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BY JOSEPH HUNTiIr. ui(v_5 ^J""* H 

Ancestry, whose grac 
Chalks successors their way, 



" 'cHUi: W or- J!;SUS CHRIST 


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r. PicKTON, Peintkr, 

Perby's Plack, 29, Oxfoed Stkeet. 


The following Tract is an enlargement of the principal 

portion of an account which I propose to give of Pope, in 

^. Poets and Verse Writers, from Chaucer to Pope.- ne,o Facts 

^Jn their History -^\,0M\d the public curiosity respecting them 

■call for the publication of what I have collected and written. 

OcTOBEE 26, 1857. 



Two persons of noble birth, who thought themselves insulted 
in the " Imitation of the First of the Second Book of the 
Satires of Horace," retorted upon the Poet with a severity 
not wholly undeserved. Unlike Pope, who had dismissed 
them both in a line or two, they composed their attacks very 
elaborately, seeking out eveiything that could offend him, — 
defects for which he must be held responsible, and those for 
which no man can justly be so held. 

One of these latter points was, want of birth. The lines, 

Whilst none thy crabbed numbers can endure, 
Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth obscure, 

are attributed to the Lady Mary Wortley Montague ; but 
Johnson assigns them to Lord Ilervey,^ who attacked Pope 
in another poem, in which he makes it a charge that he was 

' Johnson is probably in the wrong. They are printed as Lady 
Mary's in the collection entitled The Poetical Works of the Right 
Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e. Dublin: 12mo, 1768, p. 26. 

It is rather remarkable that we should find in private documents 
two ladies whom Pope had made the subject of his severest satire, 
both manifesting curiosity about the contents of his will. Lady 
Hervey (Mary Lepell) writes on the 20th July, 1744, respecting 
one clause in it; but she writes darkly, and the editor of her Letters 
has not cleared away the obscurity. Lady Mary's curiosity is ex- 

6 POPE. 

a hatter's son, and insults him on the score of the meanness 
of his family. 

These allusions to his origin seem to liave galled the Poet 
more than anything else that was said of him. He was then 
living in what is called high society, and it was of some im- 
portance to him not to be thought meanly bred. Three 
courses were open to him. He might have assumed to pass 
over the charge as unworthy his notice: he might have claimed 
it as a merit to have surpassed his ancestors, and risen to dis- 
tinction by his own genius, " out of himself drawing his web;" 
or he might deny the charge altogether. He adopted the last 
of these courses, and in this he acted wisely and honestly. 

pressed in lettei's perhaps not so well known; at least I copy from 
the originals. They are addressed to her intimate friend the Countess 
of Oxford. — "Avignon, Aug. 10, 1744. — I hear that Pope is dead, 
but suppose it is a mistake, since your Ladysliip has never mentioned 
it. If it is so, I have some small curiosity for the disposition of his 
aflPairs, and to whom he has left the enjoyment of his pretty house at 
Twict'nara, which was in his power to dispose of for only one year 
after his decease." Again: — "Avignon, Oct. 15. — I am surprised 
Lord BurUngton is unmentioned in Pope's will. On the whole, it 
appears to me more reasonable and less vain than I expected from 
him." It was from Lady Oxford that she had received a copy of the 
will. In another letter (not of this series) Lady Mary speaks of 
having converted an old ruined windmill on the lieights of Avignon 
into a belvedere, from which she says there was commanded the 
finest land prospect slie had ever seen ; then recollecting what were 
perhaps the happiest months of her life (for her happiness is to be 
counted by months, not years), she adds, " except Wharncliffe." This 
" belvedere" must have been on the hill on wliich still stand the 
cathedral and the Pope's palace, now barracks. The prospect, though 
magnificent, does not naturally recal the forests and moors of Wharn- 
cliffe. No traces of the " belvedere" are discoverable. 

When a defence against such a charge is undertaken, there 
is an advantage in the difficulty of defining that really unde- 
finable quality called hirtli. There is an absolute, and a rela- 
tive, want of it. A rich mercantile family may be a good 
family when compared with persons of the same class who 
have been less successful than they ; a family owning a good 
estate in the country is a good family amongst the neighbours; 
a race of persons eminent in any of the professions may be 
called a good family. But place these by the side of the 
ancient aristocracy of the country, who have maintained this 
position for centuries, and what are they ? and let persons 
even of acknowledged antiquity and elevation be brought into 
the company of kings and emperors, or even of the great 
families of the Continent, and they lose something of their 
lustre : — 

A deputy shines bright as doth a king 

Until a king be by. 

Undoubtedly, Pope could not in this respect compare him- 
self with the Pierrepoints and the Herveys ; and to them his 
birth would necessarily appear obscure, if they thought at all 
about it, and chose to take the unkinder view. But Pope 
knew that what was relatively true might be absolutely untrue. 
He therefore took the first opportunity of claiming publicly 
what in his opinion belonged to him. 

In the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, which was written early 
in 1733, he speaks of his birth thus : — 

Oi gentle Mood (part shed in honour's cause. 
While yet in Britain honour had applause) 
Each parent sprung — 

Then follows his touching notice of his father, and of his 
mother (who was then living, in her ninety-third year), not 

8 POPE. 

the less genuine for being written in imitation of Horace. 
They are handed down for ever as people of 

Unspotted names, and venerable long, 
If there be force in virtue or in song. 

To these lines this note is appended : — " Mr. Pope's fether 
was of a gentleman's family in Oxfordshire, the head of which 
was the Earl of Downe, whose sole heiress married the Earl 
of Lindsay. His mother was the daughter of William 
Turner, Esq., of York : she had three brothers, one of whom 
was killed, another died, in the service of King Charles ; the 
eldest following his fortunes, and becoming a general officer 
in Spain, left her what estate remained after the sequestrations 
and forfeitures of her family." 

In his more formal reply to his noble assailant, he says that 
his father was a younger brother, — " that he was no mechanic 
(neither a hatter, nor, which might please your Lordship yet 
better, a cobler), but in truth of a very honourable family, 
and my mother of an ancient one." 

It happened that while this subject was fresh in the public 
mind, and within a very few weeks after he had finished his 
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, the death of his mother occurred. 
This gave him a fair occasion of publicly asserting his claim to 
a good position in respect of birth. Accordingly, the following 
notice, which appeared in the Gentleman^ a Magazine for June 
1 7 33, we cannot doubt came from himself -. — " June 8 . Pied 
Mrs. Editha Pope, aged 93, the last suwivor of the children 
of William Turner, of York, Esq., who, by Thomasiue Newton, 
his wife, had fourteen daughters and three sons, two of which 
died in the King's service in the Civil Wars, and tlie eldest 
retired into Spain, where he died a general officer." 

Pope had now said all that he proposed to make public ; 
and accordingly we find nothing more concerning his de- 
scent in the Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Alexander 
Tope, Esquire, published by William Ayre in 1745, the year 
after the Poet's death. He might, or might not, have been 
acquainted with the letter to Curl with the signature P. T., in 
which a person professing to be well acquainted with Pope's 
family, imdertakes to inform Curl respecting tliem. This 
letter has, strangely, been attributed to some actual friend 
of Pope, and even to the Poet himself writing thus anony- 
mously to Curl, wath whom he was at the time in open 
war. "Who P. T. specifically was, has, perhaps, not been dis- 
covered ; but that he was a person with whom Curl had 
unfair dealings respecting the collection of Pope's letters, will 
be seen in Mr. Ayre's Memoirs, p. 300. The information in 
this letter has been generally received by later writers on the 
life of Pope, as worthy of the same acceptation which is yielded 
to the Poet's avowed statements respecting his family ; and, 
undoubtedly, it proceeds from some one who was acquainted 
with facts in the history of the family a little beyond those 
which the Poet himself had divulged. To those facts it adds 
the following : — That Pope's father had an elder brother who 
studied and died at Oxford : that the father was himself a 
posthumous child: that he was put to a merchant in Flanders, 
and acquired a moderate estate by merchandise, which he 
quitted at the Revolution, and retired to Windsor Forest, 
where he purchased a small estate: that he married one of 
the seventeen children of William Turner, Esq., formerly of 
Burfit HaU, in Yorkshire : and that two of his wife's brothers 
were killed in the Civil Wars. 

The last clause shows the carelessness with which this 


10 POPE. 

letter was written. It is evidently copied from what Mr. Pope 
had himself written; but then Mr. Pope's account of the 
matter is, that one brother was slain, and the other died, in the 
service of King Charles the First, To what Mr. Pope had said 
of his maternal grandfather, the writer of this letter adds, that 
he was of Burfit Hall in Yorkshire. " Burfit" is the country 
people's pronunciation of Birthwaite, an old seat of the York- 
shire Baronet family of Burdet. I would not say that he may 
not have been a temporary inhabitant of this house, but it can 
have been but a short tenancy by Mr. Turner, whose far more 
proper designation was that which Pope had given him, " of 
York," where he for the most part resided. The seventeen 
children is but a repetition of what Pope had himself told us, 
and which is supported by better evidence than the testimony 
of this anonymous writer. That he acquired a fortune by 
merchandise is doubtless true, though, probably, but a small 
one ; but when he says that the elder Pope had been put to 
a merchant in Flanders, this is at variance with what we are 
told by a relation of the family (of whom immediately), that it 
was to Lisbon that he was sent for the purpose, and that 
there it was that he became a Roman Catholic. That he 
was a posthumous child is peculiar to this communication. 
I think I shall show it to be a little uncertain, supposing that 
his age at the time of his death is truly stated on his monu- 
ment : of the brother studying and dying at Oxford, also 
peculiar to the letter, I have seen nothing to support or to 

This will be sufficient to show that there can be no good 
reason to attribute this letter to Pope himself, or to any person 
who had received information from him to be given to the 
world in this form ; and, secondly, that in the points where 

POPE. 11 

this communication is at all at variance with what Mr. Pope 
had himself sanctioned, or professes to carry our information 
beyond what he had told us, its testimony is to be received, 
if at all, with great caution. 

We may, therefore, be said to receive very little more on 
this subject from the Poet's contemporaries than what he 
himself on the one side, and his enemies on the other, chose 
to communicate. It is quite insufficient for forming a right 
judgment on the question. There is very little fact, no proof, 
and no detail. If the point was worth raising at all, it was 
worth settling: besides that, the curiosity of later times craves 
more than this, when intent on studying the lives of England's 
greatest worthies. Dr. Johnson is content to dismiss the sid)- 
jectthus ; — " This, and this only, is told by Pope, who is more 
willing, as I have heard it observed, to show what his father 
was not, than what he was." But Johnson lived in a century 
when there was little desire of minute and exact information 
respecting even the most eminent of our countrymen ; and in 
writing of Pope as of Milton, he has certainly kept himself 
free from the temptation which besets all biographers, of 
becoming enamoured of those of whom they write. 

The spirit of research, however, was not entirely dormant 
even in that century. Editors and biographers did look 
around for anything that would easily present itself: nor 
can what they observed be said to have been wholly unim- 
portant, for they brought to light one piece of evidence which 
deserves to be received with the same confidence which the 
testimony of Pope himself receives at our hands. This comes 
from a certain Mr. Potenger, who called himself a cousin of 
Pope. He gave th6 information to Dr. Bolton, who was 
Dean of Carlisle, who communicated it to Dr. Joseph Warton, 

12 POPE. 

from whom we receive it. His information was to this effect : 
— That the Poet's grandfather was a clergyman in Hampshire : 
that the Poet's father was the younger of two sons, and was 
sent to Lisbon to be placed in a mercantile house : that there 
he left the Church of England and became a Pioman Catholic : 
that he knew nothing of the " fine pedigree" which his cousin 
Pope set up, and that as to a descent from the Earls of Downe, 
he was confident no such descent could be proved, for if it 
had been so, he must have heard of it from a maiden aunt, who 
stood in the same degree of relationship to Pope and to him- 
self, who was a great genealogist, excessively fond of talking 
of her family, and who most certainly, therefore, would have 
spoken of this descent if it were so. This is the substance of 
Mr. Potenger's valuable information, as it has been received 
and incorporated by Eoscoe and others of the late writers on 
the life of Pope. Mr. Potenger, however, in one respect does 
some injustice to the Poet's memory. Mr. Pope noivhere 
says that he descended of an Earl of Downe, but only that he 
was of the same family as that from which the Earl of Downe 
sprang ; which is quite a different thing, and probably true. 

My own researches have done something to enable me to 
extend the very limited information we possess on this sub- 
ject : not much, perhaps, it will be thought, but it ^vill be 
sound as far as it goes, and will be presented in the simple 
guise of truth, with no intention of unduly magnifying or 
unfairly weakening the claim set up by the Poet himself. He 
having made the claim to be "of gentle blood," beside the 
interest which belongs to the question as part of the Poet's 
history, his truthfulness and honour may be said to be in- 
volved in it, points of even more importance than his wonder- 
ful moral sagacity, and the unrivalled felicity of his numbers. 

POPE. 13 

I treat of the tAVO families apart. 


Alexander Pope, the Poet's father, if he was seventj'^-foiir 
or seventy-five at the time of his death in 1717, may be pre- 
sumed to have been born in 1641 or 1642. He was a younger 
son, and is said by P. T. to have been a posthumous child, 
and that while his elder brother, who inherited the larger share 
of the family property, was sent to Oxford, where he died, he 
was brought up to commerce. It has never been shown by 
whom this arrangement was made, for before his birth, his 
father (of whom afterwards), according to the letter to Curl, 
was dead: and if not dead, he died when his son was quite 
an infant. All accounts agree that he was sent abroad to 
complete his mercantile education — an expensive course, 
which of itself shows that he was of no very mean stock, 
and that, though the younger son of a widow, his relatives 
had the means of giving him a fair start in life. 

There are, as we have seen, two opposing accounts from 
persons who professed to know the facts respecting the place 
to which he was sent, one stating it to be Flanders, the other, 
with more of probability, Lisbon, with the additional informa- 
tion, that at Lisbon he joined the Eoman Catholic Church, or 
that there, at least, was laid the foundation of the change in 
his religious profession. From that time there is a blank in his 
history till his thirty-fifth year, 1677, when he was living in 
Broad Street, London, where many of the principal merchants 
of the time resided or carried on their business. This we learn 
from a 12mo volume, printed for Samuel Lee in that year, en- 
titled A Collection of the Names of the Merchants living in and 
ahout the City of London. Books of this kind are of some 

14 POPE. 

rarity, being by most persons tliouglit worthless and are de- 
stroyed, when superseded by others of a later date. I have 
a copy which has survived the general wreck, and has been 
long in my possession. I copy from it the names of three 
Popes who occur in the list : — 

James Pope, Abchurch Lane. 
Alexander Pope, Broad Street, 
Joseph Pope, Eedriff. 

There can be no reasonable doubt that Alexander is the 
Poet's father ; and it is worth observation that this is a list of 
"merchants" properly so called — persons engaged in the higher 
walks of commerce. The number of the names is about 1770. 
Hence we must infer that the Poet's father was not, at that 
time at least, pursuing any low or mean occupation, but one 
in which in those days it was not unusual to place the younger 
sons of gentry, and sometimes even of the nobility of the land. 

He was then, or very soon after, married, not to the mother 
of Ms celebrated son, but to a former wife, whose name was 
Magdalen, but whose surname is at present unknown. This 
is a recent discovery of some one whose curiosity has led him 
to consult the register of St. Benet Pink, the parish in which 
part of Broad Street is situated, where this entry was found: — 
— "1679, August 13. bur. Magdalen, wife of Alexander 
Pope." She left him one child, a daughter named Magdalen, 
afterwards Mrs. Racket, whose sons were the Poet's heirs. 

The next event (after another period marked by no inci- 
dents with which we are acquainted) is his marriage with 
Edith Turner, his second wife. This may be presumed to have 
taken place in 1686 or 1687, the only child, the Poet, having 
been born in May or June, 1688. Authorities differ respect- 

POPE. la 

ing the day, and also the place, one naming Lombard Street, 
another Cheapside. The father had, therefore, changed his 
residence, but was still living among the trading aristocracy, 
and we have no reason to believe that he liad receded from 
his original position of a London merchant. 

He acquired some additional property, perhaps consider- 
able, with his wife Edith. She seems to have been the fa- 
vourite of her brother, the "general officer in Spain," what- 
ever that phrase may denote, — for Pope says, she inherited 
from him what remained of the fortunes of the family, and it 
must have been from him that the elder Alexander Pope 
acquired the valuable interest he possessed in the manor of 
Ptuston, near Scarborough. They were both of mature age 
at their marriage. Fixing the time in 1686, he would be, 
according to his monumental inscription, forty -five, and she 
forty-four. This change in his position had doubtless some- 
thing to do with his retirement from business very soon after 
the Revolution, — perhaps as much as his disgust at the poli- 
tical change which had taken place, or his love of retirement, 
the motives usually assigned for the step he took. 

