« PreviousContinue »
by Lord Colerane appeared in the “Academiæ Oxoniensis Comitia Philologica, 1713,” and in the “Musæ Anglicanæ," vol. NI. p. 303, under the title of “ Musarum Oblatio ad Reginam." Dr. Basil Kennet, who succeeded Dr. Turner in the presidency of that Society, inscribed an epistolary poem on his predecessor's death to Lord Colerane; who was a great proficient in the learned languages, particularly the Greek; and eminently versed in history, both civil and ecclesiastical. His Lordship made the tour of Italy three times; the second time with Dr. Conyers Middleton, about 1723, in which he made a noble collection of prints and drawings of all the antiquities, buildings, and pictures in Italy; given after his decease to Corpus Christi College. The esteem in which he was held by the Literati procured him admittance into the Republica Litteraria * di Arcadia, and the particular intimacy of the Marquis Scipio Maffei; who afterwards visited him at his antient manor and seat at Tottenham, in Middlesex, commonly called Bruce Castle, from having antiently belonged to the Bruces Earls of Huntingdon. His Lordship married, in 1717, Anne, only daughter of John Hanger, esq. some time governor of the Bank of England it. Her fortune from her father was near 100,0001. She survived her lord five years, dying Jan. 10, 1754, of the gout in her stomach. This marriage was not attended with the expected felicity. Within three years after it took place, her Ladyship thought proper “utterly to forsake his bed and house;" nor could his repeated solicitations for twenty years, and
to Dr. Turner, the president, who died a single man, and gave 20,000l. to the use of poor clergymen's widows.
* A Society whose business it was to correct, increase, and beautify the Italian poetry; as that of Crusca was to purity, illustrate, and fix their language. Some curious particulars of both are given by Baretti, in his “ Account of Italy," vol. II. pp. 246.- 213.
† In consequence of which marriage, Gabriel, third son of her elder brother, was, in 1762, created Baron Colerane ; which title is now enjoyed by his third son, William.
offers of the most ample forgiveness, induce her to return. He theretore, in 1740, formed a solemn engagement and comection with Miss Rose Duplessis *, daughter of Francis Duplessis, a French clerSyman, born at Paris; as was his daughter, in 1710, at Neuf Chat-l. Henrietta Rosa Peregrina, Mrs. Duplessis' daughter by Lord Colerane, was born at Crema in Italy, Sept. 12, 1745; and Dec. 13, 1749, baptized at the parish church of St. Mary, in Colchester His Lordship died at Batii,
* She set out with her father and mother, and one Mr. David Imer, her cousin, from Neuville, in Switzerland, for England, where they soon after arrived. In March 1744, or the beginning of the year 1745, being with child by Lord Colerane, she went with him from England to Brussels, and from thence into Germany and Italy, and other foreign countries, and did not return to England till September 1746.
† An entry was made in the register-book of that parishi, whereby it is expressly mentioned, that she was born in September 17-15, in foreign parts, and not known to have received baptism there. By his will, dated Sept. 17, N. S. 1746, executed at Rotterdam in Holland, he thus solemnly recognizes the mother and daughter : “Whereas it has been my heavy afiliction that Anne Lady Colerane, whom I married with an affectionate and upright heart, did?, in the third year of our marriage, about Oct. 1720, without any just cause or provocation by me given, but with the encouragement of selfish, mis-informed, and ill-disposed persons, in violation of her part of the solemn and mutual covenant which we entered into at our marriare, utterly forsake my bed and house; and whereas from thenceforward unto the year 1741 I did by letters and message, at sundry times, and on all the most proper occasions, solicit my said wife to return to her duty and cohabit with me again, according to the solemn engagements made between us at our marriage, which on my part I was ever disposed to keep and perform, and for that end had for so many years denied myself all the comforts of a married life, though very agreeable to my temper and constitution ; and in my said overtures I solemnly and precisely offered to cancel all past offences, and receive, entertain, and support her in a proper and ample manner, according to my fortune; and lastly, about the beginning of April, 1740), I en ployed James llest, e q. of Lincoln's Inn (who seemed to think her not averse to a reconciliation), to offer the like ampie and honourable terms to the said Lady Anne Colerane, in order to prevail on har (if not determined to persist in a constant violation of her niarriage vow) to come and live with me, govern my family, and partake in the enjoyment of my income ; and to this I was not led by the lucre of that ample provision her father left her, nor deterred from it by the obvious apprehensions of the evils or inconveniences that
Aug. 4, 1749; and was buried in the family vault at Tottenham, built, with the vestry, by his grandfather. His very valuable collection of drawings and prints, or loose sheets representing any buildings or antiquities in Great Britain (but not duplicates of any of them, or any prints engraved by their order or his) were bequeathed by his will to the might follow, on taking into my bosom a person that for so many years had encouraged and habituated herself to a most obstinate, though undeserved, hatred and contempt of me; but when the said James West, esq. (as I have it under his hand), sent to ask leave to offer ample terms of reconciliation from me, she returned him word that she had no answer to give to such proposals, or to that effect; all which proceedings of the said Lady Colerane being well known, and maturely weighed to and by Mrs. Rose Duplessis, spinster, and myself, we two did, on the 29th of April, in the year last above mentioned, in the presence of God, enter into a solemn, mutual engagement to take each other for husband and wife, and perform to each other the negative and positive duties of that relationship (endeavouring to give as little offence as we may by our living together in the life-time of the said Lady Colerane); in consequence thereof, she the said Rose Duplessis, whom I esteem as my only true and virtuous wife, brought me a daughter, on the 19th of September, 1745, whom I have named Henrietta Rosa Peregrina.” And to this daughter he gave, by his said will, in case she survived him, and lived to be 21, or to be married, all his estates, with several other devises over in case of her death. - Dec. 13, 1748, he granted an annuity, or yearly rent-charge, of 160l. a year, to Rose Duplessis during their joint lives, to be issuing out of his Lordship's estate in Norfolk; and expressed himself in this grant thus, “that it was in consideration of good services, and faithful offices done by Mrs. Duplessis ;” and at the same time he made another grant to the said Mrs. Duplessis, of another annuity of 5001. a year, to commence immediately after his Lordship's death, during her life, and to issue likewise out of his lands in Norfolk. – After the decease of Lord Colerane, Mrs. Duplessis, on behalf of her daughter, entered on his estates. But the Lords of the Treasury, having an account given to them of the matters aforesaid, the Attorney General, in 1751; filed an information in the Exchequer for a discovery thereof; whereto Mrs. Duplessis demurred, for herself, and on behalf of her daughter; which came on to be argued in Court in Michaelmas Term, and was overruled. March 24, 1752, Mrs. Duplessis appealed from the last order to the House of Lords, which was heard March 9, 1753; when this question was put to the Judges, “ Whether the disability of an alien to hrld lands be a penalty, or a forfeiture?" Which was answered thus, “ The legal disability of an alien to hold lands is not a penalty or forfeiture." L'pon which the appeal was dismissed.
