Andrew Brice, printer of Exeter: an agreeable biographical gallimaufry
The Exeter printer Andrew Brice is presented here in his own words and those of his contemporaries. Although Andrew Brice never published a biography, he emerges very much as an individual through his many publications. His writings present a vivid view of this colourful character, his breadth of reading, his wide range of interests, his campaigns and conflicts and, perhaps above all, his love for his native Exeter and his hopes for its improvement.
The main facts of his life can be briefly told: Born in Exeter in 1692, the son of a shoemaker, he absconded from his master Joseph Bliss and founded a newspaper The Postmaster in 1717. This continued under a variety of names until long after his death. In 1727 he ran a campaign in support of imprisoned debtors and in 1730, after an expensive lawsuit with the gaoler, he was confined to his house to avoid imprisonment for debt. During this time he wrote a poem Freedom. Other works from his pen include The Mobiad, a mock-heroic account of a 1737 election, not published until 1770, and The grand gazetteer first issued in parts between 1752 and 1755. He was briefly active as a printer in Truro in 1742. He was a great supporter of the stage, writing prologues and even appearing in character parts. He took Barnabas Thorne into partnership in 1769 and retired, dying in 1773, reputedly the oldest master printer in England.
But this bare account can be richly clothed in the words of Andrew and his contemporaries, as the following anthology shows.
1692 Freedom (1730). Andrew Brice gives an account of his early years.
I've kept a Printing-House in my native Exeter above 14 years. As it's very necessary, 'twill not, I hope, be deemed Vanity, to hint, that my Father designing me not for a Secular Imploy, an Education not common to All of our Profession was my Portion. Nor will it be unfair however unprofitable, to premise, That the Argument how much, both by principle and natural Genius, I appear'd formed to serve my Generation in the capacity of a Printer, particularly by obviating the scandalous Insinuations spread perpetually by Presses, in this City, disaffected to our happy Constitution and Establishment, urg'd on me by Gentlemen Eminent for Loyalty, was the prime Motive of my forgoing my delightful Studies, and bidding welcome to servile Toil, to qualify myself for the Duty.
1715 December 30. Protestant mercury. Joseph Bliss advertises the absconding of Andrew Brice.
Whereas Andrew Brice, who is my Lawful Apprentice, hath, without any Cause, in the midst of a Flush of Business, and when I was disabled by Illness from working myself, roguishly absconded and deserted from my Service, to my present great loss of Businress [sic], and Damage, this is to forbid all persons to entertain or employ the said Andrew Brice in any Business, or upon any Account whatsoever; for, acting by the Advice of the Learned in the Law, I am resolved, upon Notice thereof to prosecute such as shall do so. If he returns not to my Business in a very short Time, I shal apply myself to the Magistrates of this City for Justice in this Case.
N.B. I am inform'd his Dependence is on Mr. Bishop; but I am greatly deceiv'd, if He is not a Person of more Sense; and better understands what belongs to an Apprentice, than to encourage such a rascal as shall so basely leave his Master without the least Cause.
1717 March 22. Protestant mercury. Joseph Bliss mentions Andrew Brice as a rival newspaper publisher.
N.B. Having received reiterated Assurances from several Gentlemen, that, notwithstanding that Villain Brice's Opposition against me, they are firmly resolved to continue in my Interest: To oblige them therefore, and the rest of my Customers, I shall for the future publish my News on no worse Paper than this, Price One Penny. I can't forbear remarking, how that sorry Rascal has opened his Printing press with a most ridiculous and shabby Advertisement, and a shameful obscene bawdy Ballad, which deserves to be burnt. Curious Specimens of Rare Genius and Great Capacity!
1718 December 18. Journals of the House of Commons v. 19, p.43 (Brushfield 16)
A Complaint being made to the House, of a printed Pamphlet, intituled, "The Postmaster, or, The Loyal Mercury, November the 28th, 1718; Exon, Printed by Andrew Brice, at the Head of the Serge-Market in Southgate-street;" wherein the Resolutions of this House are falsely represented and printed, in Contempt of the Order, and in Breach of the Privilege, of this House;
The said Pamphlet was delivered in at the Clerk's Table:
And several Paragraphs thereof were read.
Ordered, That the said Andrew Brice do attend this House upon Wednesday the Fourteenth Day of January next.
1719 January 14. Journals of the House of Commons v. 19, p.53
The Orders of the Day being read;
And Andrew Brice, the printer at Exon, attending, according to Order;
He was called in, to the Bar: Where he owned the Printing of the pamphlet complained of; and said, He had the Intelligence from News-Letters sent to Coffee-houses at Exeter.
And then he withdrew.
Resolved, That Andrew Brice, Printer at Exeter, having printed the Proceedings of this House, in Contempt of their Order, is guilty of a Breach of the Privilege of this House.
