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he had laid down, together with those concerns in which his affection for his friends, and his zeal for the public good in every shape, involved him, proved more than a counterbalance for all the advantages of health and vigour that a strict and uniform temperance could procure. It is certain that he sunk under the rigorous exercise of that conduct he had proposed to himself: for though 68 years are a considerable proportion in the strongest men's lives, yet his remarkable abstemiousness and self-denial, added to a disposition of body naturally strong, promised, in the ordinary course of things, a longer period. Dr. Bentham was a very early riser, and had transacted half a day's business before many others begin their day. His countenance was uncommonly mild and engaging, being strongly characteristic of the piety and benevolence of his mind; and at the same time it by no means warited expression, but, upon proper occasions, could assume a very becom ing and affecting authority. In his attendance upon the public duties of religion, he was exceedingly strict and constant; not suffering himself ever to be diverted from it by any motives, either of interest or pleasure. Whilst he was thus diligent in the discharge of his own duty, he was not severe upon those who were not equally so in theirs. He could scarcely ever be prevailed upon to deliver his opinion upon subjects that were to the disadvantage of other men; and when he could not avoid doing it, bis sentiments were expressed with the utmost delicacy and candour. No one was more ready to discover, commend, and reward every meritorious endeavour. Of himself he never was heard to speak; and if his own merits were touched upon in the slightest manner, he felt a real uneasiness. Though he was not fond of the formalities of visiting, he entered into the spirit of friendly society and intercourse with great pleasure. His constant engagements, indeed, of one kind or other, left him not much time to be devoted to company; and the greater part of his leisure hours he spent in the enjoyment of domestic pleasures, for which his amiable and peaceable disposition seemed most calculated.
Till within the last half-year of his life, in which he declined very fast, Dr. Bentham was scarcely ever out of order; and he was never prevented from discharging his duty, excepting by weakness that occasionally attacked his eyes, and which had been brought on by too free an
use of them when he was young. That part of his last ill. ness which confined him, was only from the 23d of July to the first of August. Even death itself found him engaged in the same laborious application which he had always directed to the glory of the supreme being, and the benefit of mankind; and it was not tili he was absolutely forbidden by his physicians, that he gave over a particular course of reading, that had been undertaken by him with a view of making remarks on Mr. Gibbon's Roman History. Thus he died in the faithful discharge of the duties of religion. That serenity of mind and meekness of disposition, which he had manifested on every former occasion, shone forth in a more especial manner in his latter moments; and, together with the consciousness of a whole life spent in the divine service, exhibited a scene of true Christian triumph. After a few days illness, in which he suffered a considerable degree of pain without repining, a quiet sigh put a period to his temporal existence, on the first of August 1776, when he had entered into the 69th year of his age. His remains were deposited in the west end of the great aile in the cathedral of Christ-church, Oxford, Dr. Ben. tham resided, the principal part of the year, so regularly at Oxford, that he never missed a term from his matricu. lation to his death. In the summer he generally made a tour of some part of the kingdom with his family; and, for the last thirty years of his life, seldom failed in carrying them to meet all his brothers and sisters at Ely, amongst whom the greatest harmony and affection ever prevailed.
Dr. Bentham married Elizabeth, second daughter of Tho. mas Bates, esq. of Alton, in Hampshire, by whom he had three children, two of whom, with his widow, survived him, but she died in 1790, and his son, Thomas, rector of Swanton Newarsh, in Norfolk, died in 1803. Dr. Bentham's publications were as follows: 1.“ The connection between Irreligion and Immorality ; a Sermon preached at St. Mary's in Oxford, at the assizes, March the 1st, 1743-4," 1744, 8vo. 2. “ An Introduction to Moral Philosophy,” 1745, and 1746, 8vo. To this tract is annexed a table of reference to English Discourses and Sermons upon moral subjects, ranged according to the order of the introduction ; and a table of several of the principal Writers in moral philosophy. 3. “ A Letter to a young gentleman," 1748, 8vo. 4. “A Letter to a fellow of a college ; being the sequel of a Letter to a young gentleman of Oxford,” 1740, 8vo. 5. “Advice to a young man of rank upon coming to the
university.” 6.“ A Sermon preached before the honourable House of Commons, at St. Margaret's Westminster, on Tuesday, January 30, 1749-50,” 1750, 4to. 7. “ Reflections on Logic," Svo; a second edition came out in 1755. Our author having been charged, in the Biographia Britan. nica, under the article Locke, with a design of excluding from the schools that great man's Essay on the Human Understanding, he subjoined, in 1760, a short, but satisfactory, vindication of himself, to the remaining copies of the Reflections. 8. “ Tôv Ilanasūv, &c. Emrápiol.' “ Funeral Eulogies upon Military Men from Thucydides, Plato, Lysias, Xenophon. In the original Greek. To which are added, extracts from Cicero. With Observations and Notes in English,” 8vo. The second edition, with additions, appeared in 1768. The impression is beautiful, and the notes and observations shew Dr. Bentham's great acquaintance with classic antiquity, and the Greek language. 9. “ De Studiis Theologicis Prælectio," 1764. 10.“ Reflections upon the study of Divinity. To which are subjoined, heads of a course of Lectures," 1771, 8vo. This tract contains many judicious observations; and the heads of a course of Lectures exhibit, perhaps, as complete a plan of theological studies as was ever delivered. 11. “ De Vitâ et Moribus Johannis Burtoni, S. T. P. Etonensis. Epistola Edvardi Bentham, S. T. P. R. ad reverendum admodum Robertum Lowth, S.T. P. Episcopum Oxoniensem.” 12. “A Sermon preached in the parish church of Christ Church, London, on Thursday, April the 30th, 1772: being the time of the yearly meeting of the children educated in the charity-schools in and about the cities of London and Westminster,” 4to. 13. “ An Introduction to Logic, scholastic and rational,” 1773, 8vo. The Specimen Logicæ Ciceronianæ annexed, displays Cicero's close attention to the study of logic, and our author's intimate knowledge of Cicero. 14. “ De Tumultibus Americanis deque eorum concitatoribus senilis meditatio.”. This was occasioned by some members of parliament having censured the university of Oxford for addressing the king in favour of the American war. Dr. Bentham, like many other wise and good men, did not imagine that the contest would turn out to be so formidable as it afterwards appeared. He takes occasion, in the course of the pamphlet, to pay a high compliment to his friend Dr. Tucker.
