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Koran, he compiled a general biographical dictionary in ten volumes in folio, including therein a translation of that of Bayle, and collected and published Thura loe's state papers, in seven folio volumes, and was the editor of lord Bacon's, Mr. Boyle's, and archbishop Tillotson's works, as also of the prose writings of Milton, and the miscellaneous pieces of Sir Walter Raleigh, and the works of Mrs. Elizabeth Cock: burn. He was first a fellow of and afterwards fecretary to the royal society, and wrote a history thereof, In 1753, the Marischal college at Aberdeen conferred on him the degree of doctor in divinity, and, the year after, he received the same honour from archbishop Herring. The above is' but a partial enumeration of his publications, for he wrote the lives of Henry prince of Wales, of Bacon, Boyle, Milton, and Tillotson, and other persons, and many tracts not here noticed. In the midst of all this employment, Dr. Birch was to be seen, at home, at the Royal and Antiquarian societies, at Sion college, at the academy of ancient music, which had long subfifted at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand, at Tom's coffee-house in Devereux court; in short, in all places where a clergyman might with propriety appear. Nor was this all; he found time for the exercise of walking, before many people were stirring. I have been with him at nine in a winter's morning, and have found him just returned from an excursion of some miles *. He held a conversation on Sunday even
* I heard him once relate, that he had the curiosity to measure the circuit of London by a perambulation thereof: the account he gave was to this effect : He set out from his house in the Strand
ings with his friends, who were men of the first eminence for learning and intelligence, at his house in Norfolk street in the Strandt, in which all, particu
towards Chelsea, and having reached the bridge beyond the waterworks, he directed his course to Marybone, from whence pursuing an eastern direction, he skirted the town, and crossed the Illington road at the Angel. There was at that time no city-road, but pafling through Hoxton, he got to Shoreditch, thence to Bethnal green, and from thence to Stepney, where he recruited his spirits with a glass of brandy. From Stepney he passed on to Limehouse, and took into his rout the adjacent hamlet of Poplar, when he became sensible that to complete his design he must take in Southwark: this put him to a stand ; but he soon determined on his course, for taking a boat he landed at the red house at Deptford, and made his way to Say's court, where the great wet-dock is, and keeping the houses along Rotherhithe to the right, he got to Bermondsey, thence by the south end of Kent-street to Newington, and over St. George's fields to Lambeth, and crossing over to Millbank continued his way to Charing cross, and along the Strand to Norfolk street, from whence he had set out. The whole of this excursion took him up from nine in the morning to three in the afternoon, and, according to his rate of walking, he computed the circuit of London at above twenty miles. With the buildings erected since, it may be supposed to have increased five miles, and if so, the present circumference of this great metropolis is about half that of ancient Rome.
+ Formerly the habitation of the famous William Penn the quaker, of whom it is well known that his circumstances at a certain period of his life were so involved, that it was not safe for him to go abroad. He chose this house, it being at the south west corner of the street, as one from whence he might, upon occasion, slip out by water. In the entrance to it he had a peeping-hole, through which he could see any persons that came to him. One of these who had sent in his name, having been made to wait more than a reasonable time, knocked for the servant, whom he asked, “Will not thy master see me?' • Friend,' answered the servant,'' he has seen thee, but he does not like thee.' The fact was, that Penn had from his station taken a view of him, and found him to be a creditor,
larly the library, was neat and elegant, without litter or disorder.
The mental endowments of Dr. Birch were singular ; he had a great eagerness after knowledge, and a memory very retentive of facts; but his learning, properly so called, bore no proportion to his reading; for he was in truth neither a mathematician, a natural philosopher, a classical scholar, nor a divine; but, in a small degree, all, and though lively in conversation, he was but a dull writer. Johnson was used to speak of him in this manner: · Tom is a lively rogue; he re* members a great deal, and can tell many pleasant
stories; but a pen is to Tom a torpedo, the touch of it benumbs his hand and his brain : Tom can
talk; but he is no writer.'--And indeed whoever peruses his writings will be much of the fame opinion : his life of Tillotson is a mere detail of unconnected facts, without the intermixture of sentiment or disquisition ; and of the style, let this citation serve as a specimen. Speaking of Wilkins, he makes a transition to Tillotson, whom he characterizes in these words, and meaner he could not have found : 'He 'went into all the very best things that were in that
great man; but so as he improved every one of them.'
In the midst of all his labours and pursuits, Dr. Birch preserved an even temper of mind, and a great chearfulness of spirits. Ever desirous to learn, and willing to communicate, he was uniformly affable, courteous, and disposed to conversation. His life was spent without reproach, but terminated by an unhappy accident, a fall from his horse on the Hampstead road, on the oth day of January, 1766. His Vol. I.
preferments in the church, though successively nume+ rous, were small and never reached to dignities ; the last of them were the rectories of St. Margaret Pattens, London, and of Depden in Effex.
Dr. John Campbell was an eminent writer, and a Jabourer in a voluminous work undertaken at the expence and risque of the booksellers, the Universal History. Besides many other books, he wrote the ļives of the English admirals in four octavo volumes. He had a considerable hand in the Biographia Britannica, and was the author of a valuable work in two quarto volumes intitled, 'A political furvey of
Britain ;' being a series of reflections on the situation, lands, inhabitants, revenues, colonies, and commerce of this island; intended to fhew that they have not as yet approached to near the summit of improvement, but that it will afford employment for many ages, before they push to their utmost extent the natural advantages of Great Britain. The reputation of this work extended to the most remote parts of Europe, and induced the empress of Russia in the year 1774, to honour the author with a present of her picture. By the exercise of his pen alone, and a good use of his time, he was for many years enabled to support himself, and enjoy the comforts of domestic life in the society of an excellent wife and a numerous offspring. In 1765, he was appointed his majesty's agent for the province of Georgia in North America, and was there, by raised to a state of comparative affluence. His refidence for fome years before his death, was the large new-built house situate at the north-west corner of Queen square, Bloomsbury, whither, particularly on a Sunday evening, great numbers of persons of the
first eminence for science and literature were accufa tomed to resort for the enjoyment of conversation. He died in 1775, having nearly completed the sixtyeighth year of his age, leaving behind him the character of a learned, an ingenious, and a pious man.
Dr. John Hill was originally an apothecary and a student in botany, in which he was encouraged by the late duke of Richmond, and lord Petre; but finding that an unprofitable pursuit, he made two or three attempts as a writer for the stage: a failure in them drove him back to his former study, in the course whereof he got introduced to Mr. Martin Folkes and Mr. Henry Baker, leading members of the royal society, who finding him a young man of parts and well skilled in natural history, recommended him among their friends. His first publication was a translation from the Greek of a small tract, Theophrastus on gems, which being printed by subscription, produced him some money, and such a reputation as induced the booksellers to engage him in writing a general natural history in two volumes in folio, and soon after, a supplement to Chambers's dictionary. He had received no academical education ; but his ambition prompting him to be a graduate, he obtained, from one of those universities which would scarce refufe a degree to an apothecary’s horse, a diploma for that of doctor of physic. After this, he engaged in a variety of works, the greater part whereof were mero compilations, which he sent forth with incredible expedition ; and though his character was never in such estimation with the booksellers as to entitle him to an extraordinary price for his writings, he has been