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that the two last sheets, though composed, were not worked off, which gave Mr. Bentham an opportunity of inserting some additions alluded to in Mr. Gray's letter. In the Magazine for July 1784, may be seen the full and handsome apology which this explanation produced from a correspondent, who, under the signature of S. E. had inadvertently ascribed these remarks to Mr. Gray. These remarks have been since printed in an excellent collection of “ Essays on Gothic Architecture," published by Mr. Taylor, of Holborn. When the dean and chapter of Ely had determined upon the general repair of the fabric of their church, and the judicious removal of the choir from the dome to the presbytery at the east end, Mr. Bentham was requested to superintend that concern as clerk of the works. With what indefatigable industry and attention he acquitted himself in that station, and how much he contributed to the improvement and success of the public works then carrying on, appears as well by the minutes of those transactions, as by the satisfaction with which the body recognized his services. This employment gave him a thorough insight into the principles and peculiarities of these antient buildings, and suggested to him the idea of a general history of antient architecture in this kingdom, which he justly considered a desideratum of the learned and inquisitive antiquary. He was still intent upon this subject, and during the amusement of his leisure hours continued almost to the last to make collections with a view to some further illustration of this curious point, though his avocations of one kind or another prevented him from reducing them to any regular form or series. But he did not suffer these pursuits to call him off from the professional duties of his station, or from contributing his endeavours towards promoting works of general utility to the neighbourhood. To a laudable spirit of this latter kind, animated by a zeal for his native place, truly patriotic, is to be referred his steady perseverance in recommending to his countrymen, under all the discouragements of obloquy and prejudice, the plans suggested for the improvement of their fens by draining, and the practicability of increasing their intercourse with the neighbouring counties by means of turnpike roads; a measure till then unattempted, and for a long time treated with a contempt and ridicule due only to the most wild and visionary projects, the merit of which he was at last forced to rest upon the result of an experiment made by himself. With this
view, in 1757, he published his sentiments under the title of “ Queries offered to the consideration of the principal inhabitants of the city of Ely, and towns adjacent, &c." and had at length the satisfaction to see the attention of the public directed to the favourite object of those with whom he was associated. Several gentlemen of property and consideration in the county generously engaged in contributing donations towards setting on foot a scheme to establish turnpike roads. By the liberal example of lord-chan. cellor Hardwicke, lord Royston, and bishop Mawson, and the seasonable bequest of 2001. by Geo. Riste, esq. of Cambridge, others were incited to additional subscriptions. In a short time these amounted to upwards of 1000l. and nearly to double that sum on interest. The scheme being thus invigorated by these helps, and by the increasing loans of those whose prejudices began now to wear away, an act was obtained in 1763 for improving the road from Cambridge to Ely. Similar powers and provisions were in a few years obtained by subsequent acts, and the benefit extended to other parts of the isle in all directions, the success of which hath answered the most sanguine expectations of its advocates. With the same beneficent disposition, Mr. Bentham in 1773 submitted a plan for inclosing and draining a large tract of common in the vicinity of Ely, called Gruntifen, containing near 1300 acres, under the title of “ Considerations and Reflections upon
the present state of the fens near Ely,” &c. Cambridge, 1778, 8vo. The inclosure, however, from whatever cause, did not then take place; but some of the hints therein suggested have formed the groundwork of many of the improvements which have since obtained in the culture and drainage of the fens. Exertions of this kind could not fail to procure him the esteem and respect of all who knew him, especially as they were wholly unaccompanied with that parade and ostentation by which the best public services are sometimes disgraced. Mr. Bentham was naturally of a delicate and tender constitution, to which his sedentary life and habits of application were very unfavourable; but this was so far corrected by rigid temperance and regularity, that he was rarely prevented from giving due attention either to the calls of his profession or to the pursuits of his leisure hours. He retained his faculties in full vigour to the last, though his bodily infirmities debarred him latterly from attendance upon public worship, which he always exceed
ingly lamented, having been uniformly exemplary in that duty. He read, with full relish and spirit, most publications of note or merit as they appeared, and, till within a few days of his death, continued his customary intercourse with his friends. He died Nov. 17, 1794, in the eightysixth year of his age. He left only one son, the Rev. James Bentham, vicar of West Braddenbam in Norfolk, a preferment for which he was indebted to the kind patronage of the late bishop of Ely, the hon. Dr. James Yorke. Mr. Joseph Bentham, brother to the Historian and to Dr. Bentham, and an alderman of Cambridge, was many years printer to the university, and died in 1778. The History of Ely being the last work he printed, this circumstance is recorded on the last page by the words “ Finis bic officii atque laboris.” A fourth brother, the Rev. Jeffery Bentham, precentor of the church of Ely, &c. died in 1792, aged seventy two. A fifth, the Rev. Edmund Bentham, B.D. rector of Wootton-Courtvay, Somersetshire, died in Oct. 1781, at Moulsey Grove, near Hampton. Mr. Cole, who in his MS Athene, gives some account of the Benthams, with a mixture of spleen and respect, remarks that this Edmund died in a parish in which he was not buried, was buried in a parish with which he had no connexion, and has a monument in a church (Sutton) where he was not buried, but of which he had been curate for near forty years.
