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Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Parr

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
‣ Ch XXIV.
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Biographical notices of some of the more distinguished of Dr. Parr’s pupils at Hatton—Thomas Sheridan—Smitheman—Bartlam—Lord Tamworth—Wilder—Lord Foley—George A. Legge—P. and W. Gell—Dr. Davy, &c.

In the list of Dr. Parr’s pupils at Hatton, brilliant is the name which first occurs in that of Thomas Sheridan, son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and of his first wife the celebrated Miss Linley. In the expression of his face he much resembled his beautiful mother; and from his father, he inherited his talents, his versatility of temper, and indolence of habit. Like his father, too, he was noted for his love of fun and frolic, much to the annoyance of all, with whom he associated, or near whom he resided. Even his venerable tutor was not spared; and many a merry tale is told of the pranks, which he played off against him. But he loved his master too well, seriously to disturb his peace, or to distress his feelings. There was, indeed, no malignity in his mischief; and for any material injury which might result from it to others, he was always eager to offer ample reparation.

On leaving Hatton—distinguished, it may be supposed, more for his wit than his learning—more for the endowments with which nature had gifted him, than for those attainments which are the
fruits of diligent application—after an interval of time, which seems not to have been well employed, he went to Cambridge. But here his stay was short. He soon entered into the army; and served as aide-de-camp to the
Earl of Moira. Early in life he married a Scotch lady; and went, in the capacity of colonial paymaster, to the Cape of Good Hope. Here his house was the constant resort of jovial company; and by the brilliancy of his wit, and the powers of his conversation, he was the life of every party that met him, either at home or abroad. But the dreadful, malady, of which the seeds were implanted in his constitution, too soon began to show its alarming progress; and after a short struggle he sunk into his grave, in the prime of manhood, leaving a widow and two children.

The next is a name ever endeared to the tender and mournful recollection of Dr. ParrJohn Smitheman; who, whilst he was pursuing his studies at Hatton parsonage, was suddenly seized with a violent distemper, which, after a short illness, brought him to his grave in the bloom of youth, March 25, 1794. “He had made something more than common proficiency in literature,” says Dr. Parr, in a short biographical memoir, “as will be readily admitted by those who are told that at the age of sixteen, he had read Juvenal and Persius, the orations of Aeschines, and Demosthenes de falsa Legatione and de Corona, the tragedies of Sophocles, and the odes of Pindar; and, as it was the intention of his instructor to lead him through the same course of study, when his intellectual faculties were still more matured, he would have been qua-
lified to enter with advantage upon the more arduous pursuits of the university. To the greatest mildness of temper, and the most engaging suavity of manner, he joined a sound understanding and an honest heart. His life was unspotted with one vice; and his death, lamented as it is by his acquaintance, his friends, and his family, yet must be considered by the wise and the good, as an early and gentle wafting to immortality. The funeral was conducted with mournful solemnity. The pall was supported by a nobleman and five neighbouring gentlemen; and a sermon was preached on the occasion by the
Rev. Mr. Morley. The tears of his comrades, his friends, and even the unlettered villagers, who attended the awful ceremony, were a more decisive and more honourable testimony to the virtues of this excellent young man, than the artificial and laboured language of panegyric.”

Another name, deeply engraven in the fond and grateful remembrance of Dr. Parr, is that of John Bartlam; for whom he has recorded his esteem and his affection, in the following biographical memoir:—

“He was born at Alcester, Warwickshire, in July, 1770. His maternal ancestors were members of the Church of England; his paternal, down to his grandfather, belonged to the Church of Rome. His father, with a well-cultivated understanding and polished manners, was admitted to an early intimacy with the late Marquis of Hertford; by whose kindness he was first appointed to a military, and afterwards to a civil employment. While he was pursuing his favourite amusement of fishing,
in an arm of the sea near Orford in Suffolk, the boat was suddenly overset, and he was drowned, in the sight of his villa, leaving behind him a wife and three sons.

“After the decease of her beloved husband, Mrs. Bartlam fixed her abode at Alcester; where she received many courteous attentions, and many important services from the noble family at Ragley. Thomas, the eldest son, after a short stay, as colleger, at Eton, was removed to Rugby school; where his brothers, Robert and John, had been placed, under the care of the late Dr. James, who had meritoriously introduced the Eton plan of instruction; and thus laid the foundations of all the celebrity which that seminary afterwards acquired, and now deservedly retains. In the winter of 1786, he had the misfortune to be in the number of those boys who, in consequence of disobedience, were sent away.

