Page images
PDF
EPUB

late worthy Uncle's illness will not be altogether uninteresting. Last Tuesday se’nnight he perceived a retention of urine; thereupon he immediately came to town from Lord Petre's (where he was upon a visit). Doctors Reeves and Russell, Surgeons Cowell and Adair attended him, but all was in vain. On Thursday last, about 20 minutes before two, he quitted this world. Through the whole of his disorder he expressed the mast cheerful patience and humble fortitude. He told me at first that let the event be what it might, he was content: that it was

quaintance with one imperfectly investigated, he applied with all the ardour of youth, but with the perseverance of more mature age. Of the evils and afflictions incident to humanity he experienced a full proportion. On being married to the daughter of Mr. Hinton Brown, he became a partner in the banking-house of Brown and Co.; the unexpected failure of which, closed his prospects of future affiuence for ever. He declined again entering into business, preferring the independence of leisure, which enabled him to follow his favourite pursuits in science, to the risk and toil of renewing his fortune, which he felt was not a duty incumbent on him, having only one child, of whom, and of his wife, he was the survivor. In the first calamity; among other keenly-felt disappointments, he witnessed the dispersion of his noble library, of more than 10,000 volumes, col. Jected with superior judgment and attention. On this melancholy reverse, he was surrounded by a few much-respected and truly respectable friends, who administered every consolation to his wounded feelings that benevolence and philanthropy could suggést (for to a mind like his, of exquisite sensibility, his sufferings were in the highest degree acute); but, after the first shock had subsided, his conscious rectitude and unimpeached integrity enabled him to sustain his situation with the dignified composure of a philosopher, and the resignation of a Christian, He was a member of the religious society of Friends, to which he adhered through life, and maintained its principles with unvarying consistency. His political sentiments were uniform, and were those of the Old Whigs; to several of the leading characters of which party he was intimately known about the middle of the last century. Of so excellent, so estimable an individual, this is a brief, and very imperfect record; but, while memory remains, his friends will not cease to revere a character equally distinguished by powers of intellect, moral rectitude, liberality of sentiment, and urbanity of manners. See Gent. Mag. vol. LXXIII, p. 878.-- The method of purifying copper ore, and making brass, communicated by Mr. T. Collinson to Dr. Ducarel in 1748 may be seen in the Magazine for September 1809.

totally

totally indifferent to him whether he was to go then, or to continue four or five years longer.' Few men," he added, “have enjoyed life more; been more exempt from pain and disease ; and now (he subjoined) it is come so late in life, I am thankful to Providence he has preserved me so long. I cheerfully resign, and am not afraid to die. No complaints, no murmurs were heard. He accepted with the kindest notice all the assistance administered ; told us, he submitted to the various medical and chirurgical operations, both, as being his duty, and to give satisfaction to his family: if success attended, it was well; if the contrary, it was also well. Thus the good man took leave of all visibles; he had used them, without abusing them. He had lived pleasantly, usefully, and honourably; might be justly called a friend to mankind, and an unwearied promoter of knowledge in general, and of Natural History in particular. What can humanity have attained to more desirable ? so to have lived, and thus to have died. Yet though Reason almost forbids, still the feelings of Nature compel me to weep.”

His only son, Michael Collinson, esq. * of the Chantry in Suffolk, and of Hendon in Middlesex, died Aug. 11, 1795.

* At Sproughton church, near Ipswich :

This monument is erected
by Charles-Streynsham Collinson, Esquire,

to the memory of his Father

Michael Collinson, Esquire,
late of the Chantry in this parish, and also

of Hendon in the county of Middlesex ; who died the 11th of August, 1795, aged 67 years. He was distinguished for his knowledge of Natural History, and for the attention he gave to botanical subjects in particular.

Fronı his generally well-informed mind and polished manners, his company was much esteemed by persons of the first eminence; and he endeared himself to his more intimate connexions

by his

benevolence and liberality. The enjoyment of the latter part of his life was greatly interrupted

by a series of painful disorders, which he sustained
with much exemplary resignation and fortitude."

Mr. Mr. Collinson left behind him many materials for the improvement of Natural History; and the present refined taste of Horticulture may in some respects be attributed to his industry and abilities. The late Lord Petre, the late Duke of Richmond, and others of the first rank in life and letters, were his friends ; and he was continually urging them to prosecute the most liberal improvements. An excellent portrait of him, by Miller, is prefixed to Dr. Fothergill's Letter.

