Bower, Archibald

, a person of a very celebrated, but dubious character, was a native of Scotland, born on the 17th of January 1686 at or near Dundee, of an ancient family, by his own account, which had been for several hundred years possessed of an estate in the county of Angus in Scotland. In September 1702, at the age of sixteen, he was sent to the Scots college of Douay, where he studied until the year 1706, to the end of his tirst year of philosophy. From thence he was removed to Rome, and on the 9th day of December 1706, was admitted into the order of Jesus. After a noviciate of two years, he went, | in the year 1712, to Fano, where he taught humanities during the space of two years. He then removed to Fermo, and resided there three years, until the year 1717, when he was recalled to Rome to study divinity in the Roman college. There he remained until the year 1721, when he was sent to the college of Arezzo, where he staid until the year 1723, and became reader of philosophy, and consultor to the rector of the college. He then was sent to Florence, where he remained but a short time, being in the same year removed to Macerata, at which place he continued until the year 1726. Between the two latter periods it seems probable that he made his last vows, his own account fixing that event in the month of March 1722, at Florence; though, as he certainly was that year at Arezzo, it is most likely to have been a year later.

Having thus been confirmed in the order of the Jesuits, and arrived at the age of almost forty years, it was reasonable to suppose that Mr. Bower would have passed through life with no other changes than such as are usual with persons of the same order; but this uniformity of life was not destined to be his lot. To whatever cause it is to be ascribed whether, according to his own account, to his disgust at the enormities committed by the inquisition, in which he performed the office of counsellor; or, as his enemies assert, to his indulgence of his passions, particularly with a nun to whom he was ghostly father; certain it is, that in the year 1726 he was removed from Macerata to Pe-r rugia, and from thence made his escape into England, where he arrived at the latter end of June or July, after various adventures, which it now becomes our duty to communicate to the reader, and which we shall do in his own wards premising, however, that the truth of the narrative has been impeached in several very material circumstances. Having determined to put into execution his design of quitting the inquisition and bidding for ever adieu to Italy, he proceeds: “To execute that design with seme safety, I purposed to beg leave of the inquisitor to visit the” Virgin of Loretto, but thirteen miles distant, and to pass a week there; but in the mean time to make the best of my way to the country of the Grisons, the nearest country to Macerata, out of the reach of the inquisition. Having therefore, after many conflicts with myself, asked leave to visit the neighbouring sanctuary, and obtained it, 1 set out on horseback the very next morning, leaving, as I purposed to keep the horse, his full value with the owner. I took | the road to Loretto, but turned out of it at a small distance from llecanati, after a most violent struggle with myself, the attempt appearing to me, at that juncture, quite desperate and impracticable; anvl the dreadful doom reserved for me, should I miscarry, presenting itself to my mind in the strongest light. But the reflection that I had it in my p.ower to avoid being taken alive, and a persuasion that a man in my situation might lawfully avoid it, when every other means failed him, at the expence of his life, revived my staygered resolution and all my fears ceasing at once, 1 steered my course, leaving Loretto behind me, to Calvi in the dukedom of Urbino, and from thence through the Romania into the Boionese, keeping the by-roads, and at a good distance from the cities of Fano, Pisaro, Rimini, Forlu Faenza, and Imola, through which the high road passed. Thus 1 advanced very slowly, travelling, generally speaking, in very bad roads, and often in places where tfeere vva no road at all, to avoid not only the cities and jtowns, but even the- villages. In the mean time I^eldom had any other support than some coarse provisions, and a very small quantity even of them, that the poor shepherds, the countrymen, or wood cleavers, I met in those unfrequented by-places, could spare me. My horse fared not much better than myself; but in choosing my sleepingplace I consulted his convenience as much as my own; passing the night where I found most shelter for myself, and most grass for him. In Italy there are very few solitary farm-houses or cottages, the country people there all living together in villages; and I thought it far safer to lie where I could be any way sheltered, than to venture into any of them. Thus I spent seventeen days before I got out of the Ecclesiastical State; and I very narrowly escaped being taken or murdered on the very borders of that state. It happened thus:

