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English History; consisting of choice Tracts, Memoirs, Letters, Wills, Epitaphs, &c. Transcribed, many of them, from the originals themselves, and the rest from divers ancient MS Copies, or the MS Collations of sundry famous Antiquaries, and other eminent Persons, both of the last and present age : the whole, as nearly as possible, digested into order of time, and illustrated with ample Notes, Contents, additional Discourses, and a complete Index." This volume was dedicated to lord William Manners; and was followed, in 1735, by a second volume, dedicated to Dr. Reynolds, bishop of Lincoln. There being only 250 copies of these volumes printed, they soon became scarce and high-priced, and were reprinted in one volume, 4to, by subscription, by the late Mr. Thomas Evans, in 1779, without, however, any improvements, or any attempt, which might perhaps have been dangerous by an unskilful hand, at a better arrangement. In 1735, Mr. Peck printed,
a quarto pamphlet, “ A complete Catalogue of all the Discourses written both for and against Popery, in the time of King James the Second; containing in the whole an account of four hundred and fifty-seven Books and Pamphlets, a great number of them not mentioned in the three former Catalogues; with references after each title, for the more speedy finding a further Account of the said Discourses and their Authors in sundry Writers, and an Alphabetical List of the Writers on each side.” he obtained, by the favour of bishop Reynolds, the prebendal stall of Marston St. Lawrence, in the cathedral church of Lincoln. In 1739, he was the editor of “Nineteen Letters of the truly reverend and learned Henry Hammond, D.D. (author of the Annotations on the New Testament, &c.) written to Mr. Peter Stainnough and Dr. Nathaniel Angelo, many of them on curious subjects, &c. These were printed from the originals, communicated by Mr. Robert Marsden, archdeacon of Nottingham, and Mr. John Worthington. The next year, 1740, produced two volumes in quarto; one of them entitled “Memoirs of the life and actions of Oliver Cromwell, as delivered in three Panegyrics of him written in Latin ; the first, as said, by Don Juan Roderiguez de Saa Meneses, Conde de Penguiao, the Portugal Ambassador; the second, as affirmed by a certain Jesuit, the lord ambassador's Chaplain; yet both, it is thought, composed by Mr. John Milton (Latin Secretary to Oliver Cromwell), as was the
third : with an English version of each. The whole illustrated with a large Historical Preface; many similar passages from the Paradise Lost, and other works of Mr. John Alilton, and Notes from the best historians. To all which js added, a Collection of divers curious Historical Pieces relating to Cromwell, and a great number of other remarkable persons (after the manner of Desiderata Curiosa, 'vol. 1. and II.)" The other, “ New Memoirs of the Life and Poetical Works of Mr. John Milton; with, first, an Examination of Milton's Style ; and, secondly, Explanatory and Critical Notes on divers passages in Milton and Shakspeare, by the Editor. Thirdly, Baptistes; a sacred Dra. matic Poem in Defence of Liberty, as written in Latio by Mr. George Buchanan, translated into English by Mr. John Milton, and first published in 1641, by order of the House of Commons. Fourthly, The Parallel, or archbishop Laud and cardinal Wolsey compared, a vision, by Milton. Fifthly, The Legend of sir Nicholas Throckmorton, knt. Chief Butler of England, who died of poison, anno 1570, an Historical Poem, by his nephew sir Thomas Throckmorton, knt. Sixth, Herod the Great, by the Editor. Seventh, The Resurrection, a Poem, in imitation of Milton, by a Friend. And eighth, a Discourse on the Harmony of the Spheres, by Milton; with Prefaces and Notes.” 6
Of these his “Explanatory and Critical Notes on divers passages of Shakspeare" seem to prove that the mode of illustrating Shakspeare by extracts from contemporary writers, was not entirely reserved for the mo. dern commentators on our illustrious bard, but had occurred to Mr. Peck. The worst circumstance respecting this volume is the portrait of Milton, engraved from a painting which Peck got from sir John Meres of KirkbyBeler in Leicestershire. He was not a little proud to possess this painting, which is certainly not genuine ; and what is worse, he appears to have known that it was not genuine. Having asked Vertue whether he thought it a picture of Milton, and Vertue peremptorily answering in the negative, Peck replied, “I'll have a scraping from it, however : and let posterity settle the difference.”
In 1742, Mr. Peck published his last work : “Four Disa courses, viz. 1. Of Grace, and how to excite it. 2. Jesus Christ the true Messiah, proved from a consideration of his miracles in general. 3. The same proved from a consideration of his resurrection in particular. 4. The ne
sessity and advantage of good laws and good magistrates : as delivered in two visitation and two assize-sermons.' At this time he had in contemplation no less than nine different works; but whether he had not met with encouragement for those which he had already produced, or whether he was rendered incapable of executing them by reason of his declining health, is uncertain ; none of them, however, ever were made public. He concluded a laborious, and it may be affirmed, an useful life, wholly devoted to antiquarian pursuits, Aug. 13, 1743, at the age of sixty-one years. He was buried in the church of Godeby, with a Latin inscription. There are two portraits of him; one in his “ Memoirs of Milton ; the other prefixed to the second edition of his “ Desiderata Curiosa,” inscribed, “ Francis Peck, A. M. natus Stanfordiæ, 4 Maii, MDCXCII." By his wife, the daughter of Mr. Curtis of Stamford, he had two sons, Francis, a clergyman, who died in 1749, rector of Gunby in Lincolnshire; and Thomas, who died young; and a daughter, Anne, widow (in 1794) of Mr. John Smalley, farmer at Stroxton in Lincolnshire.
