Page images
PDF
EPUB

this fubje£t; but, leaving them to speak Register indeed, his parents being fup. for themselves, I chuse rather to take posed to be Dissenters, which he inti notice of what the late Dr. S. Johnson has mates in his Epistie to Fleetwood Shepraid of it, in his “Lives of the Englin herd, esq. Poets;" who tells us, that "the difficuliy

“ So at the barn of loud Non-con, of settling Prior's birth-place is great. In

Where with my grannam I have gone." the Register of his College he is called, at his admission, by the President, Mat: Mr. Hutchins goes on with saying, that, thew Prior, of Winburn, in Middle “ about 1727, one Prior, of Godmane sex; by himself, next day, Matthew son, a labouring man, and living in Prior, of Dorsetshire; in which county, 1755, declared to a company of gentlenoc in Middlesex, Winburn, or Wim. men, where he (Mr. Hutchins) was borne, as it (tands in the Villare, is present, that he was Mr. Prior's first found. When he food candidate for cousin, and remembered his going to his fellowship, five years afterwards, he Wimborne to visit him, and afterwards was registered again by himself as of heard that he became a great man.Middlesex.” Here then is a manifest The learned Thomas Baker, B.D. once contradi&tion; which I shall endeavour Fellow of St. John's College, informed to reconcile as I go along. You are to Mr. Browne Willis, that he was born understand then, that, by the Statutes at Wimborne of mean parents.” of St. John's College, Cambridge (of To this account given by Mr, Hurchwhich fociety Prior was a member), no ins, which appears to me to carry great more than two persons of any one partie weight with it, I must have leave to cular county can be admitted Fellows. add, that the late Mr. Nicholas Ruflell, It is not unfair then to hazard a conjec.- a perfon of an inquisitive turn, an! great fure, that, at the tiine of Prior's admire veracity, frequently assured me, that lie sion, the two Dorsetshire Fellow ihips very well remembered an old woman, were filled up, and probably no vacancy resident in Wimborne, who was a Diffor that county was likely to happen for senter, and a near relation of Marthew fome years to enme, which was not the Prior's, but who wrote her name Prius, case with Middlesex; and that, conse not Prior, and insisted that the former quently, Prior's friends, at the time of was the right name of the family, though his entry, foreseeing this discuity, her coufiv, for what reason he knew thought it prudent to register him of not, unless it was to hide the meanneis Middlesex; and that Prior himself of his parentage, had thought fit to al. (though he had before styled himself of ter it to the latter. Dorseithire, yet), when he came after Thus much I have thought fit to wards to fit for a Fellowship, found it mention relative to the place of Prior's unavoidably and absolutely necessary to birth, abcur which there has been so follow their example, and adopt the much ink lhed. If you think I have, fame deception; because, otherwise, he in any degree, cleared up the matter, very well knew he could not pollibiy you are at liberty to insert this letter in succeed in his clection,

your valuable publication ; if not, you Having thus endeavoured to account cannot be at a loss how to dispose of it, for the seeming contradiction in the

Yours, &c.

J.D. terms of Prior's admiilion into College, and why, when he stood candidate for a STRICTURES ON THE LAND-Tax. Fellowship, he registered himself of

Cambria, Anz: 12. Middlesex, I fall wow go on to ac TH

THE inveteraie enemies of Great quaint you with some reasons which Britain have almost driven the in. strongly induce me to believe, that the habitants of that island to the long-deantient and respectable town of Wim- fred ne plus ulira of taxation; hoping born-Mintter, in Dorfetthire, has the that, whenever they are reduced to that honour of being the birth-place of this extreme, their wonderful credit must celebrated poet. Mr. Hutchins, in his feel a mortal blow, and that infurrecHistory of Dorsethire, oblerves, that tions amongst a bankrupt and desperate " it is highly probable Matthew Prior, people must be the confequence; who an eminent statesman, and one of the thus will become at length lelf-subdued, moft famous poets of his age, was born blinded as they at pretent are, partly at Wimborne. Tradition fays, that he by borrowed wealth, partly by the in was furâ educated at the grammar-school flux of enormous taxes into the capital. there. He does not occur in the parish Yet many individuals, who have been

[ocr errors]

in the way of Maring the loaves and markets, which other countries will furfishes, may be rich enough to effect the nish with goods at a cheaper rate; and nation's saívation, if Government could workmen will migrate to those regions find a method of ailellment affecting that can employ them effectually, and fecb only, namely, obligees, mortga. will instruct those places in the secrets gees, proprietors of public stock, Bank of their trades. But any scheme of flock, India-stock, and stock in trade, equalizing the land-iar is, at this day, which originally was liable to a charge totally out of date. Innumerable pura fimilar to the land-tax. But to an ob- chases have been made according to the serving person some excellent resources present afeftinents; therefore, where Nill appear. A recommender of fome the land-tax is low, the purchasers (who of the most productive taxes, towards the have by no means bought cheap in proconclusion of the American war, is pro- portion) will be partially aggrieved. bably able to propose others when there Farmers have taken leales subjecting is an absolute neceffity; but not to bribe them to rates and taxes; these tenants majorities, or make profuse compliments will likewise be aggrieved. Charges to the India Company at the public ex. for younger children, mortgages, and pence, or wantonly to terrify the gulls other debis, have been incurred to such of the Ille of Wight at the expence of a degree, that, in too many instances, a other gulis. At the same time, it is land-tax of full four or five Thillings with unseigned concern that I remark poundage will reduce the proprietor's the late injudicious impositions. Tbat interest in the estate to an absolute nula on windows is exceedingly unequal, and lity; neceffity will drive him abroad, therefore cenfurable. The houses, in and his lowest creditors, who are not towns that are decaying and want pa- secured by mortgages, must suffer as tronage, are at a low rent; yet they well as himself; whiin his rents are remust bear as heavy a tax as houses that turned out of the kingdom, and the nayield â much greater income, if the tion drained by such-like remittances windows in each are in number equal. continually: for several hundred inAlany noble seats are now destined to stances of this fort will soon enlue. The ruin on account of this pernicious, de remote parts of the realm are said to be solating, deftru&tive tax-Monfrum in- most ealed as to land-tax; but from forme, cui lumen ademptum.-The great these parts taxes are annually and cerduties on malt are incredibly hurtful in tainly drawn, whilst the reflux of money their consequences; lime, tobacco, and, is exceedingly precarious. And ibis even urine, are become the ingredients subjects these countries to another mighof British beer! which now creates not ty grievance. Money becoming scarce Only intoxication, but distraction and through the annual returns of taxes to iofanity. Yet the revenue doth not in. the metropolis, servants in want of emcrease in proportion to the taxation, be- ployment follow the fleeting treasure up cause individuals in general will ratione to town, are there hired quarterly to ally endeavour to live within their in- prevent settlements; which injustice a come; and, when a duty on a given law, making four uninterrupted quarquantity is advanced from four to five, ters equal to a year's service, touching all æconomists will use annually a quan- settlements, would obviate; but for tity as four to five; and they will re want of it these servants are, in old age, duce their servants from five to four, &c. removed back as paupers to the country. In some counties the malt tax produces By this means those parishes, which prono more than before the late additions. bably are not aggrieved at present as to The experiment concerning the tea e their land-tax, are heavily burdened vinces that no advantage is obtained by with poor-rates: whereas, it scarcely figo extreme taxation; for teas, since the nifies what affefsments are made in the abatement of the tax, yield as good an countries near London, and within the income to Government as before. The sphere of circulation; the money rolls various taxes on travelling are injurious among themselves. Far otherwise is it to communication and commerce. But as to the distant parts of the island, an augmentation of land-lax is a capital where a moderare land-tax is the only wound: it neceffarily enhances provi- help towards selling the produce at such hons; of course the wages of artizans a rate as to quit the cost of its conveymust increase ; consequently all manu ance to London and its vicinity. Of factures and other exports must rise in course, the produce of lands must ad. price, and grow tog dear for foreign pance in price fo as to discharge the aug