"I had passed two whole days without any kind of subsistence whatever, meeting nobody in the by-roads that would supply me with any, and fearing to come near any house, as 1 was not far from the borders of the dominions of the pope I thought I should be able to hold out till I got into the Modenese, where I believed I should be in less danger than while I remained in the papal dominions; but finding myself about noon of the third day extremely weak, and ready to faint, I came into the high road that leads from Bologna to Florence, at a few miles distance from the | former city, and alighted at a post house that stood quite by itself. Having asked the woman of the house whether she had any victuals ready, and being told that she had, I went to open the door of the only room in the house (that being a place where gentlemen only stop to change horses), and saw, to my great surprise, a placard pasted on it with a most minute description of my whole person, and the promise of a reward of 800 crowns, about 200l. English money, for delivering me up alive to the inquisition, being a fugitive from the holy tribunal, and 600 crowns for my head. By the same placard all persons were forbidden, on the pain of the greater excommunication, to receive, harbour, or entertain me, to conceal or to screen me, or to be any way aiding and assisting to me in making my escape. This greatly alarmed me, as the reader may well imagine; but I was still more affrighted when entering the room I saw two fellows drinking there, who, fixing their eyes upon me as soon as I came, continued looking at me very steadfastly. I strove, by wiping my face, by blowing- my nose, by looking out at the window, to prevent their having a full view of me. But one of them saying, ‘ The gentleman seems afraid to be seen,’ I put up my handkerchief, and turning to the fellow said boklly, ‘ What do you mean, you rascal? Look at me; I am not afraid to be seen.’ He said nothing, but, looking again steadfastly at me, and nodding his head, went out, and his companion immediately followed him. I watched them; and seeing them with two or three more in close conference, and, no doubt, consulting whether they should apprehend me or not, I walked that moment into the stable, mounted my horse unobserved by them, and, while they were deliberating in an orchard behind the house, rode off full speed, and in a few hours got into the Modenese, where I refreshed both with food and with rest, as I was there in no immediate danger, my horse and myself. I was indeed surprised to find that those fellows did not pursue me; nor can I any other way account for it but by supposing, what is not improbable, that as they were strangers as well as myself, and had all the appearUnce of banditti or ruffians fly ing out of the dominions of the pope, the woman of the house did not care to trust them with her horses. From the Modenese I continued my journey more leisurely through the Parmesan, the Milanese, and part of the Venetian territory, to Chiavenna, subject, with its district, to the Grisons, who abhor the very name of the inquisition, and are ever ready to | receive and protect all who, flying from it, take refuge, as many Italians do, in their dominions. However, as I proposed getting as soon as I could to the city of Bern, the metropolis of that great protestant canton, and was informed that my best way was through the cantons of Ury and Underwald, and part of the canton of Lucern, all three popish cantons, I carefully concealed who I was and from whence I came. For though no inquisition prevails among the Swiss, yet the pope’s nuncio, who resides at Lucern, might have persuaded the magistrates of those popish cantons to stop me as an apostate and deserter from the order.

"Having rested a few days at Chiaveuna, I resumed my journey quite refreshed, continuing it through the country of the Grisons, and the two small cantons of Ury and Underwald to the canton of Lucern, There I missed my way, as I was quite unacquainted with the country, and discovering a city at a distance, was advancing to it, but very slowly, as I knew not where I was; when a countryman whom I met informed me that the city before me was Lucern. Upon that intelligence, I turned out of the road as soon as the countryman was out of sight; and that night I passed with a good r natured shepherd in his cottage, who supplied me with sheep’s milk, and my horse with plenty of grass. I set out very early next morning, making the best of my way westward, as I knew that Bern lay west of Lucern. But after a few miles the country proved very mountainous; and having travelled the whole day over mountains, I was overtaken amongst them by night. As I was looking out for a place where I might shelter myself during the night against the snow and rain, for it both snowed and rained, I perceived a light at a distance; and, making towards it, got into a kind of footpath, but so narrow and rugged that I was obliged to lead my horse and feel my way with one foot, having no light to direct me, before I durst move the other. Thus wita much difficulty I reached the place where the light was, a poor little cottage; and, knocking at the door, was asked by a man within who I was, and what I wanted. I answered that I was a stranger, and had lost my way. ‘Lost your way!’ replied the man; ‘there is no way here to lose.’ I then asked him in what canton I was; and upon his answering that I was in the canton of Bern, ‘I thank God,’ I cried out, transported with joy, ‘that I am.’ The good man answered, ‘And so do I.’ I then told him who I was, and that I was going to | Bern, but had quite lost myself by keeping out of all the high roads to avoid falling into the hands of those who sought my destruction. He thereupon opened the door, received and entertained me with all the hospitality his poverty would admit of, regaled me with sour-krout and some new-laid eggs, the only provisions he had, and clean straw with a kind of rug for my bed, he having no other for himself and his wife. The good woman expressed as much satisfaction and good-nature in her countenance as her husband, and said many kind things in the Swiss language, which her husband interpreted for me in the Italian; for that language he well understood, and spoke so as to be understood, having learnt it as he told me in his youth while servant in a public-house on the borders of Italy, where both languages are spoken. I never passed a more comfortable night; and no sooner did I begin to stir in the morning, than the good man and his wife came both to know how I rested, and wishing they had been able to accommodate me better, obliged me to breakfast on two eggs, which Providence, they said, had supplied them with for that purpose. I then took leave of the wife, who, with her eves lifted up to heaven, seemed most sincerely to wish me a good journey. As for the husband, he would by all means attend me to the high road leading to Bern; which road, he said, was but two miles distant from that place. But he insisted on my first going back with him to see the way I had come the night before, the only way, he said, I could have possibly come from the neighbouring canton of Lucern. I saw it, and shuddered at the danger 1 had escaped; for I found that I had walked and led my horse a good way along a very narrow path on the brink of a dreadful precipice. The man made so many pious and pertinent remarks on the occasion, as both charmed and surprised me. I no less admired his disinterestedness than his piety: for, upon our parting, after he had attended me till I was out of all danger of losing my way, I could by no means prevail upon him to accept of any reward for his trouble. He had the satisfaction, he said, of having relieved me in the greatest distress, which was in itself a sufficient reward, and he cared for no other.

