« PreviousContinue »
His works abound with particulars that shew his knowledge of this celebrated British priesthood ; and in his Itinerary he announced a “History of the antient Celts, particularly the first inhabitants of Great Britain,” for the most part finished, to have consisted of four volumes folio, with above 300 copper-plates, many of which were engraved *. Great part of this work was incorporated into his Stonehenge and Abury.
In his “ History of Carausius,” in two vols, 4to, 1757, 1759, he has shewn much learning and ingenuity in settling the principal events of that Emperor's government in Britain. To his interest and application we are indebted for recovering from obscurity Richard of Cirencester’s Itinerary of Raman Britain of
His discourses, or sermons, under the title of “ Palæograpbia Sacra, 1763," on "the vegetable creation,” &c. bespeak him a botanist, philosopher, and divine, replete with antient learning, and excellent observations ; but a little too much transported by a lively fancy and invention.
He closed the last scenes of his life with completing a long and laborious work on antient British coins, in particular of Cunobelin; and felicitated himself on having from them discovered many remarkable, curious, and new anecdotes, relating to the reign of that and other British kings. The 23 plates of this work were published after his decease; but the MS. (left ready for publishing) remained in the hands of his daughter, Mrs. Fleming, relict of Richard Fleming, esq. an eminent solicitor, and one of the six clerks in Chancery, who was the Doctor's executor; and died in 1774, leaving his relict executrix. By his first wife Dr. Stukeley had three daughters; of whom one died young; the other two survived him; the one, Mrs. Fleming, already
* I have some of his drawings of Druids and Druidical Re. mains, intended probably for this work. + See p. 502.
mentioned; the other, wife to the Rev. Thomas Fairchild *, rector of Pitsey in Essex. By his second wife Dr. Stukeley had no child. To the great names already mentioned among his friends and patrons, may be added those of Mr. Folkes, Dr. Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne (with whom he corresponded on the subject of Tar-water), Dr. Pocock, bishop of Meath, and many others of the first rank in literature, at home; and, among the eminent foreigners with whom he corresponded, were, Dr. Heigertahl, Mr. Keysler, and the learned Father Montfaucon, who inserted some of his designs (sent him by Archbishop Wake) in his “ Antiquity explained.'
A good account of Dr. Stukeley was, with his own permission, printed in 1755, by Mr. Masters, in the second part of his “History of Corpus Christi College;" and very soon after his death a short but just character of him was given in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1765, by his friend Peter Collinson. Of both these, the compiler of the present memois has availed himself; and was favoured with several additional particulars from Dr. Ducarel and Mr. Gough.
After Dr. Stukeley’s death, a large medallion of him was cast and repaired by Gabb; on one side his head, adorned with oak leaves, inscribed, REV. GVL. STVKELEY, M. D. S. R. & A. s. Exergue, æt.54. Reverse, a view of Stonehenge, OB. MAR. 4, 1765, ÆT. 84; [but this is a mistake, for the Doctor was but 78.]—There is a portrait of him by Kneller, from which a mezzotinto was scraped by J. Smith, in 1721, before he took orders, with his arms; viz. Argent, a Spread Eagle double-headed Sable. Mrs. Fleming had another portrait of him, in his robes, by Wills; and Mrs. Parsons (relict of Dr. James Parsons f), had a fine miniature, which was esteemed a good likeness.
* M. A. of Catharine hall, Cambridge. He obtained the rec tory of Pitsey in 1757; and died of an apoplectic stroke, May 31, 1782, aged 62. His relict died in Sussex, Sept. 19, 1792.
+ Who was among the very intimate friends of Dr. Stukeley In the latter part of his life.
Sır PETER THOMPSON, knt. F. R. and A.S.S. was third son of Captain Thomas Thompson *, of Poole, in the county of Dorset; in which town Sir Peter was born, Oct. 30, 1698, and died Oct. 30, 1770. James, his elder brother, died at Poole, March 8, 1739-40. Sir Peter was engaged in mercantile business more than forty years; during which period he chiefly resided in Mill-street, Bermondsey, in the county of Surrey; and was in the commission of
He was elected F.S. A. 1743; when he was “ Peter Thompson, merchant;" appointed highsheriff for the said county, 1745; and, upon the breaking out of the rebellion in Scotland, presented to the King a loyal address and association from thatcounty; and upon that occasion received the honourof knighthoodt. He represented the borough of St. Alban's in parliament from 1747 to 1754. He made it his choice, in 1763, to withdraw from the engagements of commercial affairs, that he might enjoy the pleasures of studious retirement and reflexion, and the conversation of his friends, in the place of his birth; where he lived respected by all ranks of people for his atfability and benevolence; and where, in an agreeable situation, he had built a handsoine house, and, at a great expence, formed a capital collection of books, manuscripts, fossils, and other literary curiosities. This valuable library and museum, by the bequest of Sir Peter in his last will, became the property of his kinsman and heir Peter Thompson, who in 1782 was a Captain of the company of grenadiers in the Surrey militia: by whose indulgence, free access to this collection was readily granted to his intimate friends, and any other gentlemen desirous of satisfaction as to matters of history and antiquities. Sir Peter collected, with great care and expence, all the antient records that could be found relating to the Town of Poole, in the Public
* Whose mother was buried, at Poole, in January 1781.
it At the time of receiving this honour, he wore a pair of worsted stockings equal in fineness to the finest silk, and which cost him 31. being made on purpose for him.
