Page images

ticle I took the liberty of pointing out a slight mistake in it. Among other proofs of Dr. Birch's industry, it is said, p. 303, "not to mention other instances, there are no less than sixteen volumes, in quarto, of Anthony Bacon's papers, transcribed from the Lambeth Library *.” I have no doubt but Dr. Birch transcribed the number of volumes here represented; though but a small part of them was taken from the Lambeth Library. The fact is, there is but one volume in folio on the subject in that Library (being the eighth volume of Bishop Gibson’sy

[ocr errors]


added to it in 1764; and the whole were in 1765 incorporated in a complete edition of the Chancellor's Works, revised by Dr. Birch and Mr. Mallet.-20. Letters between Col. Robert Hammond, Governor of the Isle of Wight, and the Committee of Lords and Commons at Derby House, General Fairfax, LieutenantGeneral Cromwell, Commissary-General Ireton, &c. relating to King Charles I. while he was confined in Carisbrooke Castle in that Island. Now first published. To which is prefixed a Letter from John Ashburnham, Esq. to a friend, concerning his Deportment towards the King, in his Attendance on his Majesty at Hampton Court, and in the Isle of Wight, 1764,” 8vo. These letters were the last publication Dr. Birch livel to print.--21. His last essay, "The Life of Dr. Ward” (rinished but a week before his death, from hints suggested by Dr. Dicarel, the late Mr. Henry Baker, and other friends of the Professor), was published by Dr. Maty in 1766. His numerous communications to the Royal Society may be seen in the Philosophical Transactions; and his poetical talents are evident from the verses referred to in p. 283.

* « The Master of Lambeth House has good hopes that you have not done with his Libraries. Libraries were collected for such folks as you; and the doors of these, and, indeed, every door in this house, shall be at all titnes open to you."

Abp. Herring to Dr. Birch, Nov. 14, 1752. † “ Dr. Tenison, who in 1674 had published the R2 niana,' bequeathed all his MSS. not before deposited in Lambeth Library, to his chaplain, Dr. Edonund Gibson, then rector of Lambeth, and afterwards successively bishop of Lincoln and London, and to Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Benjamin Ibbot, who had succeeded Dr. Gibson as library-keeper to his Grace. Dr. Ibbot dying April 11, 1725, many years before Bishop Gibson, the whole collection of Archbishop Tenison's papers came under the disposition of that Bishop, who directed his two executors, the late Dr. Bettesworth, dean of the Arches, and his son, George Gibson, esq. to deposit them, with the addition of many others of his own collecting, in the Manuscript Library at Lambeth; Vol, V. U


papers) containing only 282 pages of Anthony and Lord Bacon's Letters, &c. That volume, which, by the favour of the late Dr. Ducarel, I had an opportunity of examining, was lent, by permission of Archbishop Secker, to Dr. Birch, out of which he selected all that had not been printed before, adding also several letters from the Hatfield collection, the Harleian MSS. &c. &c. and published the whole in one volume, 8vo, 1763 *.

and accordingly, after his Lordship's death, which happened on the 6th of September 1748, all these manuscripts were delivered by his said executors to Archbishop Herring, on the 21st of October of that year, and placed in the library on the 23d of February following. But, as they lay undigested in bundles, and in that condition were neither convenient for use nor secure from damage, his Grace, the present Archbishop (Secker) directed them to be methodised, and bound up in volumes, with proper indexes, which was done by his learned librarian, Andrew Coltee Ducarel, LL. D. fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies; to whose kno:vledge, industry, and love of history and antiquities, the valuable library of manuscripts of the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury is highly indebted for the order in which it is now arranged; and by whose obliging and communicating temper it is rendered generally useful. Bishop Gibson's collection, including, what is the chief part of it, that of Archbishop Tenison, fills fourteen large volumes in folio. The eighth of these consists merely of Lord Bacon's papers.”

Dr. Birch, Preface to Lord Bacon's Letters. * Dr. Birch is frequently honoured by the notice of Bp. War. burton in the lately published Letters to Bp. Hurd.

« Your account," he says, “ of your labouring through poor Birch | made me smile. I will assure you he has here done his best, and topt his part.” Dec. 15, 1752.--On obtaining a prebend in the church of Gloucester Dr. Warburton says, “Birch introduced the directions he gave me about taking possession, &c. not amiss. He said, it was so long since I had any preferment, that I must have forgot all the formalities of the law. There was another thing he did not dream of, that it is so long since I had occasion to enquire about the formalities, that I am become very indifferent to the things themselves." - And again, after settling an important epoch in History, he says, with a joke, “Could Birch himself now have settled an important point of Chronology better?"

“ His Life of Archbishop Tillotson." HURD.


The following particulars in the Life of Dr. WilLIAM BORLASE (sent by himself, not long before his death, to the Rev. William Huddesford, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford) were communicated by the late Rev. Thomas Warton to my friend Mr. Gough. “ DEAR SIR,

Ludgvan, May 8, 1772. I might justly save you this trouble, and refer you, for every thing the world can be anxious to know relating to (myself) to the Parish Register.

