Salmon, Nathaniel

, an English antiquary, was the son of the rev. Thomas Salmon, M. A. rector of Mepsall in Bedfordshire, by a daughter of the notorious Serjeant Bradshaw. He was admitted of Bene‘t college, Cambridge, June 11, 1690, where his tutors were dean Moss and archdeacon Lunn, and took the degree of LL. B. in 1695. Soon after he went into orders, and was for some time curate of Westmill in Hertfordshire; but, although he had taken the oaths to king William, he had so many scruples against taking them to his successor, queen Anne, that he became contented to resign the clerical profession, and with it a living of 140l. per annum ’offered him in Suffolk. He then applied himself to the study of physic, which he practised first at St. Ives in Huntingdonshire, and afterwards at Bishops Stortford, in the county of Hertford. His leisure time appears to have been employed in studying the history and antiquities of his country, on which subjects he published, 1. “A Survey of the Roman Antiquities in the Midland Counties in England,1726, 8vo. 2. “A Survey of the Roman Stations in Britain, according to the Roman Itinerary,1721, 8vo. 3. “The History of Hertfordshire, describing the county and its ancient monuments, particularly the Roman, with the characters of those that have been the chief possessors of the lands, and an account of the most memorable occurrences,1728, folio. This was designed as a continuation of Chauncey’s History, and was dedicated to the earl of Hertford. 4. “The Lives of the English Bishops from the Restoration to the Revolution, fit to be opposed to the Aspersions of some late Writers of Secret History,1733, a work which we have occasionally found very useful, although the author’s prejudices, in some instances, appear rather strong. 5. “A Survey of the Roman Stations in England,1731, (an improved edition probably of the first two works above mentioned) 2 vols. 8vo. C. “The Antiquities of Surrey, collected from the most ancient records, and dedicated to Sir John Evelyn, bart. with some Account of the Present State and | Natural History of the County,” 1736, 8vo. 7. “The History and Antiquities of Essex, from the Collections of Mr. Strangeman,” in folio, with some notes and additions of his own; but death put a stop to this work, when he had gone through about two thirds of the county, so that the hundreds of Chelmsford, Hinkford, Lexden, Tendring, and Thurstable, were left unfinished.

Mr. Salmon died April 2, 1742, leaving three daughters. His elder brother, Thomas, honoured with the name of the historiographer, is said to have died in 1743, but must have been living some years after this, when he published his account of Cambridge, &c. Mr. Cole says, “he was brought up to no learned profession, yet had no small turn for writing, as his many productions shew, most of which were written when he resided at Cambridge, where at last he kept a coffee-house, but not having sufficient custom, removed to London.” He told Mr. Cole that he had been much at sea, and had resided in both Indies for some time. His best known publication, and that is not much known now, is his “Modern History, or Present State of all Nations,” published in many volumes, 8vo, about 1731, &c. and re-published, if we mistake not,‘ in 3 vols. folio, from which it was afterwards abridged in 2 vols. and long continued to be published under various fictitious names. He wrote also “Considerations on the bill for a general naturalization, as it may conduce to the improvement of our manufactures and traffic, and to the strengthening or endangering of the constitution, exemplified in the revolutions that have happened in this kingdom, by inviting over foreigners to settle among us. With an Inquiry into the nature of the British constitution, and the freedom or servitude of the lower class of people, in the several changes it has undergone,” Lond. 1748, 8vo. “The Foreigner’s Companion through the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the adjacent counties, describing the several colleges and other public buildings, with an account of their respective founders, benefactors, bishops, and other eminent men educated in them,” ibid. 1748, 8vo. This title we give from Cole, as we have not seen the work. Previously to this, Mr. Salmon intended to write “The present state of the Universities, and of the five adjacent counties of Cambridge, Huntingdon, Bedford, Bucks, and Oxford,” but published only the first volume, 1744, 8vo, which contains the history of Oxford, county and university. To | this are added some shrewd remarks on university education, and a college life, with the expences attending it. In the preface he speaks of a “General Description of England, and particularly of London the metropolis,” in 2 Vols. which he had published. His name is also to a “Geographical Grammar,” an “Examination of Burnet’s History of his own Times,” and other works. The “New Historic cal account of St. George for England, and the original of this order,” Lond. 1704, is ascribed by Mr. Gough to Mr. Thomas Salmon, the father, who, it may now be mentioned, was distinguished as a musical theorist, and wrote “An Essay to the Advancement of Music, by casting away the Perplexity of different Cliffs; and uniting all sorts of Music, Lute, Viols, Violins, Organ, Harpsichord, Voice, &c. in one universal Character, by Thomas Salmon, A. IVL of Trinity College, Oxfo/d,London, 1672. This book, says Dr. Burney, “is well written, and, though very illiberally treated by Lock, Play ford, and some Other professors, contains nothing that is either absurd or impracticable; iior could we discover any solid objection to its doctrines being adopted, besides the effect it would have upon ol*d music, by soon rendering it unintelligible. At present the tenor clef alone is thought an insuperable difficulty in our country, by dilettanti performers on the harpsichord; but if Salmon’s simple and easy musical alphabet were chiefly in use, the bass clef would likewise be soon rendered as obsolete and difficult as the tenor; so that two parts or clefs out of three, in present use, would become unintelligible.1


Masters’s Hist, of C. C. C. C. Cole’s ms Athenæ Cantab. in Brit. Mus. Gough’s Topography, c. -—Gent. Mag. vol. LXVI.


There was a William Salmon, whether related to the above family is uncertain, a noted empiric, who practised physic with various success for a long course of years. He published a considerable number of medical hooks, the chief of which is his “Complete Physician, or Druggist’s Shop opened,” a thick octavo of 1207 pages; a large Herbal,“fol. which Dr. Pultency mentions with some degree of respect. His ” Polygraphice’ has sold better than all the rest of his works; the tenth edition of it is dated Lond. 1701. He lived about the latter end of the seventeenth century and beginning of the eighteenth.