Cadwallader Colden.

Lives & portraits of public characters .. (Volume 3) online

. (page 8 of 13)
Online LibraryCadwallader ColdenLives & portraits of public characters .. (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

next day he surrendered, the two nobles informing him it
was the king's pleasure he should retire to Ashur, a seat
belonging to him as bishop of Winchester.

Woisey now stood forth to view confessedly a ruined
man. All his possessions and moveables were forfeited
to the crown. The fate of his colleges gave him most
pain : he had indulged a fond expectation that they would
have been his monuments with posterity as a patron of
knowledf^e, and a benefactor to his country ; but they too
were confiscated. He wrote to the king, humbly, on his
knees, and with weeping eyes, to spare the college at
Oxford : no answer was returned.

The treatment which the Cardinal received, wounded
without irritating ; but the conviction that, without being
restored to favour, he never could be able to contradict
the wilful misrepresentations which were nsade of his
purest intentions, corroded his feelings to such a degree
that his life was despaired of; which coming to the king's
knowledge, he immediately desired the court physicians
to attend him, and took a ring from his finger and sent a
gentleman with it, with many kind assurances to the
Cardinal. Soon after, February 12, 1530, Woisey was
pardoned, and replaced in the see of York, with a
pension of a thousand marks per annum ; and Henry re-
stored to him plate and efiects to the value of more than
six thousand pounds. He was, however, ordered to leave
Ashur, and repair to the government of his diocese. He
commenced his journey towards York about the middle
of Lent: his train consisted of a hundred and sixty horse,
and seventy-two waggons, with the relics of his furniture.
How great must have been that grandeur which, by com-


j)«iison, made such wealth appear poverty. While at
Caywood caslle, distant from York twelve miles, when
sitting at dinner, the lord Percy came in, and in a low
and troubled voice declared him arrested for high treason.
Wolsey, astonished by a charge so unexpected, was
unable to speak : he, however, soon recovered himself,
and was conducted to Sheffield-park, the seat of the earl
of Shrewsbury. His constitution, impaired by age, sud-
denly gave way. On the evening of the third day after
leaving Sheffield, on his road to London, to be conducted
to the tower, he approached Leicester monastery, where
he languished all the nest day. Continuing to grow
weaker and weaker, he frequently fainted during the
course of the day ; and as the clock struck eight, on the
29th of November, 1530, he expired. In the evening,
the body was removed to the chnrcb where it was interred.
Such was the end of this proud and famous Cardinal.
He was, sajs Gait, undoubtedly a character of the most
splendid cast. Haughty, ambitious, masterly, and mag-
nificent, he felt himself formed for superiority. His
exterior was dignified ; his demeanour courtly ; his dis-
cernment rapid ; his eloquence commanding ; and his com-
prehension vast and prospective. His avidity to amass
wealth was contrasted with au expenditure so generous,
that it lost the name of avarice, and deserved to be
dignified with that of ambition. His ostentation was so
richly blended with munificence and hospitality, that it
ought to be ascribed rather to the love of distinction than
to vanity ; and his pride was so nearly allied to honour
and justice, that it seemed to be essential to his accora-
pishnients as a statesman. Therefore, whether estimated
by his natural endowments, his fortunes, or his designs,
Wolsey must be considered as one of those great occasional
men, who, at distant intervals, suddenly appear, surpris-
ing the world by their movements and their splendour.


The supposed first Projector of the Steam Engine.

Collins traces this ancient house to GeoflVey PKintagenet,
Earl of Aiijou, son of Foulk, king of Jerusalem, by Maud,
the empress, his wile, daughter of Henry I. Edmonds
says — " This illustrious family, whose blood has flown
through the veins of kings, dukes, marquises, and earls,
for more than seven hundred years, is lineally descended
from John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, who gave the
surname of Beaufort to all his children by Catherine
Swinford (whom he afterwards married, and legitimated
her children), from the castle of Beaufort, in Anjou, the
place of their nativity. The present name of Beaufort
was assumed by Charles, natural son of Henry Beaufort,
duke of Somerset, in whose brother Edmund (beheaded
May 7, 1741,) terminated the legitimate issue of John of
Gaunt. This Charles Somerset was created Earl of
Worcester by Henry Vlir. in 1514. The son of this
nobleman, the second Earl of Worcester, says Lloyd in
his Worthies, p. 392, was master of the horse to queen
Elizabeth, and one of her council of state : he was, in his
youth, the best horseman and tilter of his time. His
father's temperance reached to ninety-seven years of age,
because he never eat but one meal a day ; and his own
sparingness attained to eighty-four, because he never eat
but of one dish. He came to the queen's favour, because,

