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Richard Radcliffe.

Letters of Richard Radcliffe and John James of Queen's college, Oxford, 1755-83; online

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and 17th. In 1859 there was no College meeting between July i and October 6.
August 15 continued to be called Queen's College Foundation Day in the
University Calendar till 1863.

* 'Fiat autem vocatio (scil. ad prandium et coenam) per clarionem in loco
competente ab nno serviente, qui ad illud fuerit deputatus, ubi ab omnibus et
singulis audiri poterit aptius ' (Founder's^ Statute). A magnificent silver trumpet
was presented to the College by Sir Joseph WiUiamson, 1666.

* Thomas Hodgson entered as Batler 1746 (O. S.), matriculated April 6, 1747,
• Roberti de Milan ' (Qy. MiUom, com. Cumb.) 'Pleb. fil/ ; was elected Taberdar
1 75 1, B.A. the same year ; M.A. 1 755. The following entries about him occur in the
College Register. * Jan. 31, 1755, Agreed at a Meeting of the Provost and Fellows
that S' Hodgson jun'., be allowed to take orders, and that he shall have a title
from the Society as their Chaplain.' 'April 22, 1755, Mr. Hodgson was unani-
mously elected Chaplain in the room of Mr. Sewell.' * Aug. 21, 1755, That Mr.
Hodgson, the College Chaplain, be allow'd to hold Archbp. Grindal's Exhibi-
tion for one year.' 'March 9, 1761, Thomas Hodgson, Master of Arts, unani-
mously elected Master of the Free school of Northleach.* He was collated to the
living of Northleach by the Bp. of Gloucester, March 13, 1765. See also Letters,
Nos. II. IV, IX. XVI.

" William Sewell (see last note), who entered as Batler 1737 (O.S.), matriculated
Jan. 31, act. 16, 'son of Thomas, of Coomb Row, Cxmib. Pleb.' (Chester), B.A.
1742, M.A. 1745. He became Fellow in 1753, and Rector of Hedley in 1765 (see
p. 23, n. 5). He does not seem to have taken a Doctor's degree. He died in i8oo,

* Bletchingdon Rectory, a living in the gift of the College from the Founder's
time, is about 7 or 8 miles from Oxford; a young man like Hodgson could
walk over and do duty and return. The chapel services on Sunday were taken by
the Fellows in turn, so the Chaplain could take Sunday duty. The Rector of
Bletchingdon at this time was Philip Brown, Prebendary of Hereford, entered
Batler 1724, B.A. 1728, M.A. 1731, Fellow 1737, B.D. 1747. presented to
Bletchingdon, 1751, died 1787.



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1765.] LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. 3

number six^ fonnerly the scene of mirth and joy, is in a manner quite
forsaken : all unity, friendship and society have been banished it long
ago. Hodgson and I made an attempt to spend an evening in it, but
were not able to succeed, though we applied for admittance before
nine o'clock. The latter part of my stay in Oxford was made agreeable
enough by the arrival of Bamett*, Jefferson', and Denton*, senior: the
two first came, I suppose, a fellowship-hunting ; the last, with a couple
of his country acquaintance, purely upon a party of pleasure. Denton
is excessively sleek and jolly, and is encreased in corpulency most
surprizingly ; and yet he says his brother Jack* far exceeds him ; if he
does, Brown the barber* will give thee but a faint idea of him. Monk-
house^ has been at Newton, to have t'other view of Siarve-yoad^, and
one more kiss of his old mother ; he did me the honour, both going
and coming, to rap his box at Bucklebury.

The latter end of September I spent a week at Alton •; what things

^ The staircase in the back quadrangle so nnmbeied. It is on the right-hand
side as yon enter. The ground floor room on the left was, and is now,
the Taberdars* Common Room. It is suggested that this was not open freely to
Masters of Arts, and that the reference to nine o'clock may mean that it was
closed at that hour when Tom rings and College gates are shut.

