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Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Parr
Ch VI. 1811-1815

Ch. I. 1747-1752
Ch. II. 1752-1761
Ch. III. 1761-1765
Ch. IV. 1765-1766
Ch. V. 1767-1771
Ch. VI. 1771
Ch. VII. 1771-1776
Ch. VIII. 1771-1776
Ch. IX. 1776-1777
Ch. X. 1779-1786
Ch. XI. 1779-1786
Ch. XII. 1779-1786
Ch. XIII. 1780-1782
Ch. XIV. 1786-1789
Ch. XV. 1786-1790
Ch. XVI. 1776-1790
Ch. XVII. 1787
Ch. XVIII. 1789
Ch. XIX. 1790-1792
Ch. XX. 1791-1792
Ch. XXI. 1791-1796
Ch. XXII. 1794-1795
Ch. XXIII. 1794
Ch. XXIV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXVI. 1800-1803
Ch. XXVII. 1801-1803
Ch. XXVIII. 1800-1807
Vol. II Contents
Ch I. 1800-1807
Ch II. 1807-1810
Ch III. 1809
Ch IV. 1809-1812
Ch V. 1810-1813
‣ Ch VI. 1811-1815
Ch VII. 1812-1815
Ch VIII. 1816-1820
Ch IX. 1816-1820
Ch X. 1816-1820
Ch XI. 1816-1820
Ch XII. 1816-1820
Ch XIII. 1816-1820
Ch XIV. 1819
Ch XV. 1820-1821
Ch XVI. 1816-1820
Ch XVII. 1820-1824
Ch XVIII. 1820-1824
Ch XIX. 1820-1824
Ch XX. 1820-1825
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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
A.D. 1811—1815.
Death of Dr. Raine—His character—Monumental inscription for him—Dr. Parr’s opinion of the public schools—Death of Dr. White—His literary labours—His celebrated Bampton Lectures—Death of Mr. Dealtry—His character—Death of the Duke of Norfolk—His political character—Death of Mr. W. Lunn—Dr. Parr’s address to the public in behalf of his family.

Towards the end of the year 1811, an event took place, deeply lamented by Dr. Parr, and by all the friends and patrons of public education, in the death of the Rev. Matthew Raine, D.D., for twenty years head-master of the Charter-house School. With ample stores of sound and elegant literature, he united unwearied diligence in communicating instruction to his pupils; and with the authority of a master blended the benignity of a parent. As a man, a Christian, a clergyman, and an Englishman, piety, integrity, benevolence, mildness of temper, and gentleness of manner, zeal tempered by candour in the pursuit and profession of religious truth, and the most devoted attachment to the pure principles of the British constitution, conspired to form in him a character of high and attractive excellence. Having announced his intention of retiring from the station, which he had so long held, honourably to himself and beneficially to others, he was presented to the living of Halling-
bury, in Essex; and he was at the same time elected to the office of their preacher by the Society of Gray’s Inn. But whilst contemplating this change of situation, he was suddenly seized with a fever, which, in the space of three days, terminated fatally.

During the Christmas of 1809, Dr. Raine, accompanied by his brother, Jonathan Raine, Esq. M.P. for Newport, and by some other friends, passed three or four weeks at Leamington Spa, distant about five miles from Hatton. This visit afforded opportunities for several agreeable interviews between himself and Dr. Parr, by whom he had been long known and greatly esteemed. Alas! too soon after this pleasing intercourse, Dr. Parr was called to perform the melancholy task of expressing the high sense he entertained of his various merits, in the form of an inscription for a monumental tablet—consecrated to the memory of their beloved and honoured tutor by his grateful pupils, and erected in the chapel of the Charterhouse.1

The great public institutions for education in this country, over one of which Dr. Raine had so long presided, were always the objects of much anxious attention to Dr. Parr; and he watched their flourishing or declining state, with strong emotions of joy or sorrow. Even amidst the solemnities of his last will, his mind once more recurs to the subject which had so often occupied his thoughts; and having respectfully named the most distinguished preceptors of his time to the number

1 See App. No. II.

of twelve or fourteen, leaving to each a mourning ring, he adds, “which I hope they will accept as a mark of my high regard for their literary attainments, and of my well-founded and unalterable attachment to the cause of public education, as conducted in the public schools of this kingdom.”