mented

mented burdens, and maintain the far- Pulteney's History of Botany in Eng mer. Worse than this, Government land, vol. II. p. 264; where we are in. will not be benefited in proportion as the formed, that the principal circumstances individual is aggrieved. Four shillings are borrowed from the British Topograin the pound reduces an income of 100l. phy. As this account is far from being to Sol.; therefore the proprietor must correct, it is presumed that the following live upon sol. yearly; but, whilft he may be offered to the Gentleman's Mapays 20l. of land-tax, the revenue re gazine without farther apology. ally falls short in other respects no less than nine tenths of this sum; for, if the Some Account of John WILSON, Ax!bor individual had this 20l. to expend, he of ibe Synophis of Britise Plants in Mr: would benefit Government nide-tenths. Ray's Meibout. of that Lum in the great variety of other

JOHN WILSON, the first who at. taxes. This is an intricate, but im

tempted a syftematic arrangement of the portant, point. To abridge himself in indigenous plants of Great Britain in the 201. a year, he must retrench his ex

English language, was born in Long. pences as to candles, soap, malt-liquor, sleddal, near Kendal, in Westmoreland, wine, spirituous liquors, tea, sugar, some time in the year 1696. He was by servants, horses, windows, and a vari. ety of other articles. But with regard amongst the few who, in every age, disa

trade a shoe-maker, and may be ranked to equalizing the land-tax, by lowering tinguith themelves from the mass of it in fome counties, and raising it in mankind by their scientific and literary others, this will in fact be causing an

accomplishments without the advantages infinite disproportion at this day, be- of a liberal education. The success of cause the lands are mostly leased already his firit calling does not appear to have according to their present taxes respec. heen great, as perhaps he never followed. tively. Therefore those, whose taxes

ic in a higher capacity than that of a thall be abated, will have an indulgence journeyman. However this may be, he they are not entitled to expect, fince exchanged it, for the more lucretive em. they have made their bargains (as in- ployment of a baker, foon enough to afe deed the proprietors of those lands pur. ford bis family the common convenien! chased them) subject to their present as: cies of life; the profits of his new busi. sessments; and those, whose taxes fall nefs fupporting him in circunstances be augmented, will undergo an unex

which, though not affluent, were far fue pected burden, which they are unequal perior to the abject poverty he is said to to, because they have taken leases on

have experienced by the author of the aheir farms at full value according even British Topography. This writer, a. to the present taxation. Besides this, mongst other mistakes undoubtedly occa. the rich and fertile lands which lhall be fioned by false information, has recorded eased by this supposed regulation, are of an anecdote of him, which is the fabri. at least forty times the value (quantity cation of one of those inventive geniuses and quality taken together) of the lands who are more partial to a good tale than whole tax is to be augmented; there. attentive to the truth. He acquaints us, fore the abatement will be to the aug. that Wilson was so intent on the purfuic mentation as 40 to 1; and this abale- of his favourite study, as once to be ment will be principally within the tempted to sell a cow, the support of his sphere of greatest circulation; the aug. houle, in order to procure the means of mentation till fall mostly beyond that purchasing Morrison's voluminous work ;sphere, where the difficulty of acquiring and that this absurd design would have money for the taxes of each succeeding certainly been put in execution, had not year will increase more and more conti a neighbouring lady presented him with nually, the annual draughts being too the book, and by her generoficy rescued likely, nay too certain, to exceed the the infatuated botanist from voluntary. annual returns; a matter to be guarded ruin. The story is striking, but wants against above all things, as insolvency authenticity; and is absolutely contraand despair will otherwise inevitably en dilled by authority that cannot be disfue; and who knows not the adage, una puted. At the time when Wilson ftyfalus nullam sperare salutem ? W. died botany, the knowledge of_system

was not to be obtained from English. Mr. URBAN, Kendal, Aug. 18. books; and Ray's botanical writings, of A of

