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term, 1745, he took the degree of B. A. June 27, 1746, he was elected a fellow of Brazen-Nose college, being chosen into a Cheshire fellowship, as being a Prestburyparish mån. On the title of his fellowship he was ordained a deacon at Chester by bishop Peploe, Dec. 21, 1746. · After his year of probation, as fellow, was ended, and his residence at Oxford no longer required, he left the college; and his first employment in the church was the curacy of Runcorn, in Cheshire; here he stayed only three months, and removed thence to Ardwick, near Manchester, where he was an assistant curate at the chapel there, and private tutor to the three sons of Samuel Birch, of Ardwick, esq. During his residence here, he was privately ordained a priest at Chester, by the above bishop Peploe, May 1, 1748, and took the degree of M. A. at Oxford, in act-term the same year. From Ardwick he removed to Halifax, and was licensed to the curacy there, Oct. 17, 1750, by Dr. Matthew Hutton, archbishop of York. June 1, 1752, he married Susanna, daughter and heiress of the late rev. Mr. Allon, vicar of Sandbach, in Cheshire, vacating thereby his fellowship at Oxford. Sept. 3, 1754, he was licensed by the above Dr. Hutton, on the presentation of George Legh, LL. D. vicar of Halifax, to the perpetual curacy of Ripponden, in the parish of Halifax. Here he rebuilt the curate's house, at his own expence, laying out above 400l. upon the same, which was more than a fourth part of the whole sum he there received ; notwithstanding which, his unworthy successor threatened him with a prosecution in the spiritual court, if he did not allow him ten pounds for dilapidations, which, for the sake of peace, he complied with. Feb. 17, 1759, he was elected F. S. A. After his
first wife's death, he was married, July U, 1761, at Ea- land, in Halifax parish, to Anne, daughter of Mr. James
Jaques, of Leeds, merchant. August 17, 1766, he was inducted to the rectory of Meningsby, Lincolnshire, which he resigned in 1769, on being promoted to the rectory of Stockport, in Cheshire, worth about 1500l. a year. His presentation to this, by sir George Warren, bore date July 30, 1769, and he was inducted thereto August the 2d following. April 11, 1770, he was appointed one of the domestic chaplains to the right hon. the earl of Dysart. April 24, 1770, having received his dedimus for acting as a justice of the peace in the county of Chester, he was sworn into that office on that day. Oct. 2, 1772, he re
Jaquered to the inn, on being
to those anpithe work and a doubt.
ceived his dedimus for acting as a justice of peace for the county of Lancaster, and was sworn in accordingly. His principal publication was “The History of Halifax,” 1775, 4to, whence these particulars are chiefly taken. He died March 14, 1783, after finishing for the press, in 2 vols. 410, “ A History of the ancient earls of Warren and Surrey;" with a view to represent his patron sir George Warren's claim to those ancient titles; but it is thougbt by a very acute examiner of the work and judge of the subject, that he has left the matter in very great doubt.
Mr. Watson's other publications were, 1.“ A Discourse preached at Halifax church, July 28, 1751, 8vo, entitled Moderation, or a candid disposition towards those that differ from us, recommended and enforced,” Svo. This passed through a second edition. 2. “ An Apology for his conduct yearly, on the 30th of January,” 8vo. To this is annexed, a sermon preached at Ripponden chapel, on Jan. 30, 1755,, entitled “ Kings should obey the Laws." 3. " A Letter to the Clergy of the Church, known by the name of Unitas Fratrum, or Moravians, concerning a remarkable book of hymns used in their congregations, pointing out several inconsistencies and absurdities in the said book," 1756, 8vo. 4. “Some account of a Roman station lately discovered on the borders of Yorkshire.” 5. 66 A mistaken passage in Bede's Ecclesiastical History, explained.” 6. “ Druidical remains in or near the parish of Halifax, &c.” These three last are printed in the Archæologia. He had also made collections for the antiquities of Chester and of a part of Lancashire. The late Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who married his niece, says, Mr. Watson was one of the hardest students he ever knew. His great excellence was a knowledge of antiquities, but ." he was by no means destitute of poetical fancy; had written some good songs, and was possessed of a most copious col. lection of bon-mots, facetious stories, and humorous compositions of every kind, both in verse and prose, written out with uncommon accuracy and neatness." From the same authority we learn that Mr. Watson bad once a hudi. brastic controversy with Dr. Byrom of Manchester. '
WATSON (RICHARD), a late eminent and learned prelate, was born in August 1737, at Heversham in Westmoreland, five miles from Kendal, in which town his fa
I Watson's Hist. of Halifax.--Cens. Literaria, vol. 1.-—Wakefield's Memoirs.
