Ridley, James

, son to the preceding, was educated at Winchester, and New college, Oxford, and, after taking orders, succeeded his father in the living of Rumford, in Essex. In 1761, while attending his duty as chaplain to a marching regiment at the siege of Belleisle, he laid the foundation of some disorders, from which, to the unspeakable grief of his family and friends, he never recovered, and which some years after, being then happily married and preferred in the church, terminated his life in February 1765. The following extract from a letter which his father wrote about this time to a friend, affords a proof of his sorrow, and the only scanty notices which have been preserved of his son’s merits.

"Dear Sir,

I am ashamed to have appeared so negligent in answering your kind remembrance of me, by a letter so long ago as the fifth of February: but it has pleased God to visit me so sorely since, that I have had no leisure to think of any thing but my sorrows, and the consequent troubles in which they have involved me. Presently after receiving your letter, I went to spend a few days in London, in the Temple, from whence I returned very ill, and three days brought on the gout. My son went ill out of London the day before I did, and, during his illness, my own confinement would not permit me to see him. About eleven days carried off as hopeful a young clergyman as an affectionate father could wish his son to be. So generous a heart, such an intimate knowledge of the powers and workings of nature, so serious and earnest a desire to serve God and mankind, with a cheerful spirit and address in conveying his instructions, make his loss as great to the world as it is to me. Some specimens he has left behind him, in the humorous papers of The Schemer; and he lived just long enough to finish a monthly work, in which he engaged a year before his death, publishing his last number of the Tales of the Genii the first of February, in which month he died.

The “Schemer,” here noticed, was a very humorous periodical paper, originally written for the London Chronicle, but afterwards collected into a volume and published. He was also the author of the “History of James Lovegrove,” esq.; but the “Tales of the Genii” is the work on which his fame principally rests, and the many editions through which it has passed sufficiently attest its popularity. | The Tales are introduced with the life of Horam, the supposed original author, which contains some animadvert sdous equally ingenious and just, on the difference between the professions;xnd practice of many Christians. The story, indeed, is so contrived as to include a very keen satire. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer.