William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 31 of 48)
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and, upon this, he returned to France, whence he wrote to the
duke of Brunfwick Lunenburg, to inform him of his cir-
cumflances. That prince fent him a very gracious anfwer,

[i] The right to this invention is fo ; the fnnnitefimal method, in the "

interefting to our country, that we Eruditorum Lipfise, for the year 1684."

mull not omit this occafion of afferting And, as he flill perfifted in his claim

it. The Itate of the difpute between to the invention, Sir Ifaac, ar the re-

the competitors, Leibnitz rmd N< wton, quell of George I. gave his maj'-fty an

is as follows: Newton difcovered it in account of the whole affair, and fent

1665 and 1666, and communicated it Leibnitz a defiance in exprefs terms,

to Dr. Barrow in 1669. Leibniz fak 1 , to prove his affection. This was an-

he had fome giirr.pfes of it in 1672, fivered by Leibnitz, in a letter which

before he had feen any hint of New- he fent bv Mr. Remond at Paris, to be

ton's prior difcovery, which was com- communicated to Sir Ifanc, after he

municated by Mr. Collins to feveral had ihewri it in France : declaring, that

foreigners in 1673; in the beginning of he took this method in order to have

which year Leibnitz was in England, indifferent and intelligent witneffes.

and commenced an acquaintance with That method being difliked by Sir Ifaac,

Collins, but at that time only claimed who thought thai London, as well as

the invention of another differential Paris, might furnifh fuch witneffes, he

method, properly fo called, which in- refolved to carry the difpute no farther;

deed was Newton's invention; men- and, when Leibnitz's letter came from

tioning no other till .June 1677: and France, he refuted it, by remarks

this was a year after a letter of Newton's, which he communicated only to fome

containing a fufficient defcriptioa of of his friends; bur, as foon as he heard

the nature of the method, had been fent of Leibnitz's death, which happened

to Paris, to be communicated to him. fix mouths after, he publifhed Leibnitz's

However, nothing of it was printed by letter, wuh his own remarks, by way

Sir ifaac; which being obferved by the of fupplement to Ralphfon's " Hiftory

other, he firil printed it, under the of Fluxions."
name of the Differential, and ibnietimes

2 afliiring


him of his favour, and, for the prefent, appointed
him counfellor of his court, with a falary; but gave him
leave to flay at Paris, in order to complete his arithmetical
machine. In 1674, he went again to England, whence he
pa{Ted, through Holland, to Hanover, where he defigned to
fettle. From his firft arrival there, he made it his hairnets to
enrich the library of that prince with the heft books of all
kinds. That duke dying in 1679, his fuccefibr, Erneft
Auguftus, then bifhop of Ofnabrug, afterwards George I.
Ihewed our counfellor the fame favour as his predecelfor had
done, and directed him to write the hiftory of the houfe of
Brunfwick. Leibnitz undertook the talk; and, travelling
through Germany and Italy to collect materials, returned to
Hanover in 1690, with an ample harveil. While he was
in Italy, he met with a pleafant adventure, which might have
proved a more ferious affair. Palling in a final! bark from
Venice to Mefola, there arofe a ftonn, during which, the
pilot, imagining he was not underitood by a German, whom
being a Heretic he looked on as the caufe of the tempefr.,
propoied to ftrip him of his cloaths and money, and throw
him overboard. Leibnitz hearing this, without difcovering
the leaft emotion, pulled out a fet of beads, and turned them
over with a teeming devotion, The artifice fucceeded ; one
of the failors obferving to the pilot, that, fines the man was
no Heretic, he ought not to be drowned. In 1700, he was
admitted a member of the Roval Academy of Sciences at Paris.
The fame year, the elector of Brandenburg, afterwards king
of Pnaflia, founded an academy at Berlin, by the advice of
Leibnitz, who was appointed perpetual president of it ; and,
though his other affairs did not permit him to redde conftantly
upon the ipot, yet he made ample amends by the treafures
with which he enriched their memoirs, in feveral difTertaticns
upon geometry, polite learning, natural phiiofophy, and
phyfic. He alfo projected to eitabiiih at Drefden another
academy like that at Berlin. He communicated his defign to
the king of Poland in 1703, w r ho was well pleafed with it;
but the troubles, which aroie fhorciy after in that kingdom,
hindered it from beinu carried into execution.


