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EUROPEAN MAGAZINE, ,
FOR OCTOBER, 1816.
A BRIEF MEMOIR OF
THE LATE MR. THOMAS CLARK,
OF EXETER 'CHANGÉ, STRAND.
(WITH AN ENGRAVING BY BLOOD, FROM AN ORIGINAL PAINTING BY FINDLATER.).
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
sent Memoir affords another cele- took it, and there, in the year 1785, brated instance of that successful indus- laid the foundation of that immense try, which is alike bonourable to the in. fortune which he afterwards realized. dividual, and to the country. It is an We have indeed heard, that the first instance which at once characterizes the hundred pounds which enabled him to commercial habits of our indefatigable extend his business, was generously ad. ancestors, while it offers a splendid ex vanced by a gentleman who had acci. ample of that munificent recompence dentally overheard Mr. Clark deplore which seldom fails to reward such un the want of such a sum, and who the bending integrity and unremitting per- next day, most unexpectedly brought severance.
it. While such was his confidence in The life of the late Mr. CLARK was Mr. C.'s integrity of priociple, that almost exclusively public, and we bave every usual form of bond, receipt, or but little to relate that is not very gene- even written ackpowledgment, was, in rally known. The journal of iwenty- this extraordinary negociation, entirely four hours, with but little variation, dispensed with. We need not add, that might form alnıost a journal of his exist. the debt so honourably contracted, was ence, as, with a due respect to the value as honourably and gratefully discharged. of time, it was never devoted but to As his stock was thus augmented, purposes of business, and, consequently, his custom proportionably increased. of profit.
Wbat he sold was good; the price asked, Mr. C. was born in the year. 1737, was invariably the price taken ; and at Bossel Common, near Warwick, and this excellent rule, added to the modebrought up with his father, who was ration of his profits, secured him that a farmer, until after the age of twenty, rapid retail custom wbich ultimately when he came to London. Whether enriched bim with the golden fruits accident or enterprise first led him of fair industry. But what, perhaps, to the metropolis, we are uninformed; added to his wealth still more, was but learning that a stall was to let the very moderate nature of his ha
bits. Every day he dined with his considered this as the most satisfaclory plate, not indeed on the bare board, day that he had passed in seventy-seven but upon a sheet of paper, in his little pleasant years; and it was evident, that closet, and probably the expense of his neither time nor age had divested him meal, with a pint of porter included, of that inherent cheerfulness, which never reached ihe sum of one shilling! thus shed its twilight beams even over Aster dinner he was accustomed to take the confines of the grave. one glass of spirits in water, at the We have heard many stories of Mr. public-house opposite the end of the Clark : some of them founded on his *Change, and thchce returning, resumed peculiarities, but not ope to his disthe business of the day. Morning and credit. Though addicted to the accuevening saw him on his old horse, mulation of money, it was by honest which, with its rider, was as well known means; and what appeared to others at Charing.cross as King Charles bim- bard self-privation, was probably to self. Latterly, however, he came to him, who relished few higher pleatown, from bis residence at Pimlico, sures, an enjoyment, because it was a and returned in his son's carriage. sccond nature. Nor was he incapable
In 1814, Mr. Clark completed his of performing, at times, actions of the seventy-seventh year, and then, for most liberal and honourable kind. the first time, celebrated his birth-day. Among the numerous anecdotes told of His visitors were his children and grand. him, it is reported, that when the inchildren ; and though the viands re come tax was first imposed, he gave seinbled those of a feast an hundred in his schedule at 60001. The tax. years ago, yet the desert possessed collector relurned it to him for amendsome feaiures entirely novel. The cloth ment, under the supposition that he had being drawn, the old gentleman pre- returned (and over-rated too) his whole sented each of his grandchildren, twelve stock, instead of bis annual income. in number, with a five-guinea piece Mr. Clark hitched on another thousaud, in gold, a Bible, Dodsley's Economy and assured the collector that he was of Human Life, Pope's Essay on Man, sure it was the full amount.-“ Aye, and Dr. Franklin's Life and Works. but," said the other, “I want your He then addressed his youthful auditors income, not your properiy."'" Are thus:-" My children i sometimes arti fou content:''-" Yes !!'-." So am I," cles of the least value have the strong- replied the old merchant, and wished est powers of attraction.--Gold is a slip- the astonished collector a brief good pery article, it is freqnently here to day morning. In his will, Mr. (. rememand gone to-morrow. In moderation, bered all his friends and faithful serand under the controul of discretion; vants in a handsome manner. On the it is good :--but an abundance of it occasion of his death, on the 6th of has proved injurious to more states September last, Exeter Change was par and families than it has ever mended ; tally shut, and had, from its wonted an attention to the books that I have light and bustle, a strange appearance. presented you with, will do you good, of his person, our likeness couveys an as they will be a pleasant guide through idea at once accurate and striking. His life's short journey, by teaching the features were by no means of a common adoration you owe to Gov--the duty cast, and his sagacity and sense were obyou owe to your neighbour,—and the vious in his conversations ou almost advantages which you owe to your every subject. l'pon the wbole, he was felves, lay enabling you to lay down an eccentric mau, but one in whom pour heads in peace, with a joyful eccentricity was not vice-odd in his hope of faturity ; which, that you may manvers, but upright in bis intercourse do,-is my carnest prayer to God for with the world --and capable of many
most beneficent and disipierested acts He then called on his eldest grand of humanity and charity. Let the idle daughter to read the last chapter of imitate his industry, and the avaricious Proverbs, and on his eldest grandson copy his benevolence, then will his to read the 23d verse in the 4th chapter life have been not less honourable to of the same book.
himself, than useful to society at large, lhe whole fainily having assembled while the example will not cease to aou retired in health and good-humour, actuate, even when its origival is fortbe ven crable founder of the feast cvcr golten.
THE PEDLAR OF LAMBETH. There is moreover, a story of a pedTo the Editor of the European Magazine, lar, connected with the bistory of the
parish church of Swaffham in the coun
ty of Norfolk, * who is reported to bave YOUR TOUR old Correspondent Mr. Mo
been a considerable benefactor to that ser, has, I believe, in a former place, and who is said to have acquired number of your Magazine, made some
great riches, through a very extraormention of the " Pedlar and his Dog" dinary dream. Now, as the following pourtrayed in the wiodow of the parish curious relation wbich I have lately church of St. Mary, Lambeih; but as
met with among some old MSS. appears I do not find any satisfactory account of connected with one of the above tra. this extraordinary person in the works ditions, I think it not improbable, of any topographer, I write this with that the insertion of it in your interesta view of calling the attention of some ing miscellany may call forth some of intelligent correspondent to the sub- the pleasani stories” referred to by ject (having no doubt that such a cha- the author before mentioned, which i racter really existed), and hoping to see do not recollect to have seen in print. bis history further elucidated iban it I hope, therefore, you will find it conappears to bave hitherto been.
venient to assign it a place in one of Pennant, Lysons, and others, mention it as a tradition, that the parish it will in itself contribue to ibe amuse
your future numbers, having no doubt was indebted to this person (whoever ment of your readers, if not elicit other he was) for the bequest of a piece of communications upon the subject af-. land, which bears the name of Ped
fording more information and enterlar's Acre," and which is now likely to tainment. be rendered of considerable value and
I am, Sir, &c. importance, from the circumstance of its Islington, April 1, 1816.
N. proximity to the Strand Bridge; a noble structure, at once an honor and an or
There was a pedlar who used to tranament to the metropolis, and which vel about the country with his pack, appears to be approaching fast to a
but kept a chamber or store-room in completion.
town for the depositing and laying up The latter writer considers the
some goods which he had there, and figures above-mentioned to be a Rebus of some benefactor to the church; but them all about with him. It happened
which were too many at a time to carry I am rather jaclined to think it was intended as a portrait of some such and coming home with his pack, sạt
that this man having been abroad late, person, and that the current tradition himself down upon a stile, resting the respecting this itinerant trader is not pack at the same time for his ease : altogether void of foundation.
while he sat here, there came up to The author of the “ New View of him a ghost, in the appearance of a London,” published in 170s, who ap
woman, drest all in white; she came pears to have known more of this sub
up to him with a smiling countenance, ject tban any of his successors, speak. and when she discovered herself she ing of Lambeth Church observes, * in stept backward, and holding up a fine the glass are the effigies of a pedlar white hand beckoned to bim with a and his dog, who gave, besides the fol
finger to follow her. lowing gifts, one acre of land, on cou
l'he pedlar, frighted as he was, im. dition the said picture be from time to
mediately followed the apparilion ;time kept in good repair;" and adds,
the apparition leads hin in this " there are many pleasant stories of bira, which I have not room to josert.” ing with her hand, over two or three
manner going backward, aud beckonThe benefactions referred to are given fields, till it came to a particular place, as follows:
where there Jay a great stone, aud a pedlar, (besides
there giving a stamp with ils foot an acre of land)......£6 00 it vanished. The man takes the hint, To the then Archbishop of
marks the stone, goes home to carry Canterbury .... ..100 0 0 his pack, and comes out the next night To the Rector.
