« PreviousContinue »
been bad in the first part of his life, was surely condemned and reformed by his better judgement.
In 1683, being then master of arts, and fellow of Trinity 5 College in Cambridge, he wrote a poem on the marriage of the Lady Anne with George Prince of Denmark
He took orders; and being made prebendary of Gloucester, 6 became a proctor in convocation for that church, and chaplain to Queen Anne.
In 1710 he was presented by the bishop of Winchester to the 7 wealthy living of Witney in Oxfordshire 3, which he enjoyed but a few months. On February 10, 1710-11, having returned from an entertainment, he was found dead the next morning. His death is mentioned in Swift's Journal
* Eng. Poets, xxv. 166.
2 He took orders before the accession of James II. In 1687 he became Rector of Blaby in Leicestershire, and in 1688 Prebendary of Gloucester. Dict. Nat. Biog
3 Luttrell (vi. 332) recorded on July 29, 1708, that the liveing of Whitney, of 700l. per ann. is given to Dr. Richard Duke.' In recording his death (ib. p. 690) he makes it worth 500l. per ann.
**Feb. 14, 1710-11. Dr. Duke
died suddenly two or three nights ago; he was one of the wits when we were children, but turned parson, and left it, and never writ farther than a prologue or recommendatory copy of verses. He had a fine living given him by the Bishop of Winchester about three months ago; he got his living suddenly, and he got his dying so too...
Feb. 16. Atterbury and Prior went to bury poor Dr. Duke.' SWIFT, Works, ed. 1824, ii. 180, 182.
W , a
1 ILLIAM KING was born in London in 1663, the son of
Ezekiel King, a gentleman. He was allied to the family of Clarendon ? 2 From Westminster-school, where he was a scholar on the
foundation under the care of Dr. Busby 3, he was at eighteen elected to Christ-church, in 1681 ; where he is said to have prosecuted his studies with so much intenseness and activity that, before he was eight years standing, he had read over and made remarks upon twenty-two thousand odd hundred books and manuscripts * The books were certainly not very long, the manuscripts not very difficult, nor the remarks very large ; for the calculator will find that he dispatched seven a day, for every day of his eight years, with a remnant that more than satisfies most other students 5. He took his degree in the most expensive manner, as a grand compounder; whence it is inferred that he
inherited a considerable fortune 6. 3 In 1688, the same year in which he was made master of arts?, he published a confutation of Varillas's account of Wicliffe 8 ; and,
Johnson's chief authorities are Remains, p. 16, this appears from Wood's Ath. Oxon. (iv. 666), [Bio- his loose papers, which he terms graphia Britannica], and The Re Adversaria,' a specimen of which is mains of Dr. William King, 1732. given. [In 1776 appeared King's Works 5 A thousand stories which the with historical notes and memoirs by ignorant tell and believe die away John Nichols.)
at once when the computist takes There are two other men of the them in his gripe.' John. Letters, ii. same name mentioned in the Lives 321. See also Boswell's Johnson, iv. -the Principal of St. Mary Hall, 171, 204. Oxford (ante, DRYDEN, 187), and 6'. Candidates for all degrees who the Archbishop of Dublin (post, possess certain property must go PARNELL, 7; SWIFT, 64).
out, as it is termed, Grand ComKing is not included in Campbell's pounder. In general the property British Poets.
had to be to the extent of £300 * King's Remains, 1732, p. 8. He a year.' Oxford Calendar, 1833, was related also to the Harcourts. p. 96. They paid higher fees. They He writes of my cousin Harcourt's were abolished in 1853. fine pieces of Paolo Veronese.' King's ? King's Remains, p. 2. Works, 1776, i. 261.
& Reflections upon Mr. Varillas's 3 Ante, DRYDEN, 4.
History of Heresy, &c. It was asAccording to the editor of King's serted that 'above 4,000 errors had
engaging in the study of the Civil Law, became doctor in 1692, and was admitted advocate at Doctors' Commons.