BENTHAM (THOMAS), a learned and pious English divine, bishop of Litchfield and Coventry in the sixteenth century, was born about the year 1513, at Sbírebourne in Yorkshire, and educated at Magdalen-college in Oxford. He took his bachelor's degree in arts, Feb. 20, 1543, and was admitted perpetual fellow of that college, November 16, 1546, and took his master's degree in arts the year following, about which time he applied himself wholly to the study of divinity and the Hebrew language, in which he was extremely well skilled, as well as in the Latin and Greek tongues. The compiler of “Anglorum Speculum” tells us, that he was converted from popery in the first year of queen Mary; but we find him very zealous against the popish religion during the reign of king Edward VI.
account, and bis assisting one Henry Bull of the same college, in wresting the censer out of the
1 Nichols's Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, vol. III.-Gent. Mag. LIT. 943; LİTV, 1063, 1151.-Cole's US Aub, in Brit. Mas.
hands of the choristers, as they were about to offer their superstitious incense, he was ejected from his fellowship by the visitors appointed by queen Mary to regulate the üniversity ; soon after which he retired to Zurich, and afterwards to Basil in Switzerland, and became preacher to the English exiles there, and expounded to them the entire book of the Acts of the Apostles ; a proper subject and portion of scripture, Fuller observes, to recommend patience to his banished countrymen ; as the apostle's sufferings so far exceeded theirs. This exposition was left by him at the time of his death, very fairly written, and fit for the press, but it does not appear to have been printed. In exile, as at home and in college, he led a praise-worthy, honest, and laborious life, with little or no preferment. Afterwards, being recalled by some of his brethren, he returned to London under the same queen's reign, where he lived privately and in disguise, and was made superintendant of a protestant congregation in that city; whom Bentham, by his pious discipline, diligent care and tuition, and bold and resolute behaviour in the protestant cause, greatly confirmed in their faith and religion; so that they assembled with the greatest constancy to divine worship, at which there often appeared an hundred, sometimes two hundred persons; no inconsiderable congregation this to meet by stealth, notwithstanding the danger of the times, daily, together at London, in spite of the vigilant and cruel Bonner. At length, when queen Elizabeth came to the throne, he was, in the second year of her reign, nominated for the see of Litchfield and Coventry, upon the deprivation of Dr. Ralph Bayne, and had the temporalities of that see restored to him, Feb. 20, 1559, being then about forty-six years of age. On the 30th of October 1556, he was created, with some others, professor of divinity at London, by Laurence Humphrey, S.T.P. and John Kenal, LL.D. who were deputed by the university of Oxford for that purpose; and in the latter end of October 1568, he was actually created doctor of divinity, being then highly esteemed on account of his distinguished learning. He published a Sermon on Matth. iv. 1-11, printed at London, 8vo. Bishop Burnet, in his History of the Reformation, tells us, that our author translated into English the Book of Psalms, at the command of queen Elizabeth, when an English version of the Bible was to be made, and that he likewise translated Ezekiel and
Daniel. He died at Eccleshal in Staffordshire, the seat belonging to the see, Feb. 19, 1578, aged sixty-five years, and was buried under the south wall of the chancel of that church.
BENTINCK or BENTHINCK (WILLIAM), earl of PortJand, &c. one of the greatest statesmen of his time, and the first that advanced his family to the dignity of the English peerage, was a native of Holland, of an ancient and noble family in the province of Guelderland. After a liberal education, he was promoted to be page of honour to William, then prince of Orange (afterwards king Wil. liam III. of England), in which station his behaviour and address so recommended him to the favour of his master, that he preferred him to the post of gentleman of his bedchamber. In this capacity he accompanied the prince into England, in the year 1670, where, going to visit the university of Oxford, he was, together with the prince, created doctor of civil law. In 1672, the prince of Orange being made captain-general of the Dutch forces, and soon after Stadtholder, M. Bentinck was promoted, and had a share in his good fortune, being made colonel and captain of the Dutch regiment of guards, afterwards esteemed one of the finest in king William's service, and which behaved with the greatest gallantry in the wars both in Flanders and Ireland. In 1675, the prince falling ill of the small-pox, M. Bentinck had an opportunity of signalizing his love and affection for his master in an extraordinary manner, and thereby of obtaining his esteem and friendship, by one of the niost generous actions imaginable : for the small-pox not rising kindly upon the prince, his physicians judged it necessary that some young person should lie in the same bed with him, imagining that the natural heat of another would expel the disease. M. Bentinck, though he had never had the small-pox, resolved to run this risque, and accordingly attended the prince during the whole course of his illness, both day and night, and his highness said afterwards, that he believed M. Bentinck never slept; for in sixteen days and nights, he never called once that he was not answered by him. M. Bentinck, however, upon the prince's recovery, was immediately seized with the same distemper, attended with a great deal of danger, but
I Biog. Brit.---Ath. Ox. vol. 1.—Tanner.-Strype's Annals, vol. I. p. 136, 464. Memorials, vol. III. 460, 461; Cranmer, 275; Grindal, 27; Parker, 64.