"I reached Bern that night, and purposed staying some time there; but being informed by the principal minister of the place, to whom I discovered myself, that boats went frequently down the Rhine at that time of the year with | goods and passengers from Basil to Holland and advised by him to avail myself of that opportunity, I set out accordingly the next day, and crossing the popish canton of Soleurre in the night, but very carefully avoiding the town of that name, I got early the next morning to Bsil. There I met with a most friendly reception from one of the ministers of the place, having been warmly recommded to him by a letter I brought with me from his brotbr at Bern. As a boat was to sail in two days, he entertaiisd me very elegantly during that time at his house and embarked the third day, leaving my horse to my host inreturn for his kindness.

"The company in the boat consisted of a few traders, of a great many vagabonds, the very refuse of the neighbouring nations, and some criminals flying from justice, but I was not long with them for the boat striking again a rock not far from Strasburgh, I resolved not to wait till was refitted as it was not my design to go to Holland, but to pursue my journey partly in the common diligence stage coach, and partly on, post-horses, through France into Flanders.

"And here I must inform the reader, that thogh the cruelties of the inquisition had inspired me with great horror at their being encouraged under the name of religion, and I had thereupon begun to entertain many doub concerning other doctrines that I had till that time implicitly swallowed, as most Italian catholics do, without examination; nevertheless, as I had not thoroughly examined them, nor had an opportunity of examining them, being employed in studies of a quite different nature, I was not yet determined to quit either that church or the order. Having therefore got safe into French Flanders, I there repaired to the college of the Scotch Jesuits at Douay and discovering myself to the rector, I acquainted him with the cause of of my sudden departure from Italy, and begged him to give immediate notice of my arrival, as well as the raot^s of my flight, to Michael Angelo Tamburini, general of e order, and my very particular friend. My repairing tig to a college of Jesuits, and putting myself in their power is a plain proof, as may be observed here by the way, thar it was not because I was guilty of any crime, or to avoid tl punishment due to any crime, that I had fled from Italy for, had that been the case, no man can think that instead of repairing to Holland or England, as I might have easily | done, and bid the whole order defiance, I would have thus delivered myself up to them, and put it in their power to inflict on me what punishment soever they pleased.

"The recor wrote, as I had desired him, to the general and the genral, taking no notice of my flight in his answer (for he could not disapprove it, and did not think it safe to appove it), ordered me to continue where I was till further-orders. I arrived at Douay early in May, and continued here till the latter end of June or the beginning of July, when the rector received a second letter from the general, acquainting him, that he had been commanded by the congregation of the inquisition to order me, wherever I was, back to Italy; to promise me in their name full pardon and forgiveness, if I obeyed; but if I did not obey, to treat ie as an apostate. He added, that the same order had bee transmitted soon after my flight to the nuncio* at the efferent Roman catholic courts; and he therefore advisedne to consult my own safety without farther delay. It’s to be observed here, that it is deemed apostacy in a prson of any religious order to quit his habit, and withdiw, without the knowledge of his superiors, from the c<lege, convent, or monastery, in which they have placechim; and that all bishops are not only impowered, but bind to apprehend such an apostate within the limits of tlir respective jurisdictions, and deliver him up to his supeors to be punished by them. As 1 had quitted the habi and withdrawn from the college of Macerata, without‘ave from my superiors who had placed me there, I shold have been treated as an apostate, had I been disco^red in my flight in a Roman catholic country, even wh’e no inquisition prevailed. But my returning voluntay, and resuming the habit, cleared me from the guilt oipostacy at the general’s tribunal, nay, and at that of tl inquisition itself. However, the congregation of the inquisition had it still in their power to oblige the general trecal me to Italy, and to treat me as an apostate if I d not obey; disobedience to an express command of a wful superior being deemed apostacy, and punished as ach with close confinement, and with bread and water for jod till the order is complied with. That order the geneal received; but his friendship forme, of which he had *iven me some remarkable instances, and his being fully convinced of my innocence, the inquisitor himself -having nothing to lay to my charge but my flight, prompted him | to warn me of the danger that threatened me. Indeed I thought myself quite sate in the dominions of France; and should accordingly have lived there unmolested by the inquisition, what crime soever I had been guilty of cognizable by that tribunal alone; but as I had belonged to it, and was consequently privy to their hellish proceedings, they were apprehensive 1 should discover them to the world; and it was to prevent me from ever discovering them, that they obliged the general to order me back to Italy, and promise me, in their name, a free pardon if I complied, but to confine me for life it‘ I did not comply with the order.

