Institutions for Education
The Royal Free Grammar School

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Eneas Mackenzie

Year published

1827

Pages

415-443

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'Institutions for Education: The Royal Free Grammar School', Historical Account of Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Including the Borough of Gateshead (1827), pp. 415-443. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43363 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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INSTITUTIONS FOR EDUCATION.

ROYAL FREE GRAMMAR-SCHOOL.

The Head School, as it is now called, or "hye school," as it seems to have been termed at the time of its establishment, owes its first foundation to a munificent chief magistrate, Thomas Horsley, who was mayor of Newcastle in the years 1525 and 1533, and who devised certain property for that purpose under the superintendence of the corporation. The school was originally situated on the north-east side of St. Nicholas' Church-yard. (fn. 1) The generous founder is meritoriously particular in his description of the person proper to be appointed to so responsible a situation. He is directed to be "an able and sufficient priest, or master (master of arts), profoundly learned, and instructed in the knowledge of grammar; and that he is to keep a public grammar-school for the free erudition and instruction of all scholars, not only of those inhabiting the town, but of those resorting to it." (fn. 2) In augmentation of the original endowment, it appears, that a stipend of four marks was agreed to be paid by the corporation for ever. At the visitation of the bishop of Durham, February 1, 1577, Humphrey Grey and Thomas Boswell, schoolmasters (probably of Horsley's school), occur. Humphrey Grey was buried July 8, 1594; and, December 27, 1596, Cuthbert Ogle, grammar schoolmaster, occurs. Mr. Francis Burras, the last master, resigned on the re-foundation of this school in 1599.

The monasteries being the only respectable and permanent establishments for education in the kingdom, excepting a few of royal or episcopal foundation, when these had become extinct, the want was grievous and alarming. In order to remedy this evil, and strengthen the establishment of the Protestant religion, queen Elizabeth founded several grammar-schools: and Horsley's school was converted into a royal foundation, by a clause in the charter granted by her majesty to Newcastle upon Tyne, in the 42d year of her reign. This clause was suggested by the following considerations:—"Moreover, we, often revolving in our mind how much advantage would arise to the commonwealth of England, over which Almighty God hath been pleased to place us, that youth should be well grounded from their tenderest years in the rudiments of the true religion, and instructed in learning and good manners, we, &c. ordain, constitute, and appoint, &c. one free grammar-school, which shall be called the Free Grammar-school of Queen Elizabeth in Newcastle upon Tyne." The master and scholars of this school are to be a body corporate in law, with perpetual succession, to have a common seal—a legal capacity of purchasing and holding lands, &c. to themselves, and successors, in fee simple, or for term of years, provided they exceed not the annual value of forty pounds, are not held of the crown in chief, or by military service, notwithstanding the act of mortmain. The governing part of the corporation of Newcastle, of whom the mayor and six aldermen to be seven, are appointed the patrons of this school, with the power of electing "one honest, learned, and discreet man, to be the first and modern master of the said school, and one other honest, learned, and discreet man, to be the first and modern under-master of the said school," (fn. 3) whose offices are held under their pleasure, and are to be filled up by them on every removal or vacancy by death.

Instead of erecting buildings for the use of this new establishment, as appears to have been intended by the charter, the corporation of Newcastle, to whom belonged the presentation of a master to the ancient Hospital of St. Mary the Virgin in Westgate Street, appropriated the existing buildings of the hospital to the purposes of the school. Many of these buildings remain to this day, and retain the venerable appearance of a college. The chapel of the hospital was converted into a school: and the dormitory and other parts of the building. which formed a quadrangle on the south, were altered into houses and apartments for the head-master and under-masters of the school.

The following is a list of the masters and ushers of this celebrated school, since it became a royal foundation by the charter of queen Elizabeth:—

Robert Fowberry, A. M. appointed in the year 1600. (fn. 4)

Edward Wigham occurs as master in 1623.

Francis Gray, A. M. succeeded in 1629.

Amor Oxley was master about the year 1637. (fn. 5)

Nicholas Augur succeeded in 1645; resigned, on account of ill health, Feb. 27, 1647. (fn. 6)

George Ritschel appointed August 29, 1648. (fn. 7)

Amor Oxley re-appointed April 27, 1662. Salary £100, with perquisites.

Richard Garthwaite, A. M. appointed about Christmas, 1669. (fn. 8)

John Cotteral, A. M. appointed December 17. 1690.

Thomas Rudd, A. M. occurs as master in 1699. (fn. 9)

James Jurin, A. M. appointed January 23, 1710. (fn. 10)

Edmund Lodge, clerk, succeeded Jurin, September 26, 1715. (fn. 11)

Richard Dawes, A. M. appointed July 10, 1738. (fn. 12)

Hugh Moises, A. M. was appointed in October, 1749. (fn. 13)

Edward Moises, A. M. succeeded his uncle in June, 1787.

USHERS, OR SUB-MASTERS.

Matthew Gooch, a graduate of Cambridge, in Auger's mastership.

Daniel Gibson occurs in the year 1646.

William Sanson occurs in 1662. Salary £40 per annum.

Robert Grey, in 1674, with a stipend of £30 a year.

Richard Gower, A. M. succeeded December 7, 1677. Salary raised to £35 a year.

John Metcalfe appointed July 11, 1683.

James Ferne, clerk, appointed April 17, 1710. (fn. 14)

John Wibbersley, A. M. appointed June 26, 1749. (fn. 15)

Anthony Munton, A. M. succeeded January 2, 1752. (fn. 16)

Jeffrey Clarkson, L. L. B. appointed June 18, 1755. (fn. 17)

John King, A. M. succeeded February 6, 1760. (fn. 18)

William Hall, A. M. appointed December 15, 1766. (fn. 19)

John Brand, A. M. succeeded September 20, 1781.

Moses Manners, M. A. appointed at Easter in 1784.

Robert Wilson, A. B. succeeded Mr. Manners, who resigned at Michaelmas, 1794.

Robert Hilton Scott, clerk, appointed April 2, 1812.

UNDER-USHERS

Edward Lumsdon, when Oxley was master, 1637. Salary £20 a year.

Allan Gilpin occurs in 1662. Salary £30.

Ralph Wilson is mentioned in 1674. Salary £26, 13s. 4d.; raised, in 1682, to £31, 13s. 4d.

Ralph Gower occurs June 11, 1683.

Henry Wilson, from Penrith, appointed July 28, 1710.

Richard Stewardson, on Wilson's death, December 18, 1710.

George Carr, A. M. succeeded September 26, 1726. (fn. 20)

John Wibbersley, A. B. held this office July 12, 1742.

William Hall, A. M. (afterwards usher) appointed September 24, 1764.

Weaver Walter, A. M. succeeded December 15, 1766. (fn. 21)

John Brand, A. B. appointed at Midsummer, 1778.

Robert Wilson, A. B. succeeded at Easter in 1784; ob. 1811.

The impropriated, or great tithes of Bolam parish, in Northumberland, belong to this school. By the charter of incorporation, the master and scholars may have a common seal; but there is none at present, nor does it appear that any former master used one, as the estate has been and is managed entirely by the corporation of the town. (fn. 22)

To cherish this admirable institution, Lord Crewe devised, by his will, that out of the rents and profits of his estates in the counties of Northumberland and Durham, the sum of £20 yearly should be paid to each of the twelve exhibitioners of Lincoln College, in the university of Oxford, "which I have already named and appointed, or which I shall hereafter name or appoint—and to each and every of twelve exhibitioners to be elected and chosen after my decease, as herein after mentioned, who shall be under graduate commoners in Lincoln College aforesaid, and who are or shall be natives of the diocese of Durham—And for want of such natives, of Northallertonshire or Howdenshire in the county of York or of Leicestershire, and particularly of the parish of Newbold Verdon, or of the diocese of Oxford whereof I was formerly bishop, or of the county of Northampton in which county I was born.— And my will is and I do hereby direct that such exhibitioner or exhibitioners by me already named and appointed, or to be by me hereafter named and appointed, or upon any other vacancy or vacancies whatsoever, shall be from time to time and at all times for ever after my decease elected and chosen by the rectors and fellows of Lincoln College aforesaid for the time being or by the major part of them, and to enjoy the said exhibitions or annual payments for eight years, if they shall respectively so long continue resident in the college aforesaid, and no longer, unless they have leave from the rector of the college aforesaid for the time being to be absent, which I desire he will not grant but upon reasonable cause. And I do hereby direct that as often as any vacancy or vacancies shall happen of such exhibitioner or exhibitioners, others shall be elected in their room within three months, in manner as aforesaid."

Dr. Hartwell, by his will, devised £20 per annum, to be divided into two exhibitions of £10 each, towards the maintenance of two scholars, to be sent to either of the universities, out of the schools of Durham and Newcastle. The exhibitions are to continue for four years, with a year of grace, to take a degree, if the trustees (the dean and chapter of Durham) think fit, and are to be paid out of the rents of his estate of Fishburn.

Michael Smith, D. D. rector of Freckenham, in the county of Suffolk, who died on the 6th of May, 1773, bequeathed to Emanuel College, in Cambridge, the sum of £800; one half of the interest of which is to go to the reparation of the chapel and college, and the other half to the maintenance of a scholar, either from the school of Durham, or that of Newcastle upon Tyne. This exhibition has already been claimed and enjoyed by scholars from Newcastle school. Dr. Smith was the son of a Mr. Smith, alderman of the city of Durham, and nephew of Cuthbert Smith, Esq. alderman of Newcastle upon Tyne.

The following is the preface to an order of the common council of Newcastle, dated 28th July, 1637:—"Whereas there is usually paid out of the revenewes of this towne, to five schollers being freemen's sonnes goeing from this schoole to either of the universityes of this kingdome, the some of £5 a peece for seaven yeares, for their better encouragement and education." (fn. 23) The order proceeds to appoint Richard and Cuthbert Stote, the sons of Edward Stote, a free merchant, to the first vacancies. This donation was discontinued by an order dated 30th September, 1736, but was revived 18th June, 1778. Nothing is now paid by the corporation for this purpose. "Highly distinguished," observes Brand, "as this body is for every other species of munificence and charity, it appears extremely deficient in making no handsome provision, out of its ample and increasing revenues, to encourage the laudable ambition of the scholar of fortune."

This school has obtained a very high and just celebrity from the respectability and attainments of its teachers, and the distinguished characters it has produced. (fn. 24) Under the able superintendence of the venerable and Reverend Hugh Moises, it rose to the acme of classical fame, and eminently contributed to diffuse a taste for the liberal arts and sciences throughout this northern district. After this respected master had retired, it slowly but gradually declined, until at last its entire desertion seemed to be at hand. In 1820, only nine scholars attended this school; whereas some of the old scholars recollect when 133 were at it. Such an alarming falling off induced Archi bald Reed, Esq. during his mayoralty in that year, to request that the stewards of the incorporated companies would appoint a committee, to enquire into the causes of this decay. The stewards accordingly appointed Messrs. George Brumell, George Anderson, and John Taylor, as a committee, to carry the laudable views of his wor ship into effect. This committee examined the boys who then attended the school, and then reported that no blame could be attached to the master. In consequence of this report, the subject was abandoned at that time.

The declination of this once-flourishing institution may partly be attributed to the confined system of education formerly pursued; for, since the great extension of commerce, navigation, and manufactures, the learning of Greek and Latin has gra dually fallen into disuse; and a knowledge of the modern languages, and of the sciences connected with trade and the arts, have generally become the favourite objects of study. Perhaps, also, the great age of the writing master, and a misunderstanding which unfortunately took place between the head and the sub-master, may have contributed to injure this school. On September 6, 1794, the Rev. E. Moises requested the Rev. M. Manners to "stay the usual hours in the school;" when the latter insisted that he always punctually performed his duty, and accused Mr. Moises of "improper absences, irregularity, and uncertainty." The dispute was brought before the mayor and common council on September 27, in the same year, when Mr. Manners resigned.

Mr. Moises' great classical acquirements were generally known and admired, and it was also admitted that he had "taken great pains to form a general plan for the studies of the boys;" yet the burgesses were persuaded that some powerful causes had contributed to the decay of the Grammar-school. Accordingly, Mr John Brown, secretary to the stewards, called the attention of the magistrates to this subject at the Michaelmas Guild in 1822. The suggestion being well received, the early in the following year, appointed a deputation, consisting of Messrs. Crawhall, Brumell, and Stephenson, who waited upon Robert Bell, Esq. mayor, and the common council, to urge the necessity of some immediate and effective measures being adopted, to restore the school to its former usefulness. The mayor and council shewed equal anxiety to effect so desirable an object, and requested the deputation to lay before them, at an early period, the plan they wished to be adopted. The stewards of the incorporated companies, in consequence of this invitation, chose a committee to execute this duty, consisting of Messrs. George Brumell, W. W. Spence, James Guthrie, Jacob Sopwith, Edward Storey, and their secretary, John Brown. On visiting the school, this committee was received with every mark of respect by the head master and usher, who afforded them all the information in their power. The committee immediately reported, in substance, "that Mr. Moises' classical school should remain unaltered; also that conducted by Mr. Scott, wherein Grammar, Geography, &c. are taught; that a master be appointed to teach the higher branches of the Mathematics; and that a new writing-master be engaged, or an assistant for the present one, or that he retire on a pension on account of his long and valuable services." This report was presented to the mayor by Mr. Brumell; when his worship promised to lay it before the common council, and to give it his most cordial support.

