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manner and speech ever after. His appearance from his youth prognosticated that he would be liable to such a death: he was rather a little, thin man, florid and red, with staring eyes, as if almost choaked, or as if the collar of his shirt was too high about his neck.
I happened to dine in Trinity College on Monday Jan. 16, 1775, with several gentlemen who had been at Addenbrook's Hospital, where the Governors usually meet on Mondays before dinner: and on that day there was a full meeting in order to choose a Matron for it. On their return, they observed that Dr. Powell looked more than ordinarily ill, and by no means ought to have stirred from home. He was that day seized with a fit of the palsy: and next day Dr. Heberden was sent for from London, but did not come; though Dr. Gisborne did. They were sent for again on Wednesday; and came to Cambridge next inorning: but it was too late to do any service; for his speech was gone; and not being able to lie in his bed, he expired in his chair at two o'clock on Thursday, afternoon, Jan. 19, 1775. I happened to dine at Cambridge also that day; where I met Mr. Ashby *,
* The Rev. George Ashby was born Dec. 5, 1724, in the house of the Minister of St. John's chapel, in Red Lion-street, Clerkenwell; educated at Croydon, Westminster, and Eton schools ; admitted of St. John's college, Cambridge, Oct. 30, 1740; B. A. 1744; M.A. 1748; B.D. 1756; many years President of that ColJege. He was presented by a relation to the rectory of Hungerton, and in 1759 to that of Twyford, both in Leicestershire. These he resigned: Hungerton in 1767, and Twyford in 1769. In 1774 he was elected F.S.A.; and in the same year accepted the College rectory of Barrow in Suffolk, where he constantly resided for 34 years. In October 1780 he was inducted into the living of Stansfield in Suffolk, owing to the favour of Dr. Ross, Bishop of Exete:', who, entirely unsolicited, gave him a valuable portion of the vicarage of Bampton in Oxfordshire; but which, being out of distance from his College living, he procured an exchange of it for Stansfield (see vol. II. p. 185.) Dr. Ross's friendship for him began early in college, and continued uniformly steady through all changes of place and situation. In 1793 he had reason to apprehend loss of sight, as may be seen by his case in Gent. Mag. vol. LXIII. p. 977, which gradually increased, and soon reduced the extent
the President of the College, who came by accident thither from Barrow the evening before; with him I spent the evening; who told me, that he had no chance to succeed him: and indeed no one ever thought he had : for, though a learned and ingenious man, yet being of a singularly odd turn of behaviour, and one that never concealed his thoughts of any one, but spoke his sentiments freely, he had disgusted many of the Society, who might have been his friends on this or a similar occasion. He thought Mr. Beadon, *, the Orator, and satisfaction of his former studies through a long and healthy course of years; but he continued to the last to enjoy his accustomed cheerfulness. To this respectable Divine I have repeatedly expressed my obligations in the course of the History of Leicestershire, for prompt and useful information on every subject of literature. See particularly his Dissertation on the Leicester Miliary, vol. I. p. clv.; which, however, having been written for private information only, and after long lying dormant, had not the advantage of the Author's revisal. The first edition of these Anecdotes were much enriched by his communi. cations, under the signature of T. F. or “ Dr. Taylor's Friend ;" and to the Gentleman's Magazine Mr. Ashby was occasionally, for many years, a valuable contributor. In the « Archäologia" of the Society of Antiquaries, vol. III. p. 165, is his Dissertation on a singular Coin of Nerva, found at Colchester, in the possession of Charles Gray, esq. M. P. for Colchester. Mr. Ashby was the Suffolk Clergyman of whom the Rev. Thomas Harmer speaks so handsomely in his Preface'to the third volume of « Observations on Scripture ;" and had, by the favour of Mr: Har: mer's daughter, his corrections and additions to the whole, tò about the quantity of half a sheet or more; but they are written in an exceeding small short-hand, and were shown to some of his congregation, who could make nothing of them. [The Dissenters, it is believed, generally use Rich's short-hand, but the daughter says, that Mr. Harmer employed one with alterations of his own ; so that a decypherer is wanted here, as well as a short-hand writer.) Another person who speaks handsomely of Mr. Ashby without naming him (as Bishop Percy, Mr. Granger, and Mr. Gough have done) is Mr. Barrington, on the Statutes, ed. 1775, p. 212 note, describing the great Oven at Melton Mowbray, which is copied in the History of Leicestershire, vol. II. p. 249. The greater part of his property he bequeathed to Mr. Lens, a young gentleman who had long been his amanuensis; who sold the Library and MSS. to Mr. Deck, bookseller at Bury; and they were soon dispersed by a priced catalogue. * Now Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. See p. 560.
most likely to succeed, as he was Chaplain to the Bishop of London, and would have all his interest, added to his own, which was very considerable. He was sent to, to come down to Cambridge; as was also Dr. Balguy #, who was supposed to be executor, and had a great chance to succeed, but for the other's interest. Dr. Frampton and Dr. Ogden, with whom I also spent the evening, were talked of as candidates. Mr. Arnald yf, the Tutor, was also mentioned: but he was too young, not being thirty, or he was not unlikely to succeed; being a person of a most promising genius, and now Subpreceptor to the Prince of Wales.
