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TOWNELEY would fall into the same vein of recondite elaboration; as, for example, when he described his figure of an Egyptian ‘tumbler ’ raising himself, upon his arms, from the back of a tame crocodile, as the ‘ Genius of Production.’
During the riots of 1780, the Towneley Gallery (like the National Museum of which it was afterwards to become a part) was, for some time, in imminent peril. The Collector himself could have no enemies but those who were infuriated against his religious faith. Fanaticism and ignorance are meet allies, little likely to discriminate between a Towneley Venus and the tawdriest of Madonnas. Threats to destroy the house in Park Street were heard and reported. Mr. TOWNELEY put his gems and medals in a place Of safety, together with a few other portable works of art. Then, taking ‘ Clytie ’ in his arms—with the words ‘ I must take care of my wife ’—he left his house, casting one last, longing,\look at the marbles which, as he feared, would never charm his eyes again. But, happily, both the Towneley house and the British Museum escaped injury, amid the destruction of buildings, and of works of art and literature, in the close neighbourhood of both of them.
Liberal commissions and constant correspondence with Italy continued to enrich the Towneley Gallery, from time to time, after the Collector had made England his own usual place of abode. In 1786, Mr. JENKINS—Who had long established himself as the banker of the English in Rome, and who continued to make considerable investments in works of ancient art, with no small amount of mercantile profit—purchased all the marbles Of the Villa Montalto. From this source Mr. TOWNELEY Obtained his Bacchus Mailing Icarus (engraved _by BARTOLI almost a century before); his Bacc/zaa and Sz'lenua; the bust of Iladrz'an ; the sarcophagus decorated with a Bacc/zanah'an procession (A. 111., part x), and also that with a representation of the Nine illusea. By means of the same keen agent and explorer he heard, in or about the year 1790, that leave had been given to make a new excavation under circumstances of peculiar promise.
Our Collector was at Towneley when the letter of Mr. JENKINS came to hand. He knew his correspondent, and the tenour of the letter induced him to resolve upon an immediate journey to Rome. The grass did not grow under his feet. He travelled as rapidly as though he had been still a youngster, escaping from Douay, with all the allurements of Paris in his view.
When he reached Rome, he learnt that the promising excavation was but just begun upon. Without any preliminary visits, or announcement, he quietly presented himself beside the diggers, and ere long had the satisfaction of seeing a fine statue of Hercules displayed. Other fine works afterwards came to light. But on visiting Mr. JENKINS, in order to enjoy a more deliberate examination of ‘ the find,’ and to settle the preliminaries of purchase, his enjoyment was much diminished by the absence of Hercules. JENKINS did not know that his friend had seen it exhumed, and he carefully concealed it from his view. Eager remonstrance, however, compelled him to produce the hidden treasure. TOWNELEY, at length, left the banker’s house with the conviction that the statue was his own, but it never charmed his sight again until he saw it in the Collection of Lord Lansnowus. He had, however, really secured the Discobolus or Quoit-thrower,—perhaps, notwithstanding its restored head, the finest of the known repetitions of MYRo’s famous statue,——as well as some minor pieces of sculpture.
233: Other and very valuable acquisitions were made, occaCLASblChL sionally, at the dispersion of the Collections of several lovers of ancient art, some of these Collections having been mum“- formed before his time, and others contemporaneously with AM“ his own. In this way he acquired whilst in England
‘Azlffg'mw (1) the bronze statue of Hercules found, early in the
Y‘Mm- eighteenth century, at Jebel or Gebail (the ancient Byblos), carried by an Armenian merchant to Constantinople, there sold to Dr. SWINNEY, a chaplain to the English factory; by him brought into England, and purchased by Mr. James ll'IA'M‘HEWS; (2) the Head of Arminins, also from the Matthews Collection; (3) the Libera found by Gavin HAMlL'rON, on the road to Frascati, in 1776, and then purchased by Mr. GREVILLE ; (4) Heads of a Jluse, an Amazon, and some other works, from the Collection of Mr. Lyde BROWNE, of Wimbledon; (5) the Monument of Xanllulopus, from the Askew Collection; (6) the bust of a female unknown (called by TOWNELEY ‘Athys’) found near Genzano, in the grounds of the family of CESARINI, and obtained from the Collection of the Duke of ST. ALBANS; (7) many urns, vases, and other antiquities, partly from the Collection of that Duke and partly from Sir Charles FitEDnRICK’s Collection at Esher. The bronze Apollo was bought in Paris, at the sale, in 1774, Of the Museum formed by M. L’ALLEMAND DE CHOISEUL.
Some other accessions came to Mr. TOWNELEY by gift. The Tumbler and Crocodile, and the small statue of Pan (A. AL, pt. x, § 24), were the gift of Lord Cawnon. The Oracle of Apollo was a present from the Duke of Banroan. This accession—in 1804—was the last work which Mr. Townnnnr had the pleasure of seeing placed in his gallery. He died in London, on the 3rd of January, 1805.
He had been made, in 1791, a Trustee of the British Museum, in the progress of which he took a great interest. Family circumstances, as it seems, occurred which at last - dictated a change in the original disposition which he had made of his Collection. By a Codicil, executed only twelve days before his death, he bequeathed the Collection to his only brother Edward TOWNELEY-STANDISH, on condition that a sum of at least four thousand five hundred pounds should be expended for the erection of a suitable repository in which the Collection should be arranged and exhibited. Failing such expenditure by the brother, the Collection was to go to John TOWNELEY, uncle of the Testator. Should he decline to fulfil the conditions, then the Collection should go, according to the Testator’s first intent, to the British Museum.
Eventually, it appeared, on an application from the Museum Trustees, that. the heirs were willing to transfer the Collection to the Public, but that Mr. TOWNELEY had left his estate subject to a mortgage debt of £36,500. The Trustees, therefore, resolved to apply to Parliament for a grant, and this noble Collection was acquired for the Nation on the payment of the sum of £20,000, very inadequate, it need scarcely be added, to its intrinsic worth.
Charles TOWNELEY possessed considerable skill, both as a draughtsman and as an engraver. In authorship, his only public appearance was as the writer of a dissertation on a relic of antiquity (the ‘ Ribchester Helmet’), printed in the Velusla rllonumenla.
He was a learned, genial, and beneVolent man. His intense love of ancient art did not blind his eyes to things beyond art, and above it. The impulses of the collector did not obstruct the duties of the citizen. He was a good landlord; a generous friend. It may be said of him, with
literal truth, that he restricted his personal indulgences in order that he might the more abundantly minister to the wants of others.
Charles TOWNELEY was buried at Burnley. The following inscription was placed upon his monument:
M. S. CAROL! TOWNELEII, viri ornati, modesti, nobilitate stirpis, amaanitate ingenii, suavitate morum, insignis; qui omnium bonarum artium, praesertim Graacarum, spectator elegantissimus, aestimator acerrimus, judex peritissimus, earum reliquias, ex urbium veterum ruderibus efi'ossas, summo studio conquisivit, sua pecunja redemit, in usum patrim reposuit, ea liberalitate animi, qua, juvenis adhuc, haareditatem alteram, vix patrimonio minorem, fi'atri sponte cesserat, dono dederat. Vixit annos lxvii. menses iii. dies iii. Mortom obiit Jan. iii. AS. 1805.
Whilst the Trustees of the British Museum were preparing—in a way that will be hereafter noticed—for the reception of this noble addition to the public wealth of the Nation, another liberal-minded scholar and patriot was considering in what way his collections in the wide field of classical archaeology might be made most contributive to the progress of learning, of art, and of public education.
Thomas Baucn, eleventh Earl of Kincardine, and seventh Earl of Elgin, was born on the 20th of July, 1766. He was a younger son, but succeeded to his earldoms on the death, without issue, in 1771, of his elder brother, William Robert, sixth Earl of Elgin, and tenth of Kincardine. He was educated at Harrow, at St. Andrew’s, and at Paris; entered the army in 1785; and in 1790 began his diplomatic career by a mission to the Emperor Leopold. In