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· Dec. 14, 1748, the Duke of Newcastle was elected, in the Senate-house, Chancellor of the University. As soon as Dr. Chapman, the Vicechancellor, had declared the election of the Duke, Dr. Newcome, who'stood close to hiin, pulled off his cap, and flourished it round three or four times over his head.
In George the Second's time, when he was at Hanover, the Deanery of Peterborough became vacant, and the Duke of Newcastle engaged to get it for Dr. Newcome: but Bishop Thomas of Salisbury, as he was afterwards, being then at Hanover, the King gave it to him: so that the Duke was in a puzzle, and wrote to him from England to wave the appointment, and he would more amply provide for him: but Dr. Thomas would not be persuaded to quit his hold, thinking, perhaps, that à Deanery in possession was worth two in reversion *. • At length, being worn out with infirmities, the fatigues and troubles of this world, he shewed a disposition to have resigned his Professorship; the duties of which he had been for some time disabled to perform : and, after lying in a languishing state at his own Lodge for a great while, he resigned up his breath to his Creator on January 10, at night, 1765; and was interred, in a private manner, the
at the bridge-foot, (a large brick-house built by him, on a Jesus College lease, now the property of his son John Cock, D. D. formerly of St. John's College,) without calling in.- Among many other things which I remember to have heard him retail from St. John's Lodge, this was one: which shewed his partyzeal, as well as it did his want of judgment : it was, that Burnet's History of his own Times, however spoken against at its first appearance, would gain credit by time, and in the end would be justly valued for its authenticity. The contrary to which is the real truth : for the value of it passed off with its novelty and scandal : and the lies and improbabilities it abounds with, and which are daily detected, have already ranked it, except with bigoted party-men, with the Histories of Oldmixon, Kennett, and Macaulay. * Life of Bp. Newton, before his Works, p. 48.
Thalal Librarian Dr. Bamptre got
18th of the same month, in the College chapel, where is a stone and epitaph on it for him.
As he was in a declining state for some time before his death, it was daily impatiently watched for by those who aimed at bis spoils and preferments : among whom, none were more alert than the then ************, who had an eye to the Margaret Professorship; and, after a warm struggle, very luckily lost it. So Dr. Plumptre got the Casuistical Professorship, and Dr. Barnardiston the place of Principal Librarian to the University.
That Dr. Newcome's death was waited for with impatience, was evident from the following article in the Cambridge Chronicle (Jan. 5, 1765,) about a week before it happened. -- " The Master of St. John's College, who is in a very advanced age, and has been for some time in a declining way, is at present so very much indisposed, that there is but little expectation of his recovery.' The Headship is a post of great dignity and emolument; the election to which is first in the fellows in general, who are at this time between 50 and 60; and if a majority be not found among them for one candidate, the election comes to the eight seniors; and in defect of a majority, to the Bishop of Ely, as Visitor of the College. Several Reverend Gentlemen are already talked of as candidates for the Mastership, the Lady Margaret's Professorship, and Deanery of Rochester, The electors to the Lady Margaret's Professorship, are all Doctors and Bachelors of Divinity: of which there are about an hundred on the boards of the several colleges at this time. The election of a Master of St. John's must be within 13 or 14 days.”
He was succeeded in his Mastership of this College by Dr. Powell; and in his Professorship by Dr. Zachary Brook, formerly Fellow of this College, son of Mr. Brook, vicar of Hawkston-cum-Newton near Cambridge; who, on some disorder in his finances, went into some of our Plantations, and was beneficed there. He left his son to the care of his
friends; friends; who, turning out a sprightly and ingenious man, was much caressed by the people of best eminence; distinguished himself by writing against Dr. Middleton, but in a language that made it less taken notice of than if it had been in English. He was collated to the Vicarage of Ikleton near Cambridge, where he married the daughter of Mr. Hanchet. Dr. Brook carried his election for the Professorship by a good majority, and after a very warm contest.
Dr. Newcome left his valuable Library to the town of Grantham, in Lincolnshire, under the direction of Dr. Green, bishop of Lincoln, and Sir John Cust, Speaker of the House of Commons. He bequeathed 500l. to the University for the purchase of theological books, for the Public Library, at the discretion of the two Professors of Divinity: an hundred pounds towards the repairs of Rochester Cathedral; a considerable estate to St. John's College, charged with the payment of two exhibitions of 201. per annum each, to scholars from Grantham, or, in default of them, from any other school in Lincolnshire: a prize of 5l. annually to the Questionist of St. John's College, who shall pass the best examination in moral philosophy, and 21. to the Examiner: with charitable legacies to the poor of Cambridge, and other places. The bulk of his fortune he left to the Rev. Richard Beadon, and to Miss Kirke, his executors.
