Puslapio vaizdai

nominated for the purpose. He repaired to Copenhagen in the character of Plenipotentiary Extraordinary; Mr Merry, our resident minister, remaining, as usual, to discharge the customary official business of his department. While his lordship commenced a treaty with the Count de Bernstorff, his mission was backed, and his arguments were supported by a strong squadron, consisting of nine sail of the line, four bomb-ketches, and five gun-boats, which entered the Sound under the command of Admiral Dickson. After a considerable time spent in discussion, an adjustment took place on the 29th August, 1800. The Emperor had actually laid an embargo on all the English ships and property within his dominions; but no sooner did he learn the signature of the convention of Copenhagen, than he withdrew the orders for sequestration, and restored whatever had been seized.

No blame is imputable to Lord Whitworth because an amicable treaty did not immediately follow this temporary convention. It is well known, that a few months after the English plenipotentiary quitted Copenhagen, a convention was concluded for a new armed neutrality in which Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark joined, under the sanction of his Imperial Majesty. One of those powers seized on Hamburgh, another on Hanover, and a third wished to avenge the loss of the grandmastership of Malta by a declaration in behalf of France. These proceedings gave birth to a new expedition of eighteen sail of the line up the Baltic: and every subject in dispute was finally terminated by the battle of Copenhagen, the secession of the Swedes, the sudden death of Paul, and the armistice agreed to between the Prince of Denmark and Lord Nelson, on the 9th April, 1801.

On his return to England, Lord Whitworth, on April 7th, 1801, mar

ried Arabella Diana, widow of Johri Frederick, third Duke of Dorset, and eldest daughter and co-heir of Sir Charles Cope, second baronet of Brewern, county of Oxford, by Catharine, youngest daughter of Sir Cecil Bishop, fifth Baronet of Parham, Sussex (and afterwards second wife of the first Earl of Liverpool).

In the meantime new and unforeseen occurrences had taken place. By a sudden change at home, Mr Pitt had been divested of the management of public affairs, while Mr Addington exchanged the Speaker's chair for a less easy seat on the Treasury bench; and the new ministry, anxious to conciliate public opinion, eagerly met the well-known wishes of Buonaparte for the re-establishment of peace between Britain and France. Lord Hawkesbury, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, after a long but secret negotiation with M. Otto, suddenly announced the signature of preliminaries of peace between Britain on the one part, and France, Spain, and Holland, on the other. After the lapse of nearly six months, during which the public expectation was greatly excited by alternate hopes and fears, the long expected treaty was signed, ratified, and promulgated according to the established forms.

The Treaty of Amiens, concluded March 27, 1802, was considered by some politicians rather as a cessation of hostilities than a definitive pacification; and the event proved that too many objects of importance were left open for future discussion. Lord Cornwallis, notwithstanding this, returned from the congress welcomed by the well-merited applause of his countrymen. He was succeeded first by Mr Jackson, then by Mr Merry, and finally by Lord Whitworth; who, having been made a privy-councillor, was sent to Paris towards the latter end of 1802, as ambassador extraordinary and ple-'

nipotentiary. On his Lordship's arrival at Paris he found himself, like his predecessors, surrounded by difficulties. A rivalship in commerce had succeeded to a rivalship in arms, and the custom-houses of the respective nations were in a state of direct hostility. A variety of circumstances tended to render this negotiation delicate in the extreme; such as the renunciation of Parma; the mission of Sebastiani; the occupation of Holland by a considerable army; the violation of the rights of the Swiss Cantons; and, above all, the aggrandizement of France by means of fresh acquisitions. These, and a variety of other objects of equal importance, seemed to embitter this embassy, and to render it disagreeable to all engaged in it. On the other hand, the First Consul complained of the personalities with which the newspapers in London were filled, particularly one published in French by the emigrant De Peltier; of the countenance given to the exbishops and refugees, especially Georges, afterwards executed at Paris; of the book published by Sir Robert Wilson; and of a variety of other real or supposed injuries. But it was the retention of Malta that appears to have been the chief object of dispute, and the ostensible cause of the war that ensued.

After a number of previous conferences with Talleyrand, the minister for foreign affairs, Buonaparte at length sent for the English ambassador, in the beginning of 1803, and a long and important interview took place, which led to no results. Buonaparte chiefly insisted upon the evacuation of Malta by the English, which Lord Whitworth was not prepared to accede to.

The English ministry, however, persisted in the resolution of not evacuating Malta, although a categorical answer was, in the meantime, demanded by General Andréossy, the French ambassa

dor at London. On this, a rupture appearing to be inevitable, his Majesty, in March, 1803, sent a message to both houses of Parliament, stating the preparations making in the ports of France and Holland, and recommending the adoption of such measures as might be consistent with the honour of his crown and the security of his dominions. A subsequent interview between Lord Whitworth and Buonaparte, instead of healing, appears to have widened the breach; and his Lordship's prompt and dignified repression of the usurper's intemperate address before a full court, and all the foreign ministers, is celebrated throughout Europe.

