, 
about the time of which we now treat. This horse came 
originally from Bombay, and was bought out of an East India- 
man, for 300 guineas from the captain, who asserted that he 
had been once sold, in his native country, for 4000/., a cir- 
cumstance to which his purchaser gave ample credit. This 
gentleman owned, in 1805, that he had spent a considerable 
portion of one of his estates, (about 10,000/.) on this specu- 
lation ; " but he had since discovered, that Chillaby was not 
of the right Bagdat breed ; in short, my dear sir," added lie, 
" lie was jiot a true Capadocian ; for you must know, that Ca- 
padocia possessed the fleetest horses, in the time of the Ro- 
mans." Yet this was a noble-looking animal, although uncom- 
monly fierce. He was, therefore, always obliged to be muzzled 
when he went out, and, in addition to this precaution, he was 
constantly attended by a couple of grooms, each holding a 
rope fastened to his head, to prevent accident. One of these 
having dropped the fastening, in his fright, the stallion im- 
mediately ran at the other, and felled him to the ground wiiji 
his two fore feet, notwithstanding which the Yorkshireman, 
(for he was of tlie true northern breed) took him back to the 
stable without help, calmly observing, that he could not treat 
liim much worse.* 

Mr. Jennings now took a house in Essex, with eighty ad- 
joining acres of land, for Chillaby and his breeding marcs. 
But, alas ! he was beaten at every race, and " bubbled" in 
every bett. Deserted by his confederates, overcome by his 
antagonists, and cheated by his servants, he was at length 
obliged to offer for sale, his fine Dorsetshire estate, containing 
about three or four thousand aores. This threw him into the 
hands of the land-jobbers, and between these and the jobbers 

* Chillaby was afterwards purchased for a trifle, anil so completely tamed by HiigliM, 
that lie aeiuilly exhibited him at the Circus in Si. George's Fields, with a little boy 
oil his ba(k. 


on the turf, his fortune was dissipated, his life harassed, and 
himself rendered completely miserable. And yet he preserved 
no rancour in his mind, and never appeared in the least vin- 
dictive in his resentments. On the contrary, I have heard 
him describe the character of a nobleman, who got many thou- 
sand pounds of his money, with a degree of liberality truly 
surprising. " Queensbury," observed he, one day, " was 
always honourable in his betts, and a far better jockey than 
any of us. He never hedged) but went through with every 
thins. " * 

* The Duke of Queensbury, at lengtli, forsook the tw/, notwithstanding liis great 
success. Tlie following account of this singular nobleman, towards the conclusion of his 
days, has been derived from an authentic source. " His Grace, during the latter part of 
his life, on eating liis breakfast, was placed on a settee, exactly facing his easternmost 
parlour window, in Piccadilly, wiiich was guarded from the sun by a viranJa without, and 
a blind, occasionally let down, within. Behind him stood a nomendator, during the 
whole forenoon, to announce the names of such of his friends as might pass by, to whom 
lie frequently sent out messages, invitations, &c. many of them, when in haste, ac- 
cordingly avoided to walk that way. Young Retford was at the same time constantly on 
horseback, parading up and down, to convey letters. He had » report from Bow Street 
daily ; and the late Aaron Graham, Esq. called on him every Sunday, with a summary. 

" At eight, he was carried to dinner, whence he returned in an liour to his former 
station, where, in letter days, he had espied the ladies, as they walked alone : 

* Non immemor veteris vestigia flammae.' 

•' The duke's mind was obliged, from vacuity perhaps, to recur to this meclianical 
impulse, for he once said ' that he never read but two publications, and the one was an 
almanack, and the other a newspaper.' His physician {Pere Elise) endeavoured to keep 
lilm alive by means of warm baths, into which he was put during many hours, three 
times In the week. 

" His charities were very considerable, and he himself not only gave something to 
every applicant, but was accustomed to say, that it was the fault of Dubois his ralet, 
or some of his servants, if any one went away without tasting his bounty. 

** To an old man and old woman in the vicinity of Piccadilly, he gave seven shillings 
a week each, with the benefit of survivorship, and the dowager, who sells greens, is 
now actually alive, and enjoys her fourteen shillings a week. 

" His head or lodi/ coachman, who had been with him from a boy, is supposed to 
have been literally forgotten in the will ; for he left his horses and carriages to Retford 
the head groom, together with an annuity of lool. per annum, and also obtained a 
promise from the Prince of Wales, which has been since complied with, that he and 
bis three sons should be taken into his Royal Highness's service. The horses were 
sold, but the carriages proved so little in the present taste, that but a scanty sum was 
obtained for them. The plate, on the other hand, was magnificent, and replete with 
taste and decorations : this was piled up, £ifter his decease, in pyramids. The duke bad 
become very deaf, towards his latter end, and constantly made use of an ear trumpet. 

•' The Prince of Wales and Lord Yarmouth, went into his chamber soon after his 
demise, and came out with wel eyes." 


Mr. Jennings now retired into the country, and livetl with 
a degree of obscurity and economy, corresponding with his 
ruined condition. Ail his former habits were suddenly changed. 
He withdrew himself from the chess club in St. James's 
Street, where Phillidor presided, and the company frequenting 
it, in whose society he had formerly taken so much delight. 
He also struck his name out of the jockey club at Newmarket, 
notwithstanding which he ha3 a kind of hankering after the 
turf, almost to the very day of his death. At the age of se- 
venty-six, he observed it was " a very very knowing thing ;" 
and when the " rich Mr. Jennings," as he called him, was in 
search of an heir, and demanded " if he could have his estates 
back again, would he ever frequent the turf?" he drily replied, 
" it was impossible to tell." 

Soon after this, we find the subject of this memoir a prisoner 
in the King's Bench. He was there in 1777-8, at the same 
time with Mr. Home Tooke. This led to an acquaintance 
between these singular men ; and so clear was his memory, in 
1804, after the lapse of near thirty years, that he sent a mes- 
sage by a common friend to Wimblqdon, reminding his old 
acquaintance that he had lent him a book (a volume of the 
History of England), when they were both prisoners together, 
and the whole had in consequence remained incomplete to that 
very day. Mr. Tooke acknowledged the charge to be true. 

A sudden change of fortune appears to have taken place ; 
for soon after, we find Mr. Jennings, not only liberated from 
thraldom, but once more settled in Essex, collecting objects of 
vertii, with all that enthusiasm usually displayed by a person of 
his ardent temperament. Books, manuscripts, shells, pictures, 
prints, busts, together with many thousand rare specimens of 
natural history, were purchased by him, and arranged in due 
order on his shelves. He had now seemingly attained once 
more to the very acme of prosperity, when an event unexpect- 
edly occurred that levelled him again in the dust. 

The late Mr. Chase Price, a man celebrated for his wit and 
conviviality, through the interest of his friends had obtained 
the lucrative office of Receiver-General of South Wales. As 


lie had large balances in his hand, and Government was at 
that period culpably negligent as to the arrears of the servants 
of the Crown, Mr. Price, with his usual good nature^ lent con- 
siderable sums of the public money to those whom he esteemed. 
Among others, 1600/. were advanced to Mr. Jennings, and a 
much larger sum to the Duke of Portland. On the sudden 
death of this gentleman, an enquiry was made into his affairs ; 
and on its being discovered that our naturalist was one of his 
debtors, aw extent of the Cro'wn in aid was immediately issued 
against his property ; and while the nobleman in question 
escaped a measure so obnoxious, it was carried into eflect 
against him, and that too with such a degree of rigour, that a 
late act of parliament has been passed for the express purpose 
of preventing a repetition of similar grievances. 

At this unfortunate period, he was confined to his bed by a 
severe attack of the gout, and totally unable to move. The 
late Mr. Christie of Pall-mall, however, was sent for, and he 
valued the property at 25,000/. Under the hammer of 
another auctioneer, however, coupled with a variety of unfor- 
tunate circumstances, the whole only produced a very trifling 
portion of that sum. 

On this occasion, he was obliged to part with all that was 
most dear to him in life. The dojr of Alcibiades, which has 
been since mentioned with applause by Horace Walpole, was 
sold to Mr. Buncombe, then knight of the shire for the count v 
of York, and is still to be seen at his seat there. His fine bust 
of Alexander, valued at 300 guineas, was disposed of to Lord 
Stormont for fifty. Most of his select books were purchased 
for the royal library. Soon after this, we actually find him an 
inmate of Chelmsford jail ! 

In 179l% the following account of this singular man, written 
by Mr. Pigott, a gentleman who, like himself, had fallen a 
martyr to the turf, was published : — 

" Chillaby Jennings, the unfortunate gentleman who is the 
subject of this article, was a member of the real Jockey Club, to 
whose insatiate avarice and barbarity he fell a sacrifice. With 
genius and talents far superior to what the generality of men 


could boast, with a spirit of liberality and honour which they 
never felt, he was utterly unacquainted with the secret ma- 
noeuvres and complicated mysteries of the turf. He had passed 
the morning and meridian of his life in far different pursuits, 
and was distinguished for an excellent taste in the elegant arts, 
and universally esteemed the best of men ! 

" Unfortunately, an eccentric turn of mind led him to wan- 
der from the original path ; and the blindest partiality for a 
favourite horse, that he had casually seen and purchased in 
Moorfields, seduced him to enter the fatal lists of Newmarket. 
Mr. Jennings was unacquainted with the merit of pedigree; 
nor did he conceive but a race from Chillahy, the name of this 
animal, from whom he himself derives his subriqiiet, might be 
equal, or superior, to that of any other in the kingdom. 

" Under this prejudice, he commenced jockey, bought a 
number of mares, and engaged the produce of them and 
Chillaby for capital sums. Such a golden shower seemed as 
if 2»'ovide?ifmlh/ sent to revive the declining prosperity of New- 
market; it being in the time of the American war, when money 
was uncommonly scarce, and the turf altogether abandoned, 
except by its old hackneyed stagers. Amongst these, there 
were men of the highest order of nobility, decorated with stars 
and ribbands, — a vile delusive ornament, to conceal the native 
infamy of their hearts. 

" Mr. Jennings was at once elected a member of their 
society. Unconscious of villany, and fascinated by these gaudy 
appearances, calculated only for delusion and imposition, his 
unsuspicious temper was confirmed, and he embarked in the 
pursuit with all the eagerness and security of perfect confidence 
peculiar to his open ingenuous nature. 

" It might have been presumed, that men, enriched by forr 
tune, ennobled by rank, vain of their birth, and happy in 
all the advantages of life, would have laboured to suppress this 
blind and fatal enthusiasm ; but, on the contrary, cveiy pos- 
sible artifice was practised to encourage it ; and, amongst the 
rest, none discovered so much zeal and activity in the cause, 
as the notorious old Q . 

vol,. IV, z 



The result of this unhappy infatuation was ruin to the 
truly amiable and worthy man ; nor did they who had en- 
couraged and profited by his folly, among whom his very 
considerable profits had been divided, and who had brought 
him to the last stage of distress, ever once attempt to alleviate 
it, or express a symptom of concern for his misfortunes. They 
suffered him to remain in the King's Bench, and in Chelmsford 
jail, for years, in all the extremity of human misery, a prisoner 
IN want; and not long since, the author of these sheets met 
him, to all appearance an object that would have extorted 
charity from the most flinty heart, — the victim of disease, 
old age, and penury." 

From this time, but few particulars of his life are known 
to me, until he settled at Chelsea, where I first became known 
to him. This was about the year 1803, at which period he must 
have been near 72 years of age. On presenting myself at liis 
door, a man-servant, with but one eye, and apparently maimed 
in other parts of his body, announced the name of his visitor. I 
at first thought my conductor might be an out-pensioner of the 
neighbouring hospital ; but I soon learned that he was a 
victim, not to war, but to science, having been nearly destroyed 
in the service of his master. On announcing a message from 
a common friend, I was received with open arms ; and, from 
that moment, all his treasures were subject to my frequent 

As he was sometimes shy of strangers, many applied to me 
for an introduction ; and, among others, I had the pleasure to 
carry to Lindsay-Row some gentlemen belonging to the British 
Museum. They were chiefly desirous to see and examine the 
fine collection of shells ; and on our retiring, we took a turn on 
Battersea-Bridgc, where, on my demanding their value, they 
agreed, " that in time of peace, and under favourable circum- 
stances, they might sell for 9000 pounds or guineas." 

It was not difficult to discover that Mr. Jennings was a good 
Latin scholar, and in his collection he possessed fine copies 
of all the classics : some of these, indeed, were magnificent, 


both as to printing and binding. He himself was generally 
accustomed to read those in timm DclpJdni. 

Horace appeared to be his favourite author; and the works 
of this celebrated poet, richly bound, in green Morocco, were 
constantly placed at a tabU: on his right hand. The facihty with 
which he referred to any particular passage always appeared 
surprising; for, to my great astonishment, he could recur to 
some of the most noted even in the dark. This fact was 
verified more than once in my own presence ; for, on the ap- 
pearance of light, I constantly found his fingers between two 
gilt leaves, one of which contained the quotation. 

Although his house commanded a fine view of the river, he 
never once deigned to look at the charming prospe( t. Indeed 
it would have been difficult, if not impossible, had he been 
inclined to regale his eye with such a noble object, for his win- 
dows were so dirty as to bid defiance to all distinct vision ; 
and indeed they seemed to realise the poetic idea of " darkness 
visible." This mansion, which had been formerly the resi- 
dence of the Earl of Buckinghamshire, his school-feilow at 
Westminster, was occupied in the following manner: — In the 
front parlour was an immense Arctic bear, of a white colour, 
and, if 1 recollect aright, a winged animal, greatly decayed, 
which might once have been an eagle. The garden, either 
before or behind, bore no marks of the spade, the rake, or 
the pruning-knife; the very walls appeared in a state of com- 
plete ruin ; the shrubs were allowed to grow wildly luxuri- 
ant ; while the labours of man never seemed to have been 
applied to the deserted mould, which was covered with a yel- 
lowish moss, and exhibited every mark of desolation. 

In the rear were the offices of all kinds, and from the 
kitchen sallied forth, at the approach of a stranger, his house- 
keeper, a married woman of about thirty years of age, ac- 
companied by a number of ragged children, of whom, as if 
anxious for the character of her who at last became his 
only servant, he was accustomed to declare on honour, " that 
he was not the father." 

z 2 

340 Henry const antine jennings, esq. 

On the left-hand side of the drawinff-room door was to be 
seen himself — a very old and decrepid man, generally clothed 
in a brown suit of coarse cloth, with immense large silver buttons 
awkwardly fastened to the breast of his coat. He constantly 
wore a small hat, both at home and abroad, and possessed 
both a white and a black beaver, the former of which was al- 
ways selected for great occasions. Sitting in an immense arm- 
chair, lined with carpet ; his body was mechanically placed in 
a reclining position, approaching nearly to the horizontal. 
This was effected by invariably reposing his legs and feet 
on a Roman Triclinium * ,• which he valued greatly. Accord- 
ing to him " the ancients 'ought to have known something of 
health and comfort after a civilisation of so many centuries ! 
while, as to us, so lately barbarians, we had not been above 
a thousand years out of the woods." 

This venerable figure, with a sKarp and croaking voice, 
saluted the visitor, whom he recognised by means of a mirror, 
and to whom he scarcely deigned to turn his head. He appear- 
ed to sit enthroned in all the majesty of Veitu amidst his books, 
his pictures, and his shells; and never willingly arose, but to 

♦ Tl>e Tfirllnium, a kind or beJ, on which three jiersoi.s could reiJose, or raiher 
recline, at once, is meini(iiied by several of the Roman jioets, and was constantly 
wsed at nieaL*. That appertaining to Mr. Jennings was made out of the wood of Eng- 
lish cherry-free ; and the modern was an evident improvement on ihe ancient 

Those of the opulent Romans were at length decorated with, and perhaps entirely 
composed of the precious metals. Pliny observes as foilowrs on this subject : " Ante 
Sullae victoriam, duo tantum Tridiuia Romae fuerunt Argeniea." 

On presenting one to the author of this article, the generous donor exclaimed, 
" Use it constantly ! it was daily and uniformly recurred to by the lords of the world ; 
and Cato, after the battle of Pharaaiia, condemned himself, by way of penance, to ab- 
auin from this article of luxury." 

I find that Mr. Jetinings was strictly correct in respect to the last assertion ; for 
on recurring to Plutarch, whence he appears to have derived his information, I learn 
that this illustrious man, during the civil war, «' never cut his hair, nor sliavcd 
his beard, nor wore a garland, as in anguish for his country." This also is expressly 
stated in the text ; that on the evening before his death, (I now quote from Dr. 
Langhorne's translation, vol. v. p. 114.) " alter bathing, he went to supper with a 
large company, at which he sat, as he had always done since the battle of Pharsalin ; 
for he never now lay down, except to sleep." 

These quotations are given eolely with the view of proving, that the quondam 
W«$tminster scholar was always correct in his clissical allusions. 


gratify himself and his guest, by exhibiting some or all of 
these. Among his portraits he had a Mary Queen of Scots; 
and he boasted that no profane pencil had ever been suffered 
to retouch it since finished. A painter, however, shewed me 
where it had been evidently mended; and on this, as on many 
other occasions, Mr. Jennings was most assuredly the dupe 
of the dealers. The picture of the children of Charles I. 
(Charles II. and James II. &c.), with a fine large mastiff in 
front, was much ])raised and valued by him, as uniqtie: the 
original, however, is at Windsor Castle. A landscape, with a 
rainbow, and some good figures in the foreground, was estimated 
by its owner sometimes at ^20001., sometimes at 3000/., accord- 
ing to the state of his purse, on account of the shepherds, 
which were said to have been painted by Rubens. It was 
knocked down, at the sale, as well as I can recollect, for 40/. 
There was a picture by a young but celebrated Italian artist of 
a Venus awaiting the arrival of Mars, surrounded by Cupids 
blowing conchs and playing on warlike instruments. This he 
once promised to a gentleman, who had undertaken to con- 
sume his body to ashes, by means of fire, and deposit the 
remains in a sepulchral urn. 

The shells, which must be allowed to have exhibited a 
most superb assemblage, were chiefly arranged in mahogany 
cabinets, with a sliding glass top to every separate box. To 
procure some of these he had made immense sacrifices, both 
in respect to the mode of obtaining the money and the sum- 
actually paid. They were placed in due series, so as to ex- 
hibit every possible size, from early youth to extreme old age, 
on the part of the animals inhabiting them. In one, which 
he highly prized, the volute happened to be inverted. To the 
formation of others some obstruction had been given, and a 
new process, and sometimes new colours were recurred to. 
On asking him one day what had been the maximum price 
he placed three in my hand, for which he had given 90/. to 
the daughters of a late celebrated physician ; and one alone, 
his many-ridged harp, cost him 1 20/. 

z 3 


Among his other treasures, our virtuoso possessed two speci- 
mens of the Gamberonica, an indifferent one of which was dis- 
posed of for 451. at the Duchess of Portland's sale. 

Mr. Jennings valued himself greatly on his Venus's slipper, 
for which he had paid 60/., and I deemed it exquisite until I 
beheld one in the botanic garden at Paris. It had been ob- 
tained during the expedition in search of D'Entrecasteaux, and 
was presented to Josephine. It is unique of its kind. 

After admiring these, you were ushered by the happy 
owner into an anti-room, but not until he had carefully locked 
his cabinets and his door. In the second apartment was a very 
fine whole-length portrait of his daughter Miss Jennings, now 
Mrs. Locke ; and he was accustomed to observe, in his usual 
manner, that " Bett looked well, handsome, and natural, for he 
had placed her on a table, and conversed with her all the time, 
that the artist might be enabled to take a good likeness !" On 
the ground was an open chest, full of ladies' shoes ; in this, 
according to his account, had been successively deposited, one 
belonging to every female with whom he had become acquainted 
during the course of his whole life. Annexed were scattered 
marble slabs, pieces of te&selated pavement, ancient busts, pre- 
served birds, and a variety of inferior objects of vertu. 

You were finally admitted into the sajictum sanctw'um, 
through a passage, to the right of which were carelessly piled 
up a valuable collection of English, French, and Latin books. 
Their appearance and value wonderfully contrasted with the 
slovenly manner in which they were thrown together. Of 
most the leaves were gilded ; others exhibited the finest spe- 
cimens of binding, both British and German ; while many, in 
milk-white vellum covers, would have dignified the principal 
shelves of the amateurs. 

The apartment to which this led was no other than his own 
chamber, the bed in which exhibited the most dreary and 
comfortless appearance ; in short, it would have chilled the 
blood of any but a regular antiquary, who slept here, sur- 
rounded by the rarest,, choicest, and most- precious objects of 
his ambition. 


Enclosed in a clumsy wooden case, was a fine picture of a 
school, by Gerard Dow ; the master was employed in mending 
a pen ; above his head, appeared a linnet fluttering in a cage ; 
around him were his pupils, one of whom, a young nobleman, 
dressed in a Flemish cloak, made a distinguished figure at the 
game of Hot Cockles. As the owner always made a regular 
estimate of his treasures, and generally declared it aloud, this 
was valued at 400 guineas, and here I thought the price not 

Our connoisseur next generally displayed some fine speci- 
mens of the Amalekite from Russia, which might have once 
been deemed unique of their kind, when they first came into his 
possession ; but whoever may have seen the tables at Trianon, 
presented by the Emperor Alexander to Buonaparte, would 
perhaps hold them but in little esteem. In the collection of 
an English private gentleman, however, these green lamina^ 
perhaps, were still entitled to be considered, if not exquisite, 
at least respectable. 

An immense Bei-yl, which, as he frankly owned to me, in 
his own emphatic language, " he had often pawned for 300/." 
was an object of considerable curiosity. Perhaps within a foot 
of this rare gem was deposited, what he was pleased to term his 
antediluvian pig. This was a concave segment of a stone of 
considerable magnitude and ponderosity, formerly appertaining 
to the collection of Sir Ashton Lever. It appeared vitreous^ 
and represented, as through a glass, the bowels, fat, and even 
the bristles of a porker, in the most natural order possible ; and 
with a verisimilitude, that could not fail to strike, and to 
amuse the most careless observer. According to his theory, it 
was a production evidently anterior to the flood of Noah, and 
had taken some thousand years to harden into, and assume its 
present form and appearance. 

The exhibition always very properly closed with a view of 
its chief ornament. This was the figure, or rather the bust 
of a goddess in bronze ; but as the materials were said to con- 
sist of gold, silver, tin, &c. the appellation, perhaps, of " Co- 
rinthian brass," would be rather more correct and appropriate. 

/. 4 


This ever had been, and still was with him, an object of high 
esteem, approaching, indeed, to adoration. He permitted 
none but those he termed " presentable people" to gaze on it ; 
he, himself, approached the iron chest, in which his divinity 
was enshrined, with an apparent degree of awe, and after 
brandishing the key in a peculiar manner, applied it to the 
lock with a certain degree of reverence. On being questioned 
as to the name of the artist, " Praxiteles" was uniformly ho- 
noured with mention ; and the date of between three and four 
thousand years, assigned as the epoch of execution, or rather 
of creation. I had almost omitted to mention, that Mr. Jen- 
nings valued himself greatly on the possession of one other ar- 
ticle: this was the rouge box of the unfortunate Marie An- 
toinette, queen of France. The inside was entirely of gold, 
and the vermilion or fard appeared to have been put on by 
means of a camel's-hair pencil, with a handle of the same 
metal. The royal arms of France were designated on the 
rich cover, the whole forming a square of the ordinary size of 
a snuff-box. Of the originality of this article, there can be no 
manner of doubt ; and, to enhance the interest of the spectator, 
its delighted owner was always accustomed to conclude by ob- 
serving, " that it had been taken out of her Majesty's pocket 
immediately after her head was cut off by the executioner." 

Mr. Jennings's collection of shells was particularly rich in 
the following genera : 

1 . Gemis Murex. 

2. Genus Triplex. 

3. Genus Jlostettaria. Of these he had some specimens sin- 
gular for their beauty ; others immense in point of size. 

4. Genus Stromhus. Of these there were a great variety, 
and some of the Digiiati were supposed by the ladies to ap- 
proach the terrific. 

.5. and 6. The Genera Terebra et Acculea. Of these there 
were some fine specimens. 

7. Genus Comis. This series very complete ; and he piqued 
himself greatly on his cones. 

8. Genus Bucci7iclla. The species consisted of all sizes, from 


that of a French bean, until they attained such a magnitude as 
to be scarcely portable. 

9. Gcnns Bulmus; and 10. and 11. the Genera Corithium 
and Tcrebcllum. For some rare specimens of the Gemis 
Harpa, he gave uncommon prices. 

The following are mentioned and figured from liis collection 
in Perry's Conchology : 

1. Genus Biplex. No. 5. Biplex Perca, described as "an 
exceedingly rare and beautiful shell, and until of late, supposed 
to be unique." 

2. Genus Hexaplex. No. 3. Hexaplex Fusca. 

3. CyjprcEa Jenningsia ; so called after himself. 

5. Genus Melania. No. 1. Melania Aurantia. 

6. Genus Oliva. No. 3. Oliva Subviridis. 

7. Arganauta Vitrea. Mentioned, but not figured. 
Notwithstanding this superb collection was apparently so 

complete, in point of numbers, variety, and excellence, as 
almost to defy competition ; yet it would appear from a loose 
memorandum, a copy of which is subjoined, that a few rare 
articles were still wanting, and of these he was particularly 
desirous, in 1815, to become the purchaser. 

1. Cedo Nulli. This was disposed of at Lionette's sale at 
the Hague, for 30/. It is now at Caen in Normandy, and he 
was then willing to give the same price. 

2. The Gloria Maris *, usually sold for 1 0/. ; it is at pre- 
sent in Solay's collection, at Paris. 

Of books, Mr. Jennings possessed the folio edition of 
Shakspeare, which was in high preservation ; his Princeps 
edition of Horace was rated very high and very loosely by 
him, sometimes at 200/., and at other times at 300/. But he 
chiefly valued himself on Cardinal Grimani's Commentary on 
the epistles of St. Paul, in folio, with grand vignettes, and 
frontispiece, by Julio Clovio. It is finely illuminated with 
coloured drawings (I think five portraits). The following is 
its more recent history in the owner's own words. 

* Conm Gloria Maris is figured in Perry's Conchology, Plate xxv. from a fine 
s)^)eiiinen in the British Museum. 'J'liis shell is magnificent both \u form and colours. 


*' It formerly sold for 3000/. ; Mr. Smith, the Britisii con- 
sul at Venice, gave 2000/. for it. I pawned it for 350/. to 
Mr. . I gave but 700/. for it, and will sell it for 1 500/." 

The following is the inscription : 

No. CAR. 

The minerals were neither rare nor curious ; they did not 
appear even select. Indeed, with the exception of one single 
ponderous specimen of gold ore, Mr. Jennings possessed no- 
thing in his collection worthy of arresting attention, even for 
a moment. 

Of his paintings*, some of the cognoscenti doubted both their 
originality and value ; and I have heard more than one pro- 
nounce him to have been no judge of this branch of the fine 
arts. It was in shells that he excelled ; and yet it must be 
fairly owned, that even as to these he seemed unacquainted 
with the first principles of scientific arrangement, form, order, 
or classification ; nay, he was scarcely acquainted even with 
the terms of the art. 

Indeed, he always frankl}' acknowledged, that it was the 
" beautiful" that he alone aspired to possess. " Let any one 
bring to me," he was accustomed to observe, " any thing ex- 

* The pictures, shells, &c. were sold by Phillips, in New Bond Street, in April, 
1816, intermixed with a variety of other compositions cf inferior note. The prices were 
such as to justify the suspicions of those who argued, from the beginning, that the 
amount would be but trifling. Here fallows an account of some of the principal lotft 
really appertaining to Mr. Jennings, with the sums respectively annexed. 

A Landscape, with figures, by Rubens, the Shepherd sup- £, 5. rf. 
posed to be himself * - - - - 39 16 O 
N.B. A copy of smaller dimensions, which I had never be- 
fore seen, was sold about half an hour before, for - 6 16 6 
Mary, Queen of Scots, by Jansen* - - - 46 4 O 
Gabrielle dc Vergy - » - -550 
Venus waiting for Mau, by Giorgoni - - - 6 6 6 


quisite or uncommon, no matter of wliat kind, and I am ready 
to become a purchaser." 

The front room on the second floor of Mr. Jennings's house 
was dedicated to astronomical purposes. There was placed a 
fine telescope, with which he had been accustomed to amuse 
himself, during the severest nights of winter, in examining the 
heavens. Sometimes he would employ his glasses, to investi- 
gate whether any new planets still remained undiscovered. At 
other times he contemplated the moon with admiration and 
delight, and frequently talked of the mountains and seas he 
had seen there, with all the familiarity of a circumnavigator. 

At one period he busied himself in exactly ascertaining the 
vibrations of an immense pendulum. This was placed in one 
of the attics, and had been lent to him by the late Earl 
Stanhope, who appears to have set a high value on it. 

Mr. Jennings wished always to be particularly exact as to 
the measurement of time, and in the course of his life had a 
series o( clironometers constructed for him by the most eminent 
watchmakers of the day. His last was at least equal to any 
of the former, in point of workmanship, although perhaps in- 
ferior as to price, being inclosed in silver instead of gold 

But he valued himself still more on an appendage to it. 
This was a seal very plainly, but handsomely set, which he 
bought at Naples for a single Paul (a pontifical sixpence). 
It bore the consular insignia, with this singular motto : 

" Cassius Imperator 


He was pleased to consider this as a real antique, engraved 
in the camp, with a diamond, and without the aid of a wheel, 
a little before the fatal battle of Philippi. 

Our Virtuoso addicted himself at one period to chemistry, 
and was accustomed to make experiments in his laboratory, 
until he had nearly become a victim to his love of science. 
On one of these occasions, like Dr. Watson, Bishop of Lan- 
dafii while professor uL Cambridge, he was actually blown up ! 


His valet, who acted as an assistant, and to whom reference 
has been already made, lost an eye, and he himself received 
several wounds in his leg. He was accustomed to boast, 
" that notwithstanding this mishap, with his usual punctuality, 
he kept an engagement to dinner that very day." 

Mr. Jennings was also a great etymologist, and being inti- 
mately acquainted with the Italian, in which he both " thought 
and dreamed," he was thus enabled to descant both on the 
structure and origin of our own language. Here follows a 
specimen in his own words. 

" Sallad," he was accustomed to say, comes from sallada^ 
the Italian for a helmet, which, during the times of chi- 
valry, was often converted into a receptacle for that dish." 
He used to add, " that it was customary for the dulcinea 
to pick the herbs, and prepare the entertainment for her 
favourite knight." 

"What follows is likely to be accurate, having been copied 
from a note taken in his own presence : — 

In respect to exercise, he was not only a great advocate 
for it, but he practised it to a degree scarcely credible for 
upwards of half a century. He possessed a long and ponderous 
wooden instrument, capped with lead at both ends, in the 
management of which he was such an adept, that he boasted 
of having disarmed the best " small-swordsman in Italy ;" 
and even now, give him but fair play, he " would not be 
afraid of five or six EngHsh housebreakers." Every night, 
before bed-time, as has been already hinted, he exercised him- 
self with this formidable weapon, until he acquhed a comfort- 
able warmth, which enabled him to retire to rest with a genial 
glow. In the morning, according to his own account, he got 
up between seven and eight o'clock * ; and, in his own express 
words, " flourished his broad-sword exactly 300 times ; I then," 
adds he, " mount my chaise-horse, composed of leather, and in- 
flated with wind like a pair of bellows, on which I take exactly 
1000 gallops !" He then retired to enjoy what always ap- 

* This account, given by liimbelf, must liave alluded loan earlier period of liis life, 
as he was not accustomed to rise sooner than ten or tirelve during the last fifteen 


peared to me to be a most miseVable and uncomfortable 

After this meal, he employed himself, when no sale of curi- 
osities was expected in town, chiefly in reading. As to writing, 
he, of late years, declined that operation almost entirely ; and, 
indeed, he could not effect it without much labour. Notwith- 
standing this, our virtuoso possessed several curious ink-stands, 
both ancient and modern. One of these, a time aiitique in the 
Egyptian style, might have passed, with many of the fashion- 
able people who beheld it, as a present from Mark Anthony 
to Cleopatra. 

After a scanty dinner, which shall be described hereafter, 
— for our antiquary seldom walked out for exercise, — 
he still retained possession of his arm-chair and his triclinium, 
and folding the purple mantle of dyed flannel over his legs 
and feet, took a nap, which he termed his ciesto^ a custom 
he had first been taught to indulge in during his resi- 
dence in Italy. After this, either his books or his cabinets, 
occupied his attention until night. At all times of the day, 
however, he might be occasionally seen adjusting, arranging, 
and placing his shells in due order ; but his choicest and most 
grateful employment was to clean^ purify, and polish them, on 
their first arrival from their respective countries. He him- 
self, in former times, has not unfrequently gone on board East 
and West Indiamen, for the purpose of buying these and other 
rare productions, exactly in the state in which they were torn 
from their native beds. Of late years, however, he was obliged 
to purchase at second-hand, and an enhanced value, from the 

I liave beheld him, with a green baize apron before and 
a wet towel in his hand, enjoying the most exquisite delight, 
after contemplating these in " the rough," applying his brushes 
to every part, with an unwonted display of vigour. A prepar- 
ation of spirit of sea-salt having almost instantaneously pro- 
duced a gentle effervescence, the outward surface began to 
disappear. Here all the skill of the shell-fancier was displayed ; 
for if the ley happened to be too strong, the precious specimens 


might be damaged, perhaps ruined ; and if not sufficiently 
powerful, the operation proved ineffectual. 

