Buckler, Benjamin

, D. D. a learned and ingenious English clergyman and antiquary, was born in 1716, and educated at Oriel college, Oxford, where he took his master’s degree in 1739. He was afterwards elected a fellow of All-Souls college, where he proceeded B. D. in 1755, and D. D. in 1759. In 1755 he was presented to the vicarage of Cumner in Berkshire, by the earl of Abingdon. He was also rector of Frilsham in the same county. He died and was buried at Cumner, Dec. 24, 1780, being at that time likewise keeper of the archives in the university of Oxford, to which office he was elected in 1777. His talents would in all probability have advanced him to higher stations, had they been less under the influence of those honest principles, which, although they greatly dignify a character, are not always of use on the road to preferment. In truth, says the author of his epitaph,*


By a strange mistake, this epitaph is said (—Gent. Mag. 1792, p. 224.) to have been written by Mr. Justice Blackstone, who had then been dead so long that Dr. Buckler had an opportunity of contributing to the erection of his statue in All-Souls college.

he preserved his integrity chaste and "pure: he thought liberally, and spoke openly; a mean action was his contempt. He possessed not great riches, secular honours, or court favours; but he enjoyed blessings of a much higher estimation, a competency, a sound mind, an honest heart, a good conscience, and a faith unshaken.

Dr. Buckler, who was an able antiquary, assisted his friend and contemporary, Mr. Justice Blackstone, in his researches respecting the right of fellowships, &c. in AllSouls college, and drew up that valuable work, the “Stemmata Chicheleana; or, a genealogical account of some of the families derived from Thomas Chichele, of HighamFerrers, in the county of Northampton; all whose | descendants are held to be entitled to fellowships in All-Souls college, Oxford, by virtue of their consanguinity to archbishop Chichele, the founder,Oxford, 1765, 4to. The college having afterwards purchased, at Mr. Anstis’s sale, many large ms volumes by him, relating to the history and constitution of this college, and the case of founder’s kindred, Dr. Buckler published “A Supplement to the Stemmata,Oxford, 1775, and afterwards went on continuino' it, as information offered itself, but no more has been published. We find him also as one of the proctors, signing his name to a pamphlet, which he probably wrote, entitled “A reply to Dr. Huddesford’s observations relating to the delegates of the press, with a narrative of the proceedings of the proctors with regard to their nomination of a delegate,Oxford, 1756, 4to. In this it is the object to prove, against Dr. Huddesford, that the right of nominating such delegates is in the proctors absolutely, and that the vice-chancellor has not a negative.

Long before this, Dr. Buckler afforded a proof of excellent humour. Mr. Pointer having in his account of the antiquities of Oxford, a superficial and incorrect work, degraded the famous mallard of All-Souls into a goose, Buckler published, but without his name, “A complete vindication of the Mallard of All-Souls college against the injurious suggestions of the rev. Mr. Pointer,” Lond. 1750, 8vo, and a second edition, 1751. This produced another exquisite piece of humour, entitled “Proposals for printing by subscription, the History of the Mallardians,” This was to have been executed in three parts, the contents of which will give the reader some idea of Mr. Bilson’s humour, and that of Rowe Mores, who assisted him in drawing up the proposals, and bore the expence of some engravings which accompany it. “Part I. Of the origin of the Mallardians. Of the foundation of the house of Mallardians. The intent of that foundation, and how far it has been answered. Of the affinity between the Mallardians and the order of the Thelemites. Of the library of the Mallardians; and of the cat that was starved to death in it. Part II. Of the manners of the Mallardians. Of their comessations, compotations, ingurgitations, and other enormities, from their first settlement till their visitation by archbishop Cranmer. Part III. The subject of the second part continued from the death of archbishop Cranmer to the dissolution of Bradgate-Hall, alias les Tunnys, (i.e. | the Three Tuns Tavern). To the whole will be added, a full account of the annual festival of the Mallardians. Of the adventures common at this festival. Of the presidents, or lords of this festival, with their characters drawn at length. Of the Swopping-Song of the Mallardians, with annotations on the same. Of the progress of the Mallardians to Long Crendon, and of their demeanour to Damosels. And, lastly, a true history of their doughty champion Pentrapolin a Calamo, usually styled by way of eminence, The Buckler of the Mallardians.” Dr. Buckler published also two occasional sermons in 1759.1


Gough’s Topography, vol. II.—Gent. Mag. 1792, p. 224, &c.—Nichols’s Bowyer.