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there is nothing to shew that Henry Walton was either of kindred in blood to Izaak, or of the occupation he pursued, a comparison of dates will incline to the belief, that he was rather his contemporary, if not his junior, in years, than a person of more mature age, likely to have taken Izaak" when very young," as a poor relation to bring up to his trade.*

It is shewn by a burial certificate that Walton lost his father in the year 1596; and as no mention has ever been made of the mother, it has been thence assumed that she had died previously to her husband; a conjecture that would leave Izaak, an orphan on the wide world, an infant of three years old. By whom he was nursed, or by what means educated, are circumstances alike behind a cloud. No fact has come to light leading to a conclusion

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of the convenient places of wholesale burial for persons who died of the plague. Whitechapel Mount," is said to have originated in the vast excavations then made for human deposits, and to have been afterwards augmented by the rubbish carted out of the city after the "great dismal fire." Such a locality could hardly have been the residence of a tradesman depending much for custom on the caprice of fashion, or the necessities of the upper ranks.

In addition to the circumstances named, other evidence urged in support of the hypothesis is, that Izaak Walton had baptized two children at St. Dunstan's by the name of Henry, "a mark of respect, observes Sir H. Nicholas, "which he was not unlikely to have shewn to his master and kinsman."-(Compl. Angler, 1836.) Not impossible, the connexion in either respect being first shown; but as proof of the allegation, the evidence seems rather loose in a genealogist by profession; and forcibly reminds one of a parallel case of demonstrative proof introduced in a laughable extravaganza, popular in its day, where an humble aspirant of honors produced a huge red night cap, as evidence of his noble descent, and identified an astonished parent by its exact fit!

+ With the exception of Anthony-à-Wood's editor, Dr. Bliss, who is probably mistaken in his statement, that she was "daughter of Edmund Cranmer, archdeacon of Canterbury, and niece of the celebrated archbishop of that name."-Athen. Oxon. v. i., p. 698. See p. xv., n.

that his early years had been accompanied either by pinching poverty or by more cheering circumstances. The register of his own birth and of his father's death are in terms that denote nothing above that humble lot, alike

To fortune and to fame unknown:

no will, administration, or inventory of any personal estate of Jervis Walton has been found; and as it has never appeared that Izaak inherited anything from his parents,* it has thence perhaps not unreasonably been concluded, that there was little or nothing to inherit.

Of his education and abilities, Walton, at a late period of his life, writes with that modesty, not to say disparagement,† consistent with his naturally unassuming character. And this, with the obscurity of his early life, gave rise to considerable doubt, in the mind of his most voluminous editor, as to "the nature and extent of his acquirements. It is not

* It has never been shown how Izaak Walton became possessed of a piece of garden ground, lying near the goal, in the parish of Stafford, which, in 1672, "out of his charitable affection to the poor of the said borough, he gave to the mayor and burgesses, for the churchwardens of St. Mary's, to buy coals." A Table of Donations in St. Mary's church, sets forth its value at eight shillings a year. The garden was then in the occupation of John Walthoe, alderman, and contained 219 feet in length, by 37 feet in breadth. The trust has been neglected, and the revenues lost or misapplied.-Rep. Pub. Char., v. vi., p. 601.

+"When I sometimes look back upon my education and mean abilities, it is not without some little wonder at myself, that I am come to be publicly in print."-Pref. to his "Lives," 1665. Anthony-à-Wood, who was personally acquainted with Walton, referring to the "Lives," says, "they are all well done, considering the education of the author."-Athen. Oxon, v. i., p. 698.

probable," continues Sir H. Nicholas, "that he received a regular classical education."*

Without attempting to confute an axiom from circumstances so probable, it may have been that the nature and extent of Walton's acquirements were, like his fishing experiences, the accumulated wealth of an observant and thoughtful mind; and if he received no other than the rudiments of a classical education to be had "free" in his native town, there need have been little question whether he had read the latin authors quoted in his writings, in their original or in a translation. Latin was the ordinary teaching of the grammar schools, and its grammatical rule the means by which a knowledge of his native tongue also was to be acquired.