Next comes the polish : and what were " his dear delights," 
when the colours began to brighten ; — when the exact form, 
and shape, and size, were disclosed ; — and, above all, when 
any adventitious circumstance happened to heighten the value of 
the acquisition I At length, the pearl-lined Nautilus, the radiant 
Buccinella, or the superb Tcrehra, appeared in all its meridian 
splendour, and the connoisseur, who had found these ugly and 
hideous objects but an hour before, was now almost ready to fall 
down and worship them, after the sudden and brilliant change 
effected by the magic of his own workmaixship. 

Mr. Jennings had a great attachment to vvax candles, which 
proceeded partly from foreign travel, and partly from frequenting 
genteel houses in the early period of his life. In 180S, he laid in 
a supply to the amount of 21/.; partly because the maker, who, 
according to him, excelled in this manufacture, might either die 
or become a bankrupt ; and paitly with a view to prevent 
trouble, " as he thought they might last long enough to bur7i 
ail old man out of this xvorld /" In order to enable him to con- 
sume the last half-inch of the wick, and prevent the least 
particle of the wax from being wasted, he made use of a silver 
save-all: this consisted of a fine Queen Anne's half-crown 
piece, in excellent preservation. A Queen Anne's farthing, 
which is infinitely more valuable, or even an Otho, would have 
been used on a similar occasion, had it been deemed more 
convenient for the purposes of economy : this, like the rod of 
Aaron, swallowed up all other competitors. 

For the exhibition of his pictures, no particular days or hours 
were assigned. All who were "presentable" (his favourite 
word) might come at any time; and I have beheld the old 
gentleman surrounded, and flattered, and complimented, by 
wealth, titles, youth, and beauty. Such a scene pleased him 
exceedingly: he felt his youth renewed, his constitution 
re-invigorated, while a hectic flush of colour rushed into his 
pallid cheek; in short, he seemed fully compensated for tenants 


gone, lands sold, houses and villas abandoned, — spent, — 
vanished, — lost for ever ! 

Meanwhile, his apartments were become an intolerable 
nuisance. I recollect to have once seen a great northern Duke, 
then almost an octogennarian, and famous for his personal 
cleanliness, nearly suffocated by sitting down suddenly on the 
sofa, after having admired and scrupulously examined every 
article hi the collection. No sooner did his Grace come in 
contact with this receptacle of filth, than a cloud of dust was 
raised around, so as nearly to obscure him from the rest of the 
company. This, as has already been hinted, proceeded from 
his settled maxim, " not to put temptation in the way of 
servants !" Accordingly, mops, brooms, and scrubbing 
brushes, had been utterly excluded during a long series of 
fifteen or sixteen years. 

To all these evils, he was wholly insensible. In admiration 
of his own good fortune, he could sit, or rather recline, amidst 
heaps of ancient and modern rubbish, and seemed to be wholly 
lost in the contemplation of his ideal riches. He thought that 
the same degree of admiration occupied the bosoms of others, 
and that his station, in respect to connoisseurship, was so lofty 
as to excite the envy of mankind. I well recollect, that the 
Marquis of Douglas, now Duke of Hamilton, who had been 
just married to his lovely cousin, with the usual politeness of a 
man of rank, one forenoon complimented Mr. Jennings on his 
great taste, his persevering industry, and his princely acquisi- 
tions. On his retiring, the virtuoso, turning round to me, 
very gravely demanded, "if I did not think the nobleman, who 
had just withdrawn, would not be happy to exchange his bride 
against the rarities on which he had just bestowed so much 
applause and attention?" It was difficult, if not impossible, 
to preserve a proper degree of gravity on such an occasion I 

The peculiarities of Mr. Jennings were many and singular ; 
to recollect them all is impossible ; but an endeavour shall be 
here made to enumerate a few more. Being nmch troubled 
with the gout, contrary to all received opinions, he generally 


recurred to a sub-acid for a cure. This consisted of black 
currant jelly, which he drank with water, as a common be- 
verage ; and being in the immediate vicinity of the gardens 
that supply this species of fruit, he always purchased large 
quantities in the course of the summer. These were squeezed 
by himself, from hair bags, by means of a machine contrived 
expressly for that purpose, as well as boiled and potted under 
his own immediate inspection ; and, if I am not greatly mistaken, 
by his own hand. Notwithstanding this, no cure ensued ! 

Our antiquary affected to be, and most probably was an 
adept at the quart er^staff'. As he never had any fire in his 
chamber, he had a broad sword always lying either on or near 
his bed, partly with a view of defending himself and treasure 
against robbers, and partly for the purpose of encreasing the 
circulation, and thus generating warmth. He was accustomed 
to boast, that he had rendered the Earl of Morton, like him- 
self, eminently skilful in this wholesome and manly exercise. 

His clothes, as has been already stated, were of a primitive 
cut, and but for the buttons, which were nearly as large as 
dollars, might have rivalled those of a quaker in simplicity. 
His stockings were of yarn ; his back appeared to be bent 
either with age or infirmity, while his shoes, or rather half 
boots, exhibited the original colour, which they had first as- 
sumed in the tan-pit. Through the long period of thirty- 
eight years, they had been kept sacred from the pollution of the 
blacking brush. That modern innovation, by which the out- 
side covering of the human foot assumes a jetty gloss, and in 
consequence of its even and polished surface, like a mirror, 
reflects every object around it, was dreaded by the owner, 
who always mentioned the chronology of his boots with a de- 
gree of exultation that can only be conceived by the ardent 
imagination of a true antiquary like himself! 

Xhe simplicity of his dress in general has been frequently 
alluded to, but it yet may be necessary to state, that on great 
occasions, in addition to the use of his \!ohite kat^ which sup- 
plied the want of a wig, recourse was had to another accessary 



ornament. This, which was the only remnant of a court to 
be found either about his person or his house, consisted of a 
coat of such a colour as niijrht have exposed him to no small 
degree of danrrer at Byzantiuu), when i)rinces " born in the 
purple" would not suffer any one to wear so much as a pair 
of hose tinged with the « Tyrian dye." Jt had been made, 
perhaps, by some taylor in St. James's Street, about the same 
epoch as his boots ; and, if accompanied by a bag and sword, 
was still capable of carrying its owner to Carlton House, for 
It had a. stand-iip collar; while the ample sleeves were deco- 
rated by buttons placed in a transverse direction. 

In this dress he would sometimes appear at the right hand 
of the auctioneer, to give his nod, or articulate his approba- 
tion, when some choice object of vertu, after being secluded for 
half a century in the museum of a connoisseur^ was exposed to 
the envious gaze of assembled collectors, by his long expectant 
hen-s. At other times, he would relapse into his i)rimitive 
habits, and on a wet day, I have seen him driving to a sale in 
New Bond-street, or Covent -garden, in a blue great coat, 
which no decent hackney-coachman would have owned. 

In his household affairs the peculiarities of our antiquary were 
to the full as singular as his dress. His breakfast was served at 
a late hour, and on a dirty table-cloth. He made use of 
beautiful vases of porcelain for his tea, which was of the best 
kind, and had been previously sifted ; while, like a contempo- 
rary virtuoso*, he always washed and wiped them with his own 
hand. With a singular deviation from this mark of elegance 
and refinement, both his bread and butter, which appeared to 
be of the coarsest manufacture, were regularly brought up on 
'wooden -platters; and instead of the silver trowel, &c. he was 
always accustomed to use a clasp knife, a large and vulgar 
instrument, from his pocket, consisting of a pointed piece of 
iron, that folded into a horn handle, and seemed to have 
descended to him as an heir-loom, from the epoch of William 

* TIjs Hon. Horace Wa!|)ole. 
VOL. ir. A A 


As tQ liis dinner, it cijieHy consisted of poultry ; and on a 
turkey he was accustomed to feast, dining five successive days, 
tlie four quartci-s aifording as many meals, and the body 
serving; for quhUidi. In fine, he was economical, and even 
penurious as to his meals ; Ibr his great object ever had been, 
to save all for the gratilication of his ruling passion. In re- 
spect to this, his appetite was sometimes indiscriminate, and 
filmost insatiajjle. He would borrow, run in debt, give a note 
of hand, or even a bond and judgment, to please his eye or 
solace his fancy ; perhaps, also, the supposed admiration and 
applause of mankind, entered somewhat into the account. 

Of an afternoon, Mr. Jennings was accustomed to indulge 
in Twining's finest Hyson, drunk out of a very small cup, of 
the manufacture of China. This like his two former, were 
solitary meals : I, indeed, by way of particular favour, was 
once, and once only, honoqred with a regular invitation to' 
spend the afternoon with him, an event which doubtless varied 
(he dull uniformity of a long series of twenty years ! 

The old gentleman appeared so apprehensive of spoliation, 
as to become his own jailor: and, like some of the ancient 
despots, while revelling in the possession of all that was de- 
sirable to him on earth, he was at times miserable amidst his 
various enjoyments. I question if Tiberius himself was more 
suspicious. Although a man of undoubted courage, and most 
invincible spirit, he was alike apprehensive of the midnight 
robber and the domestic purloiner. It was this that converted 
his drawing room into a (leti; tor it so abounded in dirt, that 
it was impossible to sit ^own without being surrounded by a 
cloud of dust. The chairs, the pictures, the tricitniiwi, nay 
the very cabinets, that contained his precious gems, jewels, and 
shells, were all covered and besmeared with smoke, dirt, 
and rubbish. The ashes ^ere never emptied from his grate, 
until so full that this operation became an act of necessity. On 
the advantages to be derived from this latter circumstance, 
he could at times be eloquent. It was unnecessary to call a 
iervant, either by day or night, to light his fire, as by placing 
live coal in the centre, the collection of dirt and cinders per- 


formed the office of vestal virgins, and thus conlinved the 
powers of ignilion at any time. In this manner he assured 
me, he kept in a fire for a whole fortnight, during u severe 
winter; and thus it became unnecessary ever to entrust ])is 
key to a domestic. 

He was to the full as particular in respect to his candles as 
his coals. The very idea of tallow, as has been already hinted, 
disgusted liim ; but then a single ta{)cr only was lighted up 
at a time : and as he excelled in demonstrations of this kind, 
it was not difficult for him to prove, that, taking in the con- 
sideration of greater duration, it was economy, as well as gen- 
tility, to burn one wax candle instead of two " composed of 
mutton suet." 

In respect to medicine, he entertained great faith in the 
operation of drugs : but he had recourse to none except the 
most potent ; such as opium and corrosive sublimate. On 
recovering from a long illness, in 1815 or 1816, he told me 
that " if he had not helped his medical practitionei', lUath 
must have ensued ;" but I was next day told by the gentle- 
man alluded to, " that if he had complied with all his pa- 
tient's vagaries, the contiimancc of life would have been 
impossible I" 

In his sayings he affected to be epigrammatic; but although 
sometimes strong and powerful, he not unfrcquently proved 
coarse and vulijar. He hated all entertainments — in short, 
every species of expense, that did not administt-r to the ruling 
passion of his own heart. Hospitality by him was deno- 
minated vile " feastinjT," and his low and indelicate defini- 
tion of a feast was " the conversion of gold into excremejit." 

To a person who relied on dreams, and was prone to 
superstition, he observed to his face, " that he was capable of 
believinji in the divinity of a Newfound laiul bi — ch !" 

On being asked by the writ', v of this article rc-pccting his 
first interview with his old school-fellow, the governor-general 
of Bengal, on his return from India, he slated the following 
anecdote with much naivcfc : "On our meeting," observed 
he, " after the usual salutati(ms, I accosted him in the same 


frank and open manner as was usual with me when we were 
at Westminster together: ' My dear Hastings ! is it possible 
that you slioiild have been such a great rascal during your 
government in Asia as Burke says, and the whole world is be- 
ginning to believe you are ?' ' I assure you truly, Jennings,* 
was the reply, ' that although sometimes obliged to turn rascal 
for the Company, I was never one for myself!' 

Death usually puts a conclusion to all singularities ; yet in 
his case, he determined to j)rove singular even then. Abhor- 
ring the idea of his corpse being consigned to the cold earth, 
he resolved to have recourse to the ancient rite of cremation. 
This was a circumstance so generally known, that his neigh- 
bours supposed he had an oven within his house, for the ex- 
press purpose of reducing his body to ashes. 

Having pitched upon a gentleman in the vicinity, he frankly 
opened his mind to him; and demanded if he had courage 
enough, despising all vulgar prejudice, to stand by and see his 
body publicly consumed by fire ? " Yes," replied his neigh- 
bour, " I will burn your corpse on the centre arch of Batter- 
sea bridge, if you so desire ; and that, too, in spite and in 
sight of all the proprietors." " How is that possible?" de- 
manded Mr. Jennings, " Nothing more easy," rejoined the 
other, " it is only placing your corpse in a car, dressed in a 
pitched shirt, and surroumled by combustibles — I myself shall 
apply the match soon after the body leaves the place of your 
present abode, and when you arrive mid-way, between the 
two toll-houses, J intend to pull out the iinch-pins. You can 
then consume at leisure, and without danger, notwithstanding 
it is a wooden bridge." 

This whimsical proposition was instantly agreed to in the 
presence of myself, and his Venus was to be the reward. But 
a. coolness between the * parties afterwards ensued ; and the 

* Mr. Jenniiiys liaving asked this pi'iiileiiian for tlie loan of 300/., lie frankly replied 
tl'.at \\\t' money was at his service, provided ii was to be expended for any useful pur- 
pose. A few wotlhless pictures were tlien shown, and to that appropriaiion the gentle- 
man in question ol)jected. On this the qiwmlam owner of Chillaby, casting a most sig- 
nificant lool< .it his Venus, instantly exclaimed, in the true Newmarket style; "Very 
well ; but prity dd recollect, that I am off my speed about burning." 


mother of love being seized in execution, was actually sold 
for a vile price, in the presence of the indignant legatee. 

His goddess has been already mentioned, but it remains to 
be told, that for the first six months after obtaining possession 
of such a prize, she was constantly seated, during dinnt r, at the 
head of his table, with two footmen, in laced liveries, behind ; 
while the most costly viands were placed in succession before 
Iier, by way of oblation to her immortal charms ! 

In respect to his religion, no one ever entertained more 
enlightened, or more exalted ideas of a Deity, than the 
subject of this memoir. He firmly believed in the exist- 
ence, wisdom, and infinite power of a great and beneficent 
Being, and in the genuine language of a Naturalist, was 
accustomed to observe, in the true spirit of couchology, 
" that it was impossible even to contemplate a cocJdc-shcll 
without being sensible of a first cause." In other matters he, 
doubtless, differed with the Established Church, and although 
he frequented no place of public worship, (perhaps on account 
of his advanced age,) yet he p.snredly agreed with, although 
he did not appertain to, the Unitarians. 

The writer of this article bears a willing testimony, in 
express opposition to the received opinions of many of his 
visitors and neighbours, that no one was ever a more sincere 
believer, and that upon principle, than Mr. Jennings. In- 
deed his ideas on this subject approached the sublime ; for he 
could be truly eloquent on the bounty, goodness, and bene- 
ficence of a Deity; and as to his existence he called in the 
aid not only of astronomy, and all the sciences, but of nature 
herself, to demonstrate the necessity of a first cause. 

Here again, however, the singularity of his opim'ons would 
burst forth ; for although he abhorred the idea of a Divinity 
resiricting his bounties to the elect ; yet he himself conceived 
the possibility of an exclusive system. Tliere was something, 
however, noble in this, and it partook in no degree of fanati- 
cism ; although it might have approached to impiety. Merit 
and education with him being every ti)ing, he seemed to sup- 
pose that those who were brutish and uncultivated must be 

A A 3 


unwoitliv of tliL- uitention ut" a Diviiiitv ; aiul that for such a 
resurrection would prove uuuecessary, aud a iieavcn intoler- 
able. To cxcniplity this, he, as usual, recurred to one of 
his strong saijings, for when any doubt of his theory originated 
in the minds of his hearers, he was accustomed to demand, 
" It' it was possible for a clown, who swung all day on a 
gate, and bolted fat bacon, to have a rational and immortal 
eoul?* anil whetlu'r such a f.-iiow vi^as worth saving?" Per- 
haps this idea might not iiave been original. Something 
similar, indeed, is to be found in the works of Lady Mary 
Wortley Montague, with which he was well acquainted. That 
celebrated female, while mentioning the follies of a silly wait- 
ing woman belonging to one of her friends, boldly ridicules the 
pretensions of Mrs. Abigail to eternity: " Voila un bel anie, 
pour etre immortel !" 

As to politics, of late years, he was sometimes a whig and 
sometimes almost a republican. He constantly read the 
Morning Chronicle : he preserved an unbroken series of that 
paper for the benefit of others, and seemed to take double 
delight in it while in goal. Of Buonaparte, with the truly ori- 
ginal zeal and bias of a real amatew; he w\as accustomed to ob- 
serve, " that the world was not aware of his reach of thought; 
he enjoyed a high taste for all that was excellent ; and his 
conquests were not for the purposes of gratifying a vulgar am- 
bition, but in order to acquire every thing that was desirable 
in the fine arts, and thus render l-'rance rich in vertu!" 
The Ex-Emperor at one period was his hero, but of late 
years he began to talk very rationally about " the balance of 
Europe," '• the loss of independence on the part of foreign 
nations;" *• the great and undue preponderance of France;" 
and the certainty " that civil liberty could never flourish 
beneath the usurping despotism of a military government." 

* Since liiu text was ^..j.iiied, the writer lias had lecourse to his notes, and finds ihe 
following memorandum, which is here transcribed verialim: 

" Mr. J-, a great l)eiifver in tlie existence of a Deity; hut he diil not think that 
the Alnii';hiy wmld admU every tliuk-skidUd Ihtkguan/, who lat fat iiork, and swung 
all (lay on d g'tlc, lo go to heaven I" 


As an author, the best idea will be formed of this very 
extraordinary man, from the following analysis of his works. 
It may be necessary to premise, however, that the volume 
here recurred to was never published, a few copies only 
having been printed at his own expense, and distributed 
among his friends. 

" Summary and free ReHections, in which the great 
outline only and principal Features of several interesting 
Subjects are impartially traced and candidly examined." 
Printed in the year 1798, and presented to the writer 
of this article, Nov. 29, 1808. The author, while he ap- 
proves, evidently imitates " old Montaigne's plain, simple 
nietnod of setting down his thoughts on detached subjects, 
just as they accidentally presented themselves, without any 
regular pursuit. He laments that " equivocal definitions," in 
respect to religion, had laid the way open to schism," and 
exclaims, " How glorious and unassailable had Mahomet's 
religion been, if delivered as it was probably first conceived, 
uninfluenced by the accessorial after-views of fixing it by 
conquest, as suggested by his relations, and unsullied by those 
pious frauds and popular allurements which, though calculated 
to secure its truly rapid establishment, made it ultimately but 
too obnoxious to the severe but just censure of ijnposture !" 
He blames Spinosa for having v/arped Lucan's Jiq)}lcr est 
quod cunquc vides, by a literal translation, into his " Atheistical 
principle." *' This sentiment," adds he, " does but proclaim 
the workmanship, and the sublime contrivance of the Deity, 
manifestly evident in every object that w? see; by what, in 
fact, but miracle I permanent miracle is the minutest atom 
attracted? 'Observe,' says Cato *, 'investigate attentively, 
avail yourselves of that wondrous faculty, what God has given 
vou ; every object that you behold cannot but be then oracular.' 
— For his Dixit scmel nos ccntibtis andor — Qiiicquid scire licet 

* " His army, (aligned and niarcliin<; thruiigli the desart (of Africa), were peisuad- 
in-* llini to consult the oracle of Juj.iler AiiTriion, before whose temple they were iheil 
passing, which Csto iiidignantlv iloiiics to Un in the above terms; Jtemed hy Lucaa 
" u'orfliy of'.lic OMtlc itself." 

A A i 


— applies equally to that reasoning intellect exclusively im- 
parted to the human race: by whose aggregate observations, 
on the whole creation (if made with industry and with dispre- 
judice), every thing necessary or pro})er for us to know is by 
experience, inference, and analogy, sufficiently discoverable." 
He concludes this article by testifying his belief in a " pro- 
bationary state, and in the consistency of an impartial and 
benign Deity." 

" An Endeavour to prove that Reason is alone suffi- 
cient to the firm establishment of Religion ; which must, 
on Principles of Faith, be ever precarious." We beg leave 
to decline both quotation and commentary, with the single 
exception of the following passages : " that it is his object per- 
manently to demonstrate the expediency of virtue;" " to 
establish the eternal existence of an Omnipotent Being," and 
" the pleasing prospect of a future state, as the due and in- 
fallible reward of virtuous actions. ' 

This tract appears to have been first printed in 1771; to 
this he added a postscript in 178'j, in which it was conceded, 
" that some established mode of worship was, at least, politic- 
ally necessary ; and, at the same time, he warmly condemns 
self-murder, and concludes with a prayer, in which the Deity 
is fervently invoked, " to strengthen and confirm in my mind, 
steady habits of fortitude, benevolence, discernment, and inte- 
grity ; that I may, through this, be rendered dear to my fellow- 
creatures, contented with myself, and at the last, I humbly 
hope, acceptable to Thee." 

Many of the reasons for his belief in a Deity, are deduced 
from a knowledge of astronomy, and natural history. 

" To repine at the frailty of human nature, or the accidents 
that await us even from our birth," observes he, " is unjust, 
since the very essence of protection involves the alluring influ- 
ence of the passions, under the sole direction o^ reason, which 
must imply free will ; in manifest opposition to mere brutal 
^nstinct ; for without the existence of iwrldly evil, and strong 
temptations to error, there could have been no merit in moral 


" Physical Enquiries into the powers and properties of 
Spnit, and liow far, by analogical inferences resulting from ex- 
perimental and natural phoenomcna, the human intellect 
may be enlarged to attain to any natural conception of 

" Quaesi ut animis, sic occulis videre possuuius," 

This is a tract which might be read with edification by the 
most pious Christian, as it is chiefly written to demonstrate 
the existence of the soul, in opposition to the " atheistical 
doctrine of chance." 

After an attack on a celebrated French philosopher, the 
author points out the sublime advantages of an hereafter, to 
the learned and the scientific, who might be there enabled to 
continue those glorious lucubrations and researches they had 
on earth delighted in ; " what mortal," adds he, " more de- 
serving, of such a luxurious destination, than that very author 
who, though so extensively conversant with the stupendous 
works of the Divinity, and so laborious a pronmlgator of uni- 
versally beneficent doctrines, could yet (however effectually he 
has secured his earthly reputation from it,) indulge the gloomy 
one o{ a n7iihilatio7i ? Peace be, however, to Voltaire's illus- 
trious ashes, his investigating spirit is, by this time, pleasingly 
undeceived ; and is, perhaps, actually traversing the realm of 
science, with the congenial spirits of those Trajans, Anto- 
nines, Julians, Lockes, and Newtons, which were here the 
virtuous objects of his almost idolatrous celebration. 

** Per quos, nunquam jurare pudebit.'' 

" Cursory Remarks on Infancy and Education." This 
is written somewhat in the manner and spirit of Rous- 
seau's treatise on the same subject. He is of opinion with 
him, " that education cannot begin too early, if properly 
adapted to the age of the pupil ; but," adds he, " you 
should, above all things, inculcate, even from his infancy, 
the most incorruptible attachment to hahits of ingenuousness ; 
you will then be infallibly sure of success in any endeavour, 


not with Rousseau, cunningly to trick your pupil, but by con- 
victive arguments to persuade him, fairly ami openly like 
Socrates, into the most ardent pursuit of rectitu(k^, and the 
steady practice of virtue." 

" Thoughts on the Rise and Decline of the Polite Arts." 
After a review of the different schools of Greece and Rome, 
he observes, " that whatever aptitudes to genius" may be al- 
lowed to exist in human nature, " yet no one can be truly 
said to have been ever born witli it." He loudly complains of 
the interested views of those parents, who, without consulting 
the capacities of their children, always prefer those professions 
seemingly most lucrative. 

This circumstance alone, we are told, produces indifference 
on the part of patrons, and the decline of the arts ; '• the Egyp- 
tians," adds he, " who, by a mistaken law, were compelled to 
pursue the same profession with their fothers, in despite of 
their indefatigable perseverance in the way of sculpture, have 
never produced one tolerable statue, bas-relief, gem, or medal, 
although the quantity they have left behind them is without 

" The Fifth Canto of Dante's Inferno." This translation, 
which is in blank verse, is a first attempt at poetry. The 
preface is dated September 13, 1794. 

" Observations on the Advantages attending an elevated and 
dry Situation." Our author observes, that it was the general 
practice of our ancestors (if we except a few old castles, and 
those mostly on the banks of rivers) to fix their country houses 
in valleys : Mr. Jennings prefers hills, and assigns his rea- 
sons, both in respect to health and prospect ; the avoidance of 
damps, turbid water, &c. He affirms that the Venetians, 
whose houses are built on piles in the midst of the sea, " are 
better supplied with fresh water, and that of a better quality, 
than those of any town he ever met with." Every opulent 
family, besides public wells, has one, at least, in either its 
court-yard or landing room ; that part which is under ground, 
is formed of the figure of an egg with its small end down- 
wards ; it is constructed of stones ce»ncnted with terrass-nior- 


tar, while the top is closed with can arch, up to a circular 
opening of three feel diameter, which is capped with an or- 
namental stone. At some distance is a small under-irround 
cistern, that first receives the water hi pipes, as it comes from 
the house top; and between these two receptacles is a curved 
drain or channel, filled with different loose beds of sand, 
gravel, chalk, &c. so as to filter, cleanse, and even impregnate 
tlic element. 

At. Pisa, in Tuscany, he beheld subterraneous granaries, 
which might be used with great convenience on eminences in 
England ; they are built after the form of the Venetian wells. 
The damps are effectually kept out by straw. He also re- 
commends an under-cellar, such as he saw beneath the liouse 
of Salvator Rosa at Rome, both for cooling wines, and serving 
all the purj)oses of an ice house, " it needs no double door, 
is at home, and is not in sight." 

" Considerations on the destructive Application of Gold.'* 
This has but little novelty to recommend it. 

" A Free Enquiry into the enormous increase of Attornies, 
&c." " The English nation, as is evident from the unremitting 
tenour of historical facts, has continued, by some strange fatal- 
ity, even from the obscure times of its Druid thraldom, under 
the influence of some oppressive members. It was, for many 
centuries prior to our first William's invasion, conquest- 
ridden. Very soon after that famous period, it was still more 
heavily priest-ridden. Under the Tudor family it was most 
egiegiously tyrant-ridden. For a shol't space, it was pretty 
roughly ridden by fanatics ; and I am sorry to observe, that 
its present inhabitants have but too long groaned under tlie 
ruthless lash, and oi)i)rcssive load of lawyers." 

" Postscript" Under this head, we have a proposition for 
the abolition of rotten boroughs, the transfer of the votes to the 
counties, and universal suffrage. On the first of these subjects 
he boasts of having made a convert of Junius, who had at- 
tended to his writings, in the celebrated letter to Mr. Wdkes. 
'J'he two hist article:-, contain " Thougiits on the Instabihty 


of Empires;" and a "Letter to Mr. Pitt," dated in 1783, 
containing objections to his particular mode of reform. 

Meanwhile, amidst his various occupations, as an antiquary, 
a virtuoso, a collector, and an author, the health and constitu- 
tion of Mr. Jennings began visibly to decline, while his fortune 
became daily deteriorated, and hi:: personal liberty placed in 
continual jeopardy. After my return from an excursion to 
the continent, I learned that he had been frequently arrested ; 
and on calling to see him, I discovered that there was an exe- 
cution in the house, and also learned that he himself, was a 
prisoner in the King's Bench. 

On this, I immediately drove thither, and on my applying to 
the turnkey at the inner gate, I was there taught, that a 
prison, like death, levels all distinctions. His name was only 
known by an inspection of the register ; and his place of abode 
so imperfectly designated, that I was put to great inconveni- 
ence to discover it. At length, I was referred to a fat short 
mulatto man, about fifty-six years of age ; he was a kind of 
Maitre (T Hotel, and occasionally let out his apartment by the 
night, to lodgers. This civil geritleman assured me that my 
old friend, now upwards of eighty years of age, and who had 
been educated in the very bosom of luxury, had actually spent 
the preceding night on a hard matlrass, placed on the floor for' 
his reception. He then kindly conducted me to a narrow stair- 
case, and, after announcing the number, courteously withdrew. 

On ascending to the top, I ta})ped gently, and on being de- 
sired to enter, by a well known little shrill voice, I there be- 
held Mr. Jennings seated in the midst of a motley crew, so 
as to exhibit a scene which would have afforded a fine subject 
for the pencil of Hogarth. Here were two or three inferior 
tradesmen's wives, and two workmen, who, as appeared 
from their clothes, had just returned from white-wash- 
ing the jail. A roasted pig was placed in the middle, and an 
elderly lady did the honours ol the table, while one little child 
laced its elbow on the antiquary's plate, and another dipped 
its hand into his pot of porter. 


I was received with great kindness, accompanied by many 
expressions of gratitude for my visit, and with an air and man-- 
ner, that singularly contrasted with every thing around us. 
He said he was happy, and seemed, indeed, to be perfectly at 
home ; although he rather discomposed some of the company 
by terming them " ladies," and addressing each in turn by 
the term of " Madam." 

On my taking leave, I pressed him to accept of some wine; 
but he declined the offer, obscrvinfj, " that he had brought 
two bottles of fine Jamaica rum into the jail with him, and 
that some of the rapscallions had stolen the contents, and re- 
placed them with small beer." 

On the 25th of April, 1816, I repaired once more to St. 
George's Fields, and found him lodged in a room, or rather 
cellar, on the pavement story. The apartment had a groined 
roof, composed of brickwork ; there were two beds, one for 
himself and another for his nurse; an Irish edition of Junius, 
along with his old Koran, were placed on one of these, while 
he himself was busily employed in reading a morning paper 
with perfect ease, and great facility, without recurring to spec- 
tacles. A live parrot, a breeding cage without birds, a stool, 
for a table, and two old chairs, constituted not only the furni- 
ture, but the whole contents of this apartment. 

On this occasion, I was accompanied by an officer, who had 
sei'ved in the same regiment of guards with himself, after the 
interval of half a century. On learning from me, that his fa- 
mily was connected by marriage with the Margravine of 
Anspach, he exhibited a wonderful instance of the nndecayed 
powers of memory. " Tell Her Serene Highness, my cousin, 
from me," said he, " that soon after our return from Paris, 
she borrowed one of the quarto volumes of Bruce's Travels in 
Abyssinia, which, between ourselves," added he, in an under 
voice, " I never could get back, and as it may be mislaid, I shall 
most readily accept of a haunch of venison in return." 

My companion was so much fascinated with the company of 
the old gentleman, that he actually expi'essed a most earnest 
wish " to be a prisoner along with him, for three months, in 
order to hear all his stories." 


On my third and last visit, being alone, he called me aside, 
and after significantly observing " that he had still some small 
matters, saved from the clutches of the harpies, demanded * if I 
wanted any thing ?' " On being answered in the negative, he 
replied, " You are then the only one who ever visited me in 
this prison without a motive !" It is to be hoped that this re- 
mark was far too general and indiscriminate to be literally 

It would be unpardonable here to omit a circumstance that 
occurred at this interview. I had often before heard of Mr. 
Jennings's biitli and pretensions ; but he was now full of his 
claims to two titles, and these two titles were no less than the 
ancient earldoms of Warwick and Salisbury 1 He had even 
made some little progress in the prosecution of this affair, as 
will be seen from the following summary, extracted from a 
document which was drawii up officially, and with due adher- 
ence to form, by a professional man, whom I believe to have 
been the late Mr. Trovvard, who was fully competent to the 

Abbreviated Petitiofi of Henry Coiistaniine Jennings, Esq. 

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty, with a copy of the 

official communication from the Secretary of State for the 

Home department. 

" That your petitioner's ancestor, William de Montacute, 
in consideration of his eminent services, was by royal charter, 
dated xith of Edward III. advanced to the dignity of Earl of 
Salisbury, with remainder of the saitl earldom to the heirs ge- 
neral of his body. 

" From this William descended Thomas, the 4th Eai I oi 
Salisbury of his name and family, who, having no issue male, 
Eliza, his only daughter, became his heir general to the said 
earldom of Salisbury — this lady married Richard, second son 
to Ralph Nevill, first Earl of Westmorland, which Richard, 
by letters patent, dated the xx of Henry VI., had continued to 
him, and to the heirs of the said Alice, his wife, the afore- 
said earldom of Salisbury. 


" To him succeeded Ricliard, liis son and lieir, wliich 
Richard, in the life-time of his father, having married Anne, 
only sister and heir of the whole blood of Henry Beauchamp, 
the last earl of that surname, Earl of Warwick, bore thai 
title, which, by letters patent, dated the xxvii of Henry VI., 
was granted to him and the said Lady Anne, his wife, and in 
the succeeding year confirmed to them and the heirs of the 
said Anne in tail general. 

" By virtue of these several letters patent the said last- 
named Richard Nevill was Earl of Warwick and of Salisbury, 
with remainder of those honours to his heirs general. He left 
only two daughters, his co-heirs, viz. Isabella and Anne : but 
the issue of Anne afterwards failing, Margaret, the daugh- 
ter of Isabella, became eventually the sole heir general ; which 
Margaret, on her petition, exhibited in parliament the vth of 
Henry VIIL, was allowed, and had confirmed to her the title 
of Countess of Salisbury. 

