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MAGAZINE AND REVIEW,
For JANUARY 1806.
Liturgia Anglicana, ab eruditis omnibus habita semper est optima.
GROTIUS. The English Liturgy has always been esteemed the best by all learned
Memoirs of the SECOND EARL of NOTTINGHAM, with
an original Letter from him to his Son. ANIEL, second Earl of Nottingham and sixth Earl
of Winchelsea, was son of Sir Heneage Finch, who was Lord Chancellor in the reign of Charles the Second, and is distinguished under the character of Amri, in the second part of Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel:
“ Sincere was Amri, and not only knew,
“ With Moses' inspiration, Aaron's tongue." His eldest son and heir, Daniel, the subject of the present sketch, and writer of the following letter, was born at Kensington in Middlesex, in 1647. He received his education ander Dr. Busby, at Westminster ; after which, he removed to Christ-church college, Oxford, but left the university without taking a degree, and entered himself of the Inner Temple. In 1661, he became a member of parliament for Luggershall, in Wiltshire, and in 1679 was returned for Lichfield.
In 1680 he was appointed to the high office of first lord Vol. X. Churchm. Mag. for Jan. 1806.
of the Admiralty, and in 1682 succeeded his father in the title of Earl of Nottingham.
He was in party a Tory, but in principles a staunch friend to the constitution in church and state. As a strong advocate for an hereditary monarchy, he, in virtue of his office of privy counsellor, signed the order for proclaiming James the Second; but, fully conscious that the measures of that monarch tended to introduce popery and arbitrary power, he kept aloos from court, warmly opposed the repeal of the test act, and appeared at the trial of the seven bishops, where his brother Heneage Finch was one of their counsel. Being afterwards convinced of the necessity of excluding James, he offered his services to the Prince of Orange, but he did not belie his principles of attachment to hereditary nionarchy, for he refused to sign the association subscribed by the nobility and gentry at Exeter, and he headed the party in the convention in favour of the
regency. But he told Bishop Burnet, “ that though he could not argue or vote but according to the scheme and principles he bad concerning our laws and constitution, yet he should not be sorry to see his side out-voted ; and that though he could not agree to the making a king, as things stood, yet, if he found one made, he would be more faithful to him than those that made him could be, according to their own principles *.” Nor did he swerve from bis promise, for he continued ever faithful to King Williain, and was one of the few persons of consequence who never held any correspondence with the exiled family.
This spirited conduct, however, of the Earl of Nottingham, in heading the party which favoured a regency, did not displease King William, who was so convinced of his rectitude and ability, that he offered him the place of lord chance lor; but his lordship declining it, he was appointed secretary of state on the day of the proclamation.
In 1694, on the king's reconciliation with the Whigs, he resigned his place, and continued out of office during the whole reign of William. On the accession of Anne he was reinstated in the office of secretary of state; but in 1704, displeased with the conduct of affairs, he again resigned, and held no office during the remainder of that
Burnet's Own Times, p. 810.
reign. Although no friend to the Whigs, he saw the danger to the protestant succession during the latter years of the queen's reign, declined the offers of Harley, and warmly opposed his administration. For this reason he was grossly abused by Swift, in a ludicrous ballad called a An excellent new Song;” in which he ridicules Nottingham, under the name of Dismal, on account of his swarthy complexion.
On the death of Queen Anne he was one of the lord's justices for the administration of affairs, and on the 14th of September was constituted lord president of the council, but was dismissed in 1716, on account of his speech in behalf of the Scottish lords condemned for high-treason ; and Mr. afterwards Sir Robert Walpole thus expresses himself in a letter to his brother Horace: “ You will be surprised at the dismission of the fainily of the Dismals, but all the trouble we have had in favour of the condemned lords arose from that corner, and they had taken their plea to have no more to do with us, and so the shortest end was thought the best *.” He lost on this occasion a pension of 30001. a-year, and continued without any official employment until his death.
In 1729 be became Earl of Winchelsea, on the death of John, the fifth Earl, in virtue of his descent from Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Heneage, and wife of Sir Moyle Finch, bis great-grandfather.
He died in 1730, aged 83. He was an able though prolix speaker in both houses of parliament, and his opinion bad always great weight, as he was well skilled in the system of English law, particularly in the records of parliament. He was versed in various branches of polite learning, and displayed his knowlege of the sacred writings in an elaborate reply to Whiston on the subject of the Trinity; for which he received the thanks of the university of Oxford, and of the bishop and clergy of the diocese of London.
Letter from the Earl of NottiNGULAM, to his Son.
DEAR SON, THOUGH I have made my will, and have thereby plainly exprest my intentions, which will be of use towards rectifying any defect in law, if any such should be in the form of it, and which I do not doubt but you would
* Coxe's Memoirs of Sir Robert Walpole, vol. ii. p. 51.
supply by pursuing those my intentions, yet I think it may be convenient to say something to you upon it, both in respect to yourself and others interested in it.
I have reposed so great confidence in your iutegrity, good-nature, and discretion, that I have not only made you my sole executor, but also made you master of iny whole estate : thus my father treated me, and it has been of no small advantage both to me and his family, and I hope the like trust in you will have the like good effect, and that you will consider that every man is but a kind of trustee or steward for his family, especially for his children; that he himself is, or ought to be, only an usufructuary ; that prodigality, though attended with no vice, which is scarce possible, isitself a vice, that neglect of your affairs is so toa, and a sure step to ruin, and this were (to incur] the contempt of mankind, who will remember your graudfather, and reproach you as Tully did M. Antony: Ego domûs origo meæ. Tu occasus tuæ. And lastly, that it leads to the temptation of stooping to flattery, and the mean servile arts of getting into employment to repair your broken fortune, which was the curse upon the sons of Eli, to crouch for a piece of silver, and to say, ' Pray put me into office that I may eat bread, and when you are there, to do worse things in drudgery to an insolent wicked ministry.
But though I thus speak, you see, I am persuaded better things of you: and, therefore, not doubting of your care and endeavour to be a good æconomist, which will be as much for your reputation as your interest; I shall suggest some few things which seein to me necessary, I am sure you will find very useful and conducive
• Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds,' was the advice of the wisest man and the richest king, and for a very good reason which he gives, . For riches are not for ever.' The first step towards a good management, is to know what you have to: manage: this is not to be computed by your rental, which no estate (even without taxes, of which the proportion is uncertain, though taxes for many years seem certain) ever did or will answer, but considerable allowances must be made for the incident charges, repairs, and losses by tenants, and accidents attending every the best estate
But if it were possible to make an exact calculation annually of your income, yet even that will not be a pro