0 with a spade and a pick-axe, and goes To the Clerk and Sexton, each
Vido Blomfield's History and Antikrew View of Lond. Vol. II. p. 381. quity of Norfolk.
to work to dig a great pit in the earth. among his old lumber, be found nothing He had not dug far, it seems, but he so proper as the old chest that the found a large chest; I say large, for it money was found in, and accordingly could not be a small one, by what you a hatch was made of it. shall bear presently. He doubled his Awhile after this, as the pedlar was diligence when he came to the chest, sitting in his shop, be observed an and with great labour at'length got it ancient gentleman, who lived in the out of the place, and we may suppose town, and who had the reputation of was not loog before he found means to a scholar, and particularly of a great split it open and get into the inside of antiquary, stood poring very earnestly, it to see the contents, for he found it with his spectacles on, upon this new very heavy when he laboured to get it hatch : this brought the pedlar to the out. In a word he found the chest full door, who, after waiting a good while of silver, that is to say full of money; to see what it was the old gentleman then keeping bis own council, be took had discovered, at last, he asked him care to deposit it so, that by some and what it was he found upon his new batch some he got the money all safe home, that was worth so much of his notice, and after that he carried the chest home “ Truly, neighbour," saya the gentle. also.
“ what I observe is very remarka. What the sum was that he found bere ble, though I cannot tell the meaning does not appear; but it seems the bulk of it; and I suppose 'tis in a cbaracter was such, that the pedlar thought fit that you cannot easily read, as well as to leave off his travelling about the in a language that you may not onder. country as a pedlar, takes a bouse in stand.” The pedlar desired he would the town, furnishes himself a shop, and read it to bim. " Why," says the genbecomes a settled inhabitant and shop- tleman,“ you will not understand it keeper. During his appearing in this when I have read it.”—“But, Sir,” says figure, it happened that the parish the pedlar,“ can you not tell the mean. church being exceeding old and out ing of it in English?"-"Why," says of repair, the parishioners (whether the gentleman,
“it is the old Saxoa by order of the diocesan upon a visita- English, in the ancient Gothic characlion, or by the voluntary act and deed ter, and it may be read thus, of themselves, the parishioners, I know
Where this once stood, not) resolved to repair the church. In
Stands another twice as good. order to furnish the needful sums for this good work they call a vestry, and “Hum!” says the pedlar, that's old propose a subscription of the inhabi- stuff indeed; what can that signify;" tants for supporting the expense; so “Nay," says the old gentleman, " that I the minister and churcbwardens go don't know, for who can tell where this about froin house to house to see what once stood?"-" Aye, who, indeed," the charitable parishioners would con. says the pedlar, " and if tbey did, what tribute, and among the rest they at
can there be in that ?" length came to the pedlar's (now shop They had a little more chat of that keeper's) house, and be being told kind; but, in short the pedlar got rid their business desires them to walk in. of his old gentleman as soon as he
After some discourse, and perhaps could, and began to ruminate upon the treating his neighbours, be asks for thing; " Where this slood!" why I their roll or subscription paper, in or. know well enough,” says he to bimder to subscribe ; looking over the roll self, “ where this stood ; I must go and he sees Sir Thomas
five see, it may be there is some more of the pounds, another gentleman five pounds, same." But then he argued," why this another ten pounds, another forty shil is so many years ago (six or seven at lings, and so on. “Come,” says he, least), and if it was a ghost or spirit "give a poor pedlar the pen and ink, that shewed me the way to it, I'll warwill your gentry subscribe no more than rant she has showed somebody else the that?" so he takes the pen and sub- way to the rest : indeed, I did not deseribes five-and twenty pounds.
serve it that I did not look further wben Some time after this, having occasion I was at it ;-to be sure, it's all gode to make a batch to bis shop door, as in by this time." the country is very frequent, it hap Thus be argued himself almost out pened, that sending for a workman to of the thing again, till at length he told make this batch, and looking about his wife of it, who, it seemus, had been