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My visits were mostly confined to those nights of beatitude on which the annual fireworks were displayed on Tower Hill, and which I looked at, in a state of ecstasy, from his windows.” Bentham often talked pleasantly and playfully of what he called his “A son of a first cousin of my father was Captain Cook’s purser when he went his first voyage to the Sandwich Islands.
I wanted him to talk to me of his travels; but I never got one fact out of him except this, that on one occasion, at the Sandwich Islands, they were greatly disturbed by the terrible noise with which the king made love to one of his lieges.
was born in Red Lion Street, Houndsditch, on the 4th-15th February, 1747-8.* His great-grandfather, Brian Bentham, was a prosperous pawnbroker in the city of London, and a relation of that Sir Jeremy Snow who was one of the bankers cheated by Charles II. In those days the profession of a pawnbroker was far more elevated than now.
Brian Bentham had connexion with the founder of the Aldgate Charity, Sir John Cass, and with many other distinguished people.† He died possessed of some thousands of pounds.
But, withal, the old lawyer managed to invest in land a large amount of money, the result of his savings, and added to the fortune his father had bequeathed.
Of late years, some light has been thrown upon the extent of Jacobitism which pervaded the higher classes, where it was deeply rooted and widely spread; and among the people of the metropolis, at least, it was far more prevalent a century ago than is generally supposed.
Such visits were talked of long before they came, and long after they were over: they were events in the family history.
Imagine, who can, how I strutted, thus adorned and glorified!
” Some of the Bentham family made their way under the auspices of the dominant authorities.
A circumstance that gave no small facility to it was a matrimonial alliance that had been contracted by a relation of my mother’s with a of George the Second’s.
Ribbons—in material silk, in colour purest white, in dimensions narrow—closed in those days the occasional solution of continuity in the shirt collar of his Most Sacred Majesty.
This learned lady seems to have been less terrible than the trembling timid boy anticipated: and he got through his “Qui fit Mecænas” with due honour.