Ordered, That the said Andrew Brice be, for the said Breach of Privilege, taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House.
1719 January 15. Journals of the House of Commons v. 19, p.54
A Petition of Andrew Brice, Printer at Exeter, in Custody of the Serjeant at Arms, for a Breach of Privilege, for printing the Resolutions of this House, in Contempt of their Order, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Petitioner was committed to the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms for a Breach of Privilege, in printing the Proceedings of the House of Commons, contrary to their Order: That he is sorry for the said Offence , and most humbly begs Pardon for the same, and promises not to offend in the like Nature for the future; And praying to be discharged out of Custody.
Ordered, That the said Andrew Brice be immediately brought to the Bar, in order to his being discharged out of Custody.
And he was accordingly brought to the Bar: Where he, upon his Knees, received a Reprimand from Mr. Speaker; and was discharged out of Custody, paying his Fees.
1725 April 23 Postmaster no. 223 (and last). Andrew Brice inveighs against the new stamp duty
By means of which fresh Imposition, we shall be obliged for the future to print on Stamp'd Paper. And whereas (according to a moderate Computation) I shall pay Duty to His Majesty above 1000l per Annum more than ordinary; 't is humbly hoped my courteous Customers will not, cannot, take it ill, that I find myself absolutely obliged to enhance the Price of my Papers, in Measure proportionable to the heavy Charge, viz., one Halfpenny on each Paper, or 6d per Quarter. ... I hope 't will be allowable for those who wear the Shoe to have a Sense of its Pinching! Well! we must struggle with the Difficulty as well as we can. But I hope our Readers would not think it reasonable for us to bear the whole Burthen, nor leave us in the Lurch for the sake of so small a Trifle as One Halfpenny per Week.
1725 June 11 Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice explains the non-appearance of his newspaper.
To prevent Mistakes and false Reports, It may be requisite, at the Juncture, to inform my Customers, That, thro' the unfortunate Miscarriage of a Letter, I was unfurnish'd with Stamp'd Paper for a Week or two past; after having taken all the care for a Supply (as I reasonably imagined) that Human Prudence would admit of. But, for the future, I dare promise, not only that my Readers shall never more be baulked in this respect, but that very shortly they shall be served so much better to their satisfaction, as probably will be surprising.
1725 October 15. Brice's Weekly Journal. Andrew Brice introduces the History of the Pirates, printed in competition with the Farleys.
Malice and Envy cannot deny, but my Papers have often been adorn'd with some Performances worthy to be ranked with the Best, according to their respective Kinds and Classes: Which, were they collected into a Volume, would make perhaps a less despicable Figure than now they may in the Eyes of many. It was the Complaint of the SPECTATOR himself how great the Difficulty was of pleasing the Generality of Readers (whose Humours and Dispositions so greatly vary) by publishing his Lucubrations in single papers. ... As therefore it is my Duty, --- more especially since every Paper bears the blushing Blood-colour'd Mark of the wholesome Severity lately stamp'd upon us, which is still like to bear the threatening Motto of Semper eadem; --- since the Clemency and Indulgence of powerful Friends [i.e. the Farleys] have kindly rid us of above half the Burthen of former Profit, and the Fatigue of serving so many Customers as we were wont to do (for a vast Number will not pay the imposed What-d'ye-call-it; as perhaps not seeing the necessity thereof in a Time of profound Peace); --- yea .... since it has pleased the mighty Dispensers of our Fate to take to themselves the Soul of our dear Business, now departed! --- but especially since we must either live on the poor remaining more than half-pick'd Bones of Trade or starve - I say, since these Things are so, I cannot but think it incumbent on me to endeavour the Preservation of that very short Commons, by pleasing as much as possible the Remnant of Customers which escaped the wide Sweep of the fatal Besom.
I had it in my Thoughts to insert in my Papers, according to my Method in former Days, a Portion of The History of the PYRATES, as soon as I had the Perusal of the Volume which contain'd it, at its first Publication. But reflecting that such was the Practice of the Grubstreet Authors alone, and it might be pleasing only to Vulgar Readers; for that if it prov'd taking, but a very few would be unfurnish'd with the original, which might be had at every Bookseller's Shop, before I had gone a quarter Way through the same; And moreover since I had such great and generous Assistance given me for furnishing out newer, and a much greater Variety of Ingenious and diverting Entertainments I soon laid the design aside. But whereas one has attempted to graft on my Stock, and undertaken to "OBLIGE his Readers with the True History of the PYRATES from their first Rise and Settlement in the Island of Providence" And lest the Want of any Thing in mine which might be found in the Performance of another should be urged by any to its Prejudice, I have re-assumed my Resolution of publishing these in a faithful Abridgement of the same.
