Page images
[ocr errors]

been accused of high crimes and misdemeanors, he might have been found guilty.

He had a controversy with Lord King, when Lord Chancellor, about the extent of the power of the Master of the Rolls, which he asserted to be in many respects independent of the Chancellor; whilst Lord King maintained he was only the first of all the Masters in Chancery. Sir Joseph wrote, The Judicial Authority of the Master of the Rolls stated and vindicated. Mr. Spicer, one of the Masters in Chancery, was supposed to be the author of an answer, to which Sir Joseph replied; and there the controversy ended, in the public opinion in favour of Sir Joseph.

About the year 1736, he was rode over in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and hurt his hip, which was the occasion of that place being inclosed with iron rails, and beautified; before which it was a receptacle for rude fellows to air horses, and many robberies were committed in it. He died in 1740, and was buried at Dallington, his seat in Northamptonshire, much regretted; for all who knew him, loved him.

His lady survived him some years, but he had no child by


He left his landed estate to Mr. Joseph Jekyl, second son of his nephew, Collector of the Customs in New England, which Mr. Joseph Jekyl, in 1742, married Lady Anne Montague, sister to Lord Halifax, and died about 1756, leaving one daughter only. Sir Joseph Jekyl left his personal estate amongst his other relations, except 20,000l. to the Sinking Fund, towards paying the national debt, which he always had at heart. But having expended a large sum in building the houses in Chancery Lane, upon supposal he could hold a long lease of them, and that by a quirk of the law being set aside, the Parliament, to make good the loss to his relations, gave them back the 20,000l.

His fine library was dispersed, both printed books and manuscripts, the former by Mr. Langford, and the latter by Mr. Whiston.

Archbishop Potter.

ARCHBISHOP POTTER gave his son, Dr. John Potter, the two livings of Wrotham and Lydd, in Kent, both good ones, but above 40 miles distant; whereas the canons require they should be within 40 miles, to make them tenable. A clergyman applying to the archbishop for a dispensation to hold two livings, in the same county, was told by him, they were out of distance. He replied, If your Grace will

look into the map of Kent, you will find they are nearer than Lydd and Wrotham. He got the dispensation; for this was argumentum ad hominem.

Archbishop Potter died worth 70,0001.

Tillotson, not worth 3000l. He gave away very much. Herring left about 10,000l. laid out above 7000l. at Croydon and Lambeth, and was very charitable.

Dr. Conyers Middleton.

He was at first more addicted to music than to learning; but Dr. Bentley calling him a fiddler, it excited him to a close application to study, and he shewed Dr. Bentley soon he could write as well as fiddle,

Bishop Sherlock used to declare he presented Mr. Middleton with a copy of his Discourses in 1725, when he first published them; and soon after the doctor thanked him for it, and expressed his pleasure in the perusal.

Dr. John Jortin.

He was a very ingenious man, an acute and judicious scholar, born in Huntingdonshire, about 1701, educated at the Charter-House School, and from thence sent to Jesus. College, Cambridge, where he improved his literature greatly, under the tuition of Styon Thirlby, who was also a very acute critic. When he had taken his Master of Arts degree, he married, and quitted college; but, having some private fortune of his own, and being of a peculiar disposition that could not solicit preferment, nor could bear to be neglected, but with severe reflections on those who preferred the ignorant and neglected the learned, he was without any benefice till about the year 1738, when Lord Winchelsea gave him the living of Eastwell, in Kent; but, the place not agreeing with his health, he soon resigned it. He was for some years, from about 1724 to 1732, an assistant to Mr. Capper, who rented a chapel in Great Russel Street, Bloomsbury.

Archbishop Herring had a great value for him, and about 1751 presented him to the living of St. Dunstan's in the East, worth 2001. per annum, where he was much liked by his parishioners.

In 1762, Dr. Osbaldiston, Bishop of London, gave him the living of Kensington, worth 300l. and a Prebend in St. Paul's cathedral, and made him Archdeacon of London, in the room of Dr. Cobden.

His temper was rather morose and saturnine, as was his

aspect. In company he liked, he was at all times facetious, but mixed with a large quantity of sal censure superiorum.

His sermons were sensible, argumentative, and to the purpose; but delivered in so negligent a manner, and with so little emphasis, as to make little impression on the audience. He was a virtuous man, no bigot, but pretty free in his thoughts on some controverted points, which yet he had not courage always to avow, reading and disapproving the Athanasian Creed at the same time. I was many years intimate with him, and had in general much satisfaction in his company, as with me he was unreserved.

In some works he printed he had half the profits. In his Life of Erasmus, Six Dissertations, and Remarks, 3 vols. he sold the privilege of an impression, but kept the copy-right himself.