ther, a clergyman, was master of the free grammar-school, and took upon himself the whole care of his son's early education. From this seminary he was sent, in November 1754, with a considerable stock of classical learning, a spirit of persevering industry, and an obstinate provincial aco cent, to Trinity college, Cambridge, where, from the time of his admission, he distinguished himself by close application to study, residing constantly, until made a scholar in May 1757. He became engaged with private pupils in November following, and took the degree of B. A." (with superior credit, being second Wrangler,) in January 1759. He was elected fellow of Trinity college in Oct. 1760; was appointed assistant tutor to Mr. Backhouse in November that year; took the degree of M. A. in 1762, and was made moderator, for the first time, in October following. He was unanimously elected professor of chemistry in Nov. 1764; became one of the head tutors of Trinity college in 1767; appointed regius professor of divinity (on the death of the learned Dr. Rutherforth) in Oct. 1771, with the rectory of Somersham in Huntingdonshire annexed. . During a residence of more than thirty years, he was distinguished at one time by the ingenuity of his chemical researches; at another, by his demeanour in the divinity chair*. He wrote, within the above period, the following papers in the Philosophical Transactious (having been elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1769): “ Experiments and Observations on various Phænomena attending the Solution of Salts;" “ Remarks on the Effects of Cold in February 1771;" “ Account of an Experiment inade with a Thermometer, whose Bulb was painted black, and exposed to the rays of the Sun;" “ Chemical Experiments and Observations on Lead Ore;" all which were reprinted in the fifth volume of the “ Chemical Essays.” In 1768 be published “Institutiones Metallurgicæ," 8vo, intended as a text-book for that part of his chemical lectures which
* On this subject a correspondent with the dignity of the professor. He in the Gentleman's Magazine, who gave full scope to the ingeouity of the signs himself Clericus Lundinensis, af. respondents, and their opponents; and fords us the followivg information: delivered his sentiments with a fuency “ The late regius professor, bishop and elegance which few can attain in a Watson, had the singular qualification foreign language. During sixteen years of impressing a numerous auditory he presided in the chair, avd left the with the highest opinion of his abili. learned members of the university to ties. His comprehensive mind grasped lament tbat he was obliged, froin bad every subject, and, as moderator, he health, to retire to his uative county.” united the urbanity of the gentleman
explained the properties of metallic substances; and in 1771, “An Essay on the Subjects of Chemistry and their
1771, “ Allisions.", sveied an Assize ti
In 1769, he published an Assize Sermon, preached at Cambridge, 4t0; and in 1776, two other sermons preached at Cambridge, 4to, which extended his fame beyond the precincts of the university; one, on the 29th of May, To The Principles of the Revolution vindicated ;' the other, on the “ Anniversary of his Majesty's Accession.”
In 1774, he was presented to a prebend in the church of Ely; and in January 1780, succeeded Dr. Charles Plump- tre in the archdeaconry of that diocese. He published a
sermon preached before the university at the general fast, Feb. 4,-1780; and a discourse delivered to the clergy of the archdeaconry of Ely. In August that year he was presented by bishop Keene to the rectory of Northwold, in Norfolk.
:: The principles expressed by Mr. Gibbon, in various parts of the “ History of the Rise and Declension of the Roman Empire,” called forth the zeal of Dr. Watson; whose “ Apology for Christianity, in a series of letters, addressed to Edward Gibbon, esq.” was published in 1776, 12mo, and several times reprinted. This work is certainly replete with sound information and reasoning, but it pro, duced in the learned historian no diffidence of his own powers, although he did not choose to exert them in controversy. A correspondence took place on that occasion between the antagonists, which is preserved in the Life of Gibbon by lord Sheffield. In this, which consists of only two short letters, Dr. Watson must, we think, be allowed to have carried his politeness or his liberality to the ut-, most verge *.
" Bentinck-street, Nov. 2, 1776. “Mr. Gibbon takes the earliest opportunity of presenting his compliments and thanks to Dr. Watson, and of expressing his sense of the liberal treatment which he has received from so candid an adversary. Mr. Gibbon entirely coincides in opinion with Dr. Watson, that as their different sentiments, on a very important period of history, are now submitted to the public, they both may employ their time in a manner much more useful, as well as agreeable, than they could possibly do by exhibiting a single combat in the am
* These letters are short, and too curious to be omitted.
phitheatre of controversy. Mr. Gibbon is therefore determined to resist the temptation of justifying, in a professed reply, any passages of his history, which might perhaps be easily cleared from censure.and misapprehension ; but he still reserves to himself the privilege of inserting in a fu. ture edition some occasional remarks and explanations of his meaning. If any calls of pleasure or business should bring Dr. Watson to town, Mr. Gibbon would think himself happy in being permitted to solicit the honour of his asquaintance."
Dr. Watson's answer, it would appear, was not sent for above two years. “Sir,
Cambridge, Jan. 14, 1779. It will give me the greatest pleasure to have an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with Mr. Gibbon. I beg he would accept my sincere thanks for the too favourable manner in which he has spoken of a performance, which derives its chief merit from the elegance and importance of the work it attempts to oppose. I have no hope of a .. future existence, except that which is grounded on the truth of Christianity. I wish not to be deprived of this hope ; but I should be an apostate from the mild principle of the religion I profess, if I could be actuated with the least animosity against those who do not think with me upon this, of all others, the most important subject. I beg your pardon for this declaration of my belief; but my temper is naturally open, and it ought assuredly to be without disguise to a man whom I wish no longer to look upon as an antagonist, but as a friend. I have the honour to be, with every sentiment of respect, your obliged servant,
R. W." So extraordinary a letter surely requires no comment. :: In 1781, he published a volume of " Chemical Essays,"
addressed to his pupil the duke of Rutland, which was received with such deserved approbation, as to induce the author to give to the world, at different times, four addi-, tional volumes of equal merit with the first. It has been stated, that when bishop Watson obtained the professorship of chemistry, without much previous knowledge of that science, he deemed it his duty to acquire it; and accordingly studied it with so much industry, as materially to injure his health : with what success, bis publications on that branch of philosophy demonstrate. When he was appointed to that professorship, he gave public lectures, which were