1 Biog. Brit. vol. III, p. 49,
BENTHAM (JAMES), M. A. and F. A. S. prebendary of Ely, rector of Bow-brick-hill in the county of Bucks, and domestic chaplain to the right-hon. lord Cadogan, was the brother of the above-mentioned Edward. Having received the rudiments of classical learning in the grammar-school of Ely, he was admitted of Trinity college, Cambridge, March 26,1727, where he proceeded B. A. 1730, and M. A. 1738, and was elected F. A. S. 1767. In the year 1733 he was presented to the vicarage of Stapleford in Cambridgeshire, which he resigned in 1736, on being made minor canon in the church of Ely. In 1767 he was presented by bishop Mawson to the vicarage of Wymondham in Norfolk, which he resigned in the year following for the rectory of Feltwell St. Nicholas, in the same county. This he resigned in 1774 for the rectory of Northwold, which in 1779 he was induced by bishop Keene to change for a prebendal stall in the church of Ely, though he was far from improve ing his income by the change. But his attachment to his native place, with which church the family had been connected without any intermission for more than 100 years, surmounted every other consideration. In 1783 he was presented to the rectory of Bow-brick-hill, by the rev. Edward Guellaume. From his first appointment to an office in the church of Ely, he seems to have directed his attention to the study of church architecture. It is probable that he was determined to the pursuit of ecclesiastical antiquities by the eminent example of bishop Tanner (a prebendary of the same stall which Mr. Bentham afterwards held), who had honoured the family with many marks of his kindness and friendship. For researches of this kind Mr. Bentham seems to have been excellently qualified. To a sound judgment and a considerable degree of penetration, accompanied by a minuteness and accuracy of inquiry altogether uncommon, Mr. Bentham added the most patient assiduity and unwearied industry. The history of the church with which he was connected afforded him full scope for the exercise of his talents. It abounds with almost all the various specimens of church architecture used in England to the time of the reformation. Having previously examined with great attention every historical mo, nument and authority which could throw any light upon his subject, after he had circulated, in 1756, a catalogue of the principal members of this church (Ely), viz. abbesses, abbots, bishops, priors, deans, prebendaries, and
archdeacons, in order to collect further information concerning them, he published “ The History and Antiquities of the conventual and cathedral Church of Ely, from the foundation of the monastery, A. D. 675, to the year 1771, illustrated with copper-plates," Cambridge, 1771, 4to. The sheets of Mr. Bentham's work 'were carefully revised by his brother Dr. Bentham, and by the Rev. W. Cole, of Milton ; and both were considerable contributors to it. This was probably the cheapest book ever published, the subscription price being only eighteen shillings, which was raised to non-subscribers to a guinea and a half. It has of late years seldom been sold under twelve or fourteen guineas, but a new edition has just been published, 1812, which, for paper and typography, reflects honour on the Norwich press.
In the introduction the author thought it might be useful to give some account of Saxon, Norman, and what is usually called Gothic architecture. The many novel and ingenious remarks, which occurred in this part of the work, soon attracted the attention of those who had turned their thoughts to the subject. This short essay was favourably received by the public, and has been frequently cited and referred to by most writers on Gothic architecture. By a strange mistake, these observations were hastily attributed to the celebrated Mr. Gray, merely because Mr. Bentham has mentioned his name among that of others to whom he conceived himself indebted for communications and hints. Mr. Bentham was never informed of this extraordinary circumstance till the year 1783, when he accidentally met with it in the Gentleman's Magazine for the month of February in that year ; upon which he immediately thought it necessary to rectify the mistake, and to vindicate his own character and reputation as an author from the charge of having been obliged to Mr. Gray for that treatise, when he had published it as his own; and this he was enabled to do satisfactorily, having fortunately preserved the only let-. ter which he had received from Mr. Gray on the subject. The truth was, that Mr. Bentham had written the treatise long before he had the honour of any acquaintance with Mr. Gray, and it was that which first introduced him to Mr. Gray. What his obligations were will appear by reference to a copy of that letter, which he received from Mr. Gray when he returned the six sheets which Mr. Bentham had submitted to him at his own request. It happened