Imatges de pÓgina

as that of his wife, who seems to have a good deal of the shrew in her countenance; whose arms of an heiress are joined with his own; and by the last he seems to have been a person somewhat fantastick; for in these he gives as his device, a dolphin (in those days called a Swift) twisted about an anchor, with this motto, Festina lente.

There is likewise a seal with the same coat of arms (his not joined with his wife's) which the said William commonly made use of, and this is also now in the possession of Godwin Swift abovementioned.

His eldest son Thomas seems to have been a clergyman before his father's death. He was vicar of Goodrich, in Herefordshire, within a mile or two of Ross: he had likewise another church living, with about one hundred pounds a year in land, as I have already mentioned. He built a house on his own land in the village of Goodrich; which, by the architecure, denotes the builder to have been somewhat whimsical and singular, and very much toward a projector. The house is above a hundred years old, and still in good repair, inhabited by a tenant of the female line, but the landlord, a young gentleman, lives upon his own estate in Ireland.

This Thomas was distinguished by his courage, as well as his loyalty to king Charles the First, and the sufferings he underwent for that prince, more than any person of his condition in England. Some historians of those times relate several particulars of what he acted, and what hardships he underwent for the person and cause of that blessed martyred prince. He was plundered by the roundheads sixand-thirty times, some say above fifty.


He en.

gaged his small estate, and gathered all the money he could get, quilted it in his waistcoat, got off to a town held for the king, where being asked by the governor, who knew him well, what he could do for his majesty ? Mr. Swift said, he would give the king his coat, and stripping it off, presented it to the governor ; who observing it to be worth little, Mr. Swift said, then take my waistcoat: he bid the governor weigh it in his hand, who ordering it to be ripped, found it lined with three hundred broad pieces of gold, which as it proved a seasonable relief, must be allowed an extraordinary supply from a private clergyman with ten children, of a small estate, so often plundered, and soon after turned out of his livings in the church.

At another time, being informed that three hun. dred horse of the rebel party intended in a week to pass over a certain river, upon an attempt against the cavaliers, Mr. Swift having a head mechanically turned, he contrived certain pieces of iron with three * spikes, whereof one must always be with the point upward : he placed them over night in the ford, where he received notice that the rebels would pass early the next morning, which they accordingly did, and lost two hundred of their men, who were drowned or trod to death by the falling of their horses, or torn by the spikes.

His sons, whereof four werę settled in Ireland (driven thither by their sufferings, and by the death of their father) related many other passages, which they learned either from their father bimself, or from what had been told them by the most credible persons of Herefordshire, and some neighbouring counties; and which some of those sons often told to

their * It should be four.

their children ; many of which are still remembered, but many more forgot.

He was deprived of both his church livings sooner than most other loyal clergymen, upon account of his superiour zeal for the king's cause, and his estate sequestered. His preferments, at least that of Goodrich, were given to a fanatical saint, who scrupled not, however, to conform upon the restoration, and lived many years, I think till after the Revolution; I have seen many persons at Goodrich, who knew and told me his name, which I cannot now remember.

The' lord treasurer Oxford told the dean, that he had among his father's (sir Edward Harley's) papers, several letters from Mr. Thomas Swift writ in those times, which he promised to give to the grandson, whose life I am now writing; but never going to his house in Herefordshire while he was treasurer, and the queen's death happening in three days after his removal, the dean went to Ireland, and the earl being tried for his life, and dying while the dean was in Ireland, he could never get them.

Mr. Thomas Swift died in the year 1658, and in the 63d year of his age : his body lies under the altar at Goodrich, with a short inscription. He died about two years before the return of king Charles the Second, who by the recommendation of some prelates had promised, if ever God should restore him, that he would promote Mr. Swift in the church, and otherwise reward his family, for his extraordinary services and zeal, and persecutions in the royal-cause : but Mr. Swift's merit died with himself.


He left ten sons and three or four daughters, most of which lived to be men and women: his eldest son Godwin Swift, of the Inner Temple, esq. (so styled by Guillim the herald; in whose book the family is described at large) was I think called to the bar before the restoration. He married a rela- . tion of the old marchioness of Ormond, and upon that account, as well as his father's loyalty, the old duke of Ormond made him his attorney general in the palatinate of Tipperary. He had four wives, one of which, to the great offence of his family, was coheiress to admiral Deane, who was one of the regicides. Godwin left several children, who have all estates. He was an ill pleader, but perhaps a little too dexterous in the subtle parts of the law.

The second son of Mr. Thomas Swift was called by the same name, was bred at Oxford, and took orders. He married the eldest daughter of sir William d'Avenant, but died young, and left only one son, who was also called Thomas, and is now rector of Putenham in Surry. His widow lived long, was extremely poor, and in part supported by the famous Dr. South, who had been her husband's intimate friend

The rest of his sons, as far as I can call to mind, were Mr. Dryden Swift, called so after the name of his mother, who was a near relation to Mr. Dryden the poet, William, Jonathan, and Adam, who all lived and died in Ireland; but none of them left male issue except Jonathan, who beside a daughter left one son, born seven months after his father's death; of whose life I intend to write a few memorials.

J.S. D.D.

J. S. D.D. and D. of St. P, was the only son of Jonathan Swift, who was the seventh or eighth son of Mr. Thomas Swift above-mentioned, so eminent for his loyalty and his sufferings.

His father died young, about two years after his marriage : he had some employments and agencies; his death was much lamented on account of his reputation for integrity, with a tolerable good understanding.

He married Mrs. Abigail Erick, of Leicestershire, descended from the most ancient family of the Ericks, who derive their lineage from Erick the Forester, a great commander, who raised an army to oppose the invasion of William the Conqueror, by whom he was vanquished, but afterward em. ployed to command that prince's forces; and in his old age retired to his house in Leicestershire, where his family has continued ever since, but declining every age, and are now in the condition of very private gentlemen.

This marriage was on both sides very indiscreet, for his wife brought her husband little or no fortune ; and his death happening so suddenly, before he could make a sufficient establishment for his family, his son (not then born) hath often been heard to say, that he felt the consequences of that marriage, not only through the whole course of his education, but during the greatest part of his life.

He was born in Dublin, on St. Andrew's day; and when he was a year old, an event happened to him that seems very unusual; for his nurse, who was a woman of Whitehaven, being under an absolute necessity of seeing one of her relations, who was then extremely sick, and from whom she expected

a legacy;

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