Offices, Offices in London, as well as the Archives of Dorsetshire, which, through the medium of Dr. Ducarel *, he liberally communicated to Mr. Hutchins for
* A few extracts from some of his letters on this occasion will tend to illustrate his character.
1. “ Dear Doctor, Bermondsey, March 13, 1762. " I have tried every method in my power to prevail on Mr. Awnsham Churchill to give Mr. Hutchins liberty to print that part of Aubrey's MS, which you wish to have printed. I went so far, by one of his most intimate acquaintance, to try, in the most delicate manner, what value he put on those four volumes of Antiquities. My friend told me he valued them at 1001.# However,' says he, • if you'll give me a commission to offer 50l. I think I shall obtain them for you.” As I did not know how an offer to purchase might be taken, I let the matter rest till it is known what Lord Milton can do in the affair. The last time I saw Mr. Hutchins he assured me that Dr. Stukeley is possessed of a transcript of Aubrey's MS. If this be fact, why not print from the Doctor's MS? I have collected several anecdotes relating to our late friend Ames; but I must ask his daughter some questions before I can think of submitting them to Dr. Ducarel's consideration. I propose being at the Society next Thursday, if the weather is mild.
I am, dear Doctor, your faithful, &c. PETER THOMPSON. 2. “ DEAR DOCTOR,
Poole, May 12, 1762. “ You have herewith a transcript from my manuscript of all that is mentioned of Antique Windows. I could not please myself with an abstract, so I have sent you the whole; which I am inclined to think will not answer your expectations, the numbers on the plates and the numbers in my manuscripts not agreeing. I have taken the liberty to make the numbers on the plates correspond with my book, as you will please to observe. Another thing, in the plates there are two numbers 27. I have crossed one of them out, and added a window at the bottom of the plate (No 30).-How this omission happened, I cannot say, Mr. Ames you know to be a careful copier. In 1755, in the summer of that year, Mr. Ames pleasured me with his company here about three months. That was the time he copied as much of Mr. Hutchins's Abstract from Aubrey's MS. as he chose. On his return to London, he formed it into a book of an octavo size, of 300 pages, in which he inserted many anecdotes relating to history, which he had picked up in the course of his life. On the 30th September 1759 Mr. Ames made me a present of this manuscript; and it so happened that he died the 7th of October following: Yours, &c.
PETER THOMPSON." 3. “ DEAR SIRE
Poole, May 8, 1762. "I was greatly pleasured this morning with your agreeable letter of the 6th insant, which mentions (as many of my other friends' letters do) the present epidemical distemper in and near
kis History of Dorsetshire; which
p. His materials for a life of Mr. Ames came into
London, which God grant may be of a short duration. At present we are entirely free from it here. I fully intended to have pleasured myself with the company of my friends at the Mitre the 23d of last month; but I set out for this place that morning, owing to a letter I received the day before from Dr. Swinhow, that my sister was ill with a fever and in danger. I thank God I found her free from fever, but her paralytic disorder nearly the same as it has been for four years past. I shall very soon transcribe the account of the church windows, which now is in my view; but I must beg you'll please to think to whom I shall direct my pacquets to save postage. In my humble opinion matters of mere curiosity should pass free -- matters of trade and business not. I think I could make free with some members who live in the city, also with Mr. Mawbey near Vauxhall ; but perhaps Dr. Ducarel way direct a more eligible method of conveyance.—1 find that my copy of the Survey of the Churches in this County in the Com:nonwealth's time, which Mr. Rooke obliged me with, is imperfect; all which imperfections I seem to think Dr. Ducarel can supply me with from the copy in the Lambeth Library; but I must beg the Doctor will please to consider of lispensing with stamps, an indulgence I have always had at the Rolls and the Tower. The expence of copying I shall thankfully pay. I shall, soon after I bave transcribed the names, &c. of 44 churches whose windows Mr. Perry has engraved, set about considering how many parishes I shall want to be transcribed to make my copy complete. -1 shall next Monday write a letter to our mutual good friend Mr. Kingston, and I have some thoughts of a tour to Dorchester and Sherborne before Midsummer.-I cannot conclude without acknowledging how much you delighted me with the sight of the Lambeth Library, which is happily under your inspection and care.
The different order I found those valuable manuscripts, to what they were in when I last saw them, gave me a pleasure not easily expressed. Posterity will venerate Dr. Ducarel's great learning, skill, and industry; and highly applaud the wisdom of his Grace of Canterbury, in promoting so desirable a work as the methodizing the manuscripts in the Lambeth library. Dr. Ducarel will excuse this from his most faithful friend and obedient humble servant, PETER THOMPSON." - Dear Sir,
Poole, June 12, 1762. “I was greatly pleased with the favour of your agreeable letter of the both instant, and inclose you all that my book mentions regarding your intended sixth plate. You have three glass windows, my book has only two. I will suppose Mr. Ames did not copy the whole of Mr. Hutchins's Abstract: that will account for the difference. I only desire two or three sets, and no more. Pray let the rest go for Mr. Perry's benefit. I am glad the Plates of Me dais are under the direction of such learned Vol. V. LL