Go search it there, where to be born and die

Of rich and poor make all the history. But, as nothing in the literary way escapes you, and you say you are making collections in Biography, and desire a few memorandums concerning the Author of some Treatises on this County, I shall send you what may amuse one so partially civil to himn as you have been, though inconsiderable to the rest of the world. [William Borlase,] descended from the family of that name, seated at the place whence they derived it, in Cornwall (though of Norman original), from the time of William Rufus *, was the second son of John Borlase, of Pendeen, in the parish of St. Just, Cornwall, esq. who served in two Parliaments (temp. Anne) for the borough of St. Ives, by Lydia, youngest daughter of Christopher Harris, of Hayne (co. Devon) esq. His grandfather married Mary, the daughter of Richard Keigwin, by Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Godolphin, of Trewarvenith, esq.

[William Borlase] was born f. Feb. 2, 1695, and put early to school, at Penzance; where his master used to say, he could learn, but did not; he was thence, more to his improvement, in the year 1709, removed to the care of the Rev. Mr. Bedford, then a learned schoolmaster at Plymouth; and in March 1712-3 to Exeter College, in Oxford; where he

* See Sir Edward Bysse's Notes on Upton, p. 92. + At Pendeen, in the parish of St. Just, Cornwall. U 2


was void.

took his bachelor's and master's * degrees, as soon as of the usual standing.

In the year 1719 he was admitted, by Lancelot Bishop of Exeter, to deacon's orders; and by the same ordained priest in 1720.

Gratitude requires that he now mentions his patrons, to whom he owed a sufficiency, that set him above want (though below envy) all the rest of his life. His father purchased for him, of the Rev. Mr. Charles Wroughton (then proprietor of the next turn, as well as incumbent), the next presentation to the rectory of Ludgvan; but the then grantor, Charles Duke of Bolton, original proprietor of the church of Ludgvan, dying before the grantee, the purchase

Mr. Wroughton died soon after (viz. March 1781); and, by the application of his father, then deputy recorder of St. Ives, strengthened by a recommendation of Sir John Hobart, bart. afterwards Earl of Buckingham, added to that of the Corporation of St. Ives, W. B. was presented, by Charles, the subsequent Duke of Bolton, to the rectory of Ludgvan, and instituted thereunto by Dr. Weston, bishop of Exeter, on the 22d of April 1722.

In the year 1724 he married Anne, eldest surviving daughter of the Rev. William Smith, M. A. rector of the parishes of Camborn and Illogan, Cornwall.

In the year 1730, being much troubled with rheumatic pains, he went to Bath ; where, under the care of the late ingenious Dr. William Oliver, and by cold-bathing in the sea after his return, he, through the goodness of Providence, acquired such a firmness of constitution as served to carry him to the extremes of old age.

In the year 1732 the Rev. Mr. James Millet, A.M, who had been 55 years vicar of St. Just (the parish in which W. B. was born, and wherein his father had the most considerable property), dying, and the Rev. Dr. Borlase af of Castlehornek, W.B.'s elder

* M.A. June 1, 1719; LL.D. by diploma, March 13, 1766.

† Walter Borlase, LL.D. afterwards Vice-warden of the Stannaries.

brother, brother, having then the two considerable vicarages of Madron and Kenwyn, the one from Bishop Wes-. ton, the other from his father; the father thought there was some room, and reason, to apply to the then Lord Chancellor King, in favour of his second son, W. B. then rector of Ludgvan. This applica-. tion was of little service; but, by the recommendation of Sir William Moriee, of Werington (co. Devon) bart. the Lord Chancellor King, consenting to present W. B. to the vacant vicarage *, ordered him to go and thank Sir William Morice for that favour.

His amusements (intermixed with classical reading) had been hitherto Gardening and Planting ; amusements in which the agreeable situation of Ludgvan carried him greater lengths than, perhaps, every one would commend, though not inconducive to health. At times he collected mineral and metallic fossils, with which the rich copper-works of the late Earl of Godolphin, in Ludgvan parish, fortunately enabled him, with the greater ease, to gratify his friends, both at home and abroad; whilst, in return, he received such information and encomiums on the production of the Cornish mines, as encouraged him now first to think of studying the natural history of his native county, and look more narrowly into the structure and properties of the so much commended fossils, as well as trace the other, though less interesting, bounties of nature.

About the same time W. B. perceiving the several parts of Cornwall abounding with many monuments of remote antiquity, and finding them for the most part either not at all mentioned, or the few that were noted passed with less examination than they deserved, enlarged his plan, and entered upon the study of the Druid learning, with the religion and customs of the antient Britons before their conversion to Christianity, intending to describe and explain the several unknown, or hitherto ill-understood,

* This vicarage and the rectory of Ludgvan were the only ecclesiastical preferments Dr. Borlase ever received.


« PreviousContinue »