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## MEMOIRS OFSIR ISAAC NEWTON'S life. William Stukeley 1752.

In magnis, voluisse sat est.

being some account of his family; & chiefly of the junior part of his life.

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## Preface

The following Memoirs of this great man by some may be accounted trivial. Imperfect they are own'd to be, & drawn up with a purpose only of assisting, toward a compleat life. The scituation I was then in, gave me no further opportunity of inquiry, than what I have here done. & by cooler minds it is thought not wholly unworthy of being communicated to the publick.

whoever writes a life, never fails to give what they can learn of the partys family, education, and the junior part of it. Such is chiefly the present work. But in that especially of so great a man, every reader burns with a desire of knowing somewhat of the primordia, the preparation and presages of his extraordinary abilitys; of the height to which he carryed; and the foundation on which he built, a new philosophy.

I succeeded so far as to gather these materials in the critical time when they were only to be had. & the candid reader will accept of this <ii> testimony of my respect to the memory of this incomparable person.

I have waited for this life to be done, as it deserves; and have not been overhasty, in printing, what was wrote 27 years ago.

there is this use in it likewise. for whilst we see how a great genius will early break out, & down, against any obstacle; will show in miniature, what its ripening talents will adorn: so to a less pregnant one, such objects may be presented, & such measures taken, as will insensibly lead them to very considerable heights; when done with proper art, & judgment; by those that have the care of the education of youth. human nature like a plant must have the vital principle in its self: but it requires watering & proper culture to bring it to its destin'd perfection. So a botanist that has < insertion from higher up p ii > got a rare flower or shrub, views with pleasure & attention its gradual advances in growth, and how it unfolds its beautiful foliages, & the cases of its flowers, till at length they arrive at the full blaze of their perfect state.

< text from p ii resumes > <iii>

I have need enough of an apology, who dare to take in hand the present subject. biography is a thing which I have no claim to, and has only been well executed by the masterly pen of a Plutarch. a candid reader will make great allowances in the case; in confidence of which I undertook it. nor shall I easily be excusd from a share of vanity, where I have so often brought my self upon the carpet. but when tis consider'd, it will be found very necessary, to an intelligent reader. I think I need say no more in justification of it, than that what I say is strictly true < insertion from p ii > as far as my memory will serve me. < text from p iii resumes > & as none of my countrymen have hitherto thought fit to give this important life to the publick, I flatter my self that what I have here done, tho' it cannot do justice to the subject, yet will give us a satisfaction in many particulars worth knowing; by no means to be thrown into oblivion. & the very name of Newton is able to wipe out all faults; and indeed that was the sole incentive, that made me think of publishing it.

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And in regard to him, it is judged by some friends of mineespecially of my native county, a debt due to the publick, as well as to his memory. that part of these papers which relates to his younger days, is not now to be recoverd. & tho' it must be accounted no otherwise than puerile: yet there is somewhat therein as much above the common level, as he himself was, in his more advanced years.

I have endevor'd to discharge somewhat of the debt, and it is all, that in my scituation, was in my power to do. & my scituation only could enable me to do the most valuable part of what is here done.

for a professed account of his works I refer the learned to Mr. Maclaurin & Dr. Pemberton. What I have to say on his life is divided into 3 parts. I. What I knew of him personally, whilst I resided in London, in the flourishing part of my life.

II. What I gatherd of his family & education at Grantham, after I went to live there.

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III. Of his character.

a good part of what I write is from matters of my own knowledg; nor can I well seperate my self from it without writing absurdly. Nor need I be asham'd to own the little degree of friendship, he honor'd me withal. tis no mean satisfaction to me that I pass'd the most flourishing part of my life in an age, when there were a number of great men coeval with Sir Isaac newton, more than are mention'd in these memoirs, with most of whom I was well acquainted: men of great eminence & station, in all the literary societys then among us. If matters are now somewhat changed, tis owing to the natural revolutions incident to mundane affairs. men and sciences have their seasone, thir rise, thir height, and thir declension. nor is the best of things, religion excluded from this predicament. nought remains immutable but the sovereign author of the whole.

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The following memoirs will be reckon'd only as telling of storys: be it so. < insertion from p iii > I have endevor'd to render them not tedious, nor too many: having suppressed some, that I might give no more than is to the purpose, to show the signs of a rising genius. & what < text from p vii resumes > would have been trifling of any other persons, by no means will be apply'd to him who is the subject of this discourse.

the world has now been sufficiently acquainted with Sir Isaac's great acquirements, from his writings. & as now most of those that personally knew him, are gone; I flatter my self the rest, & succeeding generations will be pleasd to know somewhat of his origin, & education, & private life: & that he himself would be the only one of mankind displeased, had it been done in his life time. I know that foreigners have long expected somewhat of this kind, more than has been communicated to the public, & wonderd at our remissness in doing it. I have therefore herein contributed my endevors to satisfy their eager curiosity: till some abler hand dos more adequate justice to it. & for that purpose these papers may administer some help, and they are judg'd not inconsiderable enough to be suppressd. may the reader find a pleasure in perusing, as I did in writing them.

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## To the right honorable George, Earl of Macclesfield, FRS. &c.

presuming upon that early acquaintance that has been between us; but more, on that candor so eminent in your Lordships character; I make bold to address the following paper to you. I drew it up for the entertainment of the members of the Royal Society; to which your Lordship is so conspicuous an ornament. to the Royal Society, every, even the least, account of Sir Isaac Newton cannot fail of being acceptable.

to recount the history of such as have de <2r> {serv'd} well of mankind is always lookd upon as a commendable thing. < insertion from f 1v > & tis generally a species of writing, favorable enough to the author: tis an entertainment in reading, without the attention of study.

I shall recite: – I. What I knew of him in the earlier part of my own life.

II. What I learned of his family & the earlier part of his life.

III. What I knew of the latter part of his life.

< text from f 2r resumes >

the reader's mind is too much ingag'd, to discern the imperfections of the writer. & whilst we are paying a just debt to their memory, we throw in an incitement to others, to merit in their turn. but the illustrious personage here in some sort again presented to the publick view, of all others commands a particular regard & veneration.

tho' my abilitys are much too inconsiderable to make any elogium on so great a name, yet I have this ample excuse in my favor, that it can need none. I only pretend to tell chiefly some private storys of his life, as they fell under my own cognizance; or what I learn'd from report of credit. but even these have dignity enough to merit a remembrance. & I cannot but account it a very particular felicity in my own life, that it was connected with some part of his: & in having the opportunity of conversing with him on many familiar occasions.

but what I chiefly aim at in this paper, is to recount somewhat of the juvenile part of his life. for which I had a fitting opportunity offerd me by my going to live at Grantham, just before he dy'd; & just before some of the oldest people in <3r> {that} neighborhood dy'd, who were his cotemporarys; some his schoolfellows: from whom I obtain'd such relations as their memorys supply'd me with. I shall likewise add, what occurs to me of my own knowledg. < insertion from f 2v > the nature of what I propose to doe, is such as forbids me being over sollicitous about an exact method. this is not a perfect life of Sir Isaac Newton. it is impossible that I should do it, not having the materials, nor any opportunity of obtaining them: nothing more than that little knowledg I could obtain, either of my self, or the informations I took, near his native place. I lived in country obscurity, for above 20 years after his death; which was the fit season to gather all the notices of the most flourishing part of his time. after I have all this while in vain expected justice to be done to his memory, I thought what I could say on the great subject would not be wholly unacceptable. Some are celebrated after death, for their learning, some for their vertue, & piety, & charity, some for acquirements in arts and sciences; but he claims it, upon all these accounts.

< text from f 3r resumes >

in april 1705 Sir Isaac came to Cambridg, to offer himself a candidate to represent the University, in parliament. on the 16th of that month Queen Ann was pleasd to visit the University, from Newmarket: whither a deputation of the heads of the Colleges had been, to invite her. I was then student in Corpus Christi College, in what we call there junior Sophs year, being the 3d after admission. the whole University lined both sides of the way, from Emanuel college, where the Queen enter'd the town, to the public schools. her Majesty dined at Trinity college; where she knighted Sir Isaac. & afterward, went to evening service at king's college chapel; which I always lookd upon, as the most magnificent building in the world. the provost made a speech to her Majesty, & presented her with a bible richly ornamented. Then she returned, amid the repeated acclamations of the scholars & townsmen.

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It was talked among us, that one purpose of the Queens, was to recommend Sir Isaac Newton to the choice of the University: < insertion from f 3v > by her powerful presence, < text from f 4r resumes > & chiefly projected by the Earl of Hallifax, minded, that great man should receive from, & give honor to the world, in a more public life.

We had then in our college, under the instruction of Dr Robert Dannye, (who dy'd in the month of March 1730, rector of Spofforth in Yorkshire) gone thro' an excellent course of lectures in mathematics, & philosophy, particularly the Newtonian. & I own, upon this Royal Visit, my curiosity was mostly excited, & delighted, in the beholding Sir Isaac; who remain'd some time with us. & no joy could equal that which I took, in seeing the great man, of whom we had imbibed so high an idea, from being conversant in his works. We < insertion from f 3v > always took care on Sundays to place our selves before him, as he sat with heads of the colleges; we < text from f 4r resumes > gaz'd on him, never enough satisfy'd, as on somewhat divine. the University was well sensible of the proposed honor, & readily chose him thir representative; who was thir greatest boast & ornament.

Then was the glory of Brittain at its acme, & the glory of a Brittish parliament, & the glory of a wise, & able ministry, which inabled the great <5r> Duke of Marlborough, to carry the glory of the Brittish arms & councils, to the highest pitch. then were the two nations united into one great Brittain. At the same time, learning was equally incourag'd, & flourishd: and Religion then kept pace with it. witness the Act of Parliament for founding and endowing 50 new churches in the city of London: & the seasonable gift of this pious queen, for the augmentation of the small Livings of the parochial clergy.

Such was then the felicity of Brittain. But as afterwards, Religion, by being divided into many streams, has weaken'd its power & influence upon the morals of the people: we feel that deluge of impiety which now oreflows us, altogether unknown to former ages; which threatens a solution of the bands of Society, & government. that the state of our public affairs has ever since been upon the decline, is but the natural consequence.

this was the most flourishing age of Brittain, when we had this extraordinary man among us, in the most flourishing part of his life. Sir Isaac was at this time, about 63 years of age current; & had now for above 20 years been known, & celebrated for the greatest genius of human nature. by the Earl of Halifax his means, he had been <6r> drawn forth into light before, as to his person, from his belov'd privacy in the walls of a college. where at 40 years of age he published his Principia, that prodigious and immortal work. < insertion from f 5v > & this year, as it was the grand climacteric of his life: so it was that crisis to him, & to the world reciprocal; that he might receive the publick honors & lucrative reward, due to his consummate merit, for the remainder of his days. < text from f 6r resumes > & now all the great men in Europe had the opportunity, by making a voyage to England, of satisfying thir eager curiosity in seeing him preside in, & adorn, the Royal Society; whose glory too was then at the highest.

On the 20 March 1717-8 whilst I practised physick in London, I was admitted a fellow by Sir Isaac, at the recommendation of Dr. Mead, the preceding november

being Sir Isaac's countryman of Lincolnshire < insertion from f 5v > & pretty constant in attendance at the weekly meetings of the Royal Society < text from f 6r resumes > , from that time, I was well receiv'd by him, & enjoyd a good deal of his familiarity, & friendship: < insertion from f 5v > I often visited him, sometime with Dr. Mead, Dr. Halley, or Dr. Brook Taylor, Mr W. Jones or Mr Folkes & others. sometime alone; and we discoursd upon divers curious matters, as well as on country news: I being acquainted with many of his friends & relations there: & my brother being at that time apprentice to his old intimate friend & school fellow, Mr Chrichloe of Grantham. < text from f 6r resumes > being generally of the Council of the Royal Society. & upon the casual absence of a secretary, I was sometime order'd by him, to take his seat, for that sitting. Several times, I was proposd by him, & elected an auditor of the yearly accounts of the Society, at the same time we din'd with him, at his house by Leicester fields.

in the year 1720 Sir Isaac's picture was painted by Sir Godfry Kneller to be sent to Abbè Bignon in France; who sent his picture to Sir Isaac. Both <7r> Sir Isaac & Sir Godfry desired me to be present at all the sittings. it was no little entertainment , to hear the discourse that passd between these two first of men < insertion from f 6v > in their way < text from f 7r resumes > . tho' it was Sir Isaac's temper to say little, yet it was one of Sir Godfrys arts to keep up a perpetual discourse, to preserve the lines, & spirit of a face. I was delighted to observe, Sir Godfry, who was not famous for sentiments of religion, sifting Sir Isaac, to find out his notions on that head; who answerd him, with his usual modesty, & caution.

in August that year, Sir Isaac went to Oxford, in company of Dr John Kiel; he having not been there before.

the same year 1720 the South Sea year, I was in the Council of the Royal Society: which by subscribing, lost £600. Sir Isaac very readily offerd to add to his large donations before made, in the most gen{teel} manner, < insertion from f 6v > in order to repair the loss < text from f 7r resumes > but the Society would not permit it.

