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various Subjects, published the year after his death, in 8vo. at London, has given the outlines of bis life, which centre chiefly in his literary productions ; those being the most important memoirs of an Academick, I shall have the less trouble to collect materials, and refer those who are inquisitive about them, to what Dr. Balguy has said in his Preface * ; who observes in general, that his life was uniformly devoted to the interests of sound philosophy and true religion. Yet as some persons may
* The Preface is here transcribed :
“ The following Discourses are not published for the credit of the Writer, but for the benefit of his Renders: especially that class of Readers, for whom they were chiefly intended, the younger Students in Divinity. The Author's reputation stands on a much wider bottom: a whole life uniformly devoted to the interests of sound Philosophy and true Religion. The means he employed, for the service of both, at different times and in different stations, may best be reported by those who were the immediate objects of his care, "Nothing shall be added here, but some facts and dates, for the satisfaction of his friends. William-Samuel Powell was born at Colchester, Sept. 27, 0. S. 1717. He was admitted at St. John's college, Cambridge, in 1731; began to reside there the year following; took the degree of B. A. in 1738-9; and was admitted Fellow March 25, 1740. In the year 1741, he was taken into the family of the late Lord Viscount Townshend, as private tutor to his second son, Charles Townshend, afterwards Chancellor of the Exchequer. Towards the end of the year, he was ordained Deacon and Priest, by Dr. Gooch, then Bishop of Norwich; and instituted by him to the rectory of Colkirk in Norfolk, on Lord Townshend's presentation. He returned to College the year after ; took the degree of M. A. and began to read Lectures, as assistant to Mr. Wrigley and Mr. Tunstall. In the year 1744, he became principal tutor; and in 1749 took the degree of B. D. ' In the year 1753, he resigned the rectory of Colkirk, that it might be consolidated with Stibbard, another of Lord Townsherul's livings; and was again instituted the next day. He was admitted to the degree of D. D. in 1756 ; and created at the following Commencement, 1757. In 1759, he came into possession of an estate in Essex; which was devised to him by Mr. Reynolds, a relation of his Mother's t. In 1761, he ieft College, and took a house in London; but did not resign his fellowship
+ This Lady bad two other children, who survived her; the Rev. Mr. Jolland by her first husband, and Mrs. Susanna Powell (Matron of Chelsea Hospital) by the second.
not be altogether of the dogmatical opinion of some morose Criticks *, who think every thing besides an account of the literary productions, in a studious man's life, “is generally a repetition of insignificant actions, and might be almost as briefly dispatched as the history of the Antediluvians is by Moses, when be tells us, That they lived so many years, begat sons and daughters, and then died;" and may happen 10 think a few other kind of anecdotes spread here and there may give a life and vivacity to a mere dull recital of account of books; I shall venture to follow my old beaten track, . and interlard my account of this Doctor's life with such scraps as I have collected, and put down in several of my volumes; add digressions, or not, as I see proper, without asking leave of these Catok. These shew a man as much as his books.
[Here Mr. Cole has abstracted the Dates given in the preceding note, and thus proceeds :)
In 1757, he took his degree of D. D. and then preached before the University on CommencementSunday, in defence of Subscription to the Articles, and printed his sermion; which, if it gave offence then to the underminers of the Established Church, gave much more some fifteen years after, when he re-printed it.
In 1761, he quitted the College, and took a house in London ; but did not resign his Fellowship till 1763. Upon the vacancy occasioned by Dr. Newcome's death, he was unanimously
till 1763. In 1765, he was elected Master: soon after, he went to reside in College; and was chosen Vice-Chancellor of the University in the November following. The year after, he obtained the archdeaconry of Colchester, which was in his Majesty's gift, for that turn, on the promotion of Dr. Moss to the bishoprick of St. David's: and in 1765, he was instituted to the rectory of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight (on the presentation of his College). He died Jan. 19, 1775. It is scarce needful to mention, that the Sermon on Subscription' and the Third Charge were published in the Author's life-time.” * Critical Review for 1776, p. 131.
elected Master of his College, on Friday January 25, St. Paul's. Conversion, 1765; and on the ensuing election of a Vice-chancellor, in November following, the choice fell upon him; for, soon after his being made Master, he quitted his house in town, and came to reside at College, to the sole government of which he dedicated his future life. One circumstance had like to have made a breach between him and his Fellows, on his first coming among them ; for, as he was beneficed by a private Patron, they little suspected that a person of his sufficiency, with his Mastership, would have quitted his preferment, in order to better it, at the expence of the College, which could have sent off a Fellow with a College-living. But herein they reckoned without their host; for some two or three years after his accession to the Mastership, the Rectory of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight falling vacant, by the death of Mr. Culme, no one imagined it would be taken by the Master, for the reasons alleged; but herein they were as much disappointed, as they were chagrined; for, as he was authorised by the donation to do so, he took institution to it, and generally went thither after the Commencement for some months. Indeed it was worth his taking: and no one knew, or attended to, calculations more than he did : for Dr. Ewin of Cambridge, who had been his pupil, and was much in his confidence, going with him to Freshwater in the Summer of 1772, told me, on his return, that the Master made 500l. per annum of it, and might, without any injustice, raise it to 700l. It was not till 1768, that .. he was instituted to this living; having two years before, in December 1766, been made Archdeacon of Colchester by the King, who had that presentation, on the promotion of Dr. Moss to the See of St. David's.
