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 5) online

. (page 1 of 66)
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 5) → online text (page 1 of 66)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


3 3433 08252871 6


e 1 -














Moil Eminent Perfons


From the Earlieft Accounts of Time to the prefent Period.

, . , . WHEREIN

Their remarkable ACTIONS lazfcj- SUFFERINGS,



, i . - ',








Printed for G. G. and J. ROBINSON, J. JOHNSON, J. NICHOLS, J,









and HURST, and J. WHITE.






R . 1915 L

. . i

< t "

. . . .
. , , , ',,"
..... . <

, , . , e c



ENNIS (JoHw), a celebrated critic, was born in London
_ in 1657 ; his father being a fadler and an eminent citizen,
e was educated under- Dr. Hotn at Harrow on the Hill, and
thence removed to Ca<vtf-coJL ! Mre, Cambridge, in 1675. ^ e to k
the degree of B. A. and was expelled fhd college for literally at-
tempting to ftab a perfofr irt fhe-tfarV v after which he travelled
through France and Italy.' At ^his' ^ return, he fet up for a
wit and a fine gentle'naa ? -and toavMg fome fortune, which
was left him by an uncle, -held -'eVely attainment in contempt,
that did not relate to poetry and tafte. Though it is now be-
come fafhionable to fpeak flightly of him, he had then qualities
enough to recommend him to the acquaintance of fome of the
mod eminent perfonages for birth, wit, and learning ; fuch as
the duke of Buckinghamfhire, the earls of Halifax and Pem-
broke, Walter Moyle, efq. Dryden, Wycherley, Congreve,
Southern, Garth, who really had an opinion of his talents : but
the black paflions were fo predominant in him, and his pride,
^envy, jealoufy, and fufpicion, hurried him rnto fo many abfurd
and ridiculous meafures, that his life appears to have been nothing
but a mixture of folly and madnefs. Upon his firft introduction
to the earl of Halifax, he had the misfortune to get intoxicated
with fome very fine wines, which he had not been ufed to. Thefe
had a ftrange effect upon him, and made him fo very impatient
of contradiction, that, rifing on a fudden, he ruihed out of the
room, and overturned the fide-board of plate and glafles as he
went. The next morning feeing Mr. Moyle, who was one of
the company, he told him he had quite forgot every thing that
VOL- V. B happened


happened, for he was much in liquor, and defired he would te\\
him in what maner he went away : " Why," faid Moyle, " you
went away like the devil, and took one corner of the houfe with

He began to be a writer as early as 1690, if not earlier, and fo
continued to the time of his death, which happened 1733, in his
77th year. He was always making attacks upon fomebody or
other, and thereby became embroiled in quarrels, in which he
generally had the word of it. In 1692 he wrote a pindaric ode
on king William, occasioned by the victory at the battle of
Aghrim ; and in 1695 a pindaric poem, called " The court of
Death," dedicated to the memory of queen Mary. Upon the
death' of king William, he publifiied another poem, called " The
Monument:" after which he wrote fomc pieces in profe; amongft
which, in 1702, was, " Prielleraft dangerous to religion and
the government," in anfwer to apiece of SacheverelPs, intituled,
*' The political Union-," the defign of which was to {hew, that
the church was necefiary to fupport the (late. He wrote two
poems on the battles of Blenheim and Ramiliesj for the fir ft of
which he had a prefent of lool. from the duke of Marlborough,
and foon after, through his intereft, a finecure in the cuftoms of
about 120!. per aim.