On receiving the report, the common council ordered great additions and alterations to be made in the schools; and so promptly was the work executed, that the following advertisement issued from the Mayor's Chamber on March 3, 1823:—

"The Free Grammar-school of Queen Elizabeth, Newcastle upon Tyne.—The alterations in the Free Grammar-school being nearly completed, the School will reopen on Monday, the 17th instant; when, according to the extended plan of education to be adopted in future, in addition to the Greek and Latin languages, English Grammar, History, Geography, &c. as well as Writing, Arithmetic, and the Mathematics, will be taught by the second and third masters. Boys to be received into the school in future must be of the age of eight years at least, able to read and write with tolerable facility, and also have some knowledge of the rules of Simple Arithmetic. The head master will attend at his house, in the Spital, a few minutes before 9 o'clock each Monday morning, to receive and examine such boys as apply for admission.

"The terms on which boys are instructed are as follows, viz. a payment of 5s. each, per quarter, is required from the sons of Free Burgesses of Newcastle, and a payment of 15s. each, per quarter, from the sons of other persons, such payments being divided equally between the second and third masters; and likewise a payment of 2s. each, per quarter, from all boys instructed by the third master, whether the sons of Freemen or not, in consideration of his supplying them with pens and ink.

"The school-hours are from 9 to 12 in the morning, and from 2 to 5 in the afternoon, during the summer; and from 9 to 12 in the morning, and from 2 to 4 in the afternoon, during the winter.

"The lower Writing-school, to which Mr. Lowes has been appointed in the place of Mr. Askew, will continue open as usual: the English Language is now taught in this school, as well as Writing and Arithmetic; and boys under 8 years of age are admissible." (fn. 25)

Thus, by the improved scheme of education adopted in this school, to Greek and Latin were added those other branches of learning which are usually considered essential parts of a liberal education, viz. English Literature, Writing, Arithmetic, the Mathematics, Geography, and the Use of the Globes; and nothing seems now wanting to render the plan complete, but the occasional attendance of a French and German master. It is, indeed, surprising that the corporation has never thought of enabling youth to acquire a knowledge of languages, so peculiarly useful in this maritime and commercial town. The beneficial effects of the change made were soon apparent. The school rapidly increased; and at the present time (October, 1826), nearly 80 scholars attend the Grammar-school. The corporation pays to the Rev. E. Moises, head master of this school, an annual salary of £150; to the Rev. R. H. Scott, usher, £120; to Mr. J. Weir, the Mathematical teacher, £100; (fn. 26) and to Mr. James Lowes, the Writing-master, £50. This is exclusive of the quarterage payments of the scholars, which is divided as before stated.

The porch at the entrance of this school was built in 1782, after a design by Mr. Newton, architect, with the following inscription:—

"Scholam Novocastrensem
A viro venerabili Thoma Horsley
Regnente Henrico octavo fundatam,
Ab illustrissima Elizabetha
Auctoritate regia insignitam,
Pro solita munificentia reficiendam curabant
Veri patroni major & commune concilium
A. D. 1782.
Edvardo Mosley, majore,
Georgio Colpitts, vicecomite."