He did not immediately establish himself in his retreat at 
Binfield, for Mr. Roscoe in his Life of the Poet informs us, 
tliat he lived for a while at Kensington. No long interval, 
however, appears to have elapsed between his final departure 
from London, and his settlement on a small estate which he 
bought at Binfield, which is on Windsor Forest, two or three 
miles from the town of Wokingham. 

Commerce has its vicissitudes, and the Poet's father may 
have had sensible proof of this obvious fact. But there is no 
evidence, as far as we yet know, that he was ever " unfortu- 
nate" in his commercial career. That he did not attain to 

16 POPE. 

great wealth, like many of his contemporaries, is certain ; but 
neither did he, like some others of a more adventurous dis- 
position, sink into despondency. When one of Pope's enemies 
taunted him with being the son of a person who had been a 
bankrupt, he calls it a " pitiful untruth," and this at a time 
when there were many persons living who must have known 
if it had been so, and many others who would have been glad 
to propagate the libel. Hearne, who disliked Pope, inserted 
in his private note-book, for future use if necessary, that his 
father was " a sort of broken merchant." The truth probably 
is, that he saved something in his business, and added to it 
by his marriage ; and it is certain that he was able to live for 
many years an easy disengaged life, and at his death to leave 
his son £300 or ie400 a year. 

He made his will on February 9, 1710. I take a few notes 
of it from Mr. Carruthers's recent publication. He gives to his 
wife Edith the furniture of her chamber, her rings and jewels, 
and £20 : To his son-in-law Charles Racket and his daughter 
Magdalen his wife, £5 each, for mourning : All else, including 
rent-charge out of the manor of Ruston, in Yorkshire, toge- 
ther with lands at Binfield, and at Winsham, in Suitey, .to 
his son Alexander Pope, whom he makes executor. He died 
in 1717, and the wiU was proved on the 8th of November in 
that year. 

So far I have had little to do but to repeat what has been 
previously told by others. But now we come to the question, 
Who was the Poet's grandfather, the merchant's father ? Tliis 
question, hitherto unresolved, 1 propose to answer. 
' When Thomas Warton, in the Appendix to the Life of Sir 
Thomas Pope, the founder of Trinity College, Oxford, and also 
the founder of the family of Pope, Earls of Downe, with whom 

POPE. 17 

Pope claimed kindred, enters on the consideration of this 
question, he admits the probability that such a relationship 
existed, but professes his utter inability to ascend beyond the 
Mher, in pursuit of the Poet's ancestors. The attempt to do 
so has been made by others, who have brought far less of 
autiquarianism into literary history than Warton. !Mr. Car- 
ruthers can find no trace of him. And it may be stated ge- 
nerally, that no one has (publicly at least) made any approach 
to the determination of the question. Yet this was plainly 
the first step to be taken in any investigation of tlie Poet's 
claim to be of " gentle blood." Literary biography owes 
much to the Wartons — more than the present writers in this 
department seem disposed to acknowledge ; and it is to a 
Warton, not Thomas, but his brother, Dr. Joseph Warton, 
that we owe the hint upon which I have proceeded, and, as I 
believe, settled the question for ever. 

Dr. Warton, we have seen, in his Essay on the Genius 
and Jrrit'mgs of Pope, 1780, vol. ii., informs us, that he 
learned from Dr. Bolton, Dean of Carlisle, that he had heard 
from a Mr. Potenger, a cousin of Pope, that Pope's grand- 
father was a clergyman of the Church of England living in 

This has been accepted by Mr. Roscoe, and others who have 
written on the life of Pope since 1780 ; but, though attempts 
have been made, no one has hitherto succeeded in establish- 
ing the truth of Mr. Potenger's statement, by singling him 
out from amongst the Hampshire clergy of his time, and 
showing his position. 

In looking over the list of beneficed clergymen in the county 
of Hants, in the period within which he lived, presented to us 
by the Book of Compositions for First Fruits, I find only one 

18 POPE. 

person of the name of Pope, and his name was Alexander. 
This of itself would be sufficient to support Mr. Potenger's 
account ; and to set before us the person for whom search 
has before been unsuccessfully made. Then as to his resi- 
dence and position in the Cliurch, we find in these books of 
Compositions : — 

1. On the 31st of January, 1631, Alexander Pope com- 
pounded for the first fruits of the rectory of Thruxton, in the 
county of Hants. 

2. On November 23, 1633, he compounded for the first 
fruits of the prebend of Middleton. 

, 3. And on May 23, 1639, for the first fruits of the prebend 
of Ichen- Abbots. 

As he held Thruxton tdl his death, he must be consi- 
dered in the light of a clergyman possessed of good prefer- 
ment, in fact, as belonging to the superior class of the clergy 
in the diocese of Winchester. 

Thruxton is a rectory in the neighbourhood of Andover ; 
and Ichen-Abbots is in Bountesborough hundred, a few 
miles north of Winchester. Why this living and Middleton 
are called prebends, the only livings in the county so desig- 
nated, we shall know better when the labours of some suffi- 
cient topographer have been directed upon Hampshire. 

The next step was to ascertain whether anything respect- 
ing himself or his family could be found at Thruxton ; and 
in this inquiry I received the most obliging attention from 
the officiating minister, who examined the church and went 
through the register to see whether any memorial existed of 
persons of the name of Pope. The result was less satisfactory 
than I had hoped : for it appears that there is no memorial 
of him in the church, and the register supplies us with no 

POPE. 19 

information touching himself or family, except the following 
entry amongst the burials : — 

"16^5. February 21. — Alexander Pope, minister of Thrux- 
ton, was buried." 

This, however, is of value. It shows us that he held not 
his living long, about fourteen years ; that he probably died 
in middle life ; and that his son Alexander, the merchant, 
could have been no more than a very young child when he 
lost his parent. It does not show us that he was actually a 
posthumous child ; but then there is a possibility that the in- 
scription on his monument, which is expressed in too general 
terms, may not be strictly correct in setting forth his age at 
the time of his death. However, the difference is not great 
between his being literally a posthumous child, and an infant 
of two or three years old when he lost his father. 

But it may be asked, since Pope must have known perfectly 
well the name and highly respectable position in life of his 
grandfather, why he did not come boldly forward and claim 
to be descended of a clergyman born in the reign of Elizabeth, 
and dying in the prime of life, when occupying so good a 
position ? It would have been a more sufficient answer to the 
taunt of obscure birth, and have shown to the world his 
descent, if not from a great, yet from a cultivated, ancestry. 

It is, perhaps, idle to attempt to divine the cause, but it is 
no unreasonable conjecture that here his religious, or rather 
ecclesiastical, opinions came into play, and that he, a Roman 
Catholic, would not regard with the same satisfaction as 
others would, a descent from a Protestant clergyman, a mar- 
ried pried, nor would be over solicitous that others should 
know, on his authority, that his father was the offspring of 
such an unhallowed union — that is, as he would esteem it. 

20 POPE. 

But what if it should turn out that tliis clergyman was not 
only a Protestant minister possessed of considerable prefer- 
ment, but that he also belonged to that section of the Church 
of England which was the most remote from the Church of 
Rome, and which held it in especial abhorrence ? That he was 
either the son-in-law or the grandson of one who is always 
placed in the first rank of the Puritan ministers of the reign 
of Elizabeth, the noted and long-lived John Dodd, of Fawsley, 
in Xorthamptonshire ? 

I shall first state a few well-established matters of fact, and 
then the probable inferences to be drawn from them. 

I refer, first, to the will of Robert Barcroft, of Corpus 
Christi College, Oxford, D.D., made on the 29th of April, 
1G27. He gives "to his godson, John Wilkins, Zanchi's 
Works, so many as I have, to be delivered to his father-in- 
law, Mr. Alexander Pope, for his use." Wilkins was then a 
boy; and Wood informs us {Ath. Oxon. ii. 105) that he was 
the son of a Walter Wilkins, a goldsmith of Oxford, and that 
his mother was one of the daughters of Dodd of Fawsley, 
where Wilkins was born. Further, that Wilkins was uterine 
brother to Dr. Walter Pope, who, in his Life of Bishop Seth 
Ward, speaks of this relationship. Wilkins was the Bishop 
of Chester of that name, and one of the founders of the Royal 

Wood appears not to have known, any more than his in- 
formant Aubrey, that Alexander was the name of Pope, the 
father-in-law (which here means stepfather) of Wilkins ; and 
neither has Dr. Walter Pope, Aubrey, or Anthony Wood, 
told us anything about him. The question is. Was tins 
Alexander Pope, of Dr. Barcroft's will, the Alexander Pope 
who died rector of Thruxton? Was he the father of the 

POPE. 21 

rector, or was there, in 1627, two Alexander Popes, both 
clergymen connected with Oxford, but not nearly connected 
with each other ? A little further light, which possibly the 
records of the University of Oxford might supply, may enable 
some one to dispose of these questions. All I at present 
venture to say is, that the probabilities seem to incline in 
favour of the supposition that the Alexander Pope who was 
instituted to the rectory of Thruxton in 1631, is the Alex- 
ander Pope named in Dr. Barcroft's will in 1627, and conse- 
quently the Alexander Pope who married the widow of Walter 
Wilkins. But then I should propose a further conjecture (in 
questions such as these we must allow conjectures, and bear 
to hear of probabilities), that there was a second marriage of 
the Rector of Thruxton, of which the Poet's fcither was the 
issue, and that Dr. Walter Pope, the poet and miscellaneous 
writer, was the offspring of the first marriage. 

Yet I state this dubiously; and, considering how much we 
know of Dr. Walter Pope and of Bishop Wilkins, find it dif- 
ficult to reconcile the want of any trace of family connection 
between them and the Poet, with the supposition that Dr. 
Walter Pope was half-brother to the London merchant. 
Perhaps, after all, there were two Alexanders connected mth 
Oxford, and Dr. Walter Pope, the child of the one, father or 
uncle of the Hampshire clergyman. 

It is to be regretted that more has not been preserved of 
what :\Ir. Potenger could have told of the Popes, from recol- 
lections of the conversations of the maiden aunt, who must 
have been sister to the Rector of Thruxton ; and as she stood, 
as he informs us, in the same degree of relationship to Pope 
and to himself, it wouhl follow that the father or mother of Mr. 
Potenger was issue of another sister or brother of the Rector 

of Thruxton. This affords hints as to the course which fur- 
ther inquiry should take ; but I cannot pass by the indication 
Avhich this fact affords of the respectability of the Poet's pa- 
ternal ancestry : the Potengers of Hampshire and Dorsetshire 
being descendants of Dr. John Potenger, the celebrated head- 
master of the Winchester College School, whose son John 
Potenger, born in Ifi-i?, was Comptroller of the Pipe.^ 

There were certain peculiarities which remove Dodd from 
the position of one of the crowd of Puritan divines : a certain 
cheerfulness, hilarity, and also good practical common sense ; 
and certainly his descendant. Dr. Walter Pope, an ingenious 
man and no mean poet, is not to be charged with over much 
of the severity and strictness of the Puritan life. The later 
Pope, however, would not be over forward to reveal his con- 
nection with either Dodd or Dr. Walter ; else, if he really did 
descend from one of the many daughters of the Kector of 
Fawsley, he might have claimed to himself a descent which, 
on fair evidence, can be traced to the very depths of the 
antiquity of English families, the Puritan divine being well 
known to be of the very ancient family of Dodd of Shock- 
ledge, in Cheshire. A long account of him is given by Dr. 
Samuel Clarke. 

• See Private Memoirs of John Potenger, Esquire, edited by 
his Descendant, C. W. Bingham, M.A. 12mo. 1841. The editor con- 
fines himself very much to the one member of the family to whom 
the memoirs relate ; and we have no notice of any connection with 
the name of Pope, or of any collateral branches of the Potengers. 
The Mr. Potenger, tiie friend of the Dean of Carlisle, is reasonably 
supposed to be Mr. Richard Potenger, who was elected three times 
member for Eeading — 1727, 1734, and again in 1735, when he was 
re-elected, having accepted a Welsh judgeship. Beatsou informs us 
that on November 28, 1739, a new writ was ordered on his death. 

POPE. 23 

We are now prepared to enter upon the question of Pope's 
descent from a younger son of the family, which was ennobled 
by the Irish title of Earl of Downe. This was all which he 
claimed for himself; and T should be unwilling to think him 
so foolish and disingenuous as to make this assertion without 
some good grounds ; though possibly, if he or his father had 
collected evidence, they might not have been able to show 
how specifically they did so descend, with the precision now 
required by the College of Arms. But probabilities are 
strongly in favour of the assertion. The title of Earl of 
Downe did not free the family of Pope from the obscurity 
in which it had lived till one member of it had become greatly 
enriched by aiding in the measures which established the 
Eeforraation in England. It will be at once perceived, by any 
one who may look into what is shown respecting them, that 
Sir Thomas Pope had no grace of ancestry to boast of. His 
father, whose will we have, is the first of the family of whom 
anything is known, and the will shows that he was a man of 
small possessions, living at Deddington, in Oxfordshire. Not 
that he was quite of the lowest class, as he desires to be buried 
within the walls of Deddington Church : in fact, he appears to 
have belonged to the rank of superior yeomanry, families who 
placed daughters in monasteries and sons in the Church, or 
sent them to make their fortune in the cities. He made no 
pretension to the distinction even of a gentleman's coat- 
armour; for Sir Thomas Pope, when he had acquired wealth, 
took a grant from Barker in 1535. Warton has traced his 
course with some assiduity ; but we may compare with what he 
says the evidence of a person who had good means of knowing 
Sir Thomas Pope's circumstances. " He was the son of a poor 
and mean man in Deddington, in Oxfordshire, within four 

24 POPE. 

miles of Banbury, and over against Somerton, and was born 
there ; was brought up, when a boy, as a scribe and clerk by 
Mr. John Croke, one of the Six Clerks when Wolsey was 
Chancellor, and so lived with Mr. Croke till after the Sup- 
pression. The Lord Audley made a motion to Mr. Croke to 
help him to some ready and expert clerk, to employ in the 
King's service about the Suppression business ; and Mr. Croke 
preferred Thomas Pope unto him, being then his household 
servant in livery, which was the first step of all his following 
good fortunes. This Mr. Croke was my wife's great-grand- 
father ; and I have heard her grandfather, Sir John Croke, 
often say, that at his christening, Thomas Pope, then his 
father's man, carried the bason ; and Sir Thomas Pope, by 
his will, gave this Sir John Croke some of his best raiment as 
a token of his love unto the house and family." 

Previously to the time when Sir Thomas Pope made the 
acquisitions, the greater part of which he disposed of so nobly 
in the foundation Of his college at Oxford, his family made no 
marriages with the higher gentry. In short, there is nothing 
to interfere with the probability of the Eector of Thruxton 
being of a branch of the family, nor anything in it which the 
Downe family could look upon as degrading. We must not 
suffer the glare of the coronet to mislead us : we are speaking 
of times before the Popes were ennobled. 

The Earls of Downe were one of the many families who 
rose into distinction out of the spoils of the ancient Church ; 
but the rank given to them, and the wealth they possessed, 
to say nothing of any personal merit, would be a reasonable 
defence for Pope to fall back upon under the circumstances. 
The earldom, we may obsei-ve, had long been extinct. The 
first earl was the son of John Pope of Wroxton, who was 

/ POPE. 25 

brother of Sir Thomas (who left no issue). The dignity was 
created by Charles I. in 1628, not till then. The first peer 
was succeeded by his grandson, the second earl, who died 
at Oxford in 1660. This is the earl of whom Pope speaks, 
whose daughter and heir married the Earl of Lindsey. The 
third earl was uncle to the second, and in his son, who died in 
1668, the title was lost, having existed for forty years only. 

We have Pope's direct testimony that his ancestors were of 
Oxfordshire, and we find them about Oxford in the time of 
Elizabeth. I think I have said sufficient to show that his 
claim to a distant kindred with the Popes of VVroxton, raised 
per saltum from the rank of yeomen, is afi"ected witli no im- 
probability on the score of disproportion of rank. 

The surname of Pope is not uncommon, but chiefly found 
in the southern counties. No other family of that name, I 
believe, is ever stated to have claimed consanguinity with the 
founder of Trinity College and the family of the Earls of 

We proceed now to speak of the Poet's maternal descent. 


Of geutle blood, part shed in honour's cause, — 
Each parent sprung. 

