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And by his second wife, Angelica Magdalene, daughter to George Pillesary, treasury-general of the marines, and superintendant of all the ships and gallies of France, under Lewis XIV. bis Lordship had three sons, and a daughter,
Henrietta, a married on June 20th, 1727, to Robert Knight, of Barrels, in com. Warw. Esq. afterwards created Lord Luxborough of Shannon, in the kingdom of Ireland, on August 8th, 1746, and Earl of Catherlough, and Viscount Barrels, in the said kingdom, on April 30th, 1763. She died ......, 1756.
Of his Lordship's sons, by his second Lady, (who died at Battersea, in August, 1736,)
George, the eldest, was secretary to the English plenipotentiaries, in the Congress, at Utrecht, and died at Venice, in January, 1715-16.
John, the second, his heir, shall be mentioned afterwards, as continuator of the male line.
And Hollis, third son, was equerry to the Queen, and died in October, 1738, unmarried.
Henry, only son of the aforesaid Henry Viscount St. John, by the first wife, having distinguished himself in the house of commons, was, on April 20th, 1704, 2 Queen Anne, made secretary at war; but resigned in February, 1707-8. However, on the change of the ministry, in 1710, he was made secretary of state, and one of the privy-council, in Septembur that year. On July 7th, 1712, in the eleventh of that reign, he was created BARON St. Joan of Lydiard Tregoxe, in the county of Wilts, and Vis. COUNT BOLINGBROKB, in the county of Lincoln, with remainder, for want of issue male, to Sir Henry St. John, his father, and the heirs male of his body; also on October 24th, 1713, he was constituted lord-lieutenant and custos-rotulorum of the county of Essex : but in August, 1715, the 2d of George I, bis honours were forfeited by attainder, and he entered in the service of the Chevalier de St. George. However, being restored in blood on May 29th, 1723, he came to England next month, and in May 1725, an act passed, enabling him and his issue to inherit the family estate, notwithstanding his attainder. He died on December 15th, 1751, in the seventy-ninth year of his age.
He married, to his first wife, Frances, daughter and coheir of
• The friend and correspondent of Shenstone the poet. See a volume of their Letters, long since given to the world.
Seventy-fourth, says Coxc.
Sir Henry Winchcomb, of Bucklebury, in the county of Berks, Bart.
And to his second, Mary-Clara des Champs de Maresilly, Marchioness de Villette, relict of the Marquis de Villette, and niece to the celebrated Madam de Maintenon, wife to Lewis XIV. but had no issue by either.
A' monument is erected to his memory, of grey and black marble, standing against the church wall of Battersea, near the altar. On the top is his shield, impaling his and her coats of arms; and from the top falls a rich marble curtain, partly drawn up, which discovers a double urn of a brownish yellow. Underneath is spread a sheet of black marble, with inscriptions in gold letters: on the right thereof is her busto, and on the left his Lord. ship's. The inscriptions are as follow :
In the Reign of Queen Anne
His Attachment to Queen Anne
The Friend of no Faction..
By Zeal to maintain the Liberty,
In the same Vault
Born of a noble Family,
• Her fortune,' says Voltaire, 'was scarcely any thing; she had little else besides expectations; and has often told me, “ she reproached her aunt for doing so little for her family." "Her uncommon understanding, however, made up for this deficiency; and Madam de Maintenon, in her letters lately published, styles her, “ The most sensible person among her female relations."
“ In this manner,” says Goldsmith, “ lived and died Lord Bolingbroke; ever active, never depressed, ever pursuing fortune, and as constantly disappointed by her. In whatever light we view his character, we shall find him an object rather properer for our wonder, than our imitation, more to be feared than esteemed, and gaining our admiration without our love. His ambition ever aimed at the summit of power, and nothing seemed capable of satistying his immoderate desires, but the liberty of governing all things without a rival. With as much ambition, as great abilities, and more acquired knowledge than Cæsar, he wanted only bis courage to be as successful; but the schemes his head dictated, his heart often refused to execute; and he lost the ability to perform, just when the great occasion called for all his efforts to engage.