* He is better known, in our historiet, bv the name of the Earl
ot Glamorgan.



as her father, so she loved a man ; his nmnlike recrea-
tions commended him to the ladies ; his mistress excused
his faith, which was popish; but honoured bis faithful-
ness, which was Roman ; it being her usual speech that
my lord of Worcester had reconciled what she thought
inconsistent, a stiff Papist to a good subject. His religion
was not pompous, but solid ; not the shew of his life, but
the comfort of his soul. Charles [. created Henry, the
fifth earl. Marquis of Worcester, in 1642 : and Henry,
the third marquis, was created Duke of Beaufort by
Charles IT. in 1682."

Edward Somerset, Marquis of Worcester, the subject
of this sketch, was a bigoted Catholic, but in times when
that was no disrecommeridation, and when it grew a
merit. Being of a nature extremely enterprising, and a
warm loyalist, he was dispatched into Ireland by the
king. Here history lays its finger, at least is interrupted
by controversy. The censurers of King Charles charge
that prince with sending this lord to negociate with the
Irish rebel Catholics, and to bring over a great body of
them for the king's service. The devotees of Charles
would disculpate him and accuse the Lord Glamorgan of
forging powers from the king for that purpose. The fact
stands thus : the treaty was discovered, the Earl was
imprisoned by the king's servants in Ireland, and was
dismissed by them, unpunished, before the king's plea-
sure was known. The parliament complained ; the king
disavowed the earl, yet renewed his confidenee in him ;
nor did the earl ever seem to resent the king's disavowal,
which, with much good nature, he imputed to the neces-
sities of his Majesty's affairs.

The king, with all his affection for the earl, in one
or two of his letters to others, mentions his want of judg-
ment. Perhaf)s his Majesty was glad to trust to his in-
discretion. With that his lordship seems (to have been)
greatly furnished. We find him taking oaths upon oaths
to the Pope's nuncio, with promises of unlimited obedi-
ence both fo his holiness and to his delegate, and begging
fiv« hundred pounds of the Irish clergy to enable hira to


embark and fetch fifty thousand pounds — like an alche-
mist, who demands a trifle of money for the secret of
making gold. In another letter he promises two hundred
thousand crowns, ten thousand arms for foot, two thou-
sand cases of pistols, eight hundred barrels of powder,
and thirty or forty well-provided ships ! ! when he had
not a groat in his purse, or as much gunpowder as would
scare a corbie ! It is certain that he and his father wasted
an immense sum in the kings cause ; of all which merits
and zeal his Majesty was so sensible that he gave the earl
the most extraordinary patent, perhaps, that ever was
granted ; the chief powers of which were to make him
Generalissimo of three armies and Admiral, with nomina-
tion of his officers, to enable him to raise money by selling
his Majesty's woods, wardships, customs and preroga-
tives, and to create, by blank patents, to be filled up at
Glamorgan's pleasure, from the rank of baronet to that of
marquis. If any thing could justify the delegation of
such authority, besides his Majesty having lost all au-
thority when he conferred it, was the promise with which
the king concluded of bestowing the Princess Elizabeth
on Glamorgan's son. It was time to adopt into his family
when he had into his sovereignty. This patent the mar-
quis, after the restoration, gave up to the House of Peers.
He did not long survive that era, dying in 1667."

In 1665, he published a small book, entitled, " A
Century of the Names and Scantlings of such inventions
as 1 can at present call to mind to have tried and perfected,
which (my former notes being lost) I have, at the in-
stance of a powerful friend, endeavoured now, 1665, to
set these down in such a way as may sufficiently instruct
me to put them in practice." At the conclusion, he says
— " This making up the whole century, and preventing
any further trouble to the reader for the present, meaning
to leave to posterity a book, wherein, under each of their
heads, the means to put in execution, and visible trial of
all and every of these inventions, with the shape and form
of all things belonging to them, shall be printed by brass
plates," This book he never lived to execute.