In the note on this passage, Pope expresses a kind of 
preference for his descent on the mother's side, calling the 
Turners an ancient family, which means that they possessed 
hereditary wealth through many generations. 

Families of really ancient gentry, which, like birth, is but 
a relative term, are generally found recorded in the Visita- 


26 POPE. 

tion Books of the Heralds for tlie counties in wliicli they 
dwelt. Whatever antiquity may be claimed for this family, who 
resided in the county of York, it is certain that do pedigree 
of them was recorded at any of the Visitations of that county, 
of which three were held during the time of the Turners' 
residence, viz., in 1585, 1612, and 1665; in which last year, 
too, the large list of " Disclaimers " does not contain them. 
The only assistance we derive from the labours of the heralds 
is this. In a manuscript lately added to the British Museum 
(Additional, No. 13,482) a list of persons whom, in 1665, 
the heralds summoned to appear, or intended to do so, con- 
tains the name of " Mr. Turner, of the parish of St. John del 
Pike, York," who is unquestionably the Poet's grandfather. 
This indifference to the advantage of making a public record 
of many facts, interesting at least to their posterity, is not 
peculiar to this family, but deposes rather unfavourably to the 
taste and judgment of the persons in whom the representation 
of a family at such a time vested. It manifests also some 
want of a disposition to co-operate in an important public 
institution, unhappily now fallen into desuetude. 

There can be no question that the heralds of old time did 
sometimes record matter, even then of early date, which will 
not bear the test of comparison with contemporary evidence ; 
but of the generations then existing, or but just passed away, 
they may be taken as worthy witnesses. And fortunate are 
those families who have a few generations recorded in the 
Heralds' books. They are saved thereby a vast amount of 
research into miscellaneous papers, which, after much labour 
and expense, may yield data sufficient for the construction of 
a genealogical system, without security against error. The 
difficulty of recovering lost portions of family history is far 

POPE. 27 

greater than is imagined by those who have never made the 

In the case before us, it could not be easy to ascend beyond 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the period, emphatically, when 
the really ancient gentry of the kingdom were either pushed 
from their pedestals, or obliged to admit new men to share 
with them the honour and influence which belong to the 
possession of broad lands and powerful family alliances. In 
the forty-fifth year of Elizabeth, February 10, 1603, within a 
few weeks of the close of her reign, a grant was made by the 
Crown to Lancelot Turner, of the Manor of Towthorpe, in 
the county of York. He was then residing at Towthorpe, for 
on the 12th of December, in that year, 1603, it was certified 
by William Bainbrigg and E. Aldborough, that " Lancelot 
Turner, of Towthropp, gentleman, in the wapentake of 
Bulmer," was for the most part of the year preceding the 
taxation of the subsidy, and ever since, residing at Tow- 
thropp with his family, and is there assessed on goods esti- 
mated at £8. 

This certificate is valuable, inasmuch as it enables ns to 
decide which of the two Towthorpes in the county of York is 
the one to which Pope's ancestry in his mother's line is to be 
traced : Towthorpe, in the wapentake of Buckrose, in the 
East Hiding ; or Towthorpe, in the wapentake of Bulmer, in 
the North Riding. The Turners' Towthorpe is a few miles 
to the north-east of York, near to Huntingdon, once the 
abode of Wilfrid Holme, who left the curious metrical account 
of the Pilgrimage of Grace; and its vicinity to York brought it 
within reach of- the civilization of the northern counties, of 
which that city was the chief seat. 

28 POPE. 

It is just possible, though hardly probable, that we may 
ascend a generation above this Lancelot ; for, on January 20, 
1626, the will of Robert Turner, of Towthroppe, was proved 
in the court of the Archbishop of York : its date does not 
appear. He desires to be buried in the churchyard at Hunt- 
ingdon. He gives to his son Anthony the two younger oxen, 
with certain husbandry utensils ; to his son Kiehard the red 
whie, which came from Stockton ; and to his grandchild, 
William Turaer, the little brown whie. He makes his wife 
and his younger son executors. There is no mention of 
Lancelot, who was, however, dead ; but the grandson William 
may be he whom we shall soon meet, as the nephew of 
Lancelot, and the father of Edith. 

In all probability this Eobert was an inferior member of 
the same family, a small agriculturist, Lancelot being the 
great man of the family, whose connection with the Popes 
is quite in proof. He is described as of the city of York, in 
some documents of the reign of King James. On the 10th 
of October, 5 James L, 1607, Eobert Harrison, Lord Mayor 
of York, certifies that Lancelot Turner, of the city of York, 
gentleman, was residing there, and assessed on £10, goods. 
A like certificate was granted on the 6th of April, in the 8th 
of James, 1610, signed by Henry Hall, Lord Mayor, and 
William Robinson, Alderman. 

The wapentake of Bulmer is, as respects minute and accu- 
rate information, part of the terra incognita of Yorkshire. 
Any tolerable account of the manor of Towthorpe would have 
shown us something at least of the history of the family who 
possessed it, and we might reasonably have expected to find 
some account of the means by which this Lancelot Turner 
gained the fortune with which he made this and other pur- 

POPE. 29 

eliases, and appeared in the rank and position in which we 
see him by the light afforded by his last will, for we can 
hardly believe that all he had, came to him by descent. Per- 
haps as probable a conjecture as is likely to be made is, that 
he was connected with the Council of the North, or a successful 
practitioner in that court. 

But we go at once to his will, which is dated December 23, 
1619. He describes himself Lancelot Turner, of Towthorpe, 
in the county of York, gentleman. He was then in his last 
sickness, for the will and a codicil were proved on the 1 1 th 
of January, 1620, and administration was granted to the 
executor named therein, on the 20th. He sets out, in the 
laudable practice of the time, with a profession of faith, and 
then proceeds to dispose of his temporal estate. He gives, 
first of all, to his sister, IMargaret Stephenson, an annuity of 
£30, to issue out of his lordship of Towthorpe, and also the 
use (interest) of £100, which, on her death, is to go to his 
niece, Eligabeth Huggeson, wife of Nicholas Huggeson. Then, 
to William Turner, son of his brother Philip Turner, he leaves 
all the manor of Towthorpe, and lands there ; and also a rent- 
charge of £10 a year, which he has issuing out of the manor 
of Ruston. He gives £200 to his nephew, Thomas Martin, 
an apprentice in London, on condition tliat he release what- 
ever claim he may have to the testator's house in Leeds ; and 
he gives £30 to Margaret Moor, sister of the said Thomas, 
and wife of William Moor, of Beverley; and £10 to John 
Hustler, son of his sister Elizabeth Hustler. 

We come now to an interesting bequest : — To Thomasiue 
Newton, daughter of Christopher Newton, late of Kilburn, 
gentleman, an annuity of £50 for life, issuing out of the 
manor of Towthorpe, with the household stuff at Kilburn, of 

yo POPE. 

which her mother is to have the use daring her widowhood, 
also a livery-cupboard, and a chair, plate, and the green bed. 
It appears later in the wiU, that the plate given to her con- 
sisted of seven silver bowls, six gilt spoons, one round white 
salt, and a three-corner trencher salt, and silver porringer to 
each, and a silver beer-bowl. To his nephew, John Stephen- 
son, he gives all his books, ''except my song-books, wldch I give 
to Thomasine Newtony 

He gives forty shillings to ]\fr. William Nevil, and to his 
" good and worthy friend Sir William Alford, a little clock, 
with a bell and a larum, which I carry about me, and one of 
my best horses." To the poor of Towthorpe forty shillings. 
To the poor prisoners in the castle of York, j63. To the poor 
prisoners in the Kidcote, on Ousebridge, in York, forty shil- 
lings. "To the poor of the parish where I am buried, £5." 
To his servant, Catherine Wetwang, £50, which is partly 
due to her. To Isabel Fawcet, daughter of Mrs. Kay, wife 
of Mr. Thomas Kay, of York, merchant, £10. To Robert 
Siddal, of York, gentleman, forty shillings. He makes his 
nephew, Willam Turner, the sole executor, who is to have two 
years to collect his debts. His friend Sir William Ingram, 
Doctor of the Civil Laws, to be supervisor, and to determine 
all questions that may arise about the interpretation of his 

Little more than a fortnight after, namely, on Monday next 
after Twelfth Day, 1620, he revoked nuncupatively the gift of 
the clock to Sir William Alford, saying, "he forgets his old 
friends," and gives it to his nephew William Turner. To this 
were witnesses Thomasine Newton, Henry Dent, and Alice 
Atkinson, who depose that William Turner reminded him that 
there had been much kindness between him and Sir William. 

POPE. 31 

This was a few days before his death. In this codicil he is 
described of York, so that it was probably made there. 

This is evidently the will of a wealthy and considerable 
person, without children himself, but, having made a fair pro- 
vision for his sister, establishing his nephew and heir male, 
VYilliam Turner, in the possession of the bulk of his fortune, 
as intent to maintain the respectability of the family and 
name. The particular regard he had for Thomasine Newton, 
is best accounted for by supposing that her mother was a 
sister of the testator; but it is also pretty evident that it was 
at that time contemplated that she should become the wife ot 
the nephew William, which she did, not long after the death 
of the uncle. She was the mother of the seventeen children 
of WilUam Turner, of whom Edith, the mother of Pope, was 
one. The bequest to her of the song-books is remarkable, as 
indicating that she manifested thus early something of the 
poetical temperament, if anything more than music-books is 
meant. Sir William Alford was owner of the site of the 
monastery of Meaux, in Plolderness. Sir William Ingram was 
of the family seated at Temple-Newsome ; and Mr. William 
Nevil, an intimate friend of the Turners, in his will, made in 
1641, names a number of persons of distinction. 

But of this will a more particular account must be given, 
as showing in what rank of society the parents of Edith 
moved, and with how much reason the Poet might claim for 
her that she was, in point of hlrth, equal to the lady (Mary 
Lepell), whom his adversary. Lord Hervey, had made choice 
of to be the mother of his children. 

April 10, 1 64.1, William Nevil, of the city of York, Esquire, 
makes his will. To be buried in the church of St. Helen. 
To Mrs. Elizabeth Stanhope, the eldest daughter of Dr. Stan- 

32 POPE. 

hope, Bisliop Hall's Works. " To my funeral expenses, £80 ; 
to Mr. William Turner, my godson, J£20 ; and to W'illiam 
Turner, his son, my godson, JEIO ; to Mrs. Turner, his wife, 
£5, and to the rest of his children £5, to be divided amongst 
them." To his cousin Thomas Bourchier, £20 ; to Catherine 
Penrose the Book of Monuments, and to her sister Elizabeth 
Penrose the great Bible, and £10 to each. He leaves plate 
to Lady Osborne and Dame Mary Ingram, wife of Sir Arthur. 
To Mr. White, St. Bernard's Works, and " what I have of 
St. Augustine." To Sir John Bourchier's eldest daughter the 
great gilt salt, and to the second sister a black silk gown. 
He had been we see the godfather in two generations of the 

The will of Lancelot Turner gives us the name of the father 
of W^illiam Turner, to whom we must now proceed. It was 
Philip, but beyond the name I have not discovered anything 
respecting him. Of Christopher Newton, the father of Tho- 
masine, I can only conjecture that he was the Christopher, son 
of Miles Newton, of Thorpe in Claro wapentake (by Jane his 
wife, daughter of Ambrose Beck with, of Stillingflete), who was 
aged one year and three months at the Visitation of 1585. 
Supposing this Christopher to be Thomasine's father, which 
can hardly be doubted, she would be allied, through the 
Beckwiths, with several of the higher Yorkshire gentry. 

William Turner, son of Philip, and nephew and piincipal 
heir of Lancelot, is styled by his grandson the Poet, " Esquire." 
I cannot find that he was ever styled more than " gentleman" 
in his lifetime, and certainly he does not claim to be more in 
his last will. He appears to have been young, at least un- 
married, in 1620, when, by the death of his uncle, he became 
lord of the manor of Towthorpe, and possessed of the rent- 

POPE. 33 

charge on the manor of Huston, and of other considerable pro- 
perty. His birth may be fixed with considerable probability 
in the year 1600 or 1601, and it could not well be later than 
1621 that he took to wife Thomasine Newton, his uncle's 
favourite, for one son of that marriage was killed in the Civil 
Wars, and another died in the King's service, that is, we may 
assume, between 164-2 and 1648. It does not appear that 
William Turner was brought up to any profession, or en- 
gaged in any gainful employment. The first notice we have 
of him, after the date of his marriage, is only gathered infe- 
rentially from the history of his children, viz., from the record 
of the baptisms of four of them, including Edith, in the parish 
register of Worsborough, in the years 1641-2-3, and 1645. 

Where he had been living up to this period, from the time 
of his succeeding to the family estate, is unknown to me ; it 
might have been at Towthorpe, or at York ; but the deter- 
mination of this point is not beyond the power of a laborious 
search, which might bring with it the discovery of some par- 
ticulars concerning his position and character. One thing is 
certain, that his wife was producing him almost yearly a son 
or a daughter, as the four children whom we have mentioned 
ivere among the latest born of his very numerous family, four- 
teen daughters and three sons. 

Worsborough is a village in the southern part of Yorkshire, 
on the road from Sheffield to Barnsley, as the turnpike roads 
formerly were. It is seated near the stream of the Dove, 
which flows along a dale called Worsborough Dale, where 
were several homesteads, inhabited by families of the lesser 
gentry, some of whom could trace themselves from remote 
ancestors living in the same vicinity. The inhabitants have 
long been accustomed to point out one particular house, in 



which they say the mother of Pope was born. It is called 
Marrow House ; but, whatever may be the evidence for the 
claim of this particular mansion, there cannot be a doubt that 
the Poet's grandfather was for some years a parishioner of 
Worsborough, where we find these entries in the Eegister of 
Baptisms : — 

1641, Nov. 20. Martha, daughter of Mr, William Turner. 

1642, June 18. Edith, daughter of Mr. William Turner. 

1643, Sept. 1. Margaret, daughter of Mr. "\A'illiam Turner, 
1645, Nov. 25, Jane, daughter of Mr. William Turner. 

Thenceforward we lose the benefit of the testimony of the 

It will be observed that this was while the Civil Wars were 
at their height, in which two of the sons died, being on the 
King's side: not that this affords us any hint or presumption 
respecting the circumstances which brought Mr, Turner to 

W^hoever may have been the P. T. who communicated to 
Curl the particulars before given of the history of the Poet's 
father and maternal grandfather, they contain, few as they are, 
one specific statement which tallies with his residence in this 
part of the county, far from the districts where his estates 
lay. He was, says P. T., of " Burfit Hall," in Yorkshire, 
This can be no other place than Birthwaite Hall, at no great 
distance from Worsborough, but in the parish of Darton. It 
was the seat of the family of Burdet of Birthwaite — not that 
of the late Sir Prancis Burdett — though Francis was a fa- 
^•ourite name with these Yorkshire baronets. At the period 
with which we are concerned, this Yorkshire family were in 
great straits, and Birthwaite, in 1643, became the property of 
an heir of only a year and a half old. Furthermore, their 


POPE. 35 

affairs were placed very mucli in the hands of their relative, 
Mr. Eockley, of Rockley, which is in Worsborough ; and in 
the absence of any positive evidence, without any choice but 
to fall back upon conjecture, or be silent, I would suggest 
that Mr. Turner's residence in these parts of the West Riding, 
might arise out of some connection with the aifairs of tht- 
Rockleys and Burdets. Rockley, like Turner, had two younger 
sons in the service of King Charles I.^ At both these houses 
Mr. Turner would be only a tenant. 

At what time he returned to York has not been ascer- 
tained. The next thing we know of him is that he was living 
there, in the parish of St. John del Pike, at the time of the 
Heralds' Visitation in 1665. Next that he made his will, de- 
scribing himself " William Turner, senior, of the city of York, 
gentleman." And, lastly, that in 1671, he, or his son Wil- 
liam, was living in the parish of St. John del Pike, in a house 
with seven hearths, one of the best houses in the parish. 

Here, as is usually the case in inquiries of this nature, we 
gain our best information respecting him from his will, which 
is of considerable extent. It is dated Sept. 4, 1665. He was 
then " grown weak and infirm," but still of sound and dis- 
posing mind and memory, " humbly imploring Almighty God 
to bless and prosper these my intentions and bequests." He 
gives his soul to God, hoping to be saved through the merits 
of Jesus Christ his Saviour, and his body to be interred with 
such decency and solemnity as his executors shall approve. 
He then gives all interest in his messuages in Gotheram Gate, 
York, to his trusty friends Thomas Thompson, of York, notary 
public, and Thomas Tomlinson, of the same city, grocer, to 

' See, for tlie Rocklevs and Burdets, the History of the Deanery 
of Doncaster, vol. ii. pp. 285 and 376. 

