Page images
PDF
EPUB

bridge in 1734 for the convenience of the Libraries, and in 1735 proceeded D. D. After the death of Dr. Savage he was chosen, Aug. 10, 1736, master of Emanuel college, of which he had never been fellow, a rare and almost unprecedented compliment to a man of letters. He published at Cambridge, in a splendid folio volume, his valuable edition of “ Fr. Godwin de Præsulibus Angliæ Commentarius ;" with a continuation to the present time, in 1743. He served the office of Vicechancellor in 1738 and 1769. He became Præcentor of the cathedral church of Lincoln in 1760; that dignity being an option of his late learned friend and patron Archbishop Potter, which was recovered from his Grace's executor Dr. Chapman, by a decree of the House of Lords *, after the reversal of a decree of the Lord-keeper Henley. He was chaplain to their Majesties from 1746 to 1748; when he retiredt; but was called forth at an advanced period of life, by the friendship of Sir John Cust, to preach before the House of Commons, on Jan. 30, 1764; this sermon is also printed.

He died March 14, 1775, and was buried in the same vault with his wife (who died March 21, 1759), under the litany desk in the chapel of his College.

He was many years an honour to the Society of Antiquaries ; and left in MS. many valuable collections relative to the constitution of the University of Cambridge; many biographical anecdotes preparatory to an Athence Cantabrigienses*, which he once intended to publish, and an accurate alphabet

* His carrying his option-cause by appeal into the House of Lords was entirely owing to Mr. Yorke, who insisted upon it, offering to plead it gratis.

+ Dr. Richardson's attachment to Frederick Prince of Wales occasioned that sarcasm in the Capitade, “ He prays for George, to Frederick's cause adheres."

“I have heard of Mr. Richardson's design of Athena Cantabrigienses ; cannot find from Dr. Newton that he has yet the use of the Registers; and it will hardly be safe to correct Mr. Wood without such helps." Baker's Letter to Hearne, 1734, in the Bodleian Library

.

in his own writing of all the graduates * of the University from 1500 to 1735 inclusive.

His only son, Robert Richardson, D.D. F.R.S. and S. A. was prebendary of Lincoln, rector of St. Anne's, Westminster, and of Wallington, Herts. He was also chaplain in ordinary to the King; and chaplain to the Earl of Gainsborough, the fourth of the five persons of his name, mentioned in this article, who have held that honourable connection with the family of Noel. The rectory of St. Annet was given to hiin by the Bishop of London; and that of Wallington by Sir Joseph Yorke, with whom he had resided as chaplain many years at the Hague * He died Sept. 27, 1781, aged 50, at his house in Dean-street, Soho, of a most uncommon and distressing complaint ý.

* Dr. Caryl did the same, and brought it down lower. The two Catalogues, it is much to be hoped, will be incorporated at the expence of the University. The last edition of the printed Graduates, though continued to 1300, goes no further back than 1659.-Lyndford Caryl, D.D. prebendary of Canterbury, Lincoln, and Southwell, master of Jesus college, Cambridge, and forinerly registrar of that University, died June 18, 1781, at Canterbury, aged 75; and was buried in the chapel belonging to Jesus college.

† In 1781 the value of this rectory was 5501, resulting from a beneficial glebe (then worth 20Pl. a year), and an annual parish rate of 1001. in adlition to the Easter offerings and surplice fees.

Whilst in that employ, the papers on both sides, previous to the trial of the great cause, Douglas against Hamilton, being sent, over to his Excellency, the Doctor, for his own curiosity, digested them, and drew up the state of the question, which was printed in quarto, and so well approved of by the gentlemen of the profession, that it was put into the hands of the counsel for the party he espoused as their brief; of which perhaps there never was a similar instance. The Doctor had the happiness and honour to see the opinion he supported confirmed by the almost unanimous suffrages of the House of Peers, with this rare circumstance, that two of the ablest Law Lords that ever met in that place, whose political opinions generally divided them, appeared ably and warmly on the same side of the question. Nor would any thing have been wanting to make the triumph complete, had Mr. Andrew Stewart never committed his thoughts to print. However, so due a sense was entertained of the Doctor's services, that after the trial he was offered 4001, in the handsomést, manner, which he was advised, I can't tell why, to refuse." T. F. $ Gent. Mag. 1781, vol. LI. p. 490.

No.

No. VII.

DR. WILLIAM WEBSTER.

(See vol. II. p. 36.)

William WEBSTER, grandson to Dr. Sparrow, ("a Bishop of great learning and piety, whose family were Gentlemen generations before he was a Lord *"), was born in December 1689; and, having been admitted a student of Caius college, Cambridge, he there took the degree of B. A. 1711; M. A. 1716 ; and D.D. 1732.