“Hearing that his case was accompanied with many circumstances of mitigation, Dr. Parr made some inquiries into his general character; and finding that he was a good scholar, and had stood high in the esteem of his master, the Doctor applied for permission to take him as a pupil. The request was granted; and Mr. Bartlam came to Hatton, where he had comfortable lodgings in the village, and received the same instruction that was given to the other pupils of Dr. Parr. His application there was diligent; his classical learning was considerable; and his good behaviour and good nature so endeared him to the Doctor, as to produce a friendship, which continued to the end of his life.


Mr. B. entered as commensalis of Merton college, May 16, 1789; was elected portionist, April 26, 1790; took the degree of B.A. February 13, 1793; gained the Chancellor’s prize for the English essay, 1794; was elected Fellow of Merton, August 3, 1795; took the degree of M.A., May 25, 1796; was pro-proctor, 1805; and, in the absence of the senior proctor, who was confined by illness, Mr. Bartlam delivered a very elegant speech in Latin.

“In the year 1797, Mr. Bartlam was presented to the perpetual curacy of Tetenhall, Staffordshire, by Sir John Wrottesley; and ten years after he resigned it, when the brother of Sir John was of proper age to be his successor. In January, 1800, he was presented to the vicarage of Beoley, in Worcestershire, by Mr. Holmes, and to the curacy of Studley, by Mr. Knight of Barrels, in Warwickshire. October the 1st, 1811, he was presented, by the warden and fellows of Merton College, Oxford, to the vicarage of Ponteland, in Northumberland.

“When his attention was called to business by a sense of duty, he was acute without artifice, and active without selfishness. While he filled the office of bursar, in Merton college, he increased the revenues of the society, by judicious improvements in the method of letting leases; and, while incumbent of Studley, he exerted himself strenuously and successfully in founding a parochial school. At Hatton, he was often employed by Dr. Parr as an amanuensis; and by these means he not only increased his stock of know-
ledge, but acquired a copious, correct, and often beautiful style in the English tongue. His letters to numerous correspondents, and his more elaborate writings for the pulpit, abound with proofs of his erudition and his ingenuity.

Bartlam’s perception of beauties, in prose and verse, was quick and lively; his memory was retentive; his flow of. words, both in writing and speaking, was ready and copious; and his delivery, in addressing either an enlightened Or promiscuous audience, was distinct, without ostentatious precision; animated without noisy vehemence,1 or serious without “austere sanctimony.”1 Hence his talents and his literary attainments procured for him the honourable distinction—“laudari a laudatis viris;”2 and among them may be classed Dr. Cornwall, the venerable Bishop of Worcester; Lord Holland; Sir Charles Monk; the late Dr. Charles Burney; his excellent son, now living; Mr. Nichols, the intelligent and well-known conductor of the Gentleman’s Magazine; Mr. E. H. Barker, the editor of Henry Stephens’ Thesaurus; Mr. Archdeacon Butler, the editor of Æschylus; Dr. Edward Maltby, the editor of Morrel’s Thesaurus; Dr. Symmons, the ingenious biographer of Milton, and translator of Virgil; his son, John Symmons, who, like Richard Porson, is a prodigy in extensive reading, never-failing memory, and skilful application; the eloquent and philosophical Robert Fellowes; the sagacious and learned Wm.

1 Vid. Nævius in Hectore, and Cicero, lib. vi. Familiar. Epist. 12.

2 Vide Shakspeare.

Lowndes, of Gray’s Inn; the very learned Samuel Blomfield, who has long been preparing an edition of Thucydides; the celebrated Mr. Crowe, public orator at Oxford; and that most profound scholar and exemplary Christian, Dr. Martin Routh, president of Magdalen College.”

“Such are the excellent contemporaries, by whom John Bartlam was deservedly respected for his talents. It is, however, to be lamented, that the luxuries of taste, which were always within his reach, decoyed him from the toil of study; and that a consciousness of ability to gain more knowledge, soothed him into content with that, which he had already gained. In his political and religious creeds, he was much influenced by the precepts and the example of his instructor. Shunning all extravagant and visionary notions about government, he was a steady advocate for constitutional liberty; and by the natural ardour and benevolence of his mind, he was led to be a zealous champion in the sacred cause of toleration. Wheresoever he discerned intellectual and moral excellence, his head and his heart led him to do homage to the possessors; nor did he stop to inquire whether they were Non-Episcopalians or Episcopalians, Homousians or Unitarians, Lutherans or Calvinists, Protestants or Romanists; At the same time, he was most sincerely, and even affectionately attached to the interests and honour of the Established Church. By the advice, and according to the practice of his preceptor, he weighed attentively and impartially all argumentative discussions upon the merits of that church
in doctrine or discipline; but his indignation kindled, when those doctrines or that discipline were assailed by vulgar raillery, or sectarian virulence. In the discharge of his pastoral duties, he was most exemplary. He was ever ready to relieve the wants of his parishioners, to heal their disputes, to enlighten their understandings, and encourage their virtues. Perhaps few human beings have passed from the cradle to the grave with less annoyance from the soreness of vanity, the restlessness of ambition, or the corrosions of envy. Unlike Carazan,1 “who was known to every man; but by no man saluted.” Bartlam, whether going to the sanctuary or the banquet, was greeted with a smile on every countenance; and every voice of the poor, as he passed onward, was raised, in supplication for his health and his happiness. Long, indeed, will he be remembered with esteem, affection, and gratitude, by the inhabitants of Alcester, Studley, Beoley, and many neighbouring parishes.”