■ Thomas Bamett entered as Batler 1738 (O. S.), matriculated Feb. 23, set.
18, *Joannis fil. de Kirkby Staven, com. Westmorland Pleb. fil.' ; elected Taberdar
1744, B.A. the same year, M.A. 1748. His 'fellowship-hunting' was snccessful,
as was that of Jefferson, as he was elected Fellow in 1756. He became Vicar of
Brough on Stainmore in Westmoreland in 1768, and died in 179a.

' Jacob Jefferson entered Batler 1739 ; matriculated July 9, set 18, ' Tho. fil. de
Rosley, com. Cumbri, Pleb. fil.'; B.A. 1744, M. A. 1748, B.D. and D.D. 1768.
He was elected Fellow the same day as Bamett, became Vicar of Carisbroke in
the Isle of Wight, 1768. Some account of Jefferson will be found in the works of
Jeremy Bentham (vol. x. pp. 36, 37), whose tutor he was. He died in 178a.

* Thomas Denton entered Batler 1740, matriculated July 7, set. 16, * Isaaci fil.
de Sebergham, com. Cumbriae Pleb. fil.* B.A. 1745, and M.A. 1753. See his
life in Hutchinson's Cumberland, ii. 419.

* John Denton entered Batler October 9, 1743, matriculated Oct. ai, set. i6,
'Isaaci fil. de Seberham, com. Cumbriae Pleb. fil.,' was elected Taberdar 1747,
B.A. 1747, and M.A. 1750, and became Fellow in 1759. He was allowed in
1773 to hold the liviug of Sutton-cum-Dnckmanton in Derbyshire, vdth his
Fellowship. He died while still Fellow, May a, 1777.

' Daniel Brown, ' Tonsor' of Oxford city, matriculated April 16, 1730, Privile-
giatus. (Chester.)

^Thomas Monkhouse, entered Batler, March a 3, 1743 (O. S.), matriculated
March 34, set 17, 'Gul. fil. de Longlands, com. Cumbr. Pleb. fil.' B.A. 1748,
M.A. 1 751, B.D. 1768, D.D. 1780, was elected Fellow in 1760, became Vicar of
Sherborne Monachorum in 1780, and died in 1793.

^ Starve-yoad, may mean a tumble-down stable in which a mare (jade) would
not be kept from the cold. Enquiries have failed to get anything but conjecture.

* Alton in Hampshire where Docker was apparently curate or schoolmaster.

B %



\



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4 LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. [1755.

were talked of, what friends were toasted, it would be endless and
needless to tell thee. The Hawkshead-affair * was then depending,
and I have since heard to my joy and sorrow, that it is determined in
favour of Docker*. Hodgson and I have agreed to wait upon him the
25th of this month, to take our final leave of him and his Betsey. How
happy will you and your lasses be at a breaking up ! and how frequently
and earnestly shall I long to be with you I One Trollop', formerly
a Demy of Magdallen, and who married one of your Oxford beauties,
has taken this house, and engaged to serve the cure ; he proposes to
enter upon them in the beginning of January ;. at which time J am
to decamp, and to remove to Waltham * for good and all. As the
Doctor's*^ scheme of fixing at Sarum is at an end, I shall have one good
neighbour more than I used to have. I visit thy old lady frequently,
but more to humour her than to please myself ; her house lost all its
charms, when it lost the honest Bishop, for in loosing him I lost the
best friend I ever had, and the best man I ever knew. But if I miss
thee at Standford ^ I am with thee at St. Bees every day ; I sit with

^ Hawkshead, a Grammar-school in Fumess Fells, Lancashire, fomided 1585
by Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York. The endowment in 1864 consisted of
over 100 acres of land with a gross annual income of jC^54'

* Lancelot Docker entered Batler 1744, matriculated Nov. 3, set. 15, ' Gulielmi
de Newby, com. Westmorland, Pleb. fil.' proceeded B.A. 1750. For various entries
in the College Registers and other particulars concerning Docker, see Appendix A.

