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Kings. Norroy.

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GEORGE III. «reason: this for awhile retarded his appointment. It was under-hand propagated by the heralds, who were vexed at having a stranger put "in upon them. He was a man of great good nature, honor, and integrity, particularly in his character as an historian. Nothing, I firmly be"lieve, would ever have biassed him to insert any fact in his writings he did "not believe, or to suppress any he did. Of this delicacy he gave an "instance, at a time when he was in great distress. After his publication of the Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, some booksellers, thinking " his name would sell a piece they were publishing, offered him a con"siderable sum to father it, which he refused with the greatest indig"nation. He was much addicted to low company: most of his evenings "he spent at the Bell in the Old Bailey, a house within the liberties "of the Fleet, frequented by persons whom he jocularly called Ru"lers, from their being confined to the rules or limits of that prison. "From this house a watchman, whom he kept regularly in pay, used to "lead him home before twelve o'clock, in order to save six-pence paid "to the porter of the Herald's Office, by all those who came home after "that time: sometimes, and not unfrequently, two were necessary. He "could not resist the temptation of liquor, even when he was to officiate "on solemn occasions; for at the burial of the Princess Caroline he was so intoxicated, that he could scarcely walk, but reeled about with a 66 crown "coronet" on a cushion, to the great scandal of his brethren. "His method of composing was somewhat singular. He had a number of "small parchment bags inscribed with the names of the persons whose lives " he intended to write: into these bags he put every circumstance and anec"dote he could collect, and from thence drew up his history. By his excesses "he was kept poor, so that he was frequently in distress; and at his "death, which happened about five on Wednesday morning, April 15, "1761, he left little more than was sufficient to bury him. Dr. Taylor, "the oculist, son of the famous Doctor of that name and profession, claimed "administration at the Commons, on account of his being nullius filius,


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Anglice, a bastard. He was buried the 19th following, in the north "aisle of the Church of St. Bennet, Paul's Wharf, towards the upper end "of the aisle. He was about seventy-two years old. Amongst his "works is a Preface to Dr. Walton's Angling."


Such is Grose's relation of this singular man. The coloring we must believe somewhat heightened by the writer himself, not a little eccentric, and whose vein of ridicule is well known. The Oldis, Oldesh, or Oldys family, was eminently loyal in the great rebellion. John Oldis, of Chetnol in Dorsetshire, gentleman, was fined, as a delinquent, by the republicans, £68. 5. Norroy's grandfather was William Oldis, M.D. of New College, in Oxford, proctor of that University, created D.D. January 26, 1641: he became vicar of Addingbury in Oxfordshire. Loyal and orthodox, he became peculiar obnoxious to the Parliament soldiers, which obliged him to leave his house to find an asylum in Banbury, then fortified by His Majesty. Going with his wife and son, the latter of whom he intended to place either at Winchester school, or Oxford: his design being known, the soldiers placed themselves in the road he was to pass. Suspecting danger, he desired Mrs. Oldys to ride on, and if they were royalists, to hold up her hand, and then he would follow; if she did not, he would attempt to escape. Finding that she did not give him the signal he fled; the soldiers pursued. As he passed his own house, which he was obliged to do, the horse stopping he was overtaken: he threw his money along the road, which they seemed more to value than his person, until one, formerly fed by his bounty, shot him dead with a pistol; an act that even his comrades disapproved and reprobated. It is said the person who gave intelligence of his journey some time after dropt down and instantly expired, upon the spot where Dr. Oldys was murdered. This catastrophe happened about 1644. Susanna, his daughter, married to the Rev. Thomas Beaumont, second son of Sir Thomas Beaumont, Bart. William Oldys his son, the father of Norroy, was educated also in New College, and June 17, 1667, obtained the degree of LL.D. His father's sufferings and his own merit gained him considerable promotion. He became advocate in the Court of Admiralty, and to be the Earl Marshal's Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, and official to the Archdeacon of St. Albans. Such was Norroy's father and grandfather. Unfortunately he was illegitimate; this prevented his inheriting a larger fortune, and having a better education. The story of the cat is, I suppose, equally authentic with Wittington and his puss. Norroy was an imprudent man, especially as to liquor; but this, I suspect, is much heightened. The story of hi n





GEORGE III. toxication, and the jeopardy of the coronet at the Princess Caroline's Provincial funeral, is not accurate; the crown, when borne at the funeral of the Kings. King or Queen, or the coronet at the burial of a Prince or Princess, is always Norroy. carried by Clarenceux, not Norroy. The heralds had reason to be displeased with his promotion to a provincial kingship. The College, however, will always be pleased with ranking so good a writer amongst their body. As to his being a member of the church of Rome, it was only a plea to prevent a stranger's intrusion. His library was sold with those of the Rev. Mr. Emms, of Yarmouth, and Mr. William Rush's. He left many manuscripts: one of them was "Remarks upon Langbaine's Lives of the "Dramatic Poets." The late Mr. Steevens had a copy of "Fullers' Worthies," full of manuscript notes by him and Mr. Thoresby, and to which Mr. Steevens had made additions. It was sold at that gentleman's death for £43.

