Rawlinson, Richard

, an eminent antiquary, and great benefactor to the university of Oxford, was the fourth son of sir Thomas; and was educated at St. John’s college, Oxford, where he was admitted gentleman commoner, and proceeded M. A. and grand cornpounder in 1713, and was admitted to the degree of doctor of civil law by diploma in 1719. He was F. R. S. and became F. S. A. May 10, 1727. He was greatly accessary to the bringing to light many descriptions of counties; and, intending one of Oxfordshire, had collected materials from Wood’s papers, &c. had many plates engraved, and circulated printed queries, but received accounts only of two parishes, which in some degree answered the design, and encouraged him to pursue it. In this work were to be included the antiquities of the city of Oxford, which Wood promised when the English copy of his “Historia & Antiquitates Oxon.” was t.o be published, and which have since been faithfully transcribed from his papers, by Mr. Gutch, and much enlarged and corrected from ancient original authorities. All Dr. Rawlinson’s collections for the county, chiefly culled from Wood, or picked up from information, and disposed b,y hundreds in separate books, in each of which several parishes are omitted, would make but one 8vo volume. But he made large collections for the continuation of Wood’s “Athena Oxonienses” and “History of Oxfor.d,” and for an account of “Non-compilers” at the Revolution which, together with some collections of Hearne’s, and note-books of his own travels, he bequeathed by his will to the university of Oxford. The Life of Mr. Anthony Wood, historiographer of the most famous university of Oxford, with an account of his nativity, education, works, &c. collected and composed from Mss. by Richard Rawlinson, gent, commoner of St. John’s college, Oxon. was printed at London in 1711. A copy of this life, with ms additions by the author, is in the Bodleian library. He published proposals for an “History of Eton College,1717; and, in 1728, “Petri Abselardi Abbatis Ruyensis & Heloissae | Abbatissae Paracletensis Epistolae,” 8vo, dedicated to Dr, Mead. The books, the publication of which he promoted, are supposed to be the “History and Antiquities of Winchester,1715, 8vo. “History and Antiquities of Hereford,1717, 8vo. “History and Antiquities of Rochester,1717, 1723, 8vp. “Inscriptions on tombs in Bunhill-fields,1717, 8vo. “History and Antiquities of the Churches of Salisbury and Bath,1719, 1723, 8vo. “Aubrey’s History of Surrey,1719, 5 vols. 8vo. “Norden’s Delineation of Northamptonshire,1720, 8vo. “History and Antiquities of Glastonbury,Oxford, 1722, 8vo. In 1728, he translated and printed Fresnoy’s “New Method of studying History, with a Catalogue of the chief Historians,” 2 vols. 8vo. But his principal work was “The English Topographer, or, an Historical Account of all the Pieces that have been written relating to the antient Natural History or Topographical Description of any Part of England,1720, 8vo, the plan of which has been so much augmented and improved in Mr. Cough’s two editions of the “British Topography.” In 1750, he gave, by indenture, the yearly sum of 87l. 165. Sd. being the rents and profits of various estates which he inherited under the will of his grandfather Daniel Rawlinson to the university of Oxford, for the maintenance and support of an Anglo-Saxon lecture or professorship for ever. To the Society of Antiquaries, he gave, by will, a small freehold and copyhold estate at FulEam, on condition that they did not, upon any terms, or by any stratagem, art, means, or contrivance howsoever, increase or add to their (then) number of 150 members, honorary members only excepted. He also made them a considerable bequest of dies and matrices of English seals and medals, all his collection of seals ,*


See his seals enumerated in the British Topography, vol. I. 465, 482, vol. II. 40, 96, 134, 177, 291. His plates, vol. I. 390, 419, 454, 464, 492, 494, 508, 515, 537, 544, 5*2, 553, 641, 717. Vol. II. 50, 89, ?41, 130, 164, 166, 237, 295, 309, 381, 474, 476, 689, 702, 715. Drawings and Mss. vol.1. 188, 337, 339, 421, 499, 510, 329, 534, 609, 615. Vol. II. 59, 75, 85, 95, 106, 155, 286, 468, 761.

charters, drawings by Vertue and other artists, and other antiquities ten walnut-tree book-cases, which had been given to his late brother Thomas by the then earl of Pembroke, and four mahogany presses, all marked P, all his English prints of which they had not duplicates, and a quit-rent of 5L per annum, in Norfolk, for a good medal for the best | description on any English, Saxon, Roman, or Greek, coin, or other antiquity not before treated of or in print; but, resenting some supposed want of deference to his singularities and dictatorial spirit, and some reflections on his own and his friend’s honour, in an imputation of libelling the Society in the public papers, he, by a codicil made and signed at their house in Chancery lane, revoked the whole,*

One reason, among others, which he gave for this, was, that their then secretary, Mr. Gordon, was a Scotchman.

and excluded all fellows of this or the Royal Society from any benefit from his benefactions at Oxford, which, besides his Anglo-Saxon endowment, were extremely considerable; including, besides a number of books with and without ms notes, all his seals, English and foreign, his antique marbles, and other curiosities; his copper-plates relative to several counties, his ancient Greek and Roman coins and medals, part of his collection of English medals, his series of medals of Louis XIV. and XV. a series of medals of the popes, which Dr. Rawlinson supposed to be one of the most complete collections in Europe; and a great number of valuable Mss. which he ordered to be safely locked up, and not to be opened till seven years after his decease .