" From this Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, your peti- 
tioner is lineally descended, and stands, as he considers, in 
the particular character of the only heir capable of inheriting 
the before-named dignities of Earl of Salisbury and Earl of 
Warwick, viz. as heir general at law of the aforesaid Margaret, 
only surviving daughter and at length heiress of Isabella, eldest 
daughter, and afterwards sole heir of Richard Nevill, Earl of 
Warwick and SaHsbury, son and heir of Alice, daughter and 
heir of Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, great grand- 
son and heir of William, the first earl. Wherefore your 
petitioner, &c. &c." 

" Wliitehall, 25th Feb. 1815. 
" His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, in the name and 
on the behalf of His Majesty, is graciously pleased to refer this 
petition to Mr. Attorney-General, to consider thereof, and 
report his opinion what may be properly done therein ; where- 
upon His Majesty's further pleasure will be declaicd. 

(Signed) Sidmouth." 

It may be readily conceived that strict confinement, a small 
apartment, and bad air, were but little favourable to a man of 
afeeble constitution, fitricken in years, borne down by calaun*- 


ties, and afflicted with disease. Luckily he did not suffer 
from pecuniary privations; the supplies he obtained from 
Jamaica, although unequal, were regular, and his necessities 
were liberally supplied by Mr. Hibbert, an opulent and re- 
spectable merchant in the city, to whom the produce of the 
plantation was consigned. He also found means soon after 
to obtain the rules of the Bench, by which privilege he 
removed to lodgings in Belvedere-Place, where he finally 
closed his eyes, at half-past three o'clock on Wednesday, 
February 7, 1819, at the advanced age of 88. 

Mr. Jennings had two wives and two daughters. One of 
the latter, who died in her infancy, was frequently lamented 
by him : " as a most admirable animal !" His widow was a 
Miss Nowel, or Noel, a lady of very considerable fortune 
and great accomplishments. It was this alliance, we believe, 
that rescued him from the sudden misery occasioned by 
his unfortunate speculations on Chillaby, and enabled him 
again to gratify the ruling passion of his life, by a new and 
singular collection; which, like the former, however, was 
doomed to be sacrificed beneath the hammer of the auctioneer. 
This, indeed, was the third, lost to himself and family; for 
a small one, valued at 8000/., was destroyed by fire during his 
residence in Essex. 

Notwithstanding all his difficulties, our connoisseur still pos- 
sessed a considerable, although an uncertain income. His 
one-sixth share of a capital plantation at Montego Bay, in the 
island of Jamaica, in 1804, produced 1000/.; but in 1806 and 
1807, no more than 500/. He was accustomed to average 
his annual income at 600/. per ann., and he always received a 
considerable portion of this in advance, partly for subsist- 
ence, and partly to make purchases, of whatsoever struck his 


The fate of Mr. Jennings has been eminently singular, and 
the flux and reflux, the ever-varying ebbs and flows of his 
fortune appear so sti'ange as to be almost paradoxical. At 
an early period of his life we behold him mingling in the 
crowd of wealthy pilgrims who repaired to Italy about half a 


century ago, trt pay their devotions at the thrinc of taste and 
T)ertu. He returned at length, Hke old Tradescaot *, with 
shells, statues, minerals, gems, and the finest specimens of 
natural history in his train. 

After keeping company with foreign princes and princesses 
he associates with the first nobility in his native country, and 
then, by a fatal reverse, speiids some years of his life, partly 
within the walls of a provincial, and partly of a town gaol. 
Recovering, as if by magic, from his embarrassments, we 
next behold him emerging above the horizon of distress, and 
throwing away a second fortune at Newmarket, where he be- 
came the dupe of titled and untitled jockeys. 

Sudden and inevitable ruin now seems to overtake him, and 
hie is apparently lost for ever ; but, lo ! in the course of a 
very short period, he once more revisits the circles of fashion, 
and sits enthroned in a temple, surrounded by the most rare 
and brilliant productions of nature, with pictures, and statues, 
and gems, and shells and books, and goddesses, perpetually be- 
fore his eyes ! Again the scene changes : the wand of some envi- 
ous necromancer seems to be waved over his venerable head ; 
and the acquisitions of ages, the wreck of his estates, every thing 
most precious in his eyes ; his very " household goods" are all 
seized by the unholy hands of vile bailiffs, aud he himself, 
after languishing for two or three years in a prison, at length 
dies unheeded, unattended, and almost unknown, within the 
purlieus of the King's Bench. 

I am aware that the fate and history of this old gentleman, 
however sad and singular, are almost insusceptible of a moral 
lesson in the present times. To be a virfiioso is not the 
passion of the age in which we live ; and even Newmarket 
itself, seems happily to have lost many of its attractions. Who 
would now sell his family mansion to buy shells and butter- 
flies, and coins and petrifications ? Who would now exchange 
•many thousands of fair paternal acres for medals, and bronzes, 

* John Tradescant is said to have been the first person who formed a collection in 
this kingdom ; and the Museum TradeHanlianum was ion-; famous. 



and statues, and heathen deities? And who, in the prescwt 
hiffioing age, would purchase a Chillaby, and stake thousands 
on the progeny of an unknown and untried Arabian ? 

In his person Mr. Jennings was rather under the middle 
size. Of late years he was hcnt like a bow ; but even amidst 
the vigour of youth he must have been accounted somewhat 
diminutive. His complexion was fair ; his features were small, 
and perhaps a little effeminate, and he still retained some faint 
remains of colour in those cheeks where the roses had for- 
merly blopmed. On the whole, he appears to have been once 
sprightly, agreeable, and genteel. 

His eyes were weak, and when agitated by any subject, not 
unfrequently suffused with tears. Yet his sight was strong, 
and that, too, in no ordinary degree, for he preserved the 
power of reading, unassisted with any aid, to a very exterided 
old age. When near ninety, he scorned to recur to glasses, 
and two [lours in the morning were constantly consumed in 
perusing a newspaper, not at all conspicuous, either for the 
largeness or the excellence of the type. 

To the contemplation of natural history he was greatly 
addicted ; and in more than once instance his fame is con- 
nected both with it and the fine arts. On a rare shell in his 
collection his name has been conferred * ; and both his horse 
and his mastiff have each in their turn, afforded a cognomen for 

We shall conclude the life of this extraordinary man, by 
observing, that among his other peculiarities, he respected 
medicine, but hated physicians, — he admired the ancient 
common law of England, but held all the modern practitioners 
in abhorrence ; — and, finally, that while he deemed religion 
necessary for a state, he affected to detest priests of all orders, 
classes, and denominations whatsoever. 


Ko. Xlll. 

JOHN PLAYFAIR, F.R.S., F.A.S., Edinbuugh. 


EDINnunCH, &C. 


1 HE city of Edinburgh, which is justly entitled to be deno- 
minated the " Northern Capital," is said also of late years to 
aspire to the appellation of the " Modern Athens." That she 
has made rapid strides in the career of science is evident to all ; 
and it is only sufficient to peruse the long and splendid list of 
her poets, philosophers, and historians to form a high opinion 
of their various and almost unrivalled excellence. It ought 
not to be forgotten, too, that all this is a new creation. Under 
the name of " the gude town" she formerly displayed a fiery 
and intolerant zeal, such as the more prudent peisccution of 
the church of Rome would not have been disposed openly to 
avow. Had Scrvctus csca})eil I'roin Geneva he would have 
been burnt at the Market-cross of Edinburgh ! 

n 15 2 


To this spirit of intolerance were superadded high feudal 
notions; the doctrine of hereditary indefeasible right was main- 
tained with a rigorous hand ; and the same laws of descent 
that regulated a cow-house or a pig-stye were supposed equally 
applicable to a whole nation. This engendered and kept up 
an attachment to the house of Stuart. Scotland always re- 
ceived the fugitive princes with open arms, and spent her best 
blood, and forfeited her largest estates in support of a dynasty 
unworthy to reign. The projected union of the crowns and 
kingdoms under Anne proved but the signal of a new re- 
bellion ; and the northern side of the Tweed for a long time 
profited but little by the event that gave rise to it. Adum- 
brated by an alliance with a greater and richer kingdom, the 
people remained for more than half a century in a torpid 
state ; neither commerce nor agriculture, nor any of the arts 
that embellish human life, flourished ; the sciences were not as 
yet cultivated ; and polite literature was not only neglected, 
but almost unknown. 

At length, towards the middle of the last century, a new 
epoch arose ; and the field of Culloden, where was obtained 
the maiden victory of a prince unused to conquest, put an end 
to chieftainship, hereditary jurisdiction, and personal slavery. 
Civilisation now made rapid strides ; property was augmented, 
commerce and manufactures encouraged ; the fisheries pro- 
moted; luxury began to be known for the first time, and every 
thing appertaining to social life, was rendered more useful and 
more elegant. The schools and universities partook of the 
genius of the age, and sent forth better and more enlightened 
scholars. The capital, so long the seat of intolerance and 
superstition, began to take the lead in the encouragement of 
learning; the arts and sciences were cultivated with enthu- 
siasm ; and a new race of men arose. A Hume, a Robertson, 
a Ferguson, Adam Smith, Black, Blair, &c. &c. at last ap- 
peared upon the scene. More liberal notions respecting law, 
religion, and liberty, prevailed; the fine arts began to rear 
their heads ; and Edinburgh might then indeed boast, that in 
respect to great names she emulated almost any of the states 


of Greece; not in arms, indeed, but in arts; not In warriors, 
l)iit in men of letters and men of science. 

John Playfair, who is so justly entitled to be considered as 
one of these, was the eldest son of the Rev. James Playfair, 
a clergyman of the established church of Scotland. He 
was born in 174!), at the 7najise, or parsonage-house of 
Benvie, a small and obscure village in the vicinity of Dundee. 
His father, who was an excellent scholar, appears to have 
qualified him for the university; and he was accordingly sent 
to St. Andrew's, where he obtained a bursary, at the early age 
of fourteen. His genius immediately pointed towards the exad 
sciences; and Dr. Wilkie, the author of the " Epigoniad," 
then professor of mathematics, and a man' remarkable for 
unaifected candour, became first his friend, and then his com- 
panion. The good-natured and kind-hearted Earl of Kinnoul, 
whom we have already mentioned with respect, in the life of 
Dr. William Thomson, who then happened to be chancellor 
of his university, acted the part of a patron. At this noble- 
man's seat at Duplin he was a frequent guest, and there he 
saw and conversed with good company during the vacation. 

At the early age of nineteen he earned his first honorarinmy 
by making calculations for the Edinburgh Almanack * ; such 
€ven now was the opinion of his talents, that when surveyors 
differed as to the admeasurement of land, he was generally 
chosen arbitrator : in short, his decision was final and con- 

Meanwhile he proceeded in his studies at St. Andrew's, 
where he now attended the Divinity class, and at length ob- 
tained a licence to preach. This empowered him to perform 
an act of filial piety : for he was thus enabled occasionally to 
assist his father, who, although not old, yet was frequently 
disabled by disease from fulfilling the duties of his station. 

Amidst his various avocations, young Playfair found time 
to visit Edinburgh, which then, as now, truly merited the 
praise of being a " hot-bed of genius !" He even became a 

* Tills work w;is lliiii piiljlisJicd l)y the uiilow ('lln|)mnii. 
1$ B 3 


member of the " Speculative Society," which had then been 
but a few years in existence ; notwithstanding which it wa» 
rapidly advancing into celebrity. At this period, too, he 
formed many friendships with men of merit and eminence, 
some of which proved highly beneficial to him in his future 
prospects in life. 

In 1772 he lost his father, who left behind him a numer- 
ous family, consisting of seven children, of whom the three 
youngest sons, and two daughters, were under fifteen years of 
age. Towards the latter Mr. Playfair henceforth exercised 
all the paternal duties, and is even supposed to have declined 
marriage * with a view to be the better enabled to educate 
and support them. 

The living of Benvie being now vacant. Lord Gray, of 
Gray, who had the alternate presentation, nominated the 
subject of this memoir to be minister. It was contended, 
however, that the gift pro hac vice appertained to the king ; 
and this produced a contest that lasted a year. At length the 
General Assembly, through the influence of Dr. Robertson, 
the historian, by whom he was known and beloved, decided iu 
his favour. On this he retained and supported at the mame a 
part of that family which he had adopted as his own. The lat- 
ter part of his mother's life, too, was at once cheered and blessed 
by finding an asylum under the roof of such a son. She en- 
joyed this happiness in common with two of her daughters^ 
until a few years since, when she died, at the age of 80. 

Soon after his settlement in an obscure country parish, as a 
member of the established church of Scotland, an event oc- 
curred in the life of Mr. Playfair that contributed not a little 
to confer novelty, variety, and even affluence, during the latter 
part of his existence. Mr. Ferguson, of Raith, a gentleman of 
considerable landed property and influence, made a libeial off*er 
to the subject of the present memoir, to educate his two sons, 

* See Dr. Jolinson's 'I'ravels ii> ilie Hcbridts. Mr. Playfair was not inseiisibie t'> 
the charms of female society; ami in after-life look great delight in and was not a 
little flattered by the atttniion:< of a lady, now tht; <vifc of the greatest rhemibi of this 


the present General Ferguson and his brother. This pro- 
dticed a resignation of his clerical preferment and a removal to 
Edinburgh. While there, his merits were so well appreciated 
that, when Professor Ferguson resigned the chair of Moral 
Philosophy to Mr.Diigald Stewart, Mr.Playfair was very pro- 
perly selected by the magistrates, who are the patrons, to pre- 
side over the mathematical class of the university. Soon after 
this, on the establishment of the Royal Society by charter 
from the king, he was also nominated to be secretary. He 
contributed many valuable pai)ers to the transactions of this 
Northern Institution, and in 1 71)6, published his " Elements 
of Geometry." This was followed by a new edition of 
Euclid ; but truth forbids us to pronounce its superiority 
over that of his countryman, the ingenious Simpson. 

At a later period he was busily employed in the generous 
task of defending the characterj and displaying the merits of a 
man, whose discoveries and experiments have thrown a lustre 
over the first of our Northern Universities. 

When Professor Leslie was about to be a}ipointed to a 
chair, a clergyman full of zeal, but devoid of discretion, ac- 
cused him before the patrons of having once uttered certain 
doctrines in a lecture, ajijiroxmaling to materialism. Several 
of his brethren joined in the persecution ; but the subject of 
this memoir, who had been bred to and obtained preferment 
in the church of Scotland, victoriously refuted the charge. It 
was the triumph of genius over superstition ! 

In 1812, appeared his " Outlines of Natural Philosophy ;" 
and soon after this he enjoyed the |)leasure of beholding a ne- 
phew, whom he had adopted, obtaining the prize for and car- 
rying into execution the plan for building the New College at 

When the supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica was 
first meditated, at Edinburgh, the most eminent men in that 
city were selected to compose the different articles of which 
the new volumes consisted. Accordingly, on the ajipcarance 
of the first, it was preceded by a masterly dissertation from 
the pen of Dugald Stewart, F. R. S. S. " on the progress of 

B B A 



Metaphysical, Ethical, and Political Philosophy, since the 
revival of letters in Europe." To another portion of this 
work was appended " a General View of the Progress of 
Mathematical and Physical Science, since the revival of let- 
ters in Europe, by John Playfair, Professor of Natural Phi- 
losophy, &c. &c." The only praise aspired to by this very 
learned man in the work alluded to is that arising " from 
clearness and precision.'* In the course of his dissertation he 
not only gives a history of the sciences, but also biographical 
sketches of the men by whom they were either cultivated or 
repressed. On those occasions he expresses himself with 
great freedom and boldness ; as well as with a very consider- 
ble share of ingenuity. " Tycho Brahe," he observes^ " was of 
a noble family in Denmark ; he belonged to a class in society 
elevated, in the opinion of that age, above the pursuit of 
knowledge, and jealous of the privilege of remaining igno- 
rant with iifipunity." He animadverts, with a just severity, on 
the jealousy with which the court of Rome watched the pro- 
gress of improvement ; and remarks " how grievous it is to 
observe the head of the Christian Church, in that and the 
succeeding age, like the Anarch old in Milton, reig^ng in the 
midst of darkness, and complaining of the encroachments 
which the realm of light was continually making on his an- 
cient empire." The whole of this composition exhibits an 
equal degree of ability in investigation, and of candour and 
liberality in respect to the various inductions and conclusions : 
if on one hand it contains but little original matter, (and ori- 
ginality was not here aimed at,) on the other it abounds with 
hints and instructions for the youthful student, and, by supply- 
ing one general unbroken line of scientific knowledge, cannot 
fail to be eminently useful to all. 

In 1816, when approaching his 78th year, the subject 
of our memoir repaired, on a scientific mission, to Italy, 
and spent a considerable time in visiting and examining the 
Alps. Soon after his return to Edinburgh, our Professor's 
health began to decline; notwithstanding which, he at this 
very period made some scientific discoveries, concerning the 
rays of the sun. 


At length, while enjoying a high degree of fame, and a 
very extensive reputation, Mr. Playfair was snatched away 
from his pupils, his friends, and the learned and scientific 
circle of society around him ; being seized with a disease that 
proved fatal ; this was a suppression, the self-same ma- 
lady with which he had often been afflicted before, but it 
now returned with increased violence, towards the beginning 
of last summer. He died like a philosopher. Finding his 
end approach, on the evening of the 19th of July, our ami- 
able Professor assembled his sisters and nephews around his 
bed-side, and after a succinct statement of his affairs, he took 
his leave of them with great affection, notwithstanding the 
agonies endured by him. About two next morning the pain 
wholly ceased, and he soon after expired, in presence of his 
afflicted relatives, on July 20, 1819, at the mature age of 70. 
Thus ceased to exist the celebrated John Playfair. In re- 
ligion he was a Presbyterian; by profession and practice a 
philosopher. He cultivated the exact sciences with success; 
and towards the middle of his life turned his attention to- 
wards geology, a pursuit, much of which is as yet conjectural. 
He was led to this attachment, partly by an introduction to 
the celebrated Mr. Whitehurst, and partly by his defence of 
the Huttonian Theory. At the age of near three-score and 
ten he visited Italy and the Alps to obtain new information 
respecting his favourite theory. 

We have already mentioned that his last effort led to some 
discovery relative to the rays of light : — this reminds us of 
Bacon, towards the termination of his life, alighting from his 
carriage to examine and make some experiments on snow. 

" The funeral of this much regretted scholai", took place 
on Monday, July 26, in Edinburgh, and the ceremony 
presented a solemn and mournful spectacle. The students of 
the Natural Philosophy Class went to Professor Playfair's 
house, Albany- Row, from the College-yard, at half past one 
o'clock. The Professors of the University met at Dr. Gre- 
gory's at the same time, and walked in procession, preceded by 
their ollicers, bearing their insignia reversed, anil covered with 

378 nioFEssoii playfaik. 

crape, to the Professor's house, where they were in readincis^ 
to receive the Right Honourable the Lord Provost, Magis- 
trates, and Council of the City. The Members of the Royal 
Society, the Astronomical Institution, Royal Medical Society, 
&c. were accommodated in the different apartments of the 
house of this friend of genius and learning. 

" At half past two, this affecting procession advanced from 
the Professor's house, up Duke-Street, through St. Andrew's 
Square, and along Prince's Street and the Regent's Bridge, 
to the Calton Burying-ground, in the following order : — 


The Students of the University who had attended liis Clasa- 

Baton-raen, Ushers, and Mutes. 


Supported by Pall-bearers and Jlelativcs. 

The Magistracy and Town Council in their Robes, 

^jrcceded by the City Officers and the City Macers witli their 

Insignia reversed, covered with crape. 

The Principal and Professors of the University. 

The Itoyal Society. 

The Astronomical Institution. 

The Iloyal Medical Society, with a numerous train 

of Friends and Acquaintainces. 

The whole procession went four and four, and it is supposed 
the train of mourners consisted of not less than five hundred 

" All the windows in the streets through which the funeral 
passed were filled with ladies, seemingly anxious to view so 
large an assemblage of learning and talent. On reaching the 
burying ground, the gentlemen, who preceded the corpse, 
opened two and two, and uncovered as it passed to the place 
of interment, 

" After the funeral, a meeting of his fbinier pupils who had 
been attending it, was held in the College, when it was unani- 
mously resolved, that they should testily the high admiration 
which they entertained of his genius and worth, by some tri- 
bute to his jucmory, and the deep regret which they feel for 


an event that has deprived not only the University, but the 
nation to wliich he belonged, of one of its brightest ornaments. 
They aceordingly appointed a counnittee to consult with others 
who may have the same object in view, and in general to take 
such steps as may enable a future meeting, when more of the 
students shall be in town, to come to a particular and final 

The following " Account of the Character and Merits of 
the late Professor Playfair," has been attributed to the pen 
of a celebrated man of letters, in the Northern Metropolis. 

" It has struck many people, we believe, as very extraordi- 
nary, that so eminent a person as Mr. Playfair should have 
been allowed to sink into his grave in the midst of us, without 
calling foith almost so nmch as an attempt to commemorate 
his merit, even in a connnon newspaper : and that the death 
of a man so eminent and so beloved, and, at the same time, so 
closely connected with many who could well appreciate and 
suitably describe his excellencies, should be left to the brief 
and ordinary notice of the daily obituary. No event of the 
kind certainly ever excited more general sympathy ; and no 
individual, we are persuaded, will be longer or more affection- 
ately remembered by all the classes of his fellow-citizens : and 
yet it is to these very circumstances that we must look for an 
explanation of the apparent neglect by which his memory 
has been followed. His humbler admirers have been deterred 
from expressing their sentiments by a natural feeling of un- 
willingness to encroach on the privilege of those, whom a 
nearer approach to his person and talents rendered more 
worthy to speak of them ; while the learned and eloquent 
among his friends have trusted to each other, for the perform- 
ance of a task which they could not but feel to be painfid in 
itself, and not a little difficult to perform as it ought to be, or, 
perhaps, have reserved for some more solemn occasion that tri- 
bute for which the public impatience i$ already at its height. 

" We beg leave to assure our readers, tliat it is merely from 
anxiety to do something to gratify this natural impatience, that 
we presume to eiiter at all u[)on a subject to which we are per- 
fectly aware that we are incapable of doing ju!?tice; for of Mr. 


Playfair's scientific attainments, of his proficiency in tliose stu- 
dies to which he was peculiarly devoted, we are but slenderly 
qualified to judge : but, we believe, we hazard nothing in saying 
that he was one of the most learned mathematicians of his 
age, and among the first, if not the very first, wlio introduced 
the beautiful discoveries of the latter continental geometers 
to the knowledge of his countrymen, and gave their just value 
and true place in the scheme of European knowlege to those 
important improvements by which the whole aspect of the ab- 
stract sciences has been renovated since the days of our illus- 
trious Newton. If he did not signalise himself by any bril- 
liant or original invention, he must, at least, be allowed 
to have been a most generous and intelligent judge of the 
achievements of others, as well as the most eloquent ex- 
pounder of that great and magnificent system of knowlege 
which has been gradually evolved by the successive labours 
of so many gifted individuals. He possessed, indeed, in 
the highest degree, all the characteristics both of a fine and 
powerful understanding, at once penetrating and vigilant, but 
more distinguished, perhaps, for the caution and sureness of 
its march, than for the brilliancy or rapidity of its movements, 
and guided and adorned through all its progress by the most 
genuine enthusiasm for all that is grand, and the justest taste 
for all that is beautiful in the truth or the intellectual energy 
with which he was habitually conversant. 

" To what account these rare qualities might have been 
turned, and what more brilliant or lasting fruits they might 
have produced, if his whole life had been dedicated to the so- 
litary cultivation of science, it is not for us to conjecture; but 
it amnot be doubted that they added incalculably to his emi- 
nence and utility as a teacher ; both by enabling him to direct 
his pupils to the most simple and luminous methods of inquiry, 
and to imbue their minds, from the very commencement of the 
study, with that fine relish for the truths it disclosed, and that 
high sense of the majesty with which they were invested, that 
predominated in his own bosom. While he left nothing un- 
explained or unreduced to its proper place in the system, he 
took care that they should never be perplexed by petty diffi- 


culties, or bewildered in useless details, and formed them be- 
times tQ that clear, masculine, and direct method of investi- 
gation, by which, with the least labour, the greatest advances 
might be accomplished. 

" Mr. Playfair, however, was not merely a teacher ; and has 
fortunately left behind him a variety of works, from which other 
generations may be enabled to judge of some of those qualifi- 
cations which so powerfully recommended and endeared him 
to his contemporaries. It is, perhaps, to be regretted, that so 
much of his time, and so large a proportion of his publications, 
should have been devoted to the subjects of the Indian astro- 
nomy, and the Huttonian theory of the earth. For though 
nothing can be more beautiful or instructive than his specu- 
lations on those curious topics, it cannot be dissembled that 
their results are less conclusive and satisfactory than might 
have been desired ; and that his doctrines, from the veiy na- 
ture of the subjects, are more questionable than we believe 
they could possibly have been on any other topic in the whole 
circle of the sciences. To the first, indeed, he came under 
the great disadvantages of being unacquainted with the Eastern 
tongues, and without the means of judging of the authenticity 
of the documents which he was obliged to assume as the ele- 
ments of his reasonings ; and as to the other, though he ended, 
we believe, with being a very able and skilful mineralogist, we 
think it is now generally admitted, that that science does not 
yet afford sufficient materials for any positive conclusion ; and 
that all attempts to establish a theory of the earth must, for 
many year Ji to come, be regarded as premature. Though it is 
impossible, therefore, to think too highly of the ingenuity, 
the vigour, and the eloquence of those publications, we are of 
opinion, that a juster estimate of Mr. Playfair's talent, and a 
truer picture of his genius and understanding, is to be found 
in his other writings ; in the papers, both biographical and 
scientific, with which he has enriched the transactions of our 
Royal Society ; his account of De Laplace, and other articles 
which he is understood to have contributed to the Edinburgh 
Review; the outlines of his lectures on natural philosophy; and, 
above all, his introductory discourse (o the supplement to the 


Encyclopedia Britamdcai with the final correction of which 
he was occupied up to the last moments that the progress of 
his disease allowed him to dedicate to any intellectual 

" With reference to these works, we do not think we are 
influenced by any national or other partiality, when we say 
that he was certainly one of the best writers of his age ; and 
even that we do not now recollect any one of his contempo- 
raries who was so great a master of composition. There is a 
certain mellowness and richness about his style, which adorns 
without disguising the weight and nervousness which is its 
other great characteristic ; a sedate gracefulness and manly 
simplicity in the more level passages, and a mild majesty and 
considerate enthusiasm where he rises above them, of which we 
scarcely know where to find any other example. There is 
great equability too, and sustained force in every part of his 
writings. He "never exhausts himself in flashes and epigrams, 
nor languishes into tameness or insipidity ; at first sight you 
would say that plainness and good sense were the predominat- 
ing qualities ; but, by and by, this simplicity is enriched with 
the delicate and vivid colours of a fine imagination ; the free 
and forcible touches of a most powerful intellect ; and the 
lights and shades of an unerring and harmonising taste. In 
comparing it with the styles of his most celebrated contempo- 
raries, we would say that it was more purely and peculiarly a 
written style, and therefore rejected those ornaments that more 
properly belong to oratory. It had no impetuosity, hurry, or 
vehemence — no bursts or sudden turns or abruptions, like 
that of Burke ; and though eminently smooth and melodious 
it was not modulated to an uniform system of solemn declam- 
ation like that of Johnson, nor spread out in the richer and 
more voluminous elocution of Stewart j nor still less broken 
into the patchwork of scholastic pedantry and conversational 
smartness which has found its admirers in Gibbon. It is a 
style, in short, of great freedom, force, and beauty ; but the 
deliberate style of a man of thought and of learning ; and nei- 
ther that of a wit throwing out his extcmpores with an affect- 



ation of careless grace, nor of a rhetorician, thinking more 
of his manner than his matter, and determined to be admired 
for his expression, wliatcver may be the fate of his sentiments. 
" His habits of composition, as we have understood, were not 
perhaps, exactly what might have been expected from their 
results. He wrote rather slowly, and his first sketches were 
often very slight and imperfect, like the rude chalking of a 
masterly picture. His chief effort and greatest pleasure was 
in their revisal and correction ; and there were no limits to 
the improvement which resulted from this application. It was 
not the style merely, or indeed chiefly, that gained by it. The 
whole reasoning, and sentiment, and illustration, were en- 
larged and new modelled in the course of it, and a naked out- 
line became gradually informed with life, colour, and expres- 
sion. It was not at all like the common finishing and 
polishing to which careful authors generally subject the first 
draughts of their compositions, nor even like the fastidious 
and tentative alterations with which some more anxious writers 
essay their choicer passages. It was, in fact, the great filling 
in of the picture, the working up of the figured weft on the 
naked and meagre woof that had been stretched to receive 
it; and the singular thing in this case was, not only that he 
left this most material part of his work to be performed after 
the whole outline had been finished, but that he could proceed 
with it to an indefinite extent, and enrich and improve as long 
as he thought fit, without any risk either of destroying the 
proportions of that outline, or injuring the harmony and unity 
of the design. He was perfectly aware, too, of the possession 
of this extraordinary power, and it was partly, we presume, 
in consequence of it, that he was not only at all times ready 
to go on with any work in which he was engaged without wait- 
ing for favourable moments or hours of greater alacrity, but 
that he never felt any of those doubts and misgivings, as to 
his being able to get creditably through with his undertaking, 
to which, we believe, most authors are occasionally liable. As 
he never wrote upon any subject of which he was not perfectly 
master, he was secure asainst all blunders in the substance ot 


what he had to say, and felt quite assured, that if he was only 
allowed time enough, he should finally come to say it in the 
very best way of which he was capable. He had no anxiety, 
therefore, either in undertaking or proceeding with his tasks, 
and intermitted and resumed them at his convenience, with 
the comfortable certainty that all the time he bestowed on 
them was turned to good account, and that what was left im- 
perfect at one sitting might be finished with equal ease and 
advantage at another. Being thus perfectly sure both of his 
ends and his means, he experienced in the course of his com- 
positions none of that little fever of the spirits with which that 
operation is so apt to be accompanied. He had no capricious 
visitings of fancy, which it was necessary to fix on the spot, or 
to lose for ever; no casual inspiration to invoke and to wait for ; 
no transitory and evanescent lights to catch before they faded. 
All that was in his mind was subject to his control, and ame- 
nable to his call, though it might not obey at the moment ; and 
while his taste was so sure, that he was in no danger of over- 
working any thing that he had designed, all his thoughts and 
sentiments had that unity and congruity, that they fell almost 
spontaneously into harmony and order ; and the last added, 
incorporated, and assimilated with the first, as if they had 
sprung simultaneously from the same happy conception. 

" But we need dwell no longer on qualities that may be ga- 
thered hereafter from the works he has left behind him. They 
who lived with him mourn the most for those which will be 
traced in no such memorial ; and prize far above those talents 
which gained him his high name in philosophy, that personal 
character which endeared him to his friends, and shed a grace 
and dignity over all the society in which he moved. The 
same admirable taste which is conspicuous in his writings, or 
rather the higher principles from which that taste was but an 
emanation, spread a similar charm over his whole life and 
conversation ; and gave to the most learned philosopher of his 
day the manners and deportment of the most perfect gentle- 
man. Nor was this in him the result merely of good sense 
and good temper, assisted by an early familiarity with good 


company, and consequent knowledge of liis own place and 
that of all around him; his good breeding was of a higher 
descent, and his powers of pleasing rested on something better 
than mere companionable qualities. With the greatest kind- 
ness and generosity of nature, he united the most manly fn in- 
ness, — and the highest principles of honour, — and the most 
cheerful and social dispositions, with the gentlest and steadiest 
affections. Towards women he had always the most chivalrous 
feelings of regard and attention, and was, beyond almost all 
men, acceptable and agreeable in their society, — though with- 
out the least levity or pretension unbecoming his age or con- 
dition : and such, indeed, was the fascination of the peifect 
simplicity and mildness of his manners, that the same tone and 
deportment seemed equally appropriate in all societies, and 
enabled him to delight the young and the gay with the same 
sort of conversation which instructed the learned and the grave. 
There never, indeed, was a man of learning and talent who 
appeared in society so perfectly free from all sorts of pretension 
or notion of his own importance, or so litde solicitous to dis- 
tinguish himself, or so sincerely willing to give place to every 
one else. Even upon subjects which he had thoroughly studied, 
he was never in the least impatient to speak, and spoke at all 
times without any tone of authority ; while, so far from wishing 
to set off what he had to say by any brilliancy or emphasis of 
expression, it seemed generally as if he had studied to disguise 
the weight and originality of his thoughts under the plainest 
form of speech and the most quiet and indifferent manner : so 
that the profoundest remarks and subtilest observations were 
often dropped, not only without any solicitude that their value 
should be observed, but without any apparent consciousness 
that they possessed any. Though the most social of human 
beings, and the most disposed to encourage and sympathise 
with the gaiety and joviality of odiers, his own spirits were in 
general rather cheerful than gay, or at least never rose to any 
turbulence or tumult of merriment; and while he would listen 
with the kindest indulgence to the more extravagant sallies of 
his younger friends, and jnompt them by the heartiest :.ppro- 

VOL. IV. <■ <-' 


batioii, his own satisfaction might generally be traced in a slow 
and temperate smile, gradually mantling over his benevolent 
and intelligent features, and lighting up the countenance of the 
sage with the expression of the mildest and most genuine phi- 
lanthropy. It was wonderful, indeed, considering the measure 
of his own intellect, and the rigid and undeviating propriety 
of his own conduct, how tolerant lie was of the defects and 
errors of other men. He was too indulgent, in truth, and 
favourable to his friends, and made a kind and liberal allow- 
ance for the faults of all mankind, except only faults of base- 
ness or of cruelty, against which he never failed to manifest 
the most open scorn and detestation. Independent, in short, 
of his high attainments, Mr. Playfair was one of the most 
amiable and estimable of men, delightful in his manners, in- 
flexible in his principles, and generous in his affections; he had 
all that could charm in society or attach in private ; and while 
his friends enjoyed the free and unstudied conversation of an 
easy and intelligent associate, they had at all times the proud 
and inward assurance that he was a being upon whose perfect 
honour and generosity they might rely with the most implicit 
confidence, in life and in death ; and of whom it was equally 
impossible that, under any circumstances, he should ever per- 
form a mean, a selfish, or a questionable action, as that his 
body should cease to gravitate or his soul to live. 