The affection which, to the latest period of his life, Walton displayed for the place of his birth, may probably afford some circumstances reflective of his early years. In addition to a gift in money,t and the plot of garden ground before named, in his life time, he bequeathed his little freehold property in the neighbourhood of Stafford, in reversion (which took effect,) to the Corporation of his native town. for purposes of charity; ten pounds (nearly a moiety of the rental) to be apportioned in binding out "two boys, the sons of honest and poor parents, to be apprentices to some handycraftmen, to the intent the said boys may the better afterward get their own living." The Table of Donations in St. Mary's

* Complete Angler, 1836.

By indenture bearing date, 15th June, 1672, in augmentation of Startin's charity.-Rep. Pub. Char., v. vi., p. 601.

Walton's Will, proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.


Church, setting forth Walton's benefactions in his lifetime, recites that "he did also set forth nine boys apprentice, bestowing 57. on each." The apprenticing of poor boys to trade seems to have had his peculiar regard, and presents to the mind a strong impression of personal experience. In thus providing for the advancement of others had he a sensitive reminiscence of his own early difficulties? the theory propounded, of his early apprenticeship and early trading, it is far more probable, after receiving the education the grammar school of his native town afforded, that he came to London, as others had done,-to seek his fortune, and found it after many days, in a master, who, appreciating his services, took him apprentice at an age more advanced than is now usual; and that he was not emancipated by rule of city law and custom, until the age of three or four and twenty.+

From the same rule of city law and custom, it may also be assumed as a probable fact, that Walton had been apprenticed, and to some citizen of London, since he is found to have been an inhabitant householder in trade within its walls; a circumstance that could not at that time otherwise have existed; nor until the great rebellion and the Parliamentary

The Table further recites, that "he also gave 221. to build a stone wall around St. Chad's Church-yard, in the said borough."

By the city oath and custom, no citizen could take an apprentice for a shorter term than seven years; nor under the age of fourteen; though he might be of any age beyond; and no rule prevented a person of any age binding himself to learn a trade; but the term must be observed; nor could the common law contravene the city custom.-Bohun, Priv. Lond.

Commonwealth had broken down the integrity of the city rule.

A statement anonymously made, and which until confirmed, must rest entirely on its exemption from improbability, and coincidence with known facts, is, that after quitting Stafford, Walton was "regularly apprenticed to one Holmes, a sempster, with whom he lived until he was 22 or 23 years of age."*


This statement will be quite consistent with the earliest known fact of his manhood, that in the year 1624, at the mature age of 31, Walton is found in the occupation of "half a house,"† in which he carried on the trade of a Milliner and Draper. John Hawkins, on the authority of a deed in his possession, was enabled to state that Walton dwelt on the north side of Fleet-street, in a house two doors west of Chancery-lane, abutting on a messuage known by the sign of the Harrow; and that his

This statement first appeared in a Weekly Miscellany, the "Freebooter," of October 18, 1823, quoted, as alleged, from a short notice of Walton, in a MS. volume of the Lansdowne Collection, in the British Museum; but without any particular identification by which the code might be referred to; nor has research to this time discovered it. If genuine, the writer was a contemporary, as he is represented to state that Walton "was not long since deceased, to the great grief of all his friends."

The Rev. Moses Browne observes, that such occupation "was very customary in those days;" of which the student of city history will find ample evidence. Indeed Walton, in his will, bequeathed to his son-in-law Dr. Hawkins, and his wife, the lease (of which there was a residue of about fifty years unexpired), of "part of a house and shop, in Paternoster-row," which he held under the bishop of London. And later, the City Election Act, (11 Geo. I.) 1725, made provision for the civic rights of "two joint occupants of premises, not being partners in trade;" which was precisely the condition of Walton's tenancy.

The last but one of the old timber buildings at the south end of Chancery-lane.--Browne. The sign of the Harrow (the corner

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