Lord Whitworth, on his first interview with M. Talleyrand, remonstrated against the insult offered to him, as alike offensive " to his public and private feelings." Similar remonstrances were also made in the King's name, by order of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; but Malta again became the bone of contention, and projets innumerable were formed, presented, and debated, relative to the possession of that important island. A length the English minister, in consequence of positive orders from his court, delivered in his ultimatum; and declared that if no convention on this basis was signed within a week, he had received instructions to terminate his mission, and return to London. As the Court of the Tuilleries would not accede to this, it was proposed by Talleyrand, as a mezzo termino, to relinquish Malta to Russia; but difficulties occurred in respect to this plan, and Lord Whitworth demanded the necessary passports for his departure. These were at length obtained, although not without great difficulty, and after three successive messages; on which his Lordship left Paris, May 13, 1803. From this moment every idea of peace vanished; and in

the course of three days an order of council was issued for reprisals, which, of course, produced a new war.

After an interview with the Cabinet Ministers in London, Lord Whitworth repaired to Knowle, where for some years his Lordship chiefly resided, rendering himself exceedingly popular by his attention and politeness to all descriptions of persons. His native county, in the course of the war, furnished large bodies of volunteers and yeomanry, and he himself was not wanting in his exertions to encourage their patriotic efforts. No sooner was the country menaced with a descent, than he raised and clothed, at his own expense, the Holmesdale battalion of infantry, composed of 600 men; and he frequently repaired to their head-quarters at Maidstone to inspect their condition.

On March 2, 1813, Lord Whitworth was made a lord of the King's bedchamber; on the 14th of June following, he was created a peer of Great Britain, by the title of Viscount Whitworth, of Adbaston, in the county of Stafford; and in August succeeded the Duke of Richmond as Viceroy of Ireland. At the enlargement of the Order of the Bath in January, 1815, he was made one of the twelve Civil Knights Grand Crosses; and November 25, that year, was advanced to the dignities of Baron Adbaston and Earl Whitworth. He resigned the Lieutenancy of Ireland in September, 1817, when Lord Talbot was appointed to succeed him.

The Noble Earl's decease took place at Knowle, after only three days' illness, on the 13th of May 1825.


The profound erudition, inflexible integrity, and unaffected benevolence of


the late Dr Parr, were so universally acknowledged, and so eminently venerated, that, whatever difference of opinion may exist with respect to the soundness of some of his opinions, he will ever rank highly among the many excellent and admirable persons who have in the present age conferred honour upon their country, and reflected lustre upon letters. Equalled, perhaps, by some of his contemporaries in the art of verbal criticism, in rare and elegant classical knowledge he was unquestionably pre-eminent in the learned world. His vast and varied literary resources were acquired, too, not in the ease and leisure of affluence, but under the pressure of haste and poverty; in a situation subject to many mortifications, and wholly unsupported and uncheered by any adventitious advantage or encouragement.


Dr Samuel Parr was born at Harrow, January 15, 1746-7. His greatgrandfather was rector of Kirby Malory, in Leicestershire, and his grandfather was vicar of Hinckley, in the same county. His father, to use Dr Parr's own words, in a letter to Dr Percival, was an apothecary and surgeon at Harrow, a man of a very robust and vigorous intellect." The family (of which a pedigree is printed in Nichol's Leicestershire, iv. 725), was of the highest respectability, and produced many divines; but was greatly reduced through persevering Jacobitism, and Mr Parr himself advanced nearly his whole property (£800) in aid of the Pretender. The son, therefore, was brought up a Tory; but Dr Parr has said, that his father, by giving him Rapin to read when very young, first loosened his early political sentiments. He was considered a boy of very precocious talents, and had attained extraordinary grammatical knowledge of Latin at four years of age.

When between nine and ten years old, he lost a tender mother, for whom he ever felt and avowed a strong affec


tion; and on his father marrying again before the expiration of twelve months, the son refused to exchange his mourning weeds for the new coat with lappets, ordered for him on occasion of the new wedding.

At Easter, 1756, young Parr was admitted on the foundation of Harrow School, where he became head boy in January 1761, at the early age of fourteen; at that time particularly attracting the notice of the head-master, Dr Sumner. Here he was contemporary with Mr Halhed, Sir William Jones, and Dr Bennet, late Bishop of Cloyne; with the two latter of whom he devised a political play. With those personages his friendship was ardent and constant through life. The first literary attempt of Dr Parr was reported by himself to have been a drama founded on the Book of Ruth; and possibly, had he been born in Milton's age, he would have been a poet. It is to be regretted that all the youthful exercises of this singular republic of boys were subsequently stolen and taken to Holland. Sermons are in existence, written by Dr Parr at the early age of fourteen.

Soon after the above-mentioned date, Dr Parr left school, his father wishing to educate him in his own profession, and for two or three years," says he, "I attended to his business."

In 1765 he entered Emanuel College, Cambridge; but his pecuniary necessities soon became pressing, and he determined to leave the University rather than to borrow. On balancing his accounts, he found, to his extreme surprise, that he had L.3, 17s. over and above the full payment of his debts.