Society Society of Antiquaries of London*, of which lie had been admitted a member in 1725; but the codicil that bequeathed them being declared void, and the Society not choosing to commence a Chancery suit for their recovery, Mrs. Duplessis , at the solicitation of his friend Mr. Henry Baker, made a present of them to that learned body; and afterwards a portrait of his Lordship, when young, hy Richardson.
His books were sold to Mr. Thomas Osborne, who detained some of the family papers, which were with difficulty recovered from him.
The pictures, bronzes, marble tables, urns, vases, and other antiques, were sold by auction, March 13 and 14, 1754, for 904. 135. 6d. The coins, it is supposed, were disposed of privately.
Henrietta-Rosa-Peregrina Duplessis was married, May 2, 1;63, to James Townsend, esq. Alderman of Bishopsgate ward, who enjoyed, under the grant from the Crown, the extensive manors of Tottenham, Pembroke's, Bruce's, Dauberey's, and Mockings, and repaired the family seat, which had been considerably modernized at the close of the seventeenth century. Mrs. Townsend died Nov. 8, 1785, aged 41 ; and the Alderman July 1, 1787, aged 50; when the estates at Tottenham devolved to their only son, Henry Tiare Townsend, esq. who sold the whole, in 1792, for 30,000l. to Mr. Smith; by whom they were again sold, in 1805, to William Curtis, esq. eldest son of the present worthy Alderman.
* He gave them also the MS History of Hispello de Ferd. Passarini in 4to. bound in red leather, and augmented with one or more printed tract or tracts, and some MS notes of Roger Gale. - July 15, 1755, the cause which had been long depending, concerning Lord Colerane's estates was finally determined in Chancery, in favorir of Mr. Knight and the heirs at law. The estate at Tottenham having thus escheated to the Crown, a grant of it was obtained by Chauncey Townsend, esq. a considerable merchant in Austin Fryars (through his interest with Lord Holland) in favour of his eldest son James Townsend, esq. and Henrietta Rosa Peregrina, his then wife; which grant was confirmed by act of parliament. it Mrs. Duplessis died March 30, 1790.
George Holmes (born at Skipton, in Craven, Yorkshire) became, about 1695, clerk to William Petyt, esq. keeper of the records at the Tower; and continued near 60 years deputy to Mr. Petyt, Mr. Topham, and Mr. Polhill. “Upon the death of Mr. Petyt, which happened Oct. 9, 1707, Mr. Holmes was, on account of his singular abilities and industry, appointed by Lord Halifax (then chairman, in the House of Lords, of the Lords Committees) to methodize and digest the records deposited in the Tower, at a yearly salary of 2001. continued to his death, Feb. 16, 1748-9, in the 87th year of his age. Mr. Holmes was also barrack-inaster at the Tower. He re-published (as has been already mentioned, vol. I. pp. 386. 480) the first seventeen volumes of Rymer's Fædera, in 1727. In Strype's London, 1754, vol. I. p. 746, is a fac-simile of an antique inscription over the little door next to the cloister in the Temple church. It was in old Saxon capital letters, engraved within an half circle; denoting the year when the church was dedicated, and by whom, namely, Heraclius, the patriarch of the church of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem; and to whom, namely, the Blessed Virgin; and the indulgence of sixty days pardon to such who, according to the penance enjoined them, resorted thither yearly. This inscription, which was scarcely legible, and in 1695 was entirely broken by ignorant workmen, having been exactly transcribed by Mr. Holines, was by him communicated to Strype. He married daughter of Mr. Marshall, an eminent sword-cutler in Fleetstreet, by whom he had an only son, George; who was bred at Eton, and was clerk under his father, but died, aged 25, many years before him. She out-lived her husband, and received from Government 2001. for his MSS. about the records, which were deposited and remain in his office to this day. His curious collections of books, prints, and coins, &c. were sold by auction, in 1749. His portrait was engraved by the Society of Antiquaries, with this inscription : “ Vera effigies Georgii Holmes Vol. V.