Lancaster, Nathaniel, D. D.

was many years rector of Stamford Rivers, near Ongar, in Essex; and author of the celebrated “Essay on Delicacy,1748. In | speaking of Or. Lancaster, Mr. Hull the comedian, who was lus nepuew, (in a note on “Select Letters between the late Dutchess of Somerset, Lady Luxborough,” &c. &c. 1768, 2 vols. 8vo), says, “He w;is a man of strong natural parts, gieat erudition, refined taste, and master of a nervous, and at the same time elegant style, as is obvious to every one who has had the happiness to read the Essay here spoken of. His writings were fewer in number than their author’s genius seemed to promise to his friends, and his publications less known than their intrinsic excellence deserved. Had he been as solicitous as he was capable to instruct and please the world, few prose writers would have surpassed h m; but in his latter years he lived a recluse, and whatever he composed in the hours of retired leisure, he (unhappily for the public) ordered to be burned, which was religiously (I had almost said irreligiously) performed. He was a native of Cheshire; and in his early years, under the patronage and friendship of the late earl of Cholmondely, mixed in all the more exalted scenes of polished life, where his lively spirit and brilliant conversation rendered him universally distinguished and esteemed; and even till within a few months of his decease (near seventy-five years of age) these faculties could scarce be said to be impaired. The Essay on Delicacy (of which we are now speaking) the only material work of his which the editor knows to have survived him, was first printed in 1748, and has been very judiciously and meritoriously preserved by the late Mr. Dodsley in his Fugitive Pieces.” Notwithstanding Mr. Hull’s assertion, that his uncle wrote nothing but the “Essay,” a sermon of his, under the title of“Public Virtue, or the Love of our Country,” was printed in 1746, 4to. He was also author of a long anonymous rhapsodical poem, called “The Old Serpent, or Methodism Triumphant,” 4to. The doctor’s imprudence involved him so deeply in debt, that he was some time confined for it, and left his parsonage-house in so ruinous a condition, that his successor Dr. Beadon was forced entirely to take it down. He died June 20, 1775, leaving two daughters, one of whom married to the rev. Thomas Wetenhall, of Chester, chaplain of a man of war, and vicar of Walthamstow, Essex, from 1759 till his death, 1776. 1


Nicholas Bowyer.—Gent. Mag. vol. LIV. p, 345, 495.—Hull’s Select Letters, vol. I. p. 7, and vol. II. p. 132.