Beiides thefe projects to promote learning, there is another
Hill behind of a more exteniive view, both in us nature and
life: he fet him felt to invent a Janzuasre fo eafy and fo

o o J

perfpicuous, as to become the common language of all na-
tions of the world. This is what is called, " The Univerfal
Language;'* and the defign occupied the thoughts of our
philofopher a long time. The thing had been attempted
before by d'Algarme, and Dr. Wilkins ; but Leibnitz did
not approve of their method, and therefore attempted a new



one. His predeceflbrs, in his opinion, had not reached the
point: they might indeed enable nations, who did not under-
ftand each other, to correfpond eafily together ; but they had
not attained the true real characters, which would be the beft
inftruments of the human mind, and extremely arlift both the
reafon and memory. Thefe characters, he thought, ought
to referable, as much as poffible, thofe of algebra, which arc
fimple and expreffive, and never luperHuous and equivocal,
but whofe varieties are grounded on reafon. In order to hailen
the execution of this vail project, he employed a young perfon
'to put into a regular ordsr the definitions of all things what-
ibever; but, though he laboured in it from 1/03, yet Ins life
did not prove fufiicient to complete it[KJ. In the mean
time, his name became famous all over Europe; and his
merit was rewarded by other princes, befides the elector of
Hanover. In 1711, he was made aulic counfclior to the
emperor; and the czar of Mofcovy appointed him privy-
counfellor of juftice, with a psnfion of a thoufand ducats [LI.
Leibnitz undertook at the fame time to eftablilh an academy
of fciences at Vienna; but that project mifcarried; a dif-
appointment which fome have aicnbed to the plague. How-
ever that be, it is certain he only had the honour of attempt-
ing it, a;id the emperor rewarded him tor it with a penfion
of 2000 florins, promifing him to double the fum, if he
would come and refide at Vienna; with which he would have
complied, but death did not give him an opportunity.
Meanwhile, the hiftory of Bruni'wick being interrupted by
other works which he wrote occasionally, he found, at his
return to Hanover, in 1714, that the elector had appointed
Mr. Eccard for his colleague in that hiflory. The elector
was then raifed to the throne of Great Britain ; and, foon
after his arrival, the electoral princefs, then princeis of Wales,
and afterwards queen Catharine, engaged Leibnitz in a
difpute with Dr. Samuel Clarke upon the fubjecl of free-
will, the reality of fpace, and other philosophical fubjecls.
This controrerfy was carried on by letters, which paiTed
through her royal highnefs's hands, and ended only with
the death of Leibnitz, Nov. 14, 1716, occasioned by the
gout and (lone, at 70.

As to his character and perfon, he was of a middle ftature,
and of a thin habit. He had a fludious air, ;;nd a fweet
afped, though ihort-fighted. He was indefati^a'nv in-

[K] He fpeaks, in fome place?, of " R.ecueil de Literature," printed at

an alphabet of human thoughts, which Anafterdam, in i'4-o; \vhichalfofiiys,

he was contriving, which, it is very that Leibnitz refufed the place of keeper

probable, had fome relation to his cf the Vati;an library, otfereu rimi

univerfal language. by cardinal Caianata, \\hile hs was at

[L] The particulars we have in the Rome.



cluftrious, and fo continued to the end of his life. He ate
and drank little. Hunger alone marked the time of his
rreals, and bis diet was plain and ftrong. He loved travelling,
and different climates never affeted his health. In order to
irnprefs upon his memory what he had a mind to remember,
he wrote it down, and never read it afterwards. His temper
was naturally choleric, and the firit motions were very hot;
but, after that was over, he generally took care to reftraia
it. He had the glory of puffing for one of the greatefl men
in Europe, and he was fufficiently fennble of it. He was
felicitous in procuring the favour of princes, which he turned
to his own advantage, as well as to the fervice of learnir ,