“From the late Marquis of Hertford he received occasional acts of courtesy; and there is reason to believe that he would have been honoured with patronage from the present Marquis, who discerned clearly, and estimated justly, his solid merit, as a man of letters, as a gentleman, and an enlightened, faithful teacher of religion. The sweetness of his temper, and the vivacity of his conversation, procured for him many well-wishers, and many admirers, in the higher classes of society. Bartlam, in his ordinary intercourse with the world,

1 Vide the Adventurer, No. 132.

was unaffecting, unassuming, undesigning; and, in domestic life, he often recalled to the mind of the observer a beautiful passage in
Vivet extento Proculeius revo,
Notus in fratres animi paterni.1

“To his surviving brother, the precentor of Exeter, and to his preceptor and guide, Dr. Parr, the loss of a companion so amiable and a friend so faithful is irreparable.

“This excellent man died in London of an apoplexy, Thursday, February 27. He was interred in the church of Alcester, on Friday, the 7th of March, in the same vault with his late worthy brother, Robert. His funeral was conducted with great solemnity; and his remains were accompanied to the grave by his brother, the precentor of Exeter, by the Hon. Mr. Eardley, by the Rev. Dr. Vaughan of Merton, by Dr. Parr, by Dr. John Johnstone, and by many respectable gentlemen and clergymen in the neighbourhood of Alcester.”

In the course of the same year, Dr. Parr had to lament the loss of two of his much-esteemed friends and pupils, who had pursued their studies nearly at the same time, at Hatton. The one was Lord Viscount Tamworth, eldest son of Earl Ferrers, who died in the month of June, 1824. The other was Sir Francis John Wilder, Knt., who, in three successive parliaments, was chosen representative for the borough of Arundel. Early in life he entered into the army; and passed through the

1Lib. ii. Od. 2.

various gradations of rank, till, in 1821, he was promoted to that of lieutenant-general. He died at the Manor House, Binfield, in Berkshire, January 23, 1824.

Two names of noble families are next to be recorded in the number of Dr. Parr’s pupils at Hatton. One, that of Thomas Lord Foley; and the other, that of the Hon. and Rev. Archdeacon Legge, of whom Dr. Parr thus speaks: “as my friend, as a well-bred gentleman, and a pupil, well-informed ecclesiastic, he is entitled to my warmest regards.”

Honourable mention is due to the names of Philip Gell, Esq., a few years ago high-sheriff for the county of Derby; and of his brother, Sir William Gell, who is well known to the public as the chamberlain to her late Majesty, Queen Caroline, in her travels abroad, and as her faithful adherent during her cruel persecutions at home. Furnished with all the stores of classical and elegant literature, he went to Cambridge, and became a member of Jesus College, and afterwards a fellow of Emanuel College. Stimulated by a rational and dignified curiosity, much to be commended in the young and the wealthy, he set out, in 1802, on his foreign travels; and particularly devoted his attention to the investigation of the classic ground of Phrygia Minor. The work, which he afterwards presented to the literary world, entitled “The Topography of Troy and its vicinity, illustrated by Drawings and Descriptions,” is most splendid and elegant. It is said that the outlines of the views and the descriptions
are minutely correct, and that the general resemblance to the places and the objects represented is exact and striking.1

Among the more distinguished names of Hatton scholars, the following remain to be added:—Dr. Davy, master of Caius College, Cambridge—the Rev. William Philips, of Ealing, Hants—the Rev. Samuel Hemming, of Drayton, Warwickshire—Dr. Perkins—Robert J. West, of Alscote, Esq.—George Newnham Collingwood, of Moor-House, Hawkhurst, Kent, Esq.—Hon. William Spencer, author of Leonora, and other works of fancy—Richard Parry, Esq. of London—Henry Oddie, Esq.—Francis Hargrave, Esq.

1 “The ‘Remains of Troy’ were given me by my very ingenious pupil, Sir William Gell; and the book is in all respects worthy of his acuteness, erudition, and taste. S. P.”—Bibl. Parr. p. 347.