Sir Isaac was of a generous disposition, & particularly fond of his native country of Lincolnshire. & loved to frequent their annual feasts; & contribute to any of their charitable schemes < insertion from f 6v > usual at such meetings.

< text from f 7r resumes >

20 feb. 1720-1 a Lincolnshire feast was held at the Ship tavern, Temple bar. when I went into <8r> the dining room above stairs, where the better sort of company was; it was talkd, that there was an old gentleman belowstairs whom they fancied to be Sir Isaac Newton. I instantly went down, & finding it to be so, sat down with him. they above sent to desire us to walk up into the chief room. I answerd, the chief room was where Sir Isaac Newton sat. upon which the upper room was immediately left to the ordinary company, and the better sort came to us.

Sir Isaac enjoy'd himself extremely in this society of his countrymen; & talkd much, & pleasantly. particularly I remember one part of the conversation turn'd upon musick, of which Sir Isaac was fond; & of the opera's then beginning to be in vogue among us. it was no wonder, his soul should be delighted with harmony. Sir Isaac said they were very fine entertainments; but that "there was too much of a good thing; it was like a surfiet at dinner. I went to the last opera," says he, "The first act gave me the greatest pleasure. The second quite tired me: at the third I ran away." He left 5 guineas, & desired the stewards to call upon him for <9r> every subscription relating to his countrymen .

about this time < insertion from f 8v > upon the request of my friend Mr Maurice Johnson, < text from f 9r resumes > he readily enterd himself a member of the literary society at Spalding, which still subsists. he made them a present of books: desirous of incouraging every laudable attempt to promote learning, in any branch.

he carryed me with him in his chariot to see the coinage at the Mint, in the Tower: their method of weighing to an extreme nicety, & the rest of thir operations.

23 feb. 1721, I breakfasted with him in company of Dr. Halley. Sir Isaac among other discourse, mentiond the poverty of the materials he had, for making his theory of the moon's motion. he said Mr Flamsted would not communicate his observations to him. so that what he did, was from 3 or 4 observations only of Mr Flamsteds, for which he owed him no thanks; as not design'd for him. but he said, now he could finish that theory, if he would set about it; but he rather chose to leave it for others.

Sir Isaac at that time, show'd us the famous Hugenian glass of 170 foot radius; which he had lately bought, from Italy. afterward he presented <10r> it to the Royal Society. he complain'd of the custom house officers who made him pay £20 for the duty, too honestly declaring the value < insertion from f 9v > or price he paid for it. Others would have paid only the simple value of the glass. < text from f 10r resumes > he bought soon after the great maypole in the Strand, & had it carryed, & set up at Wansted; for Dr Pound, to make astronomical observations.

about this time I was publishing my Itinerarium Curiosum. I had been a course of travels, from 13 august 1721 with Mr Roger Gale, thro' Berkshire Wiltshire, Glocestershire, Worcestershire. Herefordshire. Staffordshire., Derbyshire., Nottinghamshire., returning home on 13 october I visited Wulsthorp, which parishes to Colsterworth, 6 mile on this side Grantham, in the great road leading from London into the north. I had the curiosity to visit the place where Sir Isaac was born. Wulsthorp is a Mannor which was Sir Isaac's, & his ancestors. it stands in a pleasant little hollow, or convallis on the west side of the valley of the river Witham, which rises near there: one spring thereof in this hamlet of Wulsthorp. it has a good prospect eastward, & sees the Roman road, the Hermen Street going over the fields, to the east of Colsterworth. there cannot be a finer country than this.

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the house is a pretty good one, built of white stone, which abounds all over this country. they carryed me up stairs, & show'd me Sir Isaac's study, in which he used to sit, when he came home from Cambridg, to see his mother. the shelves were of his own making, being pieces of deal boxes. There were some years ago 2 or 300 books in it chiefly of divinity, & old editions of the fathers the library of his father in law, Mr Smith, rector of North Witham. these books Sir Isaac gave to his relation Dr. Newton of Grantham. < insertion from f 10v > Dr. Newton < text from f 11r resumes > gave some of them to me, when I went to live there.

I took a drawing of the place, & of Colsterworth church: & on my return to London, etchd that of Colsterworth church my self. I carryd a print of it to Sir Isaac, with which he was highly pleasd, and at the same time gave me a book of the new edition of his admirable treatise on opticks: & read over to me, that passage additional which he had inserted.

in november 1721 I was induced by Sir Hans Sloan, Lord Pembroke, Mr Roger Gale, Lord Paisley, Percivale, and very many more of the principal members of the Royal Society, to <12r> offer my self for Secretary in the room of Dr Halley, who resigned. Some persons influenced Sir Isaac against his inclination, to take to the opposite party, and I lost it by a very small majority. Sir Isaac show'd a coolness toward me for 2 or 3 years, but as I did not alter in my carriage and respect toward him, after that, he began to be friendly to me again.

in november 1725 I was again auditor of the accounts of the Royal Society. we din'd with Sir Isaac. & after dinner we desired him to recommend the Council to be elected on Saint Andrews day approaching; which he did. I have now, the paper of his own hand writing, & that without spectacles, being the names of the Council for the ensuing year: among which he put down mine. he wrote in a fair, small hand.

Sir Isaac thought, the Greeks, according to thir usual ingenuity, improv'd architecture into a higher delicacy; as they did sculpture and other arts. I confirmed his sentiments by adding, that I could demonstrate (as I apprehended) that the architecture of Solomons temple was what we now call Doric. then, says he, the greeks advanced it into the Ionic, & the Corinthian, as the Latins into the composite.

this winter I had a severe fitt of the gout, as I <14r> generally had every year, by hereditary right. I found, they grew upon me worse & worse every year. & this among other considerations, determined me to leave the Town.

on 15 April 1726 I paid a visit to Sir Isaac, at his lodgings in Orbels buildings, Kensington: din'd with him, & spent the whole day with him, alone. I acquainted him with my intentions of retiring into the country; & had pitchd on Grantham. I had a brother there in business, who had a family. he had been apprentice to Mr Chrichloe apothecary there, a great acquaintance, & schoolfellow of Sir Isaacs.

Sir Isaac expressed an approbation of my purpose: & especially for Grantham, which is near the place of his nativity: & where he went to the grammar school. he said, he had frequently thought of spending the last of his days, in that very place: and charg'd me, if that house to the east of the church, could now be purchasd at any reasonable price, that I should do it immediately in his name, & he would answer the demand. that house had belong'd to the family of the Skipwith's. he said his old acquaintance Mrs Vincent lived <15r> there & a few more, whom he knew.

after dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden, & drank thea under the shade of some appletrees, only he, & myself. amidst other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. "why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground," thought he to him self: occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a comtemplative mood: "why should it not go sideways, or upwards? but constantly to the earths centre? assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. there must be a drawing power in matter. & the sum of the drawing power in the matter of the earth must be in the earths center, not in any side of the earth. therefore dos this apple fall perpendicularly, or toward the center. if matter thus draws matter; it must be in proportion of its quantity. therefore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple."

< insertion from f 14v >

That there is a power like that we here call gravity which extends its self thro' the universe < text from f 15r resumes > & thus by degrees, he began to apply this property of gravitation to the motion of the earth, & of the heavenly bodys: to consider thir distances, their magnitudes, thir periodical revolutions: to find out, that this property, conjointly <16r> with a progressive motion impressed on them in the beginning, perfectly solv'd thir circular courses; kept the planets from falling upon one another, or dropping all together into one center. & thus he unfolded the Universe. this was the birth of those amazing discoverys, whereby he built philosophy on a solid foundation, to the astonishment of all Europe.

at another time, when I visited him, we had some discourse about the first plantation of these western parts of the world, especially our island, from Phœnicia. I had the satisfaction to find, that I had fallen into the same sentiments, with him, and indeed I could not but observe with surprize that he was master of every part of curious learning: & in each branch, equal to those that had studyd it alone. whence one would be apt to draw this conclusion; that a man must be well skilld in most parts of learning, who would excell even in one.

13 May 1726 Sir Isaac appointed according to custom, < insertion from f 15v > & direction of the Government, < text from f 16r resumes > a Committee of the Royal Society to visit Dr. Halley, astronomer Royal, at the observatory Greenwich: Mr Martin Folkes, Dr. Brook Taylor, my self, Mr. Machen, Mr Graham. we were to examin into the astronomical instruments, for <17r> which the board of Ordnance had issued £500. before dinner, Dr Halley entertain'd us with a transit over the meridian, of the largest of all the fixt stars, Sirius. I observ'd, it ran along the horizontal thread of the telescope with an undulatory or jogging motion which I attributed to the nisus between the axis of the earth, & obliquity of the ecliptic; in which the earths motion is perform'd: which must in some degree oppose one another, because the axis of the earth is not parallel to the plain, in which it moves. & this seemed to me, to be the cause, that the heavenly bodys view'd in telescopes, do not proceed in a swimming, even motion; but by jirks.

the 6 june following, I left the Town, being at that time, one of the Censors of the College of Physicians; one of the Council of the Royal Society; & secretary to the antiquarian society . but I found, I was moved by a secret impulse of Providence, which saw further than my views extended. < insertion from f 16v > & what my friends very much wonder'd at. < text from f 17r resumes > some of the fruits of my recess was the opportunity I had of drawing up these Memoirs. another was, that I fortunately found out the method of subduing that hitherto unconquerable malady, the gout; so as to < insertion from f 16v > extend, as well as < text from f 17r resumes > render my future life comfortable: which was one reason that induc'd me to enter into holy Orders: & therein I was much incourag'd by my great friend, Archbishop Wake, who ordaind me.

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I had purchasd a very agreable house at Grantham, where I then fixed my self; hoping, by riding & exercise, to alleviate the fitts of the gout. but the house that Sir Isaac desired to buy at that time in possession of Mr Seckar, who lived in it, was not then to be had. on which head I wrote to him. & this prov'd to be the last act of my correspondence with him. he dy'd the beginning of the next year. Sir Michael Newton, a relation of Sir Isaacs lived now at Hather, near Grantham. he stood candidate at an election for members of parliament. Mr Conduit who marryed Sir Isaac's niece, wrote to me to give my interest to Sir Michael. < insertion from f 17v > as a testimony of my respect to Sir Isaac's family. < text from f 18r resumes > & a correspondence now commencing between us, he desired me to give him all the informations I could collect, relating to Sir Isaac. for he was preparing to draw up an account of his life. < insertion from f 17v > I gladly accepted of the injunction, which I had before projected in my mind. < text from f 18r resumes > had he lived to have done it, it would assuredly have superseded this publication. but as we have no present hope of that, I was willing to contribute my endeavors toward that end, by the present work.

it was a misfortune that Mr Chrichloe apothecary there, with whom my brother had been apprentice, dy'd but a little before I fix'd my abode at the place. he was 84 years of age, somewhat older than Sir Isaac, when they were alive together. <19r> he was Sir Isaac's schoolfellow, & great friend during thir whole lives: & could have given me informations relating to him, to full satisfaction. Sir Isaac had a particular esteem for him, always inquired after his health, when he knew, I had been at Grantham: & desired his service to him, when he knew, I went that way; saying, he was the chief acquaintance left in the place, except Mrs. Vincent.

I found two or three very old people, at & about Colsterworth, where he was born. & but 3 or 4 years before, several more dyed, who were about Sir Isaac's age. however, by this means our Memoirs will be very much shortned: yet I omitted no opportunity remaining, to gather all I could any wise to our purpose.