thought they* were* hever to be forgiven. He really per-
fuaded himfelf, as it is -fcJitel''Qf Jhj&l; that the king of France
would never make peace-' 'fvitfe'-Ekig'Tand, unlefs the author of
* 4 Liberty afierted" wa^Afcftv&ed'iitf -to Km : and upon this full
perfuafion of his own |m,pprta*ace^ 'is' faid to have waited on his
patron, the duke of Marlborough, when the congrefs was held
at Utrecht for a treaty of peace, to defire " that no fuch article
might be flipulated, as Ins being given up." The duke told him,
that " he was forry he could not fcrve him, for he really had
no intereft with any of the minifters of that time ;" but faid,
that " he fancied his cafe was not fo defperate as he imagined j
that he had indeed made no fuch provifion for himfelf, yet
could not help thinking, that he had done the French almoft as
rmuch damage as even Mr. Dennis himfelf." Another flory rc~
lating to this affair is, that v;alking near the beach of the fea,
when he was at a gentleman's houfe on the coaft of SufTex, he
faw a (hip failing, as he imagined, towards him. Upon this he
fufpec~ted himfelf betrayed, and therefore made the beft of his
way to London, without taking any leave of his hoft, but pro-
claiming him a traitor, wlio, he faid, had decoyed him down
to his houfe, that he might give him up to the French ; who had
certainly carried him off, if he had not efcaped as he did.
It would be endleig to recite the ftories which are told of this



flrange man. In 1709 he publiflied a tragedy called " Appius
and Virginia," which met with no fuccefs, but for which he
invented a new kind of thunder. Being at the play-houfe a
few nights after the ill fate of his own play, and hearing it
thunder, he ftarted up of a fudden, and cried out aloud, " That's
my thunder, by G ! How thefe rafcals ufe me ! They will not
have my play, yet Heal my thunder." In 17 12 he wrote againft
Pope's EiTay on Criticifm, and in 1713 againft Addifon's Cato 5
which occafioned a pamphlet intituled, " The narrative of Dr.
Robert Norris, concerning the ftrange and deplorable frenzy
of Mr. John Dennis," fmce printed in Swift's mifcellanies ; and
laid the foundation of that quarrel which provoked Pope to
put him into his Dunciad. Ht wrote many other pieces, in all of
which he (hewed, that he had better talents for judging of the
performances of others, than for producing any thing of himfelf ;
which made a fmart fellow fay, that " Dennis was the fitted
man in the world to inftrucl a dramatic writer ; for he laid
down rules for writing good plays, and fhewed him what were
bad by his own."

DENNY (SiR ANTHONY), knt. favourite, and one of the
gentlemen of the privy chamber to king Henry VIII. was
the fecond fon of Thomas Denny, of Chefliunt in the county of
Hertford, efq. by Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Mannock.
He had his education in St. Paul's fchool, London, under the
famous William Lilly , and afterwards in St. John's-college,
Cambridge : in both which places he fo improved himfelf, that he
became an excellent fcholar, as well as a perfon of great worth.
His merit having made him known at court, he was conftituted
by Henry VIII. one of the gentlemen of the bed-chamber, groom
of the ftole, and a privy counfellor ; and likewiie received the
honour of knighthood from that prince : with whom being in
great favour, he raifed a confiderable eflate on the ruins of
the diflblved monafteries. For, in 15375 Henry gave him the
priory of Hertford, together with divers other lands and ma-
nors. He further granted him, in 1539, Dec. 15, the office of
fteward of the manor of Eedwell and Little Berkhamftead, in
Herts ; befides which fir Anthony alfo obtained the manor of
ButterwSck, in the parifh of St. Peter in St. Aibans, the manors
of the redlory and of the nunnery, in the parifh of Chefliunt;
and of Great Amwell, all in the county of Hertford. More-
over, in 1541, there was a large grant made to him, by at of
parliament, of feveral lands that had belonged to the abbey of
St. Aibans, lately diflblved. Not content with that, he found
means to procure a thirty-one years' leafe of the many large
and rich demefnes that had been poffefled by Waltham-abbey in
Eilex : of which his lady purchafed afterwards the reverfion.
In 1544 the king gave him the advantageous wardfliip of Mar-

