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however, the success of Godwin Swift, in his profession, attracted to Ireland three of his brethren, William, Jonathan, and Adam, all of whom settled in that kingdom, and there lived and died.

Jonathan Swift, the father of the celebrated author, was the sixth or seventh son of the Vicar of Goodrich, the number of whose descendants, and the obscurity of their fortunes, does not admit of distinguishing his lineage more accurately. Jonathan, like his brother Godwin, appears to have been bred to the law, though not like him called to the bar. He added to the embarrassments of his situation, by marrying Abigail Ericke of Leicestershire, a lady whose ancient genealogy was her principal dowery. The Dean has himself informed us, that his father obtained some agencies and employments in Ireland ; but his principal promotion seems to

place in the iron-work; and could wish they had been hanged, as well as undone for their wit.”—Scott's Swift, vol. vii., p. 150.] Swift's dislike to projects and projectors, is exhibited in his Essay on English Bubbles, and the subsequent Tracts relating to the proposed establishment of a bank in Ireland. The following anecdote is also recorded on the same subject :

“ When Swift was at Holyhead, waiting for a fair wind to sail for Ireland, one Welldon, an old seafaring man, sent him a letter that he had found out the longitude, and would convince him of it; to which the Dean answered, in writing, that if he had found it out, he must apply to the Lords of Admiralty, of whom, perhaps, one might be found who knew something of navigation, of which he was totally ignorant; and that he never knew but two projectors, one of whom (meaning his uncle Godwin) ruined himself and family, and the other hanged himself; and desired him to desist, lest one or other might happen to him.”-Swiftiana, London, 1804, 12mo, vol. i., p. 177. The other unfortunate projector was probably Joseph Beaumont, often mentioned in Swift's Journal, who committed suicide.

have been the office of steward to the society of the King's Inns, Dublin, to which he was nominated in 1665.

This situation he did not long enjoy, for he died in 1667, two years after his appointment, leaving an infant daughter, and his widow, then pregnant, in a very destitute situation,' as Mrs Swift was

1 The following original documents, procured by the kindness of Mr Hartstonge, establish the time of his appointment and death, and also the destitute circumstances of the poet's mother. As Mr Swift states himself to have been conversant about the King's Inns for six or seven years before the date of his petition, it is probable that he came to Ireland upon the death of his father, 1658.

“ To his Grace the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable the Judges, and other the Honourable Benchers of the Honourable Society of the King's Inns, Dublin :- The humble Petition of Jonathan Swift; humbly showeth, that the stewardship of this Honourable Society is now become void by the death of Thomas Wale: That your petitioner, his father, and their whole family, have been always very loyal and faithful to his Majesty and his royal father, and have been very great sufferers upon that account: That your petitioner, for these six or seven years last past, hath been much conversant about the said Inns, and is very well acquainted with the duty and employment belonging unto the steward thereof, he having assisted the said Thomas Wale in entering of the orders of your honours He therefore humbly prays that your honours will be pleased to confirm the said stewardship upon him. And he shall pray."

Presented to a Council held at the King's Inns, Dublin, 14th Nov. 1665.

« At a Council holden at the King's Inns, Dublin, the 25th day of January, 1665-6, Ordered that Jonathan Swift, upon his petition, be admitted steward of this house. [Signed] Michl. Dublin, Can."

The period of the death of the above-mentioned Mr Jonathan Swift is fully ascertained, by the following petition, presented the 15th of April, 1667.

“ The humble petition of Abigail Swift, widow; humbly

unable, without the assistance of the society, even to defray the expense of her husband's funeral."

Dryden William Swift, the brother of the deceased, seems to have been active in behalf of his showeth, that it having pleased God to take away your peti. tioner's husband, the late steward of this honourable Society, unexpectedly, and your petitioner being left a disconsolate widow, hath this affliction added to her, that there is due to her from the several members of this honourable Society, for Commons and Cost Commons, about six score pounds sterling, which she is noways able to get in without your honours' assistance: That your petitioner hath desired her late husband's brother, William Swift, to help her in getting in her said money, who hath manifested himself very willing to assist her, but hath been denied by several persons, upon pretence that he had no authority to receive the same.

