Hanway, Jonas

, a benevolent and amiable character, was born at Portsmouth in 1712. He was at a very early | age bound apprentice to a merchant at Lisbon, and afterwards connected himself with a mercantile house at Petersburgh, in consequence of which he was induced to travel into Persia. On leaving Russia with an independent fortune, he returned to his own country, and passed the remainder of his life as a private gentleman, honourably to himself and useful to the world. In 1753, he published an account of his travels through Russia into Persia, and back again through Russia, Germany, and Holland. To this work also was added an account of the revolutions of Persia during the present century. His other publications are very numerous; most of them were well received, and all of them calculated to prove him an excellent citizen and liberal-minded man. The institution of the Marine Society, justly attributed to his activity and benevolence, was the favourite object of Mr. Han way’s care; and in 1758, he was also particularly instrumental in the establishment of the Magdalen charity. His public spirit, and, above all, his disinterestedness, were so conspicuous, that a deputation of the principal merchants in London waited upon the earl of Bute, when prime minister, and represented to him that an individual like Mr. Hanway, who had done so much public good to the injury of his private fortune, was deserving of some signal mark of the public esteem. He was accordingly made a commissioner of the navy, a situation which he held more than twenty years, and, when he resigned, he was allowed to retain the salary for life, on account of his known exertions in the cause of universal chanty. To enumerate the various instances in which the benevolent character of his heart was successfully exerted, would be no easy task. Sunday-schools in a great measure may look upon' Mr. Hanway as their father; the chimney-sweepers’ boys are much indebted to his humanity; and perhaps there never was any public calamity in any part of the British empire which he did not endeavour to alleviate. So greatly and so universally was he respected, that when he died, in 1786, a subscription of many hundred pounds was raised to erect a monument to his memory. The great character of his numerous works is a strong masculine spirit of good sense, and a very chaste simplicity. In his private life he was remarkable for the strictest integrity of conduct, and for a frankness and candour which naturally inspired confidence. The number of his publications amounted to almost seventy, a | catalogue of which is annexed to his Life by Mr. Pugh, a work highly edifying and entertaining. 1


Life by Pugh. —Gent. Mag. vol. LXV. Johnson’s Works by Hawkins. —Boswell’s Life of Johnson.