He had already made some translations from the French, and 4 written some humorous and satirical pieces; when, in 1694, Molesworth’ published his Account of Denmark, in which he treats the Danes and their monarch with great contempt; and takes the opportunity of insinuating those wild principles, by which he supposes liberty to be established, and by which his adversaries suspect that all subordination and government is endangered?
This book offended prince George 3; and the Danish minister 5 presented a memorial against it. The principles of its author did not please Dr. King, and therefore he undertook to confute
art, and laugh at the rest *. The controversy is now forgotten ; and books of this kind seldom live long, when interest and resentment have ceased.
In 1697 he mingled in the controversy between Boyle and 6 Bentley 5; and was one of those who tried what Wit could perform in opposition to Learning, on a question which Learning only could decide 6
In 1699 was published by him A Journey to London, after the 7 method of Dr. Martin Lister, who had published A Journey to Paris? And in 1700 he satirised the Royal Society, at least been discovered in Varillas's book, rather the intemperance, of the For the correction of the statement House of Commons.' that 'two Stephens succeeded the 3 The husband of Princess (aftersons of William the Conqueror, wards Queen) Anne. Varillas is referred to the man who * In Animadversions on a Preshows the kings at Westminster.' tended Account of Denmark, King's King's Works, i. 5, 13. See also Works, i. 35. King became Seante, DRYDEN, 124.
cretary to the Princess Anne in Jan. * Robert Molesworth, afterwards 1694, Ath. Oxon. iv. 666. first Viscount Molesworth.
Post, SWIFT, 28; Monk's Bent? Steele praised the book in The ley, i.99, 130, 137, 264; Macaulay's AtPlebeian, No. 1. Addison's Works, terbury, Misc. Writings, 1871, p. 344. v. 245; post, ADDISON, 95. Swift King published Dialogues of the addressed to Molesworth the fifth Dead, relating to the present ConDrapier Letter. In it he says:-1 troversy concerning the Epistles of have buried at the bottom of a strong Phalaris. Works, i. 133. chest your Lordship's writings, under 7 Lister was
a physician and a heap of others that treat of liberty, naturalist; he contributed largely to and spread over a layer or two of the Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society. Hobbes, Filmer, Bodin, and many Ib. i. 189. King, in his travesty, more authors of that stamp.' Works, which he pretended to be a transvi. 484. Gibbon, in his Memoirs, lation from Sorbière (post, SPRAT, 6), p. 17, quotes one of Molesworth’s constantly quotes Lister's words, speeches to show the temper, or putting them within quotation marks,
Sir Hans Sloane their president, in two dialogues, intituled The
Transactioneer 1. 8 Though he was a regular advocate in the courts of civil and
canon law he did not love his profession, nor indeed any kind of business which interrupted his voluptuary dreams or forced him to rouse from that indulgence in which only he could find delight. His reputation as a civilian was yet maintained by his judgements in the courts of Delegates?, and raised very high by the address and knowledge which he discovered in 1700, when he defended the earl of Anglesea against his lady, afterwards dutchess of Buckinghamshire), who sued for a divorce,
and obtained it + 9 The expence of his pleasures and neglect of business had now
lessened his revenues; and he was willing to accept of a settlement in Ireland, where, about 1702, he was made judge of the admiralty, commissioner of the prizes , keeper of the records in Birmingham's tower, and vicar-general to Dr. Marsh the
primate 6. 10 But it is vain to put wealth within the reach of him who will
not stretch out his hand to take it. King soon found a friend as idle and thoughtless as himself in Upton, one of the judges, who had a .pleasant house called Mountown, near Dublin, to which
as in the following passage :-"" The he was called to that Bench. King's cellar windows of most houses are Works, Preface, p. 14; Remains, p. grated with strong bars of iron," to 15. See also Blackstone's Comm. keep thieves out; and Newgate is iii. 66. grated up to the top, to keep thieves 3 Post, SHEFFIELD, In. in." Which must be a vast expense." Post, SHEFFIELD, 20. The Earl King's Works, i. 192.
was the grandson of the Earl men* Ib. ii. 1. Horace Walpole wrote tioned ante, MILTON, 143. See on Feb. 14, 1753 :—Sir Hans Sloane Collins's Peerage, 1756, ii. 403. is dead, and has made me one of the 5 Sole Commissary of the Prizes.' trustees to his museum, which is to King's Remains, p. 13. be offered for £20,000 to the King, • King's Works, Pref. p. 17. The the Parliament,' &c. Letters, ii. 320. salaryofthe keeper was only £10a year, With money raised by lottery the 1b. p. 18. For King's successor, Crown purchased the collection and Addison, it was raised to £300. Post, Harleian MSS., together with Mon ADDISON, 29. tagu House.
Such was the com Swift wrote of the primate:– That mencement of the British Museum.' which relishes best with Marsh is Ib. n.
mixed liquor and mixed company; ? 'All appeals from the Ecclesias and he is seldom unprovided with tical and Admiralty Courts are de very bad of both.' Swift's Works, termined by a Court of Delegates, ix. 269. See also ib. viii. 283, where consisting of three Common Law Swift speaks of very signal and Judges and five Civilians. Dr. King lasting acts of public charity' done made an excellent judge as often as by the primate.
King frequently retired ; delighting to neglect his interest, forget his cares, and desert his duty".
Here he wrote Mully of Mountown, a poem ; by which, though 11 fanciful readers in the pride of sagacity have given it a political interpretation, was meant originally no more than it expressed, as it was dictated only by the author's delight in the quiet of Mountown In 1708, when Lord Wharton was sent to govern Ireland ?,
12 King returned to London with his poverty, his idleness, and his wit; and published some essays called Useful Transactions *. His Voyage to the Island of Cajamai is particularly commended 5. He then wrote the Art of Love, a poem remarkable, notwithstanding its title, for purity of sentiment; and in 1709 imitated Horace in an Art of Cookery, which he published, with some letters to Dr. Lister?
In 1710 he appeared, as a lover of the Church, on the side of 13 Sacheverell 8; and was supposed to have concurred at least in the projection of The Examiner'. His eyes were open to all
* King's Remains, p. 13. King narrow intellects and an over-heated and Savage had much in common. imagination. He had acquired some Post, SAVAGE, 335.
popularity among High Churchmen, • Works, i. 211; iii. 203. He and took all occasions to vent his made it upon the happiness of being animosity against the Dissenters.' buried alive with Mully, the red cow For two sermons he was impeached that gave him milk; which the critics at the bar of the House of Lords by would have imposed upon the world the Commons. His trial lasted for a political allegory.' King's Re three weeks, during which all other mains, p. 14.
business was suspended. The Queen's : Post, ADDISON, 29.
sedan was beset by the populace, ex* Useful Transactions in Philo claiming "God bless your Majesty and sophy and other sorts of Learning. the Church. We hope your Majesty is Works, ii. 57. In The Present State for Dr. Sacheverell.” The mob deof Wit (1711), attributed to Gay, the stroyed several meeting-houses, and writer, referring to the Transactions, plundered the dwelling-houses of says: -'Though Dr. King has a world eminent Dissenters. They even of wit, yet, as it lies in one particular proposed to attack the Bank. The way of raillery, the town soon grew train-bands of Westminster continued weary of his writings; though I can in arms during the whole trial. Benot butthink that their author deserves ing found guilty he was prohibited a much better fate than to languish out from preaching for three years, and the small remainder of his life in the his two sermons were ordered to be Fleet Prison.' Swift's Works, vi. 154. burnt by the common hangman.'
5 King's Works, ii. 132. 'It is a bur Smollett's Hist. of Eng. ii. 174-82. lesque upon Hans Sloane's Voyage to See also ante, DRYDEN, 109; post, Jamaica. Gent. Mag. 1779, p. 595. SPRAT, 17 ; HALIFAX, 9; ADDISON, King's Works, iii. 103.
14; YALDEN, 3; SWIFT, 27.
It was a weekly paper, published * A Vindication of Dr. Sacheverell, to defend the measures of the Tory &c., King's Works, ii. 179.
ministry. Among its early contriSacheverell was a clergyman of butors were St. John, Atterbury, and
1 lb. iii. 41.