“ The same ambition that prompted him to be a politician, actuated him as a philosopher; his aims were equally great and extensive in both capacities : unwilling to submit to any in the one, or any authority in the other, he entered the fields of science with a thorough contempt of all that had been established before him, and seemed willing to think every thing wrong, that he might shew his faculty in the reformation. It might have been better for his quiet as a man, if he had been content to act a sub- , ordinate character in the state ; and it had certainly been better for his memory as a writer, if he had aimed at doing less than be attempted. Wisdom in morals, like every other art or science, is an accumulation that numbers have contributed to increase; and it is not for one single man to pretend, that he can add more to the heap, than the thousands that have gone before him. Such innovations more frequently retard, than promote knowledge. Their maxims are more agreeable to the reader, by having the gloss of novelty to recommend them, than those which are trite only because they are true: such men are therefore followed at first with avidity, nor is it till some time that disciples begin to find tþeir error. They often, though too late, perceive that tbey have been following a speculative inquiry, while they have been leaving a practical good; and while they have been practising the arts of doubting, they have been losing all firmness of principle which might tend to establish the rectitude of their private conduct. As a moralist, therefore, Lord Bolingbroke, by having endeavoured at too much, seems to have done nothing: but as a political writer few can equal, and none can exceed him. As he was a prac. tical politician, his writings are less filled with those speculative illusions, which are the result of solitude and seclusion, He wrote them with a certainty of their being opposed, sifted, eso amined, and reviled; he therefore took care to build them up of such materials, as could not be easily overthrown: they prevailed at the times in which they were written, they still continue to the admiration of the present, and will probably last for ever." c
The following character may be added from Coxe's Life of Sir R. Walpole.
“ He distinguished himself," says Coxe, “ at a very early period, by his talents and excesses ; and made so conspicuous a figure in the house of commons, that, in 1704, he was appointed secretary at war, by the influence of Harley. On the removal of Harley, in 1707, he resigned his employments, and followed the fortune of his benefactor. On the dismission of the Whig admi. nistration, Harley proposed to reinstate him in bis employment, and expressed a desire to admit some of the most moderate Whigs into the administration. But St. John opposed the coalition, and insisted on being appointed secretary of state for foreign affairs,
+ Goldsmith's Works, vol. iv. p. 75.
with which demand Harley was obliged to comply. St. John possessed great animation of countenance, elegance of manners, and dignity of deportment. He was fascinating in conversation, of commanding eloquence, abounding in wit and fancy, master of polite learning, which he knew how to draw forth on all occasions. In his private character he was without morals and without principles, not only not concealing, but rather proud of his profiligacy. He was fond of pleasure, yet never suffered his amusements to interfere with affairs of importance; affecting to resemble the characters of Alcibiades and Petronius, by mixing pleasure and business, in which, when necessity required his at. tendance, he was so indefatigable that he would drudge like a common clerk. Quick in apprehension, easy of access, no less artful in negociation than decisive and vigorous in action, clear and perspicuous in his style, but too fond of declamation and metaphor ; adopting and enforcing all the violent measures of the Tories ; scorning to temporise, caballing with the friends of the Pretender, either with a view to placing him on the throne, or to obtain the removal of Oxford by their assistance. He was deprived of the seals by George I. and not venturing to abide the prosecution that awaited him, fed from England; and threw him. self into the Pretender's service; from which he was soon dismissed. Thence he resolved to make his peace at home; and obtained promises of pardon. A peerage was accordingly conferred on his father, Sir Henry St. John, July 2d, 1716, with remainder to bis younger brothers. But it was not till 1723, that his pardon passed the great seal; without, however, giving him back his forfeited estate, or his seat in the house of peers. This imperfect restoration made him discontented the remainder of his life. He soon after married to his second wife, Madame de Villette, niece of Madame de Maintenon. It was not long before be engaged in the most virulent opposition to Walpole, which continued unabated through the whole remainder of that minister's power. He continually shook that power to its base, “ by a plausible philosophy, recommended by all the graces of eloquence, and enforced by all the arts of personal address. His writings were recommended by a glare of metaphorical ornament, at that time very unusual, the effect of which was to dazzle the judgment of the reader, and prevent him from penetrating into the substance of the argument."d He died December 12th, 1751, at the age of seventy-three, according to Coxe, e
Coxe, vol. i. p. 211. e Ibid. 197.--.See the Mem. of him by Goldsmith.