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not only a loss to the city of Westminster, but to the country in general. He was knighted in 1761, and died at Brompton, in 1780.
Sir John Fielding published various tracts on the penal code, and was the author of a miscellaneous publication, entitled, the “Universal Mentor." He was also an active and benevolent promoter of the Marine Society. It is related that he had a tube fixed in the carriage, communicating with the coach box, through which he could converse with the coachman, without being heard by others. When his chariot was interrupted by any obstruction in the streets, he inquired of the coachman what kind of vehicle occasioned it, and would then put out his head, and shout in his peremptory tone, “take that cart out of the way;" or, "you, sir, in that chaise, drive on!" This used to occasion great astonishment to others, who wondered that one who was blind could perceive the cause of the stoppage, and was a source of much amusement to Sir John.
THE REV. EDWARD STOKES,
THE BENEVOLENT BLIND CLERGYMAN.
“ His house was known to all the vagrant train,
The Rev. Edward Stokes was born in 1705. When nine years old, he and his elder brother were sent to school, but an accident occurred about this time, which almost proved fatal to him. As his brother was amusing himself with a loaded pistol, it suddenly went off, and a portion of its contents lodged in Edward's face : in consequence of this misfortune he entirely lost his sight. As soon as his health was sufficiently established, he returned to school, where he pursued his studies with great success. From school he went to the University, at which place he remained till he took his degree of Master of Arts; he was then admitted into holy orders, and shortly afterwards was appointed to a living in Leicestershire as the parish minister. He was beloved by the peo . ple among whom he lived, his benevolence knew no difference between one sect and another, but his bounty
was equally experienced by all. Notwithstanding his blindness, he performed the service of his church
many years, with the assistance of a person to read the lessons. At his death, the poor of his parish had to lament a most liberal benefactor, who had expended among them nearly the whole of a very handsome private fortune. He died at the Rectory House, at Blaby, in Leicestershire, June, 1796, in the 93rd year of his age, and the 50th of his incumbency.
Biographical Anecdotes, vol. 2.
THE BLIND MECHANIC OF GLASGOW.
“ The chamber, where the good man meets his fate,
The subject of this memoir was a native of Carriden, near Borrowstounness. He spent his early years, like most children, in the keen pursuit of amusement, while at the same time he became acquainted with the elementary parts of education. He was generally the leader of his companions at their various diversions; but, in the tenth year of his age, the following unfortunate accident happened to him. A loaded musket had been carelessly placed where he and his companions were amusing themselves; one of
them inconsiderately took it up, not knowing it was loaded, and fired off the contents, and John Kay being close by, was in a moment deprived of his sight. Not long after this inelancholy event, his relations left their native parish, and he accompanied them to Glasgow. Confined now to more sedentary employments, he often amused himself by making various articles of wood, which he executed with great ingenuity. For several years before his death, he assisted his brothers, who were carpenters, in their trade, at which he wrought constantly, and finished his work so well as to astonish those who saw it. He worked in mahogany and other sorts of fine wood, and made various kinds of furniture.
When going about the town, he needed no person to guide him, as he could find his way himself; and, what was very remarkable, if taken to any particular house, though even in a close, or up a stair, he conld easily return again, without any person conducting him. He has taken his friends sometimes to places, in the evening, which they could scarcely find out when they had occasion to call again, even in day-light. It was not unusual for him to take a journey to Paisley, and other neighbouring towns, and to be the guide of any stranger who might accompany him. Walking one day in the streets of Glasgow with a friend, who warned him of being near a horse, he said there was no need of that, as he could perceive it himself; being asked how, he replied, that he found a difference in the current of the air on his face, when near any particular object, and that from this feeling, he could even avoid a lamp-post when he approached
it, which he was frequently observed to do, while walking alone.
I am not able, from any information which I have received, to point out the exact time when he began to pay serious attention to religion. The accounts which were read to him of the success of missionaries, among heathen nations, gave him the most unfeigned pleasure. His heart was also much engaged in the religious instruction of youth, and he was one of the teachers in a Sabbath evening school. A great number of the scholars were considerably beyond the age of those who usually attend such schools; they highly respected him, and derived much improvement from his instructions. Many of them were remarkably instructed in the word of God, and their conduct in general, was very regular and becoming. Besides being so useful in his own school, he took much interest in others; he was grieved when any of thein fell away, and used all his endeavours to keep the scholars together, or to collect them again. Those persons whom he thought qualified for instructing youth, he urged to come forward and take a part in this good work. He perceived with regret, that the business of the schools, in the city and neighbourhood with which he was connected, did not go forward, for some time, with that activity which he could have wished. This led him and one or two more to inquire into the cause, and, if possible, to apply a remedy. They were induced, in consequence, to propose another plan for conducting those schools, which was universally approved, and has since been acted upon, with great efficiency. His zeal in this important work did not fall away, after