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FAMILY OF POPE.
however, repudiated the "fine pedigree" which his cousin the poet had made out for himself. "He wondered where he got it; he had never heard anything himself of their being descended from the Earls of Downe, and an old maiden aunt, equally related [to Pope], a great genealogist, who was always talking of her family, never mentioned this circumstance, on which she certainly would not have been silent had she known anything of it." The Earl of Guilford (who inherited the English estates of the Earls of Downe) had examined the pedigrees and descents of that family, and was sure that there were none of the name of Pope left who could be descended from it. The Heralds' Office, according to Mr. Bowles, is equally silent on the subject; and the poet, it is probable, had been betrayed into a weakness not singular in the history of great names. Pope claimed to be descended from a lord that he might shame Lord Hervey and Lady Mary; Shakspeare claimed to be descended from ancestors distinguished in the service of Henry VII., that he might obtain a grant of arms to flash in the face of Sir Thomas Lucy and the squires of Warwickshire; but both genealogies are pronounced spurious, and the poets had better have trusted to the underived honours of genius, or imitated the spirit of Pope's witty friend, Chesterfield, who, on purpose to ridicule assumptions of ancient and distinguished family descent, hung two old portraits on his wall, inscribed Adam de Stanhope and Eve de Stanhope.5
No trace of the poet's grandfather, the reputed clergyman in Hampshire, has been obtained. The list of incumbents in
• Communicated to Warton by John Loveday, of Caversham, Esq. "The Oxford antiquary [Wood's Athen. Oxon.] informs us that Thomas Pope, the young Earl of Downe, died in St. Mary's parish in Oxford, Dec. 28, 1660, aged thirty-eight years; leaving behind him one only daughter, named Elizabeth, who was married to Henry Francis Lee, of Dichley, in Oxfordshire, and afterwards to Robert, Earl of Lindsey. The earldom of Downe went to Thomas Pope, Esq., his uncle, who likewise leaving no male issue, the estate went away among three daughters, the second of whom was married to Sir Francis North, afterwards Lord North of Guilford. Both these Earls of Downe were buried at Wroxton, near Banbury, in Oxfordshire, with their ancestors."-Note to letter of P. T. in Curll's edit. of Pope's Lit. Correspondence, vol. ii.
Walpole: letter to Sir Horace Mann, Sept. 1, 1750. "The ridicule is admirable," adds Walpole.
the Archdeacons' Registry at Winchester goes no farther back than 1660, and the name of Pope does not occur in it; nor is there any will or grant of letters of administration in the Bishops' or Archdeacons' Registry of any person likely to be the grandfather of the poet. Families of the name of Pope were at that time widely scattered over several of the counties of England, and in the registers of the Prerogative Will Office in Doctors' Commons, at least a hundred persons of the name will be found between the years 1600 and 1700.7 It is worthy of notice, that the name was also common at an early period in the north of Scotland, and that its possessors were remarkable for their adherence to the Roman Catholic Church, as well as for the prevalence amongst them, through successive generations, of the Christian name of Alexander. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries there were Popes, traders of good account, in Scotland. In 1546, Alexander Pope appears in a deed of the prebendaries and chaplains of King's College, Aberdeen, and twenty years afterwards he was appointed one of the authorities for the suppression of the "rising heresy" then on the eve of resulting in the Reformation. In the MS. records of the College of Douay is the name of Alexander Pope, a priest, who died in 1596. After the Reformation, in 1622, Alexander and William Pope, burgesses of Aberdeen, were cited before the Kirk Session as Romish recusants. Two other burgesses of that city, George and Gilbert Pope, were driven abroad by the persecution of the Roman Catholics, and are found in France between the years 1630 and 1640-Gilbert at Havre as a trader, and George at Paris as "Garde de Marche," or one of the Scottish Guards of the King of France.8 Another
• Information communicated by Charles Wooldridge, Esq., Winchester, who kindly undertook a search for the purpose.
In Hampshire there was a succession of Popes possessors of Durley. The name is found in all the southern and midland counties, and in London. A certain Richard Pope, scrivener, in St. Nicholas-lane, was law agent, and afterwards churchwarden of the united parishes of St. Edmund the King and St. Nicholas Acons (in which Lombard-street is situated) from 1697 to 1702.