36 POPE. 

suffer his dear and loving wife, Thomasine Turner, to take the 
issues as long as she continues his widow and unmarried (" it 
being her desire to have no further interest in them than so 
long as she continues my widow "), and after her death to 
convey them to his seven daughters : — Alice Mawhood the 
wife of Richard Mawhood, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Edith, 
Margaret, and Jane Turner, equally amongst them. He then 
gives his manor of Huston, with its appurtenances in Ruston, 
Wickham, and Marton, and a rent-charge out of the said 
manor, lands, and tithes, of £70, to his wife, so long as she 
continues his widow, and afterwards to his only son, William 
Turner, his heirs and assigns, subject nevertheless to the 
charge heretofore made to my son-in-law Samuel Cooper and 
Christian his wife and their heirs, and to the further charge 
that he shall, within a year after he comes into possession, 
pay the sums hereafter mentioned, namely, to his loving 
daughter, Thomasine Turner, £50, in full of her filial part; 
to Martha, John, and William Haitfield, my grandchildren, 
£50 amongst them ; and to his wife £iO, which is to be given 
by her among her seven daughters first named in his will. 
He gives to the said seven daughters all his money, plate, 
linen, woollen, pewter, brass, household stuft", goods, chattels, 
and personal estate, of what kind soever (saving his wife's 
wearing apparel, rings, and jewels), equally amongst them, for 
the better augmentation of their portions ; desiring and en- 
treating his said wife's great care for their advancement, "con- 
sidering my kindness and love to her by this my will." He 
further gives to his son-in-law Cooper and his wife, and to his 
daughter Thomasine Turner, each twenty shillings, for rings, 
to wear for his sake. He makes his wife executrix, and de- 
sires Thompson and Toralinson to assist her, to each of whom 

POPE. 37 

he gives a ring. The witnesses were E,. Etherington, James 
Tennaut, and Edward Topham, 

This will tends to confirm Pope's representation that two 
of his mother's brothers died in early life. Towthorpe, we 
see, is not mentioned ; probably it had passed from the family : 
but, on the other hand, there seems to have been some addi- 
tion made to what Lancelot the uncle had possessed at Kuston. 
This Huston (for there are two Rustons as well as two Tow- 
thoqDes in Torkshire) is near Scarborough, and Brompton, the 
ancient seat of the Cayley family, as this will plainly shows, 
by mentioning as appurtenances, Wickham and Marton, in 
the same neighbourhood. We have already seen that an in- 
terest was possessed here, in 1710, by Alexander Pope, the 
London merchant, and his son, who seem to have intended to 
sell it to the Vanden Bempd family.^ It was a valuable pro- 

1 I infer tliia from the following letter of Pope's, possibly the only 
letter of dry business written by him which has been preserrcd, 
printed in the book entitled Additions to the Works of Alexander 
Pope, JEsq., 2 vols. 8ro, 1776, vol. ii. p. 30 : — "To John Vanden 
Bempden, Esq., present. Thui'sday. Sir, — Upon what you told me 
when I was last to wait on you, I deferred treating further for the 
rent-charge till you could be more certain what sum you could con- 
veniently raise in present towards the purchase. If there were only 
tlirce of [g. or] four hundred pounds wanting, we would take your 
boud ; for, as to a mortgage on the rent-charge, my father is not 
qualified to take it, for by an act of parliament he cannot buy land, 
though he may sell. However, if you desire to make the purchase 
80011, I beheve I have a friend who will lend you the £1000, on the 
same security you offer us. If you have any scruple, you '11 please 
to tell it me fairly ; but, if this purchase be convenient to you, we 
sliall think of treating with no other, and be ready upon your answer; 
siiiee I tliink wliat I here propose, entirely accomniodatcs all the 

perty; but we cannot but perceive, when we compare this will 
with that of Lancelot Turner, that the prosperity of the family 
had meanwhile declined. 

Pope speaks rather magniloquently of the cause of the 
decline, telling us that " his mother inherited what estate re- 
mained after the sequestrations and forfeitures of her family." 
We are bound to accept this statement ; but, in the printed 
list of compounders, the name of this Mr. Turner does not 
appear, and I have seen no evidence of any sequestration. In 
comparing the wills of Lancelot and William, we must not 
forget that Lancelot's was made at the close of a life passed 
without children, and William's after he had portioned some 
of his fourteen daughters, and had others still remaining in 
his house. 

These children of his grandfather were the only relatives 
of Pope in the preceding generation with whom he appears 
to have kept up mucli acquaintance; and after he became 
distinguished in tlie world, no particular intimacy existed 
between hira and them. We must except, however, his 
mother, for whom he entertained the highest respect and af- 
fection ; and who, he says, had lived with him from the time 
of liis birth, to her death at the age of ninety-three. She sur- 
vived, as we may easily believe, all her brothers and sisters ; 
and of these it now remains to give such an account as the 
few memorials of them which have fallen under my notice 
enable me. They are in no respect interesting except as they 

difficulty you seem to be at. I am, Sir, your very humble servant, 
A. Pope." I conclude this relates to Euston, the Yanden Bempd's 
being then accumulating the estate now enjoyed by their descendant, 
Sir John Vanden Bempd Johnstone, Baronet, whose beautiful seat 
is at Hackness, near to Euston. 

POPE, 39 

are connected witli the life of Pope, wliom it is no exagge- 
ration to designate one of the greatest names among English- 
men, standing, in his own department, with Chaucer, Spenser, 
Shakespeare, Milton, and Dryden, — men of whom, and whose 
connections, men now desire to know all that can be known. 

Of the two Turners, who died in the service of King 
Charles I., we have no account even of their names. The 
other son, named William, left England to serve in the 
Spanish army, which was also the course taken by one of 
the young Eockleys of Worsborough, his "coetanean," and 
probably his friend. He rose in that service to be what Pope 
calls "a general officer"; which distinction, if it gave him 
rank like that of a general in the English service, was one 
that, in such a controversy, Pope was undoubtedly entitled 
to put forward as an honour to the family. I lament that 
more has not been discovered concerning him, and more par- 
ticularly that we have not even that slender piece of auto- 
biography, his will. We know, however, that he retained 
to the time of his death some portion of the family property, 
and left it to his sister, Edith Pope, perhaps then the sole 

Of the fourteen daughters, it would seem that some may 
have died in infancy or in very early life. The General used 
to speak of his ten sisters, and to compare them with the 
five wise and five foolish virgins, that is, five Roman Catho- 
lics, and five of the English Protestant Church ; but which, 
in his opinion, were the wise, and which the -foolish, does 
not appear in the family tradition preserved by John Charles 
Brooke, Somerset Herald, who was descended of one of 

To place them in the exact order of seniority is out of our 

40 POPE. 

power, though a more thorough search in the Yorkshire 
parish registers might enable us to do so. 

All we can pretend to is to place them in an order approxi- 
mate to the truth ; and I need not apprise the reader that 
where we have to deal with so large a family, there must be a 
long interval between the elder and the younger. At the 
birth of Pope, in 1688, his mother was forty-six, and some 
of his aunts must have been sixty, or thereabouts, 

Christiana is named in her father's will as the wife of 
Samuel Cooper. She may be presumed to have been one of 
the elder daughters, her husband having been born in 1609. 
He was the famous miniature-painter of the name, and was 
also noted for his skill in music. His father was a professed 
musician, as we are informed by Aubrey, in his Natural His- 
tory of inUskire. His science may possibly have introduced 
him to the family of Thomasine Turner, to whom, as we have 
seen, some song-books were bequeathed by her uncle. Wal- 
pole knew of Cooper's marriage, and tells us that he lived 
long in France and Holland j also, that he died in London, 
on May 5, 1672, at the age of sixty-three, and was buried in 
St. Pancras Church. All this may be true ; but when he 
says — " I have a drawing of Pope's father as he lay dead in 
his bed, by his brother-in-law. Cooper, which had belonged 
to Mr. Pope," he must be mistaken, as Pope's father outlived 
Cooper many years. More probably it was of Pope's grand- 
father, and Cooper's father-in-law, William Turner. Walpole 
further informs us that the M'idow of Cooper received a 
pension fi'om the Court of France, for whom her husband 
painted several pieces on a b.rger scale than he usually 

Mrs. Cooper survived her husband many years. We are 

POPE. 41 

indebted to Mr. Carrutliers for notes of Ler will, which was 
made on the 16th of May, 1693, and proved on the 28th of 
August following. She desires to be decently buried in the 
Church of St.Pancras, as near to her dear husband as may be. 
She leaves legacies to her sisters, Elizabeth Turner, Alice 
Mawhood, and Mary Turner ; also to her sisters Mace (not 
Marc, as printed by Mr. Carruthers) and Jane Smith. To 
her sister Pope she leaves her mother's picture, — (what has 
become of this ?) — a broad piece of gold to her brothers Mace, 
Calvert, Pope, and Smith ; to her nephew and godson, Alex- 
ander Pope (then five years old), a china dish with a silver 
foot, and instruments which had been used by her husband in 
his art ; and, after the death of her sister, Elizabeth Turner, 
all her books, pictures, and medals. She makes her nephew, 
Samuel Mawhood, citizen and fishmonger, her sole executor. 

It appears that there is or was a monument in the Church 
of St. Pancras to the memory of the Coopers, with arms 
of Cooper impaling those usually assigned to the name of 

Mrs. Cooper was one of the five lloman Catholics. It 
seems probable, though Walpole does not state it, that Cooper 
was originally a musician by profession, as his father was, 
who is better known by his Italianized name Coporario. 

Thomasine, named in her father's will, seems to have left 
the paternal mansion early; for I find a Thomasine Turner 
living at the west end of Turnmill Street in 1645, when she 
was assessed one shilling towards the support of Sir Thomas 
Fairfax's army. In 1642, a receipt had been given to the 
same person for three shillings assessed upon her for the 
tenements she holds of Thomas Stokes, gentleman, in the 
parish of Clcrkenwell, for the subsidy of £400,000 ; and in 

42 POPE. 

another receipt for a very small sum to the same subsidy. It 
is incidentally noticed on this receipt, that Thomas Stokes 
was a Papist. It is hardly likely that there should be two 
Thomasine Turners, unmarried, living at the same time. She 
seems never to have married, and subscribes her maiden name 
as a witness to Mr. Cooper's will. I place her among the 
five Roman Catholic sisters. 

Alice is mentioned in her father's will as the wife of 
Richard Mawhood. She vras one of the elder children, as she 
was eighty-eight at the time of her death, January 15, 17 1*, 
and consequently born in 1625. Her husband resided at 
Ardsley, where he had a good estate, which place being near 
to Worsborough, we are at no loss to account for the con- 
nection thus formed, and may refer it to the period when the 
family were living at Marrow House, especially as we find 
that the eldest son, William Mawhood, who succeeded them 
at Ardsley, was born in 1647, being seventy-eight at the time 
of his death in 1725 ; many persons descend from him. But, 
beside the eldest son, there were eight other children, of whom 
Samuel, a woollen-draper on Snow Hill, was Mrs. Cooper's 
executor. One only of these children was a daughter, who 
lived to the age of eighty-four, dying in 1736, the widow 
of Thomas Brooke of Doncaster. There was another con- 
nection of the Mawhoods with the family of Brooke of York- 
shire, William Brooke of Dodworth having married Alice, 
daughter of William Mawhood, an alderman of Doncaster 
(grandson of Richard Mawhood and Alice Turner) by Mar- 
garet Mawhood his wife, daughter of William, the eldest son 
of Richard and Alice. A son of that marriage was John 
Charles Brooke, the Somerset Herald, a most laborious in- 
quirer into points of genealogy, who has left a large account 

POPE. 43 

of liis relations, the Mawhoods, from which more might be 
extracted were I not, perhaps, too sensible how wearisome 
genealogical details are to many readers. His inquiries about 
his ancestors the Turners were less successful. He knew the 
relationship to Pope, but substitutes for William Turner of 
York, his contemporary, William Turner of Bilham, near 
Doucaster, a person of the same rank, but of a totally dif- 
ferent family. Mrs. Mawhood may be considered to have 
remained a Protestant. 

Another daughter, who must have been among those 
early born of this prolific bed, seems to have died before her 
father, who names in his will, ^Martha, John, and William 
Haitfield, as his grandchildren, 

Edith, baptized in 1642, is spoken of in her father's will 
by her maiden name, — in her sister, Mrs. Cooper's will, in 
1693, as then the wife of Pope the elder. She died in 1733, 
the last survivor of the family. 

Jane, baptized in 1645, married Smith. Both were 

living when Mrs. Cooper made her will in 1693. 

Elizabeth, is named in her father's will, 1665, and her 
sister Cooper's will, 1693, as unmarried. 

Martha, baptized 1641, and named in her father's will. 
Either she or (less probably) her sister Margaret was the wife 

of Calvert, who was living in 1693, according to ]\Irs. 

Cooper's will. J C. Brooke says that she was maintained 
in her old age by her nephew. Captain Charles Mawhood, 
who resided at Alkley, near Doncaster. She was a Roman 

Margaret, baptized 1643. She (or Martha) married a 
clergyman named Mace, There were several clergymen of 
that rare name living at York and in the northern part of 

•i-i POPE. 

Derbyshire. She is named in lier father's will, and, with 
her husband, in her sister Cooper's. 

Ten daughters have uoav been presented before us ; but 
Brooke, who professes to write from the information of the 
elders of the family, speaks of two others, viz., Mrs. Tomlin- 
son, whom we may suppose to have married in the family of 
Tomlinson of York, one of the supervisors of Turner's will ; 
and Mrs. Corbet, who he says was one of the five Roman 
Catholics. She was, I conceive, the Mrs. Corbet on whom Pope 
wrote what pleased Dr. Johnson most of all his epitaphs. 

One of the unmarried daughters, Thomasine, Elizabeth, or 
Mary, must have been the deformed sister who lived with 
Mrs. Pope, and who taught her son to read, according to the 
popular accounts of the Poet. 

"VYe have thus accounted for twelve of the fourteen daugh- 
ters. The remaining two we may well believe died in infancy 
or early youth. 

Whatever excellent qualities Edith may have possessed, it 
w'ould seem that her literary education was not much superior 
to that of other young ladies of her time, and inferior to that 
of many. This is proved by a letter of hers, the only one I 
believe that is known, printed in the Additions to the Works 
of Alexander Fope, Esq., 1776, vol.ii. p. 96.1 

The people of York seem not to have been without a due 
sense of the honour done to their city in having had the 

' The collection of these pieces is usually attributed to Steevens. 
But I am in possession of a copy which belonged to a person who 
claims to be the editor. It is handsomely bound, and has this note 
in his own handwriting on a fly-leaf of the first volume : — " These 
collections were made by me from the Loudon Museum, &c., and the 
Preface written by me, W. C." Lowndes gives this account of the 

POPE. 45 

mother of so great a man residing among them in her youth. 
In some verses addressed to Lady Irwin, a daughter of the 
Earl of Carlisle, these lines occur : — 

York lent us Pope by th' mother's side : 
But from th' paternal, this our pride 
Gives Castle Howard : say which here 
Illumines most the natal sphere. 

On the whole, then, it will appear that Pope descended of 
a clerical family, the members of it being much connected 
with the University of Oxford ; but that at present we can 
trace him only to a person of his own name, who was rector 
of Thruxton and prebendary (if the incumbents are so called) 
of Middleton and Ichen- Abbots, in the diocese of Winchester : 
that these, being rather conspicuous pieces of preferment, 
place him in the higher rank of the clergy of his time, and 
seem to be but the beginning of the offices he would have 
held in the Church, had he not died in rather early life, and 
had not the changes at that time imminent, stopped him in 
his course : — that, though we cannot ascend beyond him on 
evidence that would bear a close examination, there is strong 
presumptive evidence that he was either identical or nearly 
connected with an Alexander Pope of Oxford, the friend of 
Dr. Barcroft, and the son-in-law of the famous John Dodd of 
Fawsley, and the father of Dr. Walter Pope, the Greshani 
Professor, the Poet, and the miscellaneous writer, who was 

book, " culled, says Mr. Park, by Baldwin, from the communications 
by Mr. Steevens in the St. James's Chronicle, and put forth with a 
Preface by William Cooke, Esq." There is an account of Cooke in 
the Biographia Dramatica, 870. 1812. p. 147. 

