Page images



He afterwards went over into Italy, where he had Demetrius Calchondiles and Politian for his masters; and, returning into England, was public professor of the Greek tongue in Oxford. There needs no more to be added to his honour, save that Erasmus in his Epistles often owns him pro patrono suo et præceptore. He died anno 1520.


JOHN Fowler was born in Bristol ;* bred a printer by his occupation, but so learned a man, that (if the character given him by one of his own persuasiont be true) he may pass for our English Robert or Henry Stephens, being skilful in Latin and Greek, and a good poet, orator, and divine. He wrote an abridgment of "Thomas's Summes," the translation of Osorius into English, &c. Being a zealous papist, he could not comport with the Reformation; but conveyed himself and his press over to Antwerp, where he was signally serviceable to the Catholic cause, in printing their pamphlets, which were sent over, and sold in England. He died at Namurch 1579; and lies there buried in the church of St. John the Evangelist.


ROBERT THORN was born in this city, as his ensuing epitaph doth evidence. I see it matters not what the name be, so the nature be good. I confess, Thorns came in by "man's curse;"‡ and our Saviour saith, "Do men gather grapes of thorns?"§ But this our Thorn (God send us many coppices of them) was a blessing to our nation, and wine and oil may be said freely to flow from him. Being bred a merchant tailor in London he gave more than four thousand four hundred forty-five pounds to pious uses; a sum sufficient therewith to build and endow a college, the time being well considered, being towards the beginning of the reign of king Henry the Eighth.

I have observed some at the church-door cast in sixpence with such ostentation, that it rebounded from the bottom, and rung against both the sides of the bason (so that the same piece of silver was the alms and the giver's trumpet); whilst others have dropped down silent five shillings without any noise. Our Thorn was of the second sort, doing his charity effectually, but with a possible privacy. Nor was this good Christian abroad worse (in the apostle-phrase) than an infidel at home in not providing for his family, who gave to his poor kindred (besides debt forgiven unto them) the sum of five thousand one hundred forty-two pounds.

Grudge not, reader, to peruse his epitaph; which, though not so good as he deserved, is better than most in that age:

Pits, de Angliæ Scriptoribus, anno 1579. Genesis iii. 18. § Matthew vii. 16. ¶ Idem, ibid.

† Idem, ibidem.

Stow's Survey of London, p. 90.

"Robertus cubat hic Thornus, mercator honestus,
Qui sibi legitimas arte paravit opes.
Huic vitam dederat parvo Bristolia quondam,
Londinum hoc tumulo clauserat ante diem.
Ornavit studiis patriam, virtutibus auxit,

Gymnasium erexit sumptibus ipse suis.
Lector, quisquis ades, requiem cineri, precor, ora
Supplex, et precibus numina flecte tuis."*

He died a bachelor, in the fortieth year of his age, anno Domini 1532; and lies buried in St. Christopher's, London.


MARY DALE, better known by the name of Mary Ramsey, daughter of William Dale, merchant, was born in this city. She became afterwards second wife to Sir Thomas Ramsey, Grocer and lord mayor of London, anno 1577; and surviving him, was thereby possessed of a great estate, and made good use thereof. She founded two fellowships and scholarships in Peter-house in Cambridge; and proffered much more, if on her terms it might have been accepted. For most certain it is, that she would have settled on that house lands to the value of five hundred pounds per annum and upwards, on condition that it should be called "The college of Peter and Mary." This Doctor Soams, then master of the house, refused, affirming "that Peter, who so long lived single, was now too old to have a feminine partner," a dear jest, to lose so good a benefactress.

This not succeeding, the stream of her charity was not peevishly dried up (with those who in matters of this nature will do nothing, when they cannot do what they would do); but found other channels therein to derive itself. § She died anno Domini 1596, and lieth buried in Christ's Church|| in London.

THOMAS WHITE, D. D. was born in this city, and bred in Oxford. He was afterwards related to Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, whose funeral sermon he made, being accounted a good preacher in the reign of queen Elizabeth.

Indeed he was accused for being a great pluralist, though I cannot learn that at once he had more than one cure of souls, the rest being dignities. As false is the aspersion of his being a great usurer: but one bond being found by his executors amongst his writings of one thousand pounds, which he lent gratis for many years to the company of Merchant Tailors, whereof he was free, the rest of his estate being in land and ready money. Besides other benefactions to Christ Church, and a lecture in St. Paul's, London, he left three thousand pounds for the building of Sion College to be a Ramah for the

• Stow's Survey of London, p. 193.

† Idem, p. 124.

So was I informed by Dr. Seaman, late Master of that College.-F. $ Stow's Survey, in his description of Christ Church.

Lady Ramsey was a liberal benefactress to Christ's Hospital.-ED.



sons of the prophets in London. He built there also a fair alms-house for twenty poor folk, allowing them yearly six pounds a-piece; and another at Bristol, which, as I am informed, is better endowed.

