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THE

EUROPEAN MAGAZINE,

AND.

LONDON REVIEW,

FOR OCTOBER 1802.

SOME ACCOUNT OF THOMAS. ASTLE, ESQ. F. R. S. AND F. S. A. KEEPER OF THE RECORDS IN THE TOWER OF LONDON, ONE OF THE TRUSTEES.

OF 'THE BRITISH MUSEUM, &c. &c.

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[WITH 'A PORTRAIT.] AD antiquarian researches been Majesty, by his Royal Commission, ap

always pursued with as direct a pointed the fame persons to luperin. view to the acquisition of useful know, tend the methodizing of the Records ledge, as they have been by the very of State and Council preserved in the learned and ingenious Gentleman State Paper Office at Whitehall. whole Portrait embellishes our present The office of Receiver-General of . Number, the shafts of satire and of the Civil List Deductions was given ridicule had probably never been to him in 1765; and on the 18th of levelled against them at least they December in the same year, Mr. Aftle would have fallen unheeded to the married the only daughter and heir of ground.

the Rev. Mr. Philip Morant, of Col

cheiter *. with whom he received a . Mr. Astle, we understand, is a confiderable fortune, and who, for the native of Yoxall, on the borders of happiness of lier family, is itill living. Needwood Forest, in Stafford thire ; In 1766, he was admitted a Fellow of and was born on the 22d December the Royal Society of London ; and in 1735. From his youth he was of a the same year was consulted by a Comftudious turn of mind; and his edu- mittee of the House of Lords, concerncation well qualified him for indulging ing the printing of the ancient records to laudable a propensity.

of Parliament. In 1767, he introduced His original destination, we believe, his father-in-law, Mr. Morant, to the was the profession of the law; but, as fuperintendance of that work; and on a public character, we hear of him firit Mr. M.'s deti), November 17,0, he in the year 1763 ; when he was elected was appointed by the Houie of Peers a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries to carry on the fame : in which service of London, and was patronized by Mr. he indefatigably employed himtelf till George Grenville, then Firit Lord of its completion in 1775. In the fame the Treasury and Chancellor of the Ex- year he was appointed his Majesty's chequer, who employed him both in his Chief Clerk in the Record Office in the public and confidential concerns, and Tower of London, vacant by the death in the same year joined him in a com- of Henry Rooke, E'q. million with the late Sir Joseph Ayloffe, On the 4th of July 17:8, he was Bart. and Dr. Ducarel, for luperin- elected a Member of the Society of tending the regulating of the public Antiquaries at Caffel, in Germany. records at Weltmintter.-In 1764 bis On the zoth of December 1783, Mr.

• Author of " The History and Antiquities of Colchester," folio ; " The Hif. tory of Efex," 2 vols. folio; all the lives in the Biographia Britannica, narked C.; and leveral other eliteemed works.

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Alle was appointed to succeed the Mr. Altle was consulted by the Com. Right Hon. Sir John Shelly, Bart. mittee in the whole course of their deceased, as Keeper of the Rolls and inquiries; and, pursuant to their order Records in the Tower of London. of February 21, he, on the urth of March Mr. Altle hus procured for the use of following, delivered to them an able the Tower, by purchase, several valu- report of the nature and condition of able Calendars į and has with great the leveral records preserved in the assiduity employed himself and Clerks Tower. He also laid before the Com. in making Repertories and Indexes to mittee, in obedience to their orders, the Records in that office ; which will several other reports concerning the be of great public utility, and remain public records, which are printed in lasting monuments of his industry, as their First Report. See Pages 52, 68, appears by his Report laid before the 496, 505. Committee of the House of Commons, On the 4th of July 1800, the Select hereafter mentioned.

Committee came to the following ReIn February 1786 he was elected an solution : Honorary Member of the Royal Society

Resolved, of Edinburgh.

" That the Thanks of this Commit. On the sit of September following, tee be given to Thomas Akle, Esquire, the Volcian Literary Society, at Vele. Keeper of the Records in the Tower tri in Italy (about twenty miles from of London, and one of the Trustees Rone), of which Cardinal Borgia was

of the British Museum, &c. &c. &c. President, also enrolled Mr. Aitle among for the very able and learned affistance its Honorary Members.

· which he has rendered to this Com : March 20, 1787, he was elected a mittee throughout the prosecution of Trustee of the B.itish Museum; and their inquiries : On the urth of June 1788, he was

" And, That the Chairman of this conitituted a Member of the Royal Committee be requested to communi, Illandic Literary Society establilied

cate the fame. in that year at Copenhagen.

