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1733 *, and on which Mr. Johnson communicated his observations. Mr. Bell conceived that coins might be distinguished by the hydrostatical balance, and supposed the flower on the Rhodian coins to be the lotus, but Mr. Johnson the balaustrum, or pomegranate flower. He sent the late unhappy Dr. Dodd notes concerning the life and writings of Callimachus, with a drawing of his head, to be engraved by Vertue, and prefixed to his translation of that poet. He made a cast of the profile of Dr. Stukeley, prefixed to his “ Itinerarium," and an elegant bust of Alexander Gordon, after the original given by him to Sir Andrew Fountaine's niece. He communicated to the Spalding Society an account of Outwell church, and the Haultoft family arms, in a border engrailed Sable a lozenge Ermine, quartering Fincham, in a chapel at the East end of the North aile. He collected a series of nexus literarum, or abbreviations.
He had a portrait of Sir Thomas Gresham, by Hilliard, when young, in a close green silk doublet, hat, and plaited ruff, 1540 or 1545, formerly belonging to Sir Marmaduke Gresham, bart. then to Mr. Philip, Filazer, by whose widow, a niece to Sir Marmaduke, it came to Sir Anthony Oldfield, and so to Maurice Johnson. He addressed verses on color est connata lucis proprietas to Sir Isaac Newton, who returned him a present of his Philosophy, sumptuously bound by Brindley.
The late Mr. Cole, of the Fen-office, editor of the second edition of Sir William Dugdale's History of Embanking, 1772*, tells us that this edition was printed from two copies of the old one, one corrected by Sir William himself
, the other by Beaupré Bell, esq. “a diligent and learned Antiquary, who had also made some corrections in his own copy, now in Trinity college library.” See his letters, dated Beaupré hall, May 11, and July 30, 1731, to
* See the “Reliquiae Galeanæ," in the Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, No. II. p. 490.
† Ibid. p.53.
† Printed at the expence of Richard Geast, esq. of Blythe hall, who married the immediate descendant of Dagdale. See in the third volume, under the year 1772.
T. Hearne, T. Hearne, about the Pedlar in Swaffham church, a rebus on the naine of Chapman, prefixed to Ilemingford, p. 180, and preface, p. 113. See also, on the same subject, Preface to Caius, p. xlvii. and lxxxiv. and the speech of Dr. Spencer, vice-chancellor of Cambridge, to the Duke of Monmouth, when he was installed Chancellor, 1674, lb. lxxxvi. In p. lii. Hearne styles him amicus eruditus, cui et aliis nominibus me devincturn esse gratus agnosco. He also furnished him with a transcript, in his own hand-writing, of Bishop Gedwin's Catalogue of the Bishops of Bath and Wells, from the original in Trinity college library. App. to Ann. de Dunstable, 83.5. 837. A charter relating to St. Edmund's Bury abbey. Bened. Abbas, p. 805. The epitaph of E. Beckingham, in Bottisham church, in Cambridgeshire, Pref. to Otterbourne's Chron. p. Ixxxii. App. to Trokelow, p. 378. Papers, &c. of his are mentioned in Bibl. Top. Brit. p. 57, 55.62. Walsingham church notes, p. 59, entered in the Minutes; a paper on the Clepsydra, p.60; and five of his letters to Mr. Blomfield are printed, pp. 290. 465-472; one to Dr. Z. Grey, p. 147; one to Mr. N. Salmon, p. 150; others to Mr. Gale, pp. 169. 181. 302—305; to Dr. Stukeley, p. 176. 178. See also pp. 175. 178. 181. 465. 469.470.471. In Archæologia, vol. VI. pp. 133.139. 141. 143. are some letters between him and Mr. Gale, on a Roman horologium mentioned in an inscription found at Taloire, a poor small village in the district and on the Lake of Amecey, &c. conmunicated to him by Mr. Cramer, professor of philosophy and mathematics *.
The following correct copy of the epitaph given in Mr. Camden's Remains, p. 400, at Farlam, on the West Marches towards Scotland, near Naworth castle, being communicated to the Society 1734, Mr. Bell sent them the Latin translation annexed : John Bell of Brekenbrow ligs under this stean, Four of mine een sons laid it on my weam,
* See the Bibliotheca Topographia Britannica, p. 60.