Now, as Camillus was counted a second Romulus, for enlarging and beautifying the city of Rome; so Mr. John Simpson, minister of St. Olave's, Hart-street, London, may be said a second White, for perfecting the aforesaid college of Sion, building the gate-house with a fair case for the library, and endowing it with threescore pounds per annum.

Dr. Thomas White died anno Domini 1623.


John Aderly, son of John Aderly, Ironmonger, 1442.
Thomas Canning, son of John Canning, Grocer, 1456.
John Young, son of Thomas Young, Grocer, 1466.


I am credibly informed, that one Mr. Richard Grigson, citizen, hath expended a great sum of money in new casting of the bells of Christ Church, adding tunable chimes unto them. Surely he is the same person whom I find in the printed list of compounders to have paid one hundred and five pounds for his reputed delinquency in our civil wars; and am glad to see one of his persuasion (so lately purified in Goldsmith's Hall) able to go to the cost of so chargeable a work.

I wish BRISTOL may have many more to follow his example; though perchance, in this our suspicious age, it will be conceived a more discreet and seasonable desire, not to wish the increase, but the continuance, of our bells; and that (though not taught the descant of chimes) they may retain their plain song for that public use to which they were piously intended.


Dr. Thomas AMORY, eloquent dissenting divine; born at Taunton 1700; died 1774.

Thomas BAKER, divine and mathematician; born at Ilton about 1625; died 1690.

Elizabeth Ogilvy BENGER, biographical and historical writer; born at Wells 1778.

Richard BROCKLESBY, physician and author; born at Minehead 1722; died 1797.

Simon BROWNE, learned dissenting divine; born at Shepton Mallet about 1680; died 1732.

John BRYDAL, lawyer and antiquary; born about 1683.



George BULL, Bishop of St. David's, learned author; born at Wells 1634; died 1709.

Dr. Henry BYAM, loyalist and learned preacher, author of "Sermons ;" born at Luccombe 1580; died 1669. Walter CHARLETON, physician, and voluminous writer on the sciences; born at Shepton Mallet 1619; died 1707. Robert CROSSE, divine, philosopher, and controversialist; born at Dunster about 1605; died 1683.

Ralph CUDWORTH, learned divine and philosophical writer; born at Aller 1617; died 1688.

Richard EDGEWORTH, scientific and miscellaneous writer; born at Bath 1744; died 1817.

Tho. FALCONER, divine, writer, and classical scholar; born at Bath 1772; died 1839.

Henry FIELDING, novelist and dramatist; born at Sharpham Park 1707; died 1754.

Dr. John GARDINER, divine; born at Wellington 1757.
Dr. Henry HARRINGTON, musical poet and physician; born at
Kelston 1727.

Henry HELLIET, learned divine; born at Dundry; flourished 1687.

Prince HOARE, dramatic and miscellaneous writer; born at Bath 1755; died 1835.

Humphrey HODY, divine and author; born at Odcombe 1659;

died 1706.

Lord Viscount Hoop, distinguished admiral; born 1724; died in 1816.

James HURLY, divine and eccentric philosopher; born at Crowcombe: died 1783.

James JENNINGS, poetical writer; born at Huntspill 1772. Richard LAURENCE, divine, and primate of Ireland, theological antiquary and writer; born at Bath 1758; died 1839. John Locke, moral philosopher, author of "Essay on the Human Understanding," &c.; born at Wrington 1632; died 1704.

William PRYNNE, lawyer and antiquary, author of "Histrio Mastix," and star-chamber victim; born at Swanswick 1600; died 1669.

Lord RODNEY, successful naval commander; born about 1718; died 1792.

Elizabeth Rowe, poetess and accomplished lady, and author of "Letters from the Dead to the Living," &c.; born at Ilchester 1674; died 1737.

Gilbert SHELDON, archbishop of Canterbury; born at Stanton Prior 1598; died 1677.

Daniel TERRY, comedian, and adapter of pieces; born at Bath;

died 1829.

Sir Edward WALTER, historian and herald; died 1676.
Francis WEBB, poet; born at Taunton 1735.


John WICKE, pious divine and friend of Dr. Lardner; born at Taunton 1718.


Various topographical works relative to Somersetshire have been produced since the time of Fuller. Of these the most important are, the Histories of the County, 1st, by the Rev. J. Collinson (1791); and 2nd, by the Rev. Mr. Phelps; the latter of which was commenced in 1836, and several parts have been already issued, which display considerable judgment and research. Of the works connected with the focal topography of the county, the most prominent are the Description of Bath, by J. Wood (1749); the History of Bath, by the Rev. R. Warner (1801); the History of Bath Abbey Church, by J. Britton (1825), and Anstey's New Bath Guide, edited by the same (1830); Delineations of the North-western division of the County, by J. Rutter (1829); History of Taunton, by J. Toulmin (1791), and re-edited, in 1822, by J. Savage; Customs of the Manor of Taunton and Taunton Dean, by R. Locke (1816); Histories of Wells Cathedral, by J. Davis (1814), and by J. Britton (1824); History of Glastonbury, by the Rev. R. Warner (1826), and of the Hundred of Carhampton, by J. Savage (1830).-ED.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »