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DR. WILLIAM STUKELEY, descended from an antient family* in Lincolnshire, was born at Holbech in that county, November 7, 1687. - After having had the first part of his education at the freeschool of that place, under the care of Mr. Edward Kelsal, he was admitted into Bene't college in Cams bridge, Nov. 7, 1703, under the tuition of Mr. Thomas Fawcett, and chosen a scholar there in April following. His turn for Antiquities appeared very early. In a copy of Logan's Cambridge I find his name printed thus, “ Novemb. 7, 1704, William Stukeley, C.C. Coll. Printed at the University Press, Cambridge.” Whilst an under-graduate, he often indulged a strong propensity to drawing and designing; but made physick his principal study; and with that view took frequent perambulations through the neighbouring country, with the famous Dr. Hales, Dr. John Gray of Canterbury, and others, in search of plants; and made great additions to Mr. Ray's “ Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam ;" which, with a map of the county, he was solicited to print; but his father's death, and various domestic avocations, prevented it. He studied anatomy under Mr. Rolfe, the surgeon; attended the chemical lectures of Signor Vigani; and, taking the degree of M. B. in 1709, made himself acquainted with the practical part of medicine, under the great Dr. Mead, at St. Thomas's hospital. He first began to practise at Boston, in his native county; where he strongly recommended the chalybeate waters of Stanfield, near Folkingham. In 1717 he removed to London ; where, on the recommendation of his friend Dr. Mead, he was soon after elected a fellow of the Royal Society; and was one of the first who revived that of the Antiquaries of, in 1717-18, to
* His father, John, was of the family of the Stukeleys, lords of Great Stukeley near Huntingdon. His mother, Frances, daughter of Robert Bullen, of Weston, Lincolnshire, descended from the same ancestors with Anne Bullen.
+ He was also one of the earliest members of the Gentlemen's Society at Spalding; and held a regular correspondence with
which last he was secretary for many years during his residence in town. He took the degree of M.D. at Cambridge, in 1719; and was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians in the year following: about which time (1720) he published an account of “ Arthur's Oon” in Scotland, and of “Graham's. Dyke,” with plates, 4to. In the year 1722, he was appointed to read the Gulstonian Lecture, in which he gave a description and history of the Spleen: and printed it, in folio, in 1723, together with some anatomical observations on the dissection of an elephant, and many plates coloured in imitation of nature. Conceiving there were some remains of the Eleusinian mysteries in Free-masonry, he gratified his curiosity, and was constituted master of a lodge (1723), to which he presented an account of a Roman Amphitheatre at Dorchester, 4to.
After having been one of the censors of the College of Physicians, of the council of the Royal Society, and of the Committee to examine into the condition of the astronomical instruments of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, he left London in 1726; and retired to Grantham * in Lincolnshire; where he soon came into great request. The Dukes of Ancaster and Rutland, the families of Tyrconnel, Cust, &c. &c. and most of the principal families in the country, were glad to take his advice. During his residence here, he declined an invitation from the Earl of Hertford * to settle as a physician at Marl
Maurice Johnson, esq. and the learned Gales. Several of his letters to those Gentlemen adorn the “Reliquiæ Galeanæ."
* In this town Sir Isaac Newton (one of the early friends of Dr. Stukeley) received the first part of his education, and ina tended to have ended his days, if he could have met with a suitable house. Dr. Stukeley, by his residence there, had an opportunity of collecting some memoirs of the earlier part of Sir Isaac's life and family, which he communicated to Mr. Conduit, who then proposed publishing his life. through the marriage of a daughter, fell afterwards into the hands of the late Lord Lymington. I have Dr. Stukeley's copies of some of them.
+ Algernon Seymour, earl of Hertford, eldest son to Charles Duke of Somerset, by Elizabeth Lady Percy, was born Nov, 11,
borough, and another to succeed Dr. Hunton at Newark. In 1728 he married Frances, daughter of Robert Williamson, of Allington, near Grantham, gent. a lady of good family and fortune. He was greatly afflicted with the gout, which used generally to confine him during the winter months, on account of which, for the recovery of his health, it was customary with him to take several journeys in the spring; in which he indulged his innate love of antiquities, by tracing out the footsteps of Cæsar's expedition in this island, his camps, stations, &c.
1684. He was appointed custos rotulorum of Sussex, January 1705-6; made a campaign in Flanders in 1708, and was present at the victory of Oudenard, and taking of Lisle; was at the taking of Tournay and Mons in 1709; appointed colonel of a regiment of foot, Oct. 23, that year, and served in every campaign till the peace of Utrecht; was appointed governor of Tinmouth Fort in Feb. 1710-11; colonel and captain of the second troop of Horse-guards, and gentleman of the bed-chamber to the Prince of Wales, on the accession of Georgel. In 1722, on the death of his mother, he became baron Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitzpayne, Bryan, and Latimer. He was elected president of the Society of Antiquaries in 1724; was appointed brigadier-general, March 19, 1726-7; major-general of the horse, Nov. 11, 1735; governor of Minorca, Sept. 26, 1737; lieutenant-general of horse, July 2, 1739; colonel of the royal regiment of Horseguards, May 6, 1740; governor of Guernsey, March 13, 1741-2; general of the horse, March 24, 1746-; became Duke of somerset, on the death of his father, Dec. 2, 1748; and was created, Oct. 2, 1749, earl of Northumberland and baron Warkworth; and next day earl of Egremont and baron Cockermouth. Dying Feb. 1, 1749-50, without issue male, the baronies of Percy, Lucy, Poynings, Fitzpayne, Bryan, and Latimer, devolved on the Lady Elizabeth, his only daughter; the titles of duke of Somerset and baron Seymour fell to Sir Edward Seymour, baronet; those of earl of Egremont and baron Cockermouth to his nephew, Sir Charles Wyndham, bart.; the earldom of Northumberland and barony of Warkworth to Sir Hugh Smithson, bart. who had married the Duke's daughter in 1740; and who obtained an act of parliament, April 11, 1750, to take and use the name, and bear and quarter the arms, of the Percys earls of Northumberland; and Oct. 18, 1766, was created earl Percy and duke of Northumberland. The earldom of Hertford and barony of Trowbridge were revived, in the person of Francis Seymour lord Conway, Aug. 3, 1750. — Duke Algernon was uniformly through life the patron of Dr. Stukeley, and was attended by him during his last illness.