William Cowper, M. D. and F.S.A. practised physic many years at Chester with great reputation. He published (without his name) 1. “A Summary of the Life of St. Werburgh, with an Historical Account of the Images * upon her Shrine, (now the Episcopal Throne) in the Choir of Chester. Collected from Antient Chronicles, and Old Writers. By a Citizen of Chester. Published for the Benefit of the Charity-school, Chester, 1749,” 4to; and by this essay on Antiquarianism, which he is said to have stolen from the MSS. of Mr. Stone ut, raised a great outcry against himself*. He was also author of “ 11 Penseroso : an Evening's Contemplation in St. John's Church-yard, Chester. А Rhapsody, written more than Twenty Years ago ; and now (first) published, illustrated with Notes Historical and Explanatory. London, 1767,” 4to; (addressed, under the name of M. Meanwell, to the Rev. John Allen S, M. A. senior fellow of Tri

* Representing her family, &c. in number thirty, just then repaired. "See a representation of it in Gent. Mag. vol LXI. p. 1089.

† William Stone, minor-canon of the church of Chester, who drew up two curious quarto volumes of Church notes, &c. relative to the City and Cathedral; which were presented by his son to the Cathedral Library, and afterwards lent to the late Dr. Foote Gower.

When he presented his pamphlet to the Society of Antiquaries they desired a copy of the same, which he sent immediately; but it does not appear among their collections. British Topography, vol. I. p. 253.

§ of whom, and of his intimate friend the Rev. Nathanael Heyrick, B. D. see some interesting particulars in the “ History of Leicestershire," vol. III. p. 1127

nity-college, Cambridge, and rector of Torporley in Cheshire) in which he takes a view of some of the most remarkable places around it distinguished by memorable personages and events. He died Oct. 12, 1767, while he was preparing a memorial of his native city. He had also made Collections for the county, which were in the hands of his brother, an attorney near Chester; but consist of little more than transcripts from printed books and minute modern transactions, interweaving, with the history of the county and city, a great mass of general history*.

GEORGE EDWARDS was born at Stratford, a hamlet belonging to West Ham in Essex, on the 3d of April 1694. He passed some of his early years under the tuition of a clergyman, named Hewit, who was then master of a public school at Laytonstone; and, after quitting the school, he was placed with another minister of the Established Church at Brentwood; and, being designed by his parents for business, was put apprentice to a tradesman in Fenchurch-street. ` About the middle of his apprenticeship, Dr. Nicholas, a physician of eminence, and a relation of his master, died: and his books having been removed from Covent Garden to an apartment then occupied by our young Naturalist, he availed himself of this unexpected incident, and passed all the leisure of the day, and not unfrequently a considerable part of the night, in turning over this large collection of Natural History, Arts, and Antiquities. On the expiration of his time, he conceived a design to travel into foreign countries, to improve his taste, and enlarge his mind. In 1716 he spent a month in Holland. In 1718 he went to Norway, at the invitation of a gentleman, whose nephew was master of the vessel in which he embarked. In his excursion to Frederickstadt, he was not distant from the siege of Frederickshall;

* Gough's Anecdotes of British Topography, I. 249, 253; and Gower's “ Sketch of Materials for a History of Cheshire."

where

where Charles XII. lost his life. By this circumstance he was disappointed of visiting that country, as the Swedish army was particularly assiduous in confining strangers; and, notwithstanding all his precaution, he was confined by the Danish guard, who supposed him a spy. In 1719 he visited France, and during his stay there, he made two journies of one hundred miles each; the first to Chalons in Champagne, in May 1720; the second on foot to Orleans and Blois, in disguise to escape being robbed. An edict happened at that time to be issued, to secure vagrants, in order to transport them to America, to people the banks of the Missi

ppi; and Mr. Edwards narrowly escaped a Western voyage.

On his arrival in England, he closely pursued his favourite study of Natural History, applying himself to drawing and colouring such animals as fell under his notice. Birds first engaged his particular attention ; and the curious encouraged the young Naturalist, by paying a good price for his early labours. Among his first patrons and benefactors may be mentioned James Theobald, esq. of Lambeth, F.R.S. and F. A. S. a gentleman zealtus for the promotion of science. In 1731, with two of his relations, he made an excursion to Holland and Brabant, where he collected several scarce books and prints. In December 1733, by the recommendation of Sir Hans Sloane, bart. President of the College of Physicians, he was chosen their Librarian, and had apartments in the College. This office was peculiarly agreeable to bis taste. The first volume of his “ History of Birds” was published in quarto, 1743 ; the subscribers to which exceeded even his most sanguine expectation; and a second volume appeared in 1747.

The third was published in 1750, and in 1751 the fourth. This being the last he intended at that time, he seems to have considered it as the most perfect of his productions in Natural History ; and therefore with devout gratitude offered it up to the great God of Nature. Mr. Edwards, however, continued his

labours

« PreviousContinue »