Footnotes

1 See Speed's Plan of Newcastle; also Bourne, who says, the school was in a house "over that place where the privy now is." Brand found in the common council books, February, 13, 1657, a petition to make the old school into a dye-house, which was rejected. He says, "Part of it has since been made subservient to more necessary purposes, and having experienced the fate of Baal's temple of old, it 'remaineth a draught-house unto this day.'" It was rebuilt by the late Mr. Robert Rankin, and was once the library of the Literary and Philosophical Society. It is at present the printing-office of the publishers of this work.
2 "Ad usum et proficuum cujusdem idonei presbyteri sive magistri profunditer eruditi et instructi in grammatica, qui quandem communem scholam grammaticam infra dictam villam pro eruditione et instructione omnium et singulorum scholarium in villa predicta, sive ad villam predictam inhabitantium et confluentium absque ullo regardo sive aliquo alio proinde reddendo sen solvendo custodiet."—From a deed in the archives of the town of Newcastle upon Tyne, inscribed dorso "1525, A Reciteal of Tho. Horseley's Will, whereby he devised all his lands in Newcastle, after the death of him and his wife, for the endowment of a free-school there."
3 "Elizabeth Dei gratia Anglie—Insuper sepius animo nostro volventes quantum intersit reipublieæ Anglicane, cui Deus Optimus Maximus præesse voluit nos, Juventutem habere bene institutem et a teneris animis in vere Christiene religionis rudimentis, doctrina et bonis moribus instructum—ordinamas, constituimus, concedimus quod—erigatur et in perpetuum sit una libera schola grammaticalis regine Elizabethe in Novo Castro super Tinam—et volumus habeant et habebunt plenam potestatem et authoritatem elegendi, &c. unum honestum doctum et discretum virum fore et esse primum et modernum magistrum schole predicte ao alium honestum doctum et discretum virum fore primum et modernum hypodidasculum schole istius."— Charta Novo Cast.
4 Mr. Fowberry was invited from Hull in 1599, by George Chapman, mayor, to be the first master of this school. He was "a learned and painfull man to indoctrinate youth in Greek and Latin." In 1618, he occurs as master of St. Mary's Hospital.
5 Mr. Oxley was removed from his mastership on account of his loyalty, by order of the lords and commons, May 30, 1645. He was the fourth son of Mr. Amor Oxley of Morpeth, and was ordained priest September 19, 1630. After his sequestration, he suffered the greatest distresses. There is an order of common council to pay him £40, in part of the arrears due to him at the time of his discharge, "in consideration of the great wants and necessities, and poverty and indigent condition of the said A. Oxley." It appears from the register of burials of the parish of Chicknal St. James, Essex, that he died there November 9, 1669.
6 Mr. Augur had a salary of £40 per annum, and other perquisites.
7 George Ritschel was born at Deutschkana, in the borders of Bohemia, February 13, 1616. He studied about seven years in the university of Strasburg. When, after the death of his father, Ferdinand II. banished the Protestants from his dominions, rather than renounce his faith he gave up his estate to his younger brother. He then came to England, and settled at Oxford, from whence, on the commencement of the civil war, he went to the Hague, Leyden, and Amsterdam. In the year 1643, he travelled into Denmark, and, after passing a year at Copenhagen and Sora, visited Dantzick in Poland, and from thence returned to England; where, after passing some time in London, he came again to Oxford, settling in Kettle Hall, a member of Trinity College, where he became a severe and constant student in the Bodleian library. After he had left the university (where he wrote and published a book, but where it appears he took no degree), he became head master of the grammar-school at Newcastle. The year after his appointment, the corporation granted him ten pounds additional salary, "for his industry and careful discharge of his duty." In 1662, he removed to the church of Hexham, where he was both minister and lecturer; preferments which he enjoyed almost 28 years. This learned and great man, who, in his travels had been tutor to the sons of the Prince of Transylvania, died December 28, 1683, and lies buried in the chancel of the church of Hexham, to the vicarage of which his son, George Ritschel, of Edmund Hall, succeeded. Major Allgood, rector of Simonburn, preached his funeral sermon, which he printed, with an elegy at the end, London, 1684. In the choir of Hexham church, near the reading desk, on a blue marble flat stone, is his epitaph in elegant Latin. (See Hist. of Northumb. vol. ii. p. 280.) Ritschel published, at Oxford, in 1648, in 8vo. "Contemplationes Metaphysicæ ex Natura Rerum et rectæ Rationis Lumine deductæ, &c." dedicated to Sir Cheney Culpeper and Nicholas Houghton, Esq. This was reprinted at Frankfort, in 1680, under the inspection of Magnus Hesenthalerus, the famous professor of Wirtemberg. He wrote also another book, entitled "Dissertatio de Ceremoniis Ecclesiæ, Anglicanæ, qua Usus earum licitus ostenditur, et a Superstitionis & Idolatriæ Crimine vindicatur, Authore Georgio Ritschel, Hexhamiæ in Northumbriæ Comitatu Ministro." This gained him great credit with his diocesan, Doctor Jo. Cosin, is commended by Dr. Durell in his S. Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Vindiciæ, and is taken notice of by Bishop Kennet, in his Historical Register. Afterwards, at the request of the Wirtemberg professor before named, he sent over thither, in MS. two volumes, entitled "Ethica Christiana," 4to.; and another volume, 4to. styled "Exercitationes Sacræ," in order to be printed; but it does not appear that they ever saw the light. At his death, also, he left with his son two manuscripts, ready for the press; one, de Fide Catholica, and the other against the English Quakers, both in Latin, 4to. which seem also to have been suppressed.—See Athenæ Oxonien, vol. ii. p. 754.
8 His salary was £50 per annum, with other fees. He published a censure upon Lilly's Grammar, printed at London, 1684. On March 11, 1690, he was removed from the mastership of this school.
9 Rudd was, for some time, librarian in the college of Durham, and, while he filled that office, composed the Catalogue of the MSS. belonging to the Library of the Dean and Chapter. This work is a thick folio, in Latin, remarkable for the beauty of its penmanship, containing a minute account of the respective MSS. It notices their contents, the size and form of the letters used by the copyists, the style of their illuminations, and abounds in many learned conjectures respecting their authors and transcribers, and the period of time at which they were written. Mr. Rudd removed hither from the mastership of Durham school, to which he returned 1710; and became successively vicar of St. Oswald's, vicar of Northallerton, and, in 1729, rector of Washington, where he died March 17, 1733. In 1707, he published, at Cambridge, in 12mo. "Syntaxis Anglice & Latine et Prosodia. Editio altera. Adjicitur de Figuris Grammaticis & Rhetoricis Libellus in usum Scholæ Novocastrensis" He wrote the disquisition concerning the true author of the history of the church of Durham, attributed by some to Simeon, and by others to Turgot. It is in Latin, and prefixed to Bedford's edition of that work. London, 1732, 8vo. It ought not to be omitted here, to the honour of Mr. Rudd's memory, that on his motion and request, backed by the recommendation of Sir Robert Shaftoe, recorder, some valuable editions of the classics were purchased by the common council, for the use of this school.—Common council books, March 20, 1700.
10 The famous Jurin, as Voltaire styled him, was born in 1684, and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, of which he was a fellow in 1711. During the period he was master of the grammar-school in Newcastle, he published an edition of Varenius's Geography, with this title, "Burnhardi Varenii Geographia generalis, in qua affectiones generales telluris explicantur. Adjecta est appendix præcipua recentiorum inventa ad geographiam spectantia continens, a Jacobo Jurin, A. M. Collegii S. Trinitatis socio et scholæ publicæ Novo Castrensis Archidadascalo." Cantabrigiæ, 1712; dedicated to Dr. Bentley. Mr. Jurin's early attachment to those philosophical studies, which he afterwards cultivated with so much success, was evident during his residence at Newcastle, where, according to Brand, he gave lectures in experimental philosophy, and saved a thousand pounds, which enabled him to prosecute his plans at Cambridge, and take a doctor's degree in physic; and, in due time, to become president of the Royal College of Physicians. He was fellow of the Royal Society, and elected secretary, on the resignation of Dr. Halley, in 1721. In April, 1725, he was elected a physician of Guy's Hospital. His practice was very considerable in London, where he acquired a large fortune by his profession. He was a member of the celebrated Spalding Society. In his controversies with Keill, Senac, Robins, Michelotti, Pemberton, and the philosophers of the school of Leibnitz, he displayed great learning, acuteness, and urbanity. His conduct towards his deceased adversary, Dr. Keill, was peculiarly genteel and handsome, and shews the sermonum honos et vivax gratia, so desirable in all literary contests. A number of his ingenious essays are published in the Philosophical Transactions. He died at his house, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, March 22, 1750, bequeathing a considerable legacy to Christ's Hospital, where he was educated. His son and heir, James Jurin, Esq. was, in 1756, made F. R. S. In the following year, he married the daughter of John Simpson, Esq. alderman of Newcastle, and greatly im proved and beautified his residence and property, the Hermitage, near Hexham. He died in 1762.—Nichols' Lit. Anec. Rees' Cyclo. Hist. of Northumb. vol. ii. p. 298.
11 Mr. Lodge held the school upwards of 20 years, but with what success is not known. He did not long survive his resignation of it, which occurred in 1738, as appears in the following inscription on an altar-tomb, in the church-yard of the village of Whickham:—" Here lies the body of the Rev. Edmund Lodge, curate of this parish, and sometime head master of the Grammar-school at Newcastle upon Tyne. He died October 15, 1742, aged 63."
12 The celebrated Greek critic, Richard Dawes, was born in 1708. It is supposed that Market-Bosworth, in Leicestershire, is the place of his birth, and that his father was a Dr. Dawes, a great scholar, and a searcher after the philosopher's stone. However this may be, he was put to the free grammar-school at Bosworth, of which Mr. Blackwall was master. In 1725, he was admitted a sizar of Emanuel College, Cambridge, where he proceeded A. B. in 1729. He became a fellow of the college in 1731, and, two years afterwards, took his degree of A. M. While at the university, he distinguished himself by some peculiarities of conduct, which probably arose from a mixture of insanity in his constitution; and in his conversation he occasionally took such liberties on certain topics as gave great offence to those about him. Having indulged himself too much, at college, in an indolent, sedentary way of life, he, at length, found it absolutely necessary to have recourse to some kind of exercise. In this case, being of a strong, athletic frame of body, and not over-delicate in the choice of his company, he took to the practice of ringing; and, as such a genius could not stop at mediocrity, he quickly became the leader of the band, and carried the art to the highest perfection. In 1736, he published proposals for printing, by subscription, "Paradisi amissi, a cl. Miltono conscripti, Liber primus, Græca versione donatus, una cum Annotationibus." These proposals were accompanied with a specimen, which may be seen in the preface to the Miscellanea Critica, where our author explains his reasons for not proceeding in his undertaking, and very ingenuously points out the errors of his own performance. It was customary with him, in conversation, humourously to expose his version to ridicule; and, therefore, though he had actually completed his design, by translating the whole first book of the Paradise Lost, it is no wonder that he did not commit it to the press.
In October, 1738, after Mr. Dawes' appointment to the mastership of the grammar-school here, he was also made master of St. Mary's Hospital. While occupying this station, he was indefatigable in prosecuting his inquiries into the nature, peculiarities, and elegancies of the Greek tongue; and accordingly, in 1745, he published his "Miscellanea Critica." Mr. Hubbard, of Emanuel College, Cambridge, and Dr. Mason, of Trinity, assisted in the publication. It was Mr. Dawes design, in this work, to afford such a specimen of his critical abilities, as should enable the learned world to judge what might be expected from him, in an edition which he had projected of all the Attic poets, as well as of Homer and Pindar. Though his scheme was never carried into execution, he has obtained, by his "Miscellanea Critica," a very high place among those who have contributed to the promotion of Greek learning in England, and, as such, his name will be transmitted with honour to posterity. Accordingly, the book has been spoken of in terms of distinguished applause by some of the first literary characters in Europe, particularly Valkener, Pierson, Koen, and Reiske. A second edition of it, in 8vo. was given in 1781, from the Clarendon press, by the Rev. Mr. Burgess, of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, now bishop of Salisbury, who has enriched the work with a learned preface, and a number of notes of great value and importance, and some assistance from Dawes' MSS. procured by Dr. Farmer and Mr. Salter.
Mr. Dawes' disturbed imagination rendered him very unhappy. At last, he became involved in altercations with the corporation; when he adopted a singular method of displaying his resentment, or rather his contempt; for, in teaching the boys at school, he made them translate the Greek word for ass into alderman which some of the lads did seriously, though otherwise well instructed. With such a disposition of mind, it is not surprising that his scholars were, at length, reduced to a very small number; so that it became expedient for him to consent to quit his station. Accordingly, at Midsummer, 1749, he resigned the mastership of the grammar-school, and the mastership of St. Mary's Hospital; and, in consideration of these sacrifices, the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, on the 25th of September following, executed a bond, by which they engaged to grant him an annuity of £80 a year during life. After this, he retired to Heworth Shore, on the south banks of the Tyne, where his favourite amusement was the exercise of rowing in a boat. He preserved to the last that splenetic humour which had led him to treat Dr. Bentley and other distinguished scholars with contempt. He died at Heworth, on March 21, 1766, aged 57 years. Long before his death, he had been afflicted with an incontinence of urine. Agreeably to his own request, he was interred in Heworth church-yard, where a common grave-stone, ornamented with vile sculpture, and containing an ill-spelt epitaph, recorded the end of this eminent, though eccentric man. But a marble tablet to his memory has lately been erected in the church, through the exertions of the Rev. John Hodgson, perpetual curate of Heworth and Jarrow. Dr. Burgess, bishop of Salisbury, was a liberal contributor.
Dr. Burney has pronounced a beautiful eulogium upon this profound scholar; and Bowyer, the learned printer, in his dissertation, "de vero medio vocis usu," prefixed to his edition of Kuster, thus compliments him, when he has occasion to cite his authority:—"Ut monet [Ellenchotatoks] R. Dawes, Misc. Crit. p. 177, 8." Holwell, Morell, Phorson, and others, have mentioned Dawes in a similar manner.—Bio. Brit. Nichols' Lit. Anec. Birch's Crit. Dict. vol. vii. p. 587. Brand's New. vol. i. p. 96.
13 Hugh Moises was the son of the Rev. Edward Moises, fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and incumbent of Wimeswold in Leicestershire, where Hugh, his second son, was born April 9, 1722. He was educated by his father till he was sent to Wrexham school in Denbighshire, from whence he was removed, and placed under the care of the Rev. Dr. Burroughs, master of the grammar-school at Chesterfield. In 1741, he was entered to Trinity College, Cambridge, of which his elder brother, Edward (afterwards vicar of Masham, co. of York), was then fellow. Having taken his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1745, and having a high character in the university as a classical scholar, he was invited to Peter-house, and very soon after was elected fellow of that society. In the same year, he became an assistant to his old master at Chesterfield, where he continued till the year 1749. Having taken his degree of Master of Arts, he was recommended (on the resignation of Mr. Dawes) by Bishop Keene to the grammar-school at Newcastle upon Tyne, of which he was appointed head master by the corporation at the Michaelmas common council in 1749.
