« VorigeDoorgaan »
assurance of this, and the continuance of your kind regard, you will greatly oblige, Dear Sir, Your most affectionate servant, living and dying, J. Jones.
“ Dr. Lowth's Address to a great man * is a masterly performance. Do you hear of any preparations to set forth the particulars in a different light?"
Mr. John JONES was born in the year 1700; and was a native, it is believed, of Carmarthen. He was admitted of Worcester College, Oxford ; where he took the degree of B. A. about 1721. He quitted the University in or before 1726; and his earliest pastoral cure was in the Diocese of Lincoln, but in what part of it does not appear.
In 1741 he was resident at Abbots Ripton in Huntingdonshire, and soon after was presented to the vicarage of Alconbury. In 1749 he was the Editor of the “ Free and Candid Disquisitions; and, in 1750 and 1751, of “ An Appeal to Common Reason and Candour,” &c. in two parts.
In 1751 he resigned Alconbury for the rectory of Boulne-Hurst, in Bedfordshire. In 1759 he accepted the curacy of Welwyn from Dr. Young; and . continued there till 1765, when the Doctor died, and Mr. Jones was appointed one of his executors. He afterwards returned to Boulne-Hurst; and probably obtained no other preferment.
He was, in 1765, the Author of “ Catholic Faith and Practice,” &c. and of “ A Letter to a Friend in the Country f."
The time of his death I have not been able to discover, though some pains have been taken in search for it. In answer to a query on that subject, I was favoured with the following particulars; “ Having passed some months at Welwyn in the Summer of 1764, my father's family were well acquainted with Mr. Jones; and the acquaintance with that very wors thy man continued to the last period of his life. He,
* His Letter to Bp. Warburton ; see vol. II. p. 455. + See before, p. 635. See also p. 644.
was a plain, honest, and most sincere Christian well-read-of singular and simple manners. He was Curate some years to Dr. Young, and resided in a small house at Welwyn-a single man, of a very retired disposition, visiting few people, bnt attending to all the poor in the parish of Welwyn, He usually spent two hours every evening with Dr. Young in useful conversation, and in reading to relieve Mrs. Hallows the good Doctor's housekeeper), whose eyes were much impaired by constant reading. Mr. Jones told us many very good anecdotes of Dr. Young; and had collected a great variety of interesting and curious accounts of eminent and pious persons, some of which he published in your useful Miscellany, which he was very partial to, and left orders to his executors to insert the rest occasionally, after his death. On the death of good Dr. Young, Mr. Jones left Welwyn, and went to reside at his living in Huntingdonshire *, at or very near Little Gedding, where that extraordinary man Mr. Ferrar lived. Some extracts from the original copy of the Life of Mr. Ferrar Mr. Jones had in his possession, and we compared it with the printed one, and found it perfectly correct; he likewise shewed us some of the books bound by Mr. Ferrar's nieces, with their hand-writing in them. The correspondence between my father and Mr. Jones continued to the end of Mr. Jones's life, who fell from his horse in going to his parish in Huntingdonshire, and never spoke more up. The letters that passed between my father and Mr. Jones were full of pious and useful information; the account given in them of good Dr. Young's death is truly affecting. These letters are probably now in the hands of some of my family; and if I ever get them again in my possession, I may be able to give you farther particulars of Mr. Jones, happy in the opportunity of bearing testimony to a worthy character, whose memory I shall ever revere,"
* Boulne Hurst is in Bedfordshire ; but nearly adjoining to the county of Huntingdon.
+ It is strange that this cireumstance should not have led to the exact date of his death.
That Mr. Jones was ready to communicate information to others, is evident from the preceding Letters to Dr. Birch*.
After Mr. Jones's death, many (if notall) of his MSS. passed into the hands of the Rev. Thomas Dawson,
I. D. a Dissenting Minister of Hackney; and early in 1783 a large bundle of Biographical Fragments were presented to me (conformably, it should seem, to Mr. Jones's intentions) by an unknown hand. They were folded in a paper, indorsed, by Mr. Jones, - Various little Anecdotes, Memorials, and other the like Notices, perhaps none of them of so much significance; yet not to be destroyed in too much haste." Many of these have at various times been inserted in the Gentleman's Magazine ; several others are interspersed in the present Volumes; and an unpubJished specimen or two shall here be given.
* The amiable Mr. Gilpin, also, in the Preface to his “ Life of Cranmer,” 1784, p. iv. says, “In gratitude I must acknowledge particular obligation to the late Mr. Jones of Welwyn; the learned friend, and (I believe) the executor, of the celebrated Author of the Night-thoughts. But I never was personally acquainted with him. This gentleman had once entertained the design of writing the life of Archbishop Cranmer, and with this intention had made considerable collections : but laying his design aside, he was so obliging as to put his papers, near twenty years ago, into my hands. We had both, I found, drawn from the same authorities; only I had the mortification to observe, that he had been much the more industrious compiler. He had also, through the means of several of his learned friends at Cambridge, particularly the late Mr. Baker, gained access to many sources of information, less obvious to cornmon enquirers.--Our plans too rather differed. His was chiefly to explain the opinions of the Archbishop: mine attempts rather to illustrate his character. Notwithstanding, however, this difference, Mr. Jones's papers were of considerable use to me. I have now deposited them, agrecably to his last will, in the library of Dr. Williams, in Red-cross-street, London.”
