Abbildungen der Seite

Par presents) any other underta

that none of his family were aware that he was at all engaged in so laborious an undertaking. The copyright he gave (without any other consideration than a few copies for presents) to his old and worthy friend Mr. Thomas Payne, who defrayed the expence of engraving the copper plates; and afterwards disposed of the whole of his interest in the work to Messieurs Robinsons. Mr. Gough superintended the first volume of a new edition ; but in .1806, finding that the copyright had devolved from Messieurs Robinsons to another person, he declined proceeding any farther than to complete the first volume, which they had begun to print. Of this he announced his determination in the newspapers, that no improper use might be made of his name; and added, that it was now “ of importance to his health to suspend such pursuits.”

Having heard of the difficulties under which Mr. Hutchins laboured respecting his “ History of Dorsetshire,” Mr. Gough set on foot a subscription, and was the means of advancing a very valuable county history, which he superintended through the press. It was published in 1774, 2 vols. fol. Twenty years after, he contributed his assistance to a second edition, three volumes of which have been published, and a fourth is in a state of great forwardness, under the superintendance of Mr. Nichols. In 1779 Mr. Gough was the improver and editor of Martin's “ History of Thetford," 1780, 4to ; published a new edition of Vertue's Medals, Coins, and Great Seals, by Simon; and in the same year contributed to Mr. Nichols's “ Collection of Royal and Noble Wills." The.preface and glossary are by him. In 1786 he published the first volume of the « Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain, applied to illustrate the history of Families, Manners, Habits, and Arts, at the different periods from the Norman Conquest to the Seventeenth Century." This splendid folio volume, which contains the first four centuries, was followed in 1796 by a second, containing the fifteenth century; and, in 1799, by an introduction to it, with which he thought proper to conclude his labours, instead of continuing them to the end of the sixteenth century, as originally intended. Of this truly magnificent work it is but justice to say, with his biographer, that it would alone have been sufficient to perpetuate his fame and the credit of the arts in England, where few works of superior splendour have appeared." The independent master of an ample fortune, he was in

drawings by i plates already of Oxford.

all respects pre-eminently qualified for the labours of an antiquary, wbich rarely meet with an adequate remuneration. Indeed this work must have convinced the world that he possessed not only the most indefatigable perseverance, but an ardour which no expence could possibly deter. One great object of his wishes was to prepare “ The Sepulchral Monuments” for a new edition. With this constantly in view, he spared neither trouble nor expence in obtaining an ample store of new and accurate drawings by the first artists, all which, with the numerous and beautiful plates already engraved, form part of his noble bequest to the university of Oxford. Among his latest separate publications were, an Account of the beautiful Missal presented to Henry VI. by the duchess of Bedford, purchased at the duchess of Portland's sale by James Edwards, esq. in whose possession it remains; “ The History of Pleshy, in Essex," 1803, 4t0; and the same year, and in the same form, the “ Plates of the Coins of the Seleucidæ.” A few other separate publications, previous to these, will be noticed at the end of this article. · Mr. Gough drew up, at the united request of the president and fellows, the History of the Society of Antiquaries of London, prefixed to the first volume of their “ Archæologia," in 1770, and to the eleven succeeding volumes of that work, as well as to the “ Vetusta Monumenta,” contributed a great many curious articles *. He was equally liberal in his communications to Mr. Nichols's “ Bibliotheca Topographica,” and to his “ History of Leicestershire.” Mr. Nichols relates with just feeling, that “s for a long series of years he had experienced in Mr. Gough the kind, disinterested friend; the prudent, judicious adviser, the firm, unshaken patron. To him every material event in life was confidentially imparted. In those that were prosperous, no man more heartily rejoiced ; in such as were less propitious, no man more sincerely condoled, or

* His Papers in the “ Archæologia” On an antient Mosaic Pavement at are, On the Giants' Grave in Penrith Ely, p. 121; On a Roman HoroloChurch-yard, vol. II. p. 188 ; On the gium, p. 172; On Fonts, p. 183; On Deæ Matres, vol. III. p. 105; On the Analogy between certain MonuFour Roman Altars found in Graham's ments, vol. XI. p. 33; On a Greek Dyke, p. 118; On the Invention of Inscription in London, p. 48. Card-playing, vol. VIII. p. 152; On In the “ Vetusta Monumenta,” he the Parian Chronicle, vol. IX. p. 157; wrote the Descriptions of vol.ii. Plates On the Stamps of the antient Oculists, XXXVI. XXXVII. XXXIX. XL. XLI. p. 227; On antient Mansion-houses XLII. XLIII. XLV.' L. LIII. LIV. in Northampton and Dorset Shires, LV, Vol. III. Plates I-V. XII vol. X. p. 7; On Belatucader, p. 113; XVII, XXV.

