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To the Account of Bp. Halifax, referred to in p. 630, may
“ Hic juxta filiolum dulcissimum, acerbo olim fato
Præreptum, paternas exuvias deponi voluit vir
Academiâ protenus Cantabrigiensi floruit; juris civilis
Cantuariensi facultatum registrarius; in hâc ecclesiâ
et eruditione et industria singulari, summa in ecclesiam
Scriptorum nitore et elegantia, vità insuper
Natus est apud Mansfield Jan. 18, 1733;
Martii 4, 1790, ætatis eheu 57.
et sex filiabus superstes relicta,
Bp. Hurd's Life of Bp. Warburton, 4to. p. 108.
*** For Memoirs of Hutchins, S. RICHARDSON, T. CARTE,
END OF THE FIFTH VOLUME.
Nichols and Son, Printers, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street, London.
No. XV. MR. JOSEPH STRUTT*. In tracing the studious man' and the artist in his path through life, a reader can anticipate but little gratification. Follow him, ere yet the thread of life be unravelled, to his solitary apartment; there you behold him with his pen or pencil in his hand, his mental faculties deeply absorbed, and barred against extraneous objects ; and your presence would be an infringement upon the flights of his imagination, now on the wing, and panting to bring home some novel idea. But when, through the medium of an Author's literary labours, an interest has really been excited, whether on account of new information communicated, of methodical classification of subjects treated, of satisfactory elucidations and perspicuity of style, or from the intrinsic merit of his researches exhibiting at once unwearied labour and capacious powers of intellect; then every the minutest circumstance relative to him is sought after with avidity; the knowledge of his birth-place, of his family-connexions, of his person and character, are then memoranda of high importance.
Such notices may perhaps be expected by a generous and enlightened publick, as due to the memory of Mr. Strutt; whose literary labours, as well as the productions of his pencil and graver, they have been pleased highly to appreciate. An assemblage of interesting facts relative to the history and usages of his native country, comprised in several volumes, chiefly occupied the hours of a life chequered by misfortune, early embittered by the loss of an amiable partner, and long tending towards the grave through the pressure of bodily affliction.
Mr. Joseph STRUTT, the youngest son of Thomas and Elizabeth Strutt, was born October 27, 1749, at Springfield in Essex. Here his father possessed
* These original Memoirs are communicated by one of his nearest relations. Vol. V.
some property, and carried on the profession of a miller, to which he had been brought up under Mr. John Ingold, of Woodham-Walter, in the same county.
This Thomas was son of Mr. Thomas Strutt, miller, 'of Chehnsford, by Elizabeth, one of the daughters of Robert Younge, gent. of Halsted, in Essex,
On tire expiration of his apprenticeship, Thomas Strutt, in 1743, married Elizabeth Ingold, one of hismaster's daughters; and settled first at Danbury, and afterwards at Springfield, in both which places be possessed some property; and at the latter of which he resided when, his son Joseph was born. By his wife he had four sons and one daughter ; of whom John* and Joseph alone attained to years of maturity.
In about a year after the birth of his son Joseph, Mr. Thomas Strutt embarked on a voyage for Constantinople; probably recommended by the Faculty so to do for the benefit of his health. He had a favourable passage to Smyrnat, where he stayed some
* John Strutt was their second sow; and was born Noveinber 30, 1745. He became a sturgeon, and acquired considerable eminence in his profession. He married a young lady of the highest accomplishments; and hy her had two children; both of whom died young. After a residence of several years in Derbystreet, Westminster, he died there, May 24, 1784.
+ Five letters written by Mr. Thomas Strutt to his wife, in his passage to and from Constantinople, have been preserved: one of these contains sone local remarks, which may perhaps be deemed worth franscribing; and the order of the respective dates set down.
The first of these letters, ciirected “ To Mrs. Strutt, at Springfield Mill, near Chelmsford, Essex," (which direction is alsu upom the other four,) is dated from the Downs, October 21, 1750: * short letter, merely stating his arrival at the Duwns, and sending his remembrances to his wife and their friends.
The second letter is likewise very brief; dated from the Streights of Gibraltar, November, 1750.
