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youngest, was a clergyman, and rector of Birmingham, and died only six days before the Alderman.
A trader with a capital, carrying on an extensive business in a neighbourhood where he has scarcely any competitor, proceeds in the natural road to the acquisition of a large fortune. The house of Curtis, besides employing a great number of their poor neighbours in their business, which of course induced personal attachment, deported themselves with such integrity and affability, that in the year 1785, on the death of Richard Atkinson, Esq., a considerable number of the inhabitants of the Tower Ward solicited Mr. William Curtis to take upon him the office of Alderman of that district. He had at that time so little notion of an introduction to corporation honours, that he was not so much as a freeman of London; but, at the instance of his friends, he was induced to qualify, and was accordingly elected to fill that station, which he retained with such eminent honour for the extraordinary period of forty-three years.
Sir William Curtis was one of those characters to whom the motto of fortes Jbrtuna Juvat may with great propriety be applied. Early bred to business, under the example of a very industrious parent, he was led to calculate its various and extensive benefits, and to consider it as a duty and a pleasure. He had a constitution equal to his diposition, strong, robust, and active; he was by nature fitted for the bustle of the world; and his plans, so far from freezing under the coldness of deliberation, or yielding to the torpor of indolence, were no sooner properly matured than instantly put into execution. He possessed strong common sense to adopt the right view of a subject, and foresight and promptitude to avail himself of first opportunities. From his original business, he first diverged into the pursuit of the Greenland South Sea fisheries; and when his wealth had considerably accumulated, engaged in the bankinghouse, formerly known under the firm of Robarts, Curtis, Were, Hornyhold, Berwick, and Co., and latterly as Curtis, Robarts, and Curtis.
Mr. Curtis served sheriff with Sir Benjamin Hamett, in the year 1789-9O; and a dissolution of parliament occurring in 1790, he was a successful candidate for the city, and came in at the head of the poll. He was re-elected in 1796, 1802, 18O6, 1807, 1812, and 182O.
Mr. Curtis attained the civic chair in
the year 1795, and was raised to a Baronetcy, as of Culland's Grove, Southgate, Middlesex, December 23. 1802. He was Colonel of the ninth regiment of London Volunteers, consisting of 65O rank and file.
After having represented the City of London for twenty-eight years, during five successive parliaments, he suffered in 1818 the mortification of being distanced on the poll. In the following year he was returned for Blechingly; when it was remarked by C. Tennyson, Esq. M. P. for Grimsby, who seconded his nomination, that the case of Sir William bore a resemblance to that of Sir William Clayton, who, he said, was one of the representatives for the City of London in several parliaments for thirty years, and twice served the office of Lord Mayor, but was then rejected for the great City, and was nsrurned for Blechingly.
A large body of the merchants, &c. of London could not tacitly endure the loss which they considered the City had sustained by the issue of the election of 1818. At a meeting at Drapers' Hall, in which George Hibbert, Esq. took the chair, they presented to Sir William a gold snuff-box worth 20O guineas, containing their sentiments in a most affectionate address.
At the next general election, however, in the year 1820, the liverymen of London retrieved their character, and returned their faithful and long-tried servant. On that occasion Sir William polled 4887 votes, being 651 more than he had obtained at the preceding election; while it was remarkable that Alderman Bridges was returned with 4236 votes, the very identical number with which Sir William had before lost. On the dissolution in 1826, Sir William declined his re-election for the City, but was returned for Hastings. In the following year, however, he retired entirely from the House of Commons. He succeeded as senior Alderman to the Ward of Bridge Without, on the death of Sir Watkin Lewes, in 1821.