On entering upon this office, Mr. Moises found the school almost entirely deserted of scholars; but, by his great learning, unwearied industry, and conciliating manners, it soon rose to a flourishing condition. Early in the following year after his appointment, the corporation raised the salary of the master from £50 per annum to £120. They again evinced the sense entertained of his merit, by appointing him, in 1761, to the morning lectureship. "The order of common council," observes Brand, "whereby Mr. Moises was appointed to this lectureship, acknowledges his good services to the grammar-school of the town, and mentions this ecclesiastical preferment as a small reward for his eminent industry and the exertions of his very distinguished abilities." At a common council, holden June 14, 1779, he was, by the same patronage, appointed master of St. Mary's Hospital, which had then first become vacant since his appointment to the mastership of the school.
Mr. Moises, dressed in the gown of his degree in the university, "always entered," says Mr. Brewster, in his memoir of his revered preceptor, "the school-room with the dignity of a Busby; and, like that learned schoolmaster in the presence of Charles the Second, no man was thought there greater than himself; for his uniform and appropriate demeanour in it was calculated to impress his pupils with reverence and awe. There was, indeed, this essential difference between them, that the master of Newcastle school always tempered necessary severity with affability and kindness. At this time, there were three masters of the school; the head-master and two under-masters. Mr. Moises, as head-master, with the senior scholars, occupied the inner apartment, or election-room; the second master's place was on a platform elevation of two steps at the upper end of the school-room; and the third master's seat was near the lower end. The master, who first came into school in the morning, read a selection of prayers from the Liturgy, from the second master's seat; and one of the senior boys read a chapter of the New Testament, from a pew or rostrum rising behind it. After this, the business of the day commenced. The boys were arranged in classes, according to their age and attainments; and, that all might come under the head-master's eye, every Friday was appointed as his day of hearing of the lower schools. Mr. Moises had a pleasing and familiar way of interpreting the Latin classics, particularly Horace and Terence. When the lesson came from Terence, the boys were delighted with the dramatic turn which the master gave to the interpretation. He read also the comedies of Plautus with the same effect. Mr. Moises was particularly distinguished by his knowledge of the Greek choruses, and therefore Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, were read in the school. The senior boys also read the orations of Isocrates, the oration of Eschines in Ctesiphontem, and of Demosthenes de Corona. It is not my intention, however, to give a list of books; these are well known; but it is necessary to remark the turn of reading which he enjoined his scholars. He also required a translation of the whole of the Commentary of Longinus on the Sublime; and expected a particular account of all their studies. Sometimes he lent them books which were not in the course of school reading. Latin and English declamations, and the usual themes, were part of the exercises of the school; and when any boy did not write Latin verse with some taste for that mode of composition, he was not compelled invita Minerva to attempt it, but he was required to finish his English essays with peculiar niceness. This led many of his pupils to the early practice of English prose composition; and to such as were intended for holy orders he recommended to compose their own sermons. 'These,' he used to say, 'will not be such, perhaps, as you will approve of in maturer years; but they will give you such an habit of study and composition, as will be of essential advantage. Having used them, burn them, and write others.' This is somewhat different from Addison's advice, which has been too much followed, and perhaps misunderstood: for a distinction certainly must be made between the characteristic wish of a humourous and good-hearted patron, and the use of that fund of juvenile theology, which, in order to be effectual in the end to be obtained, must be personal. Mr. Moises was particularly attentive to the instruction which he gave to young men just entering upon the study of divinity: and as his lectures on the New Testament, as I may truly call them, were delivered to the two or three upper classes every morning as their first lesson, they became more or less the study of all. The chapter which was read at prayers was the text of the day; it was construed from the original into Latin by the scholars, and elucidated, verse by verse, by the master. This mode of viva voce interpretation had a great effect: and, I believe, I could shew memoranda, at this day, derived from this source. It is not easy to describe the easy and familiar manner with which Mr. Moises met his scholars. They appeared never to be absent from his mind. His heart, indeed, seemed to be absorbed in his profession; but not as a drudge intent on the minutiæ of his office, but acting towards them with such an open liberality of sentiment on the subjects of his instruction, that his pupils, whilst they received the benefit of his parental observations, accepted them as the offer of one bent on their improvement; presented, as they were, with an urbanity, always acceptable and conciliating. Indeed, the attention of Mr. Moises to the youth under his care was unremitting, though difficult; as he never received boarders into his house, but lived in an independent manner."
Thus Mr. Moises continued near 40 years to discharge successfully the laborious and toilsome duties of his office; when, in 1787, he was presented by Dr. Askew to the rectory of Greystock in Cumberland, worth £450 per annum, and which had been long held by Dr. Law, bishop of Carlisle. At this period, he resigned the mastership of the school, and retired to the delightful village of Greystock. Here, after a few years, his rural enjoyments were suddenly terminated, he being abruptly requested by the patron to resign his rectory. He did so without hesitation, and returned to end his days in Newcastle, where he enjoyed the respect of the public, the veneration of his old scholars, and the warm affection of his friends. His last illness was not violent: it stole upon this venerable master in a gentle and almost imperceptible manner, and he tranquilly expired at his house in Northumberland Street, on Saturday, July 5, 1806, in the 85th year of his age.
Mr. Moises had a very interesting and imposing countenance, his general demeanour was dignified, and his manners pleasing. He was neat and rather delicate in appearance, and middle-sized in person. He had possessed uniform good health, though he was rather nervous in habit; the latter probably occasioned by his professional occupation and confinement. "In the pulpit he was an energetic preacher, in social life a sincere friend, and to the poor a most liberal benefactor."
Mr. Moises was made chaplain to his valued friend and former pupil, the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain; but declined the acceptance of any other preferment. His noble patron, however, promoted both his sons to benefices. He was thrice married: 1st, February 2, 1754, to Margaret, sister of Matthew Ridley, Esq. of Heaton; 2d, February 6, 1758, to Isabel, daughter of the Rev. John Ellison, vicar of Bedlington, and lecturer of St. Andrew's church in Newcastle; and 3dly, August 16, 1764, to Mrs. Ann Boag. He had several children, of whom two only survived him. By the second wife, the Rev. Hugh Moises, A. M. late fellow of University College, Oxford, rector of Whitchurch, county of Oxford, vicar of East Farleigh, in the county of Kent, and chaplain to Lord Stowell: he died greatly lamented and much respected, 4th November, 1822. By the third wife, the Rev. William Bell Moises, A. M. vicar of Felton, county of Northumberland, and vicar of Owthorne, county of York: he died March 6, 1826.
On June 14, 1787, the young gentlemen of the Newcastle Grammar-school presented to Mr. Moises an elegant and valuable diamond ring, on which was engraven the following motto: "Optime Merenti," as a token of their gratitude for his attention to their education. After his death, his pupils subscribed about £400, to pay the expenses of the beautiful monument to his memory, erected in St. Mary's porch, St. Nicholas' church. See page 266.—Newcastle Papers. Gent. Mag. Memoir of the Rev. H. Moises, by the Rev. John Brewster, rector of Egglescliff, printed for private use, 1823.
14 Mr. Metcalfe was at this time removed to St. Ann's chapel.
15 He was a man of considerable learning, and was nominated by Lord Ravensworth to the perpetual curacies of Lamesley and Tanfield, October 8, 1751. He published an assize sermon, preached at St. Nicholas' church, July 28, 1752. By the patronage of the bishop of Durham, he became successively vicar of Woodhorn, 1766, and rector of Whickham, 1768, where he died, leaving behind him a very valuable library, which was purchased by Payne, a celebrated London bookseller.
16 Mr. Munton was of St. John's College, Cambridge, and was held in very high estimation. He died January 9, 1755. After his decease, a volume of sermons was edited by the Rev. Hugh Moises, for the benefit of his family. The subscriptions were liberal, and the subscribers numerous.
17 He resigned February 6, 1755, when his loss was much regretted. A few years afterwards, he was inducted to the vicarage of Kirkwhelpington; on which occasion he was congratulated, in a Latin epistle, by a learned divine and dignitary of the church.
18 Mr. King was, in January, 1760, elected fellow of Peter House, Cambridge. In 1768, he was appointed master of the free grammar-school at Ipswich; and, in the same year, was chosen town preacher by the corporation of that place. In 1776, he was presented by his college to the rectory of Witnesham, near Ipswich. In 1798, he resigned the mastership of the school, and retired to his rectory, where he died January 26, 1822, æt. 83. He was a man very eminent in abilities, and very exemplary in character. A very full account of his life and his family will be found in the Gentleman's Magazine, February, 1822. While at Newcastle, he published "Sententiæ ex diversis auctoribus excerptæ, et primus linguæ latinæ tyronibus accommodatæ, opera Johannis King, A. B. apud Novocastrenses sub-præteptoris," Newcastle, 1761. In 1798, he published "a Thanksgiving Sermon for our Naval Victories, preached at Witnesham;" and "a Sermon on the Catholic Claims, with Notes and a Postscript," Ipswich, 1813.
19 Mr. Hall was fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and was a man of great acuteness and learning. The celebrated Dr. John Brown was at that time vicar of Newcastle, and distinguished Mr. Hall by his friendship. At his death, he entrusted to him the disposal of his manuscripts. A. D. 1781, Mr. Hall was elected to the valuable head-mastership of Haydon Bridge school. He was brother of the Rev. Dr. Hall, provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and afterwards bishop of Dromore, and died June 4, 1803. In 1776, Mr. Hall was editor of a pamphlet, "On the Neglect of Public Worship, in a Letter to a young Gentleman."
20 Mr. Carr was of St. John's College, Cambridge; and a native of Newcastle. On his resignation, he removed to be minister of the Episcopal chapel at Edinburgh. He was a man very highly re spected. After his decease, three volumes of his sermons were published by his widow. He gained the respect and esteem even of the Scotch Presbyterians; for, Mr. Arnot says, they "can now behold, without emotion, even the funeral service performed publickly. Upon the death of Mr. Carr, the first senior clergyman in this chapel, he was interred under its portico: the funeral service was sung, and the voices were accompanied by the organ."—Hist. of Edinb. p. 286.
21 He was fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge; afterwards rector of Brisby, and vicar of Gately, county of Norfolk. He died January 2, 1814.
22 The green near the school was, it seems, given by the corporation as a play-ground for the scholars. On December 8, 1755, "a lease was granted to Mr. Wm. Lowes, from the mayor and burgesses of Newcastle, of the Spittle Croft, or, as it is now generally termed, the Spital, but with a liberty reserved for the scholars of the Royal Free Grammar-school to play in the said Croft, commencing from Lammas, 1756." A writer in the Tyne Mercury, under date October 15, 1822, who signs Tim Tunbelly, observes, "Even this lease was an evident encroachment on the right of the scholars, for as there was a gift to them, and as they were authorised by law to purchase or transfer property, the mayor and burgesses should have had a conveyance from the master and scholars before they gave this lease."
23 George Ritschel, son of the learned Ritschel, formerly head-master of this school, when a student in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, was refused admission into a scholarship belonging to one of the diocese of Durham, notwithstanding the remonstrance of the bishop of Winton, the visitor and patron of the college. The common council of Newcastle, by an order dated January 18, 1674, resolved to resist the injustice thus committed by the president and fellows of the college, and "to seek redress and maintain their privilege:" for this purpose it was ordered, "that where occasion offers, there be paid out of the townes revenues twenty pounds for and towards the managing and proceutinge of the premises." [This George Ritschel, in 1713, published an account of certain charities in Tynedale Ward.]
24 It is said that Bishop Ridley received the rudiments of his education at Newcastle school; but, as he was removed to college in 1518, it could not be Horsley's school that he attended, as it was not founded until many years after that time.
The famous Colonel Lilburn says, in his "Innocency and Truth Justified," a small 4to. printed in 1645, "I was brought up well nigh ten years together in the best schools in the north, namely at Aukland and Newcastle, in both which places I was not one of the dronesset school boys there; and besides my knowledge in the Latin tongue, I was a little entered into the Greek also. And at Newcastle, I did not only know, but also was known of the principal men there."
John Scott,—Earl of Eldon—Viscount Encombe—Lord High Chancellor, and Speaker of the House of Peers—a Lord of Trade and Plantations—Official Visitor of Oriel College, Oxford; and of Pembroke and Catherine Halls, Cambridge—an Official Trustee of the British and Hunterian Museums—High Steward of Oxford University, and a Governor of the Charter House—D. C. L.; F. R. S; and F. S. A.—was a distinguished scholar of the Grammar-school of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is difficult to give a sketch of an eminent living character, without being accused either of detraction or of flattery: yet every writer who undertakes to record facts, ought studiously to guard against those party feelings, which convert public men into the objects of blind admiration, or of unmerited censure. It ought not always to be left to posterity to do justice to illustrious men.
William Scott, a respectable coal-fitter and merchant (whose widow died July 13, 1800), occupied, at the birth of John, his youngest son, a house at the head of Love Lane in Newcastle, while the commodious house near the bottom of the lane, now used as warehouses by Mr. Pollard, was building for him. John, who is a twin, was born June 4, 1751, and was baptized at All Saints' church on the 4th of the following July. His twin sister died young. Mr. Scott's other children were, William and Barbara, twins, born October 18, 1745; Henry, late a merchant in Newcastle, born November 2, 1748; Jane, who married the late Sir Thomas Burdon, knt. born May 22, 1750, died May 8, 1822. John, the subject of this memoir, after partaking of the pure classical fountain at the head-school in Newcastle, was sent to Oxford, where his progress was so rapid that, on July 11, 1767, he was elected fellow of University College, though he had not then completed the 16th year of his age. In 1771, he wrote a prize-essay "on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Foreign Travel." His former master, Mr. Moises, having procured a copy of this production, entered his school with a delighted countenance, saying to the seniors of the school, "See! what John Scott has done." Having completed his education, he was entered a student of the Middle Temple in Hilary Term, 1772. Here he pursued his studies with the most intense application, and, after the usual noviciate, was called to the bar in 1776. He principally devoted his attention to the practice of the Courts of Equity; but, from a natural timidity, shunned appearing at the chancery bar as a pleader, and confined himself chiefly to the business of an equity draughtsman, in which he was reputed extremely able. Finding this pursuit equally injurious to his health and advancement in life, he determined to quit the bar, and, it is said, went so far as to sell his chambers; but, by the earnest intreaties of his friends, he consented to resume the practice of the profession, which he now entered into with increased activity and determination. His exertions in court were crowned with success: he soon acquired a very extensive practice, and great reputation as an able lawyer and excellent advocate. The writer of Strictures on the Lives of eminent Lawyers, published in 1790, says, "His speaking is of that subtle, correct, and deliberate kind, that has more the appearance of written, than of oral, eloquence. He branches forth his arguments into different heads and divisions, and pursues the respective parts through all their various ramifications with such methodical accuracy, that argument seems to rise out of argument, and conclusion from conclusion, in the most regular and natural progression; so that those who are not acquainted with his practice, would suspect that he had studied and prepared his speeches with the most diligent attention; while others who are better acquainted with the business of the courts, feel their admiration and surprise increased from the knowledge, that a man of his extensive business, so far from studying what he shall say, can scarce find time to glance his eye over the numerous papers that come before him. He is also particularly distinguished for his aptitude and ingenuity of reply. His systematic mind seems to methodise with inconceivable rapidity the arguments of his opponents. In the short space of time between the pleadings of his adversary and his reply, every thing seems digested and disposed; and his mode of replication seems planned in the nicest order. He will frequently take up the concluding argument of his opponent; or at other times seize upon some observation which has fallen in the middle of the adverse speech. Here he will begin his attack; and proceeding by his usual clear and deliberate method, pursue one regular chain of reasoning, till he has confuted, or at least replied to, every proposition advanced against him."