The third is longer than any of the other letters, and is dated from Snyrna, December 6, 1750; whither, as Mr. Strutt ob serves, hé « arrived on Saturday last, in good health and good spirits; and on Sunday went on shore; but could meet with no person that could speak English; however, by the help of the On re
time: he sailed thence to Constantinople, and returned to Smyrna ; where it is supposed he caught the small-pox; he lived till the ship arrived at Plymouth, and died there, about June 1751, before his wife could arrive to bid him adieu for ever: ceiving the melancholy intelligence, Mrs. Strutt proceeded to Plymouth, and recovered her deceased husband's effects.
Thus, at the tender age of a year and a half, was Joseph Strutt bereaved of his parent. The care of his early tuition now devolved on his mother: and she, at a suitable time, placed him at the school at Chelmsford, where he attained the rudiments of boyish education, as reading, writing, and a scanty knowledge of grammar. The lessons of piety and of his duty to his Maker, were early instilled into him from his mother's lips : her example and precept went hand in hand to invite his imitation : and he seems to have retained to his latest breath the
little knowledge I have of the French, I have sold some of my knives, and wish I had brought more. The town is semicircular, about a mile in length, and makes a very agreeable prospect to the harbour; the ships lying within gunshot of the town: but the streets are so very narrow, and the houses so thick, that it is very nauseous withinside. I expect to go hence to Constantinople on Saturday morning, and be here again in May; and, if we have good luck, at home the latter end of August. You must not expect to hear from me again until I come to London ; this being the last ship that goes home this season.” He concludes with the following postscript : “ Wine here sixpence per gallon, the best at eight pence. A very plentiful place. Never had my health so well in my life; not having had so inuch as the head-ache."
The fourth letter, dated from Smyrna, December 8, 1750, is brief; and mentions that he was in good health; and that they tvere then weighing anchor for Constantinople,
The fifth letter is dated March 1st, 1750-1, from the same place. He had proceeded to Constantinople, and returned to Smyrna, in the space of time that had elapsed between the date of this and the former letter. He says, “ We are now loading in Smyrna Bay for the homeward-bound passage; and I hope I shall see you some time in July.--P.S. We have buried our poor Captain in our passage to Constantinople. We brought the Dutch Embassadress with her retinue from Constantinople to Smyrna.'
fondest regard for the counsels of this monitress of his youth *.
At the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed by his mother to the unfortunate Mr. William Wynn Ryland, in 1764; and in 1770 became a student at the Royal Academy; where he had the gold and silver medals adjudged to him ; the former for a painting in oil t, and the latter for the best Academy-figure.
Having with fidelity accomplished the term of his servitude under Mr. Ryland, Mr. Strutt took up his residence in the family of his friend Mr. Thane. His future prospects, and the ardour of his imagination, on entering the world for himself, are best declared in his own words, in a letter which he wrote to his mother on that occasion ; part of which is here extracted. “ I thank
honoured Madam, for the joy you express at this your son's first-gained * laurel; and also those our worthy friends for the interest they take in my welfare, as also for every obligation they have so generously laid upon me: and though I know it is not in my power to repay their kindness, yet I have a heart that, thoroughly sensible of all these favours, overflows with gratitude and acknowledgements, which I am sure will never be forgotten : nor can I deviate from that respect, which I owe to their
* See extracts from a letter written by Mr. Strutt to his mother, p. 676, note.
+ It appears, that this was the first attempt Mr. Strutt ever made to paint in oil; and what is singular, he had for his competitor the celebrated Harnilton. The arbitrators were long deciding whose design should carry the palm ;, but at last it was de cided in Mr. Strutt's favour. This was undoubtedly a grand triumph to a youth of his aspiring genius. The subject of his picture was taken from the second book of the Æneid ; where The Poet describes the lambent flame as descending on the head of lülus; old Anchises on his cóuch is invoking the gods; and Æneas, in the foreground, is rushing out to the battle. The design, rather than the execution, (as may be conceived from a first attempt,) secured. Mr. Strutt the prize.
This was the gold medal. the first ever given at the Royal Academy, for the best historical picture ; this he gained in December 1770.