“ Now, for as much as your petitioner bath no friend next your honours, but her said brother, to rely upon, and that he, your petitioner's said brother, cannot befriend her without he be authorized by your honours' orders to the purpose, “ May it therefore please your honours to grant your peti

tioner an order, wherein the said William Swift may be authorized and appointed to gather in your petitioner's

And your petitioner shall ever pray.” The prayer of this petition was fully granted upon the same day: I have seen another petition from Mrs Abigail Swift, presented to the Society of King's Inns, in January, less than two months after the birth of her son. I am thus irresistibly convinced, and entirely concur in opinion with Mr Duhigg, (see his history of the King's Inns, page 248,) that the illustrious Jonathan Swift was undoubtedly born in Ireland. This latter petition, here noticed, is in the Black-book of the King's Inns, Dublin, p. 276, which states her poverty, and her desire to pay the funeral expenses of her late husband, and praying that the society do pay her the arrears due, &c.

MATTHEW WELD HARTSTONGE. Entry on the King's Inns Roll. « On the 26th of January, 1665, Jonathan Swift was admitted into this Society." [Black-book of the King's Inns, p. 197.]

[See Appendix, No. IL)

said money.

sister-in-law, but Godwin, who was supposed to be wealthy, was her chief support; and, upon the 30th of November, 1667, being St Andrew's day, she was delivered of the celebrated Jonathan Swift. The place of his birth was a small house, now called No.7, in Hoey's Court, Dublin, which is still pointed out by the inhabitants of that quarter. His infancy was marked by a chance as singular as that of his father, whose cradle had been plundered of the bedding by Kirle’s troopers. The nurse to whom he was committed was a native of Whitehaven, to which town she was recalled, by the commands of a dying relation, from whom she expected a legacy. She actually stole away her charge, out of mere affection, and carried him to Whitehaven, where he resided three years ; for his health was so delicate, that, rather than hazard a second voyage, his mother chose to fix his residence for a time with the female who had given such a singular proof of her attachment. The nurse was so careful of the child's education, that when he returned to Dublin he was able to spell, and when five years old he could read any chapter of the Bible.

Swift was now to share the indigence of a mother whom he tenderly loved, and to subsist upon

the support afforded by his uncle Godwin. It seems probable, that these irritating and degrading circumstances sunk deep into his haughty temper, even at an early period of life, and that even then commenced that war of his spirit with the world,

1 The antiquity of its appearance seems to vindicate the truth of the tradition. In 1809 it was occupied by Mrs Jackson, a dealer in earthen-ware.


which only ended when his faculties were utterly subdued by disease. Born a posthumous child, and bred up as an object of charity, he early adopted the custom of observing his birthday, as a term, not of joy, but of sorrow, and of reading, when it annually recurred, the striking passage of Scripture, in which Job laments and execrates the day upon which it was said in his father's house, “ that a man child was born.” The narrowness of the allowance afforded for his maintenance and education, added to his unhappiness, and was naturally imputed by him to the sordid parsimony of his uncle. It is true, that subsequent events showed that Godwin Swift was under the necessity of regulating this allowance by the real state of his embarrassed circumstances, rather than by the opinion which his nephew, in common with the rest of the world, entertained of his wealth. But although it was afterwards discovered that his liberality had borne full proportion to the former criterion, Swift appears never to have lost the unfavourable impression which had once been made, and certainly held Godwin Swift's remembrance neither in love nor veneration."

· He mentions him with disrespect in the anecdotes of the family, and elsewhere; and I have the following remarkable anecdote from Theophilus Swift, Esq. the grandson of Godwin, and grand-nephew of the Dean, to whom it was often related by Mrs Whiteway. The Rev. Dr Whittingham, Archdeacon of Dublin, a bold and ready talker, used to be forward to show his colloquial courage where few would have chosen to exercise it, by attacking Dean Swift, and that with great rudeness and severity. At a visitation dinner, they chanced to be placed nearly opposite to each other at table, when Dr Whittingham suddenly asked, “ Pray, Mr Dean, was it not

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