Dr. Taylor was persuaded that this precaution was taken by the doctor to prevent the right owners’ recovering their own. He supposed that Dr. Rawlinson made no scruple of his buying all that was brought to him and that, among the rest, the ms. and printed copy of Demosthenes, which was lost on the road, and the detainer t>f which he had cursed very classically, would be found among the spoil. The ms, belonged to Jauies Harris, esq. of Salisbury, by whom it was sent to Cambridge. Dr. Taylor’s insinuation, however, was without foundation, for no such ms. was found in Dr. Rawlinson’s collection; and the papers which Dr. Rawlinso desired might not be made public till after his death, were collections for a continuation or the “Athenæ Oxonienses,” with —Hearne’s Diaries, and two other Mss. The whole are now open for any one who wishes to consult them. Historical passages collected by him from Wood were printed as a supplement to Wood’s Life, Oxf. 1772, vol. II. p. 249.

His music, ms. and printed, he gave to the music-school at Oxford. He died at Islington, April 6, 1755 and in the same year was printed “The Deed of Trust and Will of Richard Rawlinson, of St. John the Baptist college, Oxford, doctor of laws concerning his endowment of an Anglo-Saxon lecture, and other benefactions to the college and university.” He left to Hertford college the estate in F-ulham before mentioned, and to the college of St. John the Baptist the bulk of his estate, amounting to near 700l. a year, a plate of archbishop Laud, thirty-one volumes of parliamentary journals and debates; a set of the “Fo?dera,” all his | Greek, Roman, and English, coins not given to the BocU leian library, all his plates engraved at the expence of the Society of Antiquaries, with the annuity for the prizemedal, and another to the best orator. The produce of certain rents bequeathed to St. John’s college was, after 40 years’ accumulation, to be laid out in purchase of an estate, whose profits were to be a salary to a keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, being a master of arts, or bachelor Ib civil law; and all legacies refused by the university or others, to center in this college. To the hospitals of Bridewell and Bethlehem, for the use of the incurables of the latter he left 200l. and ten guineas as an equivalent for the monthly coffee which he had received in Bethlehem common room: but, if they did not give up the picture of his father hanging in their hall, in order to its being put up in the Mansion-house, they were to forfeit the larger sum, and receive only the smaller. This picture, after it had hung up at the Mansion-house for some years, without any companion, in a forlorn, neglected state, and received considerable damage, the late sir Walter Rawlinson obtained leave of the court of aldermen (being then himself & member of that body, and president of those hospitals) to restore to Bridewell. It is one of sir Godfrey Kneller’s best performances, and well engraved by Vertue. Constanxine, another brother, is mentioned by Richard RawJinson’s will, as then residing at Venice, where he died in 1779. To him he gave the copper-plate of his father’s portrait, and all family-pictures, except his father’s portrait by Kneller, which was given to the Vintners’ company, of which his father was a member. He left him also his rents in Paul’s-head court, Fenchurch-street, jointly with his sisters, Mary Rawlinson, and Anne Andrews, for life. In the same will is mentioned another brother, John, to whom he left estates in Devonshire-street, London; and a nephew Thomas. To St. John’s college he bequeathed also his diploma, and his heart, which is placed in a beaur tiful marble urn against the chapel- wall, inscribed

"Ubi thesaurus, ibi cor.

Ric. Rawlinson, LL. D. & Ant. S. S.

"Olim hujus Collegii superioris ordlnis Commensalis.

Obiit vi Apr. MDCCLV.

His body was buried in a vault, purchased by him in the north aile of St. Giles’s church, Oxford, of which he had a plate engraved in his life-time, with this inscription:


trsaujlov - Vdut in Speculum.

Manet omnes una nox Non raoriar omnU.

Hoc Dormitorium 8 ped. lat. 8 ped. long.

A parochia D. Egidi Oxon. concess. 25 Febr. et

Facult. Episc. confirmat. 5 Mail J. L. Arm. et

Assign. A. D. M,DCC,L1V.

Pallida niors aequo pulsat pede.

Semel est calcanda via lethi.

Ultima Thule.

R. Rawlinson, LL.D. R. & A. Ss.

Olim Collegii S. Joannis Bapt. Qxon,

Superioris Ordinis Commensalis,

Obiit vi Apr. Mpcclv. set. LXV."

When the head of counsellor Layer, who was executed for being concerned in the plot of 1722*, and fixed on Temple-bar, was blown off, and taken up by Mr. John Pearce, an eminent attorney of Tooke’s-court, and agent for the nonjuring party, Dr, Rawiinson purchased it of him at a high price, preserved it as a valuable relic, and directed that it should be buried in his right hand. It is said, however, that he was imposed upon, and that a head was sold to him which was not Layer’s.

His library of printed books and books of prints was sold by auction in 1756; the sale lasted 50 days, and produced 1164l. There was a second sale of upwards of 20,000 pamphlets, reduced into lots under proper heads, with his most uncommon, rare, and odd, books, in the fol^ lowing year, during ten days; which was immediately succeeded by a sale of the doctor’s single prints, books of prints, and drawings, which lasted eight days. 1

1 By Mr. Gough, drawn up originally for Nichols’s Bowyer.