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The Hawsted estate passed through a female to Sir Christopher Wray, who sold it in 1656. *
To return to the elder branch: Sir Robert Drury, of Rougham, who died at the age of eighty-two, in the year 1622, had ten sons, besides daughters; some of the former died young and unmarried. He outlived his eldest son; and was succeeded in his estates by his grandson, who was born in 1599, and who appears to have been the last possessor but one of this ancient patrimony. A younger son of Sir Robert became settled at Lesgyat Holt, in Norfolk; and it is from him that the subject of these pages traced his descent,
* In Sir John Cullum's “ History of Hawsted" will be found a remarkable pedigree of the Drury family, from the Conquest to the first herald's visitation in the reign of James I.; the different houses, all portrayed there, having, by marriages and inheritances, become possessors of several mansions and manors, mostly in Suffolk. Some of these estates, they retained nearly six hundred years, as dated from the first settler at the Conquest. This pedigree was originally drawn up by Mr. Thomas Drury, of the Inner Temple, in the reign of James I. He was a younger son of the then representative of the house of Rougham. He compiled it for a descendant either of Sir William or Sir Drue Drury, pro. bably the latter, as it came by inheritance into the hands of Sir W. Wake of Northamptonshire, one of whose ancestors married the last female descendant of Sir Drue. Sir W. Wake allowed the use of it to Sir J. Cullum for his “ History of Hawsted.” The writer of the pedigree, who, in a preface, speaks of his family as one “ replenyshed with knights and esquires, and greatlie honoured with souldiers of notable fame and memory," takes evidently a great pride in a female descent from Catherine Swinford, daughter, by her first husband, of Catherine Lady Swinford, who became the second wife of John of Gaunt, “ time-honoured Lancaster.” Lady Swinford bore children to the Duke before her marriage, who were legitimatised by Richard II. in 1997, as also by the Pope. From the eldest of these children (John Beaufort, Marquis of Somerset,) Henry VII. was lineally descended, and claimed the crown in right of such descent. The compiler of the pedigree evidently esteemed Sir W. Drury, who succeeded Sir H. Sydney as governor of Ireland in 1580, as the hero of the family, and has given, in a note, an abstract of his public services. It is remark. able that the original of this pedigree should not only now be in excellent preservation, as Sir J. Cullum states it to be, but that the first rough draft of it should also be in existence. Such, however, is the case, and it is now in possession of the Rev. H. Drury of Harrow, bound up with some other genealogies. It corresponds entirely in matter with that printed by the historian of Hawsted, but is in parts rather difficult to be deciphered, from original alterations and erasures. Of the family of Rougham, at which place, it is believed, he was buried, was likewise William Drury, (styled, in Latin, Druræus,) a learned and accomplished professor in the Jesuits' College at Douay, mentioned with great praise by Dodd, in his Church History, as the author of some well known dramatic works in the Latin language. He lived about the beginning of the seventeenth century.
of which his father retained a good deal of traditional knowledge. Here, at this last-named residence, an estate and mansion of some degree of local importance continued in the family until the beginning of the last century, when it was finally alienated, and left the immediate line, of which we are treating, with no other patrimonial possession but the vain and empty honour of a long-drawn ancestry. The extravagances and imprudence of the last owner of Holt were the immediate causes of this decay. Dr. Gibson, afterwards the excellent and pastoral Bishop of London *, was a faithful and tried friend of the family, and offered, for their sake, to arrest the sale, by taking on himself the redemption of certain encumbrances. It is not known for what reasons such a prop was never applied ; but the probability is, that in this, as in so many similar cases, the edifice, when thoroughly inspected for the calculation of repairs, was found in a much more decayed and rotten state than the owner had represented it; in other words, that the aid which friendship nobly offered was inadequate for the purposes required, when all the real facts of the case were laid open. The elder son of the last landed proprietor of this line became a lawyer at Colchester, where he is buried. He is mentioned in the 66 Biographia Dramatica,” as the author of some few unimportant pieces for the stage, long since, and, it should seem, not undeservedly, consigned to oblivion. He was a man by no means of a disposition or habits likely to redeem the broken fortunes of his family.
Mr. Thomas Drury, father of the subject of this memoir, was the younger brother of the dramatist. He led a life of comparative obscurity, and owed most of the comforts of his old age to the affection of his son, who had the opportunity of administering those comforts during many years, as his father lived to the year 1805, when he died at the advanced age of eighty-seven. He was a man of amiable
* Born in 1669; of Queen's College, Oxford ; Bishop of Lincoln, 1715; of London, 1720; deceased, 1748. In biographical notices of this excellent and learned man there are many traits of a noble and generous spirit.