Mr. Scott's abilities and urbanity of manners soon attracted the notice of Lord Chancellor Thurlow, who honoured him with his countenance in a manner extremely unusual with him. He even offered him a mastership in chancery, which Mr. Scott politely declined, wisely trusting to his fortune and industry for the attainment of still higher honours. Events proved this determination to be judicious. In a few years, he had more briefs than any council at the bar; and, in 1783, he procured a patent of precedency, by which he became entitled to all the honours of the silk gown, and ranked with the king's council. In the same year, he was introduced into parliament, being returned, through the interest of Lord Weymouth, for the borough of Weobly, in Herefordshire. On entering the house, he acted decidedly with the Pitt party; and, in the debate on Mr. Fox's India Bill, placed himself in opposition to Mr. Lee, the attorney-general. As a parliamentary speaker, Mr. Scott's merit was considered inferior to his professional abilities as a pleader. There was a want of that warmth and animation—that bold declamatory vehemence, that distinguish the senatorial from the forensic orator. His speeches were always shrewd and clear—addressed to the understanding rather than the fancy—impressive, but not sufficiently animated.
Mr. Scott's abilities and personal intimacy with Mr. Pitt ensured his promotion. On the 28th of June, 1788, he was appointed solicitor-general, and Mr. Archibald Macdonald was advanced to be attorney-general. When these two were presented to the king, the attorney-general received the honour of knighthood. The officer in waiting was then ordered to bring up Mr. Scott, who begged leave to decline; but the king, with his usual shrewdness, replied, "Pho, pho! nonsense! I will serve them both alike." Thus Mr. Scott had "greatness thrust upon him." Shortly after, his majesty's first illness occurred; and the country was, in consequence, much agitated upon the regency question. The bill introduced by the ministry on that occasion was drawn by Sir John Scott; and the line of conduct they pursued is also attributed to him. On the 13th of February, 1793, he was advanced to the office of attorney-general, which he held for six years. During this period of alarm and agitation, it fell to his lot to prosecute a number of persons for libels. He was also obliged to indict Messrs. Hardy, Horne Tooke, and other members of the Corresponding Societies. These memorable state trials took place at the Old Bailey, in November, 1794, when Sir John Scott's statement of the facts and doctrines on which the indictments were founded occupied nine hours in the delivery. Though in the execution of this duty he evinced no undue harshness, yet it certainly was not calculated to raise his popularity. On July 18, 1799, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, on the resignation of Sir James Eyre; and, at the same time, was elevated to the peerage, by the title of Baron Eldon of Eldon in the county of Durham. Shortly after, the resignation of Lord Roslyn opened his way to the custody of the great seal, which was committed to his care on the 14th of April, 1801. On this occasion, it is related that his late majesty presented him with a watch and seal. The latter bore the figures of Justice and Religion. In giving directions to the engraver, his majesty said, "Let not Justice have any bandage over her eyes, as she is usually painted;—Justice ought not to be blind, but should be able to see every thing." When the watch was given to the chancellor, it was accompanied by this address:—"I hope, my lord, that all your decisions will be given under the constant influence of Justice and Religion." The death of Mr. Pitt, and the consequent change of administration, produced his lordship's resignation in February, 1806: but upon the return of Mr. Pitt's friends to power, he was again appointed chancellor; from which time, down to the present day, he has continued in the uninterrupted exercise of the duties of that great office. At the time of his present majesty's coronation, in July, 1821, Lord Eldon was advanced in the peerage to the dignity of Earl of Eldon.
His lordship was married early in life, and long before his extraordinary talents had begun to display themselves, to Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, Esq. of Newcastle upon Tyne. It was a love match, and highly displeasing to Mr. Surtees; not because the alliance was not sufficiently respectable, but because his son-in-law had acted imprudently by marrying before he had completed his studies at college, and was thereby prevented from taking his degrees. The issue of Lord Eldon were four sons and two daughters. John, the eldest son, was formerly M. P. for Boroughbridge: he married, August 22, 1804, Henrietta Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart, and died December 24, 1805, leaving one son, born the same month in which his father died. Mr. John Scott's widow, on the 7th of July, 1811, married William Farrer, Esq. of Lincoln's Inn, now a master in chancery. William Henry John Scott, Lord Eldon's second son, is a Commissioner of Bankrupts, M. P. and F. R. S. Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, married, on the 27th of November, 1807, George Stanley Repton, Esq. youngest son of the late Humphrey Repton, Esq. of Hare Street, in the county of Essex, and Abysham, in the county of Norfolk. Frances, his youngest daughter, married the Rev. Mr. Banks. Edward William and Henry John died young.
A great outcry has been raised against the unreasonable delays and intolerable charges in the court of Chancery, which evils are confidently attributed to the doubts, hesitations, and delays of the Lord Chancellor. Without examining the question whether the court of Chancery be a wise, impartial, and necessary measure of equity and justice, it must be admitted that the internal situation of the country has been, within the last century, so essentially changed, as to increase legal business vastly beyond the means of doing it. The great increase in the pecuniary responsibility of the Chancellor may be inferred from the amount of monies accumulated in the hands of the accountant-general of his court, which, in 1823, amounted to £38,938,369; though, in 1750, the balance in court was only £1,665,160. This fact, it will be admitted, indicates a vast (though not a proportionate) increase of business. Lord Hardwicke, in three years (viz. 1749, 1750, 1751), pronounced 12,380 judgments; but Lord Eldon, in a corresponding period (viz. 1808, 1809, 1810), delivered 20,973 judgments. Besides, the subject of this memoir frequently decides important causes on motion, which is cheap and convenient to the suitor, though it increases the individual labour of the judge: but Lords Hardwicke and Thurlow reserved all serious questions to a hearing. In the other branches of the Chancery court, business has increased in a proportionate degree. Lord Hardwicke, in 20 years, issued 14,000 commissions of bankruptcy; and Lord Eldon, in a corresponding period, 40,000 commissions. Lord Hardwicke, in 11 years 11 months, made 1398 orders: Lord Eldon, in 11 years and 4 months, made 3168 orders. Lord Hardwicke, in nine years, from 1738 to 1746 inclusive, made 410 orders of lunacy; but Lord Eldon, in nine years, made 2372 similar orders. Added to this, the court of Chancery has recently been burthened by a great increase of new business, in consequence of parliament causing the purchase-money of lands, taken under the authority of local acts for canals, navigations, aqueducts, avenues to bridges, inclosures, docks, railways, tram-roads, opening and paving streets, supplying towns with water and gas, and other speculations, to be paid into Chancery where the titles are doubtful, there to remain until the doubtful cases be cleared. The Lord Chancellor must also preside in the appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords. Now, Lord Eldon has, in 20 years, determined 29 more controverted appeals and writs of error than Lords Hardwicke, Northington, and Camden all together decided in 34 years. Even Lord Thurlow, whose vigorous decision has been justly applauded, in 14 years (viz. 1779 to 1792) disposed of only 196 cases; while Lord Eldon, in 14 years (1809 to 1820), determined 453 cases—greatly above twice the number. It must likewise be recollected, that the Lord Chancellor is Speaker of the House of Lords, not merely in its legal, but in its legislative and political capacity; and that the increased demand on his time, on the latter account, must diminish the quantity which he can dedicate to his legal duties, either in Chancery or in the Lords. There is no account of the number of hours their lordships sit; but some approximation to a fair comparison between the parliamentary duties imposed upon Lord Hardwicke and Lord Eldon may be made from the following statements:—In 1750, the lords sat 52 days, and passed 40 public and 33 private acts of parliament. In 1810, the house sat 94 days, and passed 119 public and 334 private acts. These facts, which are stated by an able writer in the Quarterly Review, incontrovertibly prove the vast increase of business which must be performed by the Lord Chancellor; for the assistance of a Vice-chancellor, or a Master of the Rolls, can apply only to one branch of his business. It may therefore be fairly admitted, that Lord Chancellor Eldon has exceeded in diligence of attention, and in rapidity of decision, the most diligent and the most rapid of his predecessors; and it is a matter of just surprise how the time and strength of one man could accomplish so much. The arrear in business must progressively increase with the population and wealth of the country; but the safest and best mode of effectually remedying the evil has not yet been pointed out.
From the time of Lord Bacon to the present day, the delays and expense of the court of Chancery have been constant and fertile sources of complaint. On the contrary, all causes are quickly decided in Turkey.
"But in free states," as Montesquieu remarks, "the trouble, expense, and delays of judicial proceedings, are the price that every subject pays for his liberty; and, in all governments, the formalities of law increase in proportion to the value which is set on the honour, the fortune, the liberty, and the life of the subject." No doubt, the practice of the court of Chancery might be advantageously re-modelled; but certainly Lord Eldon is not to be blamed for not legislating on the constitution of a court over which he judicially presides. Besides, the very structure of his mind, and the manner in which it has been disciplined and exercised, must render him averse from recommending new and bold innovations in a court which Lords Bacon, Somers, Thurlow, Ashburton, and other illustrious judges, never attempted to reform. No one will venture to deny that the Chancellor does most conscientiously discharge his duty, which is, "to do right to all manner of people, poor and rich, according to the laws and usages of this realm." Sir Samuel Romilly declared, in the House of Commons, that, "There never presided in the court of Chancery a man of more deep and various learning in his profession; and in anxiety to do justice, that court had never seen, he would not say the superior, but the equal of the Lord Chancellor. If he had a fault, it was an over-anxiety to do justice." Basil Montague, Esq. another opposition gentleman, who has been at the Chancery bar four-and-twenty years, when examined before the commissioners appointed to investigate the practices of this court, said, "I cannot but think it most unjust to confound the court with the judge. There is a spirit of improvement now moving upon this country, which ought not, as it appears to me, to be impeded by personality. Permanent defects in a court may perhaps be generally traced to the constitution of the court: that is, not to the judge, but to society. The real causes of these delays are, I conceive, because the business of the court has increased for centuries, until it has become too extensive." And again, "I should be most unjust if I did not acknowledge his (the Chancellor's) patience to hear, his charity to hope, and his anxiety to do justice to every suitor of the court." Mr. Thomas Hamilton, being asked, "Has not the peculiar habit of the Chancellor for the examination of papers and affidavits, and other documents, in causes, in complicated causes, been the means of bringing subjects before him, that the parties may have the benefit of that laborious examination?" replied, "Certainly." Mr. Bell also says, "Every day convinces me of the arduous situation of a judge, and the caution requisite where the property (I am not now speaking of criminal jurisdiction) of his fellow-subjects, and especially of widows, orphans, and other unprotected persons, are at stake; and anxious, as he necessarily must be, to obtain full information before he decides a case." These authorities are sufficient to shew the folly of turning the habit of close and deliberate investigation into a matter of ridicule or complaint.
The Lord Chancellor lately received an address from the county of Ross, for "improving the forms under which the laws are administrated in the Scottish courts of justice—the sequel of that unbounded labour and powerful anxiety expended by him on the decision of cases in the supreme appellative jurisdiction." Even the Edinburgh Reviewers confess that Lord Eldon is "a great and learned lawyer, who possesses a most subtile and refined understanding, and unites with an extraordinary degree of penetration and sagacity, a singular patience and circumspection."—"Of all," says the editor of Collin's Peerage "who in the long lapse of ages have filled the sacred seat on which he now sits, none ever had purer lands, none ever had a conscientious desire of equity more ardent and incessant, than Lord Eldon. The amazing expanse of his views, the inexpressible niceness of his discrimination, his unrelaxing anxiety to do justice in every individual case, the kindness of his heart, and the ductility of his ideas, all insure that attention to every suitor which must necessarily obtain the unbounded admiration and attachment of the virtuous and the wise." In personal appearance, Lord Eldon is every thing that could be expected in a supreme judge: the dignity of manner and aspect which sit so easily upon him, the deep thought which every line of his countenance betrays, the furrowed brow, "the huge eye-brows, overhanging eyes that seem to regard more what is taking place within than around them, the flexibility of muscle, joined with the sternness of the first Brutus, the fulness without bloatedness, the deep marks of venerable age, all speak the man most calculated to fill the high office of a judge." In private life, his lordship is distinguished by politeness and affability, unassuming amongst his friends, and easy of access to strangers.