Perhaps it will be necessary to be a little circumstantial & bordering somewhat on puerility. This is excusable from the nature of the inquiry. it will be better understood, what sort of evidence I build upon. how mean soever these papers may be, I should hold my self inexcusable, not to have done it; & even unjust to the world, as well as to the memory of so great a man; the glory of our country our age, & of {the} human race.

accordingly june 2 1727 I began to commit to <20r> writing the accounts I was gathering on that head, & sent them in letters to Dr Mead, to be transmitted to Mr Conduit. His daughter was marryed to the honorable John Wallop esqr. eldest son of Lord Lymington; into whose hands all Sir Isaacs papers & manuscripts came, along with Mr Conduits: & also the letters that I wrote. as these & Mr Conduit's cannot now be obtain'd, I thought it advisable to recover as well as I could what I had wrote, from the original draughts left by me. & tis my happyness that whatever relates to him, requires no ornament of speech; & tis sufficient if I can but imitate his own plain way of writing. < insertion from f 19v > & this year Mr Conduit publishd Sir Isaac's admirable book de mundi systemate, & sent me a copy of it. likewise Sir Isaacs own third edition of his Principia. In 1729 Lord Chancellor King presented me to the Living of all Saints, Stamford. when I removed thither, he sent me Sir Isaac's chronological treatise, which he put out, & that on Daniel, & the Apocalypse in 1733.

< text from f 20r resumes >

Mr Ralf Clark, apothecary at Grantham (with whose grandfather Sir Isaac had lodged when a schoolboy) & I, were busy at Mr Mason's rector of Colsterworth, in our inquirys; when the Express came by post, < insertion from f 19v > going to Scotland, < text from f 20r resumes > of the death of King George I . I made diligent search for the Registers of the parish, of births, buryals, & marriages: especially the older ones, which generally have been very ill kept. nor can we say much in commendation of those of more modern date. they commonly give us the bare name of persons, without father, mother, or such other marks, as ascertain the identity of person. the old ones for <21r> the most part are lost, destroyd, or obliterated; for want of care, & due preservation.

thus are the national records, of all others most important, the most neglected! on this occasion, I cannot help observing, that tis too much the case thro'out the kingdom. frequently the task of keeping a Register book is committed to a parish clark, illiterate, that can scarcely write, sottish, or indolent. a task on which the fortunes, & emoluments of the whole kingdom, in a great measure depends. the setling descents, births, buryals, marriages, titles to estates, & matters of highest consequence, both civil & religious, are thus left at random, without any reasonable proof, or certainty, adequate to the weight of matters depending thereon.

is it to be wondered at, when the publick, always penurious toward the parochial clergy, have provided no stipend, much less a proportionable one, to its necessity, & use. is it to be wonder'd at, when the public tamely suffers the solemnization of matrimony, the very foundation of all Society, & government, to be done at the Fleet, & in obscure, private rooms, by ob <22r> scure private persons, with impunity, & in open defiance of the Laws.

Mr Mason, at my request, searching into some old Town chests, at length met with a few vellum leaves, being the parish register from anno 1571 to 1642 inclusive; the very year Sir Isaac was born. but there is intermitted, not lost, from anno 1630 to 1640 inclusive. which is a space of time in which his fathers marriage happen'd, & probably other circumstances in his family, or among his relations, which would have assisted us in our present inquiry. however very luckily upon the last leaf, which has been miserably abusd, is this memorable account, under the title baptiz'd anno 1642.

Isaac sonne of Isaac & Hanna Newton jan 1.

tis probable, that the civil wars then beginning, was the reason, why it ends in this leaf. from those leaves I extracted all of the name of Newton, which are numerous. but for the reason aforemention'd, of being generally bare names only, without mention of fathers, mothers, husband, wife, & the like, they were of no great service in drawing out his genealogy, as was my purpose to doe.

<23r>

Sir Isaac himself had been inquisitive in this way, sometime ago. for at Colsterworth, in possession of John Newton his heir at law, I saw a half sheet of paper of Sir Isaac's own hand writing; being a draught thereof, as far as he knew it, with orders for searching Registers, to make it more perfect. But I believe, his request was never fully answerd; & that Sir Isaac never saw the leaves aforemention'd, of the old Register.

I took an exact copy of this writing thus,

<24r>

Let the Registers of Westby, & Bichfield be searched, from the beginning to the year 1650; & extracts be taken of whatever marriages, births, & buryals have been in the family of the Newtons. & if the old Register of Colsterworth can be found, let the like extract be taken out of that. & let the extracts be taken, by copying out of the Registers, whatever can be met with, about the family of the Newtons, in words at length, without omitting any of the words.

Direct your letter to Sir Isaac Newton, at his house in Jermyn Street, in Saint James's parish, in Westminster, London.

Thus far Sir Isaac. & in it we have a specimen of his great, & scrupulous accuracy, in every thing he did, or wrote.

when Sir Isaac was knighted, he made this inquiry <25r> following; & caused an entry to be made in the books at the heralds office. a copy of which my friend Mr Le neve Norroy, sent to me, on my request.

John Newton of Westby in Baingthorp parish, Lincolnshire, in the college of arms taken 1634.

William Newton 4th son baptized at Westby 30 aug. 1541. was of Gunnerby Lincolnshire grandfather of Sir Jo. Newton of Hather created baronet.

John Newton of Westby aforesaid son and heir of John, purchased an estate at Wulsthorp in Colsterworth parish in that county; by deed dated 19 dec. 1562. he was buryed in Westby church 22 dec. 1563.

Richard Newton of Wulsthorp aforesaid, inherited the said purchasd lands, as appears by a recital in a deed dated 30 dec. 15 Carolus I. & was buryed in Colsterworth church 20 April 1588.

Robert Newton of Wulsthorp aforesaid inherited the same purchasd lands, after the death of his father as is mentiond in the aforesaid deed of 15 Carolus I. by which deed he setled the manor of Wulsthorp by him purchased upon his eldest son Isaac. he was buryed in Colsterworth church 20 sept. 1641.

Isaac Newton of Colsterworth aforesaid, son and heir of Robert, was baptiz'd at Colsterworth 21 Sep. 1606. mentiond in the deed 15 Carolus I. buryed in that church 6 oct. 1642.

Hannah daughter of James Ayscough of Market Overton in Rutland gent. She was remarry'd to Barnabas Smith rector of N. Witham Lincolnshire by whom she had several children. She dyed at Stamford in Lincolnshire, 1689. buryed at Colsterworth.

Isaac Newton only child of Isaac & Hannah born 25 dec. baptizd at Colsterworth 1 jan. 1642-3. lord of the mannor of Wulsthorp aforesaid, master of Arts, late fellow of Trinity College Cambridg, Warden of the Mint by patent dat. 13 apr. 1696. master and worker of the mint by patent dat. 3 Feb. 1699, and president of the Royal Society.

thus far Sir Isaac's entry at the Heralds office.

my friend the late reverend Mr John Fisher rector of Westby & Basinthorp, gave me extracts of all of the name of Newton, appearing in his Register; from which, & other helps, I improv'd the genealogy in the form following.

<28r>

this family had its name from Newton, a Boroughtown in Lancashire. Isaac was a common name in this family. one dyd at Colsterworth about 30 years ago, whose family ended in a daughter. < insertion from f 27v > In the Colsterworth Register I found an Isaac Newton, son of Robert baptized 21 Sept. 1606.

< text from f 28r resumes >

the ayscoughs were a very antient, & wealthy family in Lincolnshire, from a hamlet of that name, near Bedal yorkshire. one of ours built that elegant tower steeple at great Paunton, as some say. Some of them still remain at Cathorp. James Ayscough, surgeon and apothecary in my native town Holbech, came from Sustern near Colsterworth, was cozen to Sir Isaac's mother. an ingenious man. he usd to take me, when a lad, along with him a simpling in Fleetwoods, which gave me an early inclination to the study of physick.

Sir Michael Newtons family came from the younger branch, & was rais'd by < insertion from f 27v > marriage with < text from f 28r resumes > the coheiress of Hickson; who was very rich. the other sister revivd the luster of the antient family of the Welbys near Grantham; which is a younger branch to the Welbys of Gedney in Lincolnshire Holland, to which elder branch I am related.

the country about Colsterworth, where Sir Isaac Newton was born, I that have seen most part of England, think, to be exceeded by none; for a fine <29r> air, & for pleasantness; being most agreably diversify'd with open heaths, rich meadow, & inclosure, woods, & parks: the most beautiful cornfields, springs, brooks, & rivers. underneath tis a white stone rock, fit for building.

this place produc'd the greatest genius of human kind. He was born in the Mannor house, which was the family estate, where they hold a Court leet, & a Court baron. the old copys, & records of the Court are lost. But they know it has been in the Newton family, ever since Queen Elizabeths time. We see in the genealogy, John Newton purchasd it; who lived at Westby, & dy'd 1563. the report is, that it was bought of the great Cecil, to whom Queen Elizabeth gave it, or of his son. this, & other lands hereabouts, fell to the crown; when the Lord Rochford was beheaded by Henry VIII. which Lord is buryed at Stoke Rochford, hard by: which estate is now Mr. Turner's. a place remarkable for a fine spring. there was a Roman Villa there. I have seen the remains of it, & Roman coyns there found.

this Mannor of Wulsthorp probably belong'd to Ulfus and took its name from him. he was 4th son of king Harold slain by William the Conqueror. his mother was Agatha Sister to Edwin, & Morcar, earls; & sons of Algar, <31r> the great Mercian Duke, the remain of the royal blood of the Mercian kings; who sprung from Stamford, & the Marsh country of Holland, whence the name of Mercian, & who had a very great estate in this country.

Earl Morcar own'd Colsterworth, Skillington, Basingham, Stoke beforemention'd, & Strawston, all in this neighbourhood. a wood near Horn Lane retains his name to this day, Morcar's wood; near it Ulfsoaks, corruptly Wulfox.

King Harold, Ulfs father, had likewise a great estate in this country; both Stamford, & Grantham, all that the conqueror gave to his favorite, Robert de Todenei, lord of Belvoir, now the Duke of Rutlands. he ownd Uffington, Talington, Ropesly, Denton, Gretford, Braceborough, Sempringham, < insertion from f 30v > Greetham, Burley on the hill. < text from f 31r resumes > and many more townships. but Ulf as being a son of Harolds was kept prisoner in Normandy by the conqueror together with all his relations, & Duncan son to the King of Scotland. he thought, they might have some pretence to the crown.

king William Rufus set our Ulf at liberty: being a quiet honest man, he gave him his estate, & honor'd him with knighthood. & here at Wulsthorp in all probability he spent the remainder of his days, in great honor, & contentment. I suppose he like < insertion from f 30v > wise own'd Wulsthorp by Belvoir, & Wulsthorp by Stamford.

< text from f 31r resumes > <32r>

this mannor of Wulsthorp, which was Sir Isaac's paternal estate, is about £30 per annum but he had another estate at Sustern adjacent, which came by his mother. The whole is about £80 per annum, & descended to his next heir John Newton, who is deriv'd from his fathers 2d brother. this idle fellow I knew very well, whilst I lived at Grantham. he soon spent it, by cocking, horseracing, drinking, & folly.

Sir Isaac was < insertion from f 31v > born on Christmas day < text from f 32r resumes > a posthumous, & only child. his mother was marryed again to a neighboring clergyman, Mr Barnabas Smith, minister of north witham near Colsterworth jan. 27 1645. She had three children by him.

Isaac was sent at a proper age to Grantham School, which was built, founded, & well endow'd by Richard Fox, bishop of Winchester, born at Ropesly near here. The same prelate founded Corpus Christi College in Oxford. I have an old picture of him, painted on wood, which I bought at Stamford. he was blind in the latter part of his life. He was one of Henry VIIIths godfathers.

the people of Grantham have a common notion, that the learned Mr Walker, author of the book of latin particles, was Sir Isaac's master. & they led me into that mistake in my Itinerary, pa. 49. but since, I have learned, that Mr John Stokes was <33r> schoolmaster at that time; who was succeeded by Mr Sisson, & he by Mr Walker. Mr Walker was an intimate acquaintance of Sir Isaac's; being minister of Colsterworth, where he dyed, & was buryed in the choir, 1684, with that famous inscription, which is thought to have been made by Sir Isaac:

Hic jacent Walkeri particulæ

Mr. Stokes was accounted a very good scholar, & an excellent schoolmaster.

whilst Sir Isaac was at Grantham School, he boarded at Mr Clarks house, an apothecary, grand father to the present Mr Clark, now living. 'twas the next house to the George inn northward, in highstreet: which was rebuilt about anno 1700. Dr Clark MD, brother to Mr Clark, with whom the lad boarded, was usher to the school, at that time. he had been pupil to the famous Dr. Henry Moor, of Christs college, Cambridg; who was born in the great old house, almost over against mine, but more southward; being the first house on the left hand, coming from London, adjoining to the road leading toward Harlaxton. the house has been lately pulled down & a lesser built in its place. Some lime trees grow before the door.