* - ^ ' iT?-

He was affable and polite in converfation, and greatly averts
to difputes. He was thought to love money, and is faicl to
have left fixty thoufand crowns, yet no more than "fifteen or
twenty thoufand out at intereit ; the reft being found in
crown -pieces and other fpecie, hoarded in corn- lacks. He
always prcfefied himfelf a Lutheran, but never went to fer-
mons; and, in his laft ficknefs, being deiired by his coach-
man, who was his favourite fervant, to fend for a minifter,
lie would not hear of it, faying he had no occafion for one.
He was never married, and never attempted it but once,
when he was about fifty years old; and the lady, defiling
time to conlider of it, gave him an opportunity of doing the
fame; which produced this conclufion, " that rrarmge was
a good thing, but a wife man ought to confider of it his
life." Mr. Loerler, fon of his lifter, was his fole heir,
whofe wife died fudtienly .with ioy at the fight of fo much
money left them by their uncle. It is faid he had a natural
fon in his youth, who afterwards lived with him, was ier-
viceable to him in many ways, and had a comiderable ihare
in his confidence. He went by the name of William Dirmin-
ger, and extremely refembled his father,

He wrote feveral pieces, of which the titles are, " Spe-

cirnina Juris;" " Specimen Difficaltatis in Jure, feu Difier-

tatio de Cafibus perplexis ;" " Specimen Encyclopedia? in

Jure, feu Queftiones Phiiofophise amceniores ex Jure cci-

left^ ;" "Specimen Certitudinis feu Demonftrationurn in

Jure exhibitum in Do&rina Conditionum;" ' Specimen

DiiTertationum polkicaruin pro eligendo Rege Polonorum ;"

'* Nova Methodus difcends docendsque Jurifprudentiae; 5 *

."Corporis Juris reconcinnandi Ratio;" ' ; Marii Nazolii de

veris Principiis et vcra ratione philoibphandi contra Philo*

fophos, cum Prefatione & Notis G. G. Leibnitzii;" " Sa-

crofancla Trinitas per nova Inverita Logicse defenia/' This

was written againft the Socinians. " Confefiio Naturse contra

Atheos ;" 4< Nova Hypotlieiis phyfica, feu theoria Motus

.9 ' Con*


Conereti abftrac"U ;" " Notitia Optics prcmotae;" It co mains
a new method of polifhing telefcope-giafTes ; is addreflecl t'o
Spinofa, and publifhed in the poflhumous" works of that
author. " Caefarini Furftnerii de Jure Suprernalus ac Le-
gationis Priiicipum Germaniae;" l< Eritretiens cle Fhilarete
&: Eugene fur la Quefhon du Terns agitce a Nimigue, tou-
chant ie Droit d'AmbaiTade des Ele&eurs & Princes d'Em-
pire;" an abridgement of the preceding. " De Arte com-
binatoria;" " De la Tolerance des Religions ;" <; Lettres
de M. de Leibnitz, & Ref ponies de PeliiTcn," he is for
toleration, and Peliiron a^sinfl it. " CocUx fnris Gentium
dipiomaticus, in quo Tabulae authentica? Aftoruiii pub'ico-
rum pteraeque inedita? vel fcleftae continentur ;" The feveral
pieces, which are digeiled in order of time, begin with the
year 1396, and end in 1400. Our author all'o publifhed,
in 1693, a fmall trac\ concerning the flate of Germany, fuch
as it may be fuppofed to have been before we have *any
account in hiftory ; to which he gave t!ie title of' 4 Protegea."
* 5 NovirTiina Sinica Hiftoriam noitri Temporis iliuftiatura;"
<{ Lettre fur la Connexion ces Maifons de Brunfxvick 8c
d'Efte;" " Aceefliones hifloricae, quibus utilia fuperiorum
Hiftoriis illuflrandis Scripta Monumcntaque non'dum haclenus
indita, inque iis Infcriptore? diu deiiderati continentur;"
*' Acceffion. hiftoric. Tomus fecundus, continens notiffimum
Chronicon Alberici Monachi trium Pentium; 7 ' " Specimen
Hiftoricae arcane, five Anecdota de Vita Alexand. VI.
Papr-e ;" " MantHTa Codicis juris Gentium diplomatic! ;"
** Scriptores Rerum Brurifwicienfium Illyftrationi infervientes
antiqui & Reiigiorns Reforraatione priores, Hanov.
1707;*' fol. 3 vols. " EiTai de 1 'heodicaei fur la JBonte de
Dicu, iur la Liberte de L'Komir.e, & fur i'Origine du Mai,
A mil. 1710," 2 torn. I2mo. In this work our author
appears to be a fatalift, agreeably to the principles of Spinofa:
it was undertaken at the requert of the queen of Pruffia, in
the view of" anfwering Rayle, \vitli which he complied; but
we are told by Fv'I. Praff, that our author was of the fame
opinion as Bayle ; while, on the other hand, father Tourne-
mine afTures us, -that our author, in this piece, wrote his
ovn fciitiments. " De Origine Francorum Difquilitio i"
44 L'Anti-Jacobite, 1711:;" " Refponfe de Baron de la Hon-
tan a la Lettre o'un particulier bppofee au manifefte de S. M.
le Roy de la Grand Bretagne, comme 1'Elecleur centre le
Saxe;' " Colleclanea etymologica llluftrationi Linguarum
veteris Celtic e, Germanics, Gailics?, aliarumque infervientia,
cum Prefatione Georgii Eckardi;" " Recueil de divers
edits compofes par feu M. Leibnitz et Mr. Clarke, in
17 15 & 1 716, fur la Phyfique 6c la Religion natuielle, en