46 POPE. 

lialf-brotlier of Dr. John Wilkins, the Bishop of Chester, who 
married a sister of the Protector Cromwell : — that there is no 
reason to believe, on account of disparity of rank, that he was 
not of the same stock as the Popes, Earls of Downe, but, on 
the contrary, that nothing can be more probable than that 
the family tradition was correct, which delivered thus much 
and no more : — that his Oxfordshire ancestors did spring, as 
the Earl of Downe did, from people of small account living 
at Deddington, near Banbury. 

And that, on his mother's side, he sprang from persons who 
had possessed land of their own at Towthorpe, in the North 
Riding of Yorkshire, from perhaps an early period, but who, 
from the time of Elizabeth were lords of the manor: — that 
one of them who died in the reign of James I. was an opulent 
person, and intimate with some of the principal families in 
the county : — that he left the greater part of his possessions 
to his nephew, William Turner, the Poet's grandfather: — that 
in his hands the family estate did not receive any material ad- 
ditions, and perhaps rather decayed : — that he had the charge 
of not fewer than seventeen children, nearly all of whom grew 
to man and woman's estate : — that of the sons, two died 
during the Civil Wars, in which one of them was slain, and 
the other went abroad and served in the Spanish army, and 
at his death gave property, not very inconsiderable remains 
of the family estate, to Edith Pope, his favourite sister. 

And that, this being the case, there is nothing of exag- 
geration or of boasting, when the Poet has to meet the charge 
of being of obscure birth, in asserting that he sprang " of 
gentle blood." 

London ; F. Pickton, Printer, Perry's Place, 29, Oxford Street. 



OF un^^^^s^Ts 



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SOUTH YORKSHIRE.— The History and Topography of the 
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THORESBY, F.R.S., Author of the " Topography of Leeds." 
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It is one of the most pleasing offices of the genealogist to trace tin 
descent and to show the alliances of Genius. 

Hunter's Soxdh I'orkshire, vol.ii. p. 297 




" Lot any one bethink hiiu how impressive the smallest historical 
fact may become, as contrasted with the grandest fictitious event; — 
what an incalculable force lies for us in this consideration; — the 
thing which I here hold imaged in my mind did actually occur; was, 
in very truth, an element in the system of the All whereof I too form 
part ; had therefore, and has, through all time, an authentic being ; 
is not a dream, but a reality !"— Caeltle's Essai/s, vol. iii. p. 43. 


My DEAR Sir, 

In that section of the interesting and 
valuable tract you have recently given to the world, 
which treats of the maternal ancestry of Pope, you 
suggest the possibility of "ascending a generation 
above" Lancelot Turner, the uncle of William 
Turner, the Poet's maternal grandfather. 

Having had the good fortune to discover this higher 
step in the genealogy of the Turners, and to obtain 
some additional information respecting several mem- 
bers of the family, I beg to be permitted to commu- 
nicate to you, in this form, the facts which have 
come to my knowledge. 

The descent of the maternal ancestors of the illus- 
trious Poet may be traced to a source whence many 
families among the present aristocracy of Yorkshire 
have originally sprung, — the trade or commerce of 
the city of York. 

At York, in the reign of King Henry VIII., 
Robert Turner carried on the business of a wax- 
chandler, which, before the Reformation, when this 
commodity in various forms was profusely and con- 
stantly used in the celebration of religious services, 
was a lucrative and important occupation. Had he 
not been a person in good circumstances, and be- 
longing to the higher class of tradesmen, he would 
scarcely have brought up his son to one of the learned 
professions. In the year 1553, "Edward Turner^ 
skryvener," son of Robert Turner, wax-chandler, 
being entitled by patrimony to be admitted to the 
city franchise, was duly enrolled upon the register 
of York freemen. 

This Edward Turner was the father of Lancelot 
Turner; and what you have hazarded as a probable 
conjecture with regard to the son,* is quite true as 
regards the father: he was connected with the Council 
of the North ; and there can be no doubt that great 
part of the property he possessed at the time of his 
death had been acquired by the influence and emolu- 

* " Perhaps as probable a conjecture as is likely to be made is, 
that he was connected with the Council of the North, or a successful 
practitioner in that Court," — Fope Tract, p. 29. 

raents which arose from his official connection with 
that court. 

We have decisive evidence of his having been 
one of the officials of the Council of the North in a 
circumstance which is recorded upon the minutes of 
the proceedings of the corporation of York. Being 
a freeman of tlie city, Edward Turner was liable to 
serve municipal offices ; and it may be regarded as a 
proof of the estimation in which he was held by his 
fellow- citizens, that they thought him a proper person 
to sustain the dignity and responsibility of the office 
of sheriff of the city. In October, 1562, he received 
an intimation from the corporate body, that they 
intended to elect him to be one of their sheriffs 
for the ensuing year. When this was made known 
to the Lord President and Council of the North, 
Mr. Secretary Eymis " went in all haste " to the 
common hall where the corporation were assem- 
bled, and told them that " Edward Turner was a 
clerk to the Council, and they must not make him 

The citizens did not deem it expedient to act in 
opposition to the wishes of the Council thus peremp- 
torily expressed. They abandoned their design of 

6 POPE, 

electing Mr. Turner sheriff, and he was never after- 
wards called upon to bear that or any other office in 
the corporation * It was of more importance to him 
to retain the favour of the Council, than to accept a 
municipal appointment which was attended with no 
profit, and might have interfered with the due dis- 
charge of his official or professional duties. 

The Mr. Secretary Eymis who is here spoken of, 
was Thomas Eymis, Esq., one of the chief func- 
tionaries of the great Court of York for nearly thirty 
years. A gentleman by birth, and, doubtless, a 
lawyer by profession, he was first constituted a mem- 
ber of the Council of the North, and appointed to 
the important office of its secretary, by the commis- 
sion under which the Earl of Shrewsbury was made 
Lord President in the 4th year of King Edward VI. 
After the accession of Queen Elizabeth, under the 
commission which appointed the Earl of Rutland 
Lord President, and under the subsequent commis- 
sions issued in that reign, he continued to hold the 
office of Secretary, and was also Keeper of the 
Queen's Signet. 

From the alarm shown by Mr. Secretary Eymis 
* Another person of the same name was sheriff of York in 1571. 

when he lieard that the efficiency of Edward Turner's 
services as clerk to the Council was in danger of 
being impaired by his advancement to civic honours, 
it seems probable that the appointment he held was 
that of one of the clerks of the seal,* the duties of 
which would be more immediately under Mr. Eymis's 
superintendence. It is obvious, however, that the 
office, whatever name it bore, was of great respect- 
ability, and placed the holder of it upon a footing of 
friendly intercourse with numerous persons of family 
and distinction, members of or connected with the 
Council, who at that period constituted the highest 
class of society in York, 

Edward Turner's place of residence was in the 
centre of the city. The house in which he lived and 
died, stood in that part of the parish of Saint Helen 
Stonegate, which was then called Stayngate, but is 
now known as Saint Helen's Square. This and an 
adjoining mansion occupied by Lady Beckwith (the 
widow of Sir Leonard Beckwith, Knight, one of the 
Council of the North), and several other houses 
situate in the adjacent streets, were his property. 

* Among the numerous oiBcers of whom the court consisted were 
two called Clerks of the Seal.— Torre's MSS. 

8 POPE. 

Some of them he had most probably inherited from 
his father. 

In the year 1562^ when the corporation of York 
contemplated making him sheriff, Edward Turner 
was a married man, and the father of a family. The 
earliest register book of the parish of Saint Helen 
Stonegate, which commences in the year 1568, 
records the baptism of two of his younger children : 
"Lucy Turner, daughter of Edward Turner, gentle- 
man," was baptized on the 24th of February, 1569, 
and a son, named Edward, on the ]2th of August, 
]570. Another son, named Martin, of whom he 
speaks in his will as his youngest son, must have 
been born a very short time before the death of his 
mother, an event which is thus entered in the same 
register : — " Mistris Turner, wife of Edward Turner, 
gentleman, buried 13th June, 1571." I have found 
no clue whatever to the discovery of the name of this 
lady, or of any other particulars relating to her. 

A few months after the usual period of mourning 
had passed, the widowed husband took unto himself 
a second wife. On the 22nd of September, 1572, 
"Mr. Edward Turner and Mrs. Jane Fale" were 
married at the church of the parish of Saint Michael 

POPE. 9 

le Belfrey, in York. INIrs. Jane Fale was tlie widow 
of Mr. Thomas Fale^ who for more than twenty 
years was town-clerk of York, and died in the month 
of March, 1571. 

In the year 1573, Mr.Turner purchased of William 
Wentworth, of Killingwicke, a plot of ground near 
to his own residence, which had been the churchyard 
of the demolished church of Saint Wilfred.* 

Of thirty householders of the parish of Saint 
Helen Stonegate, who, in the year 1574, were 
assessed to the relief of the poor, Edward Turner 
paid the highest rate. The amount, when compared 
with modern experience, seems ridiculously small : 
it was no more than fourpence. But this was in 
the very infancy of poor-rates, and, with one or two 
exceptions, the aldermen of the city were the only 
persons who contributed so large a sum as sixpence. 

A few years later, Mr. Turner had to lament the 

loss of his early friend and patron, Mr. Secretary 

Eymis. He died on the 19th of August, 1578; and 

* The mansion in the street now called Lendal (formerly Ald- 
conyngstrete), which was built by Dr. Wintringham, an eminent 
physician, in the early part of the last century, and is now appro- 
priated to tlie use of the judges at the assizes, stands upon part of 
the ancient churchyard of Saint Wilfred, which in the sixteenth 
century was the property of Edward Turner. 

10 POPE. 

in his last will we find a token^ although it be but a 
slight one^ of his regard for the person who had so 
long shared his official labours. 

During his long tenure of the influential and 
lucrative office of Secretary to the Court at York^ 
Mr. Eymis had accumulated great wealth. He 
appears to have participated largely in the distribu- 
tion by the crown of the ecclesiastical property in 
Yorkshire which was confiscated at the Reformation. 
His estate at Heslington, near York, where he built 
for his own residence a stately mansion, consisted 
chiefly of lands which had belonged to the Hospital 
of Saint Leonard and the Priory of Saint Andrew, 
two of the religious houses at York. He had pos- 
sessed himself of the estates belonging to a collegiate 
foundation at Lowthorpe in the East Riding. He 
was lessee under the church of York of the prebend 
of Bugthorpe in the same riding, and owner of the 
manors of Bugthorpe and other adjacent places; and 
he had obtained a grant from the crown of the tithes 
of Clifton, near York, which belonged to the rectory 
of Saint Olave in Marygate. He must have been 
remarkable for the state and splendour of his do- 
mestic establishment, having a house in the Minster 

POPE. 11 

Close at York, and another in the Savoy at London; 
and two country houses, one at Bugthorpe, and the 
other at Heslington.* 

The last will of Mr. Eymis was executed on the 
first day of the year in which he died. In this docu- 
ment the name of Edward Turner occurs twice : 
first, in his disposal of a house and close of land, 
without Monk Bar, York, which he states that he 
had purchased of " Edward Turner, gentilman'^ ; 
and secondly, in a bequest of which I must speak 
more at length. The testator gives a life interest 
in nearly the whole of his estates to his wife Eli- 
zabeth; but he does this by means of numer- 
ous separate devises, intailing the various parts of 
his property, after her death, upon his nephews, 
Thomas Eymis, William Eymis, Richard Eymis, 
John Eymis, William Thynne, and Sir John Thynne, 

* In his houses at York and Heslington the rooms were hung 
with costly tapestry, and the buffets laden with gold and silver plate. 
He states in his will, that his plate weighed 759 oz. The Heshngton 
mansion, a short distance from York, was standing nearly as Mr. 
Eymis left it, until a few years ago, when it was almost wholly 
rebuilt by the late owner, Yarburgh Yarburgh, Esq. The principal 
front still remains without much alteration, and presents an admirable 
example of the sumptuous style of domestic architectui-e that pre- 
vailed in the reign of Queen Ehzabeth. 

12 POPE. 

Knight,* varying the order of succession, and intro- 
ducing into some of the limitations the names of 
the younger sons of his nephew, Sir John Thynne, 
and his brother-in-law. Sir Henry Neville, Knight, 
and of two or three other persons, of whom Edward 
Turner is one. 

The tithes of Clifton, which the testator states | 
that he held for a term of years by a grant from | 
the Queen, he gives, after the death of his wife, to 
five of his nephews for their lives successively ; and 
if they all die before the expiration of such term of 
years, he bequeaths the same tithes to "Edward 
Turner, gentilman, and his assigns, during the 
residue of the years then to come, if he live so 
long;" and if not, then "to my friend Robert 
Man, gentilman," in a similar manner, with the 

* The testator was the son of Thomas Eymis, Esq., of Church 
Stretton, in Shropshire, by Joyce or Jocosa, sole daughter and heir 
of Humphrey Gatacre, of Gatacre, in the same county, esquire of 
the body to King Henry VI. The testator's only sister, Margaret 
Eymis, married Thomas Thynne, Esq., and was the mother ol 
William Thynne, and Sir John Thynne, Knight, She appears ulti- 
mately to have become the heir of both her father and her brothers, 
and thus to have carried all the wealth of the Eymis's and Gatacres 
into the family of Thynne. From Sir John Thynne, the nephew 
of Mr. Eymis, who built the magnificent mansion of Longleat, in 
Wiltshire, the Marquesses of Bath are Uneally descended. 

POPE. 13 

ultimate bequest to ''Henry PuUeyne^ my servant." 
The will was proved at York, on the 20th of March, 
1578-9, by the testator's widow, Elizabeth Eymis, 
the residuary legatee and sole executor.* 

Mr. Edward Turner did not long survive his 
patron and superior in office, Mr. Secretary Eymis. 
He died in the month of December, 1580, and was 
buried in the church of the parish of Saint Helen 
Stonegate, of which he had been for many years 
one of the principal inhabitants. A few weeks before 
his death he executed his last will. It is dated the 
27th of November, 1580, and was proved by Lancelot 
Turner, the eldest son and one of the executors, on 
the 31st of January, 1581. After the usual pious 
introduction, the testator, who describes himself 
"Edward Turner, of the cittie of Yorke," without 
any addition, gives to his wife, Jane, for her life, all 
such lauds, &c., as she had already set forth for her 

* On a plain tomb in York Minster was once this epitaph : — 
+ " Here lyeth the body of Thomaa Eymis, esquier, one of her 
Majesty's eomisell estabhshed in the north parties, and secretary 
and keeper of her Highness signett appointed for the said Counsell, 
who married Ehzabeth, one of the daughters of Sir Edward Nevill, 
Knight, and departed out of this hfe to the mercy of God thu 
xixth day of August, An. Dom. 1578."— JSboracum, p. 496. 

14 POPE. 

jointure. He then proceeds to make the following 
disposition of his real estate : — 

" To Lancelot Turner, my son, all my lands 
in possession and reversion, except a tenement 
and garthinge in Stanegate, to him and his heirs 
males ; with remainder to Phillippe Turner, my son, 
and his heirs males; with remainder to Thomas 
Turner, my son, and his heirs males ; with remainder 
to Martyn Turner, my son, and his heirs males; 
with remainder to my own right heirs." 

The following bequests show that the testator's 
personalty was of a costly description :— 

"To my son, Lancelot Turner, my dolphyn of gold; 
to ray wife, all such gold rings and gold tablets as 
she hath in possession ; to Philhpp Turner, my son, 
my ring hoop of gold ; to Thomas Turner, a ring of 
gold, with a graven death's head in it, weighing about 
40s.; to Martyn Turner, a gold ring, with a death's 
head of stone in it ; to Margaret Willowbie, a round 
gold ring of 12s. price, which lieth in my study 
amongst other my rings ; to Elizabeth Martyn, a gold 
ring in a purse, in my far study; to Katherine Turner, 
a ring of an angel weight ; to Margaret Willowbie, 
100 marks in consideration of such reckoning as 

POPE. 15 

is between her and me ; to Elizabeth Martin, £10 
over and beside £6. 13^. 4d. which I owe of the 100 
marks that I promised to her husband for her 
marriage goods; to Katherine Turner, £30 over 
and besides her child's portion ; to Johan Willowbie, 
40*., and to Anne, Elizabeth, and Thomas Willowbie, 
205. each ; to my wife, the tithes of corn and hay 
at Bishopthorpe during her life ; to Martyn Turner, 
my youngest son, twenty marks yearly, out of the 
annuity of £20 granted unto me from William 
Chamberlayne, Esq., and Leonard his son,^ for his 
bringing up at the University, and I commit him 
to the tuition of my wife, to be ruled and ordered 

* These Chamberlaynes were a younger branch of the ancient 
Oxfordshire famUy of that name. It appears from the pedigree 
they recorded at the Heralds' visitation in 1584, that the WilHam 
Chamberlayne named in Edward Turner's will was the first who 
settled at Thoralby, in Yorkshire. It is very probable that he, or 
his son Leonard Chamberlayne, was in some way or other con- 
nected with the Council of the North, which might account for the 
circumstance of their having granted an annuity to Edward Turner. 
Thoralby Hall is in the parish of Bugthorpe, of which Mr. Secretary 
Eymis was the proprietor. Francis Chamberlayne, Esq., the eldest 
son of Sir Leonard Chamberlayne, Knight (as he is styled in tlie 
pedigree), by his first wife, the daughter of Sir WUliam Middleton, 
Knight, of Stockeld, near Wetherby, was living at Thoralby in 
1584 Sir Leonard's second wife was Katherine, daughter of Eoger 
Cholmeley, Esq., of Brandsby, a sister of Lady Beckwith, the tenant 
of Edward Turner. 