Dr. Clark left the school, & practisd physick in <34r> Grantham, with success. but every one that knew Sir Isaac, or have heard speak of him, when he was here at school, recount with admiration the many instances of the extraordinary of his genius, whilst a boy; his strange inventions, uncommon skill & industry in mechanical works. they tell us, that insted of playing among the other boys, when from school, he always busyed himself at home, in making knickknacks of divers sorts, & models in wood, of whatever his fancy led him to. For which purpose he furnished himself with little saws, hatchets, hammers, chizels, & a whole shop of tools; which he would use with as much dexterity, as if he had been brought up to the trade, & all the money, his mother gave him, went in the purchase of 'em. < insertion from f 33v > I shall not recite all the storys of this kind I heard, which suited well enough the taste of those that related 'em. but some few, tis necessary to mention.

< text from f 34r resumes >

they remember particularly, that a new windmill, about that time, was set up in the way to Gunnerby; which is now demolished. a windmill is a sort of rarity in this country, abounding so much with rivers, & brooks: for which reason they chiefly use watermills. a walk to this new windmil was the usual amusement of the town of Grantham. the multitude return'd with some satisfaction to thir curiosity, but little improvement in thir understanding, & it was the comon rendezvous of the schoolboys. <35r> Newtons innate fire was soon excited, he penetrated beyond the superficial view of the thing. he was daily with the workmen, carefully observed the progress, the manner of every part of it, & the connexion of the whole. he obtain'd so exact a notion of the mechanism of it, that he made a true, & perfect model of it, in wood. & it was said to be as clean a piece of workmanship, as the original.

this sometime he would fasten upon the housetop, where he lodged: & clothing it with bits of cloth, for sails, the wind would readily take it. but Isaac was not content with this bare imitation: his spirit prompted him to goe beyond his prototype. & he added an extraordinary composition to it. he could put a mouse into it, which work'd it as naturally as the wind. this he used to style his mouse-miller. & complain'd jokingly, what a thief he was; for he eat up all the corn put into the mill.

I made inquiry, what they knew concerning the art, & contrivance of it. < insertion from f 34v > some said, he ty'd a string to the mouse, & pulling by it, made the mouse turn the mill. < text from f 35r resumes > some said, the mouse ran round a wheel like that of a turnspit: and that the hopper emptyed it self with the ground corn in his sight; therefore it always endevord to come to it, & then turn'd the wheel. however it was a piece of diversion, to not a little part <36r> of the town & country, to pay a visit to Isaac's mouse miller, & the farmers readily supplyd him with handfuls of corn, on market days.

he likewise made a good wooden clock, that went by weights, in the usual manner: this being a bare imitation, as before, was not sufficiently pleasing to him. but he made another clock which is much talked of still, on quite a new principle. it went by water dropping into a cistern: & was famous for its exactness. he constructed this out of a firdeal box which he beg'd of Mrs. Clarks brother. it was in shape much like other clocks; a case about 4 foot high, a dyal plate, painted by himself with figures: a wooden index that show'd the hour. this index was turn'd by a perpendicular piece of wood, rising, as the water filled the cistern: I suppose either by rack-work, as they call it, or by a string winding its self round an axis.

this clock always stood in his own garret where he lay. & he took care every morning to supply it with a proper quantity of water. & the family upon occasion, went up thither, to be well informd upon the time of day. & it was left in the house long after he went to the University: destroyed, probably, when the house was pulled down, & rebuilt.

<37r>

he lov'd to vary his operations, & to bring them by tryal, to a greater simplicity. I was informed that he made another waterclock, which performed by dropping out of a cistern. the rod with the hours on it, descending. I remember very well, I have heard him speak of this himself, & at the Royal Society. particularly that time aforemention'd, when I was Dr. Halley's deputy; on account of some paper read on water clocks. Sir Isaac spoke to it, & observ'd "the exactness and usefulness of that kind of machine". he said "the chief inconvenience attending it was this. the hole thro' which the water drops, must necessarily be extremely small. therefore it was subject to be furr'd up, by impuritys in the water. So hour-glasses made with sand will wear the hole thro' which it is transmitted, bigger. these inconveniences in time spoil the use of both instruments."

the lad was observ'd to indulge his fancy so much this way, that it broke in upon his time, and improvement at School, & was prejudicial to his learning. so that the consequence was, dull boys were sometime put over him, in form. but this always excited him to redouble his pains, to overtake them. & such was his capacity, that he could soon do it, & goe beyond them when he pleasd.

this was not unheeded by his master Stokes; & gentle remonstrances accordingly made. still <38r> nothing could induce him to lay aside, his mechanic experiments. but on holydays, & all the time, the boys had allow'd for play, he spent it in cutting, sawing, & knocking in his lodging room: pursuing that strong bent of his inclination. & this not only in things serious, but sometime ludicrous too; inventing such things as the rest of the schoolboys took part in the pleasure.

he was particularly ingenious at improving all thir usual diversions. for instance, in the fabrick of thir paper kites; in finding out thir proportions, figure, the best point of fastning the string, in how many places, the length of the tail, & the like. & as an omen of the sublimity of his discoverys, he invented the trick of a paper lanthorn with a candle in it, ty'd to the tail of a kite. this wonderfully affrighted all the neighboring inhabitants for some time, & caus'd not a little discourse on market days, among the country people, when over thir mugs of ale.

the paper lanthorn too was an invention of his own, made of crimpled paper, which he used to light himself with, to school in dark winter mornings: then flattening it, so as that he could put it into his pocket. but the affair of fastning this lighted lanthorn to the tail of a kite, gave a handle <39r> for that famous episode in Hudibras, of Sydrophel & his comet.

Mr. Clark, aforementioned now apothecary, & surgeon in Grantham, tells me, that he himself likewise lodg'd, whilst a youth, in that same garret in the old house where Sir Isaac had done. he says, the walls, & ceelings were full of drawings, which he had made with charcole. there were birds, beasts, men, ships, plants, mathematical figures, circles, & triangles. that the drawings were very well done. & scarce a board in the partitions about the room, without Isaac Newton cut upon it.

I have heard likewise at Grantham School, that before the present seats, & desks were set up, he had cut his name in the old ones, upon all the places where he had sat; with the date of the year, in his several removes.

those clocks of Sir Isaac's fabricating, put him upon a still higher, & more noble inquiry into the nature of the suns motion; his great ideas beginning to sprout forth, which at last surmounted the whole planetary system. he spent a good deal of time, & art, in satisfying his curiosity this way; by making sun-dyals of divers forms, & constructions; every where about the house in every room, window; in his own bed chamber especially, <40r> in the yard, & entrys, wherever the sun came. he did not do it in a little manner, as minute sciolists would do, by making small sun-dyals: but show'd the greatness, & extent of his thought, by drawing long lines, tying long strings with running balls upon them; driving pegs into the walls, to mark hours, half hours & quarters. many contriveances he used, to find out the periods, conversions, & elevations of that great luminary. he made a sort of almanac of these lines, knowing the day of the month by them; the suns entry into signs, the equinoxes, & solstices. so that Sir Isaac's dyals, when the sun shined, were the common guide to the family, & neighborhood. thus early did that fruitful, that sagacious, that immense genius show its self; which since has fill'd, rather comprehended the universe!

Sir Isaac when a lad here at School, was not only expert at his mechanical tools, but equally so with his pen. for he busyed himself very much in drawing, which he took from his own inclination; & as in every thing else, improv'd it by a careful observation of nature. he learn'd to write of one old Barley, as he was commonly calld; who was writing master to the school. he lived, where now is the milstone alehouse, not <41r> far from my house in castle street. by this means our young artist furnishd his apartment with pictures of his own making. some he invented, some copyed from prints: some he did from the life, by memory chiefly, as that of his master Stokes. I have one of them, which happen'd to be preserv'd.

he drew several heads of king Charles I., of Dr. Donne, & others. He made a picture of king Charles I., & wrote these verses underneath, as Mrs. Vincent of this town repeated them to me, by memory.

A secret art my soul prepares to try,

If prayers can give me, what the wars deny.

three crowns distinguishd here in order, doe

present thir objects, to my doubtful view.

Earths crown thats at my feet, I can disdain:

which heavy is, & at the best but vain.

but now a crown of thorns I gladly greet,

sharp is this crown, but not so sharp as sweet.

the radiant crown, which I above me see,

is that of glory, & eternity.

she fancyed, & aver'd it, that he composd 'em himself. I rather suppose, he copyed the print from the frontispiece of Eikon Basilice.

these pictures, & drawings he made frames for, himself, & color'd them over workman like. nothing was too difficult for his invention, & execu <42r> {tion.}

Mrs. Vincent is a widow gentlewoman living now at Grantham (1727) aged 82. her maiden name was Storey, sister to Dr. Storey, a physician at Buckminster, near Colsterworth. her mother, who was a handsom woman, was second wife to Mr Clark the apothecary, where Sir Isaac lodg'd. so that she lived in the same house with him, all the time of his being at Grantham School; which was 7 years. further, her mother & Sir Isaac's mother were great intimates, which was one reason of his lodging at Mr Clarks.

Mrs. Vincent gave me much of the foregoing account, & confirm'd the relations of others. she says, Sir Isaac was always, a sober, silent, thinking lad; never was known scarce to play abroad among the boys; but would rather chuse to be at home, even among the girls. & would frequently employ himself very willingly, in making for them, little tables, nests of drawers, cubbords & other utensils, for her, & her playfellows; to set thir babys, & trinkets on.

she mentions likewise a chair, which he made with 4 wheels, wherein he could sit, & move him self with great agility; wherever he pleasd. she told me likewise, he was very curious in gathering herbs, which we call simpling. probably he might <43r> learn this from the prentices of the shop, where he lodg'd. tho' doubtless, he had inclination enough of his own, for every branch of natural knowledg.

Sir Isaac & she being thus brought up together, it is said that he entertain'd a passion for her, when they grew up: nor dos she deny it. tis certain, he always had a great kindness for her. he visited her, whenever in the country, in both her husbands days: & gave her a sum of money, at a time when it was useful to her.

she is a woman but of a midle stature, of a brisk eye; & without difficulty, we may discern, she has been very handsom.

one reason why Sir Isaac did not play much with his schoolfellows, was, that generally, they were not very affectionate toward him. he was commonly too cunning for them in every thing. they were sensible, that he had more ingenuity than they. & 'tis an old observation, that in all Societys, even of men, he who has most understanding, is least regarded.

one instance of Sir Isaac's craft was this. on the day that Oliver Cromwell dyed, there was a very great wind, or tempest over the whole kingdom. that day, as the boys were playing, a sett of them went to leaping. Sir Isaac, tho' <44r> he was little practis'd in the exercise, & at other times outdone by many; yet this day was surprizingly superior to them all. which they much wondered at, but could not discover the reason; which was this. Sir Isaac observed the gusts of wind, & took so proper an advantage of them, as to carry him far beyond the rest of the boys.

< insertion from f 43v > 1654 < text from f 44r resumes > when Sir Isaac had been about 7 years at school at Grantham, his father in law, Mr Smith, dyed. His mother lived all this while at north witham, in her husbands rectory house. but now she went back to her own house, at Wulsthorp. this house being the present one, was built by Mr. Smith but not of so large a form as the old one, which was become very ruinous; that wherein Sir Isaac was born. she was left with three children by Mr Smith, all very young. she thought fit to recall her son Isaac Newton from school, intending to make him serviceable to her, in management of farming & country business, at Wulsthorp. accordingly we must suppose him attending the tillage, & grazing; following the plow, dungcart & the like works; or driving sheep to markets, & fairs. thus were we in danger of losing this prodigious man!

but these employments ill suited Sir Isaac's <45r> taste. when he was orderd into the field to tend on the herds, & flocks; sitting under a hedg with a book in his hand, or busying himself with his knife, in models & inventions in wood work, he little regarded the business of the cattle. at other times, he would get to a spring head, or running stream, which this charming country abounds with; There he made little wheels, such as they use in water mills, some overshot, as they call 'em, some undershot, with proper dams, sluices, & the whole apparatus belonging to those engines. together with many other hydrostatic experiments. at these he sat gazing in serious contemplation, while the sheep, & the cows under his care, were strayd into the inclosures, & cornfields: which occasiond great outcry, & damage, to be repaid by his mother. nor would he so much as remember dinner time: philosophy absorbed all his thoughts.

how often has he sat upon a bank admiring the beautiful pasque flower, growing plentifully in the spring, upon the fine heaths hereabouts, being a rare plant? one year whilst I lived at Stamford, coming up to Town after Easter, I took up a number of these roots, each with a square bit of the turf round 'em, the flowers just opening. <46r> these were packd close, side by side, so as to fill a box. a lid naild over it, it was sent to London, by the carrier. I set out at the same time, on my journy. on the Thursday I opend the box at the meeting of the Royal Society: & presented it with all the flowers blooming in perfect beauty, to the admiration of the whole company. Sir Hans Sloan then president declar'd, it to be the most splendid sight ever there exhibited; and orderd 'em to be carefully convey'd to Chelsea physic garden, & set in the ground. < insertion from f 45v > I often transplanted these flowers into my garden at Stamford, where they grew to an extraordinary bulk, & beauty.