' John Trollope, third son of Henry, a London merchant, by Elizabeth daugh-
ter of Mr. John Bame, elected Demy of Magdalen 1747, matriculated 28 July,
aged 17, B.A. 1751, vacated his Demyship 1752 (Bloxam in error says 1762, but
(i) he was a married man in 1755, (2) a Demy from the City of London was
admitted 1752, none 1762, (3) when he takes his M.A. in 1754 he is commensalis,
not semicommunarius nor scholaris vulg. diet, demy — so H. A. Wilson, V. P.
Coll. Magd.) * married Anne, daughter of ... . Guyon, Esq.* Debrett*^ Baronet-
age quoted by Bloxam, Magd. Coll. Reg. vi. 272. In the Marriages Gent. Mag.
vol. 31, p. 44, Jan. I, 1 761. *The Rev. Mr. Trollop of Bucklebury, Berks, to
Miss Annesley.* This must have been a second marriage.

* White Waltham, in Berkshire, 4 miles S.W. from Maidenhead, united to the
Rectory of Shottesbrooke 1744. Thomas Heame was son of the parish clerk and
bom here 1678. Henry Dodwell, the first Camden Professor, wrote *deCyclis
veterum ' at Smewins, a moated house in this parish, formerly a hunting seat of
Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII.

* William Dodwell, son of Henry (Heame's and Cherry's friend) of Trinity Col-
lege, matriculated March 23, 1725 (O. S.), set. 15, *son of Henry of Shottesbrooke,
Berks, arm. fil.' (Chester); B.A. 1729, M.A. 1732. He was collated to the prebend
of South Grantham, 5th in the Cathedral of Salisbury, 1748, where he afterwards
became Canon Residentiary, proceeded D.D. by diploma 1 749, was installed Arch-
deacon of Berks 1763 and died 1785. He was Rector of Shottesbrooke, and Vicar
of Bucklesbury and of White Waltham.

" Stanford Dingley, i mile from Bucklebury, where it would seem Mr. James



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1756.] LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. 5

thee in the library, strut with thee in the school, and walk with thee
on the sea-shore. When I am permitted to enjoy the reality, I hope
it will be in company with friend Nan* ; I make no apology for giving
her that title ; thou allowed me the liberty over a pint of mildo, and
I cannot forbear using it upon black and white. That all health and
happiness may attend you both is the sincere wish of

R. R.
P.S. Ephraim Frazier's wife sends her love to thee. ' A rare man
Mr. James was, sir ; a brave man indeed. We shall never have one
like him again ; no, never no more.'

II.
R. Radcliffe to J. James, Senior.

Dear James,

It is high time to think of paying my debts, and to thank my
dear friend for the favour of his two last. The truth is, for above six
weeks, I was a gentleman at large, having in all that time (through the
negligence of carriers) neither pen, ink, paper, nor book. If I had
not most fortunately stuffed my pockets with divinity, most deplorable
would have been the condition of the Walthamites : that super-abun-
dance of joy with which they were overwhelmed upon my arrival,
woud have instantly been changed into mourning and woe. Cease
then to wonder, that I did not vouchsafe thee an answer sooner.

The former of thy letters, according to custom, gave me pleasure
from end to end. But the latter contained a reflection or two which
produced a very different effect. The reflections I am hinting at,
were those that related to a letter of mine ; in which, it seems, I had
laid a few trifles to thy charge, as rudeness, ingratitude, falshood,
pride, haughtiness, and the like. This charge (though purely the
effect of a sportive fancy, and as such, I am sure, considered by thee)
thou intimates more than once to have given thee some uneasiness.
I am sorry my friend, seriously sorry, that any thing I said should be
so ill understood, as I would not for the world, wittingly and wilfully
be the occasion of the least pain to thee. I hope thou hast branded
the letter with infamy, and sacrificed it to Vulcan or Madam Cloacina ;
if not, execute thy vengeance speedily upon it, and be assured thou wilt
never receive it's fellow. From the candid and charitable Miss Grayson,

had been curate. It appears from the College Register that on April 11, 1754,
he had ' leave to accept of a curacy in the country.'

* Miss Ann Grayson to whom Mr. James was married, June i, 1757.



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6 LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. [1766.