As the character of every seminary must depend principally upon that of the masters, it was always a source of great satisfaction to Dr. Parr, to observe that those at the head of the public schools, during his time, were in general some of the ablest and most learned men to be found in the kingdom. “It was consoling,” he often said, “to reflect that private interest and court favour, which have intruded, with unhallowed step, almost every where else, have not yet presumed to enter within the precincts of our public seminaries; and that personal and literary merit has generally prevailed in the election of those, to whom the interests of learning for generations to come are committed.” He thought that these schools still maintained undiminished their long-established reputation; and still largely contributed to the diffusion of classical literature, in its purest and best form, among the professional and superior orders of the community. He would often remark, with exulting pleasure, that there is now even more Greek learning in this country than formerly; and that many Greek scholars have appeared in later times, who, in his youthful days, would have been regarded as prodigies. Adverting to the comparative state of ancient and modern literature, as con-
nected with academical institutions, he thus expresses himself:—

“As to the merits of men, ingenious, learned, eminently great, or exemplarily good, who in past ages have gone forth from learned retreats into the wide circle of society, pleni sunt omnes libri, plena exemplorum vetustas. But even in later times, the torpor of old age has not crept upon them; the sorceries of indolence have not enfeebled them; the poison of luxury has not corrupted them; the foul mists of barbarism have not gathered over them; the baleful light of superstition has not glimmered round them; the portentous meteors of infidelity have not glared upon them. No! for among those who have issued from our schools and universities, I recollect with triumph the names of many, who, during my lifetime have been distinguished by classical, oriental, theological or mathematical knowledge, by professional skill or parliamentary abilities. Their pursuits, indeed, are not similar; nor their talents equal. Some instruct, and others please. Some excel in solidity of judgment, and others in splendour of imagination. Some are known by their eloquence; others, by their writings: and few, perhaps, have been content to exercise their powers only in academical contests or literary conversations. But they have all obtained distinction among their contemporaries; and many of them will attract the admiration of posterity.”1

Speaking of the public schools, and distributing to each the praise, which, in his opinion, belonged

1 Spital Sermon, p. 109.

to each, he often expatiated with delight upon the “solid Greek learning” of the Charter-house—upon the “correct compositions,” both Latin and English, of the Etonians—and upon “the elegance united with correctness,” which distinguished the literary exercises of the Wykehamists. Of Westminster his opinion was less favourable. The celebrity of Rugby school stood, he thought, deservedly high, especially under the auspices of the late very learned
Dr. James; whose plan of education he often commended as “elegant and comprehensive.”—Of Christ’s Hospital he has expressed his opinion, in the following terms:—

“When I reflect upon the comprehensive plan of education for young persons, adopted in this school; upon the salutary discipline established among them; upon the various kinds of knowledge in which they are instructed; upon the many excellent teachers that have been set over them; upon the many industrious and prosperous tradesmen, the many courageous defenders of their country, the many luminaries of learning and religion, that have come from this seminary; I am persuaded that no school or college in this kingdom is entitled to higher praise, on the ground of accommodation to the real interests of society.”1

During the course of 1814, it was again the lot of Dr. Parr to see the diminished circle of old and intimate friends still diminishing. Among those admitted to his confidence, few obtained a larger share than Dr. White, canon of Christ’s Church, Oxford, Regius professor of Hebrew, and Laudian

1 Spital Sermon, p. 17.

professor of Arabic in that university. His father was a journeyman weaver, and he himself was brought up to the same trade. His early education, it may be supposed, was very confined: but afterwards, by his own exertions, he carried forward his own improvements to a wonderful extent, and even succeeded in acquiring a considerable knowledge of the learned languages. It was his thirst for information, and his love of books, which drew towards him the notice of the celebrated Dean Tucker; who was surprised, one day, on entering his father’s cottage, to find a Greek Testament lying upon the loom, at which he was working. Under the auspices of the dean, after some preparatory instruction, he was sent to Oxford: where he soon raised himself to distinction by his talents and exertions; and especially by the extraordinary assiduity and success, with which he applied himself to the study of oriental literature.

Of his literary labours, the following account is given by Dr. Parr, in one of his publications:—“Dr. White is the author of a very judicious sermon on the Septuagint. He published an inaugural speech; which, in point of composition, far excels that which is usually found in the Clavis Pentateuch of Dr. Robertson. He translated and edited in 2 vols. 4to. the Syriac Version of part of the New Testament, which belonged to Dr. Gloucester Ridley. He long ago completed, and might with very little exertion publish, what Pocock Jun. left unfinished in the translation of Adollatiph’s Egyptian History. He has lately done signal service to young clergymen, by an edition of the
received text of the New Testament, with the most important variations in
Griesbach, and by a “Diatessaron,” drawn up in conformity to the chronology, approved by Archbishop Newcome; and to his professional studies he, in his “Bampton lectures,” was much indebted for the happy choice of a subject, and for the very masterly manner in which it has been treated.”1

But after the “Bampton lectures,” last mentioned, had obtained, for their reputed author, universal admiration and applause, by the depth of learning, the strength of reasoning, and the power of eloquence, which they display, at the end of the fourth year, as the reader probably knows, it was discovered, to the general astonishment, that many of the discourses were the production of another person—Mr. Badcock, a dissenting clergyman, who soon afterwards conformed to the Established Church; and that Dr. Parr had also contributed, to the same work, much valuable assistance. The evidence was clear and decisive; and the learned professor was reduced to the mortifying necessity of acknowledging the fact.