< text from f 46r resumes >

Sir Isaac who was so fond of plants, undoubtedly has often contemplated thir delicate purple, with yellow pointils. nor has the golden asphodel here growing escap'd his notice; nor the magic lunaria < insertion from f 45v > minor moonwort. < text from f 46r resumes > both very rare. the flower of bean trefoil, that extraordinary beauty, growing in bogs here, by the side of springs: nor the noble crimson berry of solanum lethale: the ripe juice of which I found to give an excellent blue color on paper. digitalis fox gloves loves a sandy soil, the delight of the Druids. this & vervain, flowring at midsummer time, they used with their great, & public midsummer sacrifice. the latter is called hierobotane the sacred plant for that reason; & columbaria pigeon herb. but the botanists are ignorant of the true reason. it was not <47r> {not} that pigeons are fond of it, but that it was thus used in thir midsummer festival, when pigeons were the accustomed sacrifice. So the Foxgloves has not its name from fox, but folkes, popelli, meaning in old language what we now call fairies: notions deriv'd from the Druids using it at that time; as they did the fam'd mistletoe at their midwinter sacrifice.

on saturdays, being market day at Grantham, Isaac was often sent, sitting on a horse laden with sacks of corn, & other commoditys to sell: a servant accompanying on the like business. when they had finished thir markets, they were to buy such things as the family wanted at home, to be had only in Towns; & so return. thir inn was at the Saracens head in westgate. Sir Isaac would often bribe the man to drop him in going, at a hedg corner; & take him up again on his return. the time he spent in his favorite amusements, a book, simpling, & his mechanical experiments.

at other times, when Isaac went as far as Grantham, no sooner were they come to the inn, but he left man, & horses and ran up to the garret at Mr Clarks, where he had formerly lodg'd. The room was then filld with a great parcel of books, which belong'd to Dr. Clark deceased; consisting of physic, botany, anatomy, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, & the like. this was a feast to him <48r> exclusive of any thought of dinner, any regard to market business. there he staid till, the servant calld upon him to goe home.

another story I have heard told of him. south of Grantham is Spittlegate hill pretty steep, & high. tis usual to lead a horse up it. Sir Isaac has been so intent in thought, that he has never minded remounting his horse at the top of the hill; & so has led his horse home all the way, being 5 miles.

once, they say, as he went home in this contemplative manner, the horse, by chance, slipt his bridle & went home. but Sir Isaac walked on with the bridle in his hand, never missing the horse.

his mother, as well as the servants, complained how little serviceable he was to them, in any of their branches of business; & were not a little offended at his bookishness. the servants said, he was a silly boy, & would never be good for any thing. but his old master, Mr Stokes, who was now become rector of Colsterworth, judg'd much better: he saw the uncommon capacity of the lad, & admir'd his surprising inventions, the dexterity of his hand, as well as his wonderful penetration, far beyond his years. he never ceasd remonstrating to his mother what a loss it was to mankind, as well as a vain attempt, to bury so uncommon a talent, in <49r> rustic business. he was sufficiently satisfy'd that he would become a very extraordinary man. at length, he prevailed with his mother to send him back to school; that he might perfect his learning & fit him for the University. he added, that he would make a compliment to her of the 40s. per annum paid to the schoolmaster by all foreign lads. He took him home to the school house, to board with him; and soon compleated him in the learned languages.

thus the world is intirely indebted to Mr Stokes, for Sir Isaac Newton. to his memory, true philosophy pays its grateful resentiments, which otherwise would have lost its father & founder of its great glory.

upon sending him away from school, we are told, his master was very confident of his prognostic concerning him; having set him in a conspicuous place in the school, tho' not agreable to the lads modesty, he made a speech to the boys, in praise of him, so moving, as to set them a crying. nor did he himself refrain a tear of love. however his mothers servants rejoic'd at parting with him, declaring, he was fit for nothing but the 'Versity. but it will ever be rememberd for the honor of Grantham school, to have given erudition to one of so exalted a capacity.

at this time Dr. Babington was senior fellow of Trinity college, Cambridg; a person of worth & <50r> learning. he was uncle to Mrs. Vincent i.e. brother to her mother, Mr Clarks wife, where Isaac had lodgd at Grantham. this seems to be the reason of his going to that college. the Dr. had a particular kindness for him & gave him all the incouragement imaginable, sensible of the lads great merit. < insertion from f 49v > the Doctor was bred at Grantham school, & was rector of Boothby pannel hard by.

< text from f 50r resumes >

I have very little to say about Sir Isaacs life, whilst he was resident in the University. I left that part of his history intirely to Mr Conduit: having no opportunity of inquiry concerning it: whilst I lived at Grantham. at that time it might have been done to purpose. Dr. Bentley knew a good deal of it. & I believe Dr. Colbach.[1] It were to be wished still, that some person of that University would pick up the remembrances of this important life, whilst they possibly are to be had. Dr. Halley had wrote a considerable quantity of papers relating to this subject. but he would not communicate them to Mr Conduit.

I have heard it as a tradition, whilst I was student at Cambridg, that when Sir Isaac stood for bachelor of arts degree, he was put to second posing, or lost his groats, as they term it; which is lookd upon as disgraceful. I can't tell whether it be true or not; but it seems no strange thing at that time of day, notwithstanding Sir Isaac's great <51r> parts. for he was too busy in the solid track of learning, & the sublime pursuits of mathematical philosophy, to allow of time enough, to be master of words only; or the trifling nicetys of logical & school subtletys, which then was the chief test of proficiency in Academic learning, & qualification for a degree.

the famous Dr. Barrow, afterward master of Trinity college was Sir Isaac's tutor. if he did not take a byass in favor of mathematical studys from him, at least he confirm'd it thereby.

now we are to consider this divine genius like a Spring let loose, fully at liberty to follow the bent, & the pursuit of his own inclination. under no restraint < insertion from f 50v > no care, in the intimate bosom of the seat of learning, < text from f 51r resumes > his time wholly his own, had all assistances, & incoragement < insertion from f 50v > here he might satiate to the full that immoderate thirst of science, which knew no bounds, < text from f 51r resumes > & indeed he made such advances, that he soon outstrip'd his tutor, tho' so considerable a man. for Sir Isaac learn'd mathematics, as by intuition; rather it was connate to his understanding. little need had he of definitions, steps, & first principles, & rudiments of science. such were natural, easy & familiar to his vast mind, pregnant with the most difficult, & important theorems: wanted only a little time to maturate, & deliver them.

his tutor saw all this, very plainly, conceiv'd the <52r> highest opinion, & early prognostic of his excellence; would frequently say, that truly he himself knew something of the mathematics: still he reckond himself but a child in comparison of his pupil Newton. He faild not upon all occasions, to give a just encomium of him. & whenever a difficult problem was brought to him to solve, he refer'd 'em immediately to Newton.

< insertion from f 51v >

Sir Isaac had all the qualifications for a philosopher the acumen, the patience, & the judgment necessary: at the same time, he had a natural geometry able to surmount all difficultys. he neither began with Euclid, or such like introductions but could demonstrate on sight. & at 24 years of age had laid the foundation of his two great discoverys, the principia philosophiae Mathematica & of his optics: & then had invented the wonderful method of infinite series, or fluxions.

< text from f 52r resumes >

it seems to me, likely enough, that Sir Isaac's early use, & expertness at his mechanical tools, & his faculty of drawing, & designing, were of service to him, in his experimental way of philosophy: & prepar'd for him, a solid foundation to exercise his strong reasoning facultys upon; his sagacious discernment of causes, and effects, his most penetrating investigation of methods to come at his intended purpose; his profound judgment; his invincible constancy, & persevereance in finding out his solutions, & demonstrations, & in his experiments; his vast strength of mind, in protracting his reasonings, his chain of deductions; his indefatigable attachment to calculations; his incomparable skill in algebraic, & the like methods of notation; all these united in one man, & that in an extraordinary degree, were the architects that raisd a building upon the experimental foundation, which <53r> must stand coeval with material creation.

a mechanical knack, & skill in drawing assiste much in making experiments. such as possess it take thir ideas of things incomparably stronger & more perfect than others. it inlarges thir view, they see deeper, & farther. It ripens, & quickens thir invention. for want of this handycraft, how many philosophers quietly sit down in thir studys, & invent an hypothesis? but Sir Isaac's way was, by dint of experiment to find out, quid Natura faciat aut feret?

philosophers, like great conquerors, or politic ministers of state, must take into thir assistance arts, & helps low, & sordid. as success in war depends on the arm of the scum of mankind, as well as on the head of the General.

children are always imitators. & perhaps his being brought up in an apothecarys house might give him a turn to the study of nature. no doubt it gave him a love for herbarizing. < insertion from f 52v > at least accelerated it. < text from f 53r resumes > but he was in reality born a philosopher. learning, & accident, & industry pointed out to his discerning eye some few, simple & universal truths. these by time, & reflexion, he gradually extended one from another, one beyond another, till he unfolded the œconomy of the macrocosm.

<54r>

Sir Isaac was elected a fellow of the college; & also made Lucasian professor of mathematics; < insertion from f 53v > in 1669. < text from f 54r resumes > wherein he succeeded his tutor Dr. Barrow. then he put out a new edition of that curious piece, Varenius's geography. the method of that author pleasd him; it is like his own. his chambers in Trinity college were those in the great court, on the north side, between the masters lodg, & the chapel.

< insertion from f 53v >

in 1687 he showd himself to the world indeed, in publishing that amazing production principia philosophiæ mathematica. & the world was truly astonishd at it, almost afraid to look on so divine a work.

the same year king James hanging over the priveleges of the University, he had spirit enough to oppose all violences of that sort, & was nominated one of their Delegates to the high Commission Court. he was also a Member of Parliament the next year, the great Convention on king James deserting the kingdom. 1688.

< text from f 54r resumes >

Dr. Newton of Grantham aforemention'd was sizor to Sir Isaac; lived under his tuition 5 years: was assistant to him particularly in his chymical operations, which he pursu'd many years. he often admir'd Sir Isaac's patience in his experiments, & operations; & his extreme accuracy; how scrupulously nice he was in weighing his materials: & that his fires were almost perpetual. in the year 1705 & 6, when I was at Christ Church College, I went a course of chymical lectures with Seignior Vigani, in Sir Isaac's room, where he made his chymical operations, being backward, towards the masters lodg.

Dr. Newton says, that all the time, he was with him, he scarce ever observ'd him to laugh; but once. he remembers, it was on this occasion. he askd a friend to whom he had lent an Euclid to read, what progress he had made in that author? & how he liked it? he answerd by desiring to know what use, & benefit in life, that kind of study would be to him? upon which Sir Isaac was very merry.

<55r>

according to my own observation, tho'. Sir Isaac was of a very serious, & compos'd < insertion from f 54v > frame of mind < text from f 55r resumes > , yet I have often seen him laugh, & that upon moderate occasions. he had in his disposition, a natural pleasantness of temper, & much good nature, very distant from moroseness, attended neither with gayety nor levity. he usd a good many sayings, bordering on joke, and wit. in company he behavd very agreably; courteous, affable, he was easily made to smile, if not to laugh.

beside his severe studys, < insertion from f 54v > while he lived at Trinity College, < text from f 55r resumes > he frequently diverted himself with his tools in mechanical works. he made speaking trumpets, he ground, & polishd glasses, for microscopes, telescopes, prisms, spectacles, & all kind of optical purposes. He would work very hard upon these. & his constancy, & persevereance at it, was great. that wonderful invention of the reflecting telescope is his. he made that famous reflecting telescope, now in the repository of the Royal Society: & likewise that concave speculum, or burning glass of many lesser, all respecting one common focus, now in the same repository. they are all instances of his curious hand in workmanship; as well as of his wonderful penetration, into the nature of vision.

when we read his book of optics,[2] we are astonishd at his indefatigable attention to that nice, & abstruse subject; & the long course of his observations, & <56r> experiments; the vast acumen necessary to produce so stupendous a work. who can sufficiently admire his unraveling the mysterious nature of light, or the sun beams, consisting of different, & all kinds of colors, specific to each ray, & the analogy of thir proportions to that of the number, & nature of the notes in musick! so harmonious are the works of the divine creator! but sure of all things that ever were committed to writing, this book of optics deserves our most grateful praise, & acknowledgment of his surprizing capacity.

