« PreviousContinue »
papers) containing only 282 pages of Anthony and Lord Bacon's Letters, &c. That volume, which, by the favour of the late Dr. Ducarel, I had an opportunity of examining, was lent, by permission of Archbishop Secker, to Dr. Birch, out of which he selected all that had not been printed before, adding also several letters from the Hatfield collection, the Harleian MSS. &c. &c. and published the whole in one volume, 8vo, 1763 *.
and accordingly, after his Lordship's death, which happened on the 6th of September 1748, all these manuscripts were delivered by his said executors to Archbishop Herring, on the 21st of October of that year, and placed in the library on the 23d of February following. But, as they lay undigested in bundles, and in that condition were neither convenient for use nor secure from damage, his Grace, the present Archbishop (Secker] directed them to be methodised, and bound up in volumes, with proper indexes, which was done by his learned librarian, Andrew Coltee Ducarel, LL. D. fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies; to whose knowledge, industry, and love of history and antiquities, the valuable library of manuscripts of the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury is highly indebted for the order in which it is now arranged; and by whose obliging and communicating temper it is rendered generally useful. Bishop Gibson's collection, including, what is the chief part of it, that of Archbishop Tenison, fills fourteen large volumnes in folio. The eighth of these consists merely of Lord Bacon's papers.”
Dr. Birch, Preface to Lord Bacon's Letters. # Dr. Birch is frequently honoured by the notice of Bp. War. burton in the lately published Letters to Bp. Hurd.
“ Your ac count," he saya, “ of your labouring through poor Birch | made me smile. I will assure you he has here done his best, and topt his part.” Dec. 15, 1752.-On obtaining a prebend in the church of Gloucester Dr. Warburton says, “Birch introduced the directions he gave me about taking possession, &c. not amiss. He said, it was so long since I had any preferment, that I must have forgot all the forma ities of the law. There was another thing he did not dream of, that it is so long since I had occasion to enquire about the formalities, that I am become very indifferent to the things themselves." — And again, after settling an important epoch in History, he says, with a joke, “Could Birch himself now have settled an important point of Chronology better?"
“ His Life of Archbishop Tillotson." HURD,
The following particulars in the Life of Dr. WilLIAM BORLASE (sent by himself, not long before his death, to the Rev. William Huddesford, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford) were communicated by the late Rev. Thomas Warton to my friend Mr. Gough. 'DEAR SIR,
Ludgvan, May 3, 1772. I might justly save you this trouble, and refer you, for every thing the world can be anxious to know relating to (myself] to the Parish Register.
Go search it there, where to be born and die
Of rich and poor make all the history. But, as nothing in the literary way escapes you, and you say you are making collections in Biography, and desire a few memorandums concerning the Author of some Treatises on this County, I shall send
you what may amuse one so partially civil to him as you have been, though inconsiderable to the rest of the world. [William Borlase,] descended from the family of that name, seated at the place whence they derived it, in Cornwall (though of Norman original), from the time of William Rufus *, was the second son of John Borlase, of Pendeen, in the parish of St. Just, Cornwall, esq. who served in two Parliaments (temp. Anne) for the borough of St. Ives, by Lydia, youngest daughter of Christopher Harris, of Hayne (co. Devon) esq. His grandfather married Mary, the daughter of Richard Keigwin, by Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Godolphin, of Trewarvenith, esq.
[William Borlase] was born of Feb. 2, 1695, and put early to school, at Penzance; where his master used to say, 'he could learn, but did not;' he was thence, more to his improvement, in the year 1709, removed to the care of the Rev. Mr. Bedford, then a learned schoolinaster at Plymouth; and in March 1712-3 to Exeter College, in Oxford; where he
* Sce Sir Edward Bysse's Notes on Upton, p. 92. † At Pendeen, in the parish of St. Just, Cornwall. V 2
took his bachelor's and master's * degrees, as soon as of the usual standing.
In the year 1719 he was admitted, by Lancelot Bishop of Exeter, to deacon's orders; and by the same ordained priest in 1720.
Gratitude requires that he now mentions his patrons, to whom he owed a sufficiency, that set him above want (though below envy) all the rest of his life. His father purchased for him, of the Rev. Mr. Charles Wroughton (then proprietor of the next turn, as well as incumbent), the next presentation to the rectory of Ludgvan; but the then grantor, Charles Duke of Bolton, original proprietor of the church of Ludgvan, dying before the grantee, the purchase was void. Nr. Wroughton died soon after (viz. March 1721); and, by the application of his father, then deputy recorder of St. Ives, strengthened by a recommendation of Sir John Hobart, bart. afterwards Earl of Buckingham, added to that of the Corporation of St. Ives, W. B. was presented, by Charles, the subsequent Duke of Bolton, to the rectory of Ludgvan, and instituted thereunto by Dr. Westen, bishop of Exeter, on the 22d of April 1722.