If we do not greatly deceive ourselves, there is nothing here 
of exaggeration or partial feeling, and nothing with wliich an 
indifferent and honest chronicler would not concur. Nor 
is it altogether idle to have dwelt so long on the personal 
character of this distinguished individual : for we are ourselves 
persuaded that this personal character has almost done as mucli 
for the cause of science and philosophy among us as the great 
talents and attainments with which it was combined, and has 
contributed in a very eminent degree to give to the better so- 
ciety of this our city that tone of intelligence and liberality by 
which it is so honourably distinguished. It is not a little ad- 
vantageous to philosophy that it is in fashion ; and it is still 
more advantageous, perhaps, to (he society which is led to 


confer on it this apparently trivial distinction. It is a great 
thing for the country at large — for its happiness, its prosperity, 
and its renown, that tlie upper and influencing part of its po- 
pulation should be made familiar, even in its untasked and 
social hours, with sound and liberal information, nnd be taught 
to know and respect those who have distinguished themselves 
for gi'eat intellectual attainments. Nor is it, after all, a slight 
or despicable reward for a man of genius to be received with 
honour in the highest and most elegant society around ium, 
and to receive in his living person that homage and applause 
which is too often reserved for his memory. Now, those de- 
sirable ends can never be effectually accomplished, unless the 
manners of our leading philosophers are agreeable, and their 
personal habits and dispositions engaging and amiable. From 
the time of Hume and Robertson, we have been fortunate in 
Edinburgh in possessing a succession of distinguished men, 
who have kept up this salutary connexion between the learned 
and the fashionable world ; but there never, perhaps, was any 
one who contributed so powerfully to confirm and extend it, 
and that in times when it was peculiarly difficult, as the la- 
mented individual of whom we are now speaking ; and they 
who have had the most opportunity to observe how superior 
the society of Edinburgh is to that of most other places of the 
same size, and how much of that superiority is owing to the 
cordial combination of the two aristocracies, of rank and of 
letters — of both of which it happens to be the chief provin- 
cial seat — will be best able to judge of the importance of tl»e 
service he has thus rendered to its inhabitants, and through 
them, and by their example, to all the rest of the country. 

In thus mournfully estimating the magnitude of the loss we 
have sustained, it is impossible that our thoughts should not 
be turned to the likelihood of its being partly supplied by the 
appointment of a suitable successor. That it should be wholly 
supplied, even with a view to the public, we confess we are not 
sanguine enough to expect. That our professor of mathema- 
tics and natural philosophy should have been, for more than 
SO years, not only one of the most celebrated matlicnui- 

c c 2 


ticians, but one of the finest wiiters and one of the highest - 
bred gentlemen of his age, is a felicity which it is out of all 
calculation tliat we should so soon experience again : but, in an 
age when — very much by his efforts and example — several 
men of great and distinguished eminence in science can be 
found, and, as we understand, have already proposed them- 
selves for the vacancy, we do trust that the chair of Mr. Play- 
fair, or any other chair which his death may ultimately leave 
vacant, will not be bestowed upon a person of questionable or 
even ordinary attainments. 

The object of such an appointment is, no doubt, to instruct 
youth in the elements of knowledge ; but it is, notwithstanding, 
a most gross mistake to suppose that a capacity to teach these 
elements is a sufficient qualification for the office of an Edin- 
burgh professor. If it were so, every second lad who had 
passed creditably through luch a class in one year, might be 
properly appointed to teach it the year after. Nobody, how- 
ever, will maintain any thing so absurd Jis this ; and though we 
fear that the duties of those who are vested with the right of 
nomination have not always been correctly understood, no 
such monstrous misconception can require to be obviated. We 
have imfortunately in this country but too few desirable situ- 
ations wherewith to reward the successful cultivators of the 
abstract sciences. The prizes in their lottery are lamentably 
few ; and it would be the height of injustice not to let ihem 
have them all. If it be of importance to a country (and it is 
in every respect of the very first importance) that it should 
possess men eminent for genius and science, it is of importance 
that it should encourage them ; and it is obvious that no en- 
couragement can be so effectual, so cheap, and so honourable, 
as sacredly to reserve, and impartially to assign, to them, in 
proportion to their eminence, those situations of high honour 
and moderate emolument to which it is their utmost ambition 
to aspire, and which gives them not only the rank and dignity 
they have so worthily earned, but the means of cultivating and 
diffusing, with great additional effect, that very knowledge to 
which their years have been devoted. On this ground alone, 


the duty of giving to men distinguished for science, and de- 
voted to it, the few scientific professorships that are established 
among us, appears to be absolutely imperative, on the score of 
mere justice, as well as of national advantage; on that of 
national honour, it is not of less cogency. We have once 
more made ourselves a name as a scientific nation in every 
quarter of the world; and by means of Playfair and Leslie, 
the Scottish philosophy of physics is nearly as well known all 
over the civilized world as the Scottish philosophy of mind. 
The Edinburgh school of science now maintains a rivalry with 
the most celebrated of those in England ; and among Foreign 
philosophers, the name of Playfair is more honoured and 
better known than tliat of any of the alumni of Cambridge. 
But is this honour, do we think, to be maintained by placing 
in his chair an obscure or an ordinary teacher ? a man capable 
of instructing boys in Euclid and algebra, and fit enough to 
teach mathematics or natural philosophy in a provincial 
academy, but without knowledge of the higher parts of the 
science, and without genius to enlarge its boundaries, or to 
grapple, at least, with their resistance? While there arc men 
of eminence and genius to be found, and Scotch bred men, 
too, of this description, willing and anxious, as they are able, 
to maintain the honour of their country and their school, we 
trust that no such disgrace will be put on Scotland and Edin- 
burgh on this critical and important occasion. 

If lower and more selfish considerations were wanting, they, 
too, all lead to the same conclusion. An ordinary school- 
master cannot, in fact, teach ordinary schooling so well as a 
superior person ; but, even if he could, he would never attract 
the same resort of pupils ; and the celebrity of the teachers, 
therefore, is a necessary condition of the greatness of the 
classes, the increase of the emoluments, and the general resort 
of famihes for education — to spend money and pay taxes 
withhi the extended royalty. 

Perhaps the patronage of such chairs might have been better 
placed than in the magistracy of Edinburgh. But we are in- 
dined to augur well of their ronducl on ihij occasitm. For a 

r r :=•• 


good while back they have discharged this important part of 
their duty uprightly and well ; and seem to have a proper sense 
of the importance of resisting all sinister influence in those in- 
teresting nominations. At this moment, too, they probably 
feel that they have not much popularity to spare ; and, upon 
the whole, we have much more fear of their being misled than 
of their going voluntarily astray. The few considerations we 
have now thrown out may help, perhaps, to keep them right ; 
and, indeed, they can scarcely go wrong, if they remember, 
first, that a person qualified to teach the elements of science, 
but without a name, or the chance of acquiring a name amongst 
its votaries, is not fit to be placed at the head of the whole 
science of Scotland, by being appointed to tlie first, or the 
second, scientific professorship in this metropolitan university; 
and secondly, that the chair now to be filled is a chair of sci- 
ence, and ought not to be made the reward of any other tlian 
scientific eminence. 


No. XIV. 


James Watt, the great improver of the steam-engine, and 
one of the most eminent mechanical philosophers, if not the 
most emhient, of modern times, was born at Greenock in 173G. 

His grandfather, Thomas Watt, liad settled there after the 
civil wars, and was a mathematician of considerable talent. 
He had two sons, John and James, of whom the elder adopting 
the pursuits of his father settled at Glasgow, and is the author 
of what is believed to be the first survey of the river Clyde. 
James, the father of the celebrated man whose life we are 
attempting to sketch, followed the business of n merchant at 
Greenock with success and reputation for many years, and 
greatly promoted the improvement of his native town ; but 
some losses and declining health induced him to retire froni 
business, a few years before his death. 

His son James, the subject of this essay, was from infancy 
of a very delicate constitution, and was with difficulty enabled 
to go tlnough the common course of education of the public 
schools of Greenock. But tha^ very circumstance of ill health 
probably led to those habits of retirement and reflection, which 
accompanied him through life, and to which his great disco- 
veries may be ascribed. Little is known of his earlier years, 
but it is not true, as has been elsewhere stated, that he ever 
served an apprenticeship. After leaving school, he resided in 
his father's house, and the examples of his grandfather and 
micle would no doubt add to the natural bias of his mind for 
mechanical and physical pursuits. At the age of 1 8, he went to 
London, ami placed himself under the tuition of an eminent ma- 

c c ir 


thematical instrument-maker, with whom he only remained a 
twelvemonth, the infirm state of his health compelling his 
return to Greenock. In 1757, when he was only 21 years of 
age, he was appointed mathematical-instrument maker to the 
University of Glasgow, with apartments in the college, at which 
he resided until his marriage in 1763 or 176 i with his maternal 
cousin, Miss Miller, when he removed to the town, and carried 
on the business of a mathematical-instrument maker. In 1764 
and 1765, he invented his well known improvement upon the 
principle of the steam-engine. 

From about this time, he entered upon the business of a 
civil engineer, and planned and surveyed many public works 
and canals, which were among the first, if not the very first, in 
North Britain. Of these, the Monkland Canal was executed 
under hts direction, and his lines have since been nearly fol- 
lowed in the Crinan and Caledonian Canals. To aid him in 
these surveys he invented a new micrometer and a machine for 
drawing in perspective. 

He had given an interest in his improvement upon the 
steam-engine to his friend Dr. Roebuck, but it was not until 
1 769, that he reduced it to practice at Kennel near Burrow- 
stoneness, where the Doctor then resided, and took out letters- 
patent for his " Method of lessening the Consumption of Steam 
and Fuel in Fire- Engines." Dr. Roebuck's losses in other 
concerns caused a suspension of proceedings, but he having 
agreed in 1 774- to transfer his interest to Mr. Boulton of Soho 
near Birmingham, Mr. Watt removed from Glasgow to Soho. 
In the subsequent year, he obtained an act of parliament pro- 
longing his patent for 25 years, and the business of maturing 
steam-engines was commenced by the firm of Boulton and 

In 1780, he invented a method of copying letters and other 
writings, by a machine and process which bear hig name, and 
which, simple as it is, would from its extensive utility alone 
have given celebrity to any other person. 

The direct application of the steam-engine to mills and ma- 
chinery requiring a rotatory motion had from the first been an 


object of his attention, and in the years 1781, 1782, 1784, and 
1 785, he carried into execution a series of improvements, the 
most essential of which he secured by successive patents, in- 
chiding, among several other inventions, the rotatory motion 
of tlie sun and planet wheels, the expansive principle, tlie 
double engine, the parallel motion, and the smokeless furnace. 

The mines in Cornwall, and many other of the deepest 
mines in the kingdom, had before this period adopted liis 
rccijvocatiiig engines, which were attended with a saving of two- 
thirds of the fuel consumed by those before in use, besides 
having a much more perfect mechanism', and being less liable 
to accidents and repairs. But it is to the perfection to which 
Mr. Watt brought his rotative etigines, and which existed in 
those first erected by him about the year 1784 for Mr. Whit- 
bread's brewery and for the Albion Mills, in which latter he 
and Mr. Boulton were partners, that we are to ascribe the 
origin of that system of machinery which has produced so rapid 
an extension of our manufactures, population, and wealth. 

From 1792 to 1799, his attention was almost entirely en- 
gi'ossed by the defence of his patent rights against numerous 
invaders, and after repeated verdicts, establishing the novelty 
and utility of his inventions, these rights were finally con- 
firmed in the latter year by the decision of all the Judges of the 
Court of Kin*;'s Bench. 

During this period he was led by the illness of a daughter, 
to consider the subject of the medical application of the facti- 
tious airs, and contrived different apparatuses for that purpose, 
the description of which were published in Dr. Beddoe's pam- 
phlets on pneumatic medicine in those years. 

In 1800, upon the expiration of his Act of Parliament, he 
withdrew from business, resigning his share to his sons; but 
his mind still continued actively employed upon subjects of 
mechanical and physical science, and the amusement of the 
last period of his life consisted in contriving and executing a 
machine for carving busts and other objects of statuary, which 
lie left in a state of great perfection. 
-•. His first wife died in 1773, leaving him n daugliter J«nd a 


son, the latler of whom survives him, having long been at the 
head of the business he estabhshed. He was married a second 
time, to Miss M'Gregor, of Glasgow, by whom lie had a son 
and a daughter, both of whom he had the misfortune to lose, 
but not until his son, Mr. Gregory Watt, had given proof of 
the most splendid tiUent, of which his paper upon Basalt in 
the Philosophical Transactions, will prove a lasting memorial. 

Mr. Watt was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of 
Edinburgh, in 1784<, of the Royal Society of London in 1785, 
and a corresponding member of the Batavian Society in 1787. 
In 1806, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, was conferred 
upon him by the spontaneous and unanimous vote of the Senate 
of the University of Glasgow; and in 1808, he was elected first 
a corresponding member, and afterwards foreign member of the 
National Institute of France. 

His naturally infirm health had suffered much by the ex- 
ertions of his mind during the period of his inventing and 
carrying into execution his gi-eat improvements on the Steam 
Engine, but by continual temperance and good management, 
and a thorough knowledge of his own constitution, which he 
treated with much medical skill, it improved as he advanced in 
age, and with faculties little impaired, he reached his eighty- 
fourdi year ; when, after a short illness of debility, rather than 
of pain, he expired at his own house, on the 25th of August, 
of the present year, 1819. 

Here follows his character as drawn up by one of his own 

" Death is still busy in our high places ; and it is with 
great pain that we find ourselves called upon, so soon after the 
loss of Mr. Playfair, to record the decease of another of our 
illustrious countrymen, and one to whom mankind has been still 
more lai'gely indebted. Mr. James Watt, the great improver 
of the steam-engine, died on the 25th ultimo, at his seat 
of Heathfield, pear Birmingham, in the 84th year of his 

" This name, fortunately, needs no commemoration of ours ; 
for hv that bore it survived to see it crowned with undisputed 



and unenvied honours ; and many generations will probably 
pass away before it shall have * gathered all its fame.' We have 
said that Mr. Watt was the great improva- of the steam- 
engine ; but, in truth, as to all that is admirable in its structure, 
or vast in its utility, he shoulil rather be described as its 
inventor. It was by his inventions that its action was so ic- 
gulated as to make it capable of being apphed to the finest 
and most delicate manufactures, and its power so increased as 
to set weight and solidity at defiance. By his admirable con- 
trivances, it has become a thing stupendous alike for its force 
and its flexibility ; for the prodigious powers which it can exert, 
and the ease, and precision, and ductility, with which they 
can be varied, distributed, and applied. The trunk of an 
elephant that can pick up a pin or rend an oak is nothing to 
it. It can engrave a seal, and crush masses of obdurate 
metal like wax before it ; draw out, without breaking, a thread 
as fine as gossamer, and lift a ship of war, hke a bauble, in the 
air. It can embroider muslin, and forge anchors, cut steel 
into ribands, and impel loaded vessels against the ftiry of the 
winds and waves. 

" It would be difficult to estimate the value of the benefits 
which these inventions have conferred upon the country. 
There is no'branch of industry that has not been indebted 
to them ; and in all the most material, they have not only 
widened most magnificently the field of its exertions, but mul- 
tiplied a thousand fold the amount of its productions. It is 
our improved steam-engine that has fought the battles of 
Europe, and exalted and sustained, through the late tre- 
mendous contest, the political greatness of our land. It is the 
same great power which now enables us to pay the interest of 
our debt, and to maintain the arduous struggle in which we are 
stilt engaged, with the skill and capital of countries less op- 
pressed with taxation. But these are poor and narrow views 
of its importance. It has increased indefinitely the mass of 
human comforts and enjoyments, and rendered cheaj) and 
accessible all over tlie world the materials of wealth aad pros- 
perity. It has armed the feeble hand of man, in short, with 


a power to which no limits can be assigned, completed the 
dominion of mind over the most refractory qualities of matter, 
and laid a sure foundation for all those future miracles of me- 
chanic power which are to aid and reward the labours of after 
generations. It is to the genius of one man, too, that all this is 
mainly owing; and certainly no man ever before bestowed such 
a gift on his kind. The blessing is not only universal, but 
unbounded ; and the fabled inventors of the plough and the 
loom, who were deified by the gi-atitude of their rude contem- 
poraries, conferred less important benefits on mankind than the 
inventor of our present steam-engine. 

This will be the fame of Watt with future generations ; and 
it is sufficient for his race and his country. But to those to 
whom he more immediately belonged, who lived in his society 
and enjoyed his conversation, it is not perhaps the character in 
which he will be most frequently recalled, most deeply lament- 
ed, or even most highly admired. Independently of his gi'eat 
attainments in mechanics, Mr. Watt was an extraordinary, 
and in many respects a wonderful man. Perhaps no individual 
in his age possessed so much and such varied and exact inform- 
ation, had read so much, or remembered what he had read so 
accurately and so well. He had infinite quickness of appre- 
hension, a prodigious memory, and a certain rectifying and 
methodising power of understanding, which extracted some- 
thing precious out of all that was presented to it. His stores 
of miscellaneous knowledge were immense, and yet less asto- 
nishing than the command he had at all times over them. It 
seemed as if every subject that was casually started in convers- 
ation with him, had been that which he had been last occupied 
in studying and exhausting; such was the copiousness, the 
precision, and the admirable clearness of the information which 
he poured out upon it without effort or hesitation. Nor was 
this promptitude and compass of knowledge confined in any 
degree to the studies connected with his ordinary pursuits. 
That he should have been minutely and extensively skilled in 
chymistry and the arts, and in most of the branches of phy- 
sical science, nn'ght perhaps have been conjectured ; but it 


couJd not have been interred lioni liis usual occupations, 
and probably is not generally known, that he was curiously 
learned in many branches of antiquity, metaphysics, medicine, 
and ctymolog}', and perfectly at home in all the details of 
architecture, nnisic, and law. lie was well accjuainted too 
with most of the modern languages, and familiar with tlieir 
most recent literature. Nor was it at all extraordinary to hear 
the great mechanician and engineer detailing and expounding, 
for hours together, the metaphysical theories of the German 
logicians, or criticising the measures or the matter of tlie 
German poetry. 

His astonishing memory was aided, no doubt, in a great 
measure, by a still higher and rarer faculty — by his power of 
digesting and arranging in its proper place all the information 
he received, and of casting aside and rejecting as it were in- 
stinctively whatever was worthless or immaterial. Every con- 
ception that was suggested to his mind seemed instantly to take 
its place among its other rich furniture, and to be condensed 
into the smallest and most convenient form. He never appear- 
ed, therefore, to be at all incumbered or perjilexed with the 
verbiage of the dull books he perused, or the idle talk to which 
he listened ; but to have at once extracted, by a kind of intel- 
lectual alchemy, all that was worthy of attention, and to have 
reduced it for his own use, to its true value and to its simplest 
form. And thds it often happened that a great deal more was 
learned from his brief and vigorous account of the theories and 
arguments of tedious writers, than an ordinary student could 
ever have derived from the most faithful study of the originals; 
and that errors and absurdities became manifest from the mere 
clearness and plainness of his statement of them, which might 
have deluded and perplexed most of his liearers without that 
invaluable assistance. 

It is needless to say, that with those vast resources, his 
conversation was at all times rich and instructive in no ordinary 
degree ; but it was, if possible, still more pleasing than wise, 
and had all the charms of familiarity, with all the substantial 
treasures of knowledge. No man could be niore social iji his 


spirit, less assuming or fastidious in his manners, or more kind 
and indulgent towards all who approached him. He rather 
liked to talk, at least in his latter years ; but though he took a 
considerable share of the conversation, he rarely suggested the 
topics on wiiich it was to turn, but readily and quietly took up 
whatever was presented by those around him, and astonished 
the idle and barren propounders of an ordinary theme, bj'^ the 
treasures which he drew from the mine which they had uncon- 
sciously opened. He generally seemed, indeed, to have no 
choice or predilection for one subject of discourse rather than 
another, but allowed his mind, like a great cyclopedia, to be 
opened at any letter his associates might choose to turn up, and 
only endeavoured to select from his inexhaustible stores what 
might be best adapted to the taste of his present hearers. As 
to their capacity, he gave himself no trouble ; and, indeed, 
such was his singular talent for making all things plain, clear, 
and intelligible, that scarcely any one could be aware of sucli 
h deficiency in his presence. His talk, too, though overflowing 
with information, had no resemblance to lecturing or solemn 
discoursing, but, on the contrary, was full of colloquial spirit 
and pleasure. He had a certain quiet and grave humour, 
which ran through most of his conversation, and a vein of 
temperate jocularity, which gave infinite zest and effect to the 
condensed and inexhaustible information which formed its main 
staple and characteristic. There was a little air of affected 
testiness, and a tone of pretended rebuke and contradiction, 
with which he used to address his younger friends, that was 
always felt by them as an endearing mark of his kindness and 
familiarity, and prized accordingly far beyond all the solemn 
compliments that ever proceeded from the lips of authority. 
His voice was deep and powerful, though he commonly spoke 
in a low and somewhat monotonous tone, which harmonised 
admirably with the weight and brevity of his observations, and 
set off to the greatest advantage the plejisant anecdotes which 
he delivered with the same grave brow and the same calm smile 
playing soberly on his lips. There was nothing of effort in- 
deed, or impatience, any more than of pride or levity, in his 


demeanour : and there was a liner expression of reposing 
strength, and mild self-possession in his manner, tluin we ever 
recollect to have met with in any other person. He had in his 
character the utmost abhorrence for all sorts of forwardness, 
parade, and pretensions ; and, indeed, never failed to put all 
such impostors out of countenance, by the manly plaimiess and 
honest intrepidity of his language and deportment. 

In his temper and dispositions he was not only kind and 
affectionate, but generous, and considerate of the feelings of 
all around him, and gave the most liberal assistance and en- 
couragement to all young persons who showed any indications 
of talent, or applied to him for patronage or advice. His 
health, which was delicate from his youth upwards, seemed to 
become firmer as he advanced in years : and he preserved, up 
almost to the last moment of his existence, not only the full 
command of his extraordinary intellect, but all the alacrity of 
spirit, and the social gaiety which had illuminated his happiest 
days. His fiiends in this part of the country never saw him 
more full of intellectual vigour and colloquial animation, never 
more delightful or more instructive, than in his last visit to 
Scodand in autumn, 1817. Indeed, it was after that time that 
he applied himself, with all the ardour of early life, to the 
invention of a machine for mechanically copying all sorts of 
sculpture and statuary, and distributed among his friends some 
of its earliest performances, as the productions of a young 
artist just entering on his 83d year. 

This happy and useful life came at last to a gentle close. 
He had suffered some inconveniences through the summer ; 
but was not seriously indisposed till within a few weeks of his 
death. He then became perfectly aware of the event which 
was approaching; and, with his usual tranquillity and bene- 
volence of nature, seemed only anxious to point out to the 
friends around him the many sources of consolation which wore 
afforded by the circumstances under which it was about to take 
place. He expressed his sincere gratitude to Providence fc)r 
tlie length of days widi which he had been blessed, and In's 
exemption from most of the infirmities of age, as well as for 



the calm and cheerful evening of life that he had been peimit- 
ted to enjoy, after the honourable labours of the day had been 
concluded. And thus, full of years and honours, in all calm- 
ness and tranqnillity, he yielded up his soul, without pang or 
struggle, and passed from the bosom of his family to that of his 

He was twice married, but has left no issue but one son, 
long associated with him in his business and studies, and two 
grand-children by a daughter who predeceased him. He was 
a Fellow of the Royal Societies, both of London and Edin- 
burgh, and one of the few Englishmen who were elected Mem- 
bees of the National Institute of France. All men of learnuig 
and science were his cordial fi-iends; and such was the influence 
of his mild character and perfect fairness and liberality, even 
upon the pretenders to these accomplishments, that he lived to 
disarm even envj itself, and died, we verily believe, without a 
siiigle enemy. 

No. XV. 
Sir henry TEMPEST, Baronet. 


The Tempests, like most of the ancient families in the king- 
dom, are of Noraaan origin. Their ancestor came over with 
William the Conqueror, and was rewarded with many manors 
in the north of England, for his services. The branch settled 
at Tonge, in the county of York, has always claimed prece- 
dence, on account of seniority ; and it was not until after a law- 
suit, followed by a compromise, that the great Tempest estates 
were declared to belong to that portion of the family, seated 
in the county Palatine of Durham, the heads of which have 
frequently sat in Parliament, as knights of the shire. 

Sir Henry Tempest, of whom we now treat, was born in 
1752. His father died at an early age, in consequence of 
which the care of his education devolved on his mother, a very 
sensible and amiable woman, who brought him up with great 


care and attention. He was at first intended for tlio bar, 
and his name was accordingly entered on the records of tiie 
society of Gray's Inn. To this profession, he was probably 
excited by the brilliant career of Sir Fletcher Norton. From 
him, he received great attention and encouragement ; and at 
this period, he imbibed certain rules and principles of law, 
which formed a pronnnent feature in his conversation, and ac- 
quired for him a great superiority in business during the re- 
mainder of his life. 

After travelling over Europe, Sir Heniy returned to his 
native country, and resided for some years in the neighbour- 
hood of London. His predominant passion at this period of 
his life, was shooting: and so eager was he, in pursuit of par- 
tridges and pheasants, that accompanied with a friend, a 
servant, and a couple of pointers, he was accustomed to make 
game excursions all the way from his house in Essex, called the 
Bee Hive, to the remotest parts of Dorsetshire, and Devonshire. 

In consequence of his marriage with Miss Lambert, a rich 
Herefordshire heiress, he settled at Hope-end park, in that 
county. Here he spent a large portion of his life, acting with 
great zeal and conscientiousness, in the discharge of his duty, 
as a magistrate. He next purchased an esUite at Thorpe, 
in the vicinity of Egham, and, after being blessed for many 
years with most excellent health, was subsequently subjected to 
a variety of maladies, chiefly of a nervous kind. Both he and 
his friends hoped, at length, that he had perfectly recovered, 
and was like to attain a good old age ; but he died suddenly 
in bed, on the morning of the 20th of January, 1819, in his 
67th year. 

In person. Sir Henry Tempest was tall and portly; and with 
a commanding aspect he united gentle and engaging maimers. 
In his youth, he had been unconnnonly handsome. He was 
replete with practical information, and his conversation exhi- 
bited not only good sense, but superior abilities. As he died 
without issue, he bequeathed his tbitune to a family, j-elated to 
him, whom he had cherished and respected during his lile ; 
and benefited and enriched at liis decease. 

roL. IV. ^ ^ 


No. XVI. 


1 HE life of this gentleman is well calculated to demonstrate 
what may be achieved in a free country like this, by talents, 
character, and assiduity. The subject of this memoir was 
born at Gosport, in Hampshire, in the year 1753. By con- 
stantly beholding one of the noblest dock-yards in the kingdom, 
and contemplatmg the fleets of a great maritime power, which 
then, as now, swayed the sceptre of the ocean, young Graham 
was early impressed with a strong and predominant passion 
for the naval service of his country. Accordingly, after re- 
ceiving the rudiments of a glood education, at a neighbouring 
school, he was enabled to gratify his wishes ; having, at the 
early age of fourteen, been sent on board tlie Sea- Horse, com- 
manded by Sir Thomas Paisley. In this vessel, where, we 
believe, he was first rated as a midshipman : our young adven^ 
turer was stationed for a considerable time on the coast of 
Africa; and, notwithstanding this species of service was not 
deemed either then, or now, of the most pleasant kind, he yet 
took such an insuperable attnchment to the navy that he 
never abandoned it, until a late period of his existence, and 
even then, reluctantly, and not without a great struggle. 

But it was to the civil service that he now dedicated his 
time and attention : he possessed great adroitness at business, 
was eminently skilled in figures, and soon acquired, by dint of 
study, a surprising facility in the higher branches of mathe- 
matics. It is but little wonder, therefore, that one so gifted 
should have obtained the rank of a purser while yet a very 
^oung man. At length, iu consequence of his abilities, and 


conciliating manners, he was appointed secretary to a Flan- 
Ship, and, in this capacity, attained the friendship and confidence 
of all the Admirals with whom he sailed, no less by the ami- 
ableness of his disposition, than by a strict and scrujndous in- 
tegrity, that invited investigation, and set susjjicion at defiance. 
In Newfoundland, at a period when that colony seemed to 
be entirely left to its own resources, Mr. Graliani displiiyed a 
variety of talents, and occupied a number of ofhces, with no 
small degree of benefit to the settlers. As secretary to 
Admiral Edwards he stiperintcnded, in a certain degree, evciy 
thing afloat ; while, as agent for prizes, he obtained a share in 
all the captures on this station during a large j)ortion of the 
American war. When the island was threatened with inva- 
sion, he mustered the forces on shore, regimented the fisher- 
men and inhabitants, and acted in the capacity of their 
commander ! At the same time, all legal matters were cheer- 
fully submitted to his consideration and judgment; for he 
presided during several consecutive seasons as Chief Justice, 
and displayed a skill and knowledge of the law that seldom 
falls to the lot of any but a professional man. 

Having acquired the good opinion of those In power, on 
his return home he was employed in a variety of confidential 
situations by government But he chiefly distinguished him- 
self, by effecting a complete reform in respect to the convict 
system^ and on that occasion uniting humanity with a knowledge 
of the world, formed a code for the regulation of this class of 
delinquents, that subsists, and, it is to be hoped, Is acted upon 
until tills day. 

It is not to be denied, that the original plan for the govern- 
ment of these unhappy outcasts of society, and objects of its 
just punishment, was founded on the worst possible principles. 
Those to whom the management of that department had been 
entrusted, confiding in the honour of men, whose owni imme- 
diate interests were at variance with their duties, appear to 
have placed the hulks under the inmiediate superintendance of 
the contractors. Over these, there seems to have been little 
or no check, or control whatsoever. Accordingly, those who 

n n 2 


provided the provisions, were entrusted with the weighing, mea- 
suring, and distribution of the beef, cheese, bread, oatmeal, &c. 
It has been even asserted, tliat the managing and punishing of 
the convicts was also confided to their care, so that all com- 
plaint was stifled, and remonstrance became impracticable. 
The consequence was such as might have been easily foreseen. 
The sick list encreased daily, and deaths became frequent. At 
length, the mortality was so great, at Portsmouth, as to 
alarm tlie inhabitants of that town, and the neighbouring 
country. Mr. Wilberforce and several members of parliament, 
impressed solely by humanity, repaired thither for the express 
purpose of examining into the facts ; and complaints of the 
most serious and alarming nature were made in the House of 

A nobleman, who had been nominated to the Home De- 
partment, was at length induced to pay attention to the hulk 
system ; and, luckily for the sake of humanity, Mr. Graham 
was pointed out as a proper person to make the necessary en- 
quiries, and grant the requisite redress. He accordingly 
visited all the ports where convicts were employed ; and after 
investigating the nature and extent of the complaints on the 
spot, delivered in a long and able report to the Secretary of 
State. Soon after this, he was appointed superintendant of 
this department, the whole of which was for many years sub- 
mitted to his entire management, inspection, and control. The 
consequences were such as might have been expected from his 
talents and integrity. Provisions and clothes, of a proper 
quality, were supplied in abundance; the government of the 
prison ships was put under the management of persons totally 
unconnected with the contractors, whose conduct was besides 
checked by a variety of wholesome rules and restrictions. 
The numbers on the sick list immediately diminished; the 
deaths ceased to be alarming; discontent and despair no longer 
reigned on board the hulks ; and, instead of avoiding investi- 
gation as before, every stranger of decent appearance, was at 
liberty to make his enquiries on the spot. 