Some few years before he attained the Mastership of this College, a relation, with whom he had very little acquaintance, and less expectation from, left Vol. I.
him an ample fortune *, of about 600l. per annum : and, to do him all justice, he well deserved it; for he was both hospitable and generous; and, being a single man, had an income equal to most Bishopricks, and sufficient roon to exercise his generosity.
I have already observed, that in 1757 he preached the Commencement-Sermon, in defence of Subscriptions required by our Church. Things were then only brewing: but in 1772, a formal Society was instituted at the Feathers Tavern in London, by numbers of the Clergy who called themselves of the Established Church ; Archdeacon Blackburn at the head of them ; in order to petition Parliament to throw aside all Subscriptions, and to let every one into the service and preferments of the Church, that would only acknowledge the authority of the Old and New Testaments. They were also for taking away all Subscriptions in the University: and so leave every one at large to act and do as he pleased. The infatuation was so strong, that several Members of the University were led astray by it: and I am sorry to record it, that one whole College, and that none of the least, both Head and Fellows, subscribed this Petition. The Parliament was too wise to be caught by their plausibilities; they saw it was a scheme that had been hatching by the Dissenters for many years: the “ Candid Disquisitions" gave the alarm: and now the King being harassed hy a Republican Faction, and Wilkes and Liberty ! in full sail, they thought it good to fish in troubled waters, and laid hold of the opportunity, when every thing was in a ferment. It was evidently a scheme of the Republican Faction to throw all things into confusion: the Deists, Socinians, Arians, all joined in the riot: but Providence blasted their
# The estate and manor of Peldon in Essex was left to him by bis kinsman, Charles Reynolds, of Peldon Hall, esq. who died in 1700; together with other estates at Little Bentley, in the same county. New and Complete History of Esser; printed at Chelmsford about 1770, vol. V. pp. 436, 437.
· designs. designs. Mr. Jebb, a professed Arian, was the great and busy agitator at Cambridge: him the Master opposed in all his wild schemes of reformation : and when he found his mischief at Cambridge was so ably counteracted, he reluctantly left the place, where he had done more harm by his lectures and activity, than one can conceive; and flung off his gown, and publicly avowed his unbelief of the Divinity of our Saviour. He now studies Physick in London *.
* This amiable and conscientious Physician, eldest son of Dr. John Jebb, Dean of Cashel (of whom see p. 161) was born in, London Feb. 16, 1736. He was a man much celebrated among the violent partizans for unbounded liberty, religious and political; and certainly a man of learning and talents, though they were both so much absorbed in controversy as to leave little among his writings of general use. His education was begun in Ireland, and finished in England. His degrees were taken at Cambridge (B.A. 1757: M.A. 1760): where he bore public offices, and obtained some church preferment. His College was Peterhouse, where he was Fellow till Déc. 29, 1764, when he married Miss Torkington. He early took up the plan of giving theological lectures, which were attended by several pupils, till his peculiar opinions became known in 1770, when a pruhibition was published in the Universit:'. How soon he had begun to deviate from the opinions he held at the time of ordination, is uncertain ; but in a letter dated Oct. 21, 1775, he says, “ I have for seven years past, in my lectures, maintained steadily the proper unity of God, and that he alone should be the object of worship.” He adds, that he warned his hearers that this was not the received opinion, but that his own was settled ; and exhorted them to enquire diligently. Disney's Life of Dr. Jebb, p. 106. This confession seems rather inconsistent with the defence he addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1770. He was a strenuous advocate for the establishment of annual examinations in the University, but could not prevail. In 1775, he came to the resolution of resigning his ecclesiastical preferments (the rectory of Homersfield, and the vicarage of Flitton, in Suffolk), which he did accordingly; and then, by the advice of his friends, took up the study of physick. For this new object he studied indefatigably; and in 1777 obtained his degree by diploma from St. Andrew's, and was admitted a licentiate in London. Amidst the cares of his new profession, he did not decline his attention to theological study, nor to what he considered as the cause of true liberty. He was, as he had been for many years, zealous for the abolition of Subscription, a warm friend to the cause of America against England, an incessant advocate for annual parliaments and universal suffrage (those pernicious en