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Minerals, and Plants, with other Curiosities either of Nature or of Art. Particular Attention is paid to, and a just Account given of, every Improvement in Agriculture, Manufactures, &c. 1794,"2 vols. 4to.
In all his literary projects, but more especially in the progress of his “ History of Durham,” Mr. Hutchinson experienced the most distinguished and friendly assistance from the late George Allan, of Grange *, Esq. ; whose services Mr. Hutchinson at all times most gratefully acknowledged.
* This appears from a considerable number of Letters which passed between them; and which, by the favour of their respectire sons, I have had an opportunity of perusing.
† Mr. Surtees, to whom the Publick at large, and the County Palatine more especially, are indebted for the most satisfactory account of its "History and Antiquities," aftercandidly mentioning his various Topographical Predecessors, thus concludes them;
“ The list of Provincial Antiquaries cannot be better closed than with the name of George Allau, of Grange, Esq. who, from a very early age, devoted himself with extreme ardour to the Collection of materials for a History of his native County. It would far exceed the limits prescribed to these pages, to mention all the topographical contents of the Library at Grange, which, besides Mr. Allan's own collections, contains the greater part of Randal's MSS. and a large portion of those of Gyll, Hunter, Mann, Horgson, and Swainston.-In 1785, Hutchinson published the two first volumes of his History of Durham, founded almost entirely on the copious materials preserved -at Grange; and the third volume appeared in 1794. Of a work so generally known, it would be impertinent to give any character in this place. The Editor feels his obligations in every page to the labours of his Predecessor, as a constant and useful index to a vast mass of materials, which must have been otherwise arranged with double the expence of time and labour, from an almost chaotic state. He may, however, be permitted to observe, that Hutchinson's work was undertaken and carried on amidst the avocations of professional duty, and completed, under many disadvantages, under the severe pressure of a law-suit with the Publisher, and the certain prospect of a considerable loss, which the Author was ill able to · sustain ; circumstances, perhaps, more than sufficient to account for suppressed materials, for some deficiencies in style, and for not more inaccuracies as to matters of fact than usually attend a first effort. - The Editor has no such disadvantages to allege in excuse for negligence or error; his time has been un- . interruptedly his own, his mind has been long exercised on the subject, and he has met with unsolicited support and attention
He was also indebted to the Rev. Daniel Watson * for much friendly advice in the progress of that History, and several other literary pursuits.
In 1772, he was Author of “ The Hermitaget, a British Story.”
In 1773, he published “An Excursion to the Lakes in Westmoreland and Cumberland ;” and, in that year, he formed an intimacy with the celebrated Mr. Pennant, who, describing his Northern Tour, in his own “Literary Life,” thus mentions their first acquaintance:"Moses Griffiths made numbers of drawings. My ingenious friend Mr. Grose honoured me with using several for his fine work of the Antiquities of England; and, I believe, Mr. Hutchinson of Barfrom every quarter. He fully feels the responsibility which these obligations imply; and, as he feels that the work falls certainly short of his own conceptions, he cannot but fear that it may disappoint the anxiety of his friends, and the just expectations of the Publick. There are Authors at whose touch the barren withered tree of Antiquity shoots into magic blossom and golden fruit :-aurea non sua poina. The spells which the taste and erudition of a Warton or a Whitaker can throw over the darkest and dreariest landscape, may convince the reader, that
“ Nor rough nor barren are the winding ways
Of hoar Antiquity, but strewn with flowers. “ The Author is indebted to the kindness of many valued friends for a large portion of the MS collections already in existence relative to the County. Under this head his first acknowledgments are due to George Allan, of Grange, Esq. M. P. for the whole of his late Father's Collections *, enriched by the MSS. of Randall, and a large portion of those of Gyll and Hunter."
* Rector of Middleton Tyas. Of whom memoirs may be seen in the “ Literary Anecdotes," Vol. VIII. p. 334 ; and some of whose Letters accompany this article. See p. 428.
+ This was, I believe, the earliest production of Mr. Hutchinson from the press ; and it is marked with all the strong characteristics which afterwards distinguished him as an Author. A Friend jocosely observed, that it strongly reminded him of “ Hurlothrumbo, or The Supernatural," a famous dramatic piece by Charles Johnson. “ The British Story," he said, “was the very Hurlothrumbo of Romance ; and, like Johnson's performance, too, it contains some sentiments, and exertions of imagination, which would do honour to more rational and more regular productions." See Monthly Review, XLVIII. 320.
* For the “ unreserved communication of this invaluable Collection," Sir Cuthbert Sharp, in his “ History of Hartlepool, 1816,” acknowledges bis obligations to the Collector's worthy son, George Allan, Esq.
nard-castle will do the same in his History of Durham. I commenced a friendship with that gentleman in this journey, in a most singular manner: I was mounted on the famous stones in the church-yard of Penrith, to take a nearer view of them, and see whether the drawing I had procured, done by the Rev. Dr. Todd, had the least foundation in truth. Thus engaged, a person of good appearance, looking up at me, observed, What fine work Mr. Pennant had made with those stones! I saw he had got into a horrible scrape ; so, unwilling to make bad worse, descended, laid hold of his button, and told him, I am the man ! - After his confusion was over, I made a short defence, shook him by the hand, and we became from that moment fixed friends."
Soon after this, Mr. Hutchinson entered also into a friendly correspondence with Mr. Grose ; and a few of the Letters he received from both those excellent Antiquaries shall be annexed to this Memoir*.
In 1775 he published “ The Doubtful Marriage, a Narrative drawn from Characters in real Life, in 3 vols. 12mo *; and, in 1776, " A Week in a Cottage, a Pastoral Tale ;” and a Romance after the manner of “ The Castle of Otranto."
