Fountaine, Sir Andrew

, knt. whose ancestors were seated at Narford, in Norfolk, so early as the reign of Henry III. was educated as a commoner of Christchurch, Oxford, under the care of that eminent encourager of literature, Dr. Aldrich. He at the same time studied under Dr. Hickes the Anglo-Saxon language, and its antiquities; of which he published a specimen in Hickes’s “Thesaurus,” under the title of “Numismata Anglo-Saxonica et Anglo-Danica, hreviter illustrataab Andrea Fountaine, eq. aur. & aedis Christi Oxon. alumno. Oxon. 1705,” in which year Mr. Hearne dedicated to him his edition of Justin the historian. He received the honour of knighthood from king William; and travelled over most parts of Europe, where he made a large and valuable collection of pictures, ancient statues, medals, and inscriptions; and, while in Italy, acquired such a knowledge of virtu, that the dealers in antiquities were not able to impose on him. In 1709 his judgment and fancy were exerted in embellishing the “Tale of a Tub” with designs almost equal to the excellent satire they illustrate. At this period he enjoyed the friendship of the most distinguished wits, and of Swift in particular, who repeatedly mentions him in the Journal to Stella in terms of high regard. In December, 1710, when sir Andrew was given, over by his physicians, Swift visited him, foretold his recovery, and rejoiced at it though he humourously says, “I have lost a legacy by his living for he told me he had left me a picture and some books,” &c. Sir Andrew was vice-chamberlain to queen Caroline while princess of Wales, and after she was queen. He was also tutor to prince William, for whom he was installed (as proxy) knight of the Bath, and had on that occasion a patent granted him, dated Jan. 14, 1725, for adding supporters to his arms. Elizabeth his sister, married colone.1 Clent of Knightwick, in Worcestershire. Of his skill and judgment in medals ancient and modern, he made no trifling profit, by furnishing the most considerable cabinets of this kingdom; but if, as Dr. Warton tells us, Annius in the “Dunciad” was meant for him, his traffic was not always of the most honourable kind. In 1727 he was appointed warden of the mint, an office which he held till his death, which happened Sept. 4, 1753. He was buried at Narford, in Norfolk, where he had erected an elegant seat, and formed a fine collection of old china ware, a valuable | library, an excellent collection of pictures, coins, and many curious pieces of antiquity. Sir Andrew lost many miniatures by a fire at White’s original chocolate-house, in St. James’s-street, where he had hired two rooms for his collections. A portrait of him, by Mr. Hoare of Bath, is in the collection at Wilton house; and two medals of him are engraved in Snelling’s “English Medals,1776. Montfaucon, in the preface to “L’Antiquit6 Explique,” calls sir Andrew Fountaine an able antiquary, and says that, during his stay at Paris, that gentleman furnished him with every piece of antiquity that he had collected, which could be of use to his work; several were accordingly engraved and described, as appears by sir Andrew’s name on the plates. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer. Bowles’s edit, of Pope, vol. V. p. 302. Swift’s Works; see Index.