more readily endeavoured to alleviate." The deep concern which he felt at the dreadful fire that destroyed Mr. Nichols's valuable property in 1808, was shewn in a series of the kindest consolatory letters, which were among the last be ever wrote. In one, dated September of that year, he requested Mr. Nichols to execute a confidential commission, “ which,” he emphatically adds, “may be the last office you will have to do for your sincere friend." This was nearly prophetic, for there was little now to be done that could contribute to his comforts. “ T'he bright gem of intellect,” says his affectionate biographer, is though frequently clouded, had intervals of its former splendour ; and the frequent emanations of benevolence displayed through a long and painful illness, whilst they comforted and delighted those around him, added poig, nancy to the regret they experienced for those bitter sufferings which threatened to overwhelm a noble mind with total imbecility ; from which, however, he was mercifully relieved, without any apparent struggle at the last, on Feb. 20, 1809, and was buried on the 28th, in the churchyard of Wormley, in Herts, in a vault built for that pur. pose, on the south side of the chancet, not far froni the altar which for several years he bad devoutly frequented." The funeral, although, in conformity to his own directions, as little ceremonious as propriety would permit, was followed from Enfield to Wormley by crowds whose lamentations and regrets were unequivocally shown. The poor and the afflicted had indeed lost in Mr. Gough a father, protector, and benefactor. Enfield and its neighbourhood must long cherish a lively and grateful remembrance of his benevolence, which was at once extensive, judicious, and unostentatious. It was in him a principle and a system; it began early, and continued to the last; it embraced not only the present, but the future, and he had provided that his charity should continue to be felt long after the heart that dictated it had ceased to beat. His faithful domestics, when unable to continue their services, continued to receive their pay, in the shape of annuities; and as he pos. sessed the attribute ascribed to “ the merciful man," the generous steed, exempt by age from labour, and the cow no longer useful in the dairy, were permitted to close their useful lives in a luxuriant meadow reserved for that express purpose. The genuine personal character of Mr. Gough could only be appreciated by those who witnessed him in


[ocr errors]

his domestic and familiar circle. Though highly and deservedly distinguished as a scholar, the pleasantry and the easy condescension of his convivial hours still more endeared him, not only to his intimates, but even to those with whom the forms and customs of the world rendered it necessary that he should associate.

In 1774, soon after the death of his mother, an event by which he came in possession of an excellent family residence at Enfield, with the large estate bequeathed to him in reversion by his father, he added greatly to all his other comforts, by marrying Anne, fourth daughter of Thomas Hall, esq. of Goldings, Herts; a lady of distinguished merit, who after a long and affectionate union, has to lament the loss of him whose object through life was to increase her happiness.

It is, however, as the learned and acute antiquary that he will be handed down to posterity; and from the epitaph written by himself, he appears desirous to rest his fame on his three publications, the “ British Topography,” the edition of « Camden,” and the “ Sepulchral Monuments ;" sufficient indeed to place him in the very first rank of the antiquaries of the eighteenth century. But while he gave a preference in point of value, labour, and utility to those works, he was in no respect ambitious of personal honours. He took no degree at Cambridge, and resisted the solici. tations of many members of the university of Oxford to receive an honorary degree; and when he withdrew from the Royal Society and that of the Antiquaries, from causes on which we shall not enter, but must ever regret, he no longer appended to his name the usual initials of fellowship. In politics, he was a firm friend to the house of Brunswick, and a stranger to the mutability of his contemporaries. “That independence,” he informs us him-, self, " which he gloried in possessing as his inheritance, and which he maintained by a due attention to his income, discovered itself in his opinions and his attachments. As he could not hastily form connexions, he may seem to have indulged strong aversions. But he could not accommodate himself to modern manners or opinions; and he had resources within himself, to make it less needful to seek them from without. And perhaps the greatest inconvenience arising from this disposition was the want of opportunities to serve his friends. But he saw enough of the general temper of mankind, to convince him that favours

quesand were soldi 3s twenty own direegacy to

should not be too often asked; and that as to be too much under obligation is the worst of bondage, so to confer obligations is the truest liberty.” Such sentiments and such conduct do no discredit to men like Mr. Gough. His talents, his rank in society, and his years, gave him claims to respect, which were, what he thought them, undeniable; and even where he shewed any symptoms of resentment, they were never beyond the limits which his superior character and long services amply justified.

His library, with the exception of his legacy to the Bodleian, was sold, agreeably to his own direction, by Messrs. Leigh and Sotheby, in twenty days, April 5—28, 1810, and produced 35521. 3s. His prints, drawings, coins, me. dals, &c. were sold July 19, 1812, and the two following days, and produced 5171. 6s. 6d. By his last will, he bequeathed to the university of Oxford all his printed books and manuscripts on Saxon and Northern literature, for the use of the Saxon professor; all his manuscripts, printed books, and pamphlets, prints, and drawings, maps, and copperplates relating to British topography, (of which, in 1808, he had vearly printed a complete catalogue); his interleaved copies of the “ British Topography," “ Camden's Britannia," and the “ Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain," with all the drawings relative to the latter work ; and all the copper-plates of the “ Monuments” and the “ Topography;" with fourteen volumes of drawings of sepulchral and other monuments in France. All these he wills and desires may “ be placed in the Bodleian library, in a building adjoining to the picture gallery, known by the name of the “ Antiquaries closet." These were accordingly deposited in the closet, and a catalogue has since been printed in a handsome quarto, under the care of the rev. B. Bandinel, librarian of the Bodleian. A more valuable or extensive treasure of British topography was never collected by an individual. The MSS. are very numerous, and many of the most valuable printed books are illustrated by the MS notes of Mr. Gough and other eminent antiquaries. The remainder of his will, for which we refer to our authority, is not less in proof of his liberality, affection, and steady friendship. Such was the life of Mr. Gough, of which he says, in a memoir already quoted, “ If I have relieved the wants and distresses of the unhappy without ostentation, have done justice without interest, have served the common cause of literature without vanity,

« ZurückWeiter »