"Upon the receipt of the general’s kind letter, the rector was of opinion, that I should repair by all means, and without loss of time, to England, not only as the safest asylum I could fly to in my present situation, but as a place where I should soon recover my native language, and be usefully employed, as soon as I recovered it, either there or in Scotland. I readily closed with the rector’s opinion, being very uneasy in my mind, as my old doubts in point of religion daily gained ground, and new ones aroseupon my reading, which was my only employment, :the books of controversy I found in the library of the college. The place being thus agreed on, and it being at the same time settled between the rector and me that I should set out the very next morning, I solemnly promised, at his request and desire, to take no notice, after my arrival in England, of his having been any ways privy to my flight, or of the general’s letter to him. This promise I have faithfully and honourably observed; and I should have thought myself guilty of the blackest ingratitude if I had not observed it, being sensible that, had it been known at Rome that either the rector or general had been accessary to my flight, the inquisition would have resented it severely on both. For though a Jesuit in France or in Germany is out of the reach of the inquisition, the general is not; and the high tribunal not only have it in their power to punish the general himself, who resides constantly at Rome, but may oblige hiuri to inflict what punishment they please on any of the order obnoxious to them.

The rector went that very night out of town and in his absence, but not without his privity, I took one of the horses of vhe college early next morning, as if I were | going for change of air, being somewhat indisposed, to pass a few days at Lisle. But steering a different course, I reached Aire that night, and Calais the next day. I was there in no danger of being stopped and seized at the prosecution of the inquisition, a tribunal no less abhorred in France than in England. But being informed by the general, that the nuncios at the different courts had been ordered, soon after my flight, to cause me to be apprehended in the Roman catholic countries through which I might pass, as an apostate or deserter from the order, I was under no small apprehension of being discovered and apprehended as such even at Calais. No sooner, therefore, did I alight at the inn, than I went down to the quay; and there, as I was very little acquainted with the sea, and thought the passage much shorter than it is, I endeavoured to engage some fishermen to carry me that very night in one of their small vessels over to England. This alarmed the guards of the harbour; and I should certainly have been apprehended, as guilty or suspected of some great crime, flying from justice, had not lord Baltimore, whom I had the good luck to meet at the inn, informed of my danger, and pitying my condition, attended me that moment with all his company to the port, and conveyed me immediately on board his yacht. There I lay that night, leaving every thing I had but the clothes on my back in the inn; and the next day his lordship set me on shore at Dover, from whence I came in the common stage to London.

This is the narrative which, after thirty years, Mr. Bower gave the public as a genuine account. Whether owing to the inaccuracy of those who had formerly heard it, to the variations to which a tale frequently repeated is always liable, or to the neglect of veracity in the writer, it certainly differed from accounts which had been orally given by him too much not to furnish some suspicions of the author. On his arrival in England it appears to have been his first object to procure att introduction to some persons of respectability in the country destined for his’ future residence. He had heard of Dr. Aspinwall soon after his arrival; and that divine having formerly belonged to the order of Jesuits, he waited on him, and was kindly received. By this gentleman he was introduced to Dr. Clarke; and to them both he opened, as he says, his mind, without disguise, respecting his doubts relative to | his faith. After several conferences with these gentlemen, and some with Berkeley, the bishop of Cloyne, then dean of Londonderry, added to his own reading and reasoning, he obtained, as he says, the fullest conviction that many of the favourite doctrines of Rome were not only evidently repugnant to scripture and reason, but wicked, blasphemous, and utterly inconsistent with the attributes of the supreme and infinite being. He therefore withdrew himself from the communion of the church without further delay, took leave of the provincial, quitted the order, and broke off all connection with those of the communion. This happened in the month of November, 1726.

He did not, however, become immediately a member of any other church. “I declined,” says he, “conforming to any particular church; but, suspecting all alike, after I had been so long and so grossly imposed upon, I formed a system of religion to myself, and continued a protestant for the space, I think, of six years, but a protestant of no particular denomination. At last I conformed to the church of England, as free in her service as any reformed church from the idolatrous practices and superstitions of popery, and less inclined than many others to fanaticism and enthusiasm.

By Dr. Aspinwall’s means he was introduced to all that gentleman’s friends and acquaintance; and among others to Dr. Goodman (physician to king George the first), who procured him to be recommended to lord Aylmer, who wanted a person to assist him in reading the classics. With this nobleman he continued several years on terms of the greatest intimacy; and was by him made known to all his lordship’s connections, and particularly to the family of lord Lyttelton, who afterwards became his warm, steady, and to the last, when deserted by almost every other person, his unalterable friend.

During the time he lived with lordAylmer, he undertook, for Mr. Prevost, a bookseller, the “Historia Literaria,” a monthly publication in the nature of a review, the first number of which was published in the year 1730. He wrote the preface to that work, and several of the articles, in Italian; not being, as he asserts, yet sufficiently acquainted with the English to write in that language .*

*

The preface was translated by Mr. Lockman, and the rest by Mr. Bark ley, who kept afterwards a boardingschool at Little Chelsea.

| In the mean time he closely applied to the study of the English tongue, and after six months began to think that he had no further occasion for a translator, and he employed him no more.

While he was yet engaged in writing the Historia Literaria, the proprietors of the “Universal History” would have engaged him in that undertaking. But though some advantageous offers were made him, he declined them, until the Historia Literaria was relinquished in 1734. In the next year he agreed with the proprietors of the “Universal History,” and was employed by them to 1744, being the space of nine years .*

*

The part which he wrote of this work was the Roman history; in the execution of which he is charged by his fellow-labourer, George Psaltmanazar, with the blame of some material parts of the work, and particularly of the Byzantine history, being curtailed. “The truth is,” says that author, “that the author of the Roman history having” wire-drawn it to above three times the length it was to have been, there was an absolute necessity of curtailing that of the Constantinopolitan emperors, to prevent the work swelling into an enormous bulk; and he himself hath abridged it in such a manner as hath quite marred it, since the reader will find most reigns contained in as many short paragraphs as they would have required sheets; which is so much the greater loss to the public, inasmuch as the Roman history, being so well known, and written by so many hands, was the fittest to have been epitomized; whereas the Byzantine, though equally curious and instructive, is so little known, that it ought to have been written in a more copious manner, especially as it abounds with the most interesting incidents to the church as we II as the state: so that the author hath done, in both respects, the very reverse of what he ought to have done." Psalmanazar’s Life, p. 308,

While he was engaged in the “Universal History,” he undertook, at the request of Mr. Charlton, of Apley castle, in Shropshire, the education of young Mr. Thompson, son of Mr. Thompson, of Cooley, in Berkshire: but the bad state of his health at that time did not allow him to continue more than a twelvemonth in that family; and upon his recovery, lord Aylmer engaged him to educate two of his children, one of whom afterwards became a captain in colonel Lee’s regiment, and the other a prebendary of Bristol.

By the emoluments arising from his tuition and his writings, it appears that in the year 1740 he had saved the sum of 1100l. in the Old South Sea annuities, with which he had resolved to purchase a life-annuity. In the disposition of this money he was engaged in a negociation for the loan of it, which afterwards proved fatal to his character. We shall again have recourse to Mr. Bower’s own account. Having determined to purchase this annuity, he proceeds in this manner: “This resolution I imparted to several of | my protestant friends; and, among the rest, to sir Thomas Mostyn’s lawyer, and to sir Thomas himself, offering at the same time the above-mentioned sum to him, as he well remembers, and is ready to attest. But neither sir Thomas, nor any of my other protestant friends, caring to burthen their estates with a life-rent, I left my money in the funds till August 1741, when being informed that an act of parliament had passed for rebuilding a church in the city of London, St. Botolph’s Aldgate ,*

*

In this circumstance, however, was mistaken. His Answer says “I can now take upon me to assure the public, that Mr. Bower’s journey into the city to lend his money at St. Botolph’s, his coming too late, and finding the subscription closed, and his accidental meeting with Mr. Hill at Will’s coSee-house, as related in his Defence, are fictions of the inventive imagination of a man who appears to be caof saying anything, where he he thinks he shall not be traced.” Full Confutation of Mr. Bower, p. 68. In reply to which Mr. Bower says, “It might be St. Catherine’s Coleman, Fenchurch-street, or any other; that the point of importance was, that he meant to subscribe to a church, though his memory at such a distance of time might mistake the particular one.” Mr. Bower’s Reply to the Full Confutation, p. 32.

upon life-annuities, at seven per cent I went upon that information into the city, with a design to dispose of my money that way. That this was my intention, Mr. Norris, eldest son to the late sir John Norris, with whom I advised about it at the time, still remembers, and is ready if required to declare. But I came too late, and found the subscription was closed. This disappointment I mentioned to Mr. Hill, whom I accidentally met in Will’s coffee-house, near the Royal Exchange; and upon his offering me the same interest that was given by the trustees of the above-mentioned church, the bargain was concluded in a few meetings, and the sum, of 1100l. transferred, Aug. 21, 1741, not to Mr. Sbirburn, as is said in the letter from Flanders, p. 64, but to Mr. Wright, Mr. Hill’s banker, as appears from the books of the Old South Sea annuities. Mr. Hill was a Jesuit, but transacted money matters as an attorney, and was in that way a very noted man, bore the character of a fair dealer, and dealt very largely in affairs of that nature with protestants as well as with papists. It was with him I immediately dealt; as is manifest from the orders on his banker or cashier, Mr. Wright, in p. 72 of the libel, which were all signed by him, and by nobody else; and he paid me so punctually, that some time after I added 2501. to the sum already in his hands, and received for the whole 94l. 10.s. a year. I afterwards resolved to marry; and it was chiefly | upon that consideration, though not upon that alone, I applied to Mr. Hill to know upon what terms he would return me the capital. The terms ho proposed were as easy as I could expect: for he agreed’ at once to repay it, only deducting what I had received over and above the common interest of four per cent, during the time it had been in his hands; and he did so accordingly, as soon as he conveniently could. Thus did this money transaction begin wth Mr. Hill, was carried on by Mr. Hill, and with Mr. Hill did it end.”

The Account of this transaction given by his opponents is materially different. By them it is asserted, that after a time he wished to return into the arms of the church he had renounced, and therefore, in order to recommend himself to his superiors, he had recourse to a method which he thought would effectually prove his sincerity towards them. He proposed to father Shirburn, then provincial in England, to give up to him, as representative of the society, the money he then possessed, on condition of being paid for it, during his life, an annuity at the rate of seven per cent. This offer was accepted; and on the 2Ist of August 175-1, he paid to father Shirbwn liOOl.; and on the 27th of February 1741-2, he paid to the same person 150l. more upon the same conditions. Nor did his confidence rest here; for, on the 6th of August 1743, he added another 100l. to the above sums, now augmented to 1350l. when the several annuities were reduced into one, amounting to )4l. 10s. for which a bond was given. This negotiation had the wished effect; and our author was re-admitted in a formal manner into the order of Jesus, at London, about the end of 1744 or beginning of 1745.

It seems difficult to assign a sufficient reason why, after having been re-admitted to the order, he should again grow dissatisfied with his situation; though some conjectures have been offered to account for it. Certain it is, however, he once more determined to break with the Jesuits, and obtain his money again. To accomplish this point, he engaged in the correspondence which afterwards was so much canvassed. It answered, however, his purpose; and he received his money back from the borrowers on the 20th of June 1747.

The success of the “Universal History” in its first edition, encouraged the proprietors to venture on a | second and they had recourse, unluckily for themselves *

*

With respect to the management of the partners about this second edition, they were guilty of two fatal errors: the first in committing so great a share of the work, as well as the revisal of the whole, to a man who they had all reason to believe aimed chiefly at gain and dispatch and to agree the with him by the lump, as they did, which would only prove a temptation to him to hurry it off as fast as he could; and as he accordingly did, to their no small mortification, as well as hurt to themselves and to the work. I might add, that as he was and owned himself quite unacquainted with the eastern languages, he was the most unqualified for several parts that fell to his lot of any and if care had not been taken, would have committed such mistakes in the very spelling of proper names, as would quite have discredited it.”—Psalmanazar’s Life, p. 329. See also p. 320.

and the credit of the work, to the aid of Mr. Bower, to revise and correct it. For this service he received the sum of 300l. though it is asserted he did very little to the work; and that even upon collating the two editions, so far as Mr. Sale wrote, where;ie professed to have done much, it appeared he had not made a single alteration, only substituted in a few places the Hebrew chronology in the room of the Samaritan.

Being thus disengaged from his literary employment, though he had not then received back his money from the Jesuits, he, on the 25th of March 1747, put forth the proposals for his “History of the Popes j” a work, winch, he says, he undertook some years since at Rome, and then brought it down to the pontificate of Victor, that is, to the close of the second century. In the execution of this work at that period he professes to have received the first unfavourable sentiments of the pope’s supremacy. On the 13th of May 1748, he presented to the king the first volume; and on the death of Mr. Say, keeper of queen Caroline’s library (10th of September), one of his friends (Mr. Lyttelton, afterwards lord Lyttelton) applied to Mr. Pelham for that place for him, and obtained it. The next year, 1749, on the 4th of August, he married a niece of bishop Nicolson, and daughter of a clergyman of the church of England, a younger son of a gentleman’s family in Westmoreland, who had a fortune of 4000l. sterling, and then had a child by a former husband; which child he afterwards deposed on oath was no way injured by his marriage. He had been engaged in a treaty of marriage, which did not take effect, in 1745. In 1751, the second volume of the History of the Popes made its appearance.

In a letter from lord Lyttelton to Dr. Doddridge, dated Oct. 1751, he says, " You have brought on your distemper by too continual study and

|

labour in your spiritual functions, and an entire remission of mind is absolutely necessary for your recovery. I therefore request it of you not to write the preface to Bower’s book it will do more harm to you than good to him: the merit of the work will bear it up against all these attacks; and as to the ridiculous story ef my having discarded him, the intimate friendship in which we continue to live will be a sufficient answer to that, and better thaa any testimony formally given." Doddridge’s Letters, p. 471, 8vo, 1790.

| In the same year, 1751, Mr. Bower published by way of supplement to his second volume, seventeen sheets, which were delivered to his subscribers gratis; and about the latter end of 1753 he produced a third volume, which brought down his history to the death of pope Stephen, in 757. His constant friend Mr. Lyttelton, at this time become a baronet, in April 1754 appointed him clerk of the buck warrants, instead of Henry Read, esq. who held that place under the earl of Lincoln. This office was probably of no great emolument. His appointment to it, however, serves to shew the credit he was in with his patron.

It was in this year the first serious attack was made upon him on account of his “History of the Popes,” in a pamphlet printed at Douay, entitled “Remarks on the two first volumes of the late Lives of the Popes. In letters from a gentleman to a friend in the country,” 8vo; and written, as Mr. Bower asserted, by a popish priest, Butler, one of the most active and dangerous emissaries of Rome in this kingdom. His correspondence with the Jesuits at last came to light; and falling into the hands of a person who possessed both the sagacity to discover, and the industry to pursueand drag to public notice the practices of our historian, the warfare began in 1756, and ended in the total disgrace of Mr. Bower. After a careful perusal of the controversy, a list of which is here added in a note, we are compelled to believe that our author (who, shocking as it may be to observe, made an affidavit, denying the authenticity of letters we think fully proved) was clearly convicted of the material charges alleged against him. He repelled the attack, however, made on him, with great spirit; and continued to assert his innocence, and to charge his enemies with foul practices, long after his <c History of the Popes," as well as his own veracity, had fallen into contempt. We find, in the course of this controversy, he ran some hazard of being brought on the stage by Mr. Garrick, on account of the manner in which he | mentioned that incomparable actor and his lady in one of his works.*

*

This was in his “Summary view of the Controversy between the Papists and the Author,” 4to, p. 168; wherein, after taking notice of an observation of his antagonist, that he had not ventured of late to visit the gentleman and lady mentioned in one of the pamphlets published against him, be replies: “Now, that foreigners, and they who live at a distance from London, may not think that I dare not shew my face at the house of any real gentleman or real lady where I was once honoured with admittance, I beg leave to inform them who the gentleman and lady are. The gentleman, then, is Mr. Garrick, an actor who now acts upon the stage. The lady is his wife, Mrs. Garrick, alias Violetti, who within these few years danced upon the stage. To do them justice, they are both eminent in their way. The gentleman, though no Roscius, is as well known and admired for his acting as the lady for her dancing; and the lady was as well known and admired for her dancing as the gentleman is for his acting; and they are in that sense par nobile.” “This contemptuous notice,” as Mr. Davies observes, “alarmed the spirits and fired the resentment of our manager 5 he determined to make an example of the impostor, and to bring his character upon the stage. But as lord Lyttelton had honoured him with his friendship, and his lordship had, notwithstanding all that had been said and written against Bower, continued to countenance and protect him, he thought it an act of decency to acquaint his lordship with his intention. Mr. Garrick read his own letter to me, as well as his lordship’s answer. The first contained complaints of Bower’s ill behaviour to Mr. Garrick; his resolution to write a farce, with a short outline of it, in which Bower was to be introduced on the stage as a mock convert, and to be shewn in a variety of attitudes, in which the profligacy of his character was to be exposed. However, he submitted the matter to his lordship, and declared, that he should not proceed a step in his intended resentment without his permission. The answer, I remember perfectly well, was comprised in very condescending and polite terms: but, at the same lime, he declined the countenancing an attempt which would be attended, perhaps, with some little uneasiness to himself. He expressed himself in the most obliging and friendly terms to Mr. Garrick; and, as far as I can recollect, recommended the suppressing-his intended chastisementof Bower.” Life of Garrick, vol. I. p. 272. Mr. Davies adds, that “Mr. Garrick, in consequence of lord Lyttelton’s letter, gave up all further thoughts of introducing Bower to the public.

From this period his whole time seems to have been spent in ineffectual attacks upon his enemies, and equally vain efforts to recover the reputation of himself and his “History of the Popes” which points he pursued with great spirit, considering the age to which he had then attained. Before the controversy had ended, he published his fourth volume; and in 1757 an abridgment of the first four volumes of his work was published in French at Amsterdam. In 1761 he seems to have assisted the author of “Authentic Memoirs concerning the Portuguese Inquisition, in a series of letters to a friend,” 8vo and about the same time produced the fifth volume of his History of the Popes. To this volume he annexed a summary view of the controversy between himself and the papists, in | 180 pages; a performance, which, from the virulence of his abuse, was more calculated to impress the reader wikh the conviction of his guilt, than to arlbrd any satisfaction of his innocence.

Whether through the neglect of the work by the public, or his age, declining abilities, or to whatever other cause it is to be ascribed, the remainder of his history did not make its appearance until just before the author’s death, when the sixth and seventh volumes were published together, and these in so hasty and slovenly a manner, that the whole period from 16OO to 1758 was comprehended in twenty-six pages. He died on the 3d September 1766, at the age of eighty years, and was buried in Mary-le-bone church-yard, with an inscription maintaining his purity and innocence. By his will, made on the 1st of August 1749, which does not contain, as might be expected, any declaration of his religious principles ,*

*

This is the more remarkable, as it was very much the practice of the times, and as from the peculiarity of Mr. Uower’s situation it seems to have been particularly incumbent on him, on that solemn occasion, to have given the world that satisfaction. In his Answer to Bower and Tillemont compared, p. 3, he says he was married 20ih of August 1749. From the date of his will it appears he was married earlier than August.

he bequeathed all his property to his wife, who, some time after his death, attested his having died in the protestant faith

This we remember to have seen in the London Chronicle.

The following is a list of the pieces published in consequence of the History of the Popes: 1. A Dialogue between Archibald and Timothy; or, some observations upon the dedication and preface to the History of the Popes, Sec. 1748, 8vo. 2. A faithful account of Mr. A. B———r’s motives for leaving his office of secretary, &c. 1750, 8vo. 3. Remarks on the two first volumes of the late Lives of the Popes. In letters from a gentleman to a friend in the country, Douay, 1754, 8vo. 4. Six Letters from A———d B———r to father Sheldon, provincial of the Jesuits in England. Illustrated with several remarkable facts, tending to ascertain the authenticity of the said letters, and the true character of the writer, 1756, 8vo. 5. Mr. Archibald Bower’s affidavit in answer to the false accusations brought against him by the papists, &c. 1756, 8vo. 6. Bower vindicated from the false insinuations and accusations of the papists. With a short account of his character, &c. By a country neighbour, 1756, 8ro. 7. Mr. Bower’s answer to a scurrilous pamphlet entitled Six Letters, &c. Part I. 1757, 8vo. 8. Bower and Tillemont compared; or, the first volume of the pretended original and protestant History of the Popes shewn to be chiefly a translation from a popish one, &c. 1757, 8vo. 9. Mr. Bower’s Answer to a new charge brought against him in a libel entitled Bower and Tillemont compared, 1757, 8vo. 10. The second Part of Mr. Bower’s Answer to a scurrilous pamphlet, &c. 1757, 8vo. H. A Full Confutation of all the facts advanced in Mr. Bower’s threo defences, &c. 1757, 8vo. 12. Mr. Bower’s Reply to a scurrilous Libel, entitled A full Confutation, &c. 1757, 8vo. 13. A complete and final detection of Arch. Bower, &c. 1758, 8vo. 14. One very remarkable fact more relating to the conduct of the Jesuits, &c. By Mr. Bower, 1758, 8vo. 15. Some very remarkable facts lately discovered, relating to the conduct of the Jesuits with regard to Mr. Bower, which will greatly contribute to unravel the mys-

|