16 POPE. 

by her, who I trust will be his good mother, and see 
all his things ordered for his most benefit ; to my 
son, Lancelot, my years in the tithe of Braken-on- 
the-Wold, by grant from the Queen's Majesty ; to 
Thomas Turner, the tenement and garthing in 
Stanegate; to my son, Philip Turner, my years in 
my lands in Clifton which I have by grant from 
the Queen, and my right in the Howe close without 
"Walmgate Bar; to my well-beloved cousin, Mr. 
Henry Maye, the moiety of my leasehold lands in 
Kexbie township, for that he in truth did disburse 
the one half of the money for the obtaining of the 
leases — the other moiety I give to my children, 
Edward, Martyn, and Katherine Turner; to my 
daughter, Margaret Willowbie, my years in a close 
in Scoreby, paying out of it to my sister, Alice Hall, 
widow, 40*. yearly ; to Lancelot Martin, my son-in- 
law, a gold ring of the value of 40^. I will that all 
the ' waynescott, sealings, portalles, binkes, cundetts 
for conveying of water,' &c. in my now dwelling- 
house, and within the house of the Lady Beckwith, 
be heirlooms. To my wife, a stoke of corn which I 
estimate to be twenty quarters of barley ; £30 from 
one Hunter, for the fine or gressam of a tenement 

POPE. 17 

and lands of my said wife in Tockwith ; and a grey 
ambling nag which she useth to ride upon, and 
calleth her own nag, which I esteem at the value of 
£4). To the right worshipful and my singular good 
mistress, Mrs. Eymis,* one old ryal ; to my good 

* Few persons who have visited our noble Minster will have 
failed to notice, affixed to the south side of one of the massive piers 
which support the central tower, a monumental brass engi-aved witli 
the portraiture of a prim old lady in the starched ruff and pinched- 
up coif of the days of Queen Elizabeth. The inscription beneath it 
informs us that this is the effigy of Elizabeth Eymis, widow, late 
the wife of Thomas Eymis, Esq., deceased, who was one of the 
gentlewomen of the Queen's privy chamber, and daughter of Sir 
Edwai'd Nevill, Knight, one of the privy chamber to King Henry the 
Eighth. Mrs. Eymis, " the singular good mistress " of Edwai'd 
Tm-ner, did not long survive him. In her last will, which is dated 
the 31st of January, 1584-5, she desired, if she died at York or 
Heslington, to be buried in the Mmster of York, nigh her late hus- 
band ; and she ordered her executors to provide a stone of marble to 
be set upon a platt, with superscription of her descent, and also the 
arms of her late husband and her own, graven thereupon. Had her 
injunctions been implicitly obeyed by her executors, her monument 
would have shared the fate of that of her husband, and of number- 
less others which have long since disappeared fi*om the nave and 
aisles of York Minster. Her epitaph, bemg written in brass instead 
of marble, has escaped the wear and tear of nearly three centuries. It 
is not irrelevant to my subject to introduce here a few of the bequests 
contained in her will. To " my good Lord of Huntingdon" she gives 
"one portingue of gould"; to "my good ladie his wife," her best silver 
tankard, double gilt ; to her brother. Sir Henry NeviU, Kniglit, slie 
gives her great goblet of silver with a cover, and to her brother, 
Edward Nevill, Esq., her "Jewell of gould with tlio unicorne home 

18 POPE. 

friend Mr. Thomas Sandes^ my cousin Henry Maye, 
and his wife, an old angel each; to my cousin 
Thomas Jackson, and my niece Jane Crosethwaite, 
each a French crown ; to each of the children of my 
late brother-in-law, John Hall, 5s. ; to Edmund 
Fale and his wife, os. each; to Mrs. Maltus, an 
English crown ; to Mrs. Wood, of Kilnwick, a gold 

in the same, maid licke a shippe, and a gilt canne of svlver"; to her 
sister "Frogmorton, my best tuftafitie gowne"; to her very good 
friend, Mr. Pailer, " a tankard of silver, parcel gilt " ; to Alice Hall, 
" one morning gown" and 205. ; and to her god-daughter, Elizabeth 
Darley, one silver spoon. The residuary legatees and executors are 
Eobert Man, and Francis Nevill, the son of Edward Nevill. 
Witnesses — WiUiam Payler, Anne Payler, Thomas Wanton, Alice 
Darley, John Stevenson, Katherine Blenkarne. We have here one 
or two facts showing the intimacy that subsisted between the 
families of Edward Turner and Mrs. Eymis. Alice Hall, one of hei- 
legatees, was the widowed sister of Edward Turner ; Eobert Man, 
her executor, was one of the supervisors of Edward Turner's will ; 
Katherine Blenkarne, one of the witnesses of Mrs. Eymis's will, was 
a daughter of Edward Turner ; John Stevenson, another witness, 
was most probably the person of that name who married Margaret 
Willowbie, another daughter of Edward Turner. 

Mrs. Eymis had reason to be proud of her descent. Her father, 
Sir Edward Nevill, a younger brother of George Nevill, Lord Aber- 
gavenny, was a distinguished ornament of the court of Hemy VIII. 
in its palmiest days. He was one of " the noble troop of strangers" 
who formed the royal masquing party when the King visited Wolsey, 
and fii'st saw Anne Boleyn. A few years after that event, he in- 
curred the displeasure of the suspicious Henry, and was brought to 
the scaffold upon a chai'ge of being implicated in the pretended 
conspiracy of Cardinal Pole and his brothers. 

POPE. 19 

ring^ or two old angels ; to Agnes Walker, of Saint 
Nicholas, 35. 4c?. The residue to my wife, and 
Lancelot Turner, Margaret Willowbie, and Elizabeth 
Martin, my children, whom I make executors; my 
very good friend, Mr. Thomas Wood of Kilnwicke,^ 

* A monumental brass to the memory of the testator's " very 
good friend, Mr. Thomas Wood," is still preserved in the churcli 
of Kilnwick Percy, near Pocklington, in the East Riding of York- 
shire, where he vras buried in the month of October, 1584. The 
inscription has not, I believe, been printed : — 

" Thomas Wood Gentilman, who in warfare hath be, 
He fought in Scotland, in Royall armyes thre, 
Lyeth now buried, in this grave hereunder. 
Of Bulloign when it was English, Clerk comptroller ; 
Of the Ward Court, sixe and twenty yeres together 
Depute Receyvor ; of Yorkshire once eschetor ; 
Gierke of the Statut, in London noble cytye ; 
Collector of Selby, with tenne pound yerely ffe. 
For thought wordes or deeds which to God or man were yll, 
Of bothe he askt forgyveness with glad hart and will. 
He buylt th'owse hereby, and this churche brought in good case : 
God grant his wyfe and sonnes to passe a godly race. — Amen." 

In the seventeenth century, Mary Wood, the grand-daughter of 
tliis Thomas Wood, and the niece and heiress of his eldest son, 
Barney Wood, married Sir Edmund Anderson, Baronet, and car- 
ried the estate of Kilnwick Percy into that family, by whom it 
was long enjoyed. 

Kilnwick Percy is now the beautiful scat and domain of Admiral 
the Honourable Arthur Buncombe, M.P. The Rev. M. A. Lawton, 
vicar of Kilnwick Percy, has obligingly favoured me with a copy of 
the above inscription. 

20 POPE. 

Robert Man, Thomas Blenkharne, John Stephenson, 
and Thomas Smithson, supervisors." 

It does not appear that the testator's wife, who 
survived him, had borne him any children. By the 
aid of his will the issue of his previous marriage may 
be placed in the following order : — 

1. Lancelot, the eldest son. For copious informa- 

tion respecting him, we are indebted to your 

2. Philip, the grandfather of Edith Pope. 

3. Thomas. In the year 1580, "Thomas Turner, 

goldsmith, son of Edward Turner, gentleman," 
was admitted to the city franchise. 

4. Margahet, married, in her father's lifetime, to 

a person of the name of Willowbie. After his 
death she married John Stephenson,* one of 
the supervisors of her father's will. 

* John Stephenson was tlie owner of a " capital messuage" in 
Coney-sti'eet, York, which was occupied by himself and Ralph 
Rokeby, Esq., one of the secretaries of the Council of the North, and 
which was at one time distinguished by the sign of the Bear, and 
afterwards of the Golden Lion. In 1614, Margaret Stephenson 
and her son, John Stephenson (the nephew to whom Lancelot Turner 
bequeathed all his books, except his song-books), sold the messuage 
to Thomas Kaye, who established there an hotel which he called the 
George Inn, a name it retains to this day. 

POPE. 21 

5. Elizabeth, married to Lancelot Martin at the 

Church of Saint Helen Stonegate, on the 17th 
of July, 1580. Thomas Martin, the London 
apprentice, to whom Lancelot Turner gives a 
legacy of £200, was their son. It appears from 
the will of Lancelot Tm-ner, that she was after- 
wards the wife of a person named Hustler. 

6. Katharine, a minor at the time of her father's 

death. She afterwards married Thomas Blenk- 
arne, another of the supervisors of his will. 

7. Lucy, baptized 24th of February, 1569. As she 
t is not named in her father's will, she most 

probably died young. 

8. Edward, baptized 12th of August, 1570. 

9. Martin, the youngest child, about nine years old 

when his father died. 

Mrs. Jane Turner lived several years after she 
became the widow of Edward Turner. Her last will 
is dated the 11th of December, 1588. The bequests 
it contains, are very numerous, and I will mention 
only such of them as seem to be pertinent to our 
present inquiry. 

" To my god-daughter, Jane Newton, the wife of 


22 POPE. 

Miles Newton,* gentleman, one angel." Jane Newton 
was one of the daughters of Ambrose Beckwith of 
Stillingfleet, the brother of Sir Leonard Beckwith, 
whose widow, Lady Beckwith, was the neighbour 
and tenant of Edward Turner. You have shown us 
that Thomasine Newton, Edith Pope's mother, was 
the grand-daughter of Miles Newton and Jane 
Beckwith. t 

"To my son-in-law, Martin Turner," 5s., and a 
tablet of gold which was his father's. " To Phillip 
Turner and Edward Turner, ray sons-in-law," 20^. 
each. " To my daughters-in-law, Elizabeth Martin, 
wife of Lancelot Martin, and Katherine Blenkarne, 
wife of Thomas Blenkarne," gold rings. " To John 
Stephenson, my son-in-law, and Margaret Stephen- 
son, my daughter-in-law," small legacies; and "to 
my sister, Alice Hall, an angel and my black gown 
furred with cunny." 

Among the other legatees are the following 

* MQes Newton was the name of the town-clerk of York who 
died hi 1550, and was succeeded in that ofEce by Thomas Fale, the 
first husband of the testatrix. He was very probably the sam(^ 
person who is named in the Newton pedigree of 1585 as the 
grandfather of the Miles Newton who married Jane Beckwith. 

t Pope Tract, p. 32. 

POPE. 23 

persons of distinction, then resident in York and 
the neighbourhood : — 

Mr, Henry Slingsby, afterwards Sir Henry Slings- 
by. Knight, Vice-President of the Council of the 
North ; and Mrs. Frances Slingsby his wife, daugh- 
ter of William Vavasour of Weston, Esq., by Eliza- 
beth, sister and coheir of Roger Beckwith, Esq., 
eldest son and heir of Sir Leonard Beckwith. 

Mrs. Jane Wood, widow of Thomas Wood of 
Kiln wick Percy gentleman (of whom I have pre- 
viously spoken), and Mr. Barney Wood, their son. 

Mrs. Hilliard, wife of William Hilliard, Esq., 
Recorder of York, afterwards Sir Wm. Hilliard, Knt. 

Mr. John Jenkins (whose son was afterwards Sir 
Henry Jenkins, Knight) , and his wife, and Margaret, 
their daughter. 

Mrs. Darley, the wife of Mr. John Darley of 

* Mr. Johu Darley, of York, and of Kilnhurst in the West 
Eidhig, was a younger son of William Darley, Esq., of Butter- 
crambe, near York. His wife was Alice, daughter of Christopher 
Mountfort, Esq., of Kilnhurst. Mr. John Darley bought the manor 
of Kilnhurst of his wife's brother, Lancelot Mountfort, Esq. Vide 
Hunter's South YorksJiire, vol. ii. p. 49. Mr. Darley's town 
residence was in Coney-street, and it is very probable that he was 
officially connected with the Council of the North. His daughter, 

24 POPE. 

Lady Beckwith, and her son-in-law and daughter, 
Mr. George Harvie,* and Mrs. Frances, his wife. 

The testatrix appointed John Darley and William 
Allen,t draper, executors, and Mr. William Bushell 
and Mr. William Hilliard, supervisors of her will, 
which was proved at York on the 30th November, 
1589. She was buried on the 9th of September 
preceding, in the church of Saint Michael le Belfrey; 
it being her testamentary wish to be interred near 
to her first husband. 

I now pass to the third generation of the Turners ; 
and I will speak first of Philip Turner, who was 
the second son of Edward Turner, and the direct 
ancestor of the great Poet. 

In the year 1586, Philip Turner was admitted 
to the franchise of the city of York, as the son 
of Edward Turner, gentleman. In the register of 

Elizabeth, the god-daughter of Mrs. Eymis, married, for her second 
and third husbands, Sir Edmund Sheffield and Sir William Sheffield, 
sons of the Earl of Mulgrave, who was made Lord President of the 
North upon the accession of James I. 

* George Hervey of Merks in the county of Essex, Esq., married 
Frances, one of the daughters of Sir Leonard Beckwith. 

t William Allen married Jane Beckwith, sister of Sir Leonard 
Beckwith. He was an aldemian of York, and Lord Mayor in 

POPE. 25 

freemen he is called a merchant^ implying that he 
was a member of the chartered company of Mer- 
chant Adventurers, which was then constituted of 
the highest class of York citizens. 

On the 18th of January, 1590, at the church of 
Saint Helen Stonegate, " Phillippe Turner and 
Edeth Gylminge was maryed." This lady was the 
mother of William Turner, in remembrance of whom 
he gave to his daughter Edith her pretty Saxon 
christian-name, and it cannot be uninteresting to 
inquire a little about the family to which she be- 
longed. The name of Gylminge is of rare occur- 
rence in our local annals. In Mr. Drake's volume it 
appears only once ; but I believe that the " William 
Gylmyn " whom the historian^ places at the head 
of a list of the freeholders of York who were present 
at the election of two representatives in Parliament 
on Oct. 28, 158-1, was the father of Edith Gylminge 
who married Philip Turner, as he unquestionably 
was of Christian Gylminge, who, at the same parish 
church, on April 9, 1599, became the first wife of 
George Ellis, Esq., afterwards Sir George Ellis^ 
Knight, a member of the Council of the North. 

* Eboracum, p. 358. 


26 POPE. 

William Gylminge was a vintner, — in modern 
phrase, a wine-merchant. In the sixteenth century 
the vintners were among the most opulent of the York 
tradesmen, no person heing permitted to sell wine 
without having an annual license from the Lord 
Mayor and Aldermen. In the year 1583, William 
Gylminge was one of the eleven persons to whom 
this privilege was exclusively granted. Henry 
Maye, whom Edward Turner names in his will as his 
cousin, and who was an alderman, and lord mayor in 
1586, was another of these eleven vintners. 