In his public character, Sir William Curtis presented a complete specimen of a loyal, patriotic, munificent, and socially benevolent citizen. Born and educated near the city, and early acquainted with commerce in a variety of its branches, he became a very active and serviceable Member of Parliament . He was not a polished orator, and he would have scorned the affectation of being one; plain, simple, and energetic in the delivery of his sentiments, lie trusted to the substance of what he had to say; and, as he was known to be well-informed, and to have no sinister views, he always obtained an attentive audience. His politics were once expressed to his constituents in the brief sentence, "I
FKA& God AND HONOUR THE KlNO ;"
and such was their epitome, both as expressed on many other occasions, and as acted upon throughout his life. He "was generally the first to propose the addresses of the Corporation of London to the Sovereign on subjects of congratulation. In the yacht which he kept at Ramsgate, he • was accustomed to accompany the favourite cruizes of his present Majesty; and his attentions were graciously accepted with a reciprocal personal attachment. On his way to Hanover in 1821, the King embarked at Ramsgdte, and was pleased to honour Sir William's own roof with his presence, both dining and sleeping in the house. In the following year the Baronet attended on his Royal master in Scotland; and, from his personal appearance, excited no little merriment (in which he good humourcdly joined), by his imitation of the Monarch in adopting the Highland philebeg. So high was the King's appreciation of Sir William's worth known to be, that upon his rejection as M.F. in 1818, it was confidently reported that he would he raised to the Upper House; but his Majesty gave at a subsequent period a more appropriate as well as unequivocal mark of his regard, in presenting to Sir William his own portrait by Sir Thomas Lawrence, with this endorsement, "G. R. to his faithful and loyal subject, Sir William Curtis;" at the same time requesting one of his faithful citizen by the same master-hand.
A more honourable, upright character than Sir William Curtis never existed. In private life the urbanity of his manners and generosity of his temper rendered him universally respected and beloved, as well by a very numerous body of friends and admirers, as by his children and relatives, themselves forming an extensive circle. He married, Nov. 9. 1776, Anne, the posthumous daughter and co-heiress of Edward Constable, Esq.; and had issue, 1. Sir William, who has succeeded to the Baronetcy; he married in 1803, MaryAnne, only daughter of George Lear, of Laytonstone, Esq., and has a son and heir, William, born in 1804, and sixteen other children; 2. George, who
died in India in 11804; S.TimothyAbraham, who married in 18O9, Harriet Margaret, youngest daughter of Young Green, of Poole in Dorsetshire, Esq., and has nine children; 4. Charles Berwick, who also is married and has a family: 5. Emma, married to Henry Cadwallader Adams, of Ansty Hall, near Coventry, Esq. ; aud 6. Rebecca Mary, married to her cousin Captain Timothy Curtis, R.N., son of the Rev. Charles Curtis.
The great respect and regard which Sir William had acquired at Ramsgate was most conspiciously displayed on his decease. Every shop was closed during the whole week his remains lay in the town; and his funeral was numerously followed half way to Canterbury. His remains rest at Wanstead in Essex, where his father and uncles were buried. Sir William Curtis is supposed to have died possessed of property to the value of SOO.OOW. His will has been proved in Doctors' Commons, and probate granted to the executors under 1 10,1 «:•:,?'. personal property. The freehold estates are in general entailed upon his family, commencing with his eldest son. Sir William has left a variety of legacies — ''inii. to his brother, James Curtis, Esq., and .,l'1. to his '' very dear and noble friend, Lord Sidmouth." His own portrait, likewise the portrait of his father, the former painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the latter by Mason Chamberlain; the Coronation Medal given to Sir William by his Majesty George IV., when in Ireland, accompanied by the following words, " Take this in remembrance of me;" and the box presented by the City merchants;—are to remain at the house at Southgate, as heir-looms; as is the portrait of the King at Ramsgate. He leaves his widow 2,OOOf. in money, an annuity of '.',< x 11V. a-year, and the house at Ramsgate. Rings are bequeathed to every member of the Court of Aldermen; a characteristic confirmation that, although be had strong political antipathies, yet they were without rancour, and that he lived upon the most sociable footing with men of all parties.
Of this active citizen and highly esteemed individual, there are, as it would be supposed, several portraits. A print by Bromley, from a painting by Drummond, was published in the European Magazine for March, 1799. Sir Thomas Lawrence's excellent whole length, has been beautifully engraved by the late celebrated W. Sharpe, and is imitated in the costumes of London in the robes of Lord Mayor, a large quarto, by Busby. There is a good profile, in lithography, by Taylor. — Gentleman's Magazine.
CURWEN, J. Esq., M. P.; at Workington Hall; Dec. 11. 1828.
Mr. Curwen was born in July 175S; consequently he was in his 73d year. Active and temperate from youth, and strongly attached to rural pursuits, he enjoyed an almost uninterrupted flow of robust health during his long life, till within about the last two years, when his constitution exhibited symptoms of breaking up. In the session of Parliament, 1826-7, he began to experience the inconvenience of late hours and crowded houses. The freshness of the Cumberland breeies produced a beneficial effect upon htm in the summer and autumn of 1827; but as winter approached his debility returned, arid he found himself unable to encounter his senatorial duties during the whole of the last session. Mr. Curwen was a member of the ancient and very respectable family of M'Christen.of the Isle of Man, "who," says Lysons, "for several generations were Deemsters or Judges of that island. They appear first to have written their name Christian about the year I60O. Ewan Christian, Esq., the first of the family, who settled at Unerigg (or Ewanrigg), died in 1719." At the age of about twenty, Mr. Curwen, then Mr. Christian, married Miss Taubman, of the Isle of Man, by whom he had issue the present John Christian, Esq., now one of the Deemsters of that island. On the death of his first wife, Mr. Curwen married his cousin, Miss Curwen, only daughter of the late Henry Curwen, Esq., of Workington Hall, and last of the family of that name; Mr. Curwen therefore added Curwen to his name of Christian in 179O, by the King's sign manual. By his second marriage he had three sons — Henry, William, and John ; and two daughters; all living, except William. Mrs. Curwen died in 182O. The Unerigg property goes to the Deemster: the Workington Hall estate descends to Henry Curwen, Esq., who for many years past has lived in comparative retirement at Belle Isle, Windermere. Mr. Curwen served the office of High Sheriff in 1784. He began his political career in 1786, in which year he was returned to Parliament for the city of Carlisle, after a warm struggle; and lie retained his
seat till 1812. The tide of popular favour then began to flow against him; he was opposed by the late Henry Fawcett, Esq., and very early quitted tlie field, in just anger, his friends alleged, at the fickleness of that many-headed master whose humours it had been his pride and pleasure to worship, -as well as serve, that he in turn might rule. In 1816, on the death of Mr. Faivcett, Mr. Curwen was prevailed upon to quit his retirement, and again offer himself for Carlisle. He was elected after a sharp struggle with the late Sir Philip Musgrave, Bart., who, on that occasion made his first essay in public life —and, young as be was, fought a good fight against the political veteran. In June 1818, Mr. Curwen, in conjunction with the late Sir James Graham, Bart., of Edmond Castle, was re-elected for Carlisle, without any other impediment than that opposed by the silly pretensions of Mr. Parkins. In the succeeding week, Mr. Curwen made a demonstration in favour of the county representation, much to the disrelish of his old friends in Carlisle; and even offered to contest the county, in union with Lord Morpeth; but his Lordshipdeclined,and Mr. Curwen retired, satisfied with showing that he possessed an influence which he then did not think it prudent to exercise. This wry naturally laid the foundation of a schism among the Whig or Blue party, which is still in existence. At the general election which followed the death of George the Third, in I82O, Mr. Curwen, to the public surprise, once more presented himself to the freemen of Carlisle, and was at first very coolly received, but was returned. At the Cumberland election, which shortly followed, Mr. Curwen declared himself a candidate for the county representation, and succeeded in ousting Lord Morpeth without a contest. In 1826 he was again returned for Cumberland, and met with no opposition. These choppings and changings did Mr. Curwen much injury in the popular estimation. Mr. Curwen was in early life actuated by a just sense of the importance of rural improvement. This incessantly engaged his attention. By subduing the sterility of his own estate — fertilising the barren waste — stimulating the inert— meliorating the durid and tenacious — draining the swamp — and by giving depth and superior qualities to the staple of the land, he insured a luxuriance of crop, in spite of an un
grateful soil and cold rainy climate. He also introduced every kind of improvement, which, under his own super. intendence, became still fartherimproved — calling forth the capabilities of the land by every practicable and judicious mode of cultivation, and by rearing and feeding, in the most economical way, every kind and breed of animals which experience bad improved, and which assiduity or money could procure. Mr. Curwen seems to have been particularly attentive to assist that general law of nature, by which animals and vegetables reciprocally interchange their substance or qualities with each other: on this circumstance he founded the necessity and propriety of his " Soiling System" --iii.il is, by confining the animals to the spot where they are fed; by which means a more abundant quantity of dress is collected and prepared to be returned to the partly exhausted soil, whence the food has been produced. Hence Mr. Curwen was called "the Father of the Soiling System." He also studied, and successfully practised, the means of rendering the food of cattle more nutritious, by preparing' it for use by steaming, in preference to simple boiling, thereby retaining the saccharine qualities of the roots, &c., which would, by boiling, be extracted and lost. The drill husbandry Mr. Curwen also adopted successfully: in short, no expedient was neglected, or rational practice omitted, which could in any way tend to the perfection of agricultural science, that Mr. Curwen did not follow, and, in following, define and confirm. His skilful operations may be said to have given a new character to the business of farming. His excellent example has imparted an impulse to agricultural exertions all over the kingdom; many old prejudices and erroneous customs have been banished, and his improvements have amply compensated every farmer who had the spirit to adopt them. — New Montlily Magazine.
DAWES, Manasseh, Esq., Barrister of the Inner Temple; April 2. 1829; in Clifford's Inn, Fleet Street.
Mr. Dawes had left the Bar long since, and had lived in Clifford's Inn for the last six-and-thirty years, in a very retired manner. He was a gentleman
of a very strong mind,'and combined with a great knowledge of the law much general information; and of this he has left behind him proofs, in several works, published at different periods of his life, of which some bear bis name; others were anonymous. Among some others, were the following : — " Philosophical Considerations, or Inquiry into the Merits of the Controversy between Doctors Priestley and Price, on Matter and Spirit, and Philosophical Necessity, 1780," Svo. — "On Intellectual Liberty and Toleration, 1780," Svo.— "Letter to John Horn Tooke, Esq., on the Responsibility of Members of Parliament, 1782," Svo. — Essay on Crimes and Punishments, with a View of, and Commentary on, Beccaria, Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Fielding, and Blackstone, 1782," Svo. — "The Nature and Extent of Supreme Power, 1783," Svo. —" Vanity of all Human Knowledge, a Poem, by John Stuckley. Now corrected, enlarged, and arranged, with an Account of the
Life of the Author, 1784," 4to
"England's Alarm; or, the prevailing Doctrine of Libels, 1785," Svo.— "The Deformity of the Doctrine of Libels, 1785," Svo. —" Vindication of the Proceedings of the Lords and Commons upon the Regency, 1789," Svo. — " Commentaries on the Laws of Arrests in Civil Cases, in which they are deduced from their origin to the present lime, 1789," Svo. — " Examination into the Particulars of the Two last Elections for Soulhwark, in May and November, 1796," Svo.—"An Introduction to the Knowledge of real Estates, and cf Remainders, 1814," Svo. He also wrote some poetry: "An Elegy by a Son, on the Loss of his Mother; with a Discourse on Selfish, ness in Sorrow ;" " The Dying Prostitute; " and " Malvern Hill."— Gentleman's Magazine.
DESPARD, General John; Sept. 3. 1829; at Swan Hill, Oswestry; aged 84.