I should have hoped for better quarter. If she thinks I have used thee
too cavalierly, let her know how freely and familiarly we have hereto-
fore conversed, and then I dare say she'll excuse me. But thou, my
friend, hast every thing to hope for from her. Good nature, good
sense, and virtuous disposition afford a most delightful prospect, and
great reason has that man to bless his stars who meets with a partner
possessed of them. All that Falcon^ felt, I feel ; and all his expressions,
how warm soever, may, with great truth, be supposed to come from
me. He cannot rejoice more heartily than I do, nor express himself
more strongly than I wish to do. My situation and circumstances
will seldom (perhaps never) allow me, to be an eye-witness of thy
happiness ; all I can do, is to congratulate thee upon it, and to pray
sincerely for the completion of it. As I know the man to whom I am
writing, I am not ashamed to add, that in such cases I carry my
thoughts beyond the grave, and look forward to that time, when I
humbly hope that thou and I, and all our dearest friends, shall meet
in a better place, and never more be separated. That we shall know
one another in a future state is a doctrine I firmly believe, and with
which I always comfort myself upon the death or absence of a beloved
friend. Quod si in hoc errOy lubenUr erro ; mc mihi hunc errorem, quo
delecior, dum vivOy extorqueri volo *.

About the middle of January, I took my final leave of Bucklebury ;
which I did with the less regret, as I had long ago lost my most
valuable neighbour. Indeed there was one consideration that made
me extremely serious. As I was riding over the common, and just
upon the point of quitting the parish, I could not forbear asking my-
self, how I had discharged my duty as minister, and what account I
should be able to give of it ? If I had the sins of other people as well
as my orum to answer for, how should I appear at the last day ? If
but one soul has perished through my misconduct, must not I tremble
to think on the dreadful consequence ? These were my thoughts at
that time, and I trust they will always be so far present with me, as to
make me careful and diligent in the performance of my duty ; that

> Thomas Falcon, entered as Batler 1745, matriculated Oct. 31, set. 16 'Michael
de Workington, com. Cumbr. Pleb. fil.,' B.A. 1751, elected Taberdar (ace. to
Mores) Oct. 1751, but his election does not appear in the College Register. He
became Catechist of Codrington College in Barbados, and M.A. by decree of
Convocation, Feb. 10, 1755. He was provisionally elected Fellow, Jan. 21, 1762,
to succeed on a vacancy, but died before any occurred. See below p. 21.

* This sentence is quoted from the last chapter of Cicero, de Senectute. In the
original between * hoc erro * and * lubenter erro * come the words * quod animos
hominum immortales esse credam.*



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1756.] LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. 7

when I come to take leave, not only of Waltham, but of all the world,
I may have nothing material to reproach myself with, but be able to
give up my account with joy. I am not at all afraid that this anti-
quated stufif will be turned into ridicule, though, I believe, it would
meet with that fate from nineteen persons out of twenty.

My situation at Waltham is comfortable enough. I want nothing
but such a fellow as thee, or such a lass as Nancy, to make me com-
pleatly happy. On Shrove Tuesday I was summoned to Alton to
renounce the devil and all his works in behalf of a young Cloth*, who
goes by the name of Arthur Brett Docker. Cloth, senior, was to begin
his march on the Monday following, and as the weather has favoured
him beyond expectation, I hope he's now wielding the birch at Hawks-
head. I have sent thee a couple of sticks * by him, having too little
warning to transcribe any more. That on death [was?] extracted
from Scot^ Brady* and good Bishop Taylor '^; the other from
and Calamy '. As great liberty has been used with all those g[entle-]
men in altering their t[ex]ts, and inverting their method, thou may
venture to fire them off upon any country ground in Cumberland.
My request for thy assistance at St. Mary's '^ was made with truth and
seriousness. For thus the case stands ; pay, I cannot, preach my own,

* Nickname of Docker, as it would seem. For A. B. Docker, see below, p. 37.

* Dr. Murray kindly writes : — Stick is occasionally found in the sense of piece,
portion, cf. Germ. Stiick as :- —

1576. Gilbert Talbot to Earl of Shrewsbury in NichoU's Progr. Queen
Elizabeth, vol. ii. p. 5 : I have scene many fayre hangynges . . eyther II' a styck
. . V« or VI" the styck . . there is of V« the styck that is very fair.