It was long remembered with pride in the families of these "Cavalieros of Fortune," that the Scotch Guard kept the French King company in his private apartments, and that in testimony of their loyalty twenty-six of the number wore white coats of a peculiar fashion, overlaid with lace: six of
THE REV. A. POPE OF CAITHNESS.
branch of the Popes appeared in the county of Ross in the sixteenth century, whence they spread to the neighbouring counties of Sutherland and Caithness. One of these, Hector Pope, Minister of Loth, was one of the last of the parish ministers of Scotland who retained the "prelatical" liturgy and ceremonial. His son, Alexander Pope, was the Presbyterian minister of Reay, a rural parish in the county of Caithness. This northern Alexander Pope entertained a profound admiration for his illustrious namesake of England; and it is a curious and well-ascertained fact, that the simple, enthusiastic clergyman, in the summer of 1732, rode on his pony all the way from Caithness to Twickenham in order to pay the poet a visit. The latter (according to a family, but not very probable, tradition) felt his dignity a little touched by the absence of the necessary "pomp and circumstance" with which the minister first presumed to approach his domicile; but after the ice of outward ceremony had melted, and their intellects had come in contact, the poet was interested in his visitor, and a friendly feeling was established between them. Several interviews took place, the minister dined with Pope and Bolingbroke, and the poet presented his good friend and namesake, the minister of Reay, with a copy of the subscription edition of the Odyssey, in five volumes, quarto-a present which was highly valued, and is still preserved. An occasional correspondence was afterwards kept up between them, of which one letter remains:
"Twickenham, April 28, 1738.
"SIR-I received yours, in which I think you pay me more than is due to me for the accidental advantage which it seems my name has brought you. Whatever that name be, it will prove of value and credit when an honest man bears it, and never else; and therefore I will rather imagine your own good conduct has made it fortunate to you. It is certain I think myself obliged to those persons who do you service in my name, and I am always willing to correspond with you when it can be in any way beneficial to you, as you see by my
these in turn stood next to the royal person on all occasions. Some Scottish antiquaries have attempted to trace the poet to these northern Popes; but the extracts furnished us by Joseph Robertson, Esq., of the Register House, Edinburgh-a zealous and obliging archeologist-do not countenance the supposition.
speedy answer to your last. I should think it an impertinence to write my Lady Sutherland, or I would do so to thank her for the great distinction you tell me she shows me, who have no other merit than loving it wherever I find it, be it in persons of quality or peasants. I am not any altered from what you saw me only by some years, which give me less solicitude for myself (as I am going to want nothing ere it be long), than for others who are to live after me in a world which is none of the best. I am, sincerely, your well-wisher and affectionate servant-A. POPE.
"To Mr. Alexander Pope, at Thurso, in the county of Caithness, North Britain."
In the case of his maternal parent, Pope has stated that she was the daughter of William Turner, Esq., of York, who was married to Thomasine Newton. "She had three brothers, one of whom was killed; another died in the service of King Charles [Charles I.]; 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."10 It is certain that in Worsborough Dale, in Yorkshire, a house is still pointed out in which, according to tradition, Editha or Edith Turner was born. This antique mansion is called Marrow House, from the name of a subse
• From certified copy in the possession of W. Murray, Esq., of Geanies, Ross-shire. The original was in the hands of the late Joseph Gordon, W.S., Edinburgh. Mr. Pope, the clergyman, was a good scholar and antiquary. He translated Torfous's Orcades, and was author of the Description of the Shires of Caithness, Strathnaver, and Sutherland. (See Pennant's Tour, 1774.) Also, Description of the Dune of Dornadilla, Archæologia, 1779.
10 Note on Epistle to Arbuthnot, and account of Mrs. Pope's death in Grub-street Journal, June 14, 1733. The latter was evidently written by the poet. In the biographical statement sent to Curll, signed "P. T." (which we assume to have been Pope's), it is also mentioned that his mother แ was one of the seventeen children of William Turnor, Esq., formerly of Burfit Hall, in the * * Riding of Yorkshire: two of her brothers were killed in the Civil Wars." In a letter to Swift, dated March 29, Pope says that the previous day was his mother's birthday. The poet's parents were apparently both of the same age, born in 1642, and consequently in their forty-sixth year at the time of Pope's birth. The latter states that his mother was ninety-three years of age at the period of her death, in 1733, but the entry in the register (her baptism following that of an elder sister) would seem to make her age only ninety-one. Swift had the same impression. "I buried the famous General Meredith's father last night in my cathedral; he was ninety-six years old, so that Mrs. Pope may live seven years longer."-Letter to Gay, May 4, 1732.
quent owner of the property; but its ancient name was Godscroft. The baptism of the poet's mother, together with that of three of her sisters, is recorded in the parish register of Worsborough, and is quoted by Mr. Hunter in his account of the Deanery of Doncaster:
1641. Nov. 20, baptised Martha, daughter of Mr. William Turner. 1642. June 18, baptised Edith, daughter of Mr. William Turner. 1643. Sept. 1, baptised Margaret, daughter of Mr. William Turner. 1645. Nov. 25, baptised Jane, daughter of Mr. William Turner.
Neither Mr. Hunter nor a previous genealogist, Brooke, had been able to trace this William Turner's connexion with Worsborough (of which he was apparently not a native), or to bring to light any circumstances of his situation in life; but the former concludes that the addition of "Mr." would not have been at that period given to his name if he had not been