Maty, Paul Henry

, son of the former, was born ini 1745. He was educated at Westminster-school, whence, in 1763, he was elected to Trinity college, Cambridge. After a time, he obtained a travelling fellowship of that college, which enabled him to pass three years on the continent; and in 1774$ he was appointed chaplain to lord Stormont, then ambassador at the court of France. Soon after this, he married one of the daughters of Joseph Clark, esq. of Weatherfield in Essex; whose brother, captain Charles Clark, afterwards became famous, as being successor in command to the celebrated Cook, in that unfortunate voyage which proved fatal to both those officers. By this lady he had one son, who survived his father, but died while yet at school. Mr. Maty, much respected for his abilities, acquirements, and character, by persons able to contribute to his advancement, would have been very likely to gain preferment in the church, after his return to England, had not some scruples arisen in his mind on the subject of those articles of faith which formerly he had subscribed. From that time he determined, from the most conscientious motives, never to accept of any ecclesiastical appointment; and, after the death of his father in 1776, he withdrew himself entirely from the functions of the ministry in the established church. His reasons for this step, dated Oct. 22, 1777, were printed at his own request in the Gent. Mag for that year. They are chiefly the doctrines of the Trinity, of original sin, and of absolute predestination; which last he finds in the seventeenth article. His own inclination is to the Arian hypothesis, and to a liturgy | somewhat like Dr. Clarke’s; and he says, although he has left the church, he has no objection to preach to a congregation holding the same opinions. His life was thenceforward more particularly devoted to literary pursuits, which were highly favoured by the appointment he obtained, at the same time, of an assistant librarian in the British Museum. He was afterwards advanced to be one of the underlibrarians of the same establishment, in the department of Natural History and Antiquities. In November 1778, on the resignation of Dr. Horsiey, he was appointed one of the secretaries to the Royal Society. In January 1782, he began a review of publications, principally foreign, which be continued with considerable success, though with little assistance, till September 1786, when he was compelled by ill health to discontinue it. The motto which he took for this work was modest, and well appropriated “Sequitur patrem non passibus sequis” alluding to his father’s “Journal Britannique” and the truth appears to be, that, though he was far from being deficient either in learning or critical abilities, he was inferior in both to his father; and being the avowed author of this review, is thought to have created at least as many enemies as admirers. In the disputes which arose in the Royal Society, in 1784, respecting the re-instatement of Dr. Hutton, as secretary for foreign correspondence, he took so warm a part, that becoming very angry, he resigned his office of secretary. In this, as in other instances in his life, his vivacity outran his judgment. As a secretary, an officer of the societv, he was not called upon to take any active part; and the advantages he derived from the situation were such as he could ill afford to relinquish. In preferring always his conscience to his interest, he certainly was highly commendable; but in this question his conscience had no occasion to involve itself. To make himself amends for this diminution of his income, Mr. Maty undertook, on moderate terms, to read the Greek, Latin, French, or Italian classics, with such persons as might be desirous of completing their knowledge of those languages: but it does not appear that this employment turned out very profitable. In 1787, an asthmatic complaint, under which he long had laboured, completed the subversion of his constitution, and he died on the 16th of January in that year, at the early age of forty-two. Besides his review, he published a translation of the travels of Riesbeck through Germany; and translated into | French, the accounts of the gems, in that magnificent work, the “Gemmae Marlburienses,” which Mr. Bryant had first written in Latin. For this he received lOOl. from the duke of Marlborongh, and a copy of the book. After his death, a volume of his sermons was published by subscription, in which, by an oversight, that has sometimes happened in other cases, two or three which he had transcribed from other author^ were reprinted. Notwithstanding much irritability of temper, he was of a warm and friendly disposition, which often manifests itself in his Review. 1


Life in preceding edition of this Dict. —Gent, Mag. jjol. LVII. Nichols’s Bowyer.