whose method he was a perfect master, present effay may be found in were all in Latin.. This circumstance

makes

makes it evident, that he acquired an ac encouraged the cultivation of his favou. quaintance with the language of his au rite science, and he attended to it with all thor, capable of giving him a complete the ardour a fick man can experience, idea of the subject. The means by Fresh air, and moderate exercise, were which he arrived at this proficiency are the best palliatives of his cruel disease : Rot known at present; and though Tuch thus he was tempted to amufe the lingeran attempt, made by an illiterate man, ing hours of fickness with frequent ex may appear to be attended with infuper- curlions in the more favourable parts of able difficulties to those who have en the year, as oft as bis health would pere joyed a regular education, yet the expe. mit; and, under the preffure of an anriment has been frequently made, and propitious diforder, explored the marshes, has been almost as frequently successful. and even the hills, of his native coudry, No one ought to be surprised with the being often accompanied by fuck of his apparent impoffibilities that perseveranee intimates as were partial to botany, or conftantly vanquishes, when properly fi- defrous of beholding those uncommon mulated by the love of knowledge. The scenes of Nature that can only be enjoyed powers of industry are not to be detere in mountainous countries. inined by speculation ; they are seen and The fingularity of his conversation underftood by their effects: it is this ta. contributed not a little to the gratification lent alone that forms the basis of genius, of his curiosity; for he was a diligens and distinguishes a man of abilicies from observer of manners and opinions, and the rest of his kind.

delivered his sentiments with unreserved It was no easy undertaking to acquire freedom. ' His discourse abounded with the reputation of an expert and accurate remarks, which were generally pertinent, botaniit before Linnæus's admirable and frequently original: many of his method of discriminating species gave the sententious expressions are still rememfcience so effential an iniprovement.

bered by his neighbours and contempora-. The subject of the prefent ellay over. ries. One of ihese delerves recording, came the difficulries inteparable from the as it thews that his knowledge of botany enterprize, and merited the character was nit confined to the native produce from his intimate acquaintance with the tions of England. Being once in the vegetable productions of the North of county of Durham, he was introduced England. 'But there is good reason to to a person who took much pleasure in believe that he was not entirely felf- the cultivation of rare plants. This man, Caught; for, under the article Gentiana, juniging of his abilities by his appeare he accidentally mentions his intercourse ance, and perhaps expecting to increase en the subject with Mr. Fitz-Roberts, his own reputation by an easy victory who formerly resided in the neighbour- over one he had heard commended to hood of Kendal, and was known to Pet- much, challenged him to a trial of skill; tiver and Ray: his name occurs in the and, in the course of it, treated his strana Synophis of the latter gentleman. The ger with a degree of disrespect that pronumerous places of growth, of the rarer voked his refentment, and prompted him plants added by Willon to those found in to give an instance of his superiority. former catalogues, shew how diligently Accordingly, after naming most of the he cultivated the practical part of bo rarities contained in the garden, and retany.

ferring to authors where they are de It will appear a matter of surprise, to Scribed, he in his turn plucked a wild Luch as are ignorant of his manner of herh, growing in a neglected spot, and. hfe, how a mechanick could spare a very presented it to his opponent, who endealarge portion of time from engagements roured to get clear of the difficulty by which ought to engross the attention of pronouncing it a weed; bue Wilson'immeo in low circumstances, for the fole mediately replied, a weed is a term of purpuse of devoting it to the curious but Art, noc a production of Nature : addunproductive researches of a naturalist. ing, that the explanation proved his anOn this account it is proper 10 remark, tagonist to be a gardener, not a botanist. that the businels of a baker was princi. Thus the contest ended pally managed by his wife, and that a These qualities, so uncommon in an long indisposition reodered him unfit for unlettered man, procured him the notice a ledentary employment. He was af- of several persons of taste and fortune,

:ted with a severe asthma for many whose hospitality enabled him to proses years, which, while ic prevented him cute his researches on an economical from pursuiog his trade as a Naoe saker, plan that suited his humble condition.