Walpole, in his '' Royal and Noble Authors," desig-
nates the Century of Inventions as "an amazing piece of
folly ;" but better informed writers have thouglit dift'er-
ently of it. Granger remarks — " That a practical mathe-
matician, who has quickness to seize a hint, and sagacity
to apply it, might avail himself greatly of these Scant-
lings, thongh little more than a bare catalogue." And
the same writer was informed by the late Reverend and
ingenious mechanic, Mr. Gainsborough, of Henley, bro-
ther to the celebrated painter, that the Marquis's work
was far from being such a collection of winds and chimeras
as it has been supposed to be, and that, on the contrary,
" he highly esteemed the author as one of the greatest
mechanical geniuses that ever appeared in the world."
It is quite certain, too, that since his time several of his
" inventions" or suggestions have been reduced to prac-
tice ; and hence the whole have become entitled to be
treated with more respect. Professor Robison goes so
far even as to affirm that the steam-engine, the greatest
discovery of modern times, " was, beyond all doubt,
invented by the Marquis;" and though later researches
have shown that this is somewhat unmerited praise, it is
evident that he entertained views of the applicability of
steam as a moving power, such as no other individual of
the age in which he lived had the sagacity to embrace.

Professor Millington, in his eighth lecture at the Royal
Institution, respecting the original invention of the steam
engine, says — " Several French authors lay claim to it
for their own nation ; but I have some reason for believing
that steam had been employed to raise water by its ex-
pansive force antecedent to the first mention of this
power in the Marquis of Worcester's Century of Inven-
tions ; and he v/as now able, through the assistance of
Mr. Archdeacon Nares, to trace this invention to Sir
Samuel Morland, Master of Mechanics to Charles II.
who, as appears by a manuscript in the Harleian Collec-
tion at the British Museum, had used the expansive
force of steam, and calculated its effect, seventeen years
before the publication of the Blarquis of Worcester's


tract above alluded to. The manuscript was described
to be dated iu 1683, and to contain tables of the necessary
dimensions of boilers or cylinders, to raise given quanti-
ties of water to given heights, eighteen hundred times in
the coarse of an hour ; a mode of computation Avhich
agrees very nearly witli that now used in estimating the
power of engines. Mr. Millington further stated, that
Sir Samuel Morland's inventions not meeting with that
patronage in England which he had expected, he pre-
sented this invention to the king of France, who likewise
does not appear to have acted upon it."

Mr. Park, in his Catalogue of Royal and Noble Au-
thors, vol. iii. p. 108, says—" A MS. addition to Mr.
Heber's copy of Lord Worcester's book, contains the
following description of this grand hydraulic machine;
ascribed by the enthusiastic contriver to celestial inspi-

" A stupendous, or a water-commanding engine;
boundless for height or quantity, requiring no external
or even additional help or force, to be set or continued
in motion, but what intrinsically is afforded from its own
operation, nor yet the twentieth part thereof: and the
engine consisteth of the following particulars : —

" 1. A perfect counterpoise for what quantity soever
of water.

*' 2. A perfect countervail for what height soever it is
to be brought unto.

" 3. A primnm mobile, commanding both height and
quantity, regulator-wise.

"4. A vicegerent or countervail, supplying the place
and performing the full force of man, wind, beast, or mill.

" 5. A helm or stern, with bitt and reins, wherewith
any child may guide, order, and controul the whole oper-

" 6. A particular magazine for water, according to
the intended quantity or height of water


" 7. An aqueduct, capable of any intended quantitj
or height of water.

" 8. A place for the original fountain or even river to
run into, and naturally of its own accord incorporate
itself with the rising water, and at the very bottom of the
same aqueduct, though never so big or high.

" By Divine Providence and heavenly inspiration, this
is my stupendous water-commanding engine, boundless
for height or quantity.

" Whosoever is master of weight, is master of force ;

" Whosoever is master of vsrater, is master of both ;

" And consequently to him all formidable actions and
achievements are easie, which are in any wise beneficial
to or for mankind.

" To God alone be all praise, honour, and glory, for
e?er and ever. Amen.




Was the son of Mr. Philip Gray, a scrivener of Lon-
don; he was born in Coniliill, November 26, iTUi. His
grfuumalical education he received at Eton, under the
care of Mr. Antrobus, his mother's brother, then assist-
ant to Dr. Ceorge : and when lie left school, iu 1734,
entered a pensioner at Peterhouse in Cambridge.

When he had been at Cambridge about five year?,
Mr. Horace Walpoie invited him to travel with him as
his companion. They wandered through France into
]taly; bnt at Florence they quarrelled, and parted:
Gray continued his journey in a manner suitable to his
own little fottnne, with only an occasional servant.

