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“ It hath been much mine unhạppines, that I had not that acquaintance with you which I desired when I was last in London; and much more mine unhappines that our acquaintance should begin on the saddest of occasions, my deare sonne and your brother, Mr. John Bowdler's decease,
, whom the Lord hath been pleased to call to himselfe on the 4th instant. I cannot say what his disease was; onely the original was a cold of a day or two, for which he would needes (fatally) take physicke, and so was he stolne from us unexpectedly. The losse greately, mine; but his wives such as is not to be expressed, she being now indeede a wife of sorrowes; and never was there couple of greater endearements to each other. But the greatest losse is to the publique, unto which he was so necessary an instrument in his way, that his want cannot be repaired. He was taken away,
desired and lamented of all; nor, on account of affections, hath beene remembered the like funerall in Dublin as his hath beene. As to his condition for heaven, bis end was as his life, the bending heavenward all along; and as to us who were witnesses of his end, I can say it, all of us were in him taught to die, and desired so to die.
“ His child (your nephewe) Thomas Bowdler, is now his mother's and my care; he is about three months old. I shall accoumpt him (as indeede he is) mine owne; he hath a promise of a blessing from heaven in his very countenance; and if the Lord lend him to us, we have in him a remembrance of his father, whom he so resembles. I desire your blessing on him, and your prayers for him, as also his grandfather's, of whom I heare so much that I ambitiously desire his acquaintance as youres.
desireing the Lord to sanctify to us all dispensa
tions (even these crosse to us), and to fit us for his goode treasure concerning us and ours, I leave you to his grace, ever remaineing,
“ Youres in all reall affection and service,
« HEN. MIDENSIS.
person to whom this letter is addressed was elder and only brother to the deceased; and a truly brotherly affection subsisted between them. He was then settled as a merchant in London, from whence he afterwards retired to Feversham in Kent, where he passed the latter years of his life. At the date of the above letter he was engaged in procuring for his brother the office of auditor of imprests, in which he had acted as deputy. Such views were suddenly cut off; but his care for his brother's family and friends continued, and his kindness for the father was transferred to the child, to whom, being himself childless, he afterwards became a parent. This boy was all that the father left, two other children having died in infancy. He was, during his early years, under the roof of his grandfather, the bishop of Meath, and was deserving of all the tender care and instruction which were bestowed upon him. He is described as a “ very gracious child, very good and hopeful, as little given to any manner of vice or vanity as any of his yeares; one that would not tell a lie for any thing, and very capable of
learning.” At the age of ten years, his mother having been for some time married to a second husband, captain Annesley, he was sent to England at his uncle's request and his own particular desire, and committed to the care of his paternal relations ; circumstances which would be scarce worth mentioning, but for the sake of introducing two letters from the excellent bishop, the one addressed to the uncle, the other to himself. The former is dated Dublin, July 11, 1671.
66 Deare Sir, “ You have now at leingth your nephew, Thomas Bowdler, my grandchild, and his mother's dareling. By his being so long from you, you may understand our tendernes of him, and unwillingnes to part with him; which had not beene but to yourselfe, now his father, unto whose care every way he is committed, with assureance of good thereby to him. His education hath beene for some time, and last, in mine owne family, there cared for and tutored as mine owne child, and with mine owne child, by this gentleman from whom you now receive him, Mr. Jones; by whom, and, by himselfe, and by your owne observation, you may observe his proficiencie in learning according to his yeares, and in piety above his yeares. He hath beene brought up a child of the Church of England; and my request is, that he be so by your fatherly care continued, and kept from seedes of schisme and phanatischisme. God blesse him, and you, and youres. So leaving all of you to the goodenes and protection of the Almighty, I remaine,
“ Youres very affectionately,
“ HEN. MIDENSIS.”
The other letter was addressed nearly two years afterwards to his grandson, and is dated Dublin, March 21, 1673.
My Deare Thomas, 6 You are out of my feare and doubt of your well-being, being in such hands; yet are you not out of my care and remembrance notwithstanding, which you se in this, and I hope you find in my prayers for you daily. Prayers reach all places at what distance soever; and they are moste capable of goode by them who are God's children in love and obedience. Love him therefore (my child), the God of your fathers. He is your father in Christ Jesus, who gave you that goode father you had, and hath raised you up this you now have; whom I beseech God to continue to you, together with his who (I heare) are so tender of you.
“ Your love to God is seene in serveing him; and let that be your daily study and practice. Let no evil examples, which
your age may meete, corrupt you; but follow goodenes. And for your direction in that, continue (what I hope you do) your daily readings of God's word, beside what you heare of it in publique; make it your rule, and act nothing 'contrary. To all add prayer on all occasions, never to be intermitted, so shall you prosper in all thinges. Remember goode Josiah, who, when he was yet yong, began to seeke after the God of his father David. (2 Chron. xxxiv. 3.)
“Be diligent in your studies, which will fit you for every calling whatsoever God shall order you unto. They who want that education have after wished for it; and they who have wastfully mispent their time, and past their opportunity for it, have after repented it too late. God direct
you in all, and blesse you. Give my remembrance to your ụncle, aunt, and the rest of that goode family. I rest (my deare child) “ Your very affectionately loveing grandfather, ,
“ HEN. MIDENSIS."
The wise man saith, “even a child is known by his doings.” Thus it was with the youth to whom this letter was addressed. He engaged in childhood the kindness of his friends, and he realized in manhood all the flattering expectations which their fondness had raised. In truth, he was no ordinary character. Steady in his principles, constant. in friendship, correct in his conduct, warm in affection, piously resigned in tribulation, perfectly acquainted with all matters of business, discreet in the management of his own affairs, and generous in assisting others, he attached to himself many excellent friends, and was loved and honored by a large circle of worthy persons. He was placed in the Admiralty before the Revolution, and was next in situation to the learned and excellent Secretary Pepys. This occasioned in him and his brethren in office a strong personal attachment to K. James II., who had acted for some years as Lord High Admiral; their political principles also led them to disapprove a change in the succession; so that upon his being driven from the throne and the country, they all resigned their places, with the exception of one person who had been introduced there out of charity.