Wray, Daniel

, a man of taste and learning, was born Nov. 28, 1701, in the parish of St. Botolph, Aldersgate. His father, sir Daniei Wray, was a London citizen, who resided in Little Britain, made a considerable fortune in trade (as a soap-boiler), and purchased an estate in Essex, near Ingatestone, which his son possessed aftr r him. Sir Daniel served the office of sheriff for that county, and was knighted in 1708 on presenting a loyal address to queen Anne. His son was educated at the Charter-house, and was supposed in 1783 to have been the oldest survivor of any person educated there. In 1718 he went to Queen’s college, Cambridge, as a fellow commoner. He took his degree of B. A. in 1722, after which he made the tour of Italy, accompanied by John, earl of Morton, and Mr. King, | the son of lord chancellor King, who inherited his title. How long he remained abroad between 1722 and 1728 is not precisely ascertained, except by the fact that a cast in bronze, by Pozzo, was taken of his profile, in 1726, at Home. It had this inscription upon the reverse, “Nil actum reputans, si quid superesset agendum,” which line is said to have been a portrait of his character, as he was in all his pursuits a man of uncommon diligence and perseverance. After his return from his travels, he became M.A.-in 1728, and was already so distinguished in philosophical attainments, that he was chosen a fellow of the Royal Society in March 1728-9. He resided however generally at Cambridge, though emigrating occasionally^ to London, till 1739, or 1740, in which latter year, January 1740-41, he was elected F. S. A. and was more habitually a resident in town. In 1737 commenced his acquaintance and friendship with the noble family of Yorke; and in 1745, Mr. Yorke, afterwards earl of Hardwicke, as teller of the exchequer, appointed Mr.Wray his deputy teller, in which office he continued until 1782, when his great punctuality and exactness in any business he undertook made the constant attendance of the office troublesome to him. He was an excellent critic in the English language; an accomplished judge of polite literature, of virtft, and the fine arts; and deservedly a member of most of our learned societies; he was also an elected trustee of the British Museum. He was one of the writers of the “Athenian Letters” published by the earl of Hardwicke; and in the first volume of the Archaeologia, p. 128, are printed “Notes on the walls of antient Rome,” communicated by him in 1756; and “Extracts from different Letters from Rome, giving an Account of the Discovery of a most beautiful Statue of Venus, dug up there 1761.” He died Dec. 29, 1783, in his eighty. second year, much regretted by his surviving friends, to whose esteem he was entitled by the many worthy and ingenious qualities. which he possessed. Those of his heart were as distinguished as those of his mind; the rules of religion, of virtue, and morality, having regulated his conduct from the beginning to the end of his days. He was married to a lady of merit equal to his own, the daughter of Barrel, esq. of Richmond. This lady died at Richmond, where Mr.Wray had a house, in May 1803. Mr. Wray left his library at her disposal and she, knowing his attachment to the Charter-house, made the governors an | offer of it, which was thankfully accepted and a room was fitted up for its reception, and it is placed under the care of the master, preacher, head schoolmaster, and a librarian. The public at large, and particularly the friends of Mr. Wray, will soon be gratified by a memoir of him written by the lare George Hardinge, esq. intended for insertion in Mr. Nichols’s “Illustrations of Literature.” This memoir, of which fifty copies have already been printed for private distribution, abounds with interesting anecdotes and traits of character, and copious extracts from Mr. Wray’s correspondence, and two portraits, besides an engraving of the cameo. 1


Memoir, as above, a copy of which we have to acknowledge among the many obligations we owe to Mr. Nichols’s steady and friendly attention to this - ’ > o its editor.