I have heard, that he had gone considerable lengths in his experiments on sounds, which doubtless he would have brought to as great perfection as his optics. but they say, he left it off, when he came to live in London; as well as his intense study in general. we may discern without difficulty, that nothing was too difficult for his enterprizing genius, his application, his quicksighted apprehension. we are sure of this, from what he has done. while we admire at that, we at the same time admire, that he has done so much; at his strength of nature, as well as strength of parts. < insertion from f 55v > & this leads us to recite a story, that gave him a character he sought not for, that of a prophet.

in the year 1667 when the Dutch beat our fleet at the mouth of the Thames in a perfidious manner: whilst our indolent monarch was treating with them without stipulating a cessation of arms, they came up the river with a great fleet & burnt many of our ships: and did us great damage. their guns were heard as far as Cambridg, and the cause was well known, but the event was only cognisable to Sir Isaac's sagacity, who boldly pronounc'd that they had beaten us. the news soon confirm'd it. & the curious would not be easy whilst Sir Isaac satisfy'd them of the mode of his intelligence, which was this. by carefully attending to the sound, he found it grew louder & louder, consequently came nearer. from whence he rightly infer'd that the Dutch were victors.

< text from f 56r resumes >

whilst he lived at Cambridg, his mother dyed at Stamford in 1689. She went thither on a visit to her son Benjamin Smith. her body was brought to Colsterworth, & buryed in the north isle of the church, where this family were generally interr'd.

<56v>

he has left in MSS a Lexicon propheticum; a discourse on the form of the Tabernacle & of the sacred cubit. <57r> he wrote likewise an intire work on chymistry, explaining the principles of matter, & elementary components, from that abstruse art; on experimental, & mathematical proof. he had himself a good opinion of this work. but the manuscript was unluckily burnt in the laboratory, which casually took fire. he never could undertake it again, a loss not to be sufficiently regretted. Dr. Friend endevord at a thing of this sort, which is not unworthy of commendation; his purpose was some attempt to supply our want of it.

as to chymistry in general, we may very well presume, Sir Isaac, from his long, & constant application to that pyrotechnical amusement, had made very important discoverys, in this branch of philosophy. which had need enough of his masterly skill, to rescue it from superstition, from vanity, & imposture; and from the fond inquiry of alchymy, & transmutation. < insertion from f 56v > by this means Sir Isaac carryed his inquiry very far downwards into the ultimate component parts of matter: as well as upwards towards the boundless regions of space: he has taken in to our knowledg a large province of universal nature: and put us in the way of acquiring more: if we have proper qualifications for it.

< text from f 57r resumes >

Dr. Newton tells me, that several sheets of his optics were burn't, by a candle left in his room. but these I suppose he was able, by a little pains, to recover again. or if there be any imperfection in that work, we may reasonably suspect, it was owing to this accident.

he says, Sir Isaac constantly went to church on Sundays, to Saint Marys: tho' not always to the college chapel; in mornings he was up at study. he seldom went to the <58r> hall to dinner, but had his victuals brought to his chamber; & then very often, so deeply intent was he, that he never thought of it, till supper time. < insertion from f 57v > when he was busy in study, he never minded his meal times. & when he took a turn in the fellows gardens, if some new gravel happen'd to be laid on the walks, it was sure to be drawn over, & over, with a bit of stick, in Sir Isaac's diagrams; which the fellows would cautiously spare, by walking beside them. & there they would sometime remain for a good while.

< text from f 58r resumes >

At Cambridg I often heard storys of his absence of mind, from common things of life. as when he has been in the hall at dinner, he has quite neglected to help himself; and the cloth has been taken away before he has eaten any thing. that sometime, when on surplice days; he would goe toward Saint Mary's church, insted of college chapel. < insertion from f 57v > or perhaps has gone in his surplice to dinner, in the hall. < text from f 58r resumes > that when he had friends to entertain at his chamber, if he stept in to his study for a bottle of wine, & a thought came into his head, he would sit down to paper, & forget his friends. < insertion from f 57v > thus the human mind wholly taken up in abstract reasonings, & long concatenation of causes & consequences, was apt, as it were, to desert the body: assume its essential & true life. & enjoy those superlative pleasures arising from contemplations of the most worthy sort, nearly approaching to angelical. tis an anticipation of part of those divine joys, in our future state of being.

< text from f 58r resumes >

I have heard him say, that during his closest application, he never forgot going to bed about 12. this he learn'd by experience. for if he exceeded that hour, it did him more mischief in his health, the next day, than a whole days study, at regular times.

he often amusd himself in reading, & writing on lighter matters, as an alleviation of his deeper researches. he had very good knowledg in physick, as we commonly understand the word. & to that probably <59r> is owing the good state of health he enjoy'd; & his long life. he knew anatomy very well. he was indeed a master of every science.

he had studyed every thing. his chronology has somewhat very particular, & likewise solid. but whilst he has justly shortend the years of the world; he appears to me, to have done it a little too much. further, if I may be permitted to differ from so great an author, I would venture to assert, that he has assign'd too late an epoch for the origin of the celestial catasterisms, in dating them from the argonautic expedition. I have very good reasons to think them, at least most of them, of a much antienter date, & some of them antediluvian. This I could show amply, & trace them to their several beginnings, were it feasible for a writer to publish his < insertion from f 58v > labors < text from f 59r resumes > without expence to himself, or for any profit. < insertion from f 58v > I have reduced the whole heavens into a number of drawings, on that account, elegantly painted with the azure tincture, which I mentiond, from the solanum lethale.

< text from f 59r resumes >

he had a good notion of < insertion from f 58v > the prophetic writings, & likewise of < text from f 59r resumes > the Apocalypse, especially in one important light; that the Divine lays his mysterious plan of future things, in the scenes of the Jewish temple, & service. but Sir Isaac's scheme of the Saints' festivals, as in the church liturgy, I take to be ill founded. < insertion from f 58v > these kind of works & many more which he had by him, were the effect of his Sunday exercitations. when he turn'd over the sacred volumes, with great diligence, and full conviction of the divine Spirit that dictated them.

< text from f 59r resumes >

he left the University in 1696, as I have heard him say, being calld to Town in king William's time, by means of his great patron the Earl of <60r> Halifax, < insertion from f 59v > Chancellor of the Exchequer; < text from f 60r resumes > who sensible of his merit, was resolv'd, he should no longer be immur'd in a college. The Earl, together with Lord Somers, undertook the great affair of the recoynage. & judg'd rightly, that Sir Isaac was the fittest man in the kingdom, to assist them. Sir Isaac therefore was made master of the mint.[Editorial Note 1] in 1699, he was made master, & worker of the mint. Sir Isaac's political notions on the affair of money, are thought to be extremely judicious. Vide p. 61 < insertion from f 60v > in 1701 he resign'd his professorship at Cambridg, & Mr. Whiston succeeded, by his recommendation.

< text from f 60r resumes >

at length, in the fore-part of the present century, he was elected President of the Royal Society 1703. there we view him in his proper dignity. that chair which had held so many great men, his predecessors, was now filled indeed! < insertion from f 59v > there he sat at rest, in the intellectual center: < text from f 60r resumes > as the great solar orb shining with its own light, & diffusing his beamy influence, thro' the whole system of arts, & sciences. to him gravitated all the lesser lights , both regular planets, & extravagant comets of erudition, both at home, & abroad. < insertion from f 59v > as the moon always turns the face to her principal, the earth. < text from f 60r resumes > from him they borrowd a ray, and sip'd from his common fountain. & now was that illustrious body truly so; and at its height of glory: the prototype of these literary Societys in Europe, with the great Newton at their head, as an object almost ador'd. < insertion from f 59v > and that great Mecænas of the learned world, Lewis XIV of France, thought himself honor'd by inlisting Sir Isaac into the number of his beneficiarys. & our countrymen at that time could not have a greater recommendation in foreign parts, nor a freer introduction to the great, & the learned, than in quality of that of a member of the Royal Society: & especially if they had a title to any degree of intimacy, with the president. < insertion from higher up f 59v > witness the honors paid to Mr. Martin Folkes when he travelld into Italy, tho' after Sir Isaac's death. nor did foreigners, when in England value themselves a little, if they could pay a visit to Sir Isaac: many of whom the most considerable men in all parts of the globe, came hither for that very purpose. & thought the hazards of thir voyage overpaid, in enjoying that privelege.

< text from f 59v resumes > < text from f 60r resumes >

for eight years I was a constant attendant there, which may be reckon'd a lucid part of one's life.

Sir Isaac was gray headed when under 40; owing, perhaps, to the infinite expence of spirits from <61r> severe studys; yet he had great strength of nature, & a good constitution. tho' not tall in stature, yet strong, sinewy, & well made. thro' this, and his temperance, & mild disposition, he lived to a great age. the last time I was with him, he told me, his breakfast was commonly an infusion of orange peel in boiling water, as thea, sweetned a little; with bread & butter. he drank then more water, than formerly, vizt. morning, & night. wine he uses only, & but little, at dinner.

My great friend Thomas Earl of pembroke, & he were well acquainted: from whom I have heard, that Sir Isaac always cured a cold, by lying in bed for 2 or 3 days, which carry'd it off, by perspiration.

on the other hand, in discourse on lord pembrokes busts, statues &c. Sir Isaac would pleasantly call them, my Lords old fashion'd babys.

Sir Isaac's eyes were very full, & protuberant, which renderd him near sighted, in youth, & manhood. & was the reason of his seeing so well in age; the eye being betterd, by growing somewhat flatter: whereby the visual rays unite at a convenient distance, neither too near, nor too far off the eyes. < insertion from f 60v > never used spectacles. < text from f 61r resumes > in the year 1725 I saw him cast up Mr. Treasurer Pitfields accounts of the Royal Society; being a whole sheet of paper; without pen & ink, without spectacles: an indication <62r> of the strength of his memory, as well as eyesight. but I have heard very extraordinary things of the strength of his memory, in arithmetical operations, & calculations by numbers, & letters, which he has done, when in bed, by night.

Dr. Harwood of the Commons told me, he was present once at the Royal Society, when a learned foreigner was admitted; who made (as customarily abroad) a studyed harangue in latin, to thank the Society for that honor. Sir Isaac answer'd it readily in the same language, with a good grace, & fluency.

when Dr. Woodward quarreld with Sir Hans Sloan, at a Council of the Royal Society; & was so troublesom that they were oblig'd to expell him, Sir Isaac told the Dr "we allow you to have natural philosophy, but turn you out for want of moral".

& this will naturally bring us to say somewhat of Sir Isaac's moral character; which was eminently good, & never impeachd in any one instance. somewhat of it depends on the good state of the body & repose of the mind, & a government over passions. Sir Isaac by his great prudence, & naturally a good constitution, had preserv'd his health to old age, far beyond what one could have expected in one so intirely for the better part of his life, immersd in solitude, inactivity, meditation & study: in an <63r> expence of mind; and that thro' a long series of years.

but his natural disposition was of a chearful turn, when not actually engag'd in thought. he could be very agreable in company, & even sometime talkative. his voice was of a deep tone, but pleasant enough, having a large chest, for one of his stature. a spirit of beneficence < insertion from f 62v > & philanthropy < text from f 63r resumes > was, as it were, the basis of his composition. infinite instances might be given of the extensiveness of his charitys. not those of a little, & low kind, < insertion from f 62v > forced out of a weak mind, a false pity; < text from f 63r resumes > but what show'd the noble spirit, that gave prudently, as well as profusely.

Mr Clark of Grantham says, he gave £100 bank bill into his hands, for one of the Pilkingtons, his half niece: as a portion on her marriage. Dr. Newton says, Sir Isaac Maintain'd her, & her mother when they were both widows. not long before his death, he bought land of about £30 a year value & gave to John Newton, his heir at law. For Robert Newton another relation he bought land of somewhat less value. he hoped it would not be so easily spent, as money. To one Ayscough a relation by his mother, who was clark to Mr Calcraft of Grantham an attorney, he gave £100 to set him up withal, & other benefactions: he was his godson. but all <64r> his relations, who were numerous enough, largely partook of his bounty.

to the Royal Society he frequently gave money, & to all subscriptions of publick utility, literary, political, charitable, religious. he was generally present at the marriages of his relations, when conveniently he could be. He would on those occasions, lay aside gravity, be free, pleasant, & unbended. he generally made a present of £100 to the females, and set up the men to trade, & business. he showd his good sense in this, as in every other affair; seeing that matrimony, trade, & industry is the foundation, & the strength of a common weal: & ought by all methods to be incourag'd in a wise government.

