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logy jn the University of Charkov, The appointment was announced to him in a very complimentary letter from M. Rizsky, the Rector of the University ; which letter was forwarded to Mr. Stevenson by Baron Nicolay, then Charge" d'Affaires of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia; by whom Mr. Stevenson was informed that bills of exchange to the amount of between three and four thousand rubles were waiting his acceptance, for the purpose of defraying his expenses, besides a much larger sum for the purchase of apparatus. Mr. Stevenson declined this honour; and it is a singular proof of the modesty of his character, that it is only since his death that any of his family have become acquainted with the circumstance.
His appointment to be private secretary to Lord Lauderdale, induced Mr. Stevenson to reside for some time in the neighbourhood of his Lordship's house in May-Fair. He afterwards removed to Chelsea. Here he continued to labour with unremitting diligence. He contributed to the "Edinburgh Review;" a short-lived Review established by Sir Richard Phillips, and entitled the "Oxford Review"*, the "Westminster Review," the "Retrospective Review," the '? Foreign Review," and others. For several years he wrote and compiled the greater part of the "Annual Register:" he completed Campbell's "Lives of the British Admirals:" he furnished several articles, among them that on Chivalry, to Dr. Brewster's Encyclopaedia: he was the author of the 'Agricultural Survey of Surrey," and the "Agricultural Survey of Dorsetshire;" indeed, for any works of an agricultural or topographical nature, few men were better qualified than himself. In 1824, he produced a valuable volume, entitled, "Historical Sketch of the Progress of Discovery, Navigation, and Commerce;" containing, besides much curious and interesting information in the body of the work, an admirable Catalogue Raisonne of the best books of travels and voyages; omitting those which the ingenious and learned compiler of the catalogue had proved from his researches to be inaccurate, or considered as frivolous.* During the last few months of his life, the results of his industry and research became more extensively beneficial to the public, from his contributions to the treatises published by the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge. The " Life of Caxton," written by him, will always be perused with instruction and interest, as a full, elaborate, and accurate account of the labours of that great promoter of knowledge. In this and in his other works, Mr. Stevenson, contrary to the practice too prevalent in these days, dived into original sources of information; and with the true spirit of a faithful historian, consulted the interests of truth rather than the amusement of his readers.
* This was the publication to which Sir Richard referred, when, in the course of his evidence upon a trial in the Court of King's Bench, he said that he had once endeavoured to establish an honett Review, but that it failed!
Until the commencement of a severe indisposition, Mr. Stevenson was occupied in preparing for the press a series of treatises intended for the edification of the agricultural classes, projected by that eminent friend to intellectual improvement, Mr. Brougham, and under the auspices of the Diffusion Society. These essays, which, we are informed, will still shortly be published, were a source of the most interesting occupation to Mr. Stevenson, until repeated attacks of illness obliged him to relinquish all mental exertion. On Friday, the 20th of March, 1829, he appeared, however, so much recovered, as to afford considerable hopes to his anxious friends that he would soon be enabled to resume his studies. These expectations were suddenly blighted. While sitting at tea with his family the same evening, he suddenly lost his sight, and then the use of his right side. He was carried to bed, and spoke only once afterwafds. He died on Sunday, the 22d of March, 1829, aged fifty-seven.
Few men in the course of their worldly career encounter less personal enmity, or conciliate more sincere and steady
• In bis literary, u well as in his private dealings, Mr. Stevenson was so rigidly conscientious, that be gave considerable offence in the arrangement of this list to an eminent literary character and an intimate friend of his own, by omitting the mention of a book of travels which that gentleman had written, and which Mr. Stevenson deemed unworthy of insertion.
friendships, than the subject of this brief notice. In deportment he was not only mild and inoffensive, but kind and benevolent; and where opportunity was afforded him, he was a zealous and active friend. He had little of the pride of authorship; and so much of the disinterestedness which belongs to a philosophic mind, that it was difficult for public attention to find him out. Retired and moderate in his habits, and loving knowledge for its own sake, Mr. Stevenson resembled a literary character of the last century, when display followed not so fast in the footsteps of exertion. 'Such men cannot be sufficiently appreciated: it is they who give the stamp of sterling value to the literature of this country.
Mr. Stevenson was twice married; and in both instances was singularly fortunate in his choice. His first wife was Miss Eliza Halland of Sandlebridge, in Cheshire. By Jier he had two children. She died in 1811 ; and in 1814 he married Catharine, daughter of Alexander Thomson, Esq. late of Savannah, in Georgia, by whom he had a son and daughter, and who survives to lament his loss.
The materials for the foregoing brief Memoir have been derived from a private and authentic source.
No. XV. THE RIGHT HON. DAVID STEWART ERSKINE,
ELEVENTH EARL OF BUCHAN, AND SIXTH LORD CARDROSS.
The very ancient earldom of Buchan, created in 1469, came into the family of Erskine with Mary Douglas, Countess of Buchan, grand-daughter of the Honourable Robert Douglas, by Christian Stewart, who married Sir James Erskine, Knt., eldest son, by his second wife, of John the seventh Earl of Marr.
The noble Earl whose death we have now to record was born June I. 1742 (O. S.). He was the second but eldest surviving son of Henry David the tenth Earl, by Agnes, second daughter of Sir James Steuart of Goodtrees, Bart., his Majesty's Solicitor for Scotland; and was the elder halfbrother of Thomas Lord Erskine, for a short time Lord High Chancellor of England.
From an account communicated by himself to Mr. Wood's edition of Douglas's " Peerage of Scotland," we learn that he "was educated by James Buchanan, of the family of the memorable poet and historian, under the immediate direction of his excellent parents. He was founded in the elements of the mathematics by his mother, who was a scholar of the great Maclaurin; by his father in history and politics; and by his preceptor in all manner of useful learning, and in the habits of rigid honour and virtue."
By a Memoir in the "Public Characters" of 1798, to which also it is probable that his Lordship contributed, we are further informed, that, "at the University of Glasgow,
in early youth, he applied with ardent and successful dili
gence to every ingenious and liberal study. His hours of relaxation from science and literature were frequently passed in endeavours to acquire the arts of design, etching, engraving, and drawing, in the academy which the excellent but ill requited Robert Foulis for some time laboured to support in that western metropolis of Scotland." A specimen of his abilities in etching (a view of Icolmkill Abbey) was published in the first volume of the "Transactions of the Scottish Antiquaries," as noticed hereafter.
Having completed his education, Lord Cardross was probably at first intended for the military profession, as we find that he held a half-pay Lieutenancy of the 32d foot, even to the period of his decease. It appears, however, that he repaired to London, to pursue the study of diplomacy under the patronage of the Earl of Chatham. Whilst resident in the metropolis, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies, in 1765. Of the latter, and perhaps of the former, he would, for some years before his decease, have been the senior member, had he not resigned the honour a few years after returning to Scotland.
His Lordship was appointed Secretary to the British Embassy in Spain in November, 1766; but losing his father, December 1. 1767, " withdrew from public life at a very early period after his succession to the title, and dedicated himself to the duties of a private station, the advancement of science and literature, and the improvement of his native country by the arts of peace." Such is his Lordship's own account. His political feelings, however, were strong; and several occasional manifestations of them are on record.
One is thus noticed in the "Public Characters:" — " The King's Ministers had been long accustomed, at each new election, to transmit to every Peer a list of the names of sixteen of his fellow-Peers, for whom he was required to give his vote, in the choice of the members who should represent the nobles of Scotland in the British Parliament; and to this humiliating usurpation the descendants of the most illustrious names had accustomed themselves tamely to submit! The