William Gylminge died in the year 1591. In his 
will, dated Jan. ^8, 1590-1, he mentions his son 
James, and his daughters Joan and Christian. The 
name of his daughter Edith does not appear; and I 
can only account for the omission, by supposing that 
she had received her child^s portion twelve months 
before, when she became the wife of Philip Tiirner. 
Robert Gylminge, a merchant and goldsmith at 
York, was the brother of William Gylminge. He 
died in the year 1580; and from his will * it may be 

* The will of Eobert Gylminge ia dated April 20, 1571. "I be- 
queath my soule to Almightie God and to all the celestial company 
of Heaven." He makes his wife, Nicholas his son, Mary, Agnes, 

POPE. 27 

inferred that he was engaged in large commercial 
transactions, as he gives to his wife and children 
all his goods '"on this side the sea, or beyond the 

Soon after the marriage of Philip Turner to Edith 
Gylminge, I find him living in the parish of All 
Saints Pavement in York, a part of the city 
which was then inhabited by many of its princi- 
pal merchants. In this parish he continued to 
reside several years, and became the father of a 
numerous family. The baptismal register contains 
these entries : — 

1592, Oct. 3.— Lancelot, son of Philip Turner. 

1593, Nov. 3. — Frances, daughter of Philip Turner. 

1594, Peb. 26.— Martha, daughter of Philip Turner. 
1796, April 14. — Katherine, daughter of Philip 


1597, June 7. — William, son of Philip Turner. 

1598, Oct. 9.— Philip, son of Philip Turner. 
1603, Dec. 4.— John, son of Philip Turner. 

Meriall, and Jane, his daughters, his executors ; and his brother 
William Gylminge, and William Alleyne, draper, supervisors. Proveci 
June 25, 1580. 

28 POPE. 

In the spring of 1604, that dreadful scourge, the 
" Pestilence of the Plague/^ which, in the preceding 
year, had almost desolated the metropolis, made its 
appearance at York, and continued to rage with 
unahated violence in every part of the city for several 
months.* Edith, the wife of Philip Turner, and 
three of his children, Avere victims of this fatal visi- 
tation. The mother died first: the register of All 
Saints Pavement records her burial on July 9, 
1604. The death of her daughters, Martha and 
Katherine, quickly followed. Both were buried on 
the 23rd of the same month. John, her infant son, 
did not long survive his mother; lie was buried on 
the 19th of December. 

After this period I have not met with the slightest 
trace of Philip Turner, or of any of his surviving 
children, except William, who, we now discover, was 
not his first-born son. From the christian-name 
given to Philip's eldest boy, it is pretty certain that 
he was the godson of Jiis uncle Lancelot, and had he 
lived to the age of maturity would have been pre- 

* Mr. Drake states, that in the year 1604, the number of persons 
who died of the plague in York, was 3512. JEboraaim, p. 121. The 
parish of All Saints Pavement lost more than one-third of its 

POPE. 29 

ferred to his younger brother. We must conclude, 
therefore, that his early death made way for William 
to become the oldest surviving son of his father, and 
the heir presumptive of his uncle, who, as we learn 
from your pages,^ having no children of his own, 
ultimately by his will established this nephew in the 
possession of the bulk of his fortune. 

It was but a short time previous to the occurrence 
of the calamity which deprived Philip Turner of his 
wife and three of his children, that Lancelot Turner 
became the owner of Towthorpe. 

An acute critic,t who has taken great interest in 
all matters connected with the genealogy of Pope, 
suggests, as "more than probable, that Lancelot 
Turner himself acquired the property which enabled 
him to make the purchase of the manor of Tow- 
thorpe.^' But the fact seems to be, that he had 
obtained the means of making that purchase by con- 
verting into money part of the property bequeathed 
to him by his father, in the sale of which he had 
prevailed upon his brother Philip to join. Prior to 

* Pope Tract, p. 31. 

t See Athenceum, Nov. 21, 1857. 

30 POPE. 

the year IGOS,"^ they had sold to Robert Watterhouse, 
Esq., the ancient churchyard of Saint Wilfred, and 
the buildings that stood upon it; and in January, 
160^, "Lancelot Turner and Philip Turner of York 
gentlemen, sons of Edward Turner late of York 
gentleman, deceased,^' conveyed to John Smith and 
John Sharpe, two York tradesmen, all the remaining 
property which had belonged to their father, situate 
in the parish of Saint Helen Stonegate, consisting 
of nine dwelling-houses which stood in the several 
streets of Stanegate, Ald-Conyng-strete, Blake-street, 
and Davy gate. 

About this time Lancelot Turner was making 
purchases of copyhold cottages and land at Tow- 
thorpe; and from his having sold his paternal 
property in York, to enable him to become the lord 
of the manor of Towthorpe, and from his manifest 
desire to enlarge the borders of his domain there, 
it might be reasonably inferred that he had some 
ancestral attachment to that place. There can be no 
doubt that a family of the same name, who were 

* In his will dated 8th Dec. 1595, Thomas Buskell of York, 
Esquire, speaks of his " house wherein I do now dwell, which I pur- 
chased of Lancelot Turner of York gentleman." 

POPE. 31 

small landed proprietors, had long been settled there. 
The baptism of John, son of the Robert Turner, of 
Towthorpe, of whose will you give some account,* is 
entered in the parochial register of Huntington, on 
Jan. 11, 1600-1. Robert, the testator, was buried at 
Huntington on Sept. 30, 1626. In April, 1642, 
Richard Turner, doubtless the son and executor of 
Robert, surrendered copyhold land at Strensall, the 
manor to which Towthorpe is appendant, to William 
Turner, doubtless his son, and the grandchild to 
whom Robert bequeaths " the little brown whie." 

Nothing can be more probable than that Robert 
of York, the father of Edward and the grandfathei- 
of Lancelot, sprang from this respectable if not 
opulent family of Turner of Towthorpe, and, accord- 
ing to a practice very common in those days, had 
been transplanted from the country to be brought up 
to a trade in the town. 

I have now to bring to your notice a remarkable 
circumstance which occurred in the earlier part of 
the life of Lancelot Turner. 

You need not be reminded of the bitter persecution 
of Nonconformists that prevailed in the northern 

* Pope Trad, p. 28. 

33 POPE. 

counties whilst the Court of York was under the 
presidency of the Earl of Huntingdon ; and the 
strict watchfulness which the civil authorities were 
specially required by the Government to exercise over 
all persons suspected of any attachment to Popery. 
At the commencement of the year 1594, the magi- 
strates of York were called upon by the Lord President 
and Council of the North, acting in obedience to 
instructions received from the Privy Council, to make 
diligent inquiry as to the number of gentlemen 
resident within their jurisdiction who were sending, 
or had sent, their children abroad under colour of 
learning languages. In the answer which the Lord 
Mayor and Aldermen returned to the communication 
from the Lord President, they certified that Martin 
Turner, son of Edward Turner of York gentleman 
deceased, went over the seas about three years before 
— that he was then at Venice at the University, and 
learning of languages there — and that he was relieved 
and maintained by one Lancelot Turner of York 
gentleman, his brother.* 

The curious facts thus disclosed appear to me to 
admit of only one explanation. We discover that in 
* Corporation Archives. 

POPE. 33 

the year 1591, about twelve months after the death 
of Mrs. Jane Turner, his father's widow, Lancelot 
Turner took the extraordinary step of sending his 
brother, a youth of nineteen, into Italy. We have 
seen the desire of the father, as shown by the testa- 
mentary provision he made for his son Martin, whom 
he probably designed for one of the liberal professions, 
that this his youngest boy should be brought up at 
the university. His solemn injunction to his widow, 
that she should be " a good mother to the boy and 
see all things ordered for his most benefit," was, no 
doubt, piously fulfilled. We cannot imagine, that 
when Edward Turner, an officer of the Council of the 
North, spoke of the university, he had the most 
remote idea of his son being brought up at a Popish 
college. Yet we find that Lancelot Turner, the 
moment he became the youth's natural guardian, 
sent him abroad, and placed him at the University 
of Venice, which was then notorious for being the 
very centre and hotbed of Jesuitism,* 

* It appears that during the latter part of the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth, many of the Roman CathoHcs of York and the neighbour- 
hood chose the city of Venice for their place of refuge. In the year 
1581, a person named Eichard Collinge or Cowling, and his brother 
Thomas, the sons of Ralph Cowling, a York tradesman, who was a 

34 POPE. 

The conclusion seems inevitable, that Lancelot 
Turner was himself a Roman Catholic, and adopted 

Popish recusant, were sent over sea. and ultimately Richard Collinge 
found his way into Italy. Several years afterwards he returned to 
this country, and, apparently whilst he was visiting his friends and 
relatives in Yorkshire, corresponded with a person abroad, whom he 
addresses thus : — Al Molto Magnifico Slgnori il Signore CHulio 
Piccioli, a Venezia. One of his letters to this person, supposed to 
have been written in the year 1599, which was intercepted by the 
Government of Elizabeth, and is now preserved in the State- Paper 
Office, contams the names of several persons connected with York 
and Yorkshire. The most remarkable passage relates to the arch- 
conspirator Guye Fawkes, who must have been sojom-ning at Venice 
at that time. " I entreat your favour and friendship for my cousin- 
germane Mr. Guydo Fawkes, who serveth Sir William, as I imder- 
stand he is in great want, and your worde in his behalfe may stande 
him in greate steede. — — he hath lefte a prettie livinge here 
in this coimtrie, which his mother, being mai-ried to an unthrifty 
husband, since his departure I think hath wasted awaye, yet slie 
and the rest of our friendes are in good health." 

The writer's relationship to Fawkes was most probably through 
the Harringtons, of whom he also speaks: — "Let him tell my cousin 
Martin Harrington that I was at his brother Henry's house at the 
Mounte, but he was not then at home ; he and his wife were all well, 
and have many pretty children." By " the Momite " is meant Mount 
St. John, near Thirsk, where a branch of the family of Harrington 
was then resident, one of whom, William Harrington, a seminary 
priest, was executed at Tyburn, Feb. 18, 1594. Chaloner, part i. 
p. 304. Mrs. ElUn Fawkes, the grandmother of Guye, was a 
Harrington. By her will in 1570, she bequeaths a gold ring to 
WiUiam Harrington, her brother Martin's son. Collinge names 
several other persons then at Venice to whom he is commissioned 
by their relatives in England to send messages ; some of whom, one 
cannot doubt, had emigrated from that part of the kingdom to whicli 

POPE. 35 

the most effectual method of having his brother 
Martin educated and established in the same faith. 

Nevertheless, we have some evidence that at a 
later period he outwardly conformed to the religion 
of the State. One of the important facts you have 

he himself belonged. He makes special mention of D. Worthington, 
*' whose brother hath sent a letter unto him;" and of D. Kellison, 
who he wishes to know that "his brother Valentine is in good 
health." Dr. Worthington, one of the translators of the Douay Bible, 
and Dr. Kellison, were successively presidents of the English 
College at Douay. The letter, which is without date, is subscribed 
" Yours in Christe, Richarde CoUinge." I am indebted to my 
friend Mr. John Bruce, V.P.S.A., for acquainting me with the exist- 
ence of this document, which Mr. Lemon, of the State-Paper Office, 
very obligingly allowed me to peruse. 

Guye Fawkes was not the only native of York who was impHcated 
in the Gunpowder Plot. Edward Oldcorne the Jesuit, who assumed 
the name of Hall, and was the companion of Father Garnett at 
Hendlip and in the Tower, was the son of John Oldcorne, a brick- 
layer at York. He was sent abroad about the year 1584, and was first 
placed at the College of Douay whilst it was stationed at Rheims. He 
was afterwards at Rome, where the General of the Jesuits admitted 
him into their society. Chaloner, part ii. p. 485. He was executed 
at Worcester, April 7, 1606, as a partaker in the Gunpowder Plot 
conspiracy. Jardine, p. 210. A name in Collinge's letter, partly 
obliterated, seems meant for Oldcorne, and renders it pi-obable that 
he was then one of the English residents at Venice. 

We may be sure that when Lancelot Tui'ner despatched his 
youthful brother to Venice, he knew that he was not consigning him 
wholly into the hands of strangers. 

In the list of the Romish Priests and Jesuits resident in and about 
London in 1624, the name of Turner occurs once. — Morgan's 
Phoenix Brltannicus, p. 437. 

36 POPE. 

brought to light concerning him is, that the royal 
grant of Towthorpe was made to him just before the 
Queen's death. Had he then been an avowed Roman 
Catholic, or even suspected of recusancy, he would 
scarcely have obtained such a grant from the Govern- 
ment of Elizabeth. The documents you refer to, 
showing his residence at York after the accession of 
James I., testify that he then stood well with the 
municipal authorities. I may add, by way of corro- 
boration, that in January, 1612, when the royal 
treasury was empty, and the Ministers of James 
resorted to the expedient of raising money for the 
necessities of the State, by sending privy seals into 
the country, Lancelot Turner was one of " twenty 
able commoners " of York, whom the Lord President 
and the Lord Mayor, upon private conference, se- 
lected as persons of sufficient ability to lend money 
to the Crown upon that security. 

The touching incident recorded in the nuncupa- 
tive codicil made by Lancelot Turner in his dying 
moments,'^ shows the close personal friendship which 

* " On Monday next after Twelfth Day, 1620, he revoked nun- 
cupatively the gift of the clock to Sir "William A Iford, saying, ' he 
forgets his old friends,' and gives it to his nephew, William Turner. 
To this were witnesses, Thomasine Newton, Henry Dent, and Alice 

must have subsisted between him and Sir William 
Alford; and this gives plausibility to a conjecture, 
that their families were connected by some tie of 
relationship : possibly the first wife of Edward 
Turner was an Alford. The christian name of 
Lancelot, which Edward Turner bestowed upon his 
eldest son, and which was afterwards given to his 
eldest grandson, had been a favourite name with the 
Alfords. The first occupier of ]Meaux Abbey, after 
the dissolution of monasteries, was Lancelot Alford, 
Esq., who died in 1562, and was succeeded by his 
nephew. Sir Lancelot Alford, who obtained a grant of 
the site of the monastery in 1586, and was knighted 
by King James I., at York, in 1603."^ He was the 
father of Sir William Alford, Lancelot Turner's 
friend. But another and perhaps the more probable 
conjecture is, that the intimacy between these two 
persons had arisen from a community of feeling 
upon the all-important subject of religious faith ; for 
there can be little doubt that Sir William Alford 
was a Roman Catholic. 

Atkinson, who depose that William Turner reminded him that there 
had been much kindness between him and Sir William. This was a 
few days before his death." — To^pe Tract, p. 30. 
* Collectanea Top. et Oeii., vol. iv. p. 178. 


38 POPE. 

In a petition presented by the House of Commons 
to King Charles the First, in the year 1626, nu- 
merous persons are named, holding places of trust 
and authority, whom the petitioners accuse of being 
either Popish recusants, or justly suspected of being 
such. They do not scruple to charge the Lord 
President of the North himself"^ with being ill 
affected in religion; and, among other instances, 
they allege — first, that in the preceding year, the 
Lord President being certified of divers Spanish 
ships -of- war upon the coast of Scarborough, his 
lordship went thither, and took with him the Lord 
Dunbar, Sir Thomas Metham, and Sir William 
Alford, and lay at the house of Lord Eure,t whom 
he knew to be a convict recusant, and did, notwith- 
standing, refuse to disarm him, although he had 
received letters from the Privy Council to that effect ; 
and secondly, that he gave order to Lord Dunbar, 
Sir Thomas Metham, and Sir William Alford, to 
view the forts and munition at Kingston-upon-Hull, 
who made one Kerton, a convict recusant, and 
suspected to be a priest, their clerk in that service. J 

* Emanuel Lord Scrope, afterwards Earl of Sunderland. 

t At Malton. 

X Pari. Eist. vol. vii. p. 286. 

POPE. 39 

It is well known that Lord Dunbar and Sir 
Thomas Metham were Roman Catholics. Had Sir 
WUliam Alford not been of the same religious 
persuasion, he would scarcely have acted as their 
colleague on these occasions. 

The estrangement of which Lancelot Turner com- 
plained, when he revoked his gift of the clock to his 
''good and worthy friend," may possibly have been 
occasioned by Sir William's dislike of that outward 
conformity to Protestantism, which Lancelot had 
found it convenient to assume in his latter days. 

Like other country gentlemen, Lancelot Turner 
had a town-house for his occasional residence, as 
well as his manor-house of Towthorpe. You show 
us that in December, 1619, when he executed his 
last will he is described of Towthorpe ; but you think 
that the codicil, which is dated a few days before his 
death, was probably made at York.* There is no 
doubt that in his last illness he was residing in 
Goodramgate, in the house which his nephew after- 
wards occupied. Part of the street called Goodram- 
gate is in the parish of Saint John del Pike, which 
was then, as it is now, united to the parish of the 
* Pope Tract, p. 31. 

40 POPE. 

Holy Trinity Goodramgate ; and I find in the 
register-book of the united parishes, an entry of the 
burid of " Mr. Lancelot Turner" on Jan. 16, 1620. 