[blocks in formation]

GIVE me leave to add a few anecdotes to those inserted in your last Magazine.


Archbishop Gilbert.


This prelate, when bishop of Salisbury, had a great dispute with the mayor, in regard to the separate jurisdiction of the city and the cathedral, refusing to let the mace be carried before his worship in the church precincts, and once having actually a kind of scuffle with the mace-bearer. Soon after, the judges of assize (I think Baron Smythe), being applied to by the cook, at a circuit dinner, to know if his lordship chose any particular dish, replied, "No:but, as he heard the bishop was to dine with him, he desired, if there was any soup, that there might be no mace in it, as the bishop did not love mace."

Bishop Sherlock.

On the Sunday after the news of the defeat of the rebels at Preston, in 1715, Doctor Sherlock, then Master of the Temple, preached a most loyal revolutional sermon. Those which he had preached some preceding Sundays were such as would not have offended the Pretender, if he had succeeded. The benchers, as they came out of church, commended the sermon highly, but wished it had been preached

at least the Sunday before: and it was then commonly said, that the battle of Preston had convinced the son, as the battle of the Boyne convinced the father, who, it is well known, after having dissuaded many of the clergy, in 1688, who had a confidence in his judgment, from taking the oaths, took them himself on the last day limited by act of parliament, and left his friends in the lurch. Soon after, handing his wife along St. Paul's church-yard, "There," says an arch bookseller, "goes Dean Sherlock, with his reasons for taking "the oaths at his fingers' ends."

Dr. Jortin was some time assistant preacher at Lincoln's Inn chapel for Bishop Warburton. He had no recommendation to Archbishop Herring but his merit. His grace told him most unexpectedly, at a dinner of the Sons of the Clergy, that the living of St. Dunstan's was at his service; which so surprised him, that he ran instantly out of the hall, and left his hat behind him.

1773, Sept.



THERE is no part of your Magazine more generally pleasing, than that which gives an account of the peculiarities and natural tempers of men eminent for their learning or great qualities. If what follows may be thought worthy the public notice, you may depend on a future supply from,

Your constant reader,

J. D.

BISHOP ATTERBURY, conversing with Dr. Bentley, on his contest with the Bishop of Ely, with regard to his visitatorial power over Trinity College, seemed to think that the doctor would probably lose his cause in consequence of an old writing that had been discovered, bearing date in James the First's time. "I know very well what your lordship "means," replied the doctor: " it bears date, I think, anno tertio Jacobi primi; it would have more weight with your "lordship, if it were dated anno primo Jacobi tertii."

The same prelate, who bore the doctor no good will for his attack on Mr. Boyle, and all the wits of Christ Church, having Bentley and Pope both at dinner with him, insisted


on knowing what opinion the doctor entertained of the English Homer. He for some time eluded the question; but, at last, being urged to speak out, he said, "The verses are good verses, but the work is not Homer, it is Spon"danus." To this provocation the modern Aristarchus owed his place in the fourth book of the Dunciad; at which his son Dr. Thomas Bentley was so incensed, that he sent the poet a challenge. Pope, communicating this to some of his friends, officers in the army, two or three of them went to the hero's lodgings, and, after expostulating on the absurdity of sending a challenge to a man, who, on account of his figure, ought not to accept it, gave the doctor his choice of any one of them for an antagonist as the poet's proxy. On his declining this, they insisted on his asking Mr. Pope's pardon, to which he submitted.

"FENTON (says the late Lord Corke, bis pupil) translated double the number of books in the Odyssey that Pope has owned. His reward was a trifle, an arrant trifle. He has even told me, that he thought Pope feared him more than he loved him; he had no opinion of Pope's heart, and declared him, in the words of Bishop Atterbury, mens curva in corpore curvo*." Yet Pope, in a letter to Gay, says, “be "esteemed Fenton almost as many years as he had esteemed Gay;" and Atterbury assures Pope, that "he had loved "and valued him ever since he knew him," &c. &c. is the sincerity of the witty and the great! 1773, Oct.



IX. Anecdotes of MATTHEW PRIOR, and JOHN, DUKE of



THE following anecdotes of two eminent persons have been already published, but notwithstanding are very little known. The first made its appearance in an obscure pamphlet printed many years since; the other in one more respectable, but which did not more engage the public attention. I wish more circumstances relating to famous men were occasionally copied into your Magazine from the like sources, as the pamphlet form of their publication renders them very liable to be lost to the world. Your inserting these will oblige

* Hughes's Letters, Vol. II. p. 27, first edition.

J. B.

« PreviousContinue »