Mr. Isaac Thompson, an eminent are left out of it, to make room for geland-Surveyor, refident at Nexcatie- neric and specific descriptions, the most upon-Tyve, may be reckoned his sleadielt effential parts of a botanical manual.patron, and warmest encourager; for he He did not increase the catalogue of Bri. frequently accompanied this gentleman, rith plants much, only adding two to when travailing in the line of his pro Ray's number, as distinct species, the fellion, under the character of an alliita Allium jcbænopprafum, and the Valeriana anr, - an employment that left him at full rubra; but he was the first who introd liberty to examine the vegetable produce duced the Circea alpina to the notice of tions of the different places visited by the English botanist, as a variety of Cbuthem. But it is difficult to determine, titiana, growing near Sedberg, in York: ai present, what experience he gained shire: from his connexion with Mr. Thompfon; and the author of the present essay

Mr. URBÀN, Winkfield, Wiles, Aug. 18. basicarcely any other meansotdiscovering your magazine for u April lofti po to the places of growth of the rarer to transmit to you any biographical replants, befides his own work the Synop- mains he may procure of Tilly, hs, where the observations are in a great E14. of Pentilly Castle. That Tiliy, I measure confined to Wefimoreland and apprehend, was Sir James Tillie, Knt. Northumber and. Perhaps this was done whose ancesors were inhabitants of this to accommodate his friends, who were parish, and of whom he has thought fic numerous in those counties; and for whose io preserve the remembrance by a plain use the book was chiefly intended : how. Nab of blue marbie, fixed in the South ever, it appears from the volume itself, wall of the church, near the Wel eod, that he was not entirely unacquainted with an inscription, of which the followwith the South of England. This work ing is a copy : was published in the vear 1744; it com

Trect d Anno Dom. 1687; prehends that part of Rav's method that

by Sir JAMES TILLIE, Knt. treats of the more perfe&t herbs, begin to the Memory of his Ancestours, who ning at the fourth genus, or class, and in this Parith lived vertuously, and died ending with the twenty-fixth. He pro piously, and lie interred under the two mises, in the preface, to compleat the opposite Tomb-stores, víz. under the performance at a future period, provided nearest Stone, John Tillie the elder, his first attempe Thould meet with a fa and Mary his Wife, and severall of vourabie reception from the publick ; but

their Children; die not live to fulfil his promise, being

and under the remotest Stone, prevented by indispoficion from finishing

John Tillie the younger, and Susanna a second volume, which was intended to

his Wise, and severall of their

Children. contain the Fungi, Molles, Gralles, and Trees.

The descendants of Sir James have yet He died July 15, 1751, after lingering an estate here, which is said to have been through the last three or four years of purchased by that gentleman from an atlife in a state of debility that rendercal tachinent to the original reddence of his luim unfit for any undertaking of the anceitors. There was till lately a house kind. Some papers left by him on the upon it, which bore evident marks of subject palled into the hands of Mr. that fingularity of character which disSlack, printer at Newcalle-upon-Tune, covered itself upon other occasions. but were never published. Among these There is, in the Regifer Book of the were soine drawings, but it is not cero parih for the year 1658, an entry of the tain whether they were representations of baptim of two daughters of John Tillie rare plants, or figures inicnded to illus. and Susannah his wife, who were protrate the technical part of the science. bably the father and mother also of the The writings of Linnæus became popu. abovementioned gentleman. But there lar in England a thort time after his is no nemorial of the family after the death, and very soon fufplanted all pre- Refloration; and as, from the year 1676, ceuing svitems; otherwile the character the burials were entered in a separate of Wilson had been better known to his book, which is now lost, there is no recountrymen at prelent. His Synoplis is cord of the interment of those indivicercainly an improvement on that of duals who might then be surviving. Ray; for, besides tome correction in the The Register Book, referred to above, arrangement, many trivial oblervacions coinmences during the Usurpation, in

she

« PreviousContinue »