While on his deatli-bed, all his papers on this subject were 
confided by him to the author of his narrative, who has faith- 
fully extracted from them the followiiirr documents : — 

I. History of the Hulk Estahlishmeiit. 

" After the troubles with America connnenced, the trans- 
porting of convicts to the colonies, was of course interrupted, 
and it became necessary to find out other places to send them 
to, as well as to adopt other modes of disposing them. Ac- 
cordingly, in 1779, an act (19 Geo. III. c. 7'1'.) was passed, 
by which offenders, ordered for transportation, might be sent 
to parts beyond seas, whether such parts were in America or 
elsewhere. Power was also given to His Majesty, by the same 
act, to appoint three supervisors, who were to purchase ground 
and erect there two Penitentiar}' Houses, the one to contain six 
hundred male, and the other three hundred female convicts, who 
were to be kept to hard labour therein, and for the more severe 
punishment of notorious offenders, it was made lawful to con- 
fine convicts liable to transportation, on board the hulks, under 
the management of superintendants, who were to keep them to 
hard labour, in cleansing the. Thames, for a term not less than 
one year, nor more than Jive years ; or if sentenced to fourteen 
years transportation, not exceeding seven years — thereby making 
confinement on board the hulks, a specific punishment, distinct 
from transportation, and considering it more sevo-e in the 
comparative ratio of seven to fourteen years. The offenders 
were to be fed and clothed by superintendants, (which was 
done in a most miserable manner for more than twenty years,) 
and, on being discharged, were to receive a sum of money, (not 
less than 1/. nor more than 3/.) with decent clothing, which in 
fact it has been the custom to give them ; viz., at Portsmouth, 
to the amount of 1/. I65. ^d., and at Woolwich, from lialf a 
guinea to a guinea, each convict. This act to continue five 

" In 1783, nothing seems to have been done in regard to 
erecting the two Penitentiary Houses ; therefore, at the con- 
clusion of the American war, which occurred before any plan. 

D I) n 



%vas formed for transporting offenders to Botany Bay, an act, 
the 24 Geo. III. c. 12. was passed fw one year only, 
containing the same authority as before for the removal of 
convicts under sentence of transportation (or, having been 
capitally convicted and pardoned, conditionally, to be tran- 
sported) to the Hulks or Houses of Correction. 

" The intention, however, of making confinement in the hulks 
n specific and distinct punishment in place of transportation, 
by this act seems to have been given up ; and the hulks thence- 
forward were only to be considered as a temporary place 
of confinement for these offenders on their way to some part 
beyond the seas, in pursuance of their sentence of transportation. 
" During their stay on board the hulks, the overseers (by 
the late act called superintendants), were to feed and clothe 
them ; and when the same could be done with safety, permit 
them to laboiir under such directions, limitations, and re- 
strictions, as His Majesty should order ; but not to force them 
to ivork against their conse7it ; and if they did work, to allo'iv 
them half the profits of their labour, for their own use ; and 
whether they worked or not, the time of their stay on board the 
hulks was to go in reduction of the whole term of their sentence 
of transportation. In the meantime, they were to be treated 
as nearly to persons committed to Houses of Correction^ as 
the nature of the case would admit. 

" By this act also, if it was found inconvenient to transport 
offenders to the place mentioned in the sentence, authority was 
given to transport them to any other place beyond the seas, 
which, by the court, should be deemed proper. 

" In 1 784, the arrangement for transporting to Botany Bay 
was nearly completed ; and, before the expiration of the last act 
another of the 24 Geo. III. c. 51 . was passed for three years ; and 
by this, inter alia, the Privy Council is authorised to transport 
to any place beyond sea, and the power of removing convicts 
to temporary places of confinement, either on land or water, is 
continued, they being kept while there to hard labow- ; and the 
time served on board the hulks, as by the last act, to go in part 
tfthc term of transpcnlation. 


" In 1787, certain parts of this act, as well as that of the 
19th Geo. III. c. 74., as related to the transportation of 
felons beyond seas, was renewed by an act 28 Geo. III. 
C.24., and has since been continued by 34- Geo. III. c. 60., 
39 Geo. III. c. 51., 42 Geo. III. c. 28., and 46 Geo. III. 
c. 28., which was to expire in 1813, and by which the convicts 
are now confined^ fcd^ clothed^ andkci)t to hard labour, on hoard 
the hidks, under the management of overseers appointed by His 

" On a perusal of one of tlie foregoing acts of parliament 
(24 Geo. III. c. 51.), it will be seen that the legislature had 
abandoned the idea which was entertained by the 19 Geo. III. 
c. 74., of making hard labour on board the hulks a specific pu- 
nishment, distinct from transportation, and of course could not 
mean that the convicts sent afterwards totliem, should be made 
to serve therein the whole term of their transportation ; bo- 
cause, in fact, according to the former ratio, this would be 
doubling the punishment to which they were sentenced. 

" A certain degree of hardship, therefore, accrued to those 
sentenced for life, and a still greater to the seven years' men, 
as it has of late been customary to select the fourteen years' 
men, and lifcis, as they are called, to be sent to Botany Bay. 

" Hitherto but little had been done towards the establishment 
of the two penitentiary houses contemplated under the 19 Geo. 
III. c. 74., notwithstanding this measure had been so strongly 
recommended by the Finance Committee of the House of 
Commons in their 28th Report : so that the hulks, since the 
formation of the colony of New South Wales, seem to have 
been considered a proper temporary place of confinement for 
convicts, in their way from the different jails of the kingdom 
to that settlement, whither a number, both male and female, 
are annually transported. 

But it ought not to be here omitted, that the above com- 
mittee, in the Report just alluded to, condemn the hulk system 
altogether, chiefly on the evidence of Mr. Colquhoun, who 
points it out ' as the principal cause of that corruption of 
morals which is the cause of every species of criminality.' He 

n n 4 


remarks at the same time, that ' he had seldom known art 
instance of an individual discharged from the hulks, who had 
ever returned to honest industry, but that the indiscriminate 
mixture of criminals which takes place in those establishments 
renders them a complete seminary of vice and wickedness ;' 
adding, ' that in giving such a decided opinion against the 
system of the hulks, he would wish to be understood as not 
imputing the smallest blame to the contractors, the error being 
in the system, not in the management of it, and the evils 
arising from it must continue until a better mode is adopted, 
whatever the management may be/' 

" But all this originated out of the first plan, which was 
founded in the grossest ignorance of human nature, and thus 
laid the whole open to mismanagement, peculation, and cor- 
ruption. By it the contractor was paid so much per man per 
diem for taking care of the convicts, without any express sti- 
pulation of what was to be done on his part, thus leaving them 
wholly and intirely to the discretion of men who acted at once 
as task-masters, overseers, victuallers, and clothiers, and whose 
interest it was to diminish every necessarj"^ to the utmost verge 
of human suffering. Not only had it been omitted to specify 
the quantum of victuals, drink, and clothing to be furnished, but 
instead of any check being put on the contractor, he himself 
was the sole person who appointed every officer and man be- 
longing to the hulks, and these his nominees were the sol« 
persons intrusted with the office of seeing the convicts fed, 
clothed, and obtain justice. 

" In consequence of this gi'oss mismanagement, the public 
papers were replete with complaints, and the Secretary of 
State's office was teased with remonstrances, while represent- 
ations of most abominable and nefarious transactions took place 
in the House of Commons." 

At length, justly alarmed at a cry which in some respects 
seemed to be rational, the late Duke of Portland, in 1801, as 
already mentioned, most fortunately for his own character, as well 
as for the comforts of the unhappy convicts, selected Mr. Gra- 
ham to enquire into and remedy the abuses, 'lliat gentleman 


accordingly, yfter due investigation, jujiiited out the source of 
the evil. In consequence of his •suggestions, tlie origimd con- 
tract was annihilated, and such is the difference that arises out 
of system, that a new one, containing a variety of sjicciflc and 
salutary regulations, being entered into, the original contractors 
conducted themselves with such propriety, that not a single 
complaint was made against tliem for a series of years. 

In the beginning of r802, new and connnodious hulks were 
fitted up under the direction of Mr. Graham, and the aj^point- 
ment of the captains, officers, and guards was transferred to 
government. In consecjuence partly of this, and jmrtly of the 
new regulations as to food and clothing, a degree of content and 
comfort were produced, that liad hitherto been unknown on 
board the hulks. On his representations, an increase of pay 
was given to the officers and guards; while, to prevent impo- 
sition, all applications for the pardon of convicts were inva- 
riably subject to a report of their behaviour from the captain, 
througli the inK})ector (Mr. Grahnm), to the Secretary of State's 
office. It was his decided opinion, that by way of encourage- 
ment to good behaviour on the part of those who have offended 
the laws of their country, that a certain number of them, when 
duly recommencfed, and meriting pardon, should be discharged 
every quarter. 

A new and meliorated system produced the happiest results. 
It was no longer then, as formerly, when these imhappy 
WTetches were frequently driven to despair, by the infliction of 
cruel punishments, and the jnactice of unnecessary severity. 
As little coercion was exerted, in respect to them, as is to be 
found on board one of His Majesty's ships of war, and the con- 
sequence was, that the state of their morals was greatlj' mend- 
ed, since the time when the survivors of the former system 
departed far worse than when they were first received on 
board. The chief merit of this is assuredly to be attributed to 
Mr. Graham, who acted as Inspector-General with a very in- 
adequate salary of 300/. per mmnm. Nor ought it to be here 
forgotten, that the Reverend Mr. Donne, the chaplain at 
Portsmouth, powerfully contributed by his humane attentions. 


in conjunction with the rcMrular and pious iliscliarge of his duty, 
to render the convicts orderly, obedient, and relifrious. 

" Compare this witli the former system, and the difference 
will astonish everyone. The contractors were then reproached 
with short allowance, both of victuals and clothing, while the 
quality of neither afforded satisfaction. It will scarcely be 
credited, tliat there was a set of men on board each hulk, 
denominated ' Die-Hards,' who, either in conseqnence of 
actual sale, or loss by gambling, assigned for life all their 
provisions to other persons, and resolutely made np their minds 
to starve themselves to death. Disease of course was prevalent, 
and prodigious numbers perished yearly. Good liealth and 
spirits under the new management innnediately prevailed, 
while a disposition to industry began to be manifested, and the 
name of ' Die-Hards' was soon unknown. 

" It appears, also, from the Surgeon's report, indeed, that 
since January, 1802, when the present establishment com- 
menced, only 2^ out of every hundred had died, although in 
that time there were upwards of 200 sick in the hospital. 

" It is apparent, also, from the report of Commissioner Grey 
of the Dock- Yard at Portsmouth, and Rear- Admiral Coffin, 
while second ui command of the fleet there, tliat the convicts 
conducted themselves with great order and regularity. 

" With regard to the expense of maintaining the establish- 
iftent, it seems probable, that the value of tlieir labour neariy 
equalled the charge for their maintenance during tlie late war, 
although the dock -yard and ordnance officers fixed the rate of 
them as artificers, at eighteen-pence, and as labourers, at one 
shilling, a day per man. Even at this low estimate, the value 
of their services, in 1806", amovmted, at Portsmoutli alone, to 
22,351/. 10s. 6(1., exclusive of the work done on board for the 
use of the hulks : while the sum expended for supporting the 
whole of their establishment, there and elsewhere, was but 
4G,729/. 3s. 3^(1." 

Having thus extracted a brief history of the origin, conti- 
nuation, and completion of the hulk system, we shall next 
present an account of those regulations, that led to the reform 
of it. 

AARON GllAIIA.AI, KS(i. 411 

II. Circular Instructions to be observed and follo'dcd by Captain 
of lite Convict Hulk in Harbour. 

1. Wlieiiever you leave the Imlk, to f^ive strict orders to the 
first iiitite, not to quit licr (hiring your absence. 

2. To cause a book to be kept in tlie steward's oflice, in 
which every occurrence of the day is to be entered; and every 
day, an estimate is to be entereil, soniewliat siniihir to tlie 
following : — for example, 


rotal nimiber of convicts victualled ; say 450 

Of which, were on shore at work 350 

Kept on board for ship's duty 36 

Sick in the hospital 27 

Old and infirm, incapable of labour 22 

Shoemakers and taylors employed on board 15 

Total 450 

And to particularise the shoemakers and taylors, and tlie work 
done by them, in the following manner : 

Shoemakers. Work by them. Value. 

A. B. made pair shoes 

C. D. mended 


E. F. made Jackets * 

G. H. mended ditto 

Value of the labour tliis day £ 

3. The boats and men belonging to the hulk never to be 
employed Oli pleasure or private business, and if duty should 
require yotn- absence for the night, you are always to send tlie 
boat back before the lock-up time and setting of the watcli, 
with information to the first mate of your intention to sleep on 
shore, ofwiiich he is to make a minute in the occurrence- 
book, and also of your return on board after such absence, and 
to sioii his name to it. 



4. You, or the first mate, attended by an inferior officer, 
are to visit every day every part of the hulk, and to see that 
she is kept in the most perfect state of cleanhness. The ham- 
mocks are to be lashed up, and taken down eveiy morning 
before the convicts go on shore to work, and whenever the 
weather will permit, they are to be brought ujDon deck to be 
aired. The decks, above and below, are to be washed twice 
a-week at the least, and to be swept, fore and aft, regularly 
every morning at nine o'clock, and at one in the afternoon, 
(and oftener if necessary,) and the dirt brought up from below 
and thrown into a dirt-tub to be kej)t for tliat purpose. 

5. A daily allowance of provisions to be issued to the con- 
victs, according to the following scheme of diet, a copy of 
which is to be kept constantly hung up upon each deck, so that 
the convicts may always know what they are entitled to receive. 

A TABLE of the daily allowance of every Mess of six Convicts 

on hoard Hulk. 




lb. oz. 

Sunday 1 4 

Monday....! 4 
Tuesday.... 1 4 
Wednesday 1 4 
Thursday...! 4 

Friday 1 4 

Saturday...! 4 

Each mess ] r. i q 
per week, 3 


lb. oz. 








1 12 

lb. oz. 

7 14 

7 14 
7 14 
7 14 
7 14 
7 14 
7 14 

55 2 

lb. oz. 
5 14^ 

lb. oz. 


+ pts. 


lb. oz. 

1 n 

1 H 
1 H 

I n 

4 6 

lb. oz. 


1 8 
1 8 


1 8 

6 2 

2 10 

5 14i 

2 10 

5 14A 

2 10 

5 114 

23 10 

7 14 

4 6 
13 2 

6 2 

7 14 

1 5 

9 3 
1 5 

3 15 

1 5 



Each man 7 ^ « 
per week, j " 
Each man ] ^ ^ 
per day, J 


The beef to be coarse wholesome meat; and the other 
articles to be good and wholesome of their kind. 

The bread to be of the quality sent to His Majesty's troops 
of the line ; and yon are to use every possible means to i)re- 
vent them from selling any part of their allowance, one t«) 
another, or to any other person. 

6. You are to be careful and see that no other than standard 
weights and measures are used on board the hulk. 

7. When provisions come on board, tiie ofliccr having the 
guard upon deck, with the steward and contractor's man, shall 
attend to see them weighed and measured, and if any be 
damaged, or unfit for use, or be short of weiglit or measure, 
an immediate report thereof is to be made to you, or in your 
absence to the first mate, who, with the assistance of the sur- 
geon, will inspect the same, and such as they shall find unfit 
for use are to be returned upon the contractors' hands, and an 
equal quantity of good provisicms in lieu thereof be demanded 
immediately. And if the same bad provisions should again be 
sent on board, or others equally bad on the same day, you are 
to cause them to be returned, and purchase an equal quantity 
of good in the market, and charge the amouiit to the contractor, 
making a minute thereof in the occurrence-book, and taking 
credit for the same in your account with me at the end of the 
quarter ; when it will be deducted from the contractor's vic- 
tualling account. When the provisions are issued for the 
convicts' use, you are to direct the officer having charge of the 
deck, with the steward, and two convicts, (to be chosen daily 
from their own body,) to see them weighed and measured, and 
delivered to the cook to be dressed, and as the presence of the 
two convicts is calculated and intended to prevent on their 
part all just cause respecting the weight and mea^ 
sure of the provisions, you are carefully to enforce their attend- 
ance, and for a neglect of this precaution on your part, no 
excuse whatever will be admitted. A minute of tlieir names is 
to be made daily in the occurrence-book. 

8. Whenever the weather will permit, all healthy convicts 
without distinction are to be sent on ^hore to work, and non« 


be siiiFered to remain during the working hours, except shoe- 
makers and tailors, and such others as may be necessary for 
doing the duty of the hulk ; and they are to be changed, daily 
or weekly, as shall be judged most proper and necessary, so as 
that this duty may be done by all in rotation. 

9. You are on no account to suffer the shoemakers or tailoi's 
to work for any officer or other person belonging to the hulk, 
nor, during the usual working hours, for any person on shore, 
but to see that they are employed daily in making and mending 
clothes for the rest of the convicts ; and when there is no such 
work for them to do, you are to send them on shore to 

10. Upon complaint being made by any of the convicts of 
their being too ill to go on shore to labour, you are to cause 
them to be examined by the surgeon, and if he recommends 
it, you are to order them into the hospital, there to be taken 
care of until they shall be recovered, and when they are fit 
for duty again, of which he will give you the earliest inform- 
ation, you are to remove them from the Iiospital, and send 
tliem on shore to labour. 

11. You are to take care that the surgeon visits the hospitals 
every morning and evening, and the hulk under your super- 
intendance once a-day at the least, and you are to make a 
minute in the occurrence-book of his doing so, or of any ne- 
glect thereof. 

12. A regular book is to be kept of the entries and dis- 
charges of convicts sent to the hospital, and during their con- 
tinuation on that book, they are to be chetjued of their common 
provisions on the ship's book ; therefore a copy of the sick 
book is to be annexed to eveiy f [uarterly pay-book, and delivered 
to me at the end of every quarter. 

13. The hospital bedduig, dresses, and utensils, are to be 
taken the greatest care of, and those out of use to be always 
washed and cleaned, and kept in proper places ready for use 

1 4-. You are to visit the hospital once a-day at least, and 
inform yourself of every thing relating to tlie sick, and to take 


care that no irreguhirities or abuses are .suirercd therein, aiul 
that the boards and every part of the hosjiiUil be kept in the 
most perfect state of cleanliness. 

15. You are to be careful that all the olfuers and guards do 
their duty punctually, and in the event of any vacancy ]iai)pen- 
ing, by death or otherwise, you are to direct the next olhcer in 
seniority to do the duty, until I shall have; had an opj)ortunity 
of enquiring whether he is a proper jierson to fill it up. And 
as an encouragement to all on board, you are from time lo 
time to send me an impartial account of iheir behaviour, that 
I may be able on all occasions to approve of your choice of one 
from amongst themselves, and not be obliged to put a stranger 
over any of their heads. And it is to be understood by you, 
that in all cases where any person is ajipointed by me, that tlic 
moment lie enters the hulk, 1 have no longer any private 
knowledge of him, but if he neglects his duty, you then are to 
treat him and report of him to me, just as you would treat and 
report of any other person. In short, you are answerable for 
the conduct of every one on board; you are to take care not to 
make any other distinction between them than such as shall be 
warranted by superior merit, which with me will ever be the 
strongest inducement to confirm your appointment. 

16. The following yearly allowance of cloathing, if required, 
may be issued by you to each convict, viz. two jackets, two 
pair of breeches, four pair of stockings, three pair of shoes, 
two hats, two neck handkerchiefs, one v»aistcoat, and one 
blanket. The utmost economy, however, is to be observed by 
you, and though you are allowed to go to this extent, (but on 
no account beyond it,) yet you are to make a,s nuich less do as 
you can, without running any risk of ijijuring the healths of the 
convicts, and you are to give me an account in the pay-bt)ok 
of the several articles issued by you at the end of every quarter. 

17. The clothes and bedding of convicts making their escape 
and dying, (except such of the latter as may have died of fevers 
or aTiy contagious disortlcr, in which case the surgeon's ojii- 
nion of the propriety of preserving the same is to betaken,) 
are to be carefully preserved and issued by you to such of the 


Others as shall stand most in need of them, without ajiy allow- 
ance being made to the contractors of the same. And if con- 
victs escaping or dying leave any private clothing or money 
behind them, an inventory of the clothes and a memorandum 
of the money, are to be minuted in the occurrence-book on the 
day of the escape or death, and you are to sign your name 

18. The private clothes belonging to convicts, (an inventory 
of which is to be entered in the occurrence-book,) are to be 
carefully preserved, and punctually delivered them on their 
leaving the hulk, and their money, if they have any, is to be 
kept in your hands and accounted for by you, in a book to be 
opened for that purpose, an abstract of which you are to de- 
liver to me, at the end of every quarter, in the followmg 


S s, d. 

January 1. A B, in hand 

Received since ...' 

March 31. Expended in this quarter 

Remains £ 

And no fee or reward whatever is to be taken by you, or any 
person for you, for this, or for any thing else done for the 

A fee or reward, either in money or goods, taken by you, 
or by any person belonging to the hulks, from the contractor 
who supplies the provisions and clothing, or from any person 
having permission to sell things on board, will be considered 
as taken from the convicts, because, in fact, they must be in- 
jured by it, at least to the extent of the value of what you 
receive ; and it may be lairly presumed, that such presents are 
made with a view of seducing you from your duty, the better 
to enable the person who makes them, to repay himself not 
only for what he bestows upon you, but a great deal more : 
which of course will be at the expense of the convicts in one 
way or another. Tliis offence is of the most heinous nature. 


inasmuch as it is a robbery committed on the unfortunate, and 
will not admit of an excuse. On the other hand, your con- 
duct will be equally blameable, if, from any improper motive, 
you should be induced to encourage, or not prevent an extra- 
Tagant use of such necessary articles as the contractor, by his 
contract, is bound to provide for the use of the hulks. At the 
same time, therefore, that you see the terms of the contract 
fairly fulfilled by liim, you are to be careful not to ex.ict 
any thing that may by him be justly deemed an imposition. 

19. You are not to keep any pigs or poultry on board the 
hulks, nor to permit any other person to do so, for the|)urpose 
of selling any part thereof to the convicts, with whom neither 
you nor any other officer or guard are to have any sort of 
traffic whatever. 

20. The chaplain is to read prayers and preach a sermon 
every Sunday throughout the year ; and on Christmas-day and 
Good Friday, in the chapel on boaid the hulk ; ami to the end 
that divine service may be decently and devoutly pcrformetl, 
you are to take care that every convict is clean in his person 
and dress, and that no improper behaviour or inattention be 
shown during the time of service. The chaplain is to visit the 
sick in the hospital occasionally, and to show himself at all 
times ready and desirous of administering to them such spiritual 
advice and consolation as they may stand in need of; and, on 
the death of any convict, you are to give the cha))lain timely 
notice, so as to ensure his attendance at the funeral, which is 
never to be suffered without the burial-service being performetl, 
and one of the officers of the hulks, with six at least of 
the convicts attending, which is to be inserted in the occurrence- 

21. If convicts misbehave at their work, they are on no 
account to be beaten by the officers or guards, but these are 
to use gentle and persuasive means to induce them to alter 
their conduct ; and if that will not do, they are to complain of 
them to you: and, (m their return on board, you are to punish 
them according to the nature of their crime, mulcr tlie direc- 



tioii of the act 19 Geo. III. c. 74., taking care to do it in 
the face of all the rest of the convicts, so as to make it an 
example to the whole. A minute to be made of the name of 
the convict, the name of the complainant, the nature of the 
crime, and also of the punishment inflicted. 

On the escape of a convict, a strict enquiry to be made into 
the cause, and to leave no means untried to recover him : and if 
liis escape has been occasioned by the negligence of any officer 
or other person belonging to the hulk, a minute to be made 
of all the circumstances in the occurrence-book, and transmit 
a copy thereof to me ; and, if proof can be had of any officer 
or other person or persons being concerned in effecting the 
escape of any convict, you are to proceed against him or them 
as the law directs. The name and description of every con- 
vict making his escape should be sent immediately under a 
cover, directed to the sitting magistrate at each of the public 
offices in London. 

22. Both you and your officers are to watch and make minutes 
from time to time of the behaviour of the convicts, so that 
you may be able to form an opinion of their disposition to 
reform ; and, at the end of every quarter, you are to deliver 
to me a list of six who shall have served more than half their 
time on board the hulk, and whose conduct, in your impartial 
opinion, make them fit objects of mercy, in order that I may 
enquire particularly into the ground of your recommendation 
of them, and report thereon to the Secretaiy of State for His 
Majesty's consideration ; and in executing this part of your 
duty, you are to act impartially ; for if it should appear that 
interest, or any sinister motive whatever, has influenced you in 
your opinion, the most marked disapprobation of your conduct 
will follow the detection. 

You are, therefore, to prepare a character-book, to be kept 
in the clerk's office, for tlie inspection of all the officers, in the 
presence of whom, and the chaplain, you are to have a general 
muster of all the convicts on the first Sunday in every quarter, 
wid enquire into the conduct of every man since the last 


muster; and against eacli name put one of the following 
marks : 

For attending the sacrament X. 

Religiously disposed r. 

Good g. 

IiidilTerent in. 

Suspicious (character not determined) s. 

Bad b. 

Very bad v.b. 

You are to make known to each man the mark put against 
his name, and the effect it is likely to have in shortening the 
time of his confinement ; and to mark the first column in such 
a manner as will best describe the conduct of each convict, 
from his first confinement up to the present time. * 

23. A regular daily account of tlie state of the hulks is to 
be kept by you, and transmitted to me weekly : and a weekly 
account of the convicts' labour is to be annexed to the (juar- 
terly-book, agreeably to the annexed forms. 

24. You are, without delay, to make me acquainted with all 
extraordinary circumstances that occur on board the hulks, or 
in any manner relating to the convicts under your care. 

(Signed) A. Graham. 

The conduct of the subject of this memoir was so conspi- 
cuously meritorious, and his remuneration at the same time so 
very inadequate, that he was presented with a sum of money 
by an imanimous vote of the House of Conmions. 

* The following return was made from Portsmouth, 1st October 1911. 

Captivhy. Forilaml. Laiifl. 

Very good, religiously disposed, and atttiid tlie sacrament, 17 31 9 

Very good, 312 103 122 

Good, H=^ >" '0' 

Indiffereni, 32 '22 l6 

Suspicious (rharacier not ascertained) ^ 5 

Bad, 8 12 1 

Incorrigible, '' 

499 ;}49 2S6 

E 1-: t^ 



This honourable testimony of his wortli occuiTed at a period 
when disease indicated a speedy dissolution. 

Mr. Graham was rather under the middle size; but he 
was paiticularly neat in his dress and person, agreeable in his 
manners, insinuating in his address, and greatly beloved 
by a wide circle of respectable friends. One amiable part of 
his character ought not to be overlooked. He was the 
constant friend to merit of every description. From the first 
moment he was enabled to act as a patron, he looked around 
him for worthy and deserving objects, destitute of protection, 
and to these he constantly extended a helping hand. For the 
young midshipman, anxious to exhibit himself on the quarter- 
deck of a king's ship, he was ever eager to find a captain who 
might treat him with paternal attention. He even assisted 
him in passing his examination; and on his promotion as 
a lieutenant, he generally found employment for him. Nor 
was this all ; for he usually administered to the wants of the 
young officer, and supplied him with money for the purposes 
of equipment. The small sums advanced in this way, nearly 
all of which are lost to his family, must liave swelled to a very 
considerable amount, in the course of thirty or forty years. 
Nor was it to subaltern officers alone he extended his friend- 
ship. Several captains obtained ships by his recommendation ; 
and there is a flag-officer existing at this present moment, 
whose brows have been entwined with the victorious laurel, 
that is solely indebted for his rise to the friendship and discri- 
mination of the subject of this memoir. 

It has been already observed, that Mr. Graham displayed 
pre-eminent talents in the higher branches of mathematics. 
On the introduction of the new time-pieces on board ship, for 
the puipose of adjusting the reckoning, he entered into a 
scientific contest with a famed astronomer-royal ; and when it 
is stated, that he was acknowledged by many to have attained 
the mastery, both in figures and in argument, it must be allowed 
that his merits were of a transcendent kind. 

Mr. Graham excelled also in mechanics, a talent which he 
always dedicated to naval purposes. We liave seen some fine 


models of cutters, brigs, and ships of the lino, formed out of 
box by his own hand, that would have done credit to the most 
experienced artist. 

It is not a little remarkable, that the affairs of Drury-Lane, 
whicli have proved so fatal to many persons, finally producetl 
that malady which occasioned the death of the subject of this 
memoir. Having a great personal regard for Mr. Sheridan, 
he gratuitously detlicated his time to the adjustment of ac- 
counts, complexed, confused, and intricate in the extreme ; and 
has been often known to sit up whole nights in forming plans 
and estimates. At one period, indeed, all the arrangement* 
of the theatre were submitted to his sole care and manage- 
ment. These multiplied avocations, in addition to his duties 
as a magistrate, at length superinduced a long train of nervous 
disorders ; and he was for a considerable time confined to his 
bed. So little conscious was he, however, of his dissolution, 
which occurred on December 24. 1818, in the 66th year of his 
age, that, deeming himself in a convalescent state, he actually 
sent to Bath for a Merlin's chair, for the purpose of enjoying 
exercise in the open air. 

So scrupulous was he in the discharge of his duties, that he 
overlooked every personal consideration arising out of labour 
and fatigue ; and so skilful was he deemed, that he was con- 
sulted by the Treasuiy, on all great and critical occasions. 
During the mutiny at the Nore, his services proved eminently 
acceptable; he repaired, on that occasion, in character of a 
magistrate to Sheerness, and being well accjuainted with the 
habits and manners of the sailors, contributed not a little 
to the termination of a revolt, that at one period threatened 
destruction to the naval superiority of Great Britain. 

His conduct and talents were now deemed of so meritorious 
a description, that he was soon after selected for the office of 
chief magistrate of the police of the metropolis, which, as is 
usual on such occasions, was to be accompanied by the honour 
of knighthood. Tliis appointment was actually held by him, 
during three or four days ; and had it been conferred at an 
earlier period of life, would have been executed with due vigour 

J-: K 3 

4-2^^ AAllON GRAHAM, ESQ. 

and promptitude, tempered by becoming mildness and dis- 
cretion ; but, in consequence of his increasing infirmities, he 
deemed it proper to resign. 

Mr. Graham displayed through life a singular inattention to 
pecuniary interests ; for he had it more than once in his power 
to have realised a large fortune. 

He has left behind him a prudent and respectable widow, 
who has lately succeeded, by the death of a relation, to a great 
fortune, with three children. His eldest son, who distinguished 
himself on several occasions during the late war, has been for 
many years a post-captain in the royal navy. His second, the 
Reverend Henry Graham, a very amiable and discreet young 
man, was educated at Oxford, where he has obtained the degi-ee 
of M. A. Of his daughters, one, eminent for her beauty and 
accomplishments, was carried off in the prime of life. Another, 
since dead, married captain the Baron de Spangler, of the 
Dutch navy ; a third, who, while yet a child, exhibited a fine 
taste for poetry, is the wife of a professional gentleman. 





No. I. 

Right Hon. and Most Rev. Hrs Grace 


M.R. Beresford, third son of Marcus Bcresford, earl of 
Tyrone, and brother of the first Marquis of Waterford, was 
born, April 16. lY^S. After receiving an excellent education 
at the University of Dublin, he applied himself to the study 
of divinity. No sooner did age permit the imposition of 
priest's orders, than ecclesiastical preferments poured fast 
in upon this favoured son of the church. At the age of thirty- 
seven, we find him consecrated Bishop of Dromore. He was 
translated to the bishopric of Ossory in 1782; and obtained 
the archbishopric of Tuam in 1 794. 

His Grace, by his birth as well as by his alliances, en- 
sured the countenance of government on all occasions, for 
these were accompanied and adorned by a good character. In 
1763, he had married the sister of th» late Lord Chancellor of 
Ireland, John Earl of Clare, by wliom he had issue, no fewer 
than ten sons and six daughters. He was created a peer of 
the kingdom of Ireland in 1812, by the style and title of Baron 
Decies, in the county of Waterford. 

E i: 4- 


His Grace tlietl at liis palace of Tuam, in the county of 
Galway, Sept. 7. 1819, in liis seventy-seventh year. 

The archbishop is succeeded in his honours and estates by 
his eldest surviving son, the Hon. John Horsley Beresford, now 
Lord Decies. This latter nobleman, who is also in holy orders, 
assumed his additional surname of Horsley, on his marriage with 
Charlotte, only daughter and heiress of Robert Horsley, Esq. 
of Bolam- House, in the county of Northumberland. 

No. II. 


JMii. Lysons, the son of a respectable provincial clergyjnan, 
was a native of Gloucestershire, having been born atRodmarton, 
near Cirencester, May 7. 1 763. He was educated at Bath ; 
and, being destined for the law, was placed for some time in an 
attorney's office in that gdy city. In 1784- he came to Lon- 
don, entered himself a student of the Honourable Society of 
the Middle Temple ; and acted for some time as a special 
pleader under the Bar. 

But although Mr. Lysons received a " call " in 1 798, yet 
his ruling passion was directed towards studies of a far different 
kind ; for he delighted in researches into the history and anti- 
quities of England, and became a constant attendant at the 
Royal and Antiquary Societies for many years. 

This, in conjunction with a good character, and a high re- 
putation, procured an introduction to the King at Kew, by Sir 
Joseph Banks ; and, on the death of Mr. Astle, he was nomi- 
nated Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London. His 
laborious literary career was closed after a short illness, on the 
10th of April, 1819. 

' Many unfinished works have been left behind him, which 
a near and respectable relative intends to complete. He 


also, during his life, published several others, sonic written in 
conjunction with his brother, the Rev. Daniel Lysons, whom we 
have just alluded to. The subject of this memoir was indefa- 
tigable in his researches, and eminently skilful in one branch 
of the Graphic art. 

Wmks of the late S. Lysons, Esq. 