1725 December 24. Brice's Weekly Journal. Predictions, &c. for Christmas Morning.
Two maudlin Religionists at an Ale-house, who never trouble Church or Meeting with their Company, in their Zeal forgetting their House and Bed, maintain Dispute for more than 13 (not Glasses, but Quarts) in Defence of their different Opinions. The Dissenter tenaciously holds his own, 'till he disgorges it with his Ale in the Face of his Antagonist; and the other Champion swears lustily to stand by the Church ... 'till he drops asleep under the Table.
The Six-a-Clock Bell begins to toll. Betty Wagtail steals slily from the 'Prentice's Bed, to unmake her own, before she dares venture out to Morning Prayer.
At Seven those who lie steep'd in the fancied Sweets of unlawful Pleasures, like Flies in a Treacle-barrel, begin to rouse up and shake themselves, like Sampson rising from the Lap of Dalilah, lest the Philistines should come upon them.
Day-light appears, when many who have watch'd all Night not caring for the double Duty of likewise praying by Day, reel home to Bed, to snore out the Hours they ought to employ at Church.
Greater hacking of Roast-Pork and Beef about the Hours of 8 and 9, than ever was committed by the Duke of Berwick's Troopers and Dragoons at the Battle of Almanza.
Many devout Countenances may be seen in several Congregations about 10 and 11, but whose Souls pant greatly after the savoury Provision at their Kitchen fires.
Parson Philophagus dispatches his Text as dexterously as an hungry Judge does a doubtful cause, lest his full-dress'd Dinner should be spoil'd.
Greater Vigour and Courage will be shewn at One a-Clock, by several moroding Parties, in storming Goose-Castles, Cover'd-Ways of Gibblets, and Redoubts of Chicken, than appear'd in the main Body of Confederates, in attacking the Out-Works of the Enemy in Flanders. Nor will the Eating Army think they have their Bellies full, half so soon as did the Fighters.
1725. December 31. Brice's Weekly Journal. Andrew Brice apologises for his profanity.
Understanding that some Parts of my last JOURNAL have given great Offence to Good People, especially as abusive of the Scripture, by applying Phrases in it of the most venerable Import to a vile Sense; I acknowledge hereby the Justice of the charge, am sincerely sorry for it, and promise my utmost Care hereafter not to print any Thing in the least prejudicial to Piety and Good Manners.
[...] As Providence has plac'd me in a Station wherein (however unequal to the Task) I am sometimes obliged to be an Author as well as Printer, ... I conceived it might be of Use, if among other Things which I had (and yet may have) in View, I ventur'd to satyrize the scandalous Encouragement given to the abominable Prophaneness, Wantoness, and Debauchery, which constantly ushers in the Christmas Morning in this City, chiefly by Means of a Parcel of Idle sottish Fellows, who roam about the Streets, bawling out what they call their Carols, &c. &c. whereby our blessed Saviour is really made the Song of the Drunkard. And one Evening falling in with two or three Young Gentlemen who were reading part of Tom Brown's Works, I must confess I bore so great a Share in the Diversion of the Company, that I resolved to pursue my Design, somewhat after the manner of that Author by Way of Ridicule; which Method I thought would be miscere utile dulci, as my good Correspondent above advises, and was the best calculated for working the desired Effect. Perhaps I have been so unfortunate as to imitate the Style and Humour of my Pattern but too well, by so freely indulging in over-luxuriant Fancy, which produced the Fruit whereof I am now ashamed. [...] And tho' I will not, cannot entirely vindicate the Double Entendres made use of, yet what I have hinted at concerning the wandering Females, &c. probably has in it too much of Reality. [...] I hope, no Person will censure or blame what I said concerning the Throwing at Cocks, seeing no part of the World can match this City (at least with respect to the long Continuance of the Practice) in the barbarous and ungrateful Treatment given those generous Creatures.
1726 August 26. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew introduces a poem written in the early hours for the Lord Chancellor Peter King's visit to his native Exeter.
[...] about Noon Yesterday His Lordship, with his Lady, arrived here, having been met on the Road and waited on hither by divers Coaches of the Gentlemen of the City [...] I'm not insensible it's a Piece of Presumption, and hope for Pardon only in his Lordship's Goodness, that I (so unequal to the Task) could not refrain expressing my Share of the general Joy, and grateful Sense of Honour done our City in a poetical Essay. We'll suppose it set to the old Tune of one Line for Sense and another for Rhyme; and I doubt not Faults abundant will be found therein. All I can say is, It's written in Hurry between many Interruptions, and publish'd with Precipitation; being the Dictates of a warm zealous Heart and weak Brain, which I had scarce Time to review: not a Line being written 'till Yesterday, nor compos'd for the press 'till 4 a-clock this Morning. Yet peradventure Ten righteous Lines may be found therein [...]
1727 September 23. Brice's Weekly Journal. Four shoemakers in a garret chide Andrew.
Here are four of us as true Fuddling Blades as ever united dissenting Soles, who Weekly join our Halfpence a-piece to buy your Paper, and spend Three-Half-Pence a-piece more at the Reading of it. So that we are above those your narrow sol'd Half-penny Friends that hire your Works of the Rascally Hawker, who pisses the Fruits of your Hands and Brains against a Wall, or scatters 'em in an Alley. But see the grateful Return you make us! [...] Pray, Sir, what do you mean by inserting St. Crispin in the List of your Romantick Saints, your St. Winifreds, and Seven Sleepers, to the blackening the Gentle Craft [...] Sir, our very Hairs bristle at the Indignity [...] We defy you to meet us to dispute the matter. [...] Sir, yours,
Timothy Bounce, Ferdinand Roarer, Gregory Rant, Benjamin Tope.
1727 January 13. Brice's Weekly Journal. Andrew Brice attacks the Farleys.
Tho' I readily confess, I have found no other cause to love any of the Farleys besides the positive Command of loving my Enemies, yet I assure the reader I have borne such Injuries from 'em without Complaint or seeking a Redress, as a perfect Moses would scarce endure. [...] In short, encouraged by the Example of Him who once whipp'd the Thieves out of the Temple, I, a voluntary Mastix of a vile Plagiary and factious Sower of Disrespect, if not Sedition, (a Rapparee in a twofold Sense) once again resume the light airy Lash of merry Satyr and Invective.
Are you ready? You know what I told you to expect; and may chance not to have disappointed my Hopes, of letting the World see what a mighty Author, and how finely bound in Calf, you really are, by some Specimen worthy of you in your this Day's Journal. [...] pray my Friend, if you have any Love for me, tell me what Notion you can form of yourself, or what Conception do you think others can entertain of you? Inform me how, for the Honour of Authors and Printers, I shall answer such as may happen to inquire whether our Brother Author and my Fellow Tradesman be a Blockhead or a Rascal? What reply can I make to their Urging, That if he observed any Evil Insinuations seemingly figur'd out, touch'd or lurking in Mr. Observation's scandalous Epistle, &c. that then he must of consequence be granted to be a Rogue for reprinting it: [...]
Ah! Ned, that huge Mortar and Cannon Word, swelling like the Amen of Macbeth, sticks in my throat, and comes out divided as if cut asunder by the Hiccough; - Au-thor! Positively, Ned, thou art enskull'd or cas'd with more impenetrable Brass than all the unborn as well as unbred Doctors, Seventh Sons of Seventh Sons, who ever vended Lies, Nonsense, and Diseases, in a Two-penny Packet, or a Pandora's Box of Pills, thus perpetually to publish thyself for the Author of Tracts, which the whole Town had perus'd long before at the Coffee-houses, [...] But, in the name of the grand Rodian statue, what wouldest thou pretend to be the Author of? Why surely, if thou couldest even dash Friar Bacon's Oracular Bust out of Countenance, thou canst not have the Impudence to assert the Parentage to any Thing that holds any Affinity with Sense and Learning; and if thou hadst outstar'd Mist [the Jacobite newspaper publisher] himself thro' the Wooden Casement, certainly thou would'st not own thou art the Author that is Inventer, of the News Paragraphs in thy Paper, tho' I confess there is something of that Kind in the Management, when palming on the Reader for the last Night's News what was stale and flat to all true News-Mongers several Days before. [...] And here let me inform your Head Authorship, that your Under Author himself, however he may be cut out, seems not compleatly finish'd for a publick Writer; who has not shewn, by all his Syllabub Wit, that he understands the common Rules of Grammar, especially one main essential Branch of it Orthography, but makes almost as miserable Havock of the English, as he tells us Signor Rochetti (whom you Mr. Author, out of your profounder Judgement, have styl'd Sir Rochetti) does. What does he intend by THE Camilla? I though Camilla had been a Woman, tho' a Masculine Sort of one; whereas the Article The makes her Gender Neutral, a Thing of I don't know what. Then again his The Two first Persons who presented themselves WAS is not true Concord. And that they should put the poor Candlesnuffer on a large Plume of Feathers is express'd as odly as one would wish. I would rather suppose the Feathers were put on him, than he on them. [...] I should now in Course proceed to make a few Reflections on the other ill designed Essay; but have taken up so much of the allowed Space already, that I must be very brief; [...] The Author's and both Publishers' Design, no Doubt, were base and wicked with a Witness, viz. at least to disperse and scatter cursed Grumble-Seed thro' the Nation; hoping that some might take Root, and in time bring forth Fruit, [...] to intimidate and dispirit his Majesty's Forces and Subjects at this critical and important Juncture.
1727 March 31. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice announces a theatrical performance with a prologue by himself.
On Monday next will be Acted, by the Company of Comedians at the Seven-Stars, St. Thomas's,, the excellent Tragedy (never acted here before, and very rarely any where in the Country) call'd OEdipus, King of Thebes; written by the celebrated Mr. Dryden: With a representation of the Prodigies in the Sky, and other proper Decorations: N.B. They will tarry here but few Days longer.
As the Performances of this Company, in the Opinion of Judges of politer Taste, (however disrelish'd by the insipid Million) may intitle them to better Encouragement than perhaps they have met with, I should be glad to contribute if possible somewhat to their Advantage. With this View, at their request, the following was written, and is with the same Design now printed. I must humbly own it to be no more than a Country Prologue, but which (craving Mercy of the many ingenious Londoners now in Town) may however serve for an Expletive and gratify some few Gentlemen (if they think it worth Twopence) who have desired me to give them copies.
PROLOGUE at the Opening of the Play-House at the Seven Stars. By A.B.
Spoken by Mr. Copen
When Sophocles wrote for th'Anthenian stage,
Poets were deem'd Reformers of the Age,
Whose powerful Strains could strongest Vice controul,
And with fond love of Virtue fire the Soul. [...]
1727 April 28. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice recommends Nahum Tate's King Lear.
The Company of Comedians designing to leave this Place next Week, the last Night, (which is that of Mr. Keel) being on Monday next, they have been prevail'd on to entertain us the Evening following with the Historical Play of K. Leer and his Three Daughters; To which will be a new Prologue, (containing an Argument of the Drama, written and spoken by Mr. Copen.
Seeing this excellent Tragedy has been studied and got up partly at my Request, I think it my Duty, for the sake of the Town (at least such in it as are Friends to the Theatre) as well as the Company, to recommend it as much as in me lies. To do which, as it was never acted in this City, in my Remembrance, nor is likely soon to be perform'd again, since but few Companies dare attempt it, I had at first a Thought of quoting some Passages for a Specimen, which, for the musical and just Diction, fine Sentiments, natural Idea's, moral Reflections, very useful Observations, &c. every Way answering the prime Design of this Noble Kind of Poesy, could not but be admir'd by every Person bless'd with any tolerable Relish of these Things, and might engage many who never read it to attend the Representation, to their great Profit and Delight. I say Who never read it; for methinks not one who has perus'd the same among the Works either of Shakespear or Tate (one the great Miner, the other the skilful Refiner of this Gold-Oar should be able to keep back from it. But for this I at present have neither Time nor Room, and enough may be met with in the Tatler, Spectator, & other celebrated authors ... In lieu thereof I shall rehearse two or three Lines written on a somewhat like Occasion,. apropos. Which 'tis hop'd will be far from discouraging some Parents, over whom Old Saturn perhaps has a greater Influence than Humanity or Health requires; permitting their Children for once to see and understand the great Usefulness of the Stage. ...
1727 June 2. Brice's Weekly Journal. Andrew Brice introduces the Exmoor scolding.
As it's natural and full of Honour to love one's Country, so it's as natural (And why not as praise-worthy?) to love its Language. Thus every Nation is big with Commendations of is own peculiar Dialect. The Spectator informs us of a certain Frenchman wont to bless God that he was born to so fine and cultivated a Speech; whilst that Author, on the other hand, rejoices for the same reason, that he was born an Englishman. Verstegan, that celebrated Antiquary who (a la mode de Genealogy de Jew) derives his Origin from the Ancient Saxons, is luxuriant in his Enconium of the Saissonaeg Tongue; ... Since, therefore, it's esteem'd a Kind of Patriotism to stickle for our Native Speech. - I, in Honour of my matchless Country Devon (flowing no less with Manners than with Coin) whilst Totnesius [John Prince, the historian] celebrates our dead and living Heroes, their mighty Deeds and Words! - shall make it my peculiar Care to transmit to future Times our pure Vernacular Language; lest, by the too frequent Conmigration of Londoners and Bristolians, it should be at length confounded. For which I expect Mr. Bailey's Thanks on his Dictionary's next edition; and question not but Can you spragen Devon? will shortly be as much in Vogue as the old Parlez vous Yorkshire?