The greater part of Mr. Peck's MSS. became the property of sir Thomas Cave, bart. Among others, he pur- . ehased 5 vols. in 4to, fairly transcribed for the press, in Mr. Peck's own neat hand, under the title of " Monasticon Anglicanum.” These volumes were, on the 14th of May, 1779, presented to the British Museum, by the last sir Thomas Cave, after the death of his father, who twenty years before had it in contemplation to bestow them on that excellent repository. They are a most valuable and almost inestimable collection, and we hope will not be neglected by the editors of the new edition of Dugdale. Mr. Peck's other literary projects announced in the preface to his “Desiderata," and at the end his “ Memoirs of Cromwell, are, l. “ Desiderata Curiosa,” vol. III. Of this Mr. Ni. chols has a few scattered fragments. 2. “ The Annals of Stanford continued." 3. “ The History and Antiquities of the Town and Soke of Grantham, in Lincolnshire." 4. “The Natural History and Antiquities of Rutland." 5. “ The Natural History and Antiquities of Leicester shire." The whole of Mr. Peck's MSS. relative to this work, were purchased by sir Thomas Cave, in 1754, whose grandson, with equal liberality and propriety, presented them to Mr. Nichols for the use of his elaborate history of that county. It appears from one of Mr. Peck’s MSS. on
Leicestershire, that he meditated a chapter on apparitions, in which he cordially believed. 6. “ The Life of Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, of Little Gidding, in the county of Huntingdon, gent. commonly called the Protestant St. Nicholas, and the pious Mr. George Herbert's Spiritual Brothers done from original MSS.” This MS. of Ferrar is now in the possession of Mr. Gilchrist of Stamford, before mentioned, who informs us that there is nothing in it beyond what may be found in Peckard's Life of Ferrar. 7. 66 The Lives of William Burton, esq. author of the Antiquities of Leicestershire, and his brother Robert Burton, B. D. student of Christ-church, and rector of Seagrave, in Leicestershire, better known by the name of Democritus juu.” Mr. Nichols had also the whole of this MS. or plan, which was merely an outline. 8. “ New Memoirs of the Restoration of King Charles the Second (which may be considered also as an Appendix to secretary Thurloe's Papers), containing the copies of Two Hundred and Forty-six Original Letters and Papers, all written annis 1658, 1659, and 1660 (none of them ever yet printed). The whole communicated by William Cowper, esq. Clerk of the Parliament." In 1731, Mr. Peck drew up a curious “ Account of the Asshebys and De la Launds, owners of Bloxham, in the county of Lincoln," a MS. in the British Museum. Mr. Gilchrist has a copy of Langbaine’s Lives, carefully interlined by him, whence it should seem that he meditated an enlargement of that very useful volume. Mr. Peck also left a great many MS sermons, some of which are in the possession of the same gentleman, who has obligingly favoured us with some particulars of the Stamford antiquary.'
PECKHAM (John), archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Edward I. was born in the county of Sussex, about 1240, and educated in the monastery at Lewes, whence he was sent to Oxford, and became a minorite friar. His name occurs in the registers of Merton-college, which was founded in his time, but not with sufficient precision to enable us to say that he was educated there. however, created D. D. at this university, and read public lectures. Pits says he was professor of divinity, and afterwards provincial of his order in England. He appears to have been twice at Paris, where he also read lectures with great applause. He went from Paris, after his second visit, to Lyons, where he obtained a canonry in the cathedral, whịch Godwin and Cave inform us was held with the archbishopric of Canterbury for two centuries after. Fuller says it was a convenient half-way house between Canterbury and Rome. He then went to Rome, where the pope appointed him auditor or chief judge of his palace, but Leland calls the office which the pope bestowed upon him that of Palatine lecturer or reader,“ lector, ut vocant, Palatinus.” In 1278, this pope consecrated him archbishop of Canterbury, on Peckham's agreeing to pay his holiness the sum of 4000 marks, which there is some reason to think he did not pay; at least it is certain he was so slow in remitting it, that the pope threatened to excommunicate him.
| Nichols's Leicestershire-and Bowyer.. Warton's Milton, p. 545.
On his arrival in England, he summoned a convocation at Lambeth, reformed various abuses in the church, and punished several of the clergy for holding pluralities, or for being non-residents; nor did he spare the laity, of whatever rank, if found guilty of incontinence. In 1282 he went in person to the prince of Wales, then at Snowdon, in order to bring about a reconciliation between him and the king (Edward I.) but was unsuccessful, and therefore, when on his return he passed through Oxford, he excommunicated the prince and his followers. He died at Mortlake, in 1292, and was buried in Canterbury cathedral, near the remains of St. Thomas à Becket. Godwin represents him as a man of great state and outward pomp, but easily accessible and liberal, except to the Jews, whom he persecuted severely. He founded a college at Wingham, in Kent, which at the dissolution had an annual revenue of 841. Wood, in his “ Annals,” makes frequent mention of Peckbam's attention to the interests of the university of Oxford; and in some of his regulations he showed his taste and learning in censuring certain logical and grammatical absurdities which prevailed in the schools, and appears to have always promoted discipline and good morals. Tanner enumerates a great number of his works on divinity, which show him accomplished in all the learning of his age. These remain, however, in manuscript, in our different libraries, except some of his letters published by Wharton, and his statutes, institutions, &c. in the “ Concil. Mag. Brit, et Hib. vol. II.” Two only of his works were pube lished separately, and often reprinted ; viz. bis “ Collectanea Bibliorum libri quinque,” Colon. 1513, 1591; Paris, VOL. XXIV.