He returned to England in September 1741, and about
two years after buried his father, who had, by an in-
judicious waste of money upon a new house, so much
lessened his fortune, that Gray thought himself too poor
to study the law. He therefore retired to Cambridge,
where he soon after became Bachelor of Civil Laws, and
where, without liking the place or its inliabitants, or
professiiig to like them, Le passed, except a short resi-
dence in London, the rest of his life.

In the year l74'i, Gray produced the Ode to Spring ;
Prospect of Eton; and the Ode to Adversity; he also
be^jaa a Latin poem, De pyinripiis cogitandi.

In 1747, he wrote an Ode on the Death of Mr. IVal-
jiole's Cat \ and the year afterwards attempted a poem on
Government and Education,

His next production (1750) was his far-famed Elegy
in the Church Yard. In this year he lost his motiier.

In 1757, he published the Progress of Poetry, and
The Bard.

Gray's repnlaiion was now so high, tljat after the death
of Gibber, he had the honour of the laurel,



^which was then bestowed on Mr. Whitehead. In 1768
he was oflered the Professorship of History, by the
Duke of GrafloD, which he accepted, and retained to
his death.

His studies were now near their end. The gout, of
whicl) he had sustained many weak attacks, fell upon
his stomach, and yielding to no medicines, produced
strong convulsions, which on July 30, 1771, terminated
in death.

The following character of Gray is given in a letter
written to Mr. Boswell, by the Rev. Mr. Temple, Rector
of St. Glavis, in Coruwtiil, first primed anonymously in
the London Magazine.

"Perhaps he was the most learned man in Europe. He
was equally acquainted with the elegant and profound
parts of science, and that not superficially, but thoroughly.
He knew every branch of history, both natural and civil,
and read all the original historians of England, France,
and Italy ; and was a great antiquary. Criticism, meta-
physics, morals, and politics made a principal part of his
study. Vojages and travels of all sorts were his favourite
amusements; and he had a fine taste in painting, prints,
architecture, and gardening. With such a fund of know-
ledge his conversation must have been equally instructive
and entertaining ; but he was also a good man — a man of
virtue and humanity. There is no character without some
speck, some imperfection, and I tliink the greatest in his
was an affectation of delicacy, or rather efleminacy, and a
visible fastidiousness or contempt and disdain of his infe-
riors in science. He also ha<!, in some degree, that weak-
ness which disgusted Voltaire so n.uch in Mr. Congreve ;
though he seemed to value others chiefly according to the
progress they had made in knowledge, yet he could not
bear to be considered himself merely as a man of letters ;
and though without birth, or foilune, or station, his desire
was to be looked upon as a piivate independent genile-
man, who read for his amusement. Perhaps it may be
said, W'hatsignifies so muchknowledge when it produced
so little ? Is it worth taking so much pains to leave n<?



Sneniorial but a few poems ? Bat let it be considered tliftl
Mr. Gray was to others iniiocentlj employed ; to himsel
certainly beneficially. His time passed agreeably ; he was
every day making some new acquisition in science ; his
mind was enlarged, his heart softened, his virtue strength-
ened ; the world and mankind were shown to him with-
out a mask ; and he was taugijt to consider every thing as
Iriliing, and unworthy the attention of a wise man, except
the pursuit of knowledge and practice of virtue, in that
state wherein God halh placed us."

Asa poet, Gray stands high in the estimation of the
candid and judicious. His works are not numerous, but
they bear the marks of intense application and careful

His Odes on the Progress of Poetry, and The Bard,
"breathe," says Mr. Mason, *• the high spirit of lyric
enthusiam. The transitions are sudden and impetuous ;
the language full of fire and force ; and the imagery car-
ried, without impropriety, to the most daring height.
They have been accused of obscurity : but the one can be
obscure only to those who have not read Pindar ; and the
other only to those who are unacquainted with the history
of their own nation."

" in the character of his Elegy," says Dr. Johnson, " I
rejoice to concur with the common reader ; for by the
common sense of readers, uncorrupted by literary preju-
dices, after all the refinements of suhtilty, and the dog-
matism of learning, must be finally decided all claim to
poetical honours. The Church-yard abounds v;itli images
which find a mirror in every mind, and with sentiments
to which every bosom returns an echo. The few stanzas
begining * Yet e'en these bones,' are to me original ; I
have never seen the notions in any other place : yet he
that reads them here persuades himself tliat he always
felt them. Had Gray written often thus, it had been vain
to blame, and useless to praise him."

