« PreviousContinue »
to shew, how Heathen Mythology is derived from Sacred History; and that the Bacchus in the Poets is no other than the Jehovah in the Scripture, the conductor of the Israelites through the Wilderness. In his country retirement he disposed his collection of Greek and Roman coins according to the order of the Scripture History; and cut out a machine in wood * (on the plan of an Orrery) which shews the motion of the heavenly bodies, the course of the tide, &c. In 1737 he lost his wife; and in 1738 married Elizabeth, the only daughter of Dr. Gale, dean of York, and sister to his intimate friends Roger pf and Samuel Gale, esquires; and from this time he often spent his winters in London. 1740 he published an account of Stonehenge, dedicated to the Duke of Ancaster, who had made him one of his chaplains, and given him the living of Somerby, near Grantham, the year before. In 1740 he preached a Thirtieth of January Sermor before the House of Commons; and in that year became one of the founders of the Egyptian Society*. In 1743 he printed an account of Lady Roisia's sepulchral cell ll lately discovered at Royston, in a tract, intituled, “ Palæographia Britannica, No. I.” to which an answer was published by Mr. Parkin || in 1744. The Doctor replied in “ Palæographia Britannica, No. II.” 1746, giving an account therein of the origin of the Universities of
* He also cut out a Stonhenge in wood, arranged on a common round trencher; which at his sale was purchased by Edward Haistwell, esq. F. S. A. for 1l. 12s.
+ Whom he frequently accompanied in their antiquarian excursions.
# Of which, see before, p. 334. The great and learned Earl of 'Pembroke, the first patron of this Society, accompanied Dr. Stukeley in opening the burrows on the Wiltshire Downs; and drawings of his Lordship's antique marbles at Wilton were taken by the Doctor.
§ “ It is a Cave; and there is a story belonging to it, not fit for a decent publication.” T. F.
|| Charles Parkin, M. A. rector of Oxburgh, who continued Mr. Blomfield's History of Norfolk.
Cambridge and Stamford, both from Croyland Abbey ; of the Roman city Granta, on the North side of the river, of the beginning of Cardike near Waterbeach, &c. To this Mr. Parkin again replied in 1748 ; but it does not appear that the Doctor took any farther notice of him. In 1747 the benevolent Duke of Montagu (with whom he had become acquainted at the Egyptian Society) prevailed on him to vacate his preferments in the country, by giving him the rectory of St. George, Queen square ; whence he frequently retired * to
* The following verses (written, I am informed, by Mr. James Holcombe, then one of Dr. Stukeley's parishioners) were addressed to him from Queen-square, Oct. 5, 1761:
“ To a BROTHER DRuid.
With joy, I sipp'd the sable fluid,
Thrice happy you, who can employ
Kentish Town, where the following inscription was placed over his door:
“ Me dulcis saturet quies;
Obscuro positus loco
Chyndonax * Druida.
The Druid priest "" He had the misfortune to lose his Patron in 1749; on whose death he published some verses, with others on his entertainment at Boughton, the Duke's seat in Northamptonshire; and a
The Power Supreme, without whose aid,
Your motto is with meaning fraught,
Adieu, dear Sir, I have not time,
May placid peace, and buxom health,
In Ormond-street, or Kentish Town !" * Alluding to an urn of glass so inscribed found in France, which he was firmly persuaded contained the ashes of an archdruid of that name (whose portrait forms the frontispiece to Stonehenge), though the French Antiquaries in general considered it as a forgery; but the late Mr. Tutet had a MS vindication of it, by some learned French antiquary, 43 pages in small 4to; which was bought at his sale by Mr. Bindley, and is now (1810) in his collection.
+ After Dr. Stukeley's death, this inscription was taken down by his son-in-law, Richard Fleming, esq.
“ Philosophic Hymn on Christmas-day.” Two papers by the Doctor, upon the Earthquakes in 1750, read at the Royal Society, and a Sermon preached at his own parish church on that alarming occasion, were published in Svo, 1750, 'under the title of “ The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious ;” of which a second part was printed with a second edition of his Sermon on the Healing of Diseases as a Character of the Messiah, preached before the College of Physicians, Sept. 20, 1750.". In 1751 (in “Palæographia Britannica, No. III.”) he gave an account of Oriuna, the wife of Carausius; in Phil. Trans. vol. XLVIII. art. 33, an account of the Eclipse predicted by Thales; and in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1754, p. 407, is the substance of a paper read at the Royal Society in 1752, to prove that the coral-tree is a real seavegetable. On Wednesday the 27th of February, 1765, Dr. Stukeley was seized with a stroke of the palsy, which was brought on by attending a full vestry, at which he was accompanied by Serjeant Eyre *, on a contested election for a lecturer. The room being hot, on their return through Dr. Stukeley's garden, they both caught their deaths; for the Serjeant never was abroad again, and the Doctor's illness came on that night. Soon after this accident his faculties failed him; but he continued quiet and composed until Sunday following, the 3d of March, 1765, when he departed, in his 78th year, which he attained by remarkable temperance and regularity. By his own particular directions, his corpse was conveyed in a private manner to East
* “William Eyre, esq. called to the degree of serjeant-at-law, Jan. 23, 1741. That gentleman was educated at Winchester school, and formerly filow of New college. He was a good lawyer, and an eminent Antiquary; and had a very noble collection of gold and silver Greek, Roman, and English coins, which he bequeathed, by will, to Winchester College, after the death of his brother, the Rev. Dr. Eyre, F. R. and A. SS. who, very soon after the Serjeant's death, delivered them up to the aforesaid College, where they now remain.” This Note is Dr. Ducarels.
Ham in Essex, and was buried in the church-yard, just beyond the East end of the church, the turf being laid smoothly over it, without any monument. This spot he particularly fixed on, in a visit he paid some time before to the vicar of that parish *, when walking with him one day in the church-yard. Thus ended a valuable life, daily spent in throwing light on the dark remains of antiquity. His great learning and profound skill in those researches enabled him to publish many elaborate and curious works, and to leave many ready for the press. In nis medical capacity, his “Dissertation on the Spleen”. was well received. His “ Itinerarium Curiosum,” the first fruits of his juvenile excursions, presaged what might be expected from his riper years, when he had acquired more experience. The curious in these studies were not disappointed; for, with a sagacity peculiar to his great genius, with unwearied pains and industry, and some years spent in actual surveys, he investigated and published an account of those stupendous works of the remotest antiquity, Stonehenge and Abury, in 1743 ; and hath given the most probable and rational account of their origin and use, ascertaining also their dimensions with the greatest accuracy. So great was his proficiency in Druidical history, that his familiar friends used to call him “ The Arch-Druid of this age."
* This was the Rev. Joseph Sims, B.D. of Catharine hall, Cambridge, formerly chaplain to Bishop Wilcocks, whom he had succeeded as chaplain to the English factory at Lisbon; in his five months absence from which, Mr. Nicolas Tindal, translator of Rapin (see p.516), officiated for him. He was rector of St. John the Evangelist in Westminster; and obtained the vicarage of East Ham January 9, 1756 ; and rebuilt the parsonage-house there at his own expence. He was also a prebendary of Lincoln and of St. Paul's; a learned divine; and published a Sermon on the Rebellion, 1745, 4to, and a volume of excellent Sermons, in Bvo, 1772. He died April 28, 1776, at the rectorial-house at St. John, Westminster, aged 84, and was buried at East Ham. See his Tithe-cause in Burn's “Ecclesiastical Law;" by which Mr. Sims claimed tithe of beans and pease; but which was de. termined against him both in Chancery and on appeal to the House of Lords.