Sir Isaac had likewise a natural dignity, & politeness in his manner, in common life, unusual in so hard a student. I heard from captain Short, of Keal, in Lincolnshire, who was related to him, that when he, & the family visited Sir Isaac at the tower, to see the coynage; he entertaind them very splendidly, & gave to each a gold medal. & this he often did to such as visited him, out of curiosity, at the tower.

Mr. Mason says, he gave the parish of Colsterworth a handsom sum of money toward the repairs of the church; & promised them more, when they wanted it.

<65r>

for his religion; he was a man of real piety, & strict attendance on the sabbatical duty; knowing the necessity, as well as expediency of the public profession of religion. he could not excuse himself from the weekly solemn adoration of the supreme being; both out of principle, & a regard to his influence, & example: & he was sensible, that many persons were attentive to his conduct, in that respect. surely those of all mankind are the weakest, that fancy, Society can be maintain'd, without the influence of religion. & the example of the upper part of mankind is absolutely necessary, for that good purpose; had we no further view than this present life.

but alas even in the latter end of Sir Isaac's time, we began to see the deplorable consequence of the neglect of it. half philosophers, half scholars are too often apt to be tinctur'd with scepticism. but Sir Isaac was an intire christian, upon fundamental principles. he knew the evidences of it were as strict demonstrations in thir way as his principia. no man in England read the Bible more carefully than he did; none study'd it more, as appears by his printed works, by many pieces he left, which are not printed; & even by the Bible, which he commonly <66r> used, thumbd over, as they call it, in an extraordinary degree, with frequency of use.

he who was so well acquainted with the laws of our material system, by which the sovereign architect governs, & preserves the whole frame; he knew that the same allgood, & allwise being did not leave the moral world without rule, & law; which law we call religion. but religion is nothing, without practise; & that practise must be public, vizt the sabbatical duty, which is the very basis of all the good we enjoy in this world, either as to the community or to private persons: as well as of the claim it gives us of a future happiness.

Sir Isaac's great, & extensive mind, to which Providence had given so vast, so intimate a view of his works, must needs tast the most divine pleasure in the public acts of adoration of the omnipotent fountain of all things: especially in the service of the Church of England, which of all others most certainly, & most strongly affects, & influences a rational person, one of learning, & solid piety. < insertion from f 65v > this is the genuin effect of true philosophy; which disdains meager scepticism, anti-christian infidelity, & impious atheism: which excludes blind fatalism, & the hideous train of fruitless, & hopeless absurditys of that sort.

< text from f 66r resumes >

Sir Isaac was sensible, that the material, & the animal world were govern'd by infallible canons, never deviating; by the great principles of gravitation, & impulse, and by that which we call instinct. but the rational world being perfectly free, must still <67r> have a law; which tho' it dos force voluntary agents, yet it presents its self to a considering eye, in so amiable a light, that it allures us; offers present, as well as future rewards: and fully acquaints us with the mischiefs of a refusal. we are left to our own will, because that only can intitle us to merit. & if we be sincere, it affords us sufficient help to conduct us rightly.

several people of heretical, & unsettled notions, particularly those of Arian principles, have taken great pains to inlist Sir Isaac into their party. but that with as little justice, as the anti christians. the church of England intirely claims him as her son, in faith, & in practise.

I can not better conclude this article, than in reciting the subject of a conversation, I once had with him, toward the beginning of our acquaintance.

I proposed to him a thought I had entertain'd, how to account for that great luminous circle incompassing us, which we look upon with so much wonder, in a clear starry night, called the milky way. we all readily suppose it to be owing to the suns of separate systems there placed, one beyond another, < insertion from f 66v > one by the side of another, in the boundless extent of space, < text from f 67r resumes > whose united rays cause that luminous appearance. < insertion from f 66v > for light is the only thing that dos not diminish in proportion to its distance. < text from f 67r resumes > we suppose with probability enough, that every star is a sun of a separate system; some perhaps bigger, some lesser, < insertion from f 66v > some having more some fewer concomitant planets, < text from f 67r resumes > some further distant from <68r> others, some nearer, < insertion from f 67v > but that those which compose the milky way are still incomparably farther distant from us, & all the other stars within our ken. < text from f 68r resumes > that they all have their concomitant planets, as our sun. & in order to have a just idea of God's power, we may well conceive, every globe is perfectly different in its self, as to its inhabitants, & furniture, & attendants. < insertion from f 67v > as we discern here an infinite diversity & variation, as well as number, in every thing around us, the amazing product of his forming hand.

< text from f 68r resumes >

but still the question remains, whence the origin of the milky way; notoriously a great circle including the whole of the creation to us visible? my thought concerning it is this. "we mortals," said I, "are pleasd with new works, new advances in our knowledg, < insertion from f 67v > new acquisitions of any sort, < text from f 68r resumes > new writing, which is a sort of creation, new building, new plantation, which too is a kind of creation. < insertion from f 67v > we are fonder of what we are in pursuit of than of what we possess: of what we intend to do, than of what we have done. < text from f 68r resumes > tho' like the almighty architect, we look with pleasure on what we have already done, which we approve of; yet we are more eager in pursuing somewhat further, than in surveying what we have already done, what we are in possession of; like alexander sighing for new worlds to conquer. & this is the constant bent of our minds as long as our facultys will permit us."

Sir Isaac thought the notion to be very just, & agreable to his own experience. I continued my discourse. "this desire in us of new creations of any sort in our little way, < insertion from f 67v > of what is within the scope of our power, or of what we fancy, may be, is undoubtedly < text from f 68r resumes > a divine particle deriv'd from our maker. with wisdom is it implanted in us, for good purposes: that we may be active, & busy. < insertion from f 67v > tis a species of ambition, and is as the salt of life. < text from f 68r resumes > <69r> this same principle, seperated from all imperfection, < insertion from f 68v > incompatible with the divine nature, always will create new worlds the antients had some notion of this sort, for Democritus affirmed infinite worlds < text from f 69r resumes > may give us a good notion of the agency of the supreme mind, & solve our problem. I suppose therefore, God almighty, tho' in the Mosaic cosmogony he is said to rest from all his works which he had created & made; yet this I take to be spoken only in regard to our present system. For why should we not think, that God always created new worlds, < insertion from f 68v > always creates new worlds < text from f 69r resumes > new systems, to multiply the infinitude of his beneficiarys, < insertion from f 68v > & extend happiness beyond all compass & imagination. I must needs affirm, this is exactly consonant to the idea we ought to have of God. < text from f 69r resumes > I mean, since he thought fit to begin creation, for that creation certainly, & necessarily must commence in time, is a truth the < insertion from f 68v > most certain in the world; p. 68 < insertion from f 67v > for by the definition, tis bringing that into being which was not in being before. therefore there was a time before it. therefore an eternal creation a parte ante is the greatest absurdity. but the continuing it a parte post is the greatest glory of the divine nature.

< text from f 68v resumes > < text from f 69r resumes >

we see here, God has given a power, in all things partaking of any degree of life, to continue thir own kind, in an endless chain. it suits the notion we have of Gods goodness, that he still made new worlds, for the creatures thereof to do the like. < insertion from f 68v > that the fountain of his bounty may flow for ever; & all the streams of it, may not only flow, but increase eternally, both in number, & quantity.

"when we indevor to form in our minds an apt idea of God almighty we are to stretch our imagination to the utmost pitch, that we may view somewhat of the largest scope of infinite wisdom, power, & goodness, which we can possibly reach to.

< text from f 69r resumes >

"But because God almighty always practises order, method, regularity in all his works; I suppose, he places these new worlds, & systems of worlds, in a certain great, & broad line ; not made of single systems in breadth, but of many, like a vast meridian, or plane of worlds; not filling infinite space quaquaversum, but dividing infinite space into two great parts, one on each side, <70r> this great mundane meridian. & that this is the occasion of the appearance, which we call the milky way. < insertion from f 69v > being a very distant view of that luminous plain, like the ring of Saturn, extending all around & beyond us.

< text from f 70r resumes >

"for this notion we have a considerable confirmation, from considering our own world, that the plane of all the circles of the primary, & of the secondary planets, is nearly in one line, < insertion from f 69v > the plane of Saturns ring the same. < text from f 70r resumes > God observes a great analogy in all his works. so that our system in that respect is but a sort of picture of the universe. & that meridional plane of our solar system may be called our milky way. & hence the milky way in the heavens is the aggregate of what we can discern of the meridional plane of the macrocosm. < insertion from f 69v > & thus we may be said to have before our eyes an actual view of God's infinite wisdom, power, & goodness: not a mental idea only, but real prospect; and that of the largest scope. & tis to be consider'd withal that God's infinite wisdom shines forth in highest lustre, in this particular construction of the universe. what would have been the consequence had infinite space quaquaversum been disseminated with worlds? we see every night, the inconvenience of it. The whole hemisphere would have had the appearance of that luminous gloom of the milky way. we should have lost the present sight of the beauty & the glory of the starry firmament. & therefore we may well conclude the great architect has herein truly united infinite wisdom, power, & goodness; in thus planning out the worlds; without robbing us of that most magnificent view we enjoy, and no less < insertion from higher up f 69v > useful on many accounts, the starry canopy.

"and this perhaps may give us some < insertion from f 68v > obscure notion of the reason of the odd formation of the planet Saturn. that it is as a miniature picture, or model of the το παν. for we must conceive that the plane of suns and systems of planets concomitant, which make the lacteal circle, have a vast space left between it & the several stars which we behold in a clear night. Therefore these stars which we behold in a clear night we may liken taken altogether to the globe of Saturn: the plane of those stars beyond, which appear to us like the lacteal circle, may be assimilated, taken all together, to the ring of Saturn."

< text from higher up f 69v resumes > < text from f 69v resumes > < text from f 70r resumes >

Sir Isaac seem'd to listen to this kind of discourse, with some approbation. & we discus'd an objection or two. as 1. whether tis not better to suppose the worlds infinitely extended quaquaversum than in a sort of plane. this would provide better for thir stability; that mutual attraction acting on all sides, hinder'd the systems from falling together. this objection is overruled, by supposing the several systems set respectively, at such distances, as that attraction from any side, should be infnitely small, which therefore would operate nothing in the case. <71r> a second objection is merely theological. some are inclined to think our religion not founded sufficiently on philosophy. because it supposes the globe of our earth to be the whole world. that it is unworthy, that a divine Mediation should be allotted to so small, so inconsiderable a portion, in comparison of the whole.

but this objection is as easily vacated by the single consideration of the nature, & the value of our souls. an immortal principle that cannot cease to be. therefore in a few words it must be asserted, to be of infinitely more value, than the whole material globe, which must perish: than the whole mundane system.

in conclusion Sir Isaac intimated, that the thought was worthy of Gods power, & goodness; that it solv'd the appearance of the galaxy; if it was fact. < insertion from f 70v > the bredth of the angle, which the galaxy makes, shows its inconceivable distance, in this view: & that beyond all number. < text from f 71r resumes > that it was not easy to say whether is the greater idea of God almighty that he creates infinite worlds now, < insertion from f 70v > & that to all eternity, < text from f 71r resumes > to multiply the objects of his benignity: or that he created them all at once. I mean, says he, in the hexaemeron. For I take it to be agreable to philosophy. < insertion from f 70v > but as to Sir Isaac's problem proposed, whether it be more consentaneous to the nature & the glory of the deity, that he should create new worlds infinitely, in succession: or have done it all in the hexaemeron, we may leave it to be solv'd when we are in his present scituation.

I shall only propose another problem, which tho' numbers can scarce reach the solution, yet they may possibly give us some little idea of the matter. the apparent bredth of the galaxy is generally about 23 degrees; sometime it is nearly double. < insertion from lower down f 70v > about 21$\frac{1}{2}$ on Mr Senex's planispheres. < text from f 70v resumes > quære supposing my hypothesis to be fact how far distant is it? I try'd it after a rude < insertion from lower down f 70v > manner & found the interval double the diameter of the whole view of the fixt stars which we behold. thus as in pa. 57

< text from f 70v resumes > < text from f 71r resumes >

however this discourse put me upon studying the Mosaic cosmogony seriously, which I did, when I <72r> lived in Ormonstreet, and wrote a large {book} upon it, convinc'd that it was consentaneous to the Newtonian philosophy.