The fruit of his more distant travels was his “ Itinerarium Curiosum ; or, an Account of the Antiquities and Curiosities in Travels through Great Britain, Centuria I." adorned with 100 copper-plates, and published in folio, London, 1724." This was reprinted after his death, 1776, with two additional plates; as was also published the second volume (consisting of his description of the Brill, or Cæsar's camp at Pancras, Iter Boreale 1725, and his edition of Richard of Cirencester *, with his own and Mr. Bertram's of notes) illustrated with 103 copperplates, engraved in the Doctor's life-time.
Overpowered with the fatigue of his profession, and repeated attacks of the gout, he turned his thoughts to the Church; and, being encouraged in that pursuit by Archbishop Wake, was ordained at Croydon, July 20, 1729; and in October following was presented by Lord Chancellor King to the living of All Saints, in Stamford *. At the time of his entering on his parochial cure (1730), Doctor Rogers of that place had just invented his Oleum Arthriticum; which Dr. Stukeley seeing others use with admirable success, he was induced to do the like, and with equal advantage: for it not only saved his joints, but, with the addition of a proper regimen, and leaving off the use of fermented liquors, he recovered his health and limbs to a surprizing degree, and ever after enjoyed a firm and active state of
* Published in 1757, under this title, “An Account of Richard of Cirencester, Monk of Westminster, and of his Works: with his antient Map of Roman Britain; and the Itinerary thereof."
+ See “ Britannicarum Gentium Historiæ Antiquæ Scriptores tres: Ricardus Corinensis, Gildas Badonicus, Nennius Banchorensis. Recensuit Notisque et Indice auxit Carolus Bertramus Societatis Antiquariorum Londinensis Socius, &c. Havnize, 1757." 8vo. See also Dr. Stukeley's publication, p. 12, 13. The Doctor's letters to Mr. Bertrain (which were in being Dec. 24, 1773, at Copenhagen) would be a curiosity. Those of Mr. Bertram to the Doctor are safely preserved.
He had the offer of that of Holbech, the place of his nativity, from Dr. Reynolds, bishop of Lincoln; and of another from the Earl of Winchelsea ; but he declined them both.
body, body, beyond any example in the like circumstances, to a good old age. This occasioned him to publish an account of the success of the external application of these oils in innumerable instances, in a letter to Sir Hans Sloane, 1733; and the year after he published also “A Treatise on the Cause and Cure of the Gout, from a new Rationale ;" which, with an abstract thereof, has passed through several editions. He collected some remarkable particulars at Stamford in relation to his predecessor Bp. Cumberland; and in 1736 printed an explanation *, with an engraving, of a curious silver plate, of Roman workmanship, in basso relievo, found under ground at Risley Park in Derbyshire; wherein he traces its journey thither, from the church of Bourges, to which it had been given by Exsuperius, called St. Swithin, bishop of Thoulouse, about the year 205.
He published also the same year his Palæographia Sacra, No. I. or, Discourses on the Monuments of Antiquity that relate to Sacred History," in 4to; which he dedicated to Sir Richard Ellys, bart. “ from whom he had received many favours." In this work (which was to have been continued in succeeding numbers ) he undertakes
* Read before the Society of Antiquaries, April 3, 1736. A copy of it is in the British Museum, No. 4064; as are also the following articles : 4432. 14. Miscellaneous Observations on his Travels through England, in 1721 ; 51. Account of a Shower of Wheat, 1732 ; 75. Account of his Book on the Cause and Cure of the Gout ; 4437. Account of a Chaise that may be worked by a Man carried upon it, 1740-1; with a Drawing. (See Ayscough's Catalogue.)
+ " In the progress of this work, one of my views is an attempt to recover the faces or resemblances of many great personages in antiquity, mentioned in the Scriptures. If novelty will please, I need not fear of success: but it will not appear so strange a matter as it seems at first sight, when we have once ascertained the real persons characterized by the Heathen Gods and Demi-gods." Dr. Stukeley to Mr. Gale, MS. May 9, 1737.-" I have wrote this summer a Discourse on the Mysteries of the Antients, and would willingly communicate it to you as a second number to my Palæographia Sacra.- Poor Maittaire is now at Belvoir with the Duke. I think the Critic is in a declining state of health. I visited Meadus; and found the man, as usual, beset with a parcel of sycophants, puffs, and what not?" Ibid. July 30, 1738.