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shall now only add the following very apposite remark, transcribed by my late excellent friend Mr.Gough, in the margin of the former edition of these Anecdotes *: “Mr. Baker's MSS. at Cambridge, the work of his long life, are no longer consulted, but slighted and abused by a younger generation, who undervalue them chiefly from their ignorance of the contents of them. But it is no longer a wonder that Antiquaries are treated with contempt by a race of men who are tired of their Religious Establishments, and would have a new one every ten or twenty years.
“ Feb. 7, 1772. W.C.-Feb. 5, 1783. R. G.”
of Moore and Bodley, Umfreville, Rawlinson, Willis, &c. (and we might add some later stealers of books, manuscripts, coins, and other antiquarian supellex), we venture to affirm he would be acquitted, with a copy of his indictment. But a worse charge remains for the second count. Some disagreeable truths have come out in the second edition of the British Topography. His. toric Verity has recorded something to the discredit of Mr. Masters in his dispute with a modest and ingenious architect of Cambridge, whose works he had purloined. To his History of Corpus Christi College he has annexed a plan of the intended new building, designed by himself. Let Mr. Cole, who best knew the whole transaction, give an account of it. "This was just as much designed by himself as the drawing of Pythagoras's school was; that is, he had no hand in either. Mr. Esser drew the plan of the new college, where inrenit honestly stands for found it, if it relates to the compiler of this book; if to Mr. Essex, in its natural sense,—The other was found at Mr. Stephens's, the engraver, at Cambridge, where it had been left by Mr. West, who, with Mr. Esser, took the draught, and gave it to Mr. Stephens, where it was found, as has been observed. I have the original draught now by me, with Mr. West's name scratched out, which had been under the drawing.” The curious Reader is referred to Gent. Mag. 1784, vol. LIV. pp. 194, 329.
* The quarto edition of Lord Orford's Works contains “The Life of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Baker, of St. John's College in Cambridge; written in 1778; “ of which," an intelligent Friend observes to me, “ I suppose you will make some mention, dry, and dull, and uninteresting as it is. I never thought that the sprightly and inquisitive Horace Walpole could ever have written any thing of so little information or curiosity. How writers at tirnes differ from themselves, in their most essential points of character!"
No. V. AMBROSE BONWICKE. (See vol. I. p. 419.)
AMBROSE BONWICKE, first-born child of Ambrose Bonwicke*, master of Merchant Taylors' School, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Philip Stubbs, of St. Peter's, Cornhill; was born at the master's house, adjoining to the School, Sept. 30, 1691 ; but his father removing to Headley School within three months after his birth, he entered there under the tuition of his father, till Jan. 11, 1702-3; when he was admitted into Merchant Taylor's School ;
* Of whom some account has been given in vol. I. p. 66. The correspondence with Mr. Blechynden, there mentioned, with several of Mr. Bonwicke's letters and College exercises, may be seen in the quarto volume of Mr. Bowyer's “ Miscellaneous Tracts." The epitaph on Mr. John Bonwicke, the father of the schoolmaster, has also been printed in the page above referred to. These which follow are for some of his children.
On the South side of the altar at Mickleham, on a black marble, is the following inscription :
" Hic, eodem sepulchro conditi,
jacent par charissimum
liberi natu minimi
et Dorotheæ uxoris;
desiderio contabescens, post
A. D. MDCLXXXVIII.
Non poscit lacrymas ille vel illa tuas.
and boarded with his uncle, Mr. Henry Bonwicke, a bookseller in St. Paul's church-yard, a man of: great piety and probity, who died in 1706. In 1708-9, he gave a specimen of that habitual piety which was a prominent feature in his character. He wrote to his father : “ You have told me, Sir, I should not want any helps for my learning (and I' do not know that I do want any); and I doubt not? but you will assist me in my devotions also, and therefore desire you would lend me a book or two to employ my spare time in the ensuing Lent; for I think I cannot employ too much time in preparing myself for the most Holy Sacrament, you intend I shall, and I desire to receive. If you cannot well spare me a book or two, I shall be very glad to buy myself one, if you would but please to send (when you have an opportunity, and can spare time) a line or two of your advice about the properest books and
On another marble grave-stone:
“H. S. E.
Johannis Bonwicke, istius
omnes quibus notus erat, jam maximè desiderant; hunc
sævus variolarum morbus nobis omnibus præripuit, et Deo suo reddidit, quem semper quantum humanitas patiatur
religione non querulà et muliebri, sed tacitâ et masculd coluerat. Abi quisquis es, et
scito te pariter
mortalem. Obiit A. D. idūs Decembres *, MDCLXXXVII. Counsellor Bonwicke, of the Mickleham family, and a barrisfer of the Middle Temple, died May 14, 1729.
* Sic Orig.
means, for I have no books that are particularly relating to that great affair."
At the latter end of July this year, he removed nearer to the school, and became a parishioner of Dr. Whincup's, under whose ministry he was a regular communicant so long as he continued at the school. At the election in 1709, he was left Captain of the school; but was disappointed in his expectation of going to St. John's at Oxford, through the Nonjuring scruples which he had imbibed from his father.
His not reading prayers was taken notice of by the master of the company, Alderman Ward, who, it was supposed, came to the knowledge of it by the means of some one of the head scholars, who hoped, by putting aside Bonwicke, to succeed himself. It is the custom of that school for the head-scholars in their turns to read the prayers there ; and among other prayers for the morning, the first Collect for the King at the Communion service of our Liturgy is appointed to be read. This our conscientious lad stuck at; and on that account was frequently attacked by most of his friends in London, who endeavoured not only to convince him with arguments, but to affright him with the consequences of his not complying. But the heroic youth stood firm against all their assaults, resolving to sacrifice every thing rather than his conscience *.
* In a letter to his father, dated Feb. 22, 1709-10, wherein he gave him a large account of what two of his uncles had said to him on this point, he thus expresses himself: “ Now though I am very well convinced in my own breast that these arguments are very false, yet I cannot so well answer to them, because I do not know whether you would have me open myself so much as I must of necessity do, if I go to refute these arguments; therefore I hear all, and say little. But, if you would have me do otherwise, pray let me know it." And in another place thus: “ I am stedfastly resolved to keep to your opinion, which I take to be the right, and my duty; and I hope God will give me grace and courage to suffer for the same, whenever it shall please him to call me to it.” To support and comfort him in this trial, he received two days after the following letter from his mother : " Dear Ambrose, we are afraid by your letter that came by your
At length the election for the year 1710 came on; and St. Barnabas being on a Sunday, the orations, examinations, and other exercises, were performed the day before. In all which our youth came off with a reputation answerable to his post and standing. Particularly his extempore translation of Livy, (which was truly so, for he declared he had never read that part of the history before) was so much admired, that Dr. Delaune *, then president of St. John's in Oxford, told the master of the school it was fit to be printed. On Sunday in the evening they proceeded to the election; and the captain being called in, the master of the company spoke to him in these, or words to this effect: * Mr. Bonwicke, the President and gentlemen who have examined you as a candidate for this election, declare that you have performed your duty very well, and are every way capable of being elected But the company who are the electors have received information that you have not read the prayers of the school, whether enjoined by the statutes or your master I cannot tell. The company therefore desire to know of you the reason why you did not read them. You may make what excuse you please;
uncle, that you trouble yourself too much; and had that come time enough for us to send you orders to come down on Tuesday, I believe it had been done, though your father thought it would be too great a fatigue to return so soon now the ways are so bad. I pity you, supposing you have not one friend at London to encourage you, but that all blame us and you. I hope notwithstanding you will take courage and bear up, when you consider you had the same fate which you now fear, before you were a month old, and it has pleased God you have wanted for nothing since that time; and therefore you have great reason to hope, if you do your duty, God will still provide for you some way or other; we do not in the least doubt of it. And if you are put by going to Oxford, and do not like Cambridge so well, you may assure yourself we shall not desire you to go thither, nor think you a burthen to us here, where you have a good friend to direct you in your studies. In the mean time God may raise us and you up friends, as he has done to a worthy person, which he never knew nor heard of before his troubles. So praying God in all things to direct and rule your heart, I leave you to his protection, who am your loving mother, E. B." * Of whom see vol. I. p. 384.