1. Antiquities of Gloucestershire; the whole of the plates 
etched by himself from his own drawings. 

2. The Roman remains discovered by him at Woodchester. 

3. Collection of Roman remains in various parts of Great 
Britain (three first parts only are printed). 

4. Magna Britannia, undertaken in conjunction with his 

A series of Royal Letters, found among the records in the 
Tower, were nearly prepared for publication at the time of his 

No. III. 


This gentleman, said to be descended from the Earls of Gra- 
nard, was a native of the metropolis, having been bom In 
London, in 1749. After receiving the usual education at 
school, and acquiring a fine notion of drawing, at the early 
age of sixteen, young Forbes left England, to proceed to 
Bombay, at which settlement he had obtained a writership. 

Soon after his arrival, he procured leave of absence for a 
considerable time, and employed that opportunity in visiting 
different parts of India. Indeed, he became a celebrated tra- 
veller in the course of his life, having spent no fewer than 
twenty years, in different parts of Asia, Africa, and America. 


With a liappy facility, he was accustomed to transfer to paper 
very accurate drawings of the costume of the various tribes and 
nations which he visited. His coloured delineations of the 
various objects of natural history were also executed with such 
elegance, accuracy, and correctness, as to delight every be- 
ll older. 

After a residence of nineteen years in the East, during which 
period, he had occupied many honourable and some lucrative 
offices, Mr. Forbes returned to his native country, and having 
purchased a house and estate at Stanmore-Hill, resolved to 
settle there. In 1 788, he married Miss Gayland of Stanniore 
by whom he had issue one daughter. 

Soon after this, he repaired to the Continent, for the ex- 
press purpose of indulging his taste in the picturesque and 
sublime. The classical scenery of Italy, the romantic regions 
of Switzerland, and the extensive forests of Germany, were all 
contemplated and surveyed by him during a long and extensive 

As he had been precluded during the first war with France 
fi'om visiting that country, he determine(T to take advantage of 
the short peace to repair thither. Accordingly, in 1803, ac- 
companied by his wife and daughter, he sailed for Holland, 
and by taking that circuitous route, arrived at Paris soon after 
the renewal of hostilities, and on the very day after all the 
English had been declared to be " in a state of arrest." In 
consequence of this order, he was sent with his family to 
Verdun, where he was detained along with many thousands 
of his countrymen, for a considerable period. At length, he 
was indebted for his liberation to the circumstance of his being 
F. R. S., an honour obtained by him immediately before he 
left England. The National Institute on this, as on several 
similar occasions, interposed, and Bonaparte was pleased to 
order his liberation and that of his family. On his return to 
his native country, he employed himself in narrating the events 
that had occurred to him and the other prisoners during their 


Alter a few years' residence at SUmmore-IIill, Mr. Forbes 
took his runiily once more to France, and on this occasion, 
married his only daughter to the Conite de Montidamljcrt, 
minister from France to the court of Wirteniberfr. 

In the month of June, 1819, he left Enghand for the last 
time, witli a view of visiting his daughter at Stutgard. Hut he 
reached no further than Aix-hi-Chapelle, having been seized on 
his arrival there with a morUil disease, which put a period to 
his existence on the 1st of August, 1819, in the 70th year of 
his age. 

List of the Works of the late Mr. Forbes. 

1. Letters from France, written in the Years 1803 and ISOl-; 
including a particular Account of Verdun, and the Situation of 
the British Captives in that City. 2 vols. 8vo. 1806. 

2. Reflections on the Character of the Hindoos, and the 
Importance of converting them to Christianity. 8vo. 1810. 

3. Oriental Memoirs. 4- vols. 4to. 1813, embellishetl with 
93 exquisite engravings. 

His portfolios were rich in drawings by his own hand, and 
consisted of many thousands. 

No. IV. 


Mh.Wyndham was born in 1736, ^and educated at Wadham- 
College, Oxford, where he took the degree of M. A. in 1759. 
This gentleman commenced his literary career by publishing a 
tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in 1775. The suc- 
cess accompanyhig this octavo volume tempted the author to 


enlarge it into a quarto some years after, and it is still quoted 
with respect. 

His next publication was in quality of editor of " The Diary 
of the late George Bubb Doddington, Baron of Melcombe 
Regis, with an Appendix of curious and interesting Papers." 
The original was found by him in his library ; and the appear- 
ance of this small tract made a prodigious noise at that period, 
as it for the first time displayed corruption in a broad and gla- 
ring light, to the details of which the people had hitherto been 
unaccustomed. It has passed through no fewer than four 

In 1788 appeared "Wiltshire, extracted from the Domesday 
Book ; to which is added, a Translation of the original Latin 
into English, with an Index, in which are adapted the modern 
Names to the Antient; and with a Preface, in which i$ included 
a Plan for a General Meeting of the County." His last work, 
was *' A Picture of the Isle of Wight," an Svo volume, which 
appeared in 1794. 

Mr. Wyndham died at his house in the city of Salisbury, iu 
the spring of 1819, at the mature age of 83. 

No. V. 

Lord Bishop of PETERBOROUGH. 

XJr. Parsons was a native of Oxford, a place always dear to 
him, being connected both with the city and university by the 
strongest ties of affection and attachment. He was born in 
|;he parish of St, Aldate, July 6. 1761, and was first placed at 
the school belonging to the cathedral ; thence he was removed 
in a short time to that of Magdalen-College. To Wadham- 
College, Mr. Parsons was admitted in 1777, and elected a 


scliolar three years after. The following are the precise dates 
of his academical degrees: B. A., June 27, 1782; M. A., 
December 17, 1785; B. D., April 21, 1799; 1). 1)., April 30, 
1 799. 

In 178.5, the subject of this short memoir became, in due 
rotation, a fellow of Wadham-College, and soon after, on the 
presentation of that society, obtained the livings of All-Saints 
and St. Leonard's, Colchester. In 1798, he returned to Ox- 
ford, in consequence of being chosen Master of Baliol ; and 
was admitted to the office of Vice-Chancellor. After the 
lapse of about ten years, the deanery of Bristol was conferred 
by the crown; and on the 12th of December, 1813, the Doctor 
was consecrated Bishop of Peterborough, a see less celebrated 
for its opulence than the piety and respectability of its prelates. 

After a possession of about six years, his lordship was seized 
with the rheumatic gout; this, after many severe and agonising 
paroxysms, carried him off, at his lodgings in Baliol College, 
March 12, 1819, in the 58th year of his age. 

The Bishop of Peterborough has left an afHicted widow, but 
no children, behind hun. Of literary compositions, avowed 
by this worthy dignitary of the Church of England, we know 
only of two sermons ; one preached on a fast-day ( March 20, 
1811) before the Hoiuse of Commons: the other before the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in foreign Parts, 
published in 1819. 

The following letter, addressed by the Rev. Edward Patteson, 
M. A. to a celebrated civilian, conveys a high idea of the 
worth and talents of the departed and lamented prelate. 

T'o the Right Hon. Sir William Scott, D. C. L. Bepiesaitativc 
in Parliament for the Univcisity of OxfoiJ, &c. 

" I RESPFXTFULLY submit to your perusal an attempt to 
appreciate the virtues of a departed friend, for whom you are 
known to have entertained a high and merited regartl. It was 
hastily traced out, inunediately on his decease, under the im- 
pulse of feelings natural, on such an occasion, to an uninter- 


tempted attachment of many years: but neitlier the subsidence 
of the first warmth of those feehngs, nor the dehberate scrutiny 
of many successive revisions, has induced me to apprehend, 
that, in any one point, my representation has exceeded the 

** I am sensible, that, in having aspired not only to delineate 
such a character, but to solicit the inspection of a most accurate 
judge both of the subject and the execution, I may have laid 
myself open to the charge of presumption. But I shall not 
waste your time in apologies. If the portrait be at last defect- 
ive, the failure on my part is without excuse. If it be faithful, 
I am well assured, that no man living will contemplate it with 
more pleasure, than Sir William Scott. 

" The Right Reverend John Parsons, D. D. late Bishop of 
Peterborough, and Master of Baliol College in the University 
of Oxford, was one of those rare and remarkable men, who 
appear to have been born, not so much to extend the limits of 
any particular species of knowledge, as to promote the cul- 
tivation of good sense and right feeling in every department of 
life. Of many not undistinguished persons, it is but too justly 
suspected, that the hope of distinction alone rendered them 
what they were : of Dr. Parsons it may be truly affirmed, that 
lie rose to distinction, because he would not, in any circum- 
stances, have been other than he was. His qualities were not 
of a nature to be assumed ; nor his system of conduct such, as 
the views of latent ambition could have prompted. To he 
useful^ was the great aim of his life: and the general persuasion, 
how eminently nature and experience had empowered him to 
be usisful, was now fully established, when the hopes which it 
had raised were extinguished by his death. 

" Deeply and sincerely, by those who stood near to him, 
will his decease be lamented ; but far wider is the sphere, in 
which it will be most permanently felt. The sorrows of private 
fiiendship will die with the passing generation ; but that the 
public career of the Bishop of Peterborough should have been 
prematurely terminated, will be regretted by every true friend 
to our ecclesiastical and civil establishments, tor generations to 



come. In him, his college has lost a second fomuler; the 
nniversity, a reformer of its abuses, a strict eniijrcer of its dis- 
cipline, an able champion of its privileges, and a main jiiihn- 
of its reputation ; the public charities, a liberal contributor, and 
a powerful advocate; the Church of England, a conscientious 
professor of its doctrines, and a temjierate but firm defender 
of its rights; the House of Peers, a discerning, uj)right, anil 
active senator ; and the nation at large, a true, loyal, and sober 

" It was his peculiar felicity to leave, in every station which 
he successively lilled, indelible traces both of his talents and 
his worth. The entire line of his progress was marked by a 
series of improvements; of institutions reformed; of reveimes 
augmented; of residences restored and embellished: and all 
this was effected by means not less creditable to his integrity 
and benevolence, than to his judgment, perseverance, and 
energy. In his benefices, his college, his deanery, and his 
diocese, the thought of those, who might come after him, was 
ever present to his mind; and to their interest he often made 
large sacrifices of his own. 

The elevation of Dr. Parsons to the prelacy was eijually 
honourable to the discernment which pointed out his merit, 
and to the choice which acknowledged it. Conferred without 
solicitation, it was accepted witliout the forfeiture of indepen- 
dence ; nor can any other motive be assigned for the appoint- 
ment, than a just sense of his peculiar fitness both to fulfil the 
duties of the episcopal office, and to sustain its dignity. 

" By those, whose opportunities of observing him were 
confined to his public functions and duties, the more soft and 
amiable features of his character were little understood. The 
commanding vigour of his colloquial powers was felt by all who 
conversed with him ; but the lively narrative, the unstudied wii, 
the playful and inoffensive gaiety which adorned and animated 
his private conversation, were known only to few ; for in the 
mixed and varied circle of general society, his habits were ge- 
nerally serious, and sometimes reserved. 

" With a strength of intellect, of which he could not be 
unconscious, and a frame of nerves naturally firm, it is the less 


surprising, that he should have possessed also that admirable 
presence of mind, which enabled him, on many trying and 
delicate emergencies, to act with equal promptitude, spirit, and 

" As a coadjutor in public business, he was neither forward 
to dictate, nor, when consulted, slow to suggest : but, when an 
entire question was fairly before him, his decision was formed 
without hesitation, and pronounced without fear. On the 
odier hand, in collecting, weighing, and comparing evidence, he 
was patient and indefatigable. Never would he consent to 
sanction grave measures on questionable grounds ; to assign 
public rewards where no public service was proved ; or, (least 
of all,) to affix the stigma of delinquency, unless where a 
stron<T case was clearly made out. 

" He entertained a due respect for the opinions and inform- 
ation of others ; but where facts, testimony, and argument 
had failed to convince him, it was vain to urge him with mere 
names and authorities, excepting on subjects, remote fi'om his 
own province or track of enquiry. His co-operation, there- 
fore, was only to be obtained by satisfying his judgment : and 
such was his penetration, that any attempt to ensnare him by 
sophistry, or to work upon his feelings by imposture, was ex- 
posed to certain detection. 

" Though resolute and tenacious where conscience was con- 
cerned, no man could be more unwilling to contend for trifles, 
but he anxiously deprecated that false liberality, which, under 
the name of trifles, is ready to abandon the most important 
outwork^' of the Church and State. To peace he was ready 
to make"* any sacrifice, but that of principle and the public 
good : and, wherever his situation gave him influence, it was 
for this object that he most delighted to exert it. Hence, it 
was his earnest endeavour to heal divisions, and to extinguish 
the spirit of party, in every society with which he became con- 
nected : and he made his own example eminently conducive to 
this end, by the strict impartiality of his regulations and 

" When placed where sectaries were numerous and power- 
ful, he neither courted them by concessions, nor disgusted them 


by useless hostility; and his conduct, hpwever adverse to their 
views, conciliated their esteem. 

" Though he had not been long known to his clergy as their 
diocesan, they already a})preciated l)is character, and felt the 
value of his paternal counsels and care. A few yeais hail 
taught them to regard his residence amongst them as a bless- 
ing, and the prospect of Jiis removal as that of an impending 

" As a preacher, his grave, dignified, and cniphntic delivery 
was well suited to compositions, of which the purpose was to 
convince, not to attract applause : and it is highly leputable to 
the University of Oxford, that its pulpit was never more nume- 
rously attended, than when he was expected to fill it. 

" In the House of Peers, he was rather a hearer, than a 
speaker. There, the due dispatch of business was his sole 
object; and, to his industry and perseverance in committees, 
his readiness in catching the true bearing of a (juestion, and 
his acuteness in the detection of errors, they, who were accus- 
tomed to act with him, will bear ample testimony. 

" Where such is the intrinsic weight of character, the lustre, 
which it may derive from the friendship of other great and 
<Tood men, is reflected upon themselves. Honourable, there- 
fore, as it was to the Bishop of Peterborough, it was not to 
him alone honourable, that for many years he possessed equally 
the confidence of some persons, who filled the highest oflices 
with dignity and credit, and of others, who, with no less dig- 
nity, had declined them. 

" Of such a man it is almost superfluous to recoid, that his 
taith as a Christian was sound, rational, and efftxtive : — that 
what he taught, he believed ; and what he believed, he prac- 

" When the religious opinions of other men, however op- 
posite to his own, appeared to him to be sincere, his dissent 
from them was consistent with respect, and his disapprobation, 
with charity. But to the Establishment, in which he was bred, 
he was no lukewarm friend. Whether he regarded, wth the 
greater share of dread, an intolerant superstition, or equally 

VOL. IV. P * 


intolerant fanaticism, may reasonably be doubted : but certain 
it is, that he could not contemplate the prevalence of cither 
without serious alarm. 

" So earnest, indeed, was his solicitude to guard and main- 
tain what he considered as the best and purest form of Chris- 
tianity, and so well adapted was the turn of his mind, either 
to withstand the force, or to expose the artifices, of its assail- 
ants, that his decease cannot but be regarded as having left a 
void in the ranks of orthodoxy, not easily to be supplied. 

" Such, Sir, are my views of the conduct and character of 
tlie late Bishop of Peterborough. — Wliat ymi thought of him 
generally, I have reason to know : and I therefore confidently 
hope, that you will not regard the particulars, here stated, as 
tnther fictitious or overcharged. 

I am, with the highest respect, 
Sir, your obliged and most obedient Servant, 


No. VI. 

Rt. Hon. THOMAS DE GREY, f. r. s. 
Second Lord WALSINGHAM. 

This nobleman, born in 1748, was the only son of Sir Wil- 
liam de Grey, for many years Lord Chief Justice of the Court 
of Common Pleas. On his resignation in 1780, that cele- 
brated lawyer obtained the title of Baron Walsingham, of 
Walsingham, in the county of Norfolk. 

The late Thomas Lord Walsingham was bred to the bar, 
and acquired a habit of business in early life, that contributed 
not a little, both to his utility and advaiicement. The first 
office held by him, while Mr. De Grey, was that of Under 
Secretary of State to Lord George Germaine, when that noble- 
man was nominated American Secretary. After being thus 
occupied for a few y^'ars, we afterwards find him actively em- 
' , 10 


])\oyeil lis one of the I^ords of Trade niu! Plantations, until 
that boajcl experienced a total eclipse in consequence of the 
operation of an act of })arlianient (Mr. Burke's bill), wliich 
deprived die members of their salaries. 

In 1787, Lord Walsinghaui, who had succeeded to the 
family-honours, obtained the advantageous appointment of 
Joint Postmaster-General, which he hqld until ny-t; and it waj* 
during that period, if we misUike not greatly, that the grand 
improvement, suggested by Mr. Palmer, took place in this de- 
partment. Unhappily, they did not exactly aicord on this 

In 17.95, being then out of employment, this nobleman was 
selected for the important office of Chairman of the Connnittce 
of Privileges of the House of Lords. Notwithstanding the 
occasional assistance of two barristers, this is an employment 
of great difficulty and delicacy, as all estate, naturalization, 
and private bills usually orii^inate in tliis house, and a daily 
attendance therefore becomes necessary, during a large portion 
of the session of Parhament. In addition to this, to him was 
assigned the great and important employment of presiding at 
all committees, where the honours of the Peerage were claimed. 
The industry and abiUties displayed by the noble chairman, 
on every occasion, have always been acknowledged, not only 
by the candidates for the Peerage, but also by the numerous 
clients and their agents who solicited the various bills submit- 
ted to his inspection. Notwithstanding occasional fits of the 
gout, he was punctual in his attendance, and not unfrecjuently 
was carried down with his legs wrapped in flannel, in order 
that the public business might not experience any delay from 
his corporeal infirmities. 

This nobleman acted as chairman of die Committee of die 
Lords, in the trial of the late Warren Hastings, Esq. for high 
crimes and misdemeanours. It was not undl die 13di of Aprd, 
1795, however, that he found an opportunity of delivering his 
own opinion on the resoludons entered into by the House, an- 
terior to a final decision. On diis occasion, he lamented, that 
he had l>oen deprived of the power of speaking until then, liy 

F F 2 


his official engagements ; but added, that he would then take 
the opportunity of stating his opinion in the shortest possible 

" The principle on which I mean to act, is this : to acquit 
Mr. Hastings whei'ever he appears to have acted directly for 
the public service, or wherever any doubt arose in point of 
law, of so critical a nature as that the most learned authorities 
in the house differ in their construction of it. Upon this prin- 
ciple I aequit him upon the Benares and Begiun charges, be- 
cause he sought only the Company's advantage without any 
views of self-interest : the same principle applies to the present 
given through Sandanund ; there is a difference in respect to 
the other presents." -His lordship then stated his opinion in 
respect to the contracts, and concluded by saying that Mr.' 
Hastings, " by the vigour of his mind, had preserved an 
empire to the nation which, without this, might have been lost 
for ever." 

After an able and impartial speech, of which the above is a 
brief outline, Lord Walsingham concluded by acquitting the 
prisoner on all the sixteen articles, the ninth only excepted : 
" for having granted the opium contract to Stephen Sullivan, 
Esq. in 1781, upon terms glaringly extravagant and wantonly 

In 1816, his lordship was afflicted with a paralytic affection, 
in consequence of which he retired on a pension, a moiety of 
which was reversionary to his family. His Lordship died at 
his house at Old Windsor, January 16, 1818, after a long and 
painful illness. 

Lord Walsingham who, in addition to the offices already 
mentioned, enjoyed that of Comptroller of the First Fruits and 
Tenths, was exceedingly wealthy, his personal property alone 
amounting to near 200,000/. Among other pecuniary be- 
quests, he has left a legacy of 100 guineas to testify his esteem 
for his old friend, the Lord Chancellor Eldon. 

This nobleman, for a long series of years, stood high in the 
confidence, both of th» King and Queen. 





No. 1. 

Memoirs of John Duke of MARLBOROUGH; with his 


SOURCES. Illustrated with portraits, maps, and mili- 
tary PLANS. By William Coxe, M. A. F. R. S. F. S. A, 
Archdeacon of Wilts. 3 vols. 4-to. 1818-19. 

1 his splendid work, partly composed under the auspices of 
the late Duke of Marlborough, is dedicated to the present, 
who has recently afforded a proof of his veneration to tlie 
hero of these volumes, by assuming the name and arms of 

It is no less surprising than true, that until now, no regular 
authentic biography of the great John Duke of Marlborougli 
has made its appearance, notwithstanding materials, both ori- 
ginal and authentic, have ever existed in great abundance. 
Sarah, his surviving Duchess, was always anxious that a tri- 
bute of this kind should be paid to the memory of her consort, 
and, long before her death, collected and compiled numerous 
materials for a life of the most splendid military character of 
that age. To Glover, and Mallet, she entrusted her manu- 

F F i3 


ciipts, and assigned by will, the sum of 1000/., as a compens- 
ation for their literary labours. One condition however was 
sufficient to deter any prudent man from such an arduous 
task : viz., " that the work should be approved by her execu- 
tors ;" another, of a different nature, miglit have been easily 
comphed with : " that it should not contain a single line of 

On the death of the two gentlemen, alluded to above, the 
papers were restored to the family ; and, having been once more 
deposited at Blenheim, were regularly arranged, by order of 
the late Duke. An accidental conversation with Lord Charles 
Spenser, led to an ap})lication to his father for permission to 
examine these documents; and a nearer view of this rich 
collection strengthened the wish of our author to become tlie 
biographer of their distinguished ancestor. 

" My object was," observes he in the preface, " not merely 
to exhibit the Duke of Marlborough as a general, but also as 
H statesman, and a negotiator. It was no less my wish to de- 
lineate his character as a man, and to exhibit those qualities of 
his mind, and heart, which have either been misrepresented, 
or passed without notice. 

" In fulfilling my task, I have endeavoured to avoid aii error, 
too common with biographers, who often hold forth the sxibject 
of their memoirs as a perfect being, like a lover of romance, 
without frailty or blemish. On the contrary, I have not hesi- 
tated to bring to light those feelings with which the virtues, and 
tlie talents of the Duke of Marlborough were blended. In 
particular, I have not attempted to conceal or palliate his 
clandestine correspondence with his former sovereign and bene- 
fiictor. This intercourse, although misrepresented, and exag- 
gerated in the garbled pages of Macpherson and Dalrymple, is 
an historical fact, too well authenticated to be either contro- 
verted or denied. I have, however, scrutinised his views and 
motives, and I trust have shown that he never entertained a 
serious wish for die return of James II. or the pretender; 
but that in common with many other persons of all ranks and 


cojiilitions lie was merely anxious to secure pardon iu case ol a 

" In the materials to which I have recourse," adds he, soon 
after, " I may deem myself particularly fortunate. Nothing 
perhaps shows the character of an individual, and his true 
motives of action, more than his confidential letters, which 
were neither expected or intended to meet the puljlic eye. 
Of this kind is the greater part of the Duke's correspoiulence, 
consisting principally of his private conmumications with the 
Duchess and the Treasurer. To bring thercfoie these 
memoirs, as nearly as possible, to that species of biography 
which is at once the most interesting and instructive ; 1 have 
endeavoured to render him his own historian, by ailopting, on 
every important occasion, his unaffected and expressive lan- 
guage, and blending the correspondence with the narrative." 

It might be deemed tedious here, to enumerate either the 
various persons, or the mass of authentic documents, applied 
to and perused by Mr. Coxe. No author has ever been more 
fortunate, in respect to this most essential article. 
. He traces the Churchill family iVom the period of the con- 
quest, Roger de Courcil, or Coursclle, a Norman Baron, who 
accompanied William, being originally descen.led from the 
Courcils of Poitou. This chief, appears to have been liberally 
rewarded for his valour, by certain grants of land ; and his ile- 
scendants, at the time of the unhappy civil wars, took part 
widi Charles I. against the parliament. 

John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, was the second son 
of Sir Winston Churchill, Knight, who had suffered greatly 
during the civil wars, by siding with Charlefi I. He was born 
at Ashe, on the of June, 1650; and his elder brodier, 
Winston, having died in his infancy, he of course became 
heir to the declining fortunes of this ancient house. In respect 
to his education, it is only known that the illustrious subject 
of this memoir was brought up under the care of his father, 
wlio was himself a man of letters, and well versed in history. 
He was also, for a time, instructed in the rudiments of human 
knowledge by a neighbouring clergyman, after which, he was 

V V t 


placed sometime at the school of St. Paul's, under Dr. Crum- 
leliolm, then high-master. 

Although his father, Sir Winston, was not rich, yet he ap- 
pears to have possessed considerable interest. This was 
exerted so successfully, that his only daughter, Arabella, was 
introduced at court soon after the restoration, as maid of 
honour to th'e first Duchess of York; while John was ap- 
pointed page of honour to the Duke. 

Having evinced his military ardour, in thp presence of his 
patron, (afterwards James II.) that Prince presented him with a 
pair of colours in one of the two regiments of foot-guards, 
when he was only sixteen years of age. 

His first campaign was spent at the siege of Tangier, then 
besieged by the Moors ; his next, on the continent, under the 
Duke of Monmoudi, who, soon after the debarcation, ap- 
pointed him a Captain of grenadiers, in his own regiment. 
It was at the siege of Nimeguen that the youtlillil warrior 
first attracted the discerning eye of Turenne, who, from that 
period, always spoke of him by the familiar appellation of his 
" handsome Englishman." Next year, he signalised himself 
before Maestricht, by planting a banner on the rampart; for 
which service he received the thanks of Louis XIV. at the 
head of the army ; and when the Duke of Monmouth, on his 
return, presented him to Charles II., he concluded his eulogimn, 
on the merits of the young warrior, by adding : " to the bra- 
very of this gallant officer I owe my life." 

We are but little astonished, therefore, to find, that in 
je?^, young Churchill was nominated, by Louis, Colonel of an 
English regiment ; and, in this new capacity, was present at 
the battle of Linzheim. 

Passing over the irregularities that occurred during the 
fervour of youth, and were but too much countenanced by the 
dissolute manners of the age in which he lived, we proceed to 
his alliance Mdth Sarah, the younger daughter of Richard 
Jennings, Esq. of Sandridge, near St. Alban's, a gentleman 
of ancient and distinguished lineage. This lady hi;id been in- 
troduced to the court of the Duchess of York, at the early age 


of twelve, and soon became the companion and frienil of the 
Princess Anne, afterwards Queen. In the midst of a licentious 
circle she maintained an unspotted reputation, and was not 
less respected for the prudence and propriety of her conduct, 
than the charms of her person, and the vivacity of her convers- 
atiou. Their marriage took place in 1678, at a period when 
they were both poor ; but he soon after obtained a regimeiil, 
and, at length, acquired not only independence but afflu- 
ence. Nearly at the same period, Colonel Churchill was sent 
on a secret mission to the Prince of Orange ; and we learn 
that the alliance offensive, and defensive, proposed by Sir 
William Temple, with the United Provinces, proceeded from 
a recent umbrage taken by Charles and his brother to the 
French King, " for refusing to encrease the pensions by which 
he had purchased their connivance at his ambitious designs." 
On this occasion, he was appointed to tlie command ot a bri- 
gade in Flanders ; but a speedy accommodation soon enabletl 
him to return home, to enjoy the society of a beloved wife. 

We now find General Churchill attending the Duke of 
YoiJ<, during his various peregrinations ; and he was about 
this period, through his Royal Highness's influence, a peer of 
Scotland, by the title of Lord ChurchUl, of AyemouUi. Mean- 
while the favours, conferred on him by that Prince, were 
equally singular and distinguished ; extending even to the pre- 
servation of his life, during the wreck of the Gloucester Yacht, 
in Yarmouth-roads. Latly Churchill becaine the confidential 
friend of the Princess Anne; a^d, in order to lay aside all pos- 
sible restraint, her Royal Highness, hi her correspondeiwe, 
assumed a feigned name. 

On the accession of James II., Lord Churchill was created 
a British peer, and distinguished by many other marks of Uie 
royal favour; among which may be reckoned, an embassy 
to Paris, to notify His Majesty's accession to the French 
monarch. On this latter occasion, however, he appears tohave 
intimated to Lord Galway, " that if the Kiiig, (Jauies II.) 
should attempt to change our religion and constitution, he 
would in«t^utly quit his service." 


After the battle of Sedgenioor, in which Lord Church ili 
distinguished hiniseH', and was rewarded for his services with 
the colonelcy of the 3d troop of horse-guards, he apjoears to 
have been aware of the fate that awaited his royal master, in 
consequence of the countenance afforded by His Majesty to 
the " Papists." Accordingly, he was one of the first who 
made overtures to the Prince of Orange, and, at the same time, 
announced the " determination of the Princess Anne, rather 
to abandon her misguided father than to sacrifice her religion :" 
a resolution, it is added, "to which his exhortations, as well 
as those of his lady, had essentially contributed." 

On the landing of William, he immediately joined his ban- 
ners, while Lady Churchill, assisted by the Bishop of London, 
conducted the daughter of the abdicated James to the camp of 
his son-in-law. Soon after this, her husband was nominated 
a lord of the bed-chamber, sworn in a member of the Privy- 
Council, and raised to the dignity of Earl of Marlborough. 
Havino- now obtained the confidence of the new sovereign, the 
subject of this memoir was sent to Ireland, and here he greatly 
distinguished himself by the reduction of Cork and Kinsale. 
In the midst, however, of all the favour thus munificently be- 
stowed, it appears that both heandGodolphin,thelord-treasurer, 
actually entered into a secret and treasonable correspondence 
with the exiled king, after having powerfully and successfiiUy 
contributed to the stability of the throne of William III. 

In 1692, we find the Earl of Marlborough not only disgraced, 
but sent a close prisoner to the Tower; and wlien, at length, 
admitted to bail, his name was struck from the list of privy- 
councillors. In the course of a short time, however, we dis- 
cover this wonderful man, not only restored to his military 
rank and employments, but made governor to the Duke of 
Gloucester. Soon after this, his two daughters, the ladies 
Henrietta and Anne, were married to Mr. Godolphin and Lord 

" Lord Spencer," we are told, " was highly favoured by 
nature, and no less liberally gifted with intellectual endowments, 
which he hud improved by assiduous study. . He was remark- 

DUKH or MAULB01lOU(;iI. 413 

able for a sedateness above his years ; but In Inn-, a bold and 
impetuons spirit was concealed under a cold and resei-ved ex- 
terior. Imbued with that ardent love ot" liberty which the 
youthful mind generally draws from the writers of (rroece and 
Rome, and educated amidst the effervescence which produced 
the Revolution, lie was a zealous champion of the ^^ hif^ doc- 
trines, in their most enlarged sense. Associating with tlie 
remnant of republicans who had survived the coumionwealth 
he caught their spirit. He was an animated speaker : and, hi 
the warmth of debate, disdained to spare the prejudices or 
failings, even of those with whom he was most intimately con- 
nected. His political idol was Lord Somers, though he wanted 
both the prudence and temper of so distinguished a leader. 
The deportment of the young nobleman in private life," it is 
added, " was ill calculated to win the esteem of those, who 
could not regard witli indulgence the defects of his public 
character. Abhorring the shadow of adulation, he carried his 
freedom of speech to a degree of bhmtness which was often 


Meanwhile, his father-in-law accompanied William to the 
Netherlands, who invested him with high powers, both poli- 
tical and military. On the demise of James II., Louis XIV. 
acknowledged his son as King of England, and thus rendered 

a war inevitable. 

Meanwhile, William III. expired in the 5'2d year of his age; 
and, on this occasion, magnanimously forgetting all his pre- 
judices against Marlborough, his dying request to his successor 
was, to recommend him " as the most proper person in her 
dominions, to lead her armies and direct her counsels." 

Accordingly, he now commenced a career of victory, unex- 
ampled in otir history. Having repaired to the allied army 
on the Continent, he was at first prevented from engaging in 
many enterprises, equally useful and brilliant, by the Dutch 
field-deputies; but we pass over both the impediments which 
he experienced and the triumphs he achieved until August 13, 
1704, when, afler effecting the passage of the Danube, he 
rained the battle of Blef.heim. Uetwcen eleven and twelve 


thousand of the enemy, together with their general Tallard, 
were made prisoners on this memorable occasion ; and the 
effects produced by the victory are incalculable. *' During 
jthe whole of this tremendous conflict," observes our author, 
** the Duke of Marlborough exerted himself with his charac- 
teristic coolness, vigilance, and energy, superintending the 
manoeuvres in every part, and appearing in every point where 
the presence of the general was necessary to revive the courage, 
to restore the order, or to direct the attack of his troops. The 
author of the * Campaign' (Addison) has caught the spirit of 
his hero, and described the effects of his superintending di- 
rection, in language equal to the subject." 

On his return to England, Marlborough, who had already 
obtained a dukedom, was distinguished by accumulated honours 
and rewards. TBe Queen immediately conferred on him the 
manor of Woodstock, and ordered the palace of Blenheim to 
be built for his residence, under the inspection of Sir John 
Vanburgh, who furnished the plans. The Emperor of Ger- 
many, at the same time, to demonstrate his gratitude, made 
him an offer of a patent as a Prince of the Empire, with a grant 
of Munderkingen, which was afterwards exchanged for the 
Lordship of Mindleheim. In 1705, we find him at the head 
of the allied prmy, forcing the French lines at Heilesheim, and 
defeating the enemy, whom he afterwards drove beyond the 

The battle pf RaraiUes, gained in 1706, cost the enemy 
1 3,000 in killed, wounded, and prisoners ; the desertion that 
followed swelled their loss to 1 5,000 ; many distinguished 
French officers were taken prisoners, while the spoils of this 
memorable day amounted to 80 standards, and almost all the 
French artillery and baggage. The surrender of Brussels, 
Ghent, and Antwerp, followed soon after. This produced an 
extension, on the part of ^he Queen, of the ducal title to the 
female line, and a collateral entail of Blenheim, together with 
a pension of 5000/. 