1856. Kane, Arctic Explor., vol. ii. 106 : A stick of frozen liver at his side.

i860. H. Stuart, Seaman*s Catech., 76 : Topsail yards . . are made in one stick.

Stitch, though not often, is used both earlier and more figurative in this
sense.

• John Scott, D.D., Rector of St. Giles in the Fields, and Canon of Windsor,
died 1694. His works were reprinted by the University in six volumes, 8vo., 1826.
In the fourth volume there are several funeral sermons and a discourse on death-
bed repentance.

* Nicholas Brady. D.D., Tate's colleague in the 'New Version of the Psalms,'
Hector of Clapham, died 1726, * an excellent preacher.' Chalmers, Diet. Biog, s. v.

• Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor, died 1657, published among
other things ' The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying.'

• There were three Edmund Calamys, father, son, and grandson, all eminent
nonconformist divines. The one here referred to is, however, probably Benjamin,
D.D., son of Edmund the first, author of a * Discourse about a Scrupulous Con-
science,' 1683, Vicar of St. Lawrence, Jewry, and Prebendary of St. Paul's, died
1686. *His sermons are still* Chalmers, Diet. Biog. s.v. 'valued as well for the
beauty of their language as the excellent sentiments contained in them.'

^ The Church of White Waltham is dedicated to St. Mary.



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8 LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. [1756.

I will not, so what to do, I know not. No news from college this
half-year, except that poor Tom Hodgson, was found dead last
Friday, on the road from Blechingdon to Oxford. Upon dissecting
and examining his body, several mortal wounds were discovered in
his heart. The jury brought in their verdict, wilful murder by S. C.^

I began this letter in Berkshire, but am obliged to finish it in a hurry
in Oxfordshire. I was sent for to Henley yesterday in order to assist
poor Hayman* to day. A violent fever has confined him to his
room, and made him incapable of all business the last fortnight.
Thank God, he is now in a fair way to do well. Pray what is become
of the unhappy damsel who brandished her charms so furiously at old
Matthew ', and at whom, in return, thou brandished thine ? All health
and happiness to thee and thy Nancy ; my best and warmest wishes
attend you both.

Thine most affectionately,

R.R.
Henley, March 21, 1756.

Direct for me at White-Waltham, near Maidenhead, Berks.

III.
R. Radcliffe to J. James, Senior.
CoLSTERWORTH *, LINCOLNSHIRE, October i^hf 1757.

My dear Friend,

After paying my respects to you and your lady, and thanking
you heartily for the very friendly reception I met with at St. Bees, —
this is to certify that I am landed in Lincolnshire safe and well. As
the weather and roads were extremely good, my journey, though a
solitary one, was tolerably pleasant, and free (thank God) from all
disasters and accidents. Indeed, I don't recollect that anything at all

^ S. C. must be Sukey, the future Mrs. Tom Hodgson. See end of Letter XVI.
For Hodgson, see p. 2, n. 4.

' Henry Hayman entered Batler 1 743 (the same year as Radcliffe), matriculated
May 16, aet. 19, * Hen. fil. de Ottery, S. Mary c. Devon. Pleb. fil.* proceeded B.A.
1746. Mores mentions him as ' Curate and Usher at Henley upon Thames, 1749.*

^ Matthew Wilkinson entered Batler 1746 (O. S.), matriculated April 6, 1747,
set. 19, ' Johannis de Shapp, com. Westmoreland, Pleb. fil.* He proceeded B.A.
1 751, M.A. 1755, was elected Fellow in 1763 (O. S.), became Rector of South
Weston and Hampton Poyle, 1779, and died 1785.

* The College Register (July 14, 1756) has the following entry : —

* That Mr. Radcliffe be allowed to hold the living of Colsterworth in Lincoln-
shire for a minor, the son of Dr. Dodwell, consistently with his prospects upon the
Foundation.*



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1768.] LETTERS OP RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. 9

occurred of the remarkable kind; except, that my motion was quicker
or slower, according to the nature of the road, and that I breakfasted,
dinedy supt, and slept within the compass of every twenty-four
hours. At Kendal I had the honour of kissing the Fish's hand, in
company with his brother Clem. The tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of
Dunkirk, which happened to be acted that evening, entertained us till
ten o'clock ; and a little of the product of America, for three hours
after. Unfortunately our roads lay different the next morning.

I am now fixed and settled in the county of Lincoln, — ^a county, in
which I have neither countryman, kinsman, nor (which is worth both)
college -acquaintance. The situation of this parish is reckoned
healthy and pleasant, but the inhabitants are poor, and their houses
miserable. Nothing but humble thatch is to be seen on our roofs,
the Squire's and parson's not excepted. But though I came into this
country a perfect stranger, I am already acquainted with many neigh-
bouring gendemen, and am in a likely way to be acquainted with
more. The town of Grantham, from which I am distant about seven
miles, is reckoned a politish sort of a place, and has a multitude of
clubs, concerts, assemblies, &c. As I am not extravagantiy fond of
these things, so neither do I declare open war against them, but
propose to indulge myself moderately in them ; as they refresh the
mind after more serious employments, and promote society and
friendship in a neighbourhood.

The gentleman and his lady, whom I found in this house, are
extremely civil and obliging, and I propose to live as a lodger with
them, until they are provided with a house of their own. I now return
to thee and thy excellent wife, and conclude with praying for a con-
tinuance of your happiness, and with assuring you once more, that
wherever or whatever I am, I shall be always

Yours, entirely and sincerely,

R. R.

My compliments and best wishes wait upon Miss Hodgson. As
we have the honour to have a Post-ofl5ce in this village, you need
only to direct to me at Colsterworth in Lincolnshire.

IV.

R. Radcliffe to J. James, Senior.

Colsterworth, May 31, 1758.
Dear James,

Thy friendly epistie deserved and would have met with an
earlier acknowledgment, had not the spirit of procrastination that



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lo LETTERS OF RADCLIFFE AND JAMES. [17W.

possessed the writer, possessed also the receiver of it It would ill
become me, who have so notoriously transgressed myself, to read thee
a lecture on the subject thou desired, not to mention that I have in
reality nothing to say about it ; and if the many inconveniences
occasioned by a dilatory temper will not cure us of it, vain and
ineffectual will be the finest reasoning upon it

My parish consists of two villages, Colsterworth and Woolstrope ;
the former containing about fifty families, the latter about forty.
Supposing St. Bees to have a church at Stenton's * — ^and instead of the
Pow ' the river Witham — and a village beginning about your turnpike,
and extending itself up a gentle hill ; and supposing all the houses to
have nothing but thack^ on them, and you will have a tolerable idea of
the geography of the place. Proceed we therefore to consider the
morals of it It was the misfortune of this parish some thirty years
ago to be remarkably quarrelsome and litigious ; insomuch that the
magistrates of Grantham (to whom we are subject), used to say, that
they granted more warrants to the people of Colsterworth, than to the
other thirteen towns within their jurisdiction. This evil spirit was
happily suppressed by the authority and influence of my predecessor's
predecessor *, who was a bluff, stem, honest, exemplary man, and by

* There was a cottage, occupied by John Stenton, pulled down about thirty or
forty years ago, adjoining the churchyard at St. Bees, which might have been
known as Stenton*s to the schoolboys. The tnmpike was about a hundred yards
higher up the hill. (From information supplied by Mr. H. Fox and Rev. W. T.
Newbold, of St Bees.)

" 'This rivulet, called in the language of the country, The Poe Beck,
which divides the Church, School, and College of St. Bees from the village,
though small, is very singular. It takes its rise nearly in the middle of the vale,
and in its course is fed by two smaller streams, one called Myre*s Beck, the other
Low-hall-gill Beck. After having received these supplies it forms itself into, or
rather is absorbed by, a large pool or basin called Scale-gill pit [formed Mar. i,
1792, by the water breaking into a colliery, Gent. Mag., vol. 6a, p. 271], which



Online LibraryRichard RadcliffeLetters of Richard Radcliffe and John James of Queen's college, Oxford, 1755-83; → online text (page 4 of 36)