The gentleman who actually was the successor was not once named: so uncertain are all elections, which depend on the jarring and clashing of so many different interests!
Dr. Powell was interred on Wednesday evening, January 25 (the same day he was elected Master in 1765), in the College-Chapel, with proper solemnity. The corpse was carried from the Hall in solemn procession round the first court, preceded by the choir in their surplices; the pall being supported by eight Senior Fellows, and followed by all the other members of the Society in their proper order ş:
* Of whom see vol. III. p. 220. + He died (unfortunately insane) in 1802. See vol. VI. p. 597. i Dr. J. Chevallier was the successful candidate.
Š The following Epitaph upon a blue stone in St. John's Chapel, was drawn up by Dr. Balguy:
conservandis et augendis ;
vitam (heu! nimiùm brevem)
fortitèr et feliciter impendit. Obiit Januarii igno, 1775, natus annos 58."
By his will, he gave his estate to his niece, Miss Jolland; a young lady, who lived with him, and who died at Cambridge the year following; in exclusion to his sister, on whom he settled an annuity of about 150l. per annum; and with whom he could never agree, and who lived at Colchester, I have been told that she was very like him both in person and temper. Her loss was great; near 20,0001. as was said, went to Miss Jolland. However, within this month (I write this August 11, 1777) some recompence has been made her, by her being elected Matron of Chelsea Hospital; a place of credit and emolument.
One thing in his will shewed great liberality of sentiment, and a friendly turn of mind: he allotted 2000l. in remembrance of his particular friends and acquaintance; leaving a legacy of 100l. apiece to twenty of them. By his art and address, added' to his generous benefaction of 500l. he gained his point of new-casing the College with stone, though most of the Society, as I was told, saw the absurdity of it; and that a new Chapel would have been a real ornament to a flourishing Society that were crowded to death in their too contracted one.
I will finish this tediously long account with a transcript from my XXXIst volume, though it may seem to contradict, and only seem so, what I have said in commendation of Dr. Powell in the former part of this account. I am also sorry to say any thing amiss of another person, whose established character is such, that whatever I may say against him, will go for nothing: besides that I had ever a particular veneration for him, and was many years much acquainted with him : but my greater regard for, what I think, truth, the character of Mr. Baker, and zeal for the Ecclesiastical Establishment, of which I am an unworthy member, will make me wave all private regards, and cause me to speak my opinion, though perhaps with more asperity than is
becoming, or may deserve. Allowance may be made for my writing' it just as I heard it; and before I could imagine that Mr. Baker could have been found fault with justly for any thing he might have said in the foregoing History *, which I had not then seen. Since I have seen it, I am of opinion that Dr. Powell might except to some passages without great cause of complaint: and it is possible that the relator might exaggerate matters, to make a pleasant story, which he much delighted in, and had some talent for. .
The passage is this : “ I have been told, by a great crony of his, that Dr. Powell held Mr. Baker in the most sovereign contempt p; insomuch as not to bear with common patience, that any one should call him, as most people were disposed to do, the
* Mr. Baker's History of St. John's College ; see p. 549.
t“Mr. Baker might have had his failings ; and in an extreme old age, and after an expulsion from his Fellowship in a Society in which he chose to end his days, perhaps might be peevish towards the decline of life; especially as new manners, and new opinions, totally different from his own, might disgust him upon occasion. But his integrity and veracity I will never call in question. I mention this, because I remember to have heard Dr. Heberden, about the time of Mr. Baker's death, speak of him, as being apt to be peevish, and out of humour with people's jostling against, and crowding upon him, as he went out of chapel; and making a noise in his staircase. This was natural enough iu an old man, who had been used to decenter manners, and more regular behaviour. I the more remarked it, because Dr. Heberden was a most decent-behaved man in every l'espect : but I less regard it now, since I know his vehemence ia party-matters, and the great and notorious part he chose to, take in the late disturbance and commotions against the Articles and Liturgy, for alteration of which, and laying aside all Subscriptions, he was violent to a degree: so that, no doubt, Mr. Baker's strict adherence to the old Church of England print eiples, might early prejudice Dr. Heberden against him, who had a more enlarged way of thinking upon these matters : whe- . ther more to the advantage of this Church and State, Time must. discover. I make no sort of doubt, but that the same kind of prejudices, though not exactly sirailar, acted in the breast of Dr. Powell; who had a strange mixture and complication of opinions, as adverse to those of Mr. Baker, as light to darkness." W.C.