The campaign of 1708 was chiefly occupied with grand 
nianopuvres and ;!>ieges, for the battle of Oudenjtrde was not so 


decisire, as might have been expected, in consequence of tlie 
intervention of night. Tlie Duke of Mnrlborougli having, at 
length, established his line between Chobon and Diepcnbecli, 
prepared for a complete victory ; to avert which Vendome dis- 
mounted from his horse, and led on the enemy near Mullen, 
to the rescue of their companions; but all his effort* proved 
but of little avail. 

" In this crisis, darkness enveloped the contending hosts, 
arid the positions were discernible only by the flashes of mus- 
ketry, which roiled round the narrowing circle of the devoted 
army, till the right of Eugene and the left of the Prince of 
Orange approaclied the same point. They mistook each other 
for enemies, and their conflict might have produceil the most 
deplorable effects amidst the victorious ranks, had not the 
generals exerted themselves with urtusual activity, to put a 
timely stop to the fire. About nine, orders were given to the 
troops, to halt as they stood, and suffer the enemy to escape, 
rather than expose themselves to mutual destruction. To this 
order, numbers of the enemy owed their safety. Favoured by 
the obscurity, the broken corps forced their way in tumultuous 
crowds, as they were impelled by fear or despair. Some thou- 
sands slipped unperceived through an opening in the allied 
lines, , near the castle of Bevei*e, and directed their flight to- 
wards the French frontier : others endeavoured to rejoin their 
left wing, in the direction of Mullem ; and a considerable num- 
ber wandered to the posts of the allies, and were captured." 

The bravery of the English general on this occasion could 
ohly be equalled by his humanity ; for on perceiving next 
morning a prodigious number of wounded of different nations, 
enveloped in carnage, and surrounded with the wreck of war, 
he gave orders " to collect the survivors, and to bestow on all, 
without distinction, the care and relief which circumstances 
would permit. The agonies of suffering nature," it is added, 
" were thus soothed, and many were snatched from a lingering 
and painfiU death, to acknowledge the beneficence and bless 
the name of their conqueror." 

44-6 DlJhK OF MAJtLbwi.OUGH. 

The third vohime of this respectable work affords the most 
ample and curious account of the petty intrigues that prevailed 
in the court of Queen Anne ; the jealousies of the Whigs, who 
had lost Her Majesty's favour, and the petty perplexities of 
the greatest general of his age, who dreaded the influence of 
Mrs. Masham far more than the armies of Louis XIV., and 
courted the smiles of his duchess with still gxeater ardour than 
glory itself. We find, that this spirited dame and her son-in- 
law, Godolpliin, were now both in disgrace ; while Oxford and 
Bolingbroke, through the agency of the female alluded to 
above, monopolised the entire favour of the Queen, who had 
consented to a secret and dishonourable negociatiou with 
France, without the privity of the renowned commander, who 
had so often led the armies of the allies to victory. 

This great general, however, was still continued in the 
command, and, in the campaign of 1 709, besieged and tqok 
Tournay. The battle of Malplaquet and the capture of Mons 
added to his laurels. In 1710, he once more took the field, 
forced the French lines by a series of masterly manoeuvres, and 
besieged Douay and Fort Scarpe, in presence of a superior 
enemy, with his usual success. But he was foiled less by Mar- 
shal Villars than the intrigues of his own court, in his designs 
against Arras, and his intentions of penetrating into the heart 
of France. 

In 1711, all his plans were deranged, and all his hopes 
blasted, by the sudden demise of the Emperor of Germany. 
The capture of Bouchain, accompanied by his generous inter- 
position in favour of Fenelon, terminated the military career of 
this hero, whose glory experienced a sudden eclipse : for he 
was charged with fraud and peculation, dismissed from all his 
employments, and, with some difficulty, obtamed a passport 
for the continent, where he actually lived as an exile, in great 

On the accession of George I., the Duke returned to his 
native land, was re-invested with the office of commander-in- 
chief, and died, immensely rich, June 16, 1732, in the 7 2d 

iJUKK or MAui.iJOiioiJcai. , 417 

year of his age, after having been some years afflicted with the 
palsy, and reduced to the most deplorable state of imbecility. 

Mr. Coxe, in tlie concluding chapter, presents us uith n 
very fair and impartial account of his hero. As a private indi- 
vidual, we are assured that he exhibited all the domestic vir- 
tues in an eminent degree, being a dutiful son, a tender hus- 
band, an affectionate father, a firm frieiul, and an iiuhdgent 
master. He is allowed by all to have possessed the graces ; and 
is here praised " for his generous magnanimity." "Human 
nature, however," adds his biographer, " is not perfect, and 
it is with regret we acknowledge, that one virtue was wanting 
to the Duke of Marlborough, which we naturally attach to the 
character of a great man. This was a want of lil)c'ralitv, 
which in him amounted to parsimony." It is also admitted, 
th^t his political career was not free from blemish, in conse- 
quence of his clandestine correspondence with tlie exiled family; 
but as a warrior, his praise is unbounded, while the familiar 
appellation of " Corporal John" serves to denote the love borne 
him by the army. Even Bolingbroke, after his death, ac- 
knowledges him to be the " greatest general and the greatest 
minister, that our country, or any other, has produced." 

We lament that we are unable to consign a longer space to 
the notice of a work, which fills up an imjwrtant chitsm ia 
British biography. We congratulate the Archdeacon on the 
conclusion of his labours, and differ only with him in resj)ect 
to his opinion of the Duchess of Marlborough, whose faults 
he carefully enumerates without, perhaps, doing sufficient jus- 
tice to her talents, her merits, and her public si)irit. 


No. II. 
Letters from the ABBE EDGEWORTH to his Friends, 

WRITTEN between THE YeARS 1777 AND 1807; WITH ME- 
MOIRS OF HIS Life, including some Account of the late 
Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork, Dr. Moylan, and 
Letters to him from the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke, 
and other Persons of Distinction. — By the Rev. 
Thomas R. England. 8vo. 1818. 

XlENRY Essex Edgeworth, generally known here as the 
" Abbe Edgeworth," was born in Edgeworth's town in Ireland, 
some time in the year 174-5. Robert his father, a clergyman 
of the established church, and for some time Rector of Edge- 
worth's town in the county of Longford, married Miss Usher, 
a errand-daughter of the celebrated archbishop of that name. 
Havmg resigned his preferment, he left Ireland in 1 749, and 
became a convert to the religion pf the church of Rome. Some 
landed property appertaining to him in his native county was 
afterwards sold, and Henry, at his ordination, assumed the 
title of Abbe de Fermont, from the name of one of those farms. 

After residing some time at Toulouse, where he completed 
the usual course of belles-lettres and rhetoric, at the instance 
of the late Dr. Moylan, afterwards titular Bishop of Cork, the 
subject of this memoir was sent to Paris, and, while there, re- 
sided in the semiiiary of Trente-Trois, while he attended at the 
philosophical and theological lectures at the colleges of NavaiTe 
and the Sorbonne. 

In due time, the young student was ordained a priest, on 
which he removed to the seminaiy of Les Missio?is Etrangeres^ 
Rue de Baeq. " Each morning found him in the tribunal of 
penance, the patient confessor, the zealous instructor, the 
meek and humble spiritual director and friend of all who sought 
his assistance or counsel." 


During tlie " reign of terror," this pious minister of tlie 
gospel was nominated by the Arelibishop of Paris to superin- 
tend his diocese; and he was soon after recommended by the 
good and virtuous Princess Elizabeth to the notice of Louis 
XVI., at whose execution he assisted in quabty of confessor. 
No mention of the mehincholy particuhirs of tluit day is here 
made: we find, however, that his body was sprinkled with 
royal blood, and being dressed, not in canojucals^ but in a 
common surtoiit, lie escaped without any dilliculty from the 
fatal scaffold, and was soon lost in the crowd. 

After experiencing a variety of perils, the good Abbe found 
means to leave France, and was soon after taken under the 
protection of Louis XVIIL, whom he accom])anied to Mittau 
va Courland. In ISOO, he observes in a Ic;tter to a corres- 
pondent, " I am confident that the French will, sooner or 
later, return to their former masters, though it be impossible 
at present, to say by what means or when." Of his present 
majesty, he expresses liimself thus in ISO^: '* The King is 
not only a believer, but to the whole extent of the word, a truly 
religious prince, endowed with eveiy virtue that makes (adorns) 
the saints, and with a capacity far superior to what I have met 
with in any other men (man) upon earth. Unfortunately, he 
is, as to body, of a most corpulent disposition, which renders 
liim less fit than he would otherwise be for restoring matters in 

" ranee. 

This pious and worthy clergyman was seized with the gaol- 
fever, in consequence of his attentions to the French prisoners 
at Mittau, where he died after a short illness, on May 22, 1807. 
On this occasion, the Duchess of Angouleme administered his 
jnedicines to him with her own hand. 

vol,. IV, It G 


No. IIL 

The Miscellaneous Works, in Puose and Verse, of 
GEORGE HARDINGE, Esq. M. A. F. S. A. Seniok 
Justice of the Counties or Brecon, Glamougan, ani* 
Radnor. 3 vols. Svo. 

JNoTWiTHSTANDiNG we have already presented our readers 
with a memoir of this gentleman, (see Vol. II.) yet we gladly 
reciir to the work now before us, as it contains full and 
iiuthentic materials for a complete life. Indee<l his bioo-ra- 
pher, in addition to his own resources, has been assisted by tlie 
•family ; both the brother, and nephew of the deceased having 
readily fiirnished all the information in their power. 

As we have already stated the })articu/ar3 of Mr. Hardinge's 
birth, and education, it only lemains to record the manner of 
his death, accompanied by a very favourable sketch of his 
character, which has been [)artly suggested by many amiable 
qualities, and partly by the partiality of Mr. Nichols' fiiend- 
ship. " In the latter end of March, 1816, Mr. Justice Har- 
dinge set out on the business of the circuit. In some letters, 
jirevious to his quitting home, he told his friends, that he was 
suffering from a heavy cold; which, to use his own words,, 
had not ' separated liis nose from the fire :' but he was first 
taken seriously ill at Ross. 

" The inmiediate causo of his decease was an inflammation 
of the pleura ; and it is probable tliat his personal exposure to 
the Easterly winds then prevalent was the inducing cause of 
the unfortunate attack. He had also suffeied much by a fall 
from his horse (being partial to that exercise, he often took 
long journeys on horseback, attended only by his valet), which 
was supposed to have hastened his death. 

" On his journey to Cardiff; he increased his cold in that 
degree that he could not act iji his judicial capacity. Yet he 



. went on his Circuit, tlnoiigli Brecon, to Presteigne; wlicre, <»m 
his arrival, he was attended by a physician : but the (hsordt r 
had become a confirmed })leurisy, and was at such a lieight 
that relief from bleediiif^ was inelfectual. It was tried; but 
the fever Avas at this time very great, and he coinplained of it. 
" He died at Presteigne, Apiil 2G, ISIG, in the 72d year 
of his age; leaving behind him the character of possessing, 
rather than profiting by, great talents. 

" From his father, he enjoyed a very good hereditary estate; 
and with his wife, who still survives hiiu, he obtained a very 
handsome dower. Either or both of these circumstances, 
united with a strong love for independence, might have ren- 
dered him less anxious for advancement. 

" Mr. Hardinge seems to have had some forebodings of tlic 
melancholy eveijt which took him from his friends and the 

" In one of his latest letters to Lady Knowles, he says, 
* I despair of taking leave of Davies, until the undertaker is 
waiting for me.' Pie had proposed to visit at Kingshuid the 
shrine of Dr. Davies. His remains passed through Kings- 
land, to be interred with those of his family at Kingstoii-upon- 

" A melancholy association with the recollection of the in- 
tended visit to the tomb of his last favoured hero of Taste and 
Virtue is formed in Uie mind : and painful moral feelings of 
regret arise, which teach us more forcibly to remember that — 
man proposes, but God disposes. 

" Mr. Hardinge was rather short of stature, but verj- hand- 
some, with a countenance expressive of the good qualities he 
possessed. His temper was admirable, and his perseverance 
in the cause of those he protected most extraordinary and ex- 

" When we consider that few live to the advanced age Mr. 
Hardinge attained without sustaining a loss in some material 
faculty, we shall more highly prize the rare gifts he enjoyed, 
both mentally and bodily; for, excepthig the wrinkles and 
grey hairs which hoary time by its iron grasp aviII leave on the 

o c 2 


stroiK'-est, his life may be said to have been mental youth, and 
his death a short interruption and passage to that blessed state 
of perfection which his goodness and phihmthropy sought after 

while on earth. 

" As a Christian, Mr, Hardinge, in all circumstances, and 
in every part of his life, appears to liave been a steady believer; 
and, at times, pious and devout in the extreme. 

" In the character of a Jtidge he was irreproachable ; and 
his various charges for many years, at the different assizes in. 
Wales, are admirable. 

" In that respectable function, one of the latest acts of his 
life was the sifting to the bottom the grounds upon which all 
judo-es before his time had charged juries in cases of child- 
murder. Some excellent notes for a charge were prepared 
by the benevolent judge in April, 1816, not many days before 
his decease ; but he did not live to deliver it. 

" Mr. Hardinge's ideas on this subject were fully confirmed 
by the unquestionable concurrent opinions of several profession- 
al o-entlemen of first-rate eminence: and that this important 
subject had long before excited his attention, will appear fi-om 
a letter addressed in 1805 to Dr. Horsley, then Bishop of St. 


" Mr. Hardinge had brilliant talents, and a power of show- 
in"- them so as to afford to his companions and correspondents 
the greatest gratification. 

" The talent of society he possessed in an eminent degree ; 
and the rank which he held among the Avits of this day, and 
the illustrious personages by whom he was admitted into tli- 
miliarity, sufficiently evince how much, in conversation at leasl, 
he must have displayed the gentleman and the scholar. 

" In conversation indeed he had few e(]uals ; as he liad an 
jijitonishing flow and choice of words, and an animated delivery 
of them, such as few persons possess. lie delighted in plea- 
santries, ftnd always aflbrded to his auditors an abundance ot" 
mirth and entertainment, as well as information. 

" His passion for the MuSes coimncnced in infancy ; and 
continued to the close of lilc. 


GV.UiiOr. II\RDINGE, ESQ. 455 

*' The corresponclfciice of Mr. HardLngc was most extensive. 
His Letters wei*e cxtraortlinjiry, from tlieir wit, fancy, and 
gaiety. They seemed to be the productions of a' youth of 
twenty, rather than a man upwards of sixty years of age. (^f 
his various compositions his Letters were pi'e-eminent. 

" Notwithstanding liis talents and acquirements, he had a 
rare humility for an autlior, being ready at all times to adopt 
the suggestions of his friends, in preference to his own expres- 
sions. Of this he gave a striking proof, in permitting me to 
expunge some unpU^asaiit reflections on a deceased comment- 
ator on Shalspeare, for wjiom I luul a great I'espect, and wjioui 
he had treated somewhat too cavalierly. 

" On the suggestion of a gendeman on wliosc judgment he 
had great reliance, he destroyed one of his early productions, 
on which he had bes'towed much labour. 

" Mr. Ilardinge, like the generality of mankind, was not 
without his failuigs. Men of genius are often negligeut in 
concerns they deem trivial. Anxious as he was that liis own 
literary productions should be preserved, his inatti^ntion to 
their preservation is much to be lamented. 

*' Tliosewho were in habits of intimacy with him must have 
experienced the frequency with which he requested the loan of 
books; and sometimes the difficulty of recovering them from 
what he called ' the Chaos of his library.' 

" But, whatever were his merits or his defects, they were 
greatly overbalanced by his active benevolence. By ardent zeal 
luul perseverance he obtained immense sums by subscri))tion, for 
such persons as he thought worthy of his protection. This 
nctivity of friendship, almost always successful, was the princi- 
pal feature in his character. It was wholly disinterested; it was 
noble and ought to be held forth to general example." 

We lament exceedingly that the circumscribed limits of our 
review will not afford space sufficient to enter into a detailed 
account of the various productions contained ir. these three vo- 
lumes. We willingly, however, bear testimony to that high sense 
of delicacy, which 'induced his worthy biographer to suppress 
the papers reflecting on Mr. Malone, and his literary labours. 

G (; 3 


FOR 1819. 


ANSON, lliglit Ilonouiable Tliomas, 
Lord Viscount Anson, of Sliugborotigh 
and Orrrrave, in the coumy of Stafrord, 
Baron Soberton, of Sobcrton, in Hamp- 
shire, LL.I). 

Lord Viscount Anson, born February 
17, 1767, was great-nephew to that 
bold and fortunate circumnavigator, who, 
after taking an innnense SiJaiiish gal- 
leon, loaded with treasure, returned to 
England witii wealth suflicient to enrich 
both himself and the gallant crev.-, in the 
sole remaining ship. 

Wliile Commodore (ieorge Anson, 
lie married Eliza, daughter of Philip, 
Earl of Ilardwicke, Lord Iligli Chan- 
cellor of Great Britain. He was soon 
appointetl one of tin; Lords Commi.;- 
sioners of the Adn.iralty ; he next 
undertook a cruise as an admiral, and, 
in 1747, proved victorious against a 
French fleet, commanded by INL Jon- 
quire, an officer of consideraldc talents 
and address, whose flag was flying on 
board the Invincible. On ascending 
the quarter-deck, and presenting his 
sword to the English admiral, he paid 
him the following eloquent comjjliment : 
" Monsieur, vous avez viiincn I'lnvin- 
" cible, et la gloirevous suit." 

Immediately after this he was ciliated 
Baron of Soberton; in 1751 he was 
noininatcti first Lord Commissioner of 

the Admiralty, and died suddenly in 
]76'2, while walking in his garden, at 
his seat (iMocr Park) in tlie county of 
Ilertlbrd. At the very period when 
this melancholy event took place, a 
jiatent was actually making out for the 
express purpose of creating his lordship 
a viscount, with remainder to his sister's 
son, George Adams, Esq., of Orgrave, 
in Stallbrdshire. 

This gentleman and his i.ssue, in pur- 
suance of a will of another uncle, by 
license under royal sign manual, dated 
April 50, 1775, were authorised to take 
and assume the arms of Anson. After he represented, first, the borough of 
Saltash, and afterwards the City of Lie b- 
field, in several parliaments. In 1765 
Mr. Anson married 3Iary, daughter of 
George Venables Vernon, first Lord 
Vernon, by whom he had issue.' 

Tliomas Anson, Esq., his eldest son, 
on tlie demise of his father, succeeded 
to the family estates, and on Septeinber 
14, 1794, married Anne Margaret, 
second daughter of Thomas William 
Coke, of Uolkham, in the county of 
Norfolk, Esq., descended, by the female 
side, from the famous Lord Chief 
Justice of the same name, by whom he 
has had a very numerous issue. By 
letters patent, dated February 17, 1806, 
when Air. Fox came again into power. 
His Majesty, on the intervention of that 
statesman, was most graciously pleased 
to extend to him the ancient honours 


actually posscsscil hy his {^rcal imric, as 
well as those frntliur om>s inliiidid lor 
that distinguished coininandcr, and only 
inleiTcptcd hy his premature (kath. 
It is ahnost unnecessary to add, that 
tliis is, and ever lias been, a distin;^ui&lKd 
whig family. 

I,(ird Vi'iioiint Anson died in l"^;i!;, 
and is succeeded hy his eldest son, 
Thomas William, late ]\I. P. i\n- the 
horough of Yarmouth, in Norfolk. 

ATKINS, Mr. Hiclmrd, was horn 
in 1747, and l)rc(l a printer. In this 
capacity he repaired to Kton, and was 
employed during the long period of 
fifty-five years as a compositor of the 
Greek and Latin books published for 
the use of that celebrated institution. 
He died there in 1819, at the age of 
72, and is said never to have been 
known to spend an idle day, or even an 
idle hour, during the last half century of 
Ills life. 


BAKER Richard. This appears 
to have been a very singular charac- 
ter; and it is evident, that|he could not 
have practised such a series of impo- 
sitions with impunity, in perhaps any 
other county in the kingdom. . 

Richard Baker, of Westleigh, in the 
parish of Burliscombc, Somersetshire, 
a small farmer (but better known by the 
name of " Conjurer Baker"), died in 
1819, full of years and ini(iaitics, being 
70 years old, and having, during the far 
greater part of his life, practised the 
gainful tactics of the " Black Art." — 
In noticing the death of a character, 
who, for nearly a iialf a ce!\tury, has 
been daily and hourly employed in 
alternately counting the wages of his 
villainies, and in laughing at the follies 
of a cheated multitude, it would be no 
unfit opportunity for taxing the risibili- 
ties of our readers, by pourtraying the 
deceased knave with all the mirthful 
ombeljlshnients of which his life and 
occupations are so abundantly suscep- 
tible. In common justice, we might 
for once laugh at him, who has, in so 
many thousand instances, amused and 
profited himself by making a jest of 
others ; but his life is too much clogged 
with the heaviness of a guilty account, to 
allow one redeeming ray to qualify the 
lurid aspect of his mortal reckoning. 

It may surprise a northern or south- 
ern resident, whose ears have never been 
afflicted with the doleful superstitions of 
the western counties, to be informed, 
(hat such was the fame of the deceased 

r. r. 

wifard, that the cdurated s% well as the 
uiiiiistnn ted (if all clause*:, were in tJie 
li.ibits of resorting to him finm all part* 
of thit and the ncighlMniring ((Minfies 
for tlic exercise of liis c.ibalislic skill, 
and on a .Sunday, which was the day for 
his hi;:li ()igi(<;, vehicles of sMperior as 
\vi'll as I A' iouly lie ^ciipt ions were fouml 
to bring him an eager tlirong of notaries. 
!!is rtputation wa-. miiversal, auti hi* 
gains proportionate, 'i'hc wonders of 
his head woidd fill tlio Alexandrian 
library. ]!ad crops, lo-t cattle, lost 
treasure, and lost hearts, brought lluir 
respective sufferers in ce-tveless rrowil; 
to his floor. They were all overhoknK 
he said ; and they overhxtked hi- knavory 
in their confidence of his skill. He 
foretold to the Southcottonians the 
Sliiloh could 71 <t come, and who but a 
conjurer would have known this ? Th« 
tenant of sterile land was, aft»r i» 
careful iiis|)ection of his presiding stir, 
advised to provide a certain rjuantity of 
manure, which being spread over lii^ 
ground in the fonn of ram's horns at 
12 o'clock precisely on the full moon 
night, woulil infallibly secure n good 
crop. Tliis astonishing prediction ban 
been rcpe.itedly verified ! Strayed stock, 
and mislaid property, been strangely 
recovernl, by only being well looked 
after, provided the wise man had onto 
taken the matter in hand ; and many i* 
relenting I'hillis, who had parted with 
her fitrephon in n huff', has been heard 
to exd.aim on finding iiim return at the 
very hour calculated by the conju- 
rer, — that " sure Baker and the devil 
were in partnership." — If to juggling, 
artifices, and petty fooleries of this de- 
scription, the man had liniitid his 
imposture he might have left tlie world 
with the simple reputation of a knave; 
liut his avarice led him to delude tlie 
victim of disexse into a fatal reliance on 
his aflected skill, and very numerous 
are the instances of this description. 
Charmed I'owilers, and Mystic Lotions 
were confided in, to the exclusion of 
rational advice and proper reme<lies, ami 
tlic death of the old and young li.xs Ikcm 
the consequent penalty of such deplora- 
ble imbecility. .\ child, sometime since, 
died at Wellington, a m.artyr to it^ 
mutlitr's folly. .She consulted the luarl- 
less vilhiin. :ind was a^surwl that the 
infant was " overlooked. ' Some pow- 
dels were given to her, acconipanicd 
with the slang Tcrlwsity of hi* crali, 
which the little sud'crer «as compelled 
to shallow, notwithstanding the motht-r 
<Kclarcd that •' it made her heart blerd 
to sec the .tgonics of hrr child »hil- 



taking the dose." Tlic consecjueiice 
was as we have stated; and thus the 
guilt of a cold-blooded imirdererer, is 
superadded to the atrocities which have 
marked the career of this miscreant 
tlirough life. His habits were those of 
an unsocial drunkard; but his Necro- 
mancy, notwithstanding the expence of 
his selfish indulgence, has enabled him 
to leave some property. 

BENTINCK, Lord C. Cavendish 
at his house near Brussels, in the 76th 
year of his age. He was brother to the 
late, and uncle to the present Duke of 

BLUCHER, Field Marshal, Prince 
of Wahlstadt, terminated a life of glory, 
at his seat, of Kriblowitz in Silesia, at 
10 o'clock in the evening of the 12th of 
September, 1819, in the 77th year of 
his age. This officer entered the Prus- 
sian service at an early period of life, 
and was "from the beginning attached to 
the cavalry. Rising by degrees during 
the late war M'ith France, he distin- 
guished himself on a variety of occasions, 
at the head of a body of light horse, 
armed and accoutred after the Cossack 
fashion, so that he at length became 
formidable to the enemy. But it was 
at the battle of Waterloo that he 
acquired the best title to ]>ublic admira- 
tion, by sustaining, with his own divi- 
sion, the charge of the whole French 
line. The King of Prussia, who had 
made him a prince and presented him 
with a large estate, visited him on Ids 
death bed, and certified his high ap})ro- 
bation of his conduct. His Highness 
was born December 16, 1742, and had 
served 45 years in that army which has 
gone into mourning for his loss. 

BOYIjE, Hon. 'William, youngest 
MIX of the Earl of Glasgow, at Rams- 
gate, died Sept. 6, 1819, in the 17th 
year of his age. 

BRAIDWOOD, Mrs. Isabella, Au- 
gust 1st, 1819, in her 57th year. This 
lidy, l)orn in 1 752, was the widow of 
Mr John Braidwood of Hackney, and 
mother cf Mr, Braidwood, Instmctorof 
the Deaf and Dumb, at Birmingham. 
Her father, Mr. "I'homas Braidwood of 
Edinburgh, was the first who systemati- 
cally attempted in this country, to infuse 
the pleasures and benefits of education 
into tliose unhappy children, who were 
deprived of the powers of speech, and 
hearing. This lady employed also the 
greater portion of her liie, in the same 
laiidaijle eiuieavonrs. 

BRDWNE. Major of the Royal 
Marines, at Charlton, in Kent, in a fit 
of mental derangement, Oct. 15, 1819. 

BROWN, George, Esq. at his Ituase 
in Baker Street, Portman Square', 
May 1, 1819- He was born in 1776, and 
repaired at an early age to India, where 
he rose to be a member of the counsel 
of Bombay. 

BUCHAN Hepburn, Sir George, of 
Smeaton and Letham, Bart, late one of 
the barons of the Exchequer in Scot- 
land. This gentleman, who was a native 
of Scotland, was born in March, 1759. 
By his father's side, he claimed ' his 
descent from the Earls of Buchan ; and 
by his mother's from .Tames Hepburn, 
Earl of Bothwell, and Duke of Orkney, 
husband of Mary Queen of Scots. 

Being destined for the bar, Mr. 
Buchan, as he was then called, was 
educated accordingly, and made consi- 
derable advances in every branch of clas- 
sical learning. According to the custom 
of that day, when the sciences of law ami 
medicine, were both studied in HoU.^nd, 
he spent one whole year at Leyden to 
study the Civilians; and after this he 
completed his course at the University 
of Edinburgh. Luckily for him, at 
this period, he formed an iii*imacy with 
Henry Dundas, afterwards Viscount 
Melville, which proved eminently ser- 
viceable in future life. In 1763, the 
sidyect of this memoir was admitted a 
Member of the Facidty of Advocates, 
and in 1 764, the estate of his maternal 
uncle having devolved to him by will, 
he assumed the addendum of Hepburn. 
. An increase of fortune produced 
no diminution of professional diligence. 
In 1767, Mr. Buchan Hepbiini was no- 
minated Solicitor to the Lords of Session ■ 
as Commissioners of Teinds (Tithes), 
and in 1790 he was ap[)ointed Judge of 
the High Court of Admiralty of Scot- 
land ; and in 1800, was constituted one 
of the Barons of Exchcijuer. This im- 
portant station was filled by him with 
equal dignity and effect until the close 
of the year 1814, when he retired with 
a Baronetcy, and a considerable pen- 
sion, to enable the legislature to intro- 
duce the trial by Juiy into his Court. 
Sir George was twice married ; and, by 
his first w.fe, has left a son ^tnd suc- 
cessor Sir .lohn. Soon after his acces- 
sion to ilie Hepburn fortune Sir George 
built a charming country house, and was 
accustomed to entertain his friends there, 
in the most hospitable manner. He 
was greatly addicted to agriculture, and, 
at tlie request cf the board of agricul- 
ture, drew u)) the first report relative to 
the coimty of Haddington. 

A iew months since, alarming symp- 
toms of illness began to disclose thorn- 



solves, and, after a long and severe strug- 
gle, he died June 26, 1819, in tlie 81st 
year of his age. 

The following character, is from the 
pen of one of his own friends: 

" Sir George, in his younger days, 
npent most of his time with iiis grand- 
father at Longniddry, a place where 
husbandry was studiously exercised ; he, 
at an early period, entertained a predi- 
lection for agricultural pursuits, whicii 
never left him wliilst he was capable of 
attending to the business of the field. 
The principles which he held concern- 
ing the first of all arts were not only sin- 
gularly correct, but, what was of more 
importance his practfce was equal to 
that of tiie first rate farmer. In short, he 
not only farmed well, but he also 
fanned with profit, circumstinces too 
often overlooked by landed gentlemen 
wiieu any considerable part of their 
estates is taken under tiieir own ma- 

" As a leading man in the politics of 
the county. Sir George Buchan Hep- 
burn had for many years acted a distin- 
guished part. Uut, without entering 
upon this wide field, it may only be said, 
that to his .influence may justly be 
ascribed the uncommon and unprece- 
dented harmony which long prevailed 
in his native county. Trained early to 
business, and gifted by Nature with 
mild and liberal dispositions, he was 
eminently qualified to take a lead in 
public matters. Few poisons, in fact, 
were more capable than Sir George of 
managing business at a public meeting, 
[ntiniately acquainted with the laws of 
bis country, and endowed with sufficient 
powers to explain and illustrate them in 
a satisfactory manner, he was at all 
limes listened to with attention by the 
justices and freeholders, especially as he 
was quite free of that bigotted obstinacy 
which too often induces others to persist 
in measures after their popularity is dis- 
covered and ascertained. In a word, 
the death of this respectJible gentleman 
may justly be considered as^a great loss 
to the county of Haddington." 

BUIICHAIIDT, Rev. Christopher. 
This Missionary Clergyman, who has 
been preaching the gospel in foreign 
parts, and dispensing bibles, and reli- 
gious tracts, with a liberal band, was 
a native of Switzerland. He died at 
Aleppo, in Jan. 1819; and the follow- 
ing account of him has been transmitted 
from Mr. Naudi, who is now .nt MalU. 
•' After his persevering travels from the 
distribution of tlie Holy Scriptmes in 
jEgypt, Palestine, and Syria, he had 

scarcely arrived at Aleppo, when a fjtal 
fever, then raging in the neighbotir- 
hood, put an end to his most valuable 
life. He left .Malta in a Greek vessel, 
with six large cases of Hibles nnd Tcs- 
tamenls, in various languages without 
any of those fears which had deterred 
others, and courageously diuributej 
them in Alexandria, where he openly 
conversed with peasants, stranger?, ami 
merchants ; and where so many seamen 
applied to him, tliat he said, " Tii» 
Greek Testament which he had dis- 
persed would only \n; like so many 
drops thrown into the soa." He thence 
departed for Grand Cairo, where Jews, 
Turks, Syrians, Copts, Christians, and 
Pagans, visited him ; and where he 
could have dispersed a far greater num- 
ber of copies if he had possessed them. 
From Cairo he went to Jerusalem, where 
he visited all the convents and public 
places, and furnished them every wliere 
with copies. Leaving Jerusalem, going 
by Syria, and visiting the places on Uic, he came to the great commercial 
city of Aleppo, in the neiglibourhood of 
which the fever attacked him, and closed 
his life and labours." — Tlie personal 
exertion and fatigue of such a journey 
may readily be conceived; but the in- 
cessant labour of speakiu'-, and re- 
commending with urgency tlie great 
work in whicli he had embarked, on 
overy step of his journey, and to every 
I)arty to whom he was introduced, may 
scarcely be imagine*! ; and of him it 
may now be said, that he rests from hi» 
labours and his works do follow him. 

UUllROUGH, Lady, wife of th« 
Hon. Mr. Justice Burrongh, Oct. 9, 
181!», ill Bedforil-Row, London, aged.*;", 

BUTSCHHR, l{ev. Leopold at the 
settlement of Sierra Leone, on an emi- 
nence, called Leicester mountain, July 
17th, 1818. 

