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his knowledge gave them an earnest of their truth . That zeal is , I apprehend , misplaced , which permits ignorance to assume information for the sake of attempting to keep together a congregation . Where proper supplies cannot be obtained , the place had far better be closed ; for when it is not , the Dissenters , though they may desire to do good , meet only with derision . M . S .
448 Sir R . Clayton ' s Monument to Mr . Firmin .
Selections from " The North American lievieio . " Neglect of German Literature in England . [ In this Journal for ApriJ 1820 , is a review of " Works of the German
Astronomers , " in which instances are given of their being unknown to scientific men labouring in the same department in this country— -this leads to the following passage—] IT is not , indeed , with respect to mathematics and astronomy alone ,
Sir , July 5 , 1821 . WAS looking the other day into I the Life of Thomas Firmin , when I observed , with more attention than I had done before , the following passage , which is at pp . 85 , 86 , of the ed . 1698 , and at p . 70 of the re publication by the Unitarian Society , 1791
-' * My Lady Clayton has so great a re&pect for his memory , that she has , ( with the concurrence of Sir Robert , ) since his death , erected a handsome monument in their garden at Marden , in Surrey , in a walk there , called Mr . Firmin ' s walk , by reason of his
contrivance and activity in it . This monument is a marble pillar , about eight feet high , with an urn , and flowers growing out of the top of it , with this motto , Florescit fun ere virtus ; an emblem , you may conceive , of death and resurrection /'
Then follows " the inscription" on " a marble table fixed to one side of this pillar , " and designed " to perpetuate ( as far as marble and love can do it ) the memory of Thomas Firmin , citizen
of London . " After characterizing Mr . Firmin ' s extraordinary exertions for the public good , under the imjfulse of a " charity not confined to any nation , sect or party , " the inscription is thu 9 concluded :
" His agreeable temper rendering him an extraordinary lover of gardens , he contrived this walk , which bears his name , and where his improving conversation and example are still remembered . But since heaven has better disposed of him , this pillar is erected to charity and friendship by Sir Robert Clayton , and Martha , his lady , who first builded and planted in Marden .
" Born J [ l 632 ] at Ipswich , in Suffolk . Buried [[ 1697 ] in , Christ-church Hospital , London . " I had the curiosity to inquire where Marden was situated , and who were
these titled friends of Firmin . Sir Robert Clayton , I found , was M . P . for London in ten Parliaments which occurred between 1678 and his death in 1707- He was Lord Mayor in 1679 , when he held his mayoralty in his mansion just built in the Old Jewry , and where the London Institution
was opened in 1805 . Mr . Granger CBiog . Hist . HI . 397 ) says of Sir R . Clayton , that he % < well understood and sedulously promoted the commercial , civil and religious interests of his country / ' Becoming " obnoxious to the Duke of York by voting for the Exclusion Bill , he retired from business , and amused himself with building
and planting , after that prince ascended the throne . When the Prince of Orange was at Henley , he was sent in the name of the city of London to compliment him on his arrival / ' Sir Robert Clavton had the honour to be
traduced , under the character of Ishban , in the latter part of Absalom and Ahitophel , the composition of which , " unhappy Dryden , " tired , perhaps , of his servile task , committed to that inferior hireling rhymer , Nahum Tate . Of Martha , the lady of Sir Robert Clayton , I can find no account .
Marden Park , still possessed by a Clayton , is near Godstone , to the right of " the 17 th mile-stone on the road through Croydon to Lewes and Brighton . I wish one of your readers who may be travelling that road would
ascertain and inform you whether the marble pillar is standing , and if " Mr . Firrnin's Walk" is yet to be distinguished , after the changes and chances of 124 years ; for so long has Thomas Firmin now rested from his works of faith and labours of love . N . L . T .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Aug. 2, 1821, page 448, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2503/page/8/