William Scott, Baron Stowell of Stowell; D. C. L.; F. R. S.; F. S. A.; Judge of the High Court of Admiralty of England; Vicar-general to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Master of the Faculties; Chancellor of the Diocese of London; Commissary of the City and Diocese of London; a Lord of Trade and Plantations; and a Trustee of the British Museum; was the eldest son of William Scott, of Newcastle, hoastman. He was born at his father's country house at Hebburn, on the south side of the Tyne, below Newcastle, whither his mother had retired in consequence of the rebellion, and where he was baptized, on October 18, 1745, the day of his birth, with his twin sister, Barbara, by the Rev. Leonard Rumney, curate of Jarrow and Heworth. He was first placed under the tuition of the Rev. H. Moises, at the Newcastle Grammarschool, and, after a few years, sent to Oxford. Here he soon obtained a considerable degree of reputation, and, in October, 1761, received the Duke of Newcastle's medal, as being the best classical scholar of the year, and was also unanimously chosen scholar of Corpus Christi College, for his great proficiency in classical learning. On December 10, 1764, he was elected fellow of University College, and became college tutor. In this capacity, his younger brother, Lord Eldon, was confided to his care; and, like the learned and accomplished Sir William Jones, his predecessor, he superintended the education of many gentlemen who have since attained considerable eminence in the world. In June, 1767, he took his degree of M. A. and, in due course of time, obtained the degree of doctor of civil law, and became Camden Professor of History. The lectures delivered by Dr. Scott in the latter capacity were greatly admired, and attracted a prodigious concourse of students. Gibbon says, "My personal acquaintance with that gentleman (Sir William Scott) has inspired me with a just esteem for his abilities and knowledge; and I am assured that his lectures on history would compose, were they given to the public, a most valuable treatise."
Dr. Scott's views expanded with his fame; and, in 1779, he removed to London, to try the profession of an advocate. The celebrity which had originated at the university followed him to the metropolis; and all the preferments of civil law were soon laid in a manner at his feet. In the autumn of 1788, he obtained the office of king's advocate-general, and, on September 3, received the honour of knighthood, shortly after which was added the Chancellorship of the Diocese of London. It now became necessary that he should obtain a seat in parliament; and accordingly, in 1790, he was returned as a representative for Downton in Wiltshire. He was re-elected for the same place in 1796; but he soon after aspired to, and obtained the honour of representing the university of Oxford. In 1799, he was appointed Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, and sworn a member of the Privy Council. Sir William Scott uniformly supported the measures of Mr. Pitt's administration, and advocated the cause of the church, in which, indeed, he holds a high official situation. He defended the convention with Russia in 1791; and, in 1797, opposed Serjeant Adair's bill in behalf of the Quakers, as affecting the rights of property. When the "Adultery Bill" came before the House of Commons, on May 30, 1800, he opposed it in a very elaborate speech. In 1803, he introduced a bill for the encouragement of "stipendiary curates," by making a moderate improvement in their condition; and, about the same time, he obtained the repeal of the Clergy Non-residence Bill. By this measure, an immense number of informations against clergymen for non-residence were quashed. Sir William also proposed the act for regulating the Admiralty Courts in the West Indies, and a salutary bill "for the encouragement of seamen." In 1805, he spoke against Fox's celebrated motion relative to the Catholics of Ireland; and he strenuously opposed "the American Intercouse Bill," introduced by the new administration, and for which he afterwards received the thanks of the committee of ship-owners of the port of London. In the years 1810 and 1811, he warmly and eloquently defended the court of Admiralty from the charge of abuses, brought against it by Lord Cochrane. His acuteness, learning, and powerful mode of reasoning, render him a valuable advocate of the Established Church. In 1812, he defended the inferior ecclesiastical courts; but, the same year, brought in a bill to regulate those courts. In 1814, he introduced the Clergy Penalty Bill, which invests bishops with increased powers over their non-resident clergy. In the following year, he opposed the bill for exempting Dissenting chapels from parochial assessments; and every session, when the subject was agitated, was a determined opponent of the Catholic claims. At the coronation of his present majesty, Sir William Scott was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Stowell. On receiving this merited honour, the proctors of the courts over which his lordship presides presented him with a congratulatory address.
Lord Stowell has been twice married: first, to Miss Bagnall, daughter of John Bagnall, Esq. of Sunning Hill, Berkshire, and by her (who died September 4, 1809) had issue a daughter, who married Colonel Townsend, and one son, William; and, secondly, on April 10, 1813, to Louisa Catherine, widow of John Marquis of Sligo, and daughter and co-heiress of Richard Earl Howe, K. B. The manner in which the last marriage is said to have been brought about is rather singular. On December 16, 1812, the Marquis of Sligo was tried at the Old Bailey, before Sir William Scott, the Admiralty judge, assisted by Lord Ellenborough and Baron Thompson, on the charge of having seduced some seamen from his majesty's ships in the Mediterranean, to navigate his yacht to England. After a long trial, the marquis was found guilty, and, on being brought up to receive judgment, received a most solemn and impressive rebuke from Sir William, and was sentenced to pay a fine of £5000, and to be imprisoned in Newgate four months. Immediately after, the marchioness waited upon Sir William, not to upbraid him with the severity of his sentence, but to thank him for the affecting and fatherly admonitions he had given her son. The acquaintance thus commenced terminated in marriage.
Lord Stowell presides on the bench with dignity. His language is clear, pure, and decisive; and his sentences evinces the most profound knowledge and the nicest discrimination. "It is not only in England, but in all parts of Europe, and indeed throughout the whole civilized world, that the ability with which Sir W. Scott has administered the maritime law of nations is known and admired. The judgments which he has pronounced on some of the weightiest questions of this nature ever submitted to individual decision, are not only master-pieces of judicial eloquence and wisdom, considered separately, but, taken together, they form a code of unexampled consistency and perfection. By a singular coincidence of good fortune, at the period when our maritime rights were most violently assailed with clamour and sophistry, and when it became essential to our existence as a nation, that those rights should be placed on the immoveable basis of reason and truth, at that very period was our maritime tribunal occupied by a judge, who, of all men that ever filled such a station, was the best qualified to perform so delicate and arduous a task. He captivated the taste by the classical beauties of his style; and he subdued the judgment by the irresistible force of his arguments. Such are the invaluable services which Sir William Scott has rendered to his country, for the last three and twenty years, as Judge of the High Court of Admiralty. In the more limited, but in some respects not less
interesting sphere of the Ecclesiastical Court, where he has presided still longer, he has displayed equal penetration, equal richness of mind, and equal elegance of language. Before he was a lawyer, 'he was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;' and upon this classical foundation, it is no wonder that he soon erected an admirable superstructure both of the history and philosophy of the law. Hence that clearness and comprehensiveness of legal principle, which have caused many of his judgments to be regarded as authorities, even in foreign schools and tribunals; a striking instance of which occurred in the case of Dalrymple against Dalrymple, where this learned judge explained the Scottish law relating to the points at issue so ably, that his judgment was recommended as a text-book, by the professor of that law in the university of Edinburgh."
When attempts were made, early in 1816, to establish a branch custom-house at North Shields, Sir W. Scott and the Lord Chancellor opposed the measure. When Prince Leopold was at Newcastle, August 14, 1819, Sir William was at the same time on a visit to his relative, the late Joseph Forster, Esq. mayor. Both he and his illustrious brother have always shewn the utmost kindness to their old friends, and the warmest attachment to their native town. The judgment Sir William delivered in the case of Thompson, a man of colour, in 1824, afforded a brilliant instance of his usual perspicuity and feeling, and of the undiminished powers of his capacious mind.
Cuthbert Collingwood, Baron Collingwood of Coldburne and Hethpole, co. Northumberland, Vice-admiral of the Red, and Commander-in-chief of his Majesty's Fleet in the Mediterranean, was the eldest son of Cuthbert Collingwood (died February 15, 1775), descended from the Collingwoods of East Ditchburn, by Milcha (who died in April, 1788), daughter and co-heiress of Reginald Dobson, of Barwess, Esq. co. Westmoreland. Their other children were, 2. William, baptized October 11, 1749, a captain in the royal navy, died unmarried in the West Indies: 3. John, of Chirton, (formerly deputy customer of the port of Newcastle) baptized June 1, 1750, who married, June 30, 1812, Miss Fenwick (now dead), daughter of Thomas Fenwick, of Earsdon, Esq.: 4. Mary, baptized September 6, 1738, died in July, 1815: 5. Elizabeth, baptized August 7, 1739: 6. Dorothy, baptized February 11, 1740: 7. Elizabeth, baptized August 26, 1741: 8. Philadelphia, baptized December 30, 1762. John, the eldest, was born at Newcastle, on the 26th of September, 1748, and baptized at St. Nicholas' church there, on the 24th of October following. He was educated at the Free Grammar-school, under the care of the Rev. H. Moises; and he never forgot what he there learned. In 1761, before he had completed the thirteenth year of his age, he was entered into the naval service of his country, under the protection and patronage of his maternal uncle, Captain (afterwards Admiral) Braithwaite, with whom he served for some years. He served as midshipman in the Gibraltar in 1766, and, from 1767 to 1772, was master's mate in the Liverpool, when he was taken into the Lenox, under Captain (afterwards Admiral) Roddam, by whom he was recommended to Viceadmiral Graves, and afterwards to Vice-admiral Sir Peter Parker. In 1774, he went to America in the Preston, under the command of Vice-admiral Graves, and, in the following year, was promoted to the rank of fourth lieutenant in the Somerset, after having served the long period of 14 years before his promotion. This first step in advancement he owed to his conduct at the battle of Bunker Hill, where he commanded a party of seamen sent to assist the army with what was necessary in the naval line of service. He returned to England with Admiral Graves in 1776, and, in the same year, was sent to Jamaica in the Hornet sloop. While on this station, he renewed his friendship with Lieutenant Nelson; and both these young heroes were warmly patronized by their commander, Sir Peter Parker. On Nelson's promotion to be lieutenant in the admiral's ship, Collingwood succeeded him as lieutenant in the Lowestoffe; and, what is singular, when the former was advanced in 1778 from the Badger to the rank of post captain in the Hinchinbrooke, the latter was made master and commander in the Badger; and again, upon his promotion to a larger ship, Captain Collingwood was made post in the Hinchinbrooke.
In 1780, Captain Collingwood was employed in a perilous expedition to the Spanish Main, and, in December the same year, was appointed to the command of the Pelican of 24 guns, which was wrecked in a dreadful hurricane on the Morant Quay, August 1, 1781. He next commanded the Sampson of 64 guns, which ship was paid off at the peace of 1783, when he was again sent to the West Indies, where he remained till 1786. While on this station, Captain Nelson observes, in a letter to his friend, Captain Lockyer, "This station has not been unpleasant: had it not been for Collingwood, it would have been the most disagreeable I ever saw." Upon his return to England, he visited his native place, where he remained till 1790, when, on the dispute with Spain, he was appointed to the Mermaid of 32 guns. This vessel being soon after paid off, he again returned to Newcastle, where he married, in St. Nicholas' church, June 16, 1791, Sarah (who died September 17, 1819), eldest of the two daughters of John Erasmus Blackett, of Newcastle, Esq. and alderman, by Sarah, daughter and co-heiress of Robert Roddam, Esq. of Hethpole, co. Northumberland; by whom he had two daughters, 1. Sarah, born May 28, 1792, married, May 30, 1815, George Lewis Newham, Esq.; 2. Mary Patience, born August 16, 1793.
At the commencement of hostilities with France in 1793, Captain Collingwood was called to the command of the Prince, Rear-admiral Bowyer's flag-ship, and afterwards removed with the admiral to the Barfleur, in which he gloriously distinguished himself on June the First, 1794, though Lord Howe omitted all mention of his name in the official despatches. On August 7, 1794, he obtained the command of the Hector, and afterwards of the Excellent, in which ship he acquired fresh laurels in the brilliant victory off Cape St. Vincent's, on February 14, 1797. When approaching to join the squadron, Nelson exclaimed, "See, here comes the Excellent, which is as good as two added to our number." And when describing an important crisis in the engagement, he observed, "At this time, the Salvador del Mundo and San Isidro dropped astern, and were fired into, in a masterly style, by the Excellent, Captain Collingwood, who compelled the San Isidro to hoist English colours, and I thought the large ship also had struck; but Captain Collingwood, disdaining the parade of taking possession of a vanquished enemy, most gallantly pushed up, with every sail set, to save his old friend and messmate, who was, in appearance, in a critical state." This service Nelson acknowledged in the following laconic note of thanks:—"Dear Collingwood!—a friend in need is a friend indeed." He continued in the Excellent, under the flag of Lord St. Vincent till January, 1799, when his ship was paid off. On February 14, in the same year, he was raised to the rank of Rear-admiral of the White; on the 12th of May following, hoisted his flag on board the Triumph, on the Channel station; and, in June, 1800, removed his flag to the Barfleur. In 1801, he was promoted to the rank of Rear-admiral of the Red, and continued in the service of blockading the enemy's ports to the end of this part of the war. When hostilities recommenced, Admiral Collingwood resumed his station off Brest, and, on April 23, 1804, was made Vice-admiral of the Blue. Here he maintained the closest blockade, and shifted his flag from ship to ship so as never to quit his station, for the purposes of victualling or repairs. In May, 1805, he was detached to the blockading fleet at Ferrol and Cadiz. Here his naval talents were displayed to advantage. Left with only four ships of the line, to keep in nearly four times the number, he so disposed of his little force as to delude the any into the belief that it was only part of a fleet not in sight. In September, Lord Nelson joined him with reinforcements, and Vice-admiral Collingwood was his second. When, on October 21, the combined fleet of France and Spain was discovered off Cape Trafalgar, in a close and correct line of battle, formed like a crescent, it fell to Collingwood's let, in the Royal Sovereign, to lead his column into action, and first to break through the enemies' line, which he executed so as to command the admiration of both fleets, and to draw from Lord Nelson, who led the other column the enthusiastic expression, "Look at that noble fellow, Collingwood! Observe the style in which he carries his ship into action;" while the vice-admiral, with equal justice to the spirit and valour of his friend, was enjoying the proud honour of his situation, and saying to those about him, "What would Nelson give to be in our situation?" On the death of Lord Nelson, the command of the conquering fleet and the completion of the victory devolved upon Vice-admiral Collingwood, who now, for the last time, succeeded him, in an arduous moment and most difficult service. So decisive was the victory, that, out of 33 French and Spanish ships of the line, only 10 escaped, in a most shattered condition. Immediately after the action, Admiral Collingwood returned thanks to the officers, seamen, and marines of the fleet, with whom he condoled for the loss of Lord Viscount Nelson, Duke of Bronte, the commander-in-chief. At the same time, he announced his intention of appointing a day of general thanksgiving; but this was prevented by a most tremendous gale of wind, which endangered the ships both of the conquerors and the vanquished. By extraordinary exertions, four of the prizes were saved, and sent into Gibraltar; the rest being burnt, wrecked, or sunk. This ardnous and dangerous task was executed, in the midst of the storm, with that skill and intrepidity which distinguish British seamen. Admiral Collingwood, having completed the ruin of the enemy's fleet, expresses himself thus:—"In clearing the captured ships of prisoners, I found so many wounded men, that, to alleviate human misery as much as was in my power, I sent to the Marquis de Solano, Governor-general of Andalusia, to offer him the wounded to the care of their country, on receipts being given: a proposal which was received with the greatest thankfulness, not only by the governor, but the whole country resounds with expressions of gratitude. Two French frigates were sent out to receive them, with a proper officer to give receipts, bringing with them all the English who had been wrecked in several of the ships, and an offer from the Marquis de Solano of the use of their hospitals for our wounded, pledging the honour of Spain for their being carefully attended. I have ordered most of the Spanish prisoners to be released; the officers on parole, the men for receipts given, and a condition that they do not serve in war, by sea or land, until exchanged." This act of humanity excited the gratitude of the Spaniards, who sent presents of wine and fruit to the English fleet.
