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a gentleman who deserves honourable notice in the literary history

, a gentleman who deserves honourable notice in the literary history of his country, was the son of a woollen-draper in the parish of St. Paul, Covent-garden, and born March 17, 1728. He lost his father when about the age of twelve years; and his guardian not only neglected him, but involved his property in his own bankruptcy, and sent him to France. Having there acquired a knowledge of foreign literature and publications beyond any persons of his age, he resolved to engage in the importation of foreign books; and, when little more than twenty years old, opened a shop in the Strand: the only person who then carried on such a trade being Paul Vaillant. Though, by the mis-conduct of some who were charged with his commissions in several parts of the continent, it proved unsuccessful to the new adventurer, he continued in business till 1753, when he published Dr. Pettingal’s “Dissertation on the original of the Equestrian Figure of the George and of the Garter.” At the same early period in which he engaged in business he hacl married Miss Hamilton, a lady of the most respectable connexions in North Britain, still younger than himself, both their ages together not making 38 years. He next commenced auctioneer in Essex-house. This period of his life tended to develope completely those extraordinary talents in bibliography (a science hitherto so little attended to) which soon brought him into the notice of the literary world. The valuable collection of Mss. belonging to the right hon. sir Julius Caesar, knt. judge of the Admiralty in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and, in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. chancellor and under-treasurer of the Exchequer, had fallen into the hands of some uninformed persons, and were on the point of being sold by weight to a cheesemonger, as waste paper, for the sum of ten pounds; some of them happened to be shewn to Mr. Paterson, who examined them, and instantly discovered their value. He then digested a masterly catalogue of the whole collection, and, distributing it in several thousands of the most singular and interesting heads, caused them to be sold by auction, which produced 356l.; and had among the purchasers the late lord Orford, and other persons of rank. These occurrences took place in 1757.