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An Historical and Critical ACCOUNT




Most Eminent Persons

In every NATION;
Particularly the BRITISH and IRISH;

From the Earliest Accounts of Time to the present Period.


Their remarkable ACTIONS or SUFFERINGS,

accurately displayed ; with a CATALOGUE of their


Printed for T. OSBORNE, J. WHISTON and B. WHITE,

W.STRAHAN, T. Payne, W. Owen, W. JOHNSTON,


2101. c. 25.

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Universal, Historical, and Literary



ABINGTON (GERVASE) was born in Notting- Biog. Brige

hamshire, educated at Trinity college in Cambridge
(of which he became fellow), and, July 15, 1578,

incorporated master of arts at Oxford. He took his doctor's degree in divinity, and was appointed domestic chaplain to Henry earl of Pembroke president of the council

in the Marches of Wales ; by whose intereft he became treasurer of the church of Landaff, prebendary of Wellington in the cathedral of Hereford, and, in 1591, was advanced to the bishoprick of Landaff, which he used to call in joke Affe, the Land thereof having been alienated by his predecesfor Kitchin, in the days of king Henry VIII. and queen Elizabeth. In February 1594, he was translated to the fee of Exeter; and, in 1597, to that of Worcester : he was likewise made one of the queen's council for the marches of Wales. To the library of his cathedral at Worcester he was a very great Ibid. benefactor, not only repairing the edifice, but also bequeathing to it all his books, a gift of confiderable value. He died of the jaundice, May 17, 1610 (A).

(A) His writings were printed at Worcester, containing Comfortable firft in quarto, then, with additions, 'Notes upon the five Books of Moin folio, in 1615, and again in 1637, sęs, viz. Genesis, Exodus, Leviti. under this titled " The Works of the cus, Numbers, Deuteronomie. As right reverend Father in God, Ger- • also an Expofition upon the Creed, vase Babington, late Bishop of the Commandments, the Lord's VOL. II,




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Prayer ; with a Conference betwixt « Tables of the principal matters of

Man's Frailtie and Faith. And each severall Worke. Biogr. Brit, • three Sermons. With alphabetical

BACON (ROGER) a learned monk of the Franciscan or

der, was descended of an ancient family, and born near IlBiog. Brit. chester in Somersetshire, in the year 1214. He received the

first tincture of learning at Oxford, from whence he went to the university of Paris, at that time much frequented by the English, of whom the most distinguished for their learning and abilities highly careffed him. Having been admitted to the degree of doctor, he came back to England, and took the habit of the Franciscan order in 1240, when he was about twenty-fix years of age ; but according to others he became a monk before he left France. After his return he was considered as a most able and an indefatigable enquirer after knowledge by the greatest men of that university, who generously contributed to defray the expences of advancing science by experiments, the method which he had determined to follow. His discoveries were little understood by the generality of mankind; and because by the help of mathematical knowledge he performed things above common understandings, he was suspected of magic. He was persecuted particularly by his own fraternity, fo that they would not receive his works into their library, and at last had

interest enough (says Dr. Freind) with the general of their Phyfic, order to get him imprisoned; fo that, as he confesses himself, he 243

had reason to resi:.. of his having taken such pains in the arts and sciences. Bacon was poffeffed with the notion of judi. ciary astrology. He imagined that the stars had a great inAuence upon human affairs, and by their means, he thought, future things might be foretold. This, according to Dr. Jebb, making the friers of his order to consider him as a person engaged in unlawful arts, occafioned his imprisonment (A). At the particular defire of pope Clement IV. Bacon collected together and enlarged his several pieces, and sent them to him


Hift. of

(A) The ingenious author of the morals (Epist. ad Clement, IV.) be. Biogr. Brit. observes that there is fides, his intimacy with bishop Groutgreat reason to believe, that though head, who had gone so far as to rehis application to the occult sciences prove pope Innocent IV, by letter, was pretended, yet the true cause of and was said to have made no scruple his ill usage was the freedom with of declaring to those with whom which he had treated the he was intimate, that in his judghis writings, is which he spared nei. ment the pope was Anti-Christ (Mat, thus their i, n.rance for their vant of Paris Hift. Angl. p. 875.) must na.


in 1267. This collection, which is the same that himself Biog. Britg intituled Opus majus, or his Great Work, is still extant (B). Dr. Jebb, the learned editor thereof, tells us, thar Bacon seems to have proposed two things principally in it, either by laying down a good scheme of philofophy to excite the pope to reform the errors that had crept into the church; or if he could not effect this, to propose such expedients as would break the power of Antichrist, and retard his progrefs. For he appears to have been firmly perfuaded that the church would foon be reformed, either by means of the pope himself, who was a man of integrity, or because the exorbitant dominion of Antichrist would become obnoxious to mankind, and so fall to destruction.

When Bacon had been ten years in prison, Jerom d'Alcoli, general of his order, who had condemned his doctrine, was chosen pope, and assumed the name of Nicholas IV. As he was reputed a person of great abilities, and one who had turned his thoughts to philosophical studies, Bacon resolved to apply to him for his discharge ; and in order to fhew both the innocence and the usefulness of his studies, addressed to him a treatise on the means of avoiding the infirmities of old age (c). What effect this treatise had on the pope does not appear. But, towards the latter end of his reign, Bacon, by the interposition of some noblemen, obtained his release, and gives us this returned to Oxford, where he spent the remainder of his days date in his in peace, and died in the college of his order on the 11th of preface.

Biog. Brit. June 1294. He was (says Dr. Peter Shaw, a very • able

Boerhaave's judge of his merit) beyond all comparison, the greatest Chemiftry, man of his time; and might perhaps stand in competition vol. i. p. 28.

in the notes turally bring upon him the hatred teemed it one of the best performof a great part of the clergy ; more ances that ever was written, trana, especially since his zeal led him to lated it into English, under the title follow the practice, as well as the opi-. of The cure of old age and preservanion, of his patron, by writing free- tion of youth ; Tewing how to cure ly to the pope about the necessity of and keep off the accidents of old age, a reformation. (Ms. Cotton. Tiber, and how to preserve the youth, C. 5. fol. 3.)

strength, and beauty of body, and the (B) In a beautiful folio, neatly fenfes, and all the faculties of both and accurately printed by William body and mind : by that great matheBowyer, at London, A. D. 1733, matician and physician Roger Bacon, under the title of Fratris Rogeri Ba. a Franciscan friar. Lond. 1683, octacon ordinis minorum Opus majus ad vo. He added notes upon every chapClementem quartum pontificem Ro- ter of this work, and explains theremanum : ex Mf. codice Dublinienfi, in the phrases by which our author cum aliis quibusdam collato. concealed his secret medicines. (c) Dr. Richard Browne, who ef

s with

Dr. Jebb


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B 2

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