B 2, garet,

4 D E N T O N.

garet, the only daughter and heir of Thomas lord Audley, $e*

ceafed. On the 31 ft of Aitguft 1546 he was commiflioned,

with John Gate and William Clerk, efquires, to fign all warrants

in the king's name. In this reign he did an eminent fervicc to

the great fchool of Sedberg in'Yorkfhire, belonging to the col-

lege\vherein he had received his education. For the building

being fallen to decay, and the lands appropriated thereto fold

and embezzled, he caufed the fchool to be repaired, and not

only recovered, but alfo fettled the eflate fo firmly, as to prevent

all 'future alienations. When king Henry VIII. was on his

death-bed, fir Anthony had the honefty and courage to put him

in mind of his approaching end ; and defired him to raife his

thoughts to heaven, to think of his paft life, and to call on God

for mercy through Jefus Chrift. So great an opinion had that

king of him, that he appointed him one of the executors of his

will, and one of the counfellors to his fon and fucceflbr Edward VI.

and bequeathed him a legacy of 300!. He did not live long after

this-, for he died in 1550. By his wife Joan, daughter of

fir Philip Champernon of Modbury in Devonfhire, a lady of

great beauty and parts, he had fix children ; of whom Henry

the eldeft was father of Edward Denny, knighted in 1589, fum-

moned to parliament in 160^, and advanced O61. 24., 1626, to

the dignity of earl of Norwich. As for fir Anthony Denny's

character, one of his contemporaries informs us, that his whole

time and cares were taken up with and employed about religion,

learning, and the care of the public, and has highly commended

him for his prudence and humanity. The learned Henry

Howard, earl of Hurry, wrote an excellent epitaph for him fome

years before his deceaie. And fir John Cheke, who had a great

eftcem for him, honoured his memory with an elegant heroic


DENTON (JOHN), an englifh divine, author of fome final!
controverfial pieces, was educated at Clare-hall, Cambridge, and
was admitted fizar and pupil to Mr. David Clarkfon, on the 4th
of May, 1646, as appears from the regifter of the college.
He was ejected by the acl of uniformity in 1662 from the living
of Ofwaldkirk, near Helmfley in Yorkfhire, and not from that of
Bolton, as Dr. Calamy affirms in his account, p. 818, who has
rectified that miftake in his Continuation, p. 950, though, as it
feems, without knowing that it was a miftake, it being indeed
Mr. Snathan, and not Mr. John Denton, who was ejected from
Bolton upon Dearn, or more properly Darwent. Mr. John
Denton afterwards conformed; and being re-ordained by Dr.
Thomas Barlow, biftiop of Lincoln, was collated to the living of
Stonegrave, within two miles of Ofwaldkirk, and a prebend of
the Church of York, both which he held till his death, on the
4th of January, 1708, in the 8sd year of his age, as is evident


D E R H A M. $

from the infcription on his tombflone in the church of Stonegrave,
in which living he was fucceeded by his fon Mr. Robert Denton,
who was educated at Catherine-hall in Cambridge, and died about
1748. Mr. John Denton having contracted an intimate friend-
(hip with Mr. Tillotfon at CLire-hall, they kept up a conitarit
correfpondence during his grace's life.

Lyons in 1664, went as miflionary to China with pereParrennin.
Here he was employed a like number of years with him, and
died in the fame year, 1741, at the age of 77. His amiable
character, his infinuating turn, and his mild and affable manners,
gained him the cfteem and affection both of the populace and
the men of letters. He caufed a great number of works to be
printed in the chinefe language, to inculcate the doctrines of his
church among the difciples of Confucius, and to encourage the
new converts in the way of falvation. Befides thefe writings,
which it cannot be expected we fliould underftand, there are fe-
verul interefling pieces of his in the collection of " Lettres edi-
fiantes & curieufes," and in the hiftory of China by du Halde.