I livd all my days but * shirt or strife ;
thine. Ipse Caledoniis Bellus benè notus in oris Mole sub hâc, nati quam posuere, cubo: Mensa parata mihi, mihi semper amabilis uxor, Et placidæ noctes et sine lite dies. Heus, bone vir! siquid fecisti rectiùs istis, Hoc marmor tibi do quod tegat ossa libens.
Dr. Thomas Birch, a valuable biographical and historical writer, was born in the parish of St. John Clerkenwell, Nov. 23, 1705. His parents were both of them Quakers; and his father, Joseph Birch, was a coffee-mill maker by trade. Mr. Joseph Birch endeavoured to bring up his son to his own business ; but so ardent was the youth's passion for reading, that he solicited bis father to be indulged in this inclination, promising, in that case, to provide for hiinself. The first school he went to was at HemelHensted in Hertfordshire. It was kept by John Owen, a rigid Quaker, for whom Mr. Birch afterwards officiated some little while as an usher. The next school was kept by one Welby, near Turnmillstreet, Clerkenwell, who never had above eight or ten scholars at a time, whom he professed to instruct in the Latin tongue in a year and a half. To him Mr. Birch was likewise an usher; as he also afterwards was to Mr. Besse, the famous Quaker, in George's court in St. John's lane, who published the posthumous works of Claridge. It is farther said, that he went to Ireland with Dean Smedley p. ; but
+ Who published, in 1728, “ A Specimen of an universal View of all the eminent Writers on the Holy Scriptures; being a Collection of the Dissertations, Explications, and Opinions of learned Men, in all Ages, concerning the difficult Passages and obscure Texts of the Bible ; and of whatsoever is to be met with, in Profane Authors, which may contribute towards the better understanding of them.” This extensive undertaking was intended to have been composed in two large folio volumes. Had the plan
in what year, and how long he resided with the Dean, cannot now be ascertained. He was indefatigable in his application, and stole many hours from sleep to increase his stock of knowledge. By this unremitting diligence, though he had not the happiness of an University education, he soon became qualified to take holy orders in the Church of England, to the surprize of his acquaintance. We do not precisely know when this event took place; but it must have been as early as in 1728. In the same year he married the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Cox, to whom he was curate; but his felicity was of short duration, Mrs. Birch dying of a puerperal fever in less than twelve months after their marriage *. Almost in the very article of her death she wrote to her husband the following letter:
“ July 31, 1729. “This day I return you, my dearest life, my sincere and hearty thanks for every favour bestowed on your most faithful and obedient wife,
“ Hannah Birch "
proceeded, it is no very far-fetched conjecture to suppose that Mr. Birch was to have been an assistant.
* See Mr. Birch's pathetic “Verses on the Death of a beloved Wife,” in the “ Select Collection of Poems, 1780," vol. V. p. 258.
† The following epitaph is transcribed from the hand-writing of Dr. Birch:
« H. S. E.
egregium sui sexs exemplar.
in lætis consors,
In 1732 he was recommended to the friendship and favour of the Lord High Chancellor Hardwicke, then attorney general; to which noble Peer, and to the present Earl of Hardwicke, he was indebted for all his preferments. The first proof he experienced of his Patron's regard, was the living of Ulting, in the county of Essex, in the gift of the Crown, to which he was presented in 1732. In 1734 he was appointed one of the domestic chaplains to the unfortunate Earl of Kilmarnock, who was beheaded in 1746. Mr. Birch was chosen a member of the Royal Society Feb. 20, 1734-5; and of the Society of Antiquaries, Dec. 11, 1735, of which he afterwards became Director till his death. Before thi the Varischal College of Aberdeen had conferred on hiin, by diploma, the degree of Master of Arts. In 1743, by the interest of Lord Ilardwicke, he was presented by the Crown to the sinecure rectory of Landewy Welfrey in the county of Pembroke; and in 1743-4 was preferred, in the same manner, to the rectory of Sidington St. Peter's, in the county and diocese of Gloucester. We find no traces of his having taken possession of this living; and, indeed, it is probable that he quitted it immediately, for one more suitable to his inclinations, and to his literary engagements, which required his almost constant residence in town; for, on the 24th of February, 1743-4, he was instituted to the united rectories of St. Michael, Wood-street, and St. Mary Staining; and in 1745-6 to the united rectories of St. Margaret Pattens, and St. Gabriel, Fenchurchstreet (by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, in whose turn the presentation then was). In January, 1752, he was elected one of the Secretaries of the Royal
et quicquid in vita fuerat amænius,
te exemplo in terris præeuntem,
tuo usque sustentatus amore,
latus lubensque sequar."