Sir Isaac left many written tracts behind him. some have been publishd since his death. great numbers of papers still preserv'd, by the executors of Mrs. Wallop. some few people have been fanciful enough, to think they could overthrow Sir Isaac's philosophy, both in the mathematical, & in the optical part. Mr. Green of Catherin hall began early. Mr Huchinson pretended to do it from Cabalistic principles. a modern Frenchman would fain demonstrate some part of Sir Isaac's optics, to be erroneous; < insertion from f 71v > he try'd his fancys, with the late Dr. Mortimer, in a closet in my house here. but I could see no reason to assent to his notions. there are < text from f 72r resumes > many more of that sort, seeking to make themselves a kind of name by lessening his: a conduct very dissonant to his own. Sir Isaac, setting aside, that he was a man, was too cautelous to be found tripping: his foundations are laid too deep to be shaken: his superstructure too compact to be overturn'd.

he himself was a person of a great deal of modesty, in every respect: & always turn'd a deaf ear, to any sort of praises of his just merit.

<73r>

Whilst he presided in the Royal Society, he executed that office, with a < insertion from f 72v > singular prudence, with < text from f 73r resumes > grace, & dignity; conscious of what was due to so noble an Institution; what was expected from his character. when any paper was read, or experiment exhibited, wherein he had any knowledg & it was very rarely otherwise; he never faild to speak to it, with a just commendation; or to point out its defects, where it might be improv'd, where any experiment might be better directed. He would give a concise history of the advances of the subject, very much to its illustration; & to the emolument of the members present.

I remember particularly, that time I officiated for Dr. Halley, a paper was read of the pernicious effects of rooms fresh plaisterd o'er with lime, before dry. Sir Isaac told us of a terrible catastrophe of that sort, of his own knowledg. a man, his wife, child, & servant-maid, they al lay in one room, when he was a lad at Grantham, which had been newly drawn with fresh lime. & to dry it the sooner, they made a fire, & shut the doors, to prevent them catching cold, as they thought. in the morning they were every one found in the cold arms of <74r> death. After I went to live at Grantham, I often heard speak of this tragedy. it happend in a house in westgate.

Sir Isaac was very careful of giving any sort of incoragement to attempts of improvement in natural knowledg. there were no < insertion from f 73v > whispering, talking, nor < text from f 74r resumes > loud laughters, if dissensions arose in any sort, he said, they tended to find out truth, but ought not to arise to any personality. < insertion from f 73v > the transactions were publishd by the secretarys, with proper care, & judgment, & were accordingly esteem'd. < text from f 74r resumes > he was very sollicitous of keeping up a correspondence both at home, & abroad; & that letters should be answer'd, offers of exchange of literary news cultivated: and every thing done that tended to the order, the honor & advancement of the Society, & the harmony of the members.

he said, correspondence was the life of these Societys: never grudgd paying any necessary charge, or that might be expedient. he gave money largely, to assist deserving persons: & where it was wanted.

the Council was provided out of the older part of the Society, & such as had been most serviceable in entertaining them with written discourses, or experiments: or constant attendance. & this was done, with a reasonable rotation. < insertion from f 73v > that every member in time might become acquainted with the state, & revenue, & the management thereof: without keeping in members as of form, who cannot possibly attend: or recent ones, wholly strangers to their affairs.

< text from f 74r resumes > <75r>

he regarded the choice of useful members, more than the number, so that it was a real honor. nor did any presume to ask it, without a genuine recommendation; & having given some proofs of thir abilities. they were then previously to be approved of by the Council; where thir qualifications were freely canvased: therefore less lyable to be balloted for, with partiality, or prejudice.

every thing was transacted with great attention, & solemnity, & decency. nor were any papers which seemed to border on religion, treated without proper respect. indeed his presence created a natural awe in the assembly; they appear'd truly as a venerable consessus Naturæ Consiliariorum, without any levity, or indecorum.

the very title was justly rever'd, both at home & abroad. the Government, the great Council of the nation, paid a distinguishd regard to their judgment in all matters of public utility: which sometime were refer'd, & recommended to thir examination. as particularly the instruments for time-keeping, for astronomical uses, & the publications of the Royal observatory at Greenwich: & what regarded the improvement of navigation, and other national concerns.

<76r>

infinite were the encomiums they received from foreign countrys; in a great mesure owing to the superior capacity, & unbounded merit of so illustrious a president. nor is it to be forgotten, that at the same time Sir Hans Sloan & Dr. Halley were secretarys; a triumvirate of the greatest names in the commonwealth of philosophy.

then were distinguishd ornaments of the Society the noble Thomas Earl of Pembroke, who had been president, Sir Christopher Wren, who had been president, Dr. Keils, monsieur de Moivre, Dr. Cotes, Dr. Tancred Robinson, Dr. Mead, Dr. Friend, Dr. Sherard, who founded the botanic salary at Oxford, Dr. Woodward who founded that of natural philosophy at Cambridg, Dr. Flamsted, Mr. Roger Gale, Dr. Pound, Mr. Derham, Dr. Brook Taylor. Dr. Desaguliers, Mr Graham, < insertion from f 75v > < text from f 76r resumes > < insertion from f 75Av > Dr Bentley, Dr Stephen Hales, Mr Hadley, Mr Rand, < text from f 76r resumes > &c., a galaxy of shining genius's, each in their several branches of knowledg illuminating the whole hemisphere of arts, & sciences!

< insertion from f 75Av >

at that time indeed England was the center of learning & curiosity. all the literary Societys the College of Physicians, the Royal Society, the Antiquarian Society, the Surgeons company, the Apothecarys were at the height of glory, & reputation. hither were imported the treasures of antiquity curiosity, & found a ready entertainment. Lord Pembroke made his immense collection of coins, Antient marbles, pictures, books. Lord Oxford, Lord Sunderland collected librarys of books and MSS not less than princely: Sir Hans Sloan, & Dr Mead purchased all that nature or art, antient or modern produc'd: Mr John Bridges, Mr Thomas Rawlinson & many other made very great librarys. Dr. Woodward began the taste of collecting fossils, shells, & all natural productions. Sir Hans Sloan made a noble foundation of the physick garden at Chelsea. The learned Heneage earl of Winchelsea, had made a very great collection of greek coyns; < insertion from p 75A > Sir Andrew Fountain, Mr Thomas Sadler & many more Vertuoso's, in all kinds of antient coyns.

< text from f 75Av resumes > < text from f 76r resumes >

Sir Isaac, in the latter part of his days, thro' age, & a sedentary life, had somewhat of a relaxation of the sphincter of the bladder: so that he was <77r> oblig'd to make water frequently. a year or two before his last, he had a fitt of the gout: upon which his friends congratulated him, as an insureance of long life. but I had different sentiments: and the event verify'd my presage.

his last illness was an inflammation on the neck of his bladder, with the most excrutiating pain, that can be imagin'd; & that for several days continuance. < insertion from f 76v > I have no scruple in judging it to be gouty. Some thought it, the stone. < text from f 77r resumes > it rose to such a height, that the bed under him, & the very room, shook with his agonys, to the wonder of those that were present. such a struggle had his great soul to quit its earthly tabernacle! all this he bore with a most exemplary, & remarkable patience, truly philosophical, truly christian; & a resignation to the divine Will, equal to his other vertues; expiring with soft, & silent groans: his spirit taking its flight thro' the well known starry orbs: whilst his name lives on earth, till attraction in the planetary bodys exceeds thir impulsive motion, and the sun absorbs them, in the last conflagration.

< insertion from f 76v >

he read the journal of Saturday 18 March in the morning & talkd a good deal with Dr. Mead who attended him. he was in perfect senses till that evening: but then lost them irrecoverably.

< text from f 77r resumes >

he dy'd about 2 a clock in the morning, of Munday, the 20 march 1726-7. in the 85th year of his age current. < insertion from f 76v > he lay in state in Jerusalem chamber < text from f 77r resumes > he was bury'd with decent solemnity, in <78r> westminster abby, Sir Michael Newton chief mourner. < insertion from f 77v > the pall supported by Lord chancellor Dukes of Montrose & Roxburgh, Earls of Pembroke, Sussex & Macclesfield. the bishop of Rochester read the service.

his stature was midling, strong & sinewy.

< text from f 78r resumes >

his good works follow him. his learned works remain, to eternize his memory, the admiration of all mankind. Europe sighd at the loss of so incomparable a person. Science mourn'd its light, its glory extinct.

he thought fit to make no Will, but left his fortune, which was pretty considerable, as the Law directed; < insertion from f 77v > his substance amounted to £32000. < text from f 78r resumes > which his relations shared among them. he had given a great part of his money, to Mrs Catherin Barton his favorite niece, upon her marriage with Mr Conduit. His estate fell to his next heir John Newton as before said, who is deriv'd from his fathers 2d brother he wholly unworthy of the name of Newton soon spent it. his personal estate came to the smiths, & Bartons, pretty many in number, descendants from his father in law, by his mother it amounted to about £3500 each. but all soon found a period. as if to show the fleeting vanity of riches, family, & secular acquirements; in competition with the more durable, and substantial glorys of vertue, & the splendors of the mind. & tho' tis in the power of a very few, to <79r> arrive at as high degree of excellence in this way, yet tis happy for us, that we may all so trim our lamps, as hereafter to shine: tho' not as stars of the first magnitude. for the future state, as well as this, will be an allotment of different degrees of glory, as the most learned apostle argues, in that admirable piece of religious philosophy I Cor. XV.41. < insertion from f 78v > for one star differeth from another star in glory. so also is the resurrection of the dead. < text from f 79r resumes > let us copy after Sir Isaac's moral, & religious character; it will insure us of a blisful immortality; when the wisdom of this world will be no more.

this small offering, & grateful tribute I make to the shrine of this illustrious person; an offering not quite inconsiderable enough to be forgotten. & it may be somewhat helpful to those that can add to it, & perfect it.

there are a good many pictures of him, beside that by Sir Godfry Kneller < insertion from f 78v > abovementiond, which went into France. Sir Godfry painted two for Mr Conduit, one in his wig, as usual; another in his own hair. < text from f 79r resumes > one painted by Vanderbank in his own hair, which is now in the Royal Society room. a print of it by Mr Vertue. < insertion from f 78v > Mr Folks has another of Sir Isaac, painted by Vanderbank, in his wig. < text from f 79r resumes > Mr Smith had before made a metzo tinto from that of Sir Godfrys. in the Royal Society room is a very fine marble buste of him. monsieur Marchand an excellent artist in ivory, made a very good likeness of him: which I saw afterward, at <80r> Stamford, in possession of one of his heirs, Mr. Ben Smith. I made several drawings of him from the life; chiefly in the antique way of profile; & very like. whereof that here prefixed is one. Mr Conduit caused a very good medal of him to be struck. he gave me one of them. he had a countenance pleasing, & good humor'd; but sufficiently indicative of vast penetration. the marble statue of him on his monument is very well done. I painted his profile, as big as the life, in a niche in one of the wings of the garden front of my house at Grantham, facing the fine prospect of Harrowby hill; underneath inscribed GENIO LOCI.

the inscription on his monument is a very handsom, & concise enumeration of his works, & of his qualitys, & vertues. Dr Bentley, Mr Pope & all the wits of that time, made epitaphs on this occasion. & Monsieur Fontanelle pronounc'd a handsom elogium before the Academy of Sciences at Paris.

<81r>

H. S. E.

Isaacus Newton Eques auratus,

Qui animi vi prope divinâ,

Planetarum motus, figuras,

Cometarum semitas, Oceanique æstus,

sua mathesi facem præferente,

primus demonstravit;

Colorumque inde nascentium proprietates,

quas nemo anteá vel suspicatus erat, pervestigavit.

Naturæ, Antiquitatis, S. Scripturæ.,

sedulus, sagax, fidus Interpres.

Dei O.M. majestatem philosophia asseruit;

Evangelii simplicitatem moribus expressit.

Sibi gratulentur Mortales

Tale tantumque extitisse

Humani Generis Decus.

Nat. XXV Dec. AD. MDCXLII. Obiit XX Mar. MDCCXXVI

FINIS

[1] Dr Cotes had wrote somewhat on Sir Isaac.

[2] Optics published 1704.

[Editorial Note 1] This appears to be a slip on Stukeley's part: Newton was first made Warden of the Mint (in 1696), and subsequently Master, as Stukeley goes on to recount.