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liamentary soldiers, even to the clothes of the infant in the cradle, (which, according to family tra dition, was Jonathan, father of the Dean,) and to the last loaf which was to support his numerous family, Thomas Swift died in the year 1658, leaving ten sons, and three or four daughters, with no other fortune than the small estate to which he was born, and that almost ruined by fines and sequestrations.
The sufferings of this gentleman were of some service to his family after the restoration; for Godwin Swift, his eldest son, who had studied at
Goodrich, or Gotheridge. He sent a penciled elevation of the monument, (a simple tablet,) to Mrs Howard, who returned it with the following lines, inscribed on the drawing by Pope. The paper, now before the editor, is indorsed in Swift's hand, "Model of a monument for my grandfather, with Mr Pope's roguery."
By fatherige, motherige,
To come from Gutherige,
But now is spoil'd clean,
The lines, originally written in pencil by Pope, are traced over in ink by Dr Lyons, as a memorandum bears. It occurred amongst Dr Lyons' manuscripts.
Gray's Inn, and had been called to the bar, was appointed attorney-general of the Palatinate of Tipperary, under the Duke of Ormond. He was a man of talents, and appears to have possessed a considerable revenue, which he greatly embarrassed by embarking in speculative and expensive projects, to which his nephew, Jonathan, ever after entertained an unconquerable aversion*. Meantime, however, the success of Godwin Swift, in his profession, attracted to Ireland three of his brethren, William, Jonathan, and
* One of these projects seems to have been the iron manufactory at Swandlingbar, mentioned sarcastically by the Dean in his Essay on Barbarous Denominations in Ireland, Vol. VII. p. 362. Swift's dislike to projects and projectors, is exhibited in his Essays on English Bubbles, and the subsequent Tracts relating to the proposed establishment of a bank in Ireland. The following anecdote is also recorded on the same subject:
"When Swift was at Holyhead, waiting for a fair wind to sail for Ireland, one Welldon, an old seafaring man, sent him a letter that he had found out the longitude, and would convince him of it; to which the Dean answered, in writing, that if he had found it out, he must apply to the Lords of Admiralty, of whom, perhaps, one might be found who knew something of navigation, of which he was totally ignorant; and that he never knew but two projectors, one of whom, (meaning his uncle Godwin,) ruined himself and family, and the other hanged himself; and desired him to desist, lest one or other might happen to him."-Swiftiana, London, 1804, 12mo, Vol. I. p. 177. The other unfortunate projector, was probably Joseph Beaumont, often mentioned in Swift's journal, who committed suicide.
Adam, all of whom settled in that kingdom, and there lived and died.
Jonathan Swift, the father of the celebrated author, was the sixth or seventh son of the Vicar of Goodrich, the number of whose descendants, and the obscurity of their fortunes, does not admit of distinguishing his lineage more accurately. Jonathan, like his brother Godwin, appears to have been bred to the law, though not like him called to the bar. He added to the embarrassments of his situation, by marrying Abigail Ericke of Leicestershire, a lady whose ancient genealogy was her principal dowry. The Dean has, himself, informed us, that his father obtained some agencies and employments in Ireland; but his principal promotion seems to have been the office of steward to the society of the King's Inns, Dublin, to which he was nominated in 1665.
This situation he did not long enjoy, for he died in 1667, two years after his appointment, leaving an infant daughter and his widow, then pregnant, in a very destitute situation *, as Mrs Swift was unable, without the assistance of the
The following original documents, procured by the kindness of Mr Hartstonge, establish the time of his appointment and death, and also the destitute circumstances of the poet's mother. As Mr Swift states himself to have been conversant about the King's Inns for six or seven years before the date of his petition, it is probable that he came to Ireland upon the death of his father, in 1658.
society, even to defray the expence of her husband's funeral.
"To his Grace the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable the Judges, and other the Honourable Benchers of the Honourable Society of the King's Inns, Dublin.
"The humble Petition of Jonathan Swift. "Humbly sheweth,
"That the stewardship of this Honourable Society is now become void by the death of Thomas Wale, the late steward thereof: That your petitioner, his father, and their whole family, have been always very loyal and faithful to his said Ma jesty and his royal father, and have been very great sufferers upon that account: That your petitioner, for these six or seven years last past, hath been much conversant about the said Inns, and is very well acquainted with the duty and employment belonging unto the steward thereof, he having assisted the said Thomas Wale in entering of the orders of your hon. ours, and in the settling and ordering other things belonging to the said employment.
"That your petitioner doubts not but if your honours will be pleased to confer the said employment of steward upon your petitioner, that he shall give your honours all satisfaction imaginable therein.
"He therefore humbly prays that your honours will be pleased to confirm the said stewardship upon him.
And he shall pray." [Extracted from the Black-book of the King's Inns, in the library, Henrietta Street, Dublin, p. 242.]
I compared the above extracts with Mr Hartstonge, and can certify its correctness with the original.
Presented to a Council held
at the King's Inns, Dublin, 14th Nov. 1665.
B. T. DUHIGG, Librarian to the Honourable Society of King's Inns, Dublin, Dec. 24th, 1810.
Dryden William Swift, the brother of the deceased, seems to have been active in behalf of his
"At a Council holden at the King's Inns, Dublin, the 25th day of January 1665-6.
[Amongst other matters it was]
"That Jonathan Swift, upon his petition, be admitted steward of this house.
"Michl. Dublin, Can.
J. Temple, [Master of the Rolls.]
W. Aston, [puisne Justice of the King's Bench.]
Jn. Bysse, [Chief Baron.]
Robt. Kennedy, [Baron of the Exchequer.]
Jerome Alexander, [p. Justice of the Common Pleas.]"
The period of the death of the above mentioned Mr Jonathan Swift is fully ascertained, by the following petition of his widow, Mrs Abigail Swift, to the Honourable Society of King's Inns, presented at a council held the 15th of April, 1667.
"To his Grace the Lord Chancellor, and the Right Honourable the Judges and Benchers of the Honourable Society of the King's Inns.
"The humble Petition of Abigail Swift, widow; "Humbly sheweth,
"That it having pleased God to take away your petitioner's husband, the late steward of this Honourable Society, unexpectedly, and your petitioner being left a disconsolate widow, hath this affliction added to her, that there is due to her from the several members of this Honourable Society, for Commons and Cost Commons, about six score pounds sterling,