Mr. Butscher had occupied an im- 
portant post there under the Church 
.Missionary Society for several years, and 
had been, one of its earliest Missiona- 
ries. His constitution had become in- 
ured to the climate by a residence of 
nearly eleven years. .After an illness of 
about a fortnight, at first slight, but 
ending in a severe Cholera Morbus his 
terrestrial lalwurs w ere closed ! — Mr. 
Garnon had caused him to bo removed 
from Leicester mountain to Freetown, 
that he might have every advantage and 
comfort ; but this very benevolent de- 
sign proved abortive! — great respect was 
)i:iid to his memory ; his los-. has been 
(leiply regretted, and he is gone t^ reap 
I ho rich iiarvcjt of his pious and cxem- 



plary zeal in tlic cause and pronuilgation 
of Divine truth ! He had by his exer- 
tions laid the foundation of the Chris- 
tian Inslitutioii in that colony. A large 
Church, capable of containing all the 
children, as well as the peopl6 of I>ei- 
cester Town, had been nearly linished 
under his direction. The neighbouring 
land was beginning to be cultivated, and 
many of the children had learnt useful 
trades. This Institution, the only one 
of the kind in Africa, will ever remain 
an undeniable evidence of the anxiety of 
the Society, and of their pious servant, 
to promote, to the utmost of their power 
the civilization of Africa; and it must, 
and ever will, command the gratitude of 
the African race. The boys, 200, and 
gils, 50, at their last examination pre- 
vious to his death, went through the 
different exercises in the Church on Lei- 
cester mountain, in a manner creditable 
l)oth to themselves and to their teachers. 
The site of the church commands a most 
extensive view of the town, harbour, and 
sea. It will stand as a land-mark of 
Christianity. The sailor, on seeing its 
spire from afar, will return praise to God, 
and bless his country for having thus 
afforded an asylum to the oppressed 
African. The view of a Church on 
British ground, in Africa, proclaims the 
liberty of the subject: — where true 
Christianity reigns, slavery is banished. 
The work has been very great to 
civilise and Christianise this colony, but 
it has prospered in the hands of Mr. 
Butscher and other ministers, happy 
and able instruments, called to this 
office, who have now established a regu- 
larity in the temporal and spiritual du- 
ties of these people which nothing dis- 
turbs, hut the attempts of Slave dealers 
on the coast! But a very short time 
since, these pupils, now decently clothed, 
and receiving instruction, and passing 
Christian examinations, were brought to 
this Colony naked, ignorant of God, 
and yoked as beasts for labour, or for 
sale ! This once barren wilderness now 
sings for joy ! 


C A DELL, "William, Eiq. at Carron 
Park, aged 82, ' September 17, 1819. 
He was one of the original founders of 
the great Canon Iron Works, and lived 
long enough to see that establishment 
supplying cannon for most of the great 
states of Europe. 

COKEll, John. Esq. D. C. L. was 
bred, first, at Winchester, and then at 
Mew College, Oxford^ wlierc ho took the 
degree of M. A. in 177G, and discharged 

t];e oilicc of proctor in 1786. He after- 
wards discharged, for some yej/s, the 
duty of Chairman of tlie Quarter Ses- 
sions in the county of Oxford, and died 
at his seat, Boxley, Kent, June 14, 
1819. The fallowing lines, by Cowper, 
are said to have been characteristic of 
his dress and manners : 

" An honest man, close button'd to 

the chin, 
" Broad cloth without, and a warm 

heart within." 
COLE, the Rev. John, D. D. Chap- 
lain to his R. H. the Duke of Clarence, 
Pro Vice Chancellor of the University 
of Oxford, &c. at Merazion, in Cornwall, 
in October, 1819, in the 63d year of his 

COLLINGWOOD, Lady.atTyne- 
mouth, September 17, 1819. She was 
the widow of the late Admiral Lord 

COLLINS, William, Esq. was born 
in 1751, and diet April 27, 1819, at his 
liouse, on Maize Hill, Greenwich, in the 
cotinty of Kent, aged 68. 

This gentleman united in his own 
person a taste for both the elegant and 
the useful arts. I n painting, particularly, 
he exhibited equal skill and discrimin- 
ation, and attained a mastery in the 
delicate art of crayon portraits. But his 
services to his country have been con- 
spicuous in another point of view. 
Gifted with a good mechanical genius, 
he has been engaged ever since the y( ar 
1777 in the iii<p;ovement of machinery 
connected with the docks; and he long 
held a contract for the supply of these 
with pumps for the use of His 
Majesty's navy. But it is in ship- 
sheathing that he produced effects highly 
beneficial to the public. 'Hie chemical 
action of the iron bolts, when in contact 
with the copper which they were intended 
to fasten, produced a corrosion that 
threatened the entire abolition of this 
most useful practice ; but he so con- 
trived as to remedy the inconvenience, 
by a most ingenious but simple me- 

CORNWALLIS, Hon. AdmiraJ, 
G.C.B. and Vice- Admiral of England. 
This distinguished naval commander, 
one of the very last remaining of the old 
school, was born on the 25th of 
February, 1744. After a long life, 
devoted to the service of his country, he 
died at Nevrlands, in the immediate 
vicinity of Southampton, in tlie 76th 
year ot his age. Want of space prevents 
the insertion of a regular memoir of 
this gallant admiral in the present, but 
one shall appear in our next volume. 

ruo(;RAi'niCAi. indi-.x. for ISli). 


CLOGIIEll, IJishopof, lliglit Wev. 
Fatlier in God, Dr. Jolm I'ottcr, in the 
kingdom of Ireland. Dr. Potter was, 
l)y birth, au Englishman. Having 
been educated ;it the University of Cam- 
bridge, ho biHiime, first, a I'cilow, and 
then a Tutor, at'J'iinily (Jollege ; wliere 
he took the degrees of A. H. 1 775, A. I\I. 
177G, and became S. T. V.p.vfU Re-s,. 

It vva-^ his good fortune to havo the 
present Marijuis of Cinuien for a i)a- 
tron. 'J'hat nobleman having repiired 
to Ireland as Viceroy, nominated Dr. 
Potter one of his Chaplains. Ilis first 
episcopal promotion was to the iMshopric 
of Killaloe. in 1795; and, in \T-J6, his 
lordship was translated to the richer see of 
Clogher. The Bishop died intestate, 
July 27, 1819, and, in consequence of 
the sale of many beneficial leases, apper- 
taining to liis<see, has left an immense 
sum of ready money behind him. 

CHOKER, Charles, Esq. lat^ a 
Captain in the 89th Regiment of Foot. 
'Jliis gentleman was the second son of 
Thomas Croker, of Glamiboj/, in the 
county of Waterfoixl, Esq. and de- 
scended from one of the most ancient 
families in the south of Ireland. 

Having made choice of the army as a 
profession, he commenced his career as 
an ensign in ihe 89tli foot, and shortly 
after his arrival in the East Indies was 
appointed Aid de-camp to his uncle, the 
late Lieutenant-general Robert Croker, 
whose military talenU were duly appre- 
ciated by the intrepid Sir Eyre Coote, 
under whom, in the early part of his 
life, he had the honour to serve. 

In consideration of his uniform bra- 
very and humanity as an ofticer, Captain 
Croker's conduct was such as endeared 
him to the respect of all ranks, for un- 
deviating principles of rectitude, un- 
assuming manners, and, above all, those 
accomplished feelings which should 
ever designate the soldier, while they 
adorn the scholar and the gentleman. 

He died early in life, at Cork, in 
Ireland, on the 9th of April, 1819, of a 
Jiver complaint, contracted during his 
residence in India. 


DACRE, Gertrude, Haroncss. This 
lady, whose maiden name was Roper, 
was born August 2.5, 1 7.-50. At the age 
of 21 she gave her hand and heart to 
Thomas Brand, of the Hoo, Hertford- 
shire, Esq. a very elegant and cxpen- 
.s'.vH .ommoncr, v.hose hospitality iar 

exceeded hi-, mean-.. By this gcntlcmau 
she had two sons, one late Knight of the 
Shire for the county of HcrU; the 
other, early in life, obtained a com- 
mission in the ('oldstream (iuards, and 
soon attained the rank of I.ieutcnant- 
colonel. 'llie former of tlK~<e brotiieri, 
now Lord Dacrc, by n noble exertion 
of filial piety, paid ail the debts o( lii<i 
father, soon after be iiad come of «ge. 
j"Mrs. I'rand succeeded her brnther, the 
late Right Hon. Charle; Trcror Roper, 
in 1791. 

Her Lailyship died at her house at 
Wimbledon, Oct. 3, 1819, in liie 6«)th 
vear of her age. 

DAUNCICY. Philip, Esq. B. A. 
King's Counsel, &c. ]\Ir. Daimcey, 
born in 17.")9, was the son of a respect- 
able clothier, at ll'ollon-nndi:r-eilgr,' 
in the county of (iloucester. lie wa^ 
educated, first, at the College School of 
the City of Gloucester, and then enterciJ 
a commoner at Oriel College, Oxfoid. 
After taking die degree of Bachelor of 
Arts, he was elected a Fellow of 

The bar being the object of his pur- 
suit and his ambition, Mr. Philip iJaim- 
cey repaired to town, and entered him- 
self of Gray's Inn. After receiving .i 
call from this ancient society, he attended 
sessions at home, and followed both the 
Oxford and Carmarthen circuits. Pa- 
tience, industry, and a considerable share 
of talenLs, soon induced clients to (lock 
around him; and on the retreat of .Mr. 
Palmer he suddenly found himself a 

The Court of Exchoiiucr proved the 
scene of his forensic labours in tlie 
capital, and IMr. Edmunds, a very 
respectable oflicer of that Court, having 
taken him under his immediate p.itron- 
age, he soon obUiined considerable emin- 
ence tliere. In 1807 he obtained a silk 
gown, and fioni that moment began to 
be employed on the part of the crown. 
Indeed we have ntt only seen him 
.assisting the late Attorney General 
(Sir Samuel .Shepherd), but also en- 
trusted with the sole tare of causes of 
•'reat importance during that gentle- 
man's absence in the other t ourts. lie 
had, l)efore tiiis, married Mir.s I)u!)ri- 
son, by whom be had a pronnsing family 
of two sons and two daughters, but tl»c 
premature death of that lady, in 18,).5-»;, 
tilled his bosom with the most poignant 
jdHiction. At length, during the sum- 
mer of 18 J 8, Mr. Dauncey liimself 
began to feel the pressure of disease, 
yet he continued to practise until 
obliged to be led out of court by two 



friciidi a few ir.onths since, at tlie 2\^isi 
2\ius Court, at Gloucester. He died 
soon after, in Aiignst. 1819, in the 60lh 
yoar of liis age, leaving behind him a 
rame dear to his surviving family and 

Mr. Dauncey was an able lawyer, 
well acquainted with the practice of the 
Court, whicli he attended during Term 
lime, and intimately conversant in all 
its intricate forms and proceedings. In 
the examination of evidence he excelled, 
and he possessed, in no common degree, 
a judgment, a clearness, and a precision 
that rendered his services highly valuable 
to his clients. 

DAVIS, Rev. Kinder, Sept. 1.5th, 
1819. He died in Giltspur- Street 
Compter, in consequence of excessive 
drinking, a horrid habit, said to have 
been brought on in consequence of the 
loss of his wife and son, to both of whom 
he had been greatly attached, lliis 
Clergyman was formerly Rector of St. 
Saviour's, Southwark, and a man of 
considerable property. 

DICKER, John, at Badcome, Dor- 
seUhire, Sept. 50th, 1819. He had 
been einployed as earth-stopper, to the 
several packs of hounds in the western 
parts of the county, for about 75 years, 
and was buried by the members of the 
hunt. A number of old sportsmea 
attended the funeral of this noted nutii, 
who had attained the age of 93. 

DRAKE, Rev. Thos., D. D. Sept, 
12, 1819, in the 75th year of his age. 
He was nearly 30 years Vicar of Roch- 
dale, Lancashire, and was educated at 
St. John's College, Cambridge, where 
he took all his degrees. He was an 
orthodox clergyman, and an active ma- 


EAST, Sir William, Bart, of Place, 
in the county of Berks. 

This Bart, born in 1736, and descended 
from an ancient and respectable family, 
died October I2th, 1819, at his seat. 
Hall Place, Berks, in Jiis 83d year. 
His remains were removed from his 
residence on the 25th, after having 
lain in state the preceding day, and 
■were deposited on the 28th in the family 
vault, at Witham, in Essex. The fune- 
ral was attended by his two sons, Sir 
Gilbert East, Bart, (who has succeeded 
his father in his titles and estates,) and 
Augustus Henry East, Esq. by his son- 
in-law, Sir William Clayton, Bart, and 
by bis five grandsons, &c. &c. the chil- 
dren of his only daughter, Lady Clay- 

ton. Tlie service was performed Jjy the 
Rev. William Wheeler, Chaplain to 
the Roval Military College, Sandhurst. 
ENTWISLE, John, Esq. Ihis 
gentleman's name was originally Blark- 
land, being the eldest son of John Mark- 
land, Esq , of Ardwick, but becoming 
possessed, in 1787, of the estates of his 
maternal gieat grandfather, Bertie En- 
twisle, Esq. Vice-Chancellor, of the 
county palatine of Lancaster, he as- 
sumed the name and arms of that family. 
Soon after this, he rebuilt the mansion- 
house at Foxholes, near Rochdale, 
and acted for many years as a magistrate 
for the county of Lancaster and Chester, 
and the West Riding of Yorkshire. He 
also served the office of High Sheriff of 
the county of Lancaster, in 1 798. 

Advancing age, and declining health, 
having induced him to search for a 
milder climate, Mr. Entwisle finally 
settled at Cadoxton Lodge, in Glamor- 
ganshire, where he breathed his last, 
Dec. 16th, 1818, at an advanced age. 

He is represented as an active niagis- 
trate, a man zealously attached to tlie 
civil and religious establishments of his 
countr)'; as humane, friendly, and sin- 
cere, and above all, as tolerant to the 
opinions of those who difiered from 


PARI A, at Paris, of apoplexy, 3d 
Sept. 1819, the famous Magnetiser. 

FELL, The Rev. William, LL. D. at 
the Rectory House, Brereton, Cheshire, 
Oct. 1819, in tlie 79th year of his age. 

FOSTER, Mr. Richard at W^ake- 
field, aged 49, in the autumn of 1819. 
He was born at Dalton, near Hudders- 
field, and being the son of a respectable 
woollen-manufacturer, obtained the ru- 
diments of a good education. Bred to the 
same business as his father, he dedicated 
liis leisure hours to learning, and to a 
correct knowledge of Greek and Latin, he 
superadded the acquisition of many of 
the modern languages. On the death 
of his father, he became possessed of a 
small paternal estate, but actuated by a 
perhaps laudable ambition, he was de- 
sirous to become a merchant, and this 
proved his ruin. The house in whidi 
he became partner had goods to a very 
large amount on the continent, particu- 
larly in Holland, and all these were 
confiscated on the expedition of the 
Duke of York into that country. This 
produced a bankruptcy in 1801, which 
rendered the latter part of IVIr. Foster's 
existence miserable, a% he soon found 



lliat talents, without fortune, had teased 
to be estitnal)le ! 

FIIASEK, Uon. Mrs. Jane, at In- 
rerness, Sept. 3, 1819, in the 78th year 
of her age. This l;uly was the widow 
of ti)C late Hon. Archibald Fraser of 
Lovat, uncle of the late Sir William 
Fraser, IJnrt. 

FKENt:FT. Col. Jeromi.ah, at Par- 
sons-Town, King's County, Ireland, iu 
his fiDth year. 


GAURICK George, Esq. Sept. 30, 
1819, nephew to tlie celebrated David 

GOODWIN Richard, I\I. D. Aug. 
15, 1819, after a painful and protracted 
illness, at the Koyal Naval Hospital, 

GRAHAM, Thomas. Esq. of Kin- 
ross house, N IJ., late i\I. P. for Kinross, 
in 1819. Tliis gentleman n!|)aired to 
India, in 17G8, as a writer, and at length 
became one of the Members of the Hoard 
of Trade in Bengal. Having ac(juired an 
ample fortune, lie returned to his native 
country and represented the shire in 
which he was born. 

GREEN, Mr. John, and his wife 
Elizabeth, of Bromyard, Ilerefordsliire, 
Sept. 30, 1819, within a few hours of each 
Other. They had been married 59 years, 
and had2i( children, in little more than 
19; their united ages amounted to 
160 years. 

GUNTER, Mr. James, of Berkley- 
square, confectioner, at Worthing, Sus- 
sex, Sept. 17, 1819. Mr. Gunter was 
born in 1745. He was apprenticed to 
Mr. Negri, an Italian, who is said to 
have first introduced ices into this coun- 
try. The subject of tliis m«nioir died 
of an apoplexy, in his 7'lth year, Icav- 
ing beliind him an immense fortune, 
both in land, at Earl's-coui t, Brompfon, 
and in money in the funds. lie made 
it an invariable rule tomarry his daugh- 
ters to tradesmen only. " as lords 
would be ashamed of him. " 


HARRAD. Mr. William, at Bir- 
mingham, of apoplexy, January, 1, 1819, 
This eccentric character was the son of 
a respectable bookseller and printer at 
Market Ilatiiorough. Af;er an ap- 
prenticeship to his own fatkor, lie re- 
paired to London, but soo.i after settled 
at Stamford, where lie bwanic an Al- 

derman. Willi tlio Assistance of Mr. 
Lowe, a re'.pcrl.ilile npollucary tlierr, 
he compiled the Aiil'quiliesuf this place. 
In I 7>^(\ a|i|ieaTi(l the two first nunit>cr« 
of his lli-lmy of Rull»iid; hut that 
work wa>; <liscontinueil from the want of 

Having removed to Mun<^firld, be 
cr>inpiled and puhlishetl the liittory of 
that place aii<l its environs; and on 
roliiriiing to ."Market- Hnrhorongli, at 
the tiealh of his father in lKO»;, that 
town also hccanic indebted to him for 

Proving unsuccessful both as an 
author and bookseller, he lived and died 
in great obscurity. 

HAUVEY, Colonel Sir F. E. Ba- 
tlnnst, at Englelicid Grreti, Berkt. 
521th Sept. 1819. He was .lidc-de 
camp to his Royal Highness the Prince 
Regent, Se<'retary to the Duke of Wel- 
lington, and Licut.-C'ol. of the 1 itii 

IIASLEDEN, John, at Prc^cot, 
Lancashire, Sept. 3<\ 1«19. He was 
born in 1732, and served in America, in 
the 15th foot. Before the surrender of 
Quebec he attended on General Wolfe, 
.IS his valet, and on the death of that 
hero, he was taken into the family of 
CJeneral Murray, with whom "lie re- 
mained until his discharge, in 1761. 

HERRlES.,C.E-q. late Col. Com- 
mandant of the Light Horse Volunteer* 
of London and Westminster. 

This gentleman was a native of Scot- 
land, and brother to the late Sir Jauiet 
Herrics, for many years an rininent 
banker in St. James-street. He was 
an eminent merchant of the city of 
London, trading under the firm of I!er- 
rii-s and Naylor. 

INIr. Herrii>s, at the breaking out of 
the war with J'rance, although a verv 
active friend and admirer of Mr. Fox, 
deemed it necessary to lake a decided 
p.ait in favour of Mr. Pitt, and the 
administration of that day. It was he 
who raised and embodied that very loyal 
and useful corps the Liglil Horse Vo- 
lunteers, whiih he commanded for 
25 years. 

Colonel Herrics, ilied at an advance«l 
age, in April, 1819. and on the 17th of 
tliat month his remains were deposited 
with military honours, in conse«jucnce 
of a special order from the Coinmiuider- 

Order of the procession : on I'oot, in 
two rinks (except the advanritl aiidnar- 
guaid); Rdv.ancc-guind iinouiitid); 
filing parly ; Initnpeters sOMiiding tlic 
<leair«iitiil< : 'he liors-? of ih • deceased, 



toveifd with black clotli, boots ami 
spurs reversed, led by the riding-masters. 

The CoursE. 
supported, on either side, by Field - 
Officers of other regiments, and pall- 
bearers ; helmet, sword, pistols, and 
sash, on the coffin. 

Chief Mourner. 
John Charles Ilerries, Esq. son of the 
deceased; the regimental chaplain ; me- 
dical staff'; officers according to rank, 
the juniors leading; non-commissioned 
officers and privates ; honorary members 
of the regiment ; friends of the deceased ; 
rear-guard (mounted) ; carriages of light 
horse volunteers; of the friends of the 

At a quarter before two o'clock the 
procession entered Westminster Abbey. 
It was there met by the Dean and Clergy. 
The Dean then read the burial service till 
it came to " I heard a voice from hea- 
ven," which was solemnly sung. 

At the conclusion of the service, three 
vollies were fired, one in the grave, and 
two in the air; after which the whole 
party separated. The Abbey was crowd- 
ed at an early hour by persons of re- 

HOPE, John, Esq. in his 90th year, 
Sept. 30, 1819. He had been four 
times Mayor of Derby, and was father 
of that Corporation. 

HOWELL, Joseph, Esq., suddenly, 
at his seat Markyate Cell, Herts, 
Oct. 9, 1819. He was born in 1752, 
at Wisbeach St. Mary in Cambridge- 
shire, and in due time, rendered him- 
self worthy of a civic crown, by reclaim- 
ing a large surface of drowned land in 
that neighbourhood. After visiting seve- 
ral of his friends and neighbours he fell 
down, and expired, just as he had 
entered his parlour to dinner. 

I, EACH, Richard, Esq., at Bed- 
ford, in his f)3d year, Sept. I'J, 1819. 
He was brother to the Vice-chancellor 
of ]^ngland. 

LEESON, the Hon. William, in 
bis '19th year, Oct. 7, 1R19. He was 
third son of Joseph, first Earl of Blill- 

LYSTER, Richard, Esq., late 
I\L 1'. for the city of Shrew sbury, at St. 
James's place, London, ]May 3, 1819. 
He was born in 1771, and entered into 
the army early in life, so as to obtain 
the Majority of the 22d Regiment of 
Dragoons, while the Duke of York 
commanded on the continent ; on 

the embodying of tlic Supidemcntary 
i\Iilitia for the county of Salop, he was 
appointed {'olonel. 

His remains passed through Sfirews- 
bury for interment, to the family vau't 
at Alberbury, on the 5d. The union 
flag hoisted at the top of Lord Hill's 
column, was lowered as the procession 
passed, and the tolling of minute bells 
in the different churches, while the mi- 
litia-band played the dead -march in 
Saul, tended to render the whole solemn 
and impressive. 


MARRIOTT, the Rev. Robert, 
]\LA., formerly of Caius College, 
Cambridge, in Oct. 1819, in his 
54lh year. He had been presented to 
two livings (Bincomb, and Broadway, 
Dorsetsliire) by that Society, of which 
he was elected a Fellow. 

M'kEE, Mrs. Susannah, widow of 
the late ?Jr. AVilliam M'Kee, late of 
Newton Ards, North Britain, on Sept. 
I, 1819. This venerable matron had 
attained tlic immense age of 101 years. 
Her issue consisted of eleven children, 
thirty-six grand-children and ten great 
great grand cliildren — in all an «fl- 
spring of 123. Hor mother died at the 
age of 100. 

arOLEVILLE, Bcrtrand de, (from 
the Moniteur, dated' Paris, Oct. 1 9, 181 8.) 
•' The friends of the King and of 
France, will learn with deep regret the 
loss they have experienced : they have 
to deplore the death of a learned 
and virtuous man, M. Bertrand dc 
Moleville, Minister of Marine under 
Louis XVL, who displayed the most 
sincere proofs of his zeal to that mo- 
narch, died yesterday at the age of 74. 

" He was the author of several es- 
teemed works on the French Revolu- 
tion ; and it is said that he has left 
several unpublished MSS. which his 
heirs jnopose publishing, and wliich 
are extremely curious." 

I\r. Ik'itiand, escaping fioin his 
n;aive ci.untry, during the reign of 
terror, took refuge, and found an hos- 
pitable asylum here. As he had little 
or no i)ropeity, he obtained a small 
pension fronr our government ; and this 
enabled him to prepare his numerous ' 
literary productions for the press, all of 
which were in favour of the Bourbon ;. 
dynasty. ^ 

He was born in 1741 and died at 
Paris, where he had returned, on the 
restoration of Louis XVIIL, Oct. 19, 
1818. in the 74th vear of his age. 


HlOcnAPHICAL INDEX 1-()H 1819. 


- M'OUNIC, Jolm, I.I,. I), of I'erlli, 
after a hhoit illness, in (Iil- aiitumi> vt' 
181!), in the (;4tli year ..f liis age. He 
was formerly Rector of the Acndemy at 
Inverness, and of late Secretary to tlie 
Literary and Antiquary Society of 
Perth, iiMvliicli city ho devoted his time 
to private instruction. 


NORTON, the Hon. .lohn (^iiapple, 
;i (iencral in tlie Anny, and late !\I. 1*. 
for Guilford. 

The family, of which this is a younger 
branch, is descended from t!ie Conyers' 
of the county of York. Sir jolni 
Conyers, sometimes called Norton, of 
Norton- Conyers, was Slieriff of York- 
shire in 1507. His -jjrandson, Ilicirard, 
having married Susan daughter of Ri- 
chard Neville, Lord Latimer, engn;',cd 
in the northern insurrection, headed hy 
the Earls of Northumberland and West- 
morland, in consequence of which he 
was attainted in \5(V.). • I'homas Nor- 
ton, of Grantley, in the county of York, 
was one of his descendant'; ; and his 
son Thomas became the fatlicr of 
Fletcher, the founder of this family. 

I'letcher Norton, horn Jan. '23, 1716", 
was bred to the bar, in which profession 
he evinced great talents,and obtained con- 
siderable affluence. In Dec. ITfil, when 
he had attained a mature age, he was ap- 
pointed Solicitor-general to the King.and 
honoured as usual witli knightheod. In 
November, 1763, he succeeded to the 
still more important jiost of Attorney- 
generd, and in 17G9 became Chief 
Justice in Eyre, south of Trent, which 
appointment was a sinecure; meanwhile 
Sir Fletcher had obbiined a seat in tlie 
House of Commons, having been re- 
turned for diflerent boroughs, during 
several successive parliaments. At 
length, in consecjuence of his residence 
at Wonersh near G ml ford, he formed 
^ a connection with the coq)oration and 
freemen of the latter place, in conse- 
quence of which both he, and his chil- 
dren afterwards became its represen- 

In 1770, he chosen Speaker, a 
high and honourable office, which he 

,, filled with no small share of dignity. 
Indeed he is said to have given odence, 
by his bold and manly conduct, towards 

i the close of the American war, v.hen 

• on presenting certain money bills, at 
the bar of the House of Lords, he ex- 
pressed a wish to the Sovereign in |)er- 

i fon, " that what his faithful Commons 

liad grai\ted lilx-rally his .Mujii.tjr iiiixlif 
expend economically." .Sir Flrli-hvr 
was advaiuetl to the pwrage, April ;», 
1780, and died in 17H!>. 

John- Chappie Norton, callwi Chnpple 
after his mother, Grace, daiigltleror .Sir 
\Vm. Cliai)ple, Kt. oneof the .liirlgrs of 
the Court of Kin;;'s Rench tliiid surviv- 
ing son of the first Lord (/r.infley , wn-i 
born .\pril '.', 17 K). At nn e.irly jK-riod, 
he obtained a commission in the Gunril«, 
and accompanied his regiment to .Ame- 
rica, where he experieiiceil many of the 
miseries attendant on a winter's cam- 
|)aign, ill that couniiy. AVhile only .i 
ca|itain, he was employed under (iene- 
ral Home, to connrnnd a detnchmcut, 
on an excursion into the interi-ir ; hut 
the people of tJie province wire at once 
so prejudiced, and so inveler.ile agaiiiM 
the English, that he was obliged lo re- 
turn to I'hiladelphia. 

.'\t the conclusion of that disastrous 
and unfortunate war. Colonel Norton 
returned to England, and obtained a 
seat in Parliament, for the borough of 
(niilford. He was frecpiently re- 
cho.^en for the same place ; but never 
spoke, we believe, in the House of 

During the late French war, we do 
not fmd him employed ; but in consr- 
quence of the rapiil promotions iliat 
ensued, he became in the 
Army, and was aKo gratifieil with the 
.'iOtli regiment of foot; mIiIcIi before 
the late regulations, atlortk-d a decided 
advantage, as many of the distinguished 
otlicers of the same nmk with himself 
had only t'.ie half-pay of majors. 

(ieneral Norton, was a tall, stout, 
and full-blooded man ; and Ih'vii 
accounted handsome in his youth ; but 
never m;uried. He died 18 IS. 

PE.All.S, I\Ir., fanner and graxicr, 
at Sleat'ord. aged *<l. He was appointed 
a constable for the hundred of Langoe, in 
the reign of tieorgc 1 1., was n)nrrie«l ill 
17(>l, and although he has had Mveral 
children, never had u death in his 
family until the occurrence of his own, 
at an advanced .age. 

PERCY, the Rev., I). D. 
at his house in Cpjier .Vymonr- 
strect, in 18 If). He was fonnerly of 
Queen's .Square Chapel, Westminster, 
and also for some year^ Rector of .'^t. 
I'auPs, Charleston, .Sontli ("jtrolina. 

PERRY, Commoiloio, at rriiiitbil, 
,\ iimist 23d, 1 S I f». 'i'his coimnandcr in 



Hie American navy, was bom in 1784, 
and was accounted one of the bravest 
and most accomplished officers belonging 
to the Trans- Atlantic Republic. He 
died at the early age of 34, leaving a 
widow and four children behind him. 

PERRY, ElizabeUi, was born in 
1710, and died IVlay 1819, at the 
great age of 109. She first saw the light 
at Shirleatli, in the parish of Eardisland, 
and resided at Streamford, Hereford- 
shire, within 200 yards of the same 
spot, to the day of her death. Her 
sight was a little impaired ; but she 
could eat, diink, vnnd take snuff fof 
which latter she was particularly fond) 
to the last, and could walk about the 
house and premises, with the assistance 
of her daughter. This venerable ma- 
tron (with ll'.c exception of a severe sur- 
gical operation in the back, which she 
underwent about 15 years ago) enjoyed, 
during her life, an almost uninterrupted 
state of good health, and her death ap- 
peared to be merely the result of extreme 
age ; for it was only the day previous 
to her dissolution that she took to her 
ted, and her faculties were clear to the 
last hour. She attributed her protracted 
life to hard tvork and hard living. Sb" 
remembered wheat at 2s. 6d. per bushel, 
and rauncorn (mixture of wheat and 
rye) at 18d. per bushel; meat from Id. 
to 2d. per ft. ; and butter Hd. per ft. 
Her eldest daughter is an active dame 
of 84 ; her youngest son is about 60 ; 
lier eldest grand-daughter 46, and her 
eldest great grand-child 12. 

PIGOT, Sir Arthur, formerly attor- 
ney-general of the island of Grenada, 
and Ex -attorney-general of Great Bri- 
tain. Sir Arthur died on Monday, 
Sept. C, at his cottage, East Bourne, 
Sussex, in the 69th year of his age. 


RE, Count M. Felepo, lately at Mo- 
dena. He was the most celebrated 
professor of agriculture and botany, in 
•Italy, and his " Eleiiienta d^ Agricul- 
tura," is the only production on the 
soQthern side of the Alps, in which 
chemistry is applied scientifically for the 
improvement of agriculture. 

RHUDDE, Durand, D.D. Chap- 
lain in ordinary to His Majesty. I'his 
venerable clergyman was born in IVS.T, 
and educated at King's College, Cait:- 
liridge, where lie proceeded A.B. 1756, 
A.M. 1759, and S.T.P. 17Si,'. l)i. 
Ithuddc, ni.irricd AJi-h Pluri^old in 
1760, by whui'.i he had .i 'on and two 

daughters. His prefermentu have been 
numerous rather than valuable, coimf- 
ing of the lecturership of St. Diouis, 
Back church, Fenchurch street, the vi- 
carage of St. Thomas, Southwark, &t: 
In 1782, he obtained his last prefer- 
ment, the rectory of Brentham with 
East Bergliolt ; to wliich was super- 
added the living of Great Wenham. 
He died at East Bergholt parsonage. 
May 6, 1819, in the 86th year of his 

SANDY, Mr. James. This very 
singular man, some years since obtained 
the appellation of the " celebrated Alyth 
Mechanic," and he was fully entitled to 
the distinction, in consequence of the 
many ingenious contrivances practised 
by him, The following account drawn 
up by one who knew him well, is wor- 
thy of attention ; and it is only to be 
lamented that the exact period of his 
birth has not been mentioned. 

" The originality of genius and ec- 
centricities of character, which distin- 
guished this remarkable person, were 
perhaps never surpassed. Deprived at 
an early period of life, of the use of his 
legs, he contrived by dint of ingenuity 
not only to pass his time agreeably, but 
to render himself an useful member of 
society. He soon displayed a taste for 
mechanical pursuits, and contrived, as a 
workshop for his operations, a sort of cir- 
cular bed, the sides of which being raised 
about eighteen inches above the clothes 
were employed as a platform for turn- 
ing lathes, table vices, and cases of 
tools of all kinds. His genius for prac- 
tical mechanics, was universal. He 
was skilled in all kinds of turning; and 
constructed several very curious lathes, 
as well as clocks and musical instru- 
ments of every description, no less ad- 
mired for the sweetness of their tone, 
than tlie elegance of their execution. 
He excelled, too, in the construction of 
optical instruments; and made some 
reflecting telescopes, the specula of 
which were not inferior to those finished 
by the most eminent London artists. 
He suggested some important improve- 
ments in the machinery for spinning 
flax ; and we believe he was the first 
that made the wooden-jointed snuflT- 
boxes, called Laurencekirk boxes, some 
of uhii-h, fabricated by this self taught 
anist, were purchased and sent as pre- 
sents to the Royal Family. T<>