manners, with a good deal of old jacobite predilection about him, and fond of discoursing on subjects of divinity. John Wesley used occasionally to join him at his supper table; and as, fortunately for their colloquial pleasure, there were some points upon which their opinions never came at all nearer by discussion, such occasional meetings were enlivened by as much of quiet, social debate as Wesley's strict economy of time would admit. Joseph, the eldest son of this Mr. Thomas Drury, was born in London, February 11. 1750, O.S. No records of his early childhood are now accessible; and we only know that he became, in 1762, a king's scholar at Westminster. Dr. Hinchcliffe, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, and Dr. Smith, father of the late Dean of Christ Church, were the masters under whom he was educated; and, to Westminster scholars especially, it may not be uninteresting to learn that among his most intimate associates of the same, or nearly the same, class and standing, were the Rev. Edward Smedley, long one of the assistant masters of Westminster; the Rev. John Templer, of Lindridge, Devon ; the Rev. William Tattersal, to whose taste we are indebted for many improvements in our church psalmody; Sir William Parsons, the eminent musical composer; all of whom (with the exception of the last) reached an age almost equal to his own. To these must be added the names of Dr. Cyril Jackson, Dean of Christ Church, and his brother William, late Bishop of Oxford ; who, though of somewhat older standing, were also among his most cherished schoolfellows. He has often mentioned the anecdote, that when calling on Dr. William to congratulate him on his elevation to episcopacy, the bishop reminded him of a severe poetical philippic which he had composed and recited against him at Westminster, nearly half a century before. There then was, and may probably still be, since school customs are very imperishable, some day of licence in the year, when the juniors were allowed a kind of Saturnalia, with liberty to express themselves as freely as they pleased on the manners and characters of their seniors. After the lapse of so many years, the Bishop retained a com
plete recollection of the verses in question; and, although these were by no means complimentary to his external graces or suavity of manners, which, indeed, were never very remarkable, he now, with great good humour, repeated them.
Dr. Drury was not fortunate enough to be among the number of scholars elected from Westminster to Christ Church, a matter in which interest was very predominant, and, in consequence, passed to Trinity College, Cambridge, where the advantages, both present and prospective, in point of pecuniary provision for academical education, are of considerably less value for king's scholars. He entered at Trinity in 1768; and was placed under the tuition of Watson, subsequently the well-known Bishop of Llandaff, for whose instructions he always expressed the deepest respect and gratitude. He had not, however, kept many terms in the university before it was evident that domestic circumstances — the “res angusta domi” — would compel him to enter, by some means or other, on the active business of life earlier than most men of the same education and habits. His father's means had become even less adequate than before to furnish the supplies for college residence; and he was thus deprived of the opportunity, of which he was otherwise so capable of availing himself, of aiming at academical distinctions and emoluments, which might have forwarded his views in life, and extended his fame as a scholar. The case of Samuel Parr, a future giant in learning, was an exact parallel ; and both were shortly to be thrown together on the same arena, sent to it somewhat prematurely by similar domestic circumstances. Parr, who was some years older than the subject of this memoir, had, at this time, already commenced his career. Before Mr. Drury had quite completed his twentieth year, Dr. Sumner, at that time head master of Harrow, had applied to Dr. Watson to recommend him some gentleman of good talent and scholarship to succeed to a vacant assistantship at that place. Such was the steadiness of conduct and manliness of mind, combined with sound knowledge, for his years, in Mr. Drury, that Dr. Watson did not hesitate to
propose the situation to him, and recommend, that what remained of necessary college residence should be kept at such times and intervals as he could contrive to absent himself from the occupations on which he was about to enter. The strong recommendations of the tutor, together with the pupil's own desire, and sense of the necessity of relying exclusively on his own mental resources, soon decided him to accept the offer; and he embarked on the world for himself at this early age.
Robert Sumner, D.D., who had been lately a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, was at this period head master of Harrow, which school was now in high repute, containing about two hundred and fifty scholars, a large proportion of whom were youths of the best connections in the country. Sumner had succeeded Dr. Thackeray in that post in 1760. At this time (1769) he was not above thirty-eight years of age; a circumstance which was of some importance to his young assistant, as the latter fell more easily into habits of ease and familiarity with a superior of that time of life, than he probably might have done with a gentleman of more advanced years : and he always spoke with great warmth of feeling of the advantages he received from this species of intercourse with a man of such a powerful and well-stored mind. The Rev. Messrs. Wadeson and Roderick were (together with Parr, who has been already mentioned,) his colleagues at his entrance on his office; and of these early associates he was fond, in after-life, of often tracing the memory. It was not, however, destined that the party should continue long together; the premature death of Dr. Sumner, at the age of forty-one, in 1771, broke it up altogether. But even this short period, passed in close observation of a man of the most varied knowledge and brilliant conversation, was not likely to be lost upon one who had by nature the highest relish for these excellences. The character of Sumner has been drawn with all the warmth of affection and zeal of admiration by his pupil Sir William Jones, in his preface to the History of Asiatic Poetry; but neither that panegyric, nor