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" Well I let life pass , and melt in air away l Let Change come after change in rapid motion As wave succeedeth Wave upoi | y the ocean I Gaze we upon the visions of tlie day In such a mood , that they shall ever bring Peace : or , of sorrow ' s wild barp strike the string Calmly , with mingled notes of deep devotion *
1825 . November 21 , at his son ' s rest * dence in Tooting , JMr . William Bicknell , in the 77 th year of his age . This venerable and excellent individual Was formerly master of an academy at Pouder's End , and which was afterwards removed to Tooting . He was at no period of his life ambitious of public notice .
and he passed the evening of his life in tranquil retirement with one of the elder branches of his own family . A firm believer in the truth of the Holy Scriptures , and a diligent and fearless inquirer into the meaning of the sacred text , he exemplified , as well in his domestic relations as in his converse with the world , the
benign spirit of the Christian religion ; and having endeavoured to do the will of his heavenly Father , and to submit to it with patience , he experienced the consolations of the gospel , and met death without the slightest manifestation of fear . Such a happy termination is fitly likened to " falling asleep . " Mr .
Bicknell was born August 12 , 1749 , in the borough of Southwark , where his father carried on business as a worsted-maker , but his family were originally from Somersetshire . When the subject of this memoir was only five years of age , his father died , leaving a young widow and five
infant children . She was , however , a female of very superior powers of mind , and of industrious and active habits , which enabled her very successfully to carry on the business , and to bring up her family . When her son was eight years of age , she sent him to Mr . Wesley ' s school at Kingswood , near Bristol , which at that
time was conducted as a general , boarding-school , though it has since been appropriated to the sons of the Methodist preachers only . The school was then under the superintendence of a Mr . Parkinson , whose care and assiduity as a tutor made a strong impression on the
mind of his young pupil , and of which he always retained a grateful remembrance . From a letter of this worthy man , it appears that he greatly distinguished himself by the progress which he made in the usual branches of an English education , together with the Latin and Greek lan-
guages . Although he continued fot several years at this school , yet on th £ whole he does not appear to have been ver ^ comfortable . In a manuscript memoir of his life he remarks , that " the plan of the school as laid down by Mr . Wesley was well calculated for improvement ; but in the practical part there was great defect . We rose at four in the morning ,
summer and winter , and . were closely confined nearly the whole day . No fire was ever allowed in the school-room , nor any childish games of recreation permitted . 1 have experienced , " he adds , €€ the ill effects of studying so much by candle-light \ vhilst at Kingswood , through my whole life . " He always , however , considered himself under great obligations to this school . Here the
foundation of those active habits , which never left him , were laid , and his mind also became permanently impressed with the importance of religion . " But above all , " he remarks , € t I was instructed in
the knowledge of God and the Christian religion . Here I first received my serious impressions , and these were then so deeply engraven on my mind , that they have never been erased , and I trust they never will . I have reason to be thankful
that the kind providence of God ever cast my lot to be placed under the care of so good and valuable a man as Mr . Parkinson . " After leaving Kingswood in 1760 , he prosecuted his studies under Mr . Lee , a clergyman of the Church of England , and at that time head Master of Queen
Elizabeth ' s Grammar School , in St . Olave ' s , Southwark . Here also his progress was very considerable , and he secured the confidence and respect of his tutor . He was withdrawn from school at an early period , though very desirous of continuing for some time longer , and assisted his mother in her business . Of his mother
he thus speaks : " She was a woman of a very benevolent , charitable and humane temper . She always rose early . Ail who knew her admired her uncommon activity , aswelliu her domestic concerns as in her shop and factory . " The confine ment to which he was now subject
Obituary s *~ Mr . William Bicknell . 49
VOL . XXI . H
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1826, page 49, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2544/page/49/