Mr. Beadon is now the worthy and learned Orator of the University *: and Miss Kirke, who lived with the Master, after the loss of his wife, soon after married Mr. Talbot, Fellow of Clare-hall, and now Chancellor of Salisbury, and Rector of Teversham near Cambridge, with another living in Essex or Suffolk. He is a very little, thin man; was a candidate for the Mastership of Clare-hall against Dr. Goddard ; was born in Bedfordshire, and bred among the Dissenters.
* See p. 560.
In the rectory of Offord-Cluny he was succeeded by Mr. Hodson, A. M. of Clare-Hall, and chaplain to Bp. Newton of Bristol.
What other publications go under his name than the two following, is more than I can say: I think he printed one which I heard him preach at St. Mary's, after he became Master of the College, but cannot be positive about it.
“ The Conduct required in Matters of Faith. An Ordination-Sermon at St. Paul's, London. March 13, 1719.” On 1 Thess. v. 21.–London, Svo. 1720.
“ The sure Word of Prophecy A Sermon i preached before the University of Cambridge, at St. Mary's, June 24, 1724*.” On 2 Pet. i. 19.-Cambridge, 4to. 1724. . He published a third, preached before the House of Commons, June 30, 1744; which was printed that year at Cambridge,
It is not to be wondered at, that I have been thus diffuse and long on the subject of Dr. Newcome, who was Master of St. John's during my twenty years residence in the University : and though I knew him not as an acquaintance, yet had occasion to know somewhat of his character from those who . were.
* “In a note at p. 26 of "Anecdotes Biographical and Lite. rary of Mr. William Bowyer, Printer,' (printed by Mr. John Nichols, Mr. Bowyer's partner, in a small brochure of 52 pages, 8vo, at London; and sent by Mr. Nichols to St. John's College library, Sept. 21, 1778, the year it was printed in) it is said, that “Dr. Newcome printed once a sermon, and carried it to Cambridge, because he could not print it in London decently, unless with William Bowyer." If this allucies to the sermon printed in 1724 at Cambridge, it is doing injustice to the Doctor ; as it cannot fairly be said to be carried to Cambridge to be printed, since it was preached there. Mr. Bowyer was piqued with Dr. Squire, the Doctor's nephew, for his employing another printer than himself, as he had been a pupil at St. John's College to his uncle. From this connexion, it seems, Mr. Bowyer thought he had a right to monopolize all the publications from that quarter.
DR. WILLIAM-SAMUEL POWELL *.
On the death of Dr. Newcome, no less than seven candidates started to succeed him; who were, Dr. Rutherforth, who had been long Tutor in the College ; Dr. Brook, who succeeded him in the Margaret Professorship; Dr. Ogden, now Woodwardian Professor of Natural History; Mr. Skinner, late Orator of the University; Dr. Powell, late Tutor in the College ; Mr. Alvis, Fellow of the College; and Mr. (now Dr.) Frampton, Fellow also. [All these particulars, it will be recollected, were written by Mr. Cole in 1777.].
How the intrigues of this Conclave were carried on, is more than I know, being then settled in Buckinghamshire, and never enquiring about it since my return into Canıbridgeshire. The result of it was however propitious to Dr. Powell, who was unanimously elected Master on the 25th of January, 1765; a post he maintained with the greatest reputation and honour to himself, and credit and advantage to the Society, for the space of ten years, bating six days.
As his friend Dr. Balguy, Archdeacon of Winchester, in his Preface to Dr. Powell's Discourses on
* Though his arms were the last painted, and neatly executed, yet the ground-work of the paint peeling off from the paper, they are utterly defaced and gone. But as I well remember them on his coach, being glaring and gaudy, and as I have preserved them in my Life of him in vol. XLIX. p. 235, they will not be lost. They are, Or, a chevron between three lions' paws erect, Gules.
+ The life of Dr. Powell, as given in Cole's Athenæ Cantabrigienses, No. 5878. Plut. xxii. B. is erased: and this memorandum set at the bottom : “ The whole article is methodized, and entered into my vol. XLIX. p. 235 to 245 : vol. LVII. p. 376."