Bradley, Richard

, a popular and very voluminous writer on gardening and agriculture in the last century, was one of the first who treated these subjects in a philosophical manner, and certainly possessed considerable botanical knowledge, although his general conduct was little entitled to respect. He first made himself known to the public by two papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions: one on the motion of the sap in vegetables, the other on the quick growth of mouldiness in melons. He became a fellow of the royal society, and was chosen, Nov. 10, 1724, professor of botany at Cambridge, but in a manner which reflects little credit on him. His election was procured by a pretended verbal recommendation from Dr. Sherrard to Dr. Bentley, and pompous assurances that he would procure the university a public botanic garden by his own private purse and personal interest. The vanity of his promises was soon discovered, as well as his almost total ignorance of the learned languages; and as he neglected to read lectures, the university made no difficulty in permitting Dr. Martyn to do it. Mr. Bradley, however, read a course of lectures on the Materia Medica in 1729 at the Bull inn, which he published next year at London, 8vo, and of which the reader may see a humorous criticism in the Grub-street Journal, No. 11** In 1731, his conduct became so scandalous, that it was in agitation to dismiss him. from his professorship, but he died soon after, Nov. 5, 1732. He was the author of several publications, chiefly on gardening and agriculture, consisting of two folio volumes, four quarto, and nearly twenty in octavo, which are enumerated in Mr. Nichols’s Life of Bowyer. His “New Improvement of Planting and Gardening, both philosophical and practical,1717, 8 vo, went through repeated impressions, as did his “Gentleman’s and Gardener’s Kalendar.” His “Philosophical Account of the Works of Nature,1721, 4to, was a popular, instructive, and entertaining work, and continued in repute several years. The same may be said of his “General Treatise of Husbandry


In the same publication we are told of “a curious print of Clare-hall, drawn by the hand of Mr. Professor Bradley. There are two new things in this picture: Mr. Bradley is created M. D. and the sun is placed in the North.” No. 26.

| and Gardening,” 1726, 2 vols. 8vo; and of his “Practical Discourses concerning the four elements, as they relate to the growth of plants,1727, 8vo. His “Dictiona-ium Botanicum,1728, 8vo, Dr. Pulteney thinks, was the first attempt of the kind in England. Exotic botany was indebted to him for an undertaking, which there is reason to regret he was not enabled to pursue and perfect. This work was entitled “Historia plantarum Suceuientarum,1716, 4to, published in decads from 1716 to 1727, but only five were completed. The industry and talents of Bradley were not mean; and though^ unadorned by learning, were sufficient to have secured him that reputable degree of respect from posterity, which it will ever justly withhold from him who fails to recommend such qualifications by integrity and propriety of conduct, but in these, unhappily, Bradley was deficient. Among his other publications appears a translation of Xenophon’s GEconomicks from the Greek. It was, however, only an old translation modernized, to pass oft' which the booksellers paid him a sum of money for his name, then a popular one. There are obvious coincidences between his character and that of the more recently celebrated botanical and miscellaneous writer, sir John Hill. 1

Pulteney’s Sketches.—Preface to Martyn’s Dissertations on the Æneids of Virgil.—Nichols’s Bowyer.