DEREING ^EDWARD) was born in the xvith century, and
defcended from an antient and confiderable family in Kent. He
was educated in Chrifl's-college in Cambridge, of which he was
fellow. He took the degree of B.D. and was chofen preacher
at St. Paul's in London , and was a very eminent preacher at
court in this reign. He died in the year 1576. His principal
works are : his u Anfwer to Harding " his Lectures on the
epiftle to the Hebrews; and his fermons. The happy death of
this truly religious man was fwitable to the purity and integrity
of his life.

DERHAM (WILLIAM), an excellent philofopher and divine,
was born at Stoughton near Worcefter, Nov. 26, 1657 j and
educated in grammar-learning at Blockley in that county. May
1675 ne was admitted into Trinity-college, Oxford ; and by the
time he took his degree of B. A. was greatly diflinguifhed for
his learning, and other valuable and eminent qualifications. He
was ordained deacon by Compton bifhop of London, in May
1681 ; prieti by Ward bifhop of Salisbury, in July 1682; and
was the fame month prefented to the vicarage of Wargrave in
Berkfhire. Auguft 1689 ne was prefented to the valuable rec-
tory of Upminiter in Effex : which living, lying at not more than
a convenient diftance from London, afforded him an opportunity
of converfmg and correfponding with the greateft virtuoli in the
nation- Being therefore in a retirement fuitable to his con-
templative and philosophical temper, he applied himfelf with great
eagernefs to the ftudy of nature, and to mathematics and experi-
mental philofophy; in which he became fo eminent, that he was
foon after chofen F. R. S. He proved one of the moft ufefui

B 3 and

D E R H A M.

and induftrious members of it, frequently pubiiftiing in the Philo-
fophicalTranfaclions curious obfervations and valuable pieces [A].
We fhall now proceed to his other works. He publifhed in his

A] Of which thefe fallowing are the
particulars. 1. Part of a letter" dated Dec.
6, 1697, giving an account of fome expe-
riments about the. height of the mercury
in the barometer at the top and bottom of
the monument in London ; and alfo a de-
fcription of a portable barometer. 2. A
letter dated Jan. 33, 1698, about a. con-
trivance to meafure the height of the mer-
cury in the barometer, by a circle on one
of the weather plates : wiih a register or
diary of the weather, obferved every d.iy
at Upminfter, during the year 1^97.
3. A letter to Dr. Sloane ; with a regilier
of the weather, winds, barometer's height,
and quantity of rain falling at Upminfter
in Effex, during the year 1698. 4. A
regifter, &c. as above, for the year 1699.
In thefe regifters, he exhibits to vieVv, in
feparate columns, every day, at the hours
of 8, 12, and o, the weather, winds,
clouds, height of the barometer, rain, &c.
5. Obfervations on the death-watch, or
that infect which makes a noife like the
beats of a watch. 6. Obfervations on the
weather, rain, winds, &c. for 1699, 1 7 OC> >
1701, 1702, compared with other obferva-
tions made at Townley in Lancat"hire, by
Mr. Townley, and communicated to our
author. 7. An account of fome fpots ob-
ferved in the fun in June 1703. 8. Ob-
fervations on the great Storm, Nov. 26,
1703. Q. The hittorv of the death- watch,
from which the fuperStifious may learn,
to the great eafe and comfort of their fouls,
that the ticking noife o: this minute crea-
tors, which fills them with fuch terrors
and forebodings, is nothing more than a
wooing aft, and commonly heard in July,
or about the beginning of Augult. 10. An
account of an instrument for finding the
meridian, with a defcviption of the fame,
II. Experiments on the motion of pendu-
lums in vacuo. 12. A profpect of the
weather, v/indc, and height of the mer-
cary in the barometer, 0:1 the firft day of
the month; and of the who'e rain in every
month in i"O3 ? and the hegiuningof 1704:
obferved at Townley in Laixalhire, by R.
Townley, efq. and-at Upminfter in EfTex,
hy our author. 17. An account of a glade
of light feen in t'm heavens, March 2-,
1706. 14. Tables cf the weather, &c. for
170;. i 5. An account of a pyramidal
jppearance in the heavens, feen in ElFex,
April 3, 1707. 16. Experiments and ob-
fervations on the motion of found ; ia latin.