1727 July 21. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice experiences an earthquake.
On Wednesday Morning last, as near as I may guess, about 35 Minutes after Four a Clock, was felt here in all Parts of the Town a violent Concussion of the Earth. As I happen'd at that Instant to be thoroughly awake, notwithstanding the vaster Surprise and panick Terrour which may be justly suppos'd therefore to have seiz'd me at such unexperienced dreadful Accident, I may be more qualified to give a true and certain, tho' imperfect, Description of its apparent Circumstances (if the Reader will deign to accept it in a familiar Way, as it occur'd to my Observation) than such as were thereby rous'd and affrighted out of Sleep, as I understand Numbers were, as well as those of my own family. The Weather was profoundly calm, but such as might be call'd rather dull and heavy than serene, scarce stirring the gentlest Breath of Air; when of a sudden my Bed was forcibly agitated and shaken, as I may compare it, as a Bolting-Sieve or Searce is shov'd to and fro to sift your Flour , accompanied with a russling Noise, and Clashing of the Window. Which amazing mighty Shock continued, I believe, above Half a Minute, without Intermission: Insomuch that it awak'd my Wife and little Daughter in a terrible Astonishment, the former of whom could not easily forego the Imagination, after I had heedfully look'd under the Bed and made several Essays to shake or rather shuffle it after the same Fashion to no Purpose, and narrowly search'd each adjoining Room, on a probable Suspicion of some huge Mastiff Dog, or a worse Animal (some villain of a Man)'s being there on a Design of Mischief; - I say it was with Difficulty that I could dispossess her of the troublesome Conceit that it was a Foretoken or Omen of some direful Calamity suddenly to ensue. Nor indeed, I must confess, could I (who am a sort of Infidel with respect to the Faith of our Fore-mothers, and as much as Sceptick touching the Wriggle-Doctrine and Gipsy-Prophecies as Transubstantiation; regarding the Auruspice of sputtering Coal fires, the Soothsaying of blue flaming Candles, the ominous Prognosticks of overturned Salt-cells, or quod praeduxit ab ilice cornix, the hooting and croaking predictions of Owls and Ravens, less than the presaging Twinges of a Corney Toe; - I say, incredulous as I am of such Whims, could I) scarce think what Notion to entertain; 'till, entering the Rooms of others of my Household, I found them coldly sweating under the like Apprehension of having receiv'd a secret Warning or Intelligence of their approaching fate; which soon convinced me to what real Cause I should attribute it, namely some Kind of Earthquake, at least a great Trembling of the Earth; the which I since find confirm'd by Multitudes of People who were surpriz'd and disturb'd at the like Rate.
1727 July. Freedom (1730), p. 121-2. Andrew Brice receives letters from debtors.
Partly to amuse myself and partly to divert, and now and then it may be to inform, some of the Perusers of my Weekly Paper of Intelligence (there being Readers suited to the meanest Writer) , in default of better Supplies from Correspondents, I have (too presumptuously, perhaps) us'd to insert little occasional Essays of my own scribbling. In July and August, 1727, I receiv'd Letters daily from the Sheriff's-Ward of the County of Devon, fill'd with such lamentable Complaints, as to which those against Bambridge can't compare, and such as could not but draw Compassion from any Heart made of penetrable Stuff. Among the rest, one Mr. Cha. Lanyon sent his particular Case; begging, for the cogent Reasons therein, and as I myself hop'd for Mercy and for the Lord Jesus Christ his sake, I would but publish it, as the sole hopeful Mean to preserve him from being most cruelly murder'd in Secret by the Gaoler and his Agents. I could never had the Impudence to implore Help from God in the greatest Extremity, should I have resisted such repeated, earnest, and reasonable Solicitations. Wherefore, (having first sent a private Message to the Governour without receiving Answer, and on September the 1st publish'd, that I had such Complaints address'd to me, which unless redress'd should appear forthwith before the World) on Sept. 8. 1727, the Subsequent was the initial Contents of my Journal.
1727 September 1. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice starts to champion the prisoners in St. Thomas Ward.
The grievances of some cruelly oppressed Prisoners in St. Thomas Ward came too late to be inserted this Week; but unless I have it under my own Hands that they are amply redress'd, they may depend on having them in my next; Which will scarce make for the keeper's Credit or advantage.
1727 September 8. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice introduces the case of Charles Lanyon and John Maddick.
[p. 122] To the few brief reflections which follow it should be premised, that I have no Design upon Individuals or Particulars, who am as much a Stranger to Mr. Lanyon and his case as any Reader whosoever. As that unfortunate Person's and his wretched Colleague's Circumstances (according to their Account) appear very deplorable, on their earnest Application to me to publish them in Hope of some Relief thereby, I should, methinks, go near to renounce Christianity in not granting their Request. ...
[Freedom p. 127] What afterwards I printed I would the whole World were Readers of. I confess the making it my earnest Study, in sundry of my Papers, to rouse the sleeping Duty of Compassion to the most wretched Souls in Prison, and proving (unanswerably proving) it the Interest as well as the Duty of Us All to render their condition as safe and tolerable as may be, by many Arguments; one particularly, because we ourselves, or some whose Welfare we ought to have at Heart, may possibly be subjected to the like one Time or other ...
[There follows The Case of Mr. Charles Lanyon &c. of Newlyn near Penzance, Merchant, a Prisoner in the Sheriff's Ward in St. Thomas's.]