If, however, the confession2 thus extorted is to be received as a declaration of the whole truth; it must still be allowed, in favour of Dr. White, that even after the deduction of all that belongs to another, enough remains to establish for him a claim to high literary merit. But it was impossible that he could hope to escape censure, for the

1 Spital Sermon, p. 123.

2 A statement of Dr. White’s obligations to the Rev. Samuel Badcock and the Rev. Samuel Parr, LL.D.

extreme disingenuousness of assuming to himself all the praise, of which so large a share belonged to others; and of withholding, in the first instance, the public acknowledgment due to those, by whom he had been so materially assisted.

In the “Bibliotheca Parriana1 appears the following entry:—“The Bampton lectures, 1784, with the original autographs of Joseph White, Samuel Parr, Henry Richards, afterwards head of Exeter College, and John Parsons, afterwards head of Baliol College, and Bishop of Peterborough, when by appointment they met at Hatton-parsonage, 9th June, 1789, for the purpose of ascertaining what share Dr. Parr had in corrections, substitutions, and additions of the aforesaid sermons.”—From this examination it appeared, that the share of the work which belongs to Dr. Parr consists in the verbal correction and improvement of the whole, in the composition of the greatest part of the tenth lecture, and in the addition of many notes.

But though, by this discreditable affair, a shade was thrown over the fair fame of Dr. White; yet his attainments as an oriental scholar, and his abilities as a Christian advocate, were universally acknowledged; and the preferment which he soon afterwards obtained, was the subject of sincere congratulation among the friends of learning, and the wellwishers to the best interests of the church. He was made prebendary of Gloucester cathedral, and was subsequently presented to the valuable living of Melton in Suffolk. He retired to this

1 Page 84.

village on his marriage in 1790; and there, in the month of August 1814, he died.

In the succeeding month of the same year Dr. Parr sustained another severe loss, in the death of Peregrine Dealtry, Esq. of Bradenham, near High Wycombe. Of this awfully sudden event, he thus communicates the intelligence to his friend Mr. Parkes:—“Dear Sir,—With anguish I have to inform you that my old and dear friend Mr. Dealtry was, on Thursday last, found dead in his bed, at Ryde in the Isle of Wight. Mr. Willes was with him the day before he died, and most wisely and kindly wrote to me. This disaster will damp the joy I look for, in accompanying another valuable friend, upon an important errand. But in this school of adversity, I have been long practised; and have learned to submit to the will of Heaven. I wish you all well, till I return; which will not be till the beginning of October. My head is confused, and my heart aches. I am truly yours.—S. P.”

Mr. Dealtry, son of Dr. Dealtry, formerly an eminent physician at York, was distinguished by a most upright and honourable mind, and by all those qualities which form the character of the worthy and the useful country gentleman. He was the early pupil, and the constant friend of Dr. Parr, who paid a tribute of respectful and affectionate regard to his memory, in a biographical Memoir, which will be found in a subsequent part of this volume.

It was at a period, somewhat earlier, that Dr. Parr was summoned to the melancholy task of
commemorating, in a monumental inscription,1 the various excellencies, which distinguished the character of another of his friends, a young man of great attainments and great promise,
John Baynes, Esq. of Trinity College, Cambridge. After attaining to the highest honours of the university, and aspiring, with fairest expectation, to those of the bar, he died at the early age of twenty-eight. He is mentioned by Dr. Parr “as the learned, ingenious, much admired, and much beloved friend of Sir Samuel Romilly and himself.”2

Among the eminent persons, in the higher orders of the community, with whose kind and friendly regards Dr. Parr was favoured, he had the honour to rank the late Duke of Norfolk; and it was with the deepest concern that he received information, in September 1815, of the serious illness which, early in the ensuing December, terminated in the death of this truly patriotic nobleman. In parliamentary conduct, first as Earl of Surrey in the Lower House, and afterwards as Duke of Norfolk, in the Upper, he well sustained the character of an enlightened and upright senator, uniformly actuated, at once, by that high independence of spi-

1 App. No. II.

2Sullivan’s Lectures on the Constitution and Laws of England, &c.