This meritorious veteran was in twenty-four engagements j had two horses shot under him; was shipwrecked three times; taken prisoner once; and had the standard of his regiment shot out of his hand when he was an Ensign at the age of fifteen years. He entered the British service as Ensign in the 12th foot in 1760, and joined his regiment in Germany a short time before the battle of Warburgh. He served the
campaign of 1761, and was present at the battle of Fellinghausen; was in 1762 appointed, by purchase, Lieutenant in the same regiment, and continued therein until the conclusion of the war, and the return of the HritMi troops to England, when, being a supernumerary Lieutenant, he was reduced upon half, pay. After waiting four years in expectation of being placed upon full pay without purchase, he effected an exchange with a Lieutenant of the Royal Fusileers. In March, 1773, he embarked with that regiment for Quebec, and in the following year was sent to England on the recruiting service; in March, 1775. having raised a sufficient number of recruits to complete the regiment, he embarked with them at Gravesend, and arrived at Quebec the 17th of May following. A few days afterwards the Fusileers were ordered to march to the frontiers of Canada, in consequence of the American rebels having surprised and taken the small detachments at Ticonderoga. Crown Point, and St. John's, upon the Sorell river near Lake Champlain. The rebels having retired with the prisoners, the Fusileers took post at St. John's with a detachment of 150 men, and a proportionate number of officers; and wereemployed in constructing a redoubt, and strengthening the post, until September, when the rebels advanced with a corps of 7000 men, and besieged that redoubt, and another constructed by a detachment of the 26th regiment. The siege continued seven weeks and four days, the three last weeks the troops were on two thirds allow.mcc of provisions, and being reduced to three days* allowance, and the ammunition nearly expended, and without hopes of relief, were under the necessity of turrendering to the rebels, 1775.
In Dec. 1776, Lieut. Despard was exchanged with the regiment, and joined the army under the command of Sir Wm. Howe at New York; he was appointed Captain-Lieutenant of the Fugileers, March 25. 1777, and shortly afterwards Captain of a company. He served the campaign of 1777, in the light infantry, and was at the assault and taking of Fort Montgomery, on the North Rivcr. In June, 1778, he was appointed Major to a corps raised by the Earl of Moira in America, the formation and discipline of which was solely under his direction (the Lieutenant-Colonel being employed on the Staff); he had the honour of receiving the ComnunderVOL. XIV.
in-Chiefs thanks for the good order, appearance, and discipline of the regiment, when reviewed and inspected by him,alxiut four months after their formation. In December, 1779, he was appointed Deputy Adjutant-General to the army, and sailed with the fleet and army for South Carolina,and was present at tlie siege and surrender of Cliarlestown; he continued in South Carolina as Deputy Adjutant-General to the army left there under the command of the Marquess Cornwallis, and accompanied his Lordship in all his campaigns in South and North Carolina and Virginia, until the surrender of his army at York Town to the combined forces of France and America.
In 178J he returned to England on parole, and joined the Kusileers as Captain and brevet Major on their return from America, after the conclusion of the war. In June, 1788, he was appointed Major of the Kusileers, and in 1790, he sailed with that regiment for Gibraltar; in 1791, he returned to England, ant] in July was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fusileers: he again joined that regiment in 1793, at Quebec. In 1794 he was ordered to England by his Koynl Highness the Duke of Kent, to superintend the recruitingof the regiment; and the following year he joined again at Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was promoted to the rank of Colonel the 21st of August, 1795; in May, 1798, was placed on the Staff of the Severn district as Brigadier; on the 18th of June, 1798, wasappointed Major-General, and continued on the Staff; in June, 1799, he was removed to the command in Dorsetshire; in August, 1799, he was appointed to the Staff of Nova Scotia, and the following spring sailed for Halifax, and from thence was ordered to Cape Breton, to command the troops stationed there and to preside in the civil administration of the government: in which situation he remained upwards of seven years, and returned to England in Aug. 1807, having been relieved at his own request. He was promoted to the rank of Lieut . General in 1805, to the Colonelcy of the late 5th West India regiment in 1H09, and to the rank of General in 1814.
The remains of Gen. Despard were consigned to the grave very near the place of interment of several French officers, who died when on parole at Oswestry. — Royal Military Calendar, and Gmilcmnn't Magazine. D D