Upon the death of his uncle, William Turner 
made Towthorpe"^ his principal perhaps his only place 
of abode, and exactly two years after that event. 

* At a court held by the lords of the manor of Strensall, in April, 
1622, WiUiam Turner was called as a copyholder of Towthorpe ; 
and again in April, 1624. 

Towthorpe is an insignificant and very secluded village, about 
foui- miles north of York, a little off the high road from thence to 
Sheriff-Hutton. Nothing is now left of the old manor-bouse ; but 
near to the spot where it may be supposed to have stood, a not 
uninteresting object still remains, to carry the mind back to the days 
when Lancelot Turner and his nephew William were the proprie- 
tors. This is a sort of pleasance upon a small scale — a quadran- 
gular plot of ground, about fifty yards square, surrounded by a 
rather broad moat, and thickly planted with fruit-trees arranged 
with some approach to symmetry — two or three of the outer rows 
being nut or filbert trees, the rest apple, pear, and plum. The nut- 
trees are obviously of great age, their stems being strangely con- 
torted, and having attained a thickness seldom seen in this part of 
the country. The other trees have a less aged appearance; and 
probably a temple or summer-house may have formerly been placed 
upon the centre of the little island. A building of this kind, with 
its accompanying moat, was a favourite ornament in the quaint 
pleasure-grounds of the Elizabethan mansion. The moat would 
doubtless form a useful piscaria, especially valuable to persons to 
whom fish was, at certain seasons, an indispensable article of diet. 
At present, instead of seeing carp and tench, as in former days, 
quietly gliding through its waters, on approaching the island our 

POPE. 41 

viz., on Jan. 14, 1621-2, his marriage to Thomasine 
Newton was solemnized at the little church of the 
parish of Huntington, in which the township of 
Towthorpe is situate. The extreme youth of the 
lady was most probably the cause of the postpone- 
ment of the marriage (which, as you observe, had 
evidently been contemplated by the uncle) until the 
expiration of two years after his death. At that time 
she could not have been more than fifteen years old. 
Her father, Christopher Newton, was not of age in 
1604, when his father. Miles Newton, died;* and it 
is pretty certain that he was not then married. 
In what creed either of the parents of Edith Pope 

ears were greeted with the harsh croaking of innumerable frogs and 
toads, the sole inhabitants of the moat. 

Whilst viewing this now sohtary memorial of the past, it was 
impossible to avoid giving a little license to the imagination, and 
peopling the tiny pleasance with the forms of William Turner and 
Thomasine Newton in the happy hours of their courtship and early 
married life, which were spent at Towthorpe, — she musing over one 
of the song-books of their uncle Lancelot, which were so significantly 
reserved by his will for her especial use. 

What a contrast is the dull and uninteresting and most unpic- 
turesque plain of the ancient forest of Galtres, in which the country- 
house of Edith Pope's parents stood, to the glorious vale of the 
Thames, where her illustrious son solaced himself with his trim 
garden, his grotto, and his quincunx ! 

* Miles Newton, of Thorpe, in the county of York, gentleman, 

43 POPE. 

was educated, we have no means of ascertaining, but 
we may reasonably suppose that their religious faith 
would take its colour from that which was professed 
by him of whom they were the adopted children. 
If the Roman Catholic tendency were less manifest 
in them, we see it abundantly developed in their 
numerous offspring, of whom a considerable pro- 
portion, we are told, were avowedly members of the 
ancient church. 

The origin of that particular regard which 
Lancelot Turner had for Thomasine Newton remains 
inexplicable. His having '' household stuff at Kil- 

rnade his will ou May 18, 1604. He desires to be buried in the 
church of Eippon. He gives to his eldest son Richard the bed- 
stead which was his grandfather Thomas Collins's. To his son 
Cliristopher, a bedstead which was his (the testator's) father's. He 
names his wife, Jane Newton ; his son, Henry, and his daughters, 
Katherine, Johanna, Eebecca (to whom he gives the better of the 
cushions which was her grandmother Beckwith's), Dorothy, and 
EHzabetb. He makes his children, Eichard Newton and Christopher 
Newton, executors ; and his brother Leonard Beckwith, and George 
Mallory, supervisors. Proved at York, by Richard Newton only, 
April 8, 1605. 

Richard was the testator's son by his first wife, Eleanor, daughter 
of Tliomas Collins. Christopher and Henry were the sons of his 
second wife, Jane Beckwith. According to the pedigree of the 
Newtons, recorded at the visitation of 1585, tiie grandmother of 
Miles Newton, was one of the distinguished family of Eoos, of 

POPE. 43 

burn," which he bequeathed to her by his will, 
would indicate that he had occasionally resided at 
the house of her parents at that place. The will of 
either of them might have thrown some light upon 
these points ; but such documents, if they exist, have 
hitherto eluded our researches. 

About thirteen months after the marriage of 
William Turner and Thomasine Newton, their first 
child was born. " Christian Turner,* daughter of 
William Turner of Towthorpe gentleman," was 
baptized at Huntington on Feb. 19, 1622-23. The 
second child was a son. On March 30, 1624, 
" George Turner, son of William Turner of Tow- 
thorpe gentleman," was baptized at Huntington. 
This \Tias doubtless one of the youths whose "gentle 
blood was shed in honour's cause." About two 
years afterwards, the second daughter was born — 
Alice, of whom you speak as the wife of Richard 
Mawhood,t was baptized at Huntington on the 
23rd of March, 1625-6. After this time the pa- 

* Afterwards the wife of Samuel Cooper. Your eupposition that 

she was one of the elder daughters, is thus shown to be correct. — 
Pope Tract, p. 40. 

t Fope Tract, p. 12. 

44 POPE. 

rochial register of Huntington ceases to yield any 
information relating to William Turner or his 

In the same year in which he was married, 
William Turner made a purchase, with what specific 
object it is now in vain to inquire, of a house in 
Stonegate, York. In the deed (dated Nov. 5, 1622) 
by which the property was conveyed to him he is 
described "William Turner of Towthropp in the 
county of York gentleman." Whatever may have 
been his motive for purchasing a house in York, he 
did not long retain the ownership of it. By a deed 
dated June 5, 1626, " William Turner of Towthropp 
gentleman, and Thoraasine his wife/^ transferred all 
their interest in the property to William Scott of 
York merchant, and John Lasinbye of Huntington 
yeoman. It may be surmised that Scott and Lasinbye 
were not purchasers, but merely trustees for effecting 
some charitable or other purpose not strictly legal, 
which had soon afterwards been brought into litiga- 
tion or dispute. On June 3, 1630, William Turner, 
who was then at York, joined with AYilliam Scott 
and John Lasinbye in an absolute conveyance of the 
property to Robert Hemsworth and Thomas Hoyle, 

POPE. 45 

aldermen^ and several other persons^ also members 
of the corporation of York. This conveyance is 
stated to have been made in performance of a decree 
of the Court of Chancery^ dated Feb. 20 preceding, 
in accordance with an act of Parliament passed in 
the 43rd year of Queen Elizabeth, intituled '^ An Act 
to redress the Miseinployment of Lands and Tene- 
ments theretofore given to Charitable Uses." Of this 
transaction I will not venture to offer any further 

A chasm of ten years now occurs in my chro- 
nology. I do not again meet with the name of 
William Turner until the year 1640, when he was 
once more a resident in York, most probably 
occupying the same house in Goodramgate in which 
his uncle Lancelot lived and died. The register of 
the united parishes of Saint John del Pike and 
Holy Trinity Goodramgate, contains entries of the 
baptism of " Judith, the daughter of Mr. William 
Turner,'^ on July 16, 1640, and of the burial of 
the same child on Aug. 3 in the same year. The 
removal of the family from York must have taken 
place soon afterwards. For an account of the 
circumstances attending their residence in the 

46 POPE. 

West Riding, I need only refer to your valuable 

I am unable to give any assistance towards dis- 
pelling the obscurity in which that period of the 
history of William Turner is involved, that extends 
from the month of June, 1626, when he is described 
" of Towthrope," until the birth of his daughter 
Judith at York in the summer of 1640. It is clear 
that he was at York in June, 1630 ; but I have met 
with nothing to show where he passed the preceding 
four years or the following ten years. During these 
fourteen years his wife presented him with two sons 
and seven daughters; but I have failed to discover 
the entry of the baptism of any of these children, 
either at York or at Huntington. 

Neither have I succeeded in my attempts to 
ascertain at what time, or under what circumstances, 
William Turner disposed of the manor of Towthorpe. 
John George Smyth, Esq. of Heath, near Wake- 
field, M.P. for the city of York, is the present owner 
of the estate, which was purchased, in the early part 
of the last century, by one of his ancestors, from Sir 
Charles Dalston, Bart., to whom it had descended 

* Fope Tract, pp. 34, 35. 

POPE. 47 

from his grandfather, Sir William Dalston, the first 
baronet of that name. The Dalstons were a Cum- 
berland family, and Sir William had most probably 
acquired the Towthorpe estate by his marriage with 
Anne Bolles, the eldest daughter and coheir of that 
singular person. Lady Bolles of Heath Hall, the 
Baronetess, whose curious history is narrated in 
your interesting "Antiquarian Notices of Lupset, 
the Heath, and Sharlston." 

You state that William Turner was living in the 
parish of Saint John del Pike at the time of the 
Heralds' Visitation in 1665, and was one of the 
persons whom they summoned to appear.^ The 
visits of the heralds at York took place in the 
months of August and September in that year; 
and perhaps you would not have imputed blame to 
him for having neglected that opportunity of record- 
ing his genealogy, had you been aware that he was 
then in his last illness, awaiting a more solemn 
summons. He died within a month after the date 
of his will, and was buried in the church of the 
Holy Trinity Goodramgate, on Oct. 3, 1665. Had 
the heralds made their visitation at York a few 

* Pope Tract, p. 26. 

48 POPE. 

mouths sooner, we should doubtless have possessed 
their testimony, that the Turners were entitled to 
take rank among the gentry of York. But it will 
now, perhaps, be admitted that no such testimony 
is requisite. 

It has been shown by unimpeachable evidence 
that Edward Turner, the great-grandfather of Edith 
Pope, was the son of a substantial citizen of York, who 
flourished in the reign of King Henry VII. ; that, 
having advanced a step higher in the social scale, he 
maintained during great part of the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth the rank of a gentleman, and associated 
upon a footing of equality with the best of the 
inhabitants of a city which was then " the glory of 
the North '^; that, in addition to the property he 
inherited in the city, he acquired lands of consider- 
able value in the county, and these he transmitted 
to his descendants; that his eldest son, Lancelot 
Turner, by means of his paternal fortune, was ena- 
bled, at the commencement of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, to purchase the manor and estate of Towthorpe, 
and thus attain the status of a country gentleman ; 
and in that position, dying childless, was succeeded 
by his nephew, William Turner, v/ho "made choice 

POPE. 49 

of, to be the mother of his children/'"'^ of whom 
Edith Pope was one, a lady who was not only herself 
of good family, but was (as you have remarked f) 
allied with several of the higher Yorkshire gentry. 

That genealogical critic must indeed be fastidious, 
who would deny the Poet^s right to assert that his 
mother was oi gentle blood and of an ancient family . 

The baptismal register of William Turner, by 
which his birth is placed only two or three years 
earlier than the date you have conjecturally assigned 
for that event, shows that he was in his sixty-ninth 
year when he died. His wife survived him nearly 
sixteen years. "Mrs. Turner, widow," was buried 
in the church of the Holy Trinity Goodramgate, 
on Sept. 11, 1681. Administration of the goods of 
"Thomasine Turner of York," who died intestate, was 
granted by the archbishop's court to her daughter 
Mary Turner, spinster, on Dec. 2, 1681. From the 
circumstance of Mary being the sole administratrix 
it may be inferred that the only surviving son, 
William Turner, was then absent from York, and 
that Mary was the oldest of the unmarried daughters 

* Vide Pope's Letter to a Noble Lord. f Pope Tract, p. 32. 


50 POPE. 

who had remained at home* But there is no reason 
to suppose that she had remained there alone. We 

* The two daughters who became Mrs. Mace and Mrs. Tomlinson, 
most probably formed their matrimonial engagements at York during 
tlieir mother's widowhood. These are the names of highly respectable 
York families. The Tomlinsons belonged to the trade aristocracy 
of the city. The Eev. Henry Mace was sub-chanter of York Minster 
from 1661 to 1680 ; Thomas Mace, tlie author of that curious book, 
Mnsick's Monument, published in 1676, was his brother. There 
cannot be any reasonable doubt that the clergyman named Mace, who 
married one of the daugliters of William Turner, either Martha or 
Margaret, was the Rev. Charles Mace, one of the sons of Henry 
Mace, the sub-chanter, who had himself a son baptized by the name 
of Charles, at the collegiate chapel of the sub-chanter and vicars 
choral, near Goodramgate, in York, on Oct. 29, 1682. Christiana 
Cooper, in her will made in 1693, mentions her nephew Charles 
Mace, although she does not give us the christian-name of his 
mother. Athenmum, July 18, 1857. Of the death of the Rev. Charles 
Mace the father, Thomas Gent, the old York printer, in his History 
of Hull, tells an affecting story. It was, he says, about the year 1711, 
when the Rev. Charles Mace, Sen., departed this life. " He died in 
the pulpit ; for as he was preaching in York Castle to the condemned 
prisoners who were to be executed the day following, one of them 
was so hardened as openly to interrupt and even defy him in that 
part of his discourse that hinted at his crime. Which unparalleled 
audacity so deeply pierced the tender minister to the heart (whose 
melting oratory was pathetically employed in moving the unhappy 
wretches to repent of their crying sins, whereby to obtain divine 
mercy), that he instantly fainted away, dropped down, and departed 
this life, to the great sorrow of all those persons who were witnesses 
of his holy life and innocent conversation." Annates Regioduni 
Hullini, by Thomas Gent ; 1735, p. 194. Charles Mace, the son, 
was also a clergyman, and was chosen vicar of the Holy Trinity 
Church at Hull, Dec. 3, 1716. 

POPE. 51 

may presume that Edith was oue of her companions, 
and took part in administering to the comforts of 
their mother's last hours — in assisting to " rock the 
cradle of reposing age." 

Assuming it to have been soon after the Restora- 
tion that William Turner returned to York, his 
daughter Edith was then just entering into woman- 
hood, so that for nearly twenty years of the bloom 
of her life she was domesticated with her family 
within the walls of our venerable city. Their residence 
stood under the very shadow of the towers of our 
cathedral, the parish of Saint John del Pike being 
usually regarded as forming part of the Minster- 
close. The neighbourhood in which they lived was 
crowded with the stately mansions of the dignitaries 
of the church, the higher officers of the ecclesiasti- 
cal courts, and many of the wealthy families of the 
county. We cannot doubt that the Turners moved 
in the best society of which the city could at that 
period boast ; not so brilliant and dignified as when 
it shone with the splendour of the vice-regal court 
of the Lords Presidents of the North; but still 
aristocratic, refined, and intellectual, — a society in 
which Edith Turner might receive that training 

53 POPE. 

which fitted her to hold converse in after-life with 
Bolingbroke, and Congreve, and Swift. 

When, upon the death of Mrs. Turner, the 
daughters who had remained iinder the maternal 
roof at York had to seek a home with their married 
sisters in other parts of the kingdom, it was Edith's 
lot to remove to London, where she became the wife 
of Alexander Pope, and the mother of the Poet, 
whose name you justly designate '' one of the greatest 
among Englishmen." 

It now only remains for me to offer to you my 
cordial thanks for the valuable information and sug- 
gestions with which you have favoured me in the 
progress of my investigation ; and to assure you that 
I shall feel highly gratified if the additional facts I 
have brought to light satisfactorily blend with or 
prove to be in any measure illustrative of those con- 
tained in your more important narrative. 

I must not conclude without gratefully acknow- 
ledging the kindness of my York friends,* who have, 

* The Eev. Canon Hey, vicar of St. Helen Stonegate ; the Rev. 
Thomas Myers, vicar of Holy Trinity Goodramgate ; the Eev. B. E. 

POPE. 53 

with the utmost readiness and liberality, given me 
free access to the records and documents which form 
many of my authorities. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

with much respect, 

most faithfully yours, 


TuE Mount, Yoke, 
April, 1858. 

Metcalfe, vicar of Huntington ; the Rev. James Raine, Jiin., M. A. ; 
William Hudson, Esq., and Joseph Buckle, Esq., Registrars of the 
Court of Probate at York ; William Richardson, Esq., Lord of the 
Manor of Strensall; and Henry Richardson, Esq., my worthy 
successor in the office of Town Clerk of York. 


Pcj-ry's Place, 29, Oxford street.