In the same year he was the Editor, from the private press of Mr. Allan, of a small volume of Poetical “ Remains,” by his deceased Brother, Mr.
* See pp. 443, 447.
+ “ The greatest part of this work is taken from original Letters. Other material incidents are founded upon facts ; and no more is fictitious than that dress which the Editor esteemed to be pecessary to bring the Narrative regularly forward to the public eye, in a natural chain of events. The barrenness of incident must be imputed to an adherence to the real succession of events which took place with the parties. The Editor's intention was, to deter young people from such marriages, by holding out to them examples destitute of fiction. The mode of publication was chosen, to gain access to Circulating Libraries ; whence the youth of both sexes, in this age, obtain much of their reading ; thereby to reach the eye of those to whom a grave moral essay would not approach." W. H.
This was reprinted in 1792.
Robert Hutchinson * ; illustrated by a Portrait of the Author, in the habit of an Under-graduate; an odd figure, drawn probably by himself. This little volume contains also some other Plates t.
“ An Oration at the Dedication of Free Masons' Hall in Sunderland, on the 16th July, 1778, by Brother William Hutchinson,” contains a modest and elegant Account of the Origin, Principles, and Conduct, of the Free Masons *.
* This gentleman, who had received an academical education at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, was intended for the Church, but never entered into holy orders. He held an official situation at Durham under Bishops Trevor and Egerton. He died in November 1773; and, sometime after that event, a Drawing which he had made of Bp. Trevor, with some particulars of his character, were communicated to the late Mr. Allan, who formed from it his memoirs of that worthy Prelate. Some traits of his friendly Correspondence will be found in a future page,
+ Mr. Robert Hutchinson, whilst at Cambridge, etched many Plates; amongst which are, The Academic Mac; a Portrait of Lady Frances Sidney, the Foundress of Sidney Sussex College; another of Mother Sheppard, Shoe-cleaner of Sidney College ; and several small etchings after the manner of Rembrandt.
I“ An acknowledgment and adoration of the Supreme Being," says the Orator, “gave rise to this Institution ; - the natural wants and infirmities of human life, very early pointed out the necessity of mutual aids -- Free-masonry regulated these aids by religious principles. The consecrations of Places or Altars to the Deity, gave preference to the Science of Architecture: hence, Architecture became the basis of the Society. Free Masons are, therefore, traced from their attendance on Moses in the Wilderness to the present time, in regular historical order ; and the different classes of brethren are accounted for in a rational and entertaining manner. The first character of a Mason, we are told, is Charity, the next is Truth. These are made known to the world : and as to the secrets and mysteries of the Society, they are consistent with the purest maxims of the Christian Revelation. As the Mason professes the derivation of his religious sentiments to be from contemplation and admiration of the Supreme Being in the wonderful work of Nature, it can be no matter of astonishment, says the ingenious Orator, “ that men who had formed their original plan from Nature, should resort to Nature for their lessons of proportion and ornament to complete their lessons. The eye that was charmed with the fair sex - the heart that was conscious of woman's elegance and beauty, would instantly catch the idea from thence, and, fired with this favourite object, transpose the fair symmetry to the bystem he was studying. It was a natural transposition. No
In 1785, Mr. Hutchinson very obligingly favoured me by the communication of several Letters and Autographs of eminent Persons who flourished early in the Eighteenth Century *, with the authentification printed below up
In 1788, Mr. Hutchinson commenced Dramatic Writer; and, in a single week, completed the Tragedy of “ Pygmalion, King of Tyre;" which he submitted to the perusal of his friend the Rev. thing could be conceived more likely to refine the maxims of the Architect's design, who was touched with such passion and sentiment as Milton happily expresses it:
« On she came :-
In every gesture, Dignity and Love," &c. * Among these are particularly to be noticed the Letters of Dr. Gilbert Burnet (afterwards Bp. of Salisbury); which were, in 1739, in the possession of Mr. Warburton, afterwards the celebrated Bishop of Gloucester ; by whom they were given to the Rev. Dr. Thomas Birch, but reclaimed by a Yorkshire Attorney, who was an Agent of the Wharton Family. See vol. II. p. 98.
† “Some few years ago, by accident, there fell into my hands a confused heap of papers, which belonged to the Wharton family. Such as were worthy attention I transcribed, as many of the hands’-writing were difficult to be read, for the easier communication of my friends. I selected the Poems into one book, and the Letters into another ; and in this state both the originals and copy have remained with me unpublished. It has occurred to me, that some parts of this collection may be esteemed curious, If you think the books worth the carriage, I will send them up; and, if they are thought worth attention, you are welcome to publish any of them. The first book consists of Letters, and Poems introduced therein, from Dr. Burnet to the Marchioness of Wharton, which give a light on those characters not publicly known. The rest of the collection in this book are chiefly political; wrote to Lord Wharton in the year 1706, and so to 1711, from the Earl of Marchmont, W. Fleming, Lord Sunderland, General Palmes, Lieut.-Gen. Rosse, with an account of the Campaign in 1708, and the returns of prisoners, &c. Lieut.-Colonel Gledhill, Lord Galway, Duke of Shrewsbury, Duke of Richmond, Young, Addison, De Foe, and several others.
· W. HUTCHINSON." Some considerable extracts from these volumes may be seen in the “ Letters of Granger, 1805," p. 220- 252; and several of the Letters are inserted in Gent. Mag. vols. LV. LXXXV. and LXXXVI. - The Originals were purchased, about 1775, in a beautifully ornamented chest, from a descendant of the Whartons.