1727 September-October. Freedom, 1730, p. 125. Andrew Brice continues his campaign.
How just and necessary my foregoing general Reflections were the Legislature of the Two Kingdoms have since borne witness. The Goalers hereupon swore and rag'd, and menac'd me with a Vengeance. But as melancholy Advices every Day continued to come to me, from numbers of poor Prisoners, That tho' indeed my charitable Publication of the above had under God contributed to the saving some of them from perishing with Cold and Famine, in moving compassionate Christians to relieve them, yet the cruel Hardships exercis' on them were enhanced.
1727 October 20. Brice's weekly journal. The governor of St. Thomas rebuked.
I should have added, (had it come seasonably to my Knowledge) in my last, that Mr. Bar. Dally, Keeper of Southgate Prison, gave such exhilerating Entertainment on the Coronation-day, to those in his Ward, and some Friends of his own, as made the Conditions of those in Durance for the Time, envied by those that walked at Large; and at Night he made the Prison to look as splendid as a Palace. - - Be it known to my Country-Readers, that that very worthy Governour is as distinguishable for Humanity, Good-nature, Charity and Indulgence to the poor people under his Guard and Care, as He in St. Thomas's is for Revenge, Savageness, Cruelty, and a long Et coetera of abhorred Things which want a Name.
1727 November 10. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice sued by the governor of St. Thomas
Exon. This is to give Notice, that the poor Printer hereof, who expects never to be free from Trouble 'till Death or Dishonesty takes him under Tutelage, was last Week (as twere) sued by the most merciful Governour of St. Thomas's. But he dares lay 2. ob. neither he nor his Councel knows for what. Well! the Comfort is he fears none but God ... However, being just going to drink, Mr. Grand Vile, my humble Service t' ye!
1728 August 16. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice attacks Governor Glanville
... he rode about the Country, visiting many of the Gentlemen impanell'd on the Jury, to prejudice and influence them in his favour ... [the action was adjourned] on frivolous pretences
1729. Freedom (1730, p.126). The lengthy procedure against Andrew Brice.
Time of Assize drawing near, I had Intelligence from the Prison (which came from the very Tablers) that He and his Attorney made the Tour of Devon, to pay due Respect to their Friends, not forgetting some who were ordain'd to be of the special Impannel and the Tales (quales). ... The Tryal of the Cause was got to be put off. Another Assize advanced; and then it being call'd, it was by the adverse Councel propos'd to withdraw the Jurors, and to refer it to the Three Fore-Men (Imps of immortal Fame!). I made but little scruple, seeing at the Time no Reason to imagine there could be pick'd out of all the Race of Adam Three of common Good Nature, Sense, and Reputation, who could possibly be induced to determine to my Prejudice. I was soon, tho' too late, overwhelmed with Blame by Friends, who perceiv'd the Trap, and fretted, while the Adversary triumph'd. A Rule of Court was made exactly to his Satisfaction. But the Son-in-law of one of the 3 Arbiters, before a Summons was sent to me by 'em for a Meeting, publickly bruiting They had already compacted to pass an Award against me, and there being also a Mistake in drawing up the Rule, it was thought adviseable not to meet such a Pack at all. They met, and drank, and feasted, and so forth, again, again, and often; and to crown the Jollity, without ever once hearing a single Word of my Part, conscientiously awarded, That I should pay the Goaler an Hundred Pounds lack Two, and I to give him a release, without his reimbursing me a Dolt of the vast Charge he had unrighteously put me to, purely for my Love and Service even to Themselves, among the rest of mankind, in general obnoxious to Casuality, Misfortunes, and Revolutions. No Hope now remain'd out of the Court of Equity. I therefore filed a Bill against the whole Junto, got an Injunction, &c. But my Foe, to his Shame, prevail'd, and reduced me to the sad Choice of paying down 103 l. (which, after having sustain'd the Cost of above Five Hundred Pounds in the Compass of not many Years, I could not easily perform) going to Prison to be murder'd, or retiring from the Pyrates who rove by Land. God has graciously preserved me these 7 or 8 Months; and, tho' another Attorney has undertaken the Jobb of my Perdition, in God will I yet repose my Trust ... During my Absconsion I wrote and printed this present Poem; which would have appear'd sooner, had not my Confinement, and Grief for the loss of a dear Mother, follow'd by that of one of the best of Wives Man was ever bless'd in, (whose Days I'm too sure were shorten'd partly by this Calamity) impair'd my Health and Strength.
1730 February 27. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice laments his confinement.
I've the sad Choice of paying that other Honourable Man my gentle Adversary above an Hundred Pounds, go to Goal (the Den of Legion Woe), or to retire from and guard against the horrid Catchpole's rapacious Clutches. The first none who can't instruct me honestly to get the Sum (For, like Brutus, I can raise no Money by vile Means), will, I presume, advise me to comply with; the second I've a natural Antipathy against; and therefore the latter, how much soever it rub against the grain, I'm forced to submit to.