Dr Sumner soon recalled him to Harrow, where he was appointed first assistant in January 1767; and, during Dr Sumner's life, he met with the most flattering personal attachment from that distinguished scholar.

At Christmas, 1769, Dr Farr was ordained to the curacies of Wilsdon and

Kingsbury, Middlesex, which he resigned at Easter, 1770. In 1771, he was created M.A. per literas Regias, and in the same year, on the death of Dr Sumner, he became a candidate for the headmastership of Harrow, with the late master's strong recommendation. Although sanguine hopes were entertained by his friends of his success, his youth, and other influence, prevailed against his nomination, to the great disappointment of the scholars, by whom he was sincerely beloved. The election fell upon Dr Heath.

It is well known, that the dissatisfaction of the school was manifested in Dr Parr's favour in some overt acts of insubordination, which he was unjustly accused of having fomented. The most violent clamours were raised against him, and circulated in the public papers. Ultimately he resigned the place of assistant, and established a private academy at Stanmore, with forty-five boys, of whom all but one followed him from Harrow. It then became desirable, and even necessary, that he should be married: he, therefore, allied himself to Jane, daughter of Zachariah Marsengale, Esq. of Carleton, Yorkshire, and niece to Thomas Mauleverer, Esq. of Arncliffe, in that county; of an ancient and respectable family. Dr Parr married Miss Marsengale, because he wanted a housekeeper; Miss Marsengale married Dr Parr, because she wanted a house. She was an only child, bred up by three maiden aunts, as she said of herself, "in rigidity and frigidity," and she always described Dr Parr as "born in a whirlwind, and bred a tyrant." Such discordant elements were not likely to produce harmony. The lady lost few opportunities of annoying her spouse; an object, which a strong understanding and caustic powers of language afforded her more than ordinary facilities of accomplishing; and she always preferred exposing his foibles and ridiculing his peculiari

ties in the presence of others. His mind and temper were kept in continual irritation; and he was driven to the resources of visiting, and to the excitement of that table talk which unfortunately superseded efforts of more lasting character. Porson used to say-" Parr would have been a great man but for three things,his trade, his wife, and his politics!" By this his first wife, who died at Teignmouth, April 16, 1810, (and was buried at Hatton,) Dr Parr had several children, who died in their infancy; and two daughters who grew up. Of these, the younger, Catharine, died unmarried; the elder, Sarah, was united, in 1797, to John, the eldest son of Colonel Wynne, of Plasnwydd, near Denbigh, and died at Hatton, in 1810, having given birth to three daughters, two of whom, Caroline and Augusta, are now living, the former being the wife of the Rev. John Lynes, rector of Elmley Lovett, Worcestershire; one of the Doctor's executors.

The period of Dr Parr's continuance at Stanmore, was five years. "The boys who accompanied him," to use the words of one of his pupils, " were in general the flower of Harrow school, in the zenith of its glory, when a Sumner presided in its academic bowers. Many were young men of considerable talents and matured intellect, and detested alike a Persian, a Grecian, or an English tyrant."

The advantages of the Stanmore establishment were not, however, equal to the Doctor's expectations. His expenses were excessive, his labours most oppressive, and he found the impossibility of supporting his situation against the influence and credit of a great public school, and the well-founded reputation of his competitor, Dr Heath. He therefore, in 1776, was induced to accept the mastership of Colchester school, and thither a considerable part of his Stanmore scholars followed him.

He was ordained priest in 1777, and held the cures of the parishes of Trinity and the Highe, Colchester. In 1778, he obtained the mastership of Norwich school, where Mr Beloe was for three years his under-master, and the Rev. T. Munro his scholar; and in 1779, he undertook the care of two curacies at Norwich; these he resigned in 1780, in which year he received his first ecclesiastical preferment, the rectory of Asterby, in Lincolnshire. In the summer of this year he commenced his career as an author, by the publication of "Two Sermons on Education."

In 1781, he was admitted to the degree of LL.D. at Cambridge, but without any particular marks of distinction.

In the summer of 1781, appeared "A Discourse on the late Fast, by Phileleutherus Norfolciencìs," 4to. This sermon has been considered the best of Dr Parr's productions, and had a corresponding success. In the spring of 1783, Lady Trafford, whose son he had educated, presented him with the perpetual curacy of Hatton, then worth about L.80 per annum; and in April 1783, he removed to that seat of hospitality, where he spent the remainder of his days. After this preferment, he resigned Asterby. In the same year, he obtained from Bishop Lowth, the prebend of Wenlock Barns, in the Cathedral of St Paul. In 1785, he resumed his former subject, in "A Discourse on Education, and on the Plans pursued in Charity Schools," and about a thousand copies were sold in a very short time.

In 1787, Dr Parr assisted the Rev. Henry Homer in a new edition of the three books of Bellendenus, a learned Scotsman, Humanity Professor at Paris, in 1602, and Master of Requests to James I. These he respectively dedicated to Mr Burke, Lord North, and Mr Fox. He prefixed a Latin preface, with characters of those distinguished statesmen, the style of which is, per

« AnkstesnisTęsti »