+ See particularly his Anecdotes of Gilbert West, Bp. Burnet, Bp. Atterbury, Abp. Herring, Dr. Doddridge, Mr. James Harvey, and Dr. Samuel Clarke, vol. LIII. pp. 101 227.
E si Mr. Norris, of Bemerton, near Sarum. The Rev. and aged Mr. Thomas Colburne told me lately (1761) that, when he was a young man at Salisbury, he made a visit to this ingenious and exemplary Clergyman, at his house in Beinerton. This was, I Luppose, not long after the Revolution, when Dr. Burnet was
Bishop of that sec. Mr. Norris treated hiro very civilly; and, either before or after dinner (I do not remember which), took him out into his garden: from whence they had a full view of the City and Cathedral. “What a magnificent structure," said young Colburne, is that great Cathedral! You are happy, Sir, in this delightful prospect."-"Yes," said Mr. Norris, “ It is all the prospect I have with respect to that Cathedral ;" meaning that he had no expectation of prefermentin it under the present Bishop. -This good Mr. Colburne, as I observed from his own account of himself, was, in those his early days, a thorough-bred Jacobite, and no great friend to the happy Revolution; to which nevertheless, upon further knowledge, he became by degrees more inclined. Finding, by repeated conversations with him, that he was a steady friend to the present Government, and had a high opinion of our young Sovereign, I said to him, in one of our walks, “You see, Sir, how the times and sentiments are altered: the far greater part of the Nation are staunch Whigs !" He, applying it immediately to himself, confessed, “I was formerly very strenuous for the other party, because I knew no better: but I have lived long enough to see, that I was, upon the whole, wrong in my sentiments : I see things now in another light, and, I think, the true one.” This Mr. Colburne, a native of Hampshire, educated in the chief school at Salisbury, was afterwards Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford; M.A. 1707 [contemporary with Dr. Young there), a tutor of note, and one of the Proctors of the University, &c. He afterwards resigned his Fellowship, and accepted a benefice in Norfolk (Walpole] ; and married a laughter of Mr. W. Howell, author of “ The Common Prayer Book the best Companion, &c." He is now (1761] near 80.”
“ Mr. Ingram, (commonly styled Dr. Ingram,) of Barnet. A man of extraordinary parts: of low origin, but great application, and therefore, under the blessing of God, the raiser of his own fortune, which was very considerable. Mr. H. who had his Instructions under him, tells me, (what he had had from himself) that he was at first, an apprentice to sI think he said] a shoemaker; however, he learnt by degrees the trade of a barber, and exercised it, and became eminent for tooth-drawing, &c. Mr. H. says, that he would have excelled in any other profession. He could hardly read at first, but learned, and made progress; and borrowing here and there a poor-physic book, he became a small practitioner among his neighbours; afterwards extended his views to bone-setting, &c. and at last became one of the most eminent surgeons in this part of the kingdom, being noted far and near for his uncommon skill and success, and having very great practice, both here and also often in London. He educated his son James in learning, and sent him to Oxford, where he was contemporary with me in Worcester College (M. A. 1730.) He commenced Doctor of Physic, and lived at Barnet, where he also died (before his father) about 1754. But his fame and abilities were not equal to those of the old man; who died at a great age, about 1757."
This worthy Divine was descended collaterally from Dr. Nicholas Ridley, bishop of London, who was burnt in the reign of Queen Mary. He was born at sea, in 1702, on-board the Gloucester East Indiaman, to which circumstance he was indebted for his Christian name. He received his education at Winchester-school, and thence was elected to a Fellowship at New-college, Oxford, where he proceeded B. C. L. April 29, 1729. In those two seminaries he cultivated an early acquaintance with the Muses, and laid the foundation of those elegant and solid acquirements for which he was afterwards so eminently distinguished as a Poet, an Historian, and a Divine. During a vacancy in 1728, he joined with four friends, viz. Mr. Thomas Fletcher (afterwards Bishop of Kildare), Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Eyre, Mr. Morrison, and Mr. Jennens *, in writing a tragedy, called “ The Fruitless Redress," each undertaking an act, on a plan previously concerted. When they delivered in their several propositions, at their meeting in the winter, few readers would have known that the whole was not the production of a single hand. This tragedy, which was offered to Mr. Wilks, but never acted, is still in NIS. with another called “ Jugurtha.” Dr. Ridley in his youth was much addicted to theatrical performances. Midhurst, in Sussex, was the place where they were
* This ingenious but unfortunate gentleman, to the unspeak. able affliction of Mr. Ridley, and all his friends, fell by his own hand, and disappointed them of the hopes which they had formed, that time and reflection would have recovered him from some dangerous and fatal errors which he had imbibed..