1 7. On the migration of birds. iS.An
account of an eclipfe of the fun, Sept. 3,
1708, as obferved at Upminfter: and of
an eclipfe of the moon, Sept. 18, 1708.

19. An account of a Strange meteor, .or
aurora borealis, in Sept. or Oct. 1706-

20. An account of a child's crying in the
womb. It was the child of one Clark, of
Hornchurch in ESTex, who was heard to
cry in his mother's womb, at times, for
five weeks. 21. The history 1 of the great
froft in 1708. 22. Account of fpo's ob-
ferved in the fun by our author, from 1703
101708; and from 1707 to 1711. 23.
Of fubterianeous trees found at Dagenham-
Breach in Effex. 24. Account of an eclipfe
of the moon, feen at Upminfter Jan. 12,
1711-12. 25. Of a woman big with child,
and having the fmall pr>x, delivered of a
child having the fame diftemper, Sept. 8,
1713. 26. An account of/the rain at Up-
rainfter for 18 years. i~. Tables of the
barometrical altitudes for 17^8, at Zurich
in Switzerland ; and of the rain of Pifa in
Italy, and Zurich, and Upminfter, for
1707, 1708 : with remarks on the winds,
heat, and cold, &c. 2 '3. Mifchiefs occa-
iioned by Swallowing the fton'es of bullace
and floes. This piece may be read with
great advantage by thofc who fancy, very
abfurdly, that the ftones of floes, cherries,
&c. are uleful in preventing a furfeit from
the fruit. 29. Extracts from Mr. Gaf-
coigr.c's and Mr. Crabtree's letters, prov-
ing Mr. Gafcoigne to have been the in-
ventor of the telekopic fights of mathe-
matical inftruments, and not the French.
3 :-. Obfervations about wafp^, and the dif-
ference of their fexes. 3 f. Obfervatidns
on the lumen boreale, orftreaming, Oct. 8,
1726. 32. Tables oi the cclipfes of Ju-
piter's fatelliles, from 1700 to^ 1717 ; with
remarks on thofe tables. 33. The dif-
ference in time of the meridians of divers
places, computed from obfervations on the
eclipfes of Jupiter's fatellites. 34. A letter
to fir Hans Sloane, bart. containing a de-
fcription of fome uncommon appearances,
obferved in an aurora boreali-., Oct. 13,
J-23. 35. Of the meteor called the igni;
fjtuus, from obfervations made in England
by our author, and others in Italy, com-
municated by fir Thomas Dereham, bart.
We have placed thefe feveral pieces here
together, becaufe they are of the fame
kind and nature, and were all publifned
ia thz < Viiilofuphical T;anfactions."


