Lever, Sir Ashton

, the founder of a valuable museum, was the son of sir D’Arcy Lever of Alkington, near Manchester. He finished his education at Corpus Christi college, Oxford; and on leaving the university went to reside with his mother, and afterwards settled at his family-seat, which he rendered famous by the best aviary in the kingdom. He next extended his views to all branches of natural history, and became at length possessed of one of the finest museums in the world, sparing no expence in procuring specimens from the most distant regions. This was removed to London about 1775, and opened for the public in Leicester-house, Leicester-square; but for want of suitable patronage, sir Ashton was in 1785 obliged to dispose of it by way of lottery, to his very great loss. It fell to the lot of a Mr. Parkinson, who built rooms on the Surrey side of Black-friars bridge for its reception, and did every thing in his power to render it interesting to the public, but after some years, was obliged to dispose of it by auction, when the whole of the articles were dispersed. Sir Ashton died in 1788, of an apoplectic attack while sitting with the other magistrates at Manchester. 1


Gent, and Europ. Mag. for 1788.