The victors received the thanks of both houses of parliament; and the admiral, by letters patent, was created Baron Collingwood of Coldburne and Hethpole. He was also voted a pension of £2000, with continuance to his male heirs; but when it was discovered that he had but two daughters, the donation was altered into a provision for Lady Collingwood of £1000 per annum, and £500 for each of their daughters. Respecting his lordship's conduct at Trafalgar, Sir H. Taylor says, in a letter to W. Marsden, Esq. "His majesty considers it very fortunate that the command (under circumstances so critical) should have devolved on one of such consummate valour, judgment, and skill, as Admiral Collingwood has proved himself to be; every part of whose conduct he considers as deserving of his entire approbation and admiration." Yet Mr. Southey, in his life of Lord Nelson, has, with singular ignorance and rashness, attempted to arraign the conduct of the veteran Collingwood; but his groundless insinuations scarcely deserve notice.
Lord Collingwood, being confirmed in the command of the Mediterranean fleet, anxiously waited in hopes of the French fleet coming out of Toulon. His last active service was directing the preparations which ended in the destruction of two French ships of the line on their own coast. His declining strength had long called for that repose which his unremitted exertions for a series of years so well merited; but government was unwilling to dispense with his abilities. On the night preceding his death, an officer came into his cabin, and found him reclining on a sofa, and asked, "Shall we wear, my lord?"—"Wear!" said his lordship, "wear!— they have worn and torn me." On the following day, March 7, 1810, he expired on board the Ville de Paris, off Minorca. On opening the body, a stricture was found in the lower orifice of the stomach, which had totally precluded the passage of any nourishment, as it would scarcely permit a bristle to pass. So persuaded was he of his approaching end, that he ordered a quantity of lead on board at Minorca, for the purpose of making a coffin for his conveyance home. His body was brought to England, and, on May 11, interred in St. Paul's cathedral, with great funeral solemnities.
Lord Collingwood was so fearful of losing the opportunity of distinguishing himself, that he was almost continually afloat. He never stept on shore during the last few years of his life, nor did he ever see his wife or family after his elevation to the peerage. Still no man was more alive to domestic feelings: his heart rebounded with joy at a packet from his family; and, in a letter written but a few months before his death, he says, "I wish much to see poor dear Lady Collingwood; but she knows my country wants my services, and she is too good a woman to expect it." Conversing once with a friend on the battle of Trafalgar, he said with energy, "Mr. H. could I but once more see them, I should die contented and happy." His lordship was of middle stature, but extremely thin, and temperate in his general habits; ate always with an appetite, drank moderately after dinner, but never indulged afterwards in spirits or in wine; while his personal attention to the lowest guest at his table was always universally observed. It was his general rule in tempestuous weather, and upon any hostile emergency that occurred, to sleep upon his sofa in a flannel gown, taking off only his epauletted coat. He often appeared upon deck without his hat, and his grey hair floating to the wind, whilst torrents of rain poured down through the shrouds; and his eye, like the eagle's, on the watch. Personal exposure, colds, rheumatism, ague, all —nothing seemed to him when his duty called.
Lord Collingwood's judgment was sound and firm, his mind acute and penetrating, his wit so very lively that it led him constantly to pun; and though general punsters must be frequently insipid, he seldom failed to produce the playful equivoque he wished. To his religious duties he constantly attended: his religion, like himself, was without terror, pure without fanaticism, and gentle without levity. The Latin he had learned at school he had never forgotten; and though he knew but sufficient French to maintain a general correspondence on the coast and could scarcely manage Spanish at all, he was, notwithstanding, a good scholar, but a scholar of the old school. He was always perfectly dignified in his deportment, without that execrable pride which we often see assumed as a cloak to conceal the want of worth. A rich vein of native worth within him, its assumption was unnecessary. Unprejudiced he was not: one prejudice he had, which was singular, as his mind was liberal. He deemed it to be the bounden duty of every Englishman to hate a Frenchman as his natural foe; and no man ever hated the national character, and the nation, more cordially than he. As he sometimes expressed a respectful pity for the Spaniards, and as the love of his country was the leading feature of his noble soul, this probably arose from a concealed opinion he entertained, "that universal dominion would be the fate of France."
His lordship was always calm, but decided. In the heat of an engagement he gave his orders as on ordinary occasions. He was kind and attentive to his men, but strict with the officers, particularly with young nobility. He could not bear to see promotion, unless arising from merit, and used to say, I like a man to get in at the port-hole, and not at the cabin-window." His dress was plain and old-fashioned. A small cocked hat; a square-cut blue coat, with tarnished epaulettes; blue waistcoat and small-clothes: with boots guiltless of blacking, but occasionally greased—was his costume on state occasions. He attended to the smallest minutia of the service, and constantly regulated the motions of his own ship, leaving his officers scarcely any duties to perform. His economy was so unrelaxing, that he saved thousands to the revenue. A vessel in his fleet having displayed new sails, he ordered the old ones to be brought to him for inspection; and finding them in better condition than his own, he commanded the foresail to be hoisted in place of the tattered one that was in use. His lordship then invited the captain of the gay vessel to dinner, and carelessly asked him what he thought of his foresail. "In fair condition, my lord," was the unwary answer.— "If it be good enough for an admiral's ship," retorted his lordship, "I think it might have served a captain." On another occasion, in the midst of an action, seeing that one of his masts was shivered, he ordered out the boat; and being asked for what purpose, "To take that spar to the store-ship," was the reply. But indeed on all occasions the desire of discharging his duty conscientiously seemed to be the ruling passion of his soul.
A few months after his lordship's decease, the chamberlain of London, in compliance with the orders of the common council, waited upon Lady Collingwood, and delivered to her the sword that had been voted to his lordship. Her ladyship's feelings were so overpowered on the occasion, that she begged leave to return her answer in writing, and which, when received, was ordered to be entered on the records of the court. The Trinity-house of Newcastle also presented to his lordship a superb gold box. When Edward Collingwood, Esq. of Chirton, died in 1806, his possessions devolved on his cousin, Lord Collingwood, whose lady, from that period to the death of his lordship, resided in Chirton Hall. It is now the property of his lordship's brother, John Collingwood, Esq.
Sir Robert Chambers, Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta, was a native of Newcastle, and a scholar at the Free Grammar-school. Robert Chambers, an attorney of good practice and character in Newcastle, married a daughter of Mr. Metcalf, of the same place, tin-plate worker, by his wife, a niece of Heselrigge of Swarland, (fn. 27) and by whom he had issue, 1. Robert, the subject of the present memoir. 2. Richard, a banker, sheriff of Newcastle in 1786; elected alderman in place of the late James Rudman, Esq. May 30, 1795; mayor in 1795–6; resigned his alderman's gown October 20, 1797; afterwards iron-monger at Bishopsgate Street, London, where he died in 1806, aged 68 years: his eldest son, Robert Joseph, married, in 1805, the daughter of Nathaniel Polhill, Esq. of Howbury, Bedfordshire. 3. William, who is also dead: he was an able man, and Interpreter of the Supreme Court in Bengal, over which his brother presided. Robert was born in the year 1737, and was, for some time, under the tuition of the Rev. H. Moises. He then went to Oxford, where he was soon distinguished for intense application and superior attainments. In July, 1754, he was chosen exhibitioner of Lincoln College. He afterwards became fellow of University College, where he was united with his old school-fellows, the Scotts, and with Mr. Plumer, the late Sir William Jones, and other eminent men. In January, 1762, he was elected, by the university, Vinerian Professor of the Laws of England; a public testimony to his abilities, of the strongest and most unequivocal nature. In 1766, the Earl of Lichfield, then Chancellor of Oxford, gave him the appointment of Principal of New Inn-Hall; which office, as it required no residence or attendance, he continued to hold through life. He was now advancing honourably in the practice of the law, and was employed in many remarkable causes, in which his professional abilities were evinced. About the same period, and probably by the same means, he attracted the notice and lasting friendship of the ablest men of the time, many of whose names have since been absorbed in well-earned titles of nobility, amongst whom were, the Earls Bathurst, Mansfield, Liverpool, and Rosslyn, Lords Ashburton, Thurlow, Auckland, and Alvanley; to which list may be added the names of Johnson, Burke, Goldsmith, Garrick, and others of that class, whose judgment of mankind was as accurate as their own talents were conspicuous. At Oxford also he enjoyed the intimacy of Thurlow, afterwards bishop of Durham: and his Vinerian Lectures were attended by many pupils, who have since done honour to the profession of the law, or to other public situations. It is a strong proof that his knowledge and talents were highly estimated at an early period, that in 1768 he was offered the appointment of attorney-general in Jamaica. This, however, from various considerations, he thought proper to decline. From this time he continued the career of his profession, and of his academical labours, till, in 1773, another situation of public trust and honour was proposed to him, which he was more easily induced to accept. This was the appointment of Second Judge in the Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal, then first established; Mr. Impey, afterwards Sir Elijah, being Chief Justice. On this occasion, the esteem and regard of the university of Oxford for their Vinerian Professor was fully evinced: the convocation allowing three years for the chance of his return, from ill health or any other cause; during which interval his office was held for him, and his lectures read by a deputy. In India Mr. Chambers had a younger brother, Mr. William Chambers, well deserving of his affection, and afterwards highly distinguished for his unrivalled knowledge of the Malabar language, and other dialects of Hindostan; and the prospect of being re-united to this valuable relation certainly was not forgotten among the attractions of this new offer. Immediately before his departure for the East Indies, Mr. Chambers married Miss Wilton, the only daughter of the celebrated statuary of that name: and his mother, Mrs. Chambers, a woman of uncommon virtues, talents, and accomplishments, undertook the voyage with them, and continued an inmate in their family till her death, which happened in 1782. They sailed for India in April, 1774; and, in 1780, he received the honour of knighthood, as an express act of royal approbation. Abstracting himself from political squabbles, he calmly and impartially administered justice without fear or favour. He lost his eldest son in the Grosvenor East Indiaman in 1782, when on his passage to England for education. On the resignation of Sir E. Impey in 1791, Sir Robert was advanced to the office of Chief Justice; and, in 1797, he became President of the Asiatic Society. At length, after having remained in India 25 years, he also obtained permission to resign, and was succeeded by Sir John Anstruther. He returned to England in 1799, to enjoy his well-deserved leisure, and the society of his remaining friends; but his constitution, being delicate, had probably been supported by the warmth of India; and he manifestly shrunk under the rigour of that northern climate, from which he had been so long removed. In the autumn of 1802, his lungs were so much affected, that he was advised to winter in the milder air of France, and was to have proceeded to the southern provinces; but the season was then too far advanced, and he remained at Paris, where, after a partial recovery, he had an attack of a paralytic nature, and died May 9, 1803. The body was brought to England by his widow, and, on the 23d of the same month, was interred in the Temple church. Sir Robert had been a bencher of the Middle Temple, and his funeral was attended by a considerable number of that society, and a respectable selection of private friends.
Sir Robert Chambers had that love for books which naturally arises from a sound education, and early habits of study. His collection, therefore, was considerable, and his knowledge proportionably extensive. Even at the close of his life, of which so large a part had been engaged in the practice or administration of the laws, he had not lost his academical accomplishments; and a Latin epitaph on his friend, Sir W. Jones, inscribed by Flaxman on a monument erected at Oxford in 1803, may testify that the cares of the judge had not obliterated the studies of the professor. His collection of Oriental books was particularly valuable, for—
........................"His vig'rous mind,
By learning strengthened and by taste refin'd,
Grasp'd all the wide extent of Eastern lore,
And trod the path that Jones had led before."
That his fortune, after so long continuance in office, was extremely moderate, must be considered as an important topic of his praise, as it was occasioned by his strict integrity and extensive bounty. He received no presents, and he gave abundant charities. On his resignation, therefore, he could not attempt to decline the pension which parliament has now assigned to the judges of India, after a much less period of service. An excellent portrait of Sir R. Chambers, in a groupe of his literary friends, Johnson, Burke, Goldsmith, Beattie, Baretti, &c. was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds for Mr. Thrale's study at Streatham; but a picture by Mr. Home, painted at Calcutta a short time before his return, in which he is represented in his judge's robes, preserves an animated and accurate likeness of this learned and upright judge.
The Rev. Dr. George Hall, late bishop of Dromore in Ireland, was a native of Northumberland, but educated at the Free Grammar-school in Newcastle, of which his brother, William Hall, M. A. was usher in 1766. At an early age, he removed to Ireland, and became assistant in the school of Dr. Darby of Loughgall, near Dublin. He next entered himself a student in the college of Dublin. After having established, whilst an under-graduate, his superiority over his contemporaries, both as a scientific and a classical scholar, he was una nimously elected a fellow in 1777, when for the first time he appeared as a candidate. From that period, during the three and twenty years he continued in college, his correct knowledge, and his exact fulfilment of every academic duty, were eminently conspicuous. As a tutor, he was not more remarkable for the talents and learning displayed in his lectures, than for the kindness and parental solicitude with which he watched over the interests of his pupils, and the zeal he manifested for their improvement in literature, in morals, and in religion. Nor was he less distinguished when, as a senior fellow, he came to have a share in the government of the college, whether official duty called his attention to minute detail, or the general interests required the counsels of prudence, or the exertions of prompt activity. In the year 1800, he accepted a benefice in a remote part of the county of Tyrone, whence he was called to the provostship of the college in 1806. In this situation, his attention to every academic duty was yet more exemplary than when he had acted in a subordinate station. Frequent in his attendance on the early prayers and lectures (beginning at six o'clock, both in summer and winter), he shewed an example admirably calculated to excite a general spirit of piety and diligence; and while no duty was too minute to escape his attention, enlarged plans of improvement were formed and carried into effect under his superintendence. Ranking among the most eminent scholars, both in polite literature and science, and deeply skilled in every branch of theological learning, there was no department in the extensive range of academic instruction which he was not qualified to direct; whilst the mildness of his temper, and the gentleness of his manners, softened the admonitions of authority with the feelings of parental affection. Though thus active in the performance of academic duty, Dr. Hall lived in habits of familiar intercourse with all who were distinguished for their station or their rank. Acquainted with the principal languages of modern Europe, and conversant with the writings of their most celebrated authors; possessing a correct and delicate taste for the fine arts, and an unaffected vivacity of manners, he exhibited a rare instance of the union of severe science with elegant attainments, and commanded, in turn, the respect, the esteem, and the affection, of those with whom he associated.
The Duke of Richmond, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, ever ready to afford unsolicited patronage to merit, advanced Dr. Hall to the see of Dromore. He was consecrated on the 17th of November, 1811, and died on the morning of the following Saturday, November 23, leaving to the world an affecting proof of the frailty of that tenure by which earthly happiness and earthly honours are held. His death was occasioned by a putrid sore throat, which originated in a cold caught during the ceremony of his consecration. His parishioners in Tyrone received the intelligence of his death with general lamentations, and commemorated his virtues in a monument, erected by universal consent in their church.
William Burdon, of Hartford, Esq. was born at Newcastle upon Tyne, on September 11, 1764. His father, George Burdon, Esq. who possessed some landed property in Yorkshire, came to Newcastle about his middle age, where he engaged in a variety of speculations, and became conductor of that great mining concern, designated the Grand Allies. His mother's name was Wharton; and through her he inherited considerable estates both in Durham and Northumberland. He was also, in the maternal line, related to the Earls of Lansdown and Carlisle, the Duke of Richmond, and Lord Scarborough, and had claims on the honours attached to the house of the late Duke of Wharton.
William Burdon received the rudiments of his education at the Free Grammar-school of his native town, during the mastership of the Rev. H. Moises, of whom he always spoke in terms of respect and affection. From this respectable seminary he passed to Emanuel College, Cambridge, in 1781, and was placed under the tuition of Dr. Bennet, afterwards Bishop of Cloyne. This learned prelate, in a letter to George Ensor, Esq. says, "Your friend, Mr. Burdon, was a favourite pupil of mine, when I was tutor of Emanuel College in Cambridge. As a classical scholar, he was superior to any young man there; though we had several at the time who have since distinguished themselves. The college did itself honour in unanimously electing him fellow; though his political opinions, which he always manfully avowed, differed very much from those of the society in general." His election to the fellowship took place in 1788, he having two years before become Bachelor of Arts. Though reared in Tory principles, yet he very early assumed the right of judging for himself, and of rejecting the creeds of all political parties. This determination appeared from the following thesis, which he chose for his act:—In Summo reipublicæ discrimine, iniquo principi resistere licet. When Mr. Pitt offered himself as a candidate for the university of Cambridge, Mr. Burdon, singly of all his brother fellows, refused to vote for the minister; which independent conduct Mr. Pitt had the bad taste peevishly to resent. Mr. Burdon was designed for the church, as his parents had a well-grounded prospect of procuring him very considerable preferments; but in reading the early history of Christianity, he came to the conclusion that the present hierarchy of the Church of England was an unwarrantable innovation upon the primitive system: he therefore refused to enter into priests' orders. This proved a matter of great grief to his parents; but his resolution was immoveable, and he resigned his fellowship in 1796.
On leaving the university, Mr. Burdon formed a choice and extensive library; and having improved his reason and taste by patient and various reading, a number of curious and valuable works proceeded from his fertile pen. He composed with amazing rapidity, and could never be persuaded, on the score of prudence, to modify his first frank and fervid expressions. His first publication was, "Three Letters, addressed to the Bishop of Landaff: Cambridge, 1795." His next, "A Few Words of Plain Truth on the Subject of the present Negotiation for Peace: Cambridge, 1797." In 1799, he published, at Newcastle, the first part of "An Examination of the Merits and Tendency of the Pursuits of Literature;" and, in 1600, the second part. There also proceeded, in 1797, from his well-stored mind, "A Vindication of Pope and Grattan from the Attacks of an anonymous Defamer;" and, in the following year, "Thoughts on Politics, Morality, and Literature." In 1803, appeared his most important work, entitled, "Materials for Thinking." This work, in 15 years, passed through five editions—a succession, considering the nature of the work, seldom exceeded in rapidity; and particularly as it was not cherished by influential booksellers, recommended by friendly reviewers, nor announced with the usual titular appendages, but simply by "William Burden." He likewise published, in 1803, "Advice addressed to the Lower Ranks; and in 1804 appeared the "Life and Character of Bonaparte," which created some sensation. In his former works he had repeatedly eulogized Napoleon; yet, in the preface to the second edition of his life of that extraordinary man, he acknowledges himself "to have been blinded by the splendid blaze of his success, his exploits, and his promises. But now that time and the possession of power have unmasked him, and reflection has taken place of sudden surprise, I am no longer an enthusiast in his praise, but view him as he deserves to be viewed by every lover of liberty and of human nature," &c. This freedom to retract declarations which he considered erroneous, has been reputed by some as vaccillating: but, on the contrary, he was distinguished for decision of character, though he could not restrain his indignation at a man who had blasted the hopes of the friends of humanity. In this respect he agreed with Carnot, and other eminent friends of liberty in France.
In 1809, Mr. Burdon published "Letters on the Affairs of Spain." In the following year appeared an "Introduction to the History of the Revolution in Spain (from the Spanish of Estrada);" and also. "A Constitution for the Spanish Nation (from the Spanish of Estrada)." He entered enthusiastically into the cause of the Spanish Patriots, and studied their language so diligently, as to extort at the end of a few months, the compliments of the reviewers on his knowledge of the Spanish. He translated many English political tracts into Spanish, and printed them at his own expense, in order to enlighten the Patriots on moral and political subjects. His house also was an asylum for many Spanish refugees; and he was intimately acquainted with twenty-three individuals of that nation, all of whom were men of talents and probity. Mr. Burdon, in 1811, published a collection of "Letters to the Editor of the Tyne Mercury, on the Annual Subscription to the Sons of the Clergy." He contended that it was indecorous for the clergy of the diocese of Durham, who share among themselves nearly £200,000 annually, to solicit the public bounty. An injustewards, dicious advocate appeared on behalf of the clergy, who replied to Mr. Burdon's strictures by unjust insinuations and accusations. But whatever might be the errors of his judgment, the purity and disinterestedness of his motives were unquestionable. Few men ever made so many valuable and painful sacrifices to the majesty of truth. His devotion in this respect appeared to his friends singularly romantic; but he valued nothing so much as the approbation of his own conscience. In 1813, he published "Cobbett and the Reformers impartially examined." When Sir Francis Burdett was sent to the Tower, for a breach of the privilege of the House of Commons, Mr. Burdon, in a few days, wrote and published a pamphlet on the subject, which displays all the acuteness and legal knowledge of a lawyer. The Monthly Reviewers, on remarking the equity with which he states the question, says, for "though an ardent opponent of the privilege lately exercised by the House of Commons,"—"his plain dealing will by some be deemed excessive; for he accuses Mr. Hatsell and Sir Francis Burdett of mistating and misrepresenting the precedent established in Thorpe's case," &c. Besides these works, Mr. Burdon contributed largely to the periodical and diurnal press. He wrote many valuable papers on Architectural Antiquities, which subject he had studied with great attention. In 1805, he published "Poetry for Children;" and he printed several children's books for the use of his own family. These numerous and various productions shew that he spent his time neither idly nor uselessly.
In 1798, after Mr. Burdon had returned from the university to Newcastle, he married the daughter of Lieutenant-general Dickson, by Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Collingwood, Esq. of Unthank, co. of Northumberland. By her (who died in 1806) he had five children, three of whom are living. After his marriage, he removed to Morpeth, where he pursued his studies in almost uninterrupted retirement. Having, in 1807. built a handsome mansion-house on his maternal estate at Hartford, near Morpeth, he spent his summers there during the remainder of his life. The winter he passed in London, in the society of the most distinguished literary characters; and occasionally visited Brighton in the spring. He seldom omitted Cambridge in his round, where he was always received with a respect and kindness by his old associates which a difference of opinion never diminished. He married a second time in 1812, and by this marriage had two children. His surviving issue consist of William Wharton, Henry Wharton, Hannah Wharton, and Eliza Ann Burdon. He took great delight in the company of his children, whose education he carefully superintended.
Mr. Burdon's habits were retired. He was averse to general intercourse and worldly matters. Indeed, he was no match for those skilled in deceit and cunning. He had originally indulged in flattering notions of the "unlimited improvement of our nature," which he reluctantly renounced; but he never declined in charity to the poor, or generosity to men of talents in distress. In some instances, he was peculiarly unfortunate in selecting the objects of his bounty. Conceiving a high opinion of the abilities and merits of a young man named Hewson Clarke, author of "The Saunterer," he befriended and assisted him with his usual warmth, superintended his studies, entered him at Cambridge, and maintained him at the university. But this youth disgusted by his vanity all to whom he was introduced, became prodigal, incurred considerable debts, sunk into the vilest debauchery, and frequently reviled his benefactor in "The Satirist." Yet, after all, Mr. Burdon twice dragged him from a jail, and tried in vain to reclaim him. Another failure of a similar kind is unique for romantic attachment on the one side, and hideous ingratitude on the other.
Mr. Burdon was middle-sized, and slender, yet well-knit and agile. A craniologist would have viewed his head with delight. Though delicate, he was not sickly. When a boy, he was nursed with the most anxious and ridiculous care. The winds of heaven were not suffered to visit him too roughly. The barometer was consulted before he was permitted to go into the open air; and his clothing was regulated by the thermometer. These motherly precautions rendered him exceedingly susceptible of cold, and consequently he was seldom well. At length, he took these matters into his own hands. He gradually dispensed with certain unnecessary parts of his clothing; he took much exercise, and inured himself to every variety of the climate. In a short time, he defied both cold and humidity, and at length could pump cold water on his shirt, and then put it on with impunity. The writer has seen him mount his horse during the most terrific thunder storm, and, after riding one hour, his stated time, return dripping with wet, and sit thus in his study during the rest of the evening. These eccentricities were considered as the aberrations of a disordered mind, by those who were incapable of appreciating the intellectual heroism in which they were conceived and executed. His mind always triumphed over the infirmities of his body. He composed the Life of Bonaparte during a severe jaundice; yet it betrays no symptoms of the lassitude which attends that disease. For some years a small swelling affected his thigh, but produced no inconvenience. In July, 1817, it increased in size, became troublesome, and occasioned an intense and unremitting pain. Continuing to grow worse, he arose from his bed, to which he had been confined, emaciated and in agony, to perform a journey from Hartford to London. The first surgeons in the metropolis were successively employed; but all their efforts were ineffectual. The complaint being assuredly an ossification, amputation was determined upon. Mr. Burdon hailed the decision. He bore the operation, which was skilfully performed, with Spartan fortitude: his pulse was unvaried. The thigh was amputated close to the trunk of the body. Though the wound healed slowly, and he was never free from pain, sanguine hopes were entertained of his recovery. In two months, he came down stairs, took air in the carriage, and moved about near his residence in Welbeck Street; but, about the middle of May, he gradually relapsed, and found great difficulty of breathing, attended with spasms. "They say I may live—I say I must die," observed he to a friend. He did not wish to see his wife and children. "Oh! no," he answered, "it would be too distressing." He expired on the 30th of May, 1818, in his 54th year, possessing his intellects unimpaired to the close of his existence. Mr. Ensor concludes a memoir of Mr. Burdon, prefixed to a new edition of the "Materials for Thinking," thus:—"Such was William Burdon: an attentive husband, a fond father, an absolute friend. Deeply versed in the Greek and Latin classics, he spoke French fluently, and was largely acquainted with German, Spanish, and Italian literature. A politician without the taint of party—an instructor who practised what he inculcated—a philosopher who sought truth, who employed his unadulterated reason in its pursuit, and fearlessly published the result of his enquiries. He was liberal, rational, resolute, and consistent,—for as he lived he died."
Amongst others educated at this school are, the Ridleys, Cooksons, Shadforths, Reeds, Claytons, Fenwicks, Muntons, Forsters, Askews, Headlams, Blacketts of Wylam, &c. besides numerous individuals since distinguished in the various departments of active life.
25 Previously to this period, the Writing-school had no connexion with the Grammar-school, though many boys belonging to it attended the former, to learn Writing and Accounts. From an inscription upon the Writing-school, it appears to have been erected in 1723. The first master was Mr. Benson, a highly-eminent penman. He was succeeded by his son, after whom came Mr. Wright, and then Mr. Askew. After holding the situation 46 years, Mr. Askew retired, at the close of 1822, on a pension of £50 a year. Since Mr. Lowes' appointment, Reading has been taught in the Writing-school, and girls are admitted. In addition to the sums mentioned in the above advertisement, 1s. is paid by each scholar, to the person who takes charge of the school, for coals and cleaning.
26 There were 14 candidates for the office of chief Mathematical teacher, which the school-committee reduced to 4, viz. Messrs. Atkinson, Weir, Tinwell, and Harley of Lamesley, who were presented to the common council on January 14, 1823. The votes were, Mr. Weir, 17; Mr. Atkinson, 11; Mr. Tinwell, 3. The editors of the Tyne Mercury and Newcastle Chronicle expressed great surprise at the result of this election, considering the eminence that Mr. Atkinson had attained in Mathematical science. A warm newspaper controversy ensued, which was carried on by writers under the signatures of Tim Tunbelly, Homo, A Free Burgess, An Anti-Juanite Member of the Lit. and Phil. Society, the Town Surveyor, and H. Atkinson.
27 There was a hatchment of Heselrigge in St. Nicholas' church, which Richard Chambers claimed and got when the church was altered.