Huncce ego accipio lubens libellum,
Qui me non movet æstimatione;
Verum est μνημόσυνον mei sodalis,
Artium juvenis bonarum amantis,
Doctis omnibus et bonis amandi.

Joannis Baynes, Coll. Trin. Cant. Socii. Prid. Non. Maii, 1783.”—Bibl. Parr, p. 420.

rit, which becomes a peer, and by that devoted attachment to popular rights, which might have been expected to be found only in a plebeian. He adopted the principles of
Mr. Fox; and with him was opposed to the unjust and ruinous contest with America, and afterwards to the no less unjust and still more ruinous war with France. By the unyielding firmness of his public conduct, he excited the jealousy, or alarmed the fears, of the Pitt administration in the high-day of its power; and he was in consequence deprived of the lieutenancy of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and of the command of its militia.

As the opinions of the late Duke of Norfolk, on all the subjects most interesting to men and to Englishmen, closely agreed with those of Dr. Parr, their interviews were always agreeable; and occasionally, for several weeks together, Dr. Parr was the delighted visitor and the welcome guest, at one or other of the duke’s magnificent seats, and especially at the grand baronial residence of his ancestors, Arundel Castle. Being without issue, the late duke was succeeded by his brother the present duke, for whose intelligence and integrity Dr. Parr entertained high respect; and to whom he was indebted for many kind and gratifying attentions. It scarcely need be added that, in such a mind as Dr. Parr’s, the sentiments of respect inspired by excellence of general character were confirmed, and if possible increased, by that conscientious adherence to the religion of his ancestors, which places the present Duke of Norfolk—the premier Duke and
Earl-Marshal—at the head of the Catholic peerage in England.

That sympathetic concern, which Dr. Parr always felt for the distresses of others, was, early in 1815, painfully excited, by the truly afflicting case of Mr. W. Lunn, a man of considerable worth, and a bookseller of high respectability in Soho Square, London. By a concurrence of unfortunate events, the affairs of his trade—that of a dealer in classical books, on a new and extensive system—were thrown into such a state of embarrassment, as, to his terrified apprehension, admitted of no possible relief; and from the pangs of disappointment and dread of disgrace, he sought refuge in a voluntary death. Impressed with great esteem for the character, and with deep commiseration for the fate, of an upright and honourable man, Dr. Parr took upon himself the task of relating, in a biographical memoir, the principal events of Mr. Lunn’s active and useful life, and the deplorable circumstances which led to his untimely death. This memoir, which will be found in a future page, was prefixed to a new catalogue of the remaining book-stock, with the benevolent view of promoting its sale, for the benefit of the widow and her two daughters, who were left without any other resources. It is a most pathetic appeal to all the just and generous feelings of the British public, especially to those of the learned world; and there is reason to hope it was attended with much good effect. How heart-moving is the representation in the following passage!

“Disappointed in his expectations—alarmed at
the prospect of impending losses—perplexed by the application of creditors, whose demands he had frequently satisfied with exemplary punctuality—conscious of having exhausted the whole of his property in procuring books, some of which he might be obliged to sell at a less price than that which he had advanced for them—unaccustomed to propitiate the severe by supplication, to trick the artful by evasion, and to distress the friendly by delay, he was suddenly bereaved of that self-command, which, if he could have preserved it, would have eventually secured for him unsullied respectability, undiminished prosperity, and undisturbed tranquillity. But in the poignant anguish of his soul, delicacy prevailed over reason, and panic over fortitude. Every expedient proposed by his faithful and affectionate advisers was at one moment adopted with gratitude, and at the next rejected with frenzy; every present inconvenience was magnified into an insurmountable obstacle; every possible future mischance was anticipated as an inevitable and ruinous calamity. To his disordered imagination retreat seemed impracticable; to his unaltered and unalterable sense of honour resistance appeared unjustifiable: by his wounded pride submission was deemed alike ignominious and inefficacious. He reflected and was impatient of reflection; he hoped and was ashamed of hope; he approved and disapproved; he decided and hesitated; he despaired and perished!

“Happily for the human race, all the extenuations which accompany such cases are reserved
for the tribunal of that Being, who knoweth of what we are made, and remembereth that we are but dust. In the mean time, many a Christian will be disposed to commiserate the circumstances of
Mr. Lunn’s death; and many a man of letters may find reason to deplore the loss of his well-meant and well-directed labours.”