L E I G II. 273

A nglois & Frangois, Londrcs, 1717," 8vo. and in German
at Francof, 1720, Svo." " Otium Hanoveranum, live
Mifcellanea ex Ore & Schedis G. G. Leibnitzii quondam
notata ct defcripta, &c. Leipiice, 1718," 8vo. " Recueii
de diverfes Pieces fur la Philofophie, hi Religion naturelike,
1'Hiftoire, les Matliematiqnes, &c. par Meff. Leibnitz,
Clarke, Newton, Sc autres celebres Auteurs, Amft. 1720,"
2 torn. 8vo. to which was added u third afterwards. Leibnitz
alfo wrote the biftory of Balaam, in which he endeavours to
prove, that what is related of that prophet did not happen
really, but in a dream. M. G. Hanfchius collected, with
great care, every thing that Leibnitz had faid, in different
pafTages of his works, upon the principles of phiiofophy, and
formed a complete fvftein under the title of " G. G. Leibnitzii
Principia Philofophice More geometrico demonftrata, c.
1728," 4to. There came out a collection of our author's
letters in 1734 and 1735, under this title: Epiftolce ad di-
verfos theologici, juridici, meclici, philofophici, mathematici,
hiftorici, & philologici, Argument! e MSS. Au&ores:
cum Annotatiouibus fuis primum divulgavit Chritian Cor-

LEIGH (Sir EDWARD), a very learned Englifhman, was
born at Shawell, in Leicefterfhire, and educated at Magdalen-
hall, Oxford. He was a member of the Long Parliament,
and one of the members of the houfe of commons who were
appointed to (it in the aflembly of divines. He was afterwards
colonel of a regiment for the parliament; but, in 1648, was
numbered among the prefbyterians who were turned out;
and, in December, he was imprifoned. From this period to
the Reft oration, he employed himfelf in writing a coniiderabie
number of learned and valuable books, which lliewed pro-
found learning, a knowledge of the languages, and much
critical fa<ncitv. ^ r Edward died at his houfe called Rufliall

G> j

Hall, in Staffordfhire, June 2, 1671; and was buried in the
chancel of Rufhall-church.

LEiGH (CHARLES), an eminent naturalift, and born at
Grange, in Lancashire, He pra&ifed phyiic with con-
iiderabie fuccefs, and was fellow of the Royal Society, at a
time when fuch diilinclion was confidered as more appro-
priate to real talents and learning than at prefent. He pub-
limed an account of the natural hiftory of Laricafhire, Chelliire,
and Derby. He was alfo the author of a hiftory of Vir-
ginia, as well as of fome tracts on mineral waters. He .died
in the beginning of this century.

LE1GHTON (ROBERT), an eminent Scotch divine, was
minifter of a church near Edinburgh in the diftracled times

VOL, IX, T af

274 L E I G H T O N.

of Cromwell's ufurpation; and exhorted bis parifhioners to
live together irt charity, and not to trouble themfelves with
religious and political aifputes. When the minifters were
called over yearly in the fynod, it was commonly afked,
" whether they had preached to the times ?" " For God's
fake," anfwered Leighton, " when all my brethren preach
to the times, fuffer one poor prieft to preach about eternity."
His moderation gave offence; and, rinding his labours of no
fervice, he retired to a life of privacy. By the unanimous
voice of the magift rates, he was called foon after from his
retirement to prefide over the college of Edinburgh; where,
during the fpace of ten years, he dilplayed all the talents of
a prudent, wife, ana learned governor. Soon after the
Reftoration, when that ill-judged bufinefs, the introduction
of epifcopacy into Scotland, was refolved on, Leighton was
confecrated bifhop of Dunblane. At his entrance upon his
office, he gave an early inftance of moderation. Sharp, and
the other bilhops, intended to enter Edinburgh in a pompous
manner. Leighton rsmonO rated againftit; but, finding
what he faid had no weight, he left them at Morpeth, and
went to Edinburgh alone. He foon faw the violent turn which
the councils of the times were taking, and did all in his
power to oppofe it. *' How can thefe men," faid Sharp,
with his ufual vehemence, " expect moderation from us,
when they themfelves impofed their covenant with fo much
zeal and tyranny on others ?" " For that very reafon," an-
fwereJ Leighton mildly, '* let us treat them with gentlenefs,
and fhew them the difference between their principles and


In his own diocefe Leighton fet the example, where he
was revered even by the moft rigid of the oppofite party.
He went about preaching, without any appearance of pomp,
gave all he had to the poor, and removed none of the mi-
miters, however exceptionable he might think their political
principles. But, finding this contributed very little to the
promotion of the great fcheme that was carrying on, and that
his brethren, would not be induced to join, as he thought,
properly in the woi-:, he went to the king, and reiigned his
bilhopric ; telling him, that " he would not have a hand in
fuch oppreflive meafures, were he fure to plant the Chtiflian
religion in an infidel country by them ; much lefs, when they
tended only to alter the form of church-government." The
king and council, partly induced by the remonftrances of this
good bifhop, and paitly by their own obfervations, lefolved
to carry on the bufinefs in Scotland on a different plan;
and, with this view, Leighton was perfuaded to accept


L E L A N O. 27;

the archbifhopnc of G'ligow. Tn this ftation he made one
effort more, but found i r v;a? not in his power to fteni ths
vio ence nf Hie times. In l-tt'e more- tlvn a year; he refigned
bis archbilhopric, and retired into SufTex, where he devoted
himfelf wholly to religion, and a:ts of piety; He died in 1684.
Ke was a man of a rtioft amiable difpofiiion; iri his
life; polite, chearful, and engaging j n his manners; of
excellent pirts and profoundly learned.- Fie has left many
fermons and ufeiul traces, whicli are in very great e'ftcevn.

LEIGHTON (ALEXANDFK). He was born at Edin-
burgh, 1587, and educated m the university of that city,
under the direction of the pious and learned Vlr. Rollock.
In 1683, he took the degrees of M. A. and was appointed
profeffor of monl philofophy in his own college, a place
which he enjoyed till the lauration of his clafs, 161 3. At that
time he came to London, and procured a le-f^ureihip, whicli
he enjoyed till 16:19, when he wrote two books, the one en-
titnled, " Zion's Plea," and the other, " The Looking-Glafs
of the Holy War." This brought him under the vengeance
of the ftar- chamber; and he received fentence to have his
nofe flit, his ears cut, to be whipped once from Newgate to
Aldgate, and once to Tyburn ; after which he was to be
imprifoned for life. Before the execution of this dreadful
fentence could take place, he made his efcape from the Fieet-
prifon, but was apprehended at Luton in Bedfordshire ; and,
being brought back to London, he fuffered the dreadful
fentence of the ftar-ch amber, with fome circumftances of
inhuman barbarity. A^ter eleven years imprifonment in the
Fleet, he was fet at liberty by the parliament, 1640, and
appointed keeper of Lambeth-palace, which, at that time, was
made ufe of as a ftate prifon. There he remained till 1644,
when he died rather infane of mind from the hardlhips he had
fuffered, aged 57. He has no works extant, except thofe
alreadv mentioned


LELAND (JOHN), die firft and laft antiquary-royal iii
England, was a native of London, and bred at Si. Paul's
fchool there under the famous William Lilly. Having loft
both his parents in his infancy, he found a fofter-father in one
Mr. Thomas Myles, w r ho both maintained him at fchool,
and fent him thence to Chrift's-college in Cambridge. Of
this fociety, it is faid, he became fellow ; vet, it is certain
that he afterwards removed to Oxford, and fpent feveral years
in AH-fouls-college ; there purfning his {ludies with great
afliduity, efpecially in the Greek language. For farther im-
provement, he travelled to Paris, where he had the converfa-
tion and inftru&ion of Budaeus, paber, p a ulus yEmilius,

T a Rueluusj>


L E L A N D.

Ruellius, and Francis Sylvius ; by whofe affiflance he per-
fefted himfelf in the Latin and Greek tongues. He alfo
Jearned French, Italian, and Spanifh, before his return home;
fo that he was efteemed an accomplifhed fcholar. Going into
orders, king Henry VI II. made him one of his chaplains,
gave him the rectory of Popeling in the marches of Calais,
appointed him his library- keeper, and dignified him with the
title of his antiquary. In confequence whereof his majelty,
in 1533* granted him a commiflion, under the great feal, to
make fearch. after England^ antiquities, and perufe the libra-
ries of all cathedrals, abbeys, priories, colleges, and places,
where records, writings, and fecrets of antiquity were re-
pofited. For this purpofe, having obtained, in 1536, a dif-
penfation for non-reficJence upon his living at Popeling, he
fpent above fix years in travelling about England and Wales,
and collecting materials for the hiftovy and antiquities of the
nation. He entered upon his journey with the greateft eager-
nefs ; and, in the execution of his defign, was fo inquifitive,
that, not content with what the libraries of the refpe&ive
houfes afforded, nor with what was recorded in the windows
and other monuments belonging to cathedrals and monafteries,.
&c. he wandered from place to place, were he thought there
were any footftens of Roman, Saxon, or Daniih buildings,
and took particular notice of all the tumuli, coins, infcrip-
tions, &c. In ihort, he travelled every where, both by the
fea-coafts and the midland parts, fparing neither pains nor
coft; info much that there was fcarcely either cape or bay,
haven, creek, or pier, river, or confluence of rivers, breaches,
wafhes, lakes, meres, fenny waters, mountains, valleys,
moors, heaths, forefts, chaces, woods, cities, boroughs,
caftle^, principal manor- places, monafteries, and colleges,
which he had not feen, and noted a whole world of things very

Leland did not only fearch out and refcue antique monu-
ments of literature from the deftruclive hands of time, by a
faithful copy and regifter of them, but likewife faved many
from being defpoiled by the hands of men. In thofe days the
Englifli were very indifferent and negligent in this particular:
they took little heed and lefs care about thefe precious monu-
ments of learning; which being perceived by foreigners,
efpecially in Germany, young fludents were frequently fent
thence, who cut them out of the books in the libraries ;
and then, returning home, publifhed them as monuments of
their own country. This pilferage, together with the havock
made of them at the diffoiution of the monafteries, was ob-
ferved by our antiquary with great regret ; whereupon he


L E L A N D.

wrote a letter to Cromwell, then fecretary of Hate,
his arliftance to bring to light many ancient authors buried in
duft, and fending them to the king's horary/ His maj^fty. he

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 31 of 48)