In the year 1724 he married Anne, eldest surviving daughter of the Rev. William Smith, M. A. rector of the parishes of Camborn and Illogan, Cornwall.
In the year 1730, being much troubled with rheumatic pains, he went to Bath; where, under the care of the late ingenious Dr. William Oliver, and by cold-bathing in the sea after his return, he, through the goodness of Providence, acquired such a firmness of constitution as served to carry him to the extremes of old age.
In the year 1732 the Rev. Mr. James Millet, A.M. who had been 55 years vicar of St. Just (the parish in which W. B. was born, and wherein his father had the most considerable property), dying, and the Rev. Dr. Borlase y of Castlehornek, W, B.'s elder
* M.A. June 1, 1719; LL.D. by diploma, March 13, 1766.
+ Walter Borlase, LL.D, afterwards Vice-warden of the Stagnaries,
brother, brother, having then the two considerable vicarages of Madron and Kenwyn, the one from Bishop Weston, the other from his father; the father thought there was some room, and reason, to apply to the then Lord Chancellor King, in favour of his second son, W. B. then rector of Ludgvan. This application was of little service; but, by the recommendation of Sir William Morice, of Werington (co. Devon) bart. the Lord Chancellor King, consenting to present W. B. to the vacant vicarage*, ordered him to go
and thank Sir William Morice for that favour. His amusements (intermixed with classical reading) had been hitherto Gardening and Planting ; amusements in which the agreeable situation of Ludgvan carried him greater lengths than, perhaps, every one would commend, though not inconducive to health. At times he collected mineral and metallic fossils, with which the rich copper-works of the late Earl of Godolphin, in Ludgvan parish, fortunately enabled him, with the greater ease, to gratify his friends, both at home and abroad; whilst, in return, he received such information and encomiums on the production of the Cornish mines, as encouraged him now first to think of studying the natural history of his native county, and look more narrowly into the structure and properties of the so much commended fossils, as well as trace the other, though less interesting, bounties of nature.
About the same time V'. B. perceiving the several parts Cornwall abounding with many monuments of remote antiquity, and finding them for the most part either not at all mentioned, or the few that were noted passed with less examination than they deserved, enlarged his plan, and entered upon the study of the Druid learning, with the religion and customs of the antient Britons before their conversion to Christianity, intending to describe and explain the several unknown, or hitherto ill-understood,
* This vicarage and the rectory of Ludgvan were the only ecclesiastical preferments Dr. Borlase ever received.
remains remains in Cornwall. To this extensive undertaking he was encouraged, as well as assisted, by the happy neighbourhood of some learned and welldisposed gentlemen, within a few miles of his residence, particularly the late worthy Sir John St. Aubyn, bart. the reverend and learned Mr. Edward Collins, late vicar of St. Erth, and others. How worthy Cornwall (though hid as it were in the extreme angle of Britain) was of further enquiry, was the usual topic of social visits. Excursions, to view the subjects already mentioned by others, were not to be dispensed with; to search for more, was altogether as necessary, to make a collection the more entertaining, and that the monuments might mutually illustrate one another. The latter of the above-named gentlemen was generally the companion of all antiquarian enquiries; and his judicious decision was as frequently a check in some disquisitions, as it was a leader to the Author's single, and more superficial animadversions in other cases: but want of health, and other avocations interfering, and preventing him from taking a farther share in a work then hardly sketched out but in imagination, W. B. was solely engaged for some years in the prosecution of a design so abstruse at the same time and so comprehensive, in which, his happy connexion with one, who took more than her part of domestic cares, all the while, on purpose to indulge his tendency to an object favourite both to husband and wife, did not a little contribute to make him persevere.
His correspondence had been hitherto confined to his own neighbourhood, or extended, by letters only, to the literati of London, Oxford, and elsewhere, from his study; a sphere much too contracted for the design; but, in the year 1748, having been previously favoured with some little intercourse, hy letter, from Dr. Lavington, then the worthy Bishop of Exeter, he attended the ordination there of his eldest son. As he here paid his duty to his Diocesan, he was fortunate enough to commence an acquaintance with the Rev. Dr. Charles