The Mother of Gray the poet, to whom he was entirely
indebted for the excellent education he received, appears
to have been a woman of most ansiable character ; and one


U-hose eoergy supplied to her cbild that deGciencj, which
the improvidence of bis other parent would have occasion-
ed, 'i lie following extract from a Case sobinitted by
Mrs. Gray to her lawyer, develops the disposition and
habits of her husband, in a light not the most favourable,
while it awakens no common sympatliy for herself.

"That she hath been no charge to the said Philip
Gray; and daring r.U the said time, hath not only foniul
herself in all manner of apparel, but also for her children
to the number of twelve, and niost of the furniture of his
house, and paying forty pounds a year for his shop ; al-
niost providing every ihiny for her son ir/iilst at Elon school,
and now he is at Peter House, Cambridye.

•' Notwitbstandiu'ij wliich, almost ever sincii he bath
been married, the said Philip hath used her in the most
inhuman manner, by beating, kicking, punching, and
with the vilest and most abusive language : that sbe hath
been in the utmost fear of her life, and hath been obliged
this last 3 ear to quit his bed and lie with ber sister. This
she was resolved to bear if jiossibie, not to leave her shop
of trade, for the sake of her son, to be able to assist him
in the maintenance of him at tlie University, since his
father won't,"

To the love and courage of this mother, Gray owed his
life when a child ; she ventured to do what few women
are capable of doing, to open a vein with her own hand,
and thus removed the paroxvsra arising from the fulness
of blood, to which it is said all her other children had
fallen victims. Vv'e need not wonder that Gray mention-
ed such a mother with a sigh.

This elegant poet is buried in the chnrch-yaid of Stoke
Pogis, Buckinghamshire, tiie scene of his celebrated
" t-iegy in a Country Church-yard." It adjoins Stoke
Park. The church is a plain rustic ediiice, of some anti-
quity, with a low tower, and conical-shaped spire j but
has lew of tliose slrongly-marked features by which it is
so admirably chara.'>teriz.ed in the poem ; and the " rugged
elms," and "yew-tree shade," if ever they existed, are



ROW no more.* Some of the sarrounding scenery, how-
ever, finely corresponds, particularly to the south park,
where the eye is directed over a large sheet of water to the
majestic Castle of Windsor, beyond v^hicti Cooper's-hill
and the forest woods close the prospect.

The burjinf!;-j)lace of the poet is withoutside the cburchj
just beneath the eastern window, a spot which had been
before consecrated by tlie interment of two of his dearest
relatives. Here his remains lay nnlionoured by even the
slightest meniorial, until the- year 17 99, when Mr. Penn,
the proprietor of Stoke Park adjoining, with a liberality
■which does him great credit, performed the long-neglected
task. The monument erected by this gentleman stands in
afield next the clinrch, and forms the termination of one
of the views from Stoke House. It consists of a large sar-
cophagus of stone, supported on a square pedestal, with
quotations on three sides, selected from the Ode to Eton
College, and t!je Elegy in a Country Church-yard J and
on the fourth the following inscription : — ■

This Monument in honour of


Was erceted A, Dl/OD,

Among the Scenery

Celebrated by that Lyric and Elegiac Poet.

He died in 17/1,

And lies unnoticed in the adjoining Chuj'ch-yard,

Under the tomb-stone on which he piously

^nd pathetically recorded the interment

of his Aunt and lamented Mother.

Stoke Pogisis a large scattered village about 21 miles

from the metroplis, and takes the addition of Pogis to its

name from the ancient lords of the manor there. Lord

Molines married the heiress of this family in the reign of

Edward lU. from w':om it decended to the Hungerford

family, who enjoyed it till the reign of Henry VH., when

*Save thatfiom yonder ivy-iiiantled tower.

The moping owl does to the moon complain,
Of such as wandering near her seciet bower.

Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rug-ged elms, that yew-tree shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid.

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.


Iiy Ihe intermarriage of Edward, sole heir and successor to
Lord Hastings (immortalized by Shakspeare in his play of
Richard III.), with the heiress of Sir Thomas Hunger-

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13

Online LibraryCadwallader ColdenLives & portraits of public characters .. (Volume 3) → online text (page 8 of 13)