1761.-THOMAS BROWNE, Esq.-See Garter.

May, 1773.-RALPH BIGLAND, Esq.-See Clarenceux.

Oct. 1774-ISAAC HEARD, Esq.-See Clarenceux.

March 21, 1780.-PETER DORE, Esq. F. A. S.

This gentleman probably was sprung of a family originally of Dore in Herefordshire. When he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, June 4, 1778, he wrote himself of Badgemore in the county of Oxford. In the west of England there is a very genteel family of this surname. He purchased the place of Blue-mantle, by Mr. Pujolas' resignation of it in his favor, for £300. His subsequent promotions appear gratuitous. Norroy went to Gravesend,* to visit his friend, Mr. Price, commander of the Dutton East-Indiaman, and whilst dining on board fell from his chair, and instantly expired, being struck by an apoplexy. This happened September 27, 1781: on October 1, following, his corpse was brought to his apartments in the College, from whence it was removed for interment to Christ's Church in Newgate-Steet, London, on the 6th,


Somerset, Brooke, says Greenwich, but all the periodical papers say Gravesend. He also wrongly states the day of Norroy's death to be October 7, which the epitaph contradicts.

Kings. Norroy.

with a suitable pomp, the pall being adorned with escutcheons of the arms GEORGE III. of the office of Norroy, impaling those of Dore; over the body were laid Provincial his tabard, crown, and collar of SS. At the funeral service was performed an anthem, taken from Psalm xXIX, sung by the choristers of St. Paul's cathedral, accompanied on the organ by Miss Hudson. Though the crowd was great, the whole of the ceremony was conducted with decency and respect. Norroy was greatly attached to antiquities and natural history. His collection, which was but small, he left to his friend, George Harrison, Esq. who is now Norroy, one of whose apartments in the College is adorned with the different articles which comprised the collection. On the south side of the chancel of Christ Church, where he is buried, is an achievement of his arms: i. e. Norroy impaling Dore. The Crest of Dore is placed upon a crown of a King at Arms. The motto is, "Tutus qui Bonus." On the sides is written, "Peter Dore, Esq, Norroy King of "Arms, aged sixty-six, died anno 1781." Near this is a neat monument with the above arms and crest: below is this inscription which the deceased justly merited :

Haud procul ab hoc marmore,
Depositæ sunt Exuviæ mortales


Norroy Regis Armorum, et F. S. A.


In moribus Simplicitas,

In negotiis Diligentia,
In verbis Fides,
In colloquiis Suavitas,
Nunquam defuerunt.
Porro autem has virtutes,
Cæterasq. omnes,
Quæ civi sunt ornamento,
Per totius vitæ tenorem,
Adeo feliciter excoluit:

Ut ii soli,


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There is a half sheet mezzotinto portrait of Norroy, representing him in his tabard; underneath is his coat of arms. It is inscribed "PETER DORE, ESQ. RICHMOND HERALD, 1770, afterwards Norroy King of Arms, died 27th Sept 1781. Townly delin'-G. N. fecit." Nov. 8, 1781.-THOMAS LOCKE, Esq.-See Clarenceux.

May 20, 1784.-GEORGE HARRISON, Esq.

The present Norroy, and Registrar of the College. To whom I am obliged for the perusal of a valuable MS. History of Garters, Kings at Arms.




Geo. 11.-HENRY HILL, Esq. F. A.S.

Mr. Hill was gentleman usher of the Order of the Bath, and for some time Sergeant at Arms to the House of Commons. He was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on February 8, 1759. I have not seen his descent. He must have entered the College when very young. Probably he went to the South of France for his health, as he died at Avignon, June 37, 1774, aged forty-four. He married, in August 1763, Francis, daughter of Mr. Waade, of Yorkshire, widow and relict of William Thompson, Esq. She surviving Windsor received a certificate of his death from the Cardinal-governor of Avignon. I believe he left no issue.

* I am obliged for this inscription to the Rev. Samuel Crowther, Rector of Christ Church. Quere, What relation to Norroy was Richard Dore, Esq. His Majesty's judgeadvocate, who died at Port Jackson, New South Wales, in December, 1800?

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