D E B. H A M. 7

younger years, " The artificial clock-maker : or, a treatife of
watch and clock-work, (hewing to the meaneft capacities the
art of calculating numbers to all forts of movements ; the way
to alter clock-work j to make chimes, and fet them to mufical
notes ; and to calculate and correct the motion of pendulums.
Alfo numbers for divers movements : with the antient and mo-
dern hiilory of clock-work ; and many inftruments, tables, and
other matters, never before publifhecl in any other book." The
fourth edition of this book, with large emendations, was pub-
lilhed in 1734, I2mo. In 1711 and 1712 he preached 16 fer-
mons at B.oyle's lectures ; which, having put into a new form,
tie published in 1713 under this title, Fhyfico-theology j or, a
demonstration of the being and attributes of God from his works
of creation : with large notes, and many curious obfervations,
8vo. And in purfuauce of the fame defign, he publiflied, in 17 14,
Aflro-theology ; or, a demonftration of the being and attributes
of God from a furvey of the heavens. Illuftrated witl> copper-
plates, 8vo. Thefe works, the former efpecially, have been
highly and juflly valued, and have undergone feveral editions.
In 1716 he was made a canon of Windfor, being at that time
chaplain to thz prince of Wales j and in 1730 received the de-
gree of D. D. from the univerlity of Oxford, on account of his
learning, and the fervices he had done to religion by his culture
of natural knowledge " Ob libros," as the terms pf the diploma
run, " ab ipfq editos, quibus phyficam & mathefin aucliorem
reddidit, & ad religionem veramque fidem exornandam revo-
cavit." But to go on with his writings. When Eleazer Albin
publifhed his natural hiitor^ of birds and englidi infects, in 4
vols, 410. with many beautiful cuts, it was accompanied with
very curious notes and obfervations by our learned author. He
ajfo revifed the " Mifcellanea Curiofa," pub}i(hed in three vols.
8vo. 1726. The lait thing he publifhed qf his own compolition,
"was, " Chnfto-theology , or, a demonftration of the divine au-
thority of the chriilian religion, being the fubftance of a fermon
preached at Bath, Nov. 2, 1729, and publiflbed at the earned
TequeH: of the auditory, 1730," BVQ. But, befides his own, he
publifned iome pieces of Mr. Ray, and gave new editions of
others, with great additions from the author's own MSS. To
him the world is iikewife indebted for the publication of the
" Philofophical experiments and obfervations of the late eminent
Dr. Robert Hooke, and other eminent virtuofos 'in his time,
1726," 8vo. with copper cuts. He communicated alfo to the
royal fociety feveral pieces, which he received from his learned

This great and good man having thus fpenthis life in the moffc
agreeable and improving fhudy of nature, and made all his re
fearches therein fubfervient to the caufe of religion and virtue,

B 4. died

* . !


died at length, in his 78th year, April 5, 1735, at Upminfler,
where he was buried. He left behind him a valuable collection
of curiofities ; among the reft, a fpecimen of infers, and of moft
kinds of birds in this ifland, of which he had preferved the male
and female. It may be neceflary juft to obferve, that Dr. Der-
ham was very well Hulled in medical as well as phyfical know-
ledge ; and was conftantly a phyfician to the bodies as well as
fouls of his parifhioners.

DERRICK (SAMUEL), a native of Ireland, was born in 1724.
Being intended for trade, he was fome time placed with a linen-
draper in Dublin , but diiliking his bufmefs, he quitted it and
his country about 1751, and commenced author in London.
Soon after he arrived at the metropolis, he indulged an incli-
nation which he had imbibed for the ftage, and appeared in
the character of Gloucefter in " Jane Shore," but with fo little
.fuccefs, that he never repeated the experiment. After this at-
tempt he fubfifted chiefly by his writings ; but being of an ex-
penfive difpofition, running into the follies and excefles of
gallantry and gaming, he lived almoft all his time the flave of
dependence, or the fport of chance. His acquaintance with
people of fafhion, on beau Nam's death, procured him at length
a more permanent fufiftence. He was chofen to fucceed that
gentleman in his offices of mafter of the ceremonies at Bath
and Tunbridge. By the profits of thefe he might have been
enabled to place himfelf with ceconomy in a lefs precarious,
ftate ; but his want of conduct continued after he was in the
poiTeflion of a confiderable income, by which means he was at
the time bf his death, March 7, 1769, as neceflitous as he had.
been at any period of his life. He translated one piece from
the french of the king of Pruflia, called, Sylla, a dramatic en-
tertainment, 1753, 8vo.

reading of lectures in experimental philofophv at the metropo-
lis, and who made feveral improvements in mechanics, was the
fon of the rev. Mr. John Dclaguliers, a french proteftant' re-
fugee, and born at Rochelle, March 12, 1683. His father
brought him an infant into England ; and having taught him

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 5) → online text (page 1 of 66)