During my Recess, I've made a shift to hammer out a Poem in blank ... Verse ... and to it given the Title Freedom.
1730 March 6, repeated March 30 etc. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice announces his poem.
Ready for the Press, to be printed by Subscription, and publish'd with Speed, if suitable Encouragement be given.
FREEDOM: A Poem in blank Verse, form'd after the Model of Mr. Phillips's SPLENDID SHILLING; written in time of Recess from the Claws of Bailiffs, and devouring bloody Fangs of Gaolers, by Andrew Brice.
Rich Freedom's Joys I sing, unparallel'd
Distress and Wail of Wretch in dismal Hole
For Debt absconding, who perpetual dreads
Close Vestigation of Sh'riff's Blood-hound Cry.
Printed by and for the Author, Price Half-a-Crown: no Money being desired 'till the Book deliver'd, and a List of the Subscribers Names, &c (except of such as shall enjoin to the contrary) to be printed with the Work.
SUCH as are really and in Deed my Friends, willing to promote the said piece, or give me a kind small Lift, are desired to send in their own, together with the Names of such as they shall be able influence to join with 'em, as soon as possible; and their Favours shall ever be gratefully acknowledg'd by theirhumble Servant
June 5. Exon. The Poem intituled FREEDOM, which had been retarded through the sad effects of the Sickness and death of some of my Nearest and Dearest Relatives, in my own Family,
is at length compleatly printed; and, as soon as an Account of my CASE &c is also done, to be annex'd thereto, (which, God willing, will be in about a Week's Space more) will be ready to be deliver'd to the Subscribers.
1730 October 2. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice's workers express their support.
Exon. We the Servants of Mr. Brice (who can't help loving and respecting him so well as to readily expose even our Lives in his behalf and Vindication) to prevent Prejudice to his Affairs from the last Weeks Account of his Absence from us, by its being suggested of surmised that Business can't be performed so entirely to Satisfaction by Our Selves - humbly beg leave to declare, That tho' We (or perhaps any other one Man in England, without Exception) can't pretend, in all respects, to his Perfection in the Art of Printing, &c. yet we undertake the Performance at least equally to any in these Parts: And, as our Master's Materials are infinitely superior to those of others here, will do any Work that requires it much more beautifully than theirs will admit of. But we hope soon to enjoy our dear Master's Company and Direction. Amen!
1731 Apr 20. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice describes Sunday in Exeter.
1731 May 28. Brice's weekly journal. Playbills
1737. The confessions or declarations of John Price Andrew Brice complains about rival publishers of execution broadsheets
As people are impatient at waiting long for such papers as this present, and others are usually published by other hands under the false pretence of being dying speeches, I am persuaded to publish this half sheet as ´tis; which shall be follow'd with the speeches, &c. at the execution with all speed possible.
1737 Michaelmas. Andrew Brice describes the scenes at the Mayoral election.
Why might not some heedlessly persuing a boisterous ELECTION, in which they were Agents or Agitators, (especially of little if any Moment) justly describ'd in suited Verse, be asham'd of the ridiculous or base Parts which they , as 'twere in Effigie, review they acted in the wretched Farce? ... This Poetic Sketch was drawn to that honest Intent. Though there are very few, if any, directly and personally characteriz'd, yet Numbers, if they have Eyes of Understanding, may discern their own Images in description exposing themselves to Derision, Contempt, perhaps and Detestation. ... Though dreading being surrounded in and by a MOB, especially a pent-up contending one, yet, to make proper Observations, and to collect apt Materials, I, for once, voluntarily hazarded myself even on the very Spot of the thickest Uproar and Confusion ... not only almost crush'd to death in the Throng, but like to have my small Portion of Brains press'd out, or my Head itself wrung off, in the Gateway, endeavouring, at last, to escape out of the crowded Hall.
[p.33] Our true-born Citizens are (numbers of 'em) trained up to Mobbing from their Cradles. To the Praise of such a polish'd People as we are, our well-bred Infantry are permitted to fling Turneps, Potatoes, Pieces of Cabbage-stalks, &c. at the poor Countrymen whose Business brings them into the City this unlucky Morning: at whose Approach the young Mischiefs, running up to meet 'em, set up a Cry of A Brother! A brother! A Brother! and fall a battering of them immediately. If one offer to rebuke them, (as I once presum'd to do, and had like thereby to have brought not only them, but some Loggerheads of the Shops, upon my own Back) they daringly reply'd 'Tis lawless day! 'Tis lawless Day! And so indeed might it be imagin'd, while such barbarous Outrages (as several others at different Times