“ CHARLES, ARROT, In the year 1799, a Select Committee

Chairman." of the House of Commons was appointed to enquire into the state of the public That these honourable marks of records, and of such other public ine distinction, domestic and foreigo, have ftruments, rolis, books, and papers, as not been lightly earned, or undethey should think

and to servedly bestowed, will be apparent in report to the Houle the nature and the following brief en unieration of condition thereof, together with what Mr. Altle's literary labours, so far 'aš they mould judge fit to be done for the they have come to our knowledge. better arrangement, preservation, and We Mall be happy to make the lift more convenient use of the fame. more compleie, if any authentic inThey agreed on their Report, which formation should be hereafter commu. was ordered to be prinied on the nicated to us. 4th of July 1800 ; whereupon the In 9775 he published the Will of House, on the urth of the fame month, King Henry the vilth; to which is presented an Address to his Majeity, 'prefixed' a judicious Preface, wherein recommending many important res the character of that King is delineated quiations to be made in several of with ability and precision, and several ile public repo!itories, and the print- curious' circunstances relative to that ing of such records as were the most reign are recorded. important; beleeching his Majetty tu *. February 22, 1776, Mr. Afle laid give luch directions as he in his wif. before the Society of Antiquaries, An dom should think fit, for the better 'Account of the Events produced in arrangement, preservation, and more England by Pope Innocent the fourth's convenient use of the said records. extraordinary Grant of the Kingdom On the yoth of the fame month, his of Sicily to Prince Edmund, Second Majitty jitred his Royal Conimillion Son of King Henry the Third ; printed to certain Cummillioners therein named, in the fourth volume of the Archæo authorizing them to carry into execil- logia, paye 1950-- Mr. A. remarks, that tion the mentres recom'nended by the the Commons were firit fummoned to Hufe of Conds, relpecting the the Parliament called by Leicelter in public records of the kingdom. 0;poiition to Henry's demands,

proper ;

In 1784 he published his great work, tional history, which have been hitherto “On the Origin and Progress of Write misrepresented or not understood. The ing, as well Hieroglyphic as Elemente records pretended to have been found ary. Illustrated by Engravings taken in Scotland by John H.irding, with a from Marbles, Manuscripts, and Char. view to thew the superiority of the ters, ancient and modern. Also, Crown of England over that of ScotSome Account of the Origin and Pro. • land, are proved to be fpurious. grefs of Printing :" a new edition of On May 22, 1794, Mr. Aftle laid be. which, we understand, is in prepara. fore the Antiquary Society a Diflertation, and will speedily be publithed *. tion on the Tenures, Customs, &c.

In the seventh volume of the Archa- of his Manor of Great Tey, in Effex. ologia, page 348, is a Dissertation by V. Archæologia, Vol. XII. p. 25. Mr. Artie, read betore the Society of January 17, 1798, were read before Antiquaries, January 13, :785, on the the Society, Observations on Stone radical Letters of the Pela'gians and Pillars, Croties, and Crucifixes, by Mr. their Derivatives.

Aitle ; printed in the Archäologia, In 1789, the Society published two Vol. XIII. p. 208. Engravings of a Reliquary in his pos. February 1802, Mr. Altle's Remarks feffion, said to have been formerly pre- on the Anachronisins and Inaccuracies served in the Abbey of Malmesbury, of our Writers, respecting the Times with an Account of it by Mr. Altle. of the siffembling of Parliaments, and V. Monumenta Vetusta, Vol. 11. of the Dates of Treaties, Grants, Char

On the 34 of February 1791, Mr. ters, and other Inftruments, as well Afle's Oblervations on a Charter of public as private, were read before the King Edgar were read at the Society, Society of Antiquaries. to invalidate the Authenticity of that Few persons, we believe, have, for Charter. 1. Archæologia, Vol. X. the last thirty years, written on the P. 232.

history, laws, constitution, and antiOn the 17th of the same month were quities of this courtry, without havread, Observations by Mr. Altle on ing been niaterialiy indebted to the another spurious Charter of that King, liberal and obliging communications and printed in the same volume of this Gentleman ; whole disposition These Observations contain many to promote literary pursuits every one curious facts, authenticated by original muit know that has the pleasure of his documents in Mr. Alle's invaluable acquaintance ; and whose power to do collection of Saxon charters, wills, and so no one can doubt who has been adother instruments.

mitted to an inspection of his invaluable In 1792, the Council of the Anti- library ; perhaps the richest, in point of quary Society appointed a Committee, curious and antient Mss. that can be to confider of engraving such Seals of found in the possession of any private the King's Royal Boroughs, and Mag- Gentleman in the kingdom. nates of Scotland, as had not before Mr. Altle, we understand, has had been published; with directions to nine children, lix of whom are now select such as, in their opinion, were living ; namely, Thomas, Senior Capmost worthy of attention. Many cu- tain in the Royal Bucks Regiment of rious Seals were selected from original Militia ; Philip, of Colne Park, Esex, documenu, which are engraven in five' who for the possession of a considerabie folio plates, and were published in the ekate changed his name to that of Hills; Monumenta Vetusta, Vol. III. The Edward, an Officer in the Exchequer ; records to which these Seals are appen. George, in the Navy, now or late com danı chiefly relate to public transa manding a squadron of his Majetty's actions between England and Scotland. Ships off the Molucca Illands; and two They furnish many new and important highly-accomplished daughters. historical and biographical facts, and

J. explain many particulars in our na

For an account of this work see our Magazine for May 1784, and the Critical Review for May and June, in the lame year.

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