In 1715 he was made curate of St. Dunstan in the West; and in 1723, published “ The Life of General Monk, late Duke of Albermarle ; from an original Manuscript of Thomas Skinner, M. D. Author of 'Motus Compositi'; in which is a particular Account of that most memorable March from Coldstream to London, the Preparations for it in Scotland, and of the happy Consequences of it in England. To which is added a Preface, giving an Account of the Manuscript, and some Observations in Vindication of General Monk's Conduct,” 8vo. This volume he dedicated to the Countess Granville, and to John Lord Gower, who were descended from the Monks.

His next production was, “ The Clergy's Right of Maintenance vindicated,” 8vo; which is also inscribed to Lord Gower, who was afterward his patron.

In 1729 he published “ Two Discourses; the first concerning the Nature of Error in Doctrines merely speculative, shewing that the Belief of such Doctrines may be required of us as necessary Terms

* Dr. Webster's own words are here used.

of

« The

of Salvation; wherein also the Case of positive Institutions is considered. The second, shewing that the Doctrine of the Trinity is not merely speculative. In Answer to the Arguments of Mr. Sykes and Mr. Chubb. With a Preface, containing some Remarks on the present Times, particularly in relation to the Clergy.” In 1730, “ The New Testament of our Saviour Jesus Christ, according to the antient Latin Edition, with Critical Remarks upon the Literal Meaning in different Places. From the French of Father Simon," 2 vols. 4to ; and in the same year, “ The Duty of keeping the whole Law; a Discourse on St. James, ii. 10, wherein are some seasonable Remarks upon the Deists,” 8vo.

In 1731 he was removed froin his curacy at St. Dunstan's; and published in that year, Fitness of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Christ considered ; in Answer to the principal Objections against them," Svo; and also “ two shilling-pamphlets and a letter in a news-paper" in defence of Bp. Hare, who had been attacked by Mr. Gordon, the translator of Tacitus, on some passages in a 30th of January Sermon; for which he received the thanks of Bp. Hare, but “no preferment, nor one farthing of reward." He was after this period a year and a half out of employment ; and living all the while upon credit, or (to use an expression of his own) he “must have died in obscurity like a poisoned rat in a hole.” In this situation his eldest brother was at the expence of obtaining for him, in 1732, his Doctor's Degree in Divinity; soon after which, he was kindly noticed by Bp. Gooch, who gave him in August that year the curacy of St. Clement East-cheap, with a salary of 70l.; and in Feb. 2732-3, he was presented by a relation to the rectory of Deptden in Suffolk, worth

In 1733, Mr. Bowyer printed for him "A Vindication of Eustace Budgell," and " Proposals for printing F. Simon's Critical History;" and in that year he began “ The Weekly Miscellany," under Vol. V. M

the

1021. a year.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the fictitious name of “ Richard Hooker, Esq. of The Inner Temple.” This undertaking, which, he

says, “was more approved of than supported, procured him nothing but great trouble, much illwill, and abuse of all sorts, great expence, and much difficulties.” From being crowded with religious essays, the news-paper soon acquired the quaint appellation of “Old Mother Hooker's Journal.”

In 1734, if his own account may be credited, he rejected an offer of 300l. a year, besides preferment, offered him by Lord Palmerston, if he would have turned the Miscellany into a ministerial paper.

In 1737 he published a Sermon under the title of “ The Sin of being ashamed of our Religion ;” and in 1738, "a Sermon preached at St. Edmond's Bury, March 21."

On the translation of Bp. Sherlock to the see of Salisbury (1738), Dr. Webster * flattered himself with the hopes of obtaining a prebend in that church, which happened to be vacant; but was mortified with a positive denial.

In 1740 he was editor of a pamphlet concerning the Woollen Manufactures, intituled, “ The Consequences of Trade to the Wealth and Strength of the Nation. By a Draper of London, 1740,"

Mr. Webber, who had carried on a considerable trade in wool in the country, and who had been ruined by his endeavours to prevent the running of that valuable commodity, furnished the materials, which · were methodized by the Doctor. The copy, which made a six-penny pamphlet, was given to Mr. Henry

* On his first coming to St. Dunstan's, he had the honour of an intimacy with Dr. Sherlock, for whom he frequently preached at the Temple; "and this kind intercourse," he says, ** continued till the Dean of Chichester was made 'Bishop of Bangor, when his Lordship made me great professions of friendship;" which no occasion offered of putting in practice. When the Bishop was afterwards removed to London, his old acquaintance applied to him at Fulham for charity; and received " a reprimand for going about the country in that manner, without being asked to drink, though he had walked all the way from London."

Woodfall

« PreviousContinue »