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lost; but, they say, it has been in the Newton family ever since Queen Elizabeth's time; that it was bought of the Cecils, to whom Queen Elizabeth gave it, among other lands hereabouts that fell to the crown, when the Lord Rochford was beheaded by Henry VIII.; and that he is buried at Stoke-Rochford, hard by. This manor, which is Sir Isaac's paternal estate, is about 30l. per annum; but he had another estate at Sustern, adjacent, which came by his mother; so that the whole was near 801. and descends to his next heir, John Newton, who is derived from his father's second brother. I visited this place the 13th of Oct. 1721, and took a prospect of the church of Colsterworth, and of his house at Wolsthorp. It is built of stone, as is the way of the country thereabouts, and a reasonable good one. They led me up stairs, and shewed me Sir Isaac's study, where I suppose, he studied when in the country, in his younger days, as, perhaps, when he visited his mother from the university. I observed the shelves were of his own making, being pieces of deal boxes, which, probably, hẹ sent his books and clothes down in upon these occasions. There were, some years ago, two or three hundred books in it, of his father-in-law, Mr. Smith's, which Sir Isaac gave to Mr. Newton, of this town.
"Sir Isaac was a posthumous and only child. His mother was married again to a neighbouring clergyman, Mr. Barnabas Smith, minister of North Witham, near Colsterworth, Jan. 27, 1645, She had three children by him. The descendants of these come in for a share of Sir Isaac's personal estate. He was sent, at a proper age, to Grantham school, which was founded and well endowed by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester, born at Ropsley, near here. The. same person founded C. C. College, Oxford. The people of Grantham have a common opinion, that Mr. Walker, the author of the book of Particles, was his master, and they led me into that mistake in my Itinerary, p. 49; but since, upon inquiry, I find Mr. Stokes was schoolmaster at that time, who was succeeded by Mr. Sisson, and he by Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker was an intimate acquaintance of Sir Isaac's, being minister of Colsterworth, where he died in 1684. Mr. Stokes was reputed a very good scholar, and an excellent school
"Sir Isaac, whilst he went to this school, boarded at Mr. Clark's house, an apothecary, grandfather to Mr. Clark, now an apothecary here. It was the next house to the George Inn, northward, in High-street, which was rebuilt about sixteen years ago. Dr. Clark, M.D. brother to Mr.
Clark, was usher at that time. He was a pupil to the famous Henry Moor, of Christ's College, born in Mr. Bellamy's house, over against me. Dr. Clark left the school, and practised physic in this town with success and emolument. Every one that knew Sir Isaac, or have heard speak of him here, recount the pregnancy of his parts when a boy, his strange inventions, and extraordinary inclination. for mechanics; that, instead of playing among the other boys, when from school, he always busied himself in making knicknacks and models of wood in many kinds; for which purpose, he had got little saws, hatchets, hammers, and a whole shop."
Thus far the Doctor's transcript of his letter, which seems to have been longer. If the publication of so much of it will induce those in whose possession the remainder may be, to give us more anecdotes of so great a genius from the same pen, your readers will, I doubt not, think themselves much obliged.
VII. Anecdotes of Bishop SHERLOCK, Bishop MADOX, Sir JOSEPH JEKYL, Archbishop POTTER, Dr. CONYERS MIDDLETON,
Dr. JOHN JORTIN, and Archbishop GILBERT.
I LATELY found the following anecdotes in the introduction, at the end, and in the margins of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th volumes, of the Biographical Dictionary, which accident put into my hands. Who was the writer does not appear, nor whether they were intended for publication, as the volumes were some time in a bookseller's shop before I purchased them. I presume they were not intended to be lost to the public; therefore shall be glad to see them in the Gentleman's Magazine.
BISHOP SHERLOCK was a man of the most acute parts I ever knew, and from 1749 to 1759 I had frequent and unreserved conversations with him. His aspect was rather austere, heavy, and forbidding; but, when he was pleased and smiled, he shewed the most amiable change of features.
He had the greatest insight into the consequences of men's behaviour I ever knew, and was the readiest man at avoiding difficulties and removing obstacles.
His advice to dissolve the Parliament in 1748, when it had sat only six years, and the Prince of Wales had made a strong party to oppose the Ministry in the new election, which was expected to be in 1750, was a master-piece of policy, as it caused a new election a year sooner than the opposition expected, who were thereby foiled.
His opinions on some controverted points, were far from orthodox in his latter years; nor did he at all approve the Athanasian Creed, nor his own writings against Bishop Hoadly, which he told me he was a young man when he wrote, and would never have collected in a volume.
He could bear no opposition in his own house, and had a most excellent, sensible, sweet-tempered lady, and of a very comely person, for his wife, but never had any child.
Applying once to the Duke of Newcastle for a bishoprick for his nephew, Dr. Fountayne, he was told the Doctor was too young. My Lord Duke, says the Bishop, he is a year older than Bishop Stone was when your Grace made him a Bishop.
He had a mind to have a Bishop appointed for our territories in America, to ordain clergymen there. Students are forced now to come to England for ordination, at a great expense and the hazard of their lives; but the Dissenters so strongly opposed it, that the Ministry would not disoblige them.
Dr. Middleton's rude attack on him was merely owing to resentment, as he thought the Bishop had opposed his being made Master of the Charter-house, when Mr. Man was appointed against his interest. The Bishop told me it was not true, for he did not oppose him; nor was he then a Governor, nor interfered in it farther than being pressed hard by Sir Robert Walpole to give him his advice, whether it would be relished by the clergy or not: the Bishop told him it would not. Archbishop Potter and Dr. Gibson strongly opposed Dr. Middleton in it, who, in his controversy with Dr. Pearce, had said some things very objectionable to the truth of scripture in some points.
He was, as most men of quick sensibility are, too open to flattery, if decently applied, especially in his latter years.
His letter on the Earthquake, I have heard, was printed in quarto to the number of 5000, in octavo 20,000, and
about 30,000 in the smaller size; besides pirated editions, of which not less than 50,000 were supposed to be sold.
The Bishop wrote a pamphlet intitled, The case of Options considered. He printed 50, and gave away about 40 to Judges, &c.
Upon his translation to London, he refused the Archbishop the option of St. George, Hanover-square; but, being infirm, by the persuasion of his friends, he gave up St. Anne's, Soho, by way of compromise.
He had a younger brother who died some years before him; I believe be held a place under the government. He appeared to love the mathematics, as I have seen a manuscript folio of his on those subjects.
The Bishop was imagined to have died worth 150,000l. He left his widow 3000 per annum for her life, and 10,000 to dispose of. The rest of his fortune came to Sir Thomas Gooch, his sister's son.
Dr. Madox, Bishop of Worcester.
ISAAC MADOX, a very sensible, ingenious, and worthy divine, was born about the year 1696, of obscure parents, who put him apprentice to a pastry-cook; but not relishing that employment, and having a genius for learning, some friends put him to school, and then sent him to Aberdeen, to complete his studies. He afterwards took orders, and was curate, I believe, of St. Bride's, Fleet-street. He then got to be domestic chaplain to Dr. Bradford, Bishop of Chichester, and married his niece, a very sensible and worthy lady.
From that time he was preferred in the church; made King's chaplain; and his preaching and conversation being liked by Queen Caroline, she made him her Clerk of the Closet, procured him (I think, but am not certain) the Deanery of Wells, and afterwards, about 1742, the Bishoprick of St. Asaph.
Upon the death of Dr. Hough, he was translated to Worcester, where he gave great satisfaction by his affability, ingenuity, and hospitality.
He greatly improved Hartlebury, was a great promoter of all public charities, particularly Worcester Infirmary, the Small-pox Hospital, London; and a great encourager of trade, engaging deeply in the British fishery; but that scheme being cramped in the beginning, by the very act which established it in Mr. Pelham's ministry, could never
afterwards succeed, though Mr. Pitt encouraged it very powerfully. The subscribers were great losers.
He strongly solicited the act against gin.
He was an excellent preacher, and always ready to exert his talent that way in charity sermons.
He published a Defence of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, in answer to Mr. Neal's History. of the Puritans, Vol. I. 1734, octavo; and some single
He died of a consumption, in August or September, 1759. He had a son, a young gentleman of fine parts and sweet disposition, who died of a consumption, aged about 18, in the summer of 1758. This loss hastened, I believe, the bishop's death. His only child left was a daughter, a very sensible, worthy young lady, married in 1762, to the Hon. and Rev. James Yorke, Dean of Lincoln, and youngest son to the Earl of Hardwicke.
I was at Hartlebury in 1757, with some relations, where we were treated very obligingly for a week by the bishop and his lady. Dining one day there, after a handsome entertainment, came some tarts, &c. He very much pressed the company to taste his pastry, saying facetiously, some people reckoned him a good judge.
Sir Joseph Jekyl
SIR JOSEPH JEKYL, a very worthy man, and an excellent lawyer, born about the year 1663, son to the Rev. Dr. Jekyl, who was beneficed in Northamptonshire.
He first distinguished himself in his profession, in King William's time, in some trials before Lord Chancellor Somers, who took great notice of him, became very intimate with him, and gave him his sister in marriage.
In the trial of Dr. Sacheverel, he was one of the managers for the House of Commons, and made his part good in the share allotted him. As he was ever a Whig, and opposed the Tory Ministry, he was, soon after King George the First's accession, made Master of the Rolls, a Knight, and a Privy Counsellor. In this station he made all his suitors perfectly satisfied with his great integrity, as well as dispatch of business. He was very averse to have Sacheverel prosecuted in so pompous a manner, and his advice was right; let his sermon have been neglected, and both that and the preacher would have been soon forgotten.
He was, also, much against prosecuting the Earl of Oxford for high treason, which could not be proved; whereas, had he