Ballard, George

, an English antiquary and biographer, and one of those singular compositions which shoot forth without culture, was born at Campden in Gloucestershire. Being of a weakly constitution, his parents placed him in the shop of a habit-maker; and in this situation he had the curiosity to acquire the Saxon language. The time he employed for this purpose was stolen from sleep, after the labour of the day was over. Lord Chedworth, and the gentlemen of his hunt, who used to spend about a month of the season at Campden, hearing of his laudable industry, generously offered him an annuity of 100l. but he modestly told them, that 60l. were fully sufficient to satisfy both his wants and his wishes. Upon this he retired to Oxford, for the benefit of the Bodleian library; and Dr. Jenner, president, made him one of the eight clerks of Magdalen college, which furnished him with chambers and commons, and being thus a gremial, he was afterwards chosen one of the university beadles, but died in June, 1755, rather young; which is supposed to have been owing to too intense application. He left large collections | behind him, but published only “Memoirs of British Ladies, who have been celebrated for their writings or skill in the learned languages, arts, and sciences,1752, 1J 4to, a work of great research and entertainment. It was reprinted in 1775, 8vo. He drew up an account of Campden church, which was read at the society of antiquaries, Nov. 21, 1771. There is a letter of Mr. Thomas Hearne to Mr. Baker, dated Oxford, July 3, 1735, from which Mr. Nichols has produced the following surly extract “I know not what additions Mr. George Ballard can make to Mr. Stowe’s life; this I know, that being a taylor himself, he is a great admirer of that plain honest antiquary,” who was also a taylor. A very large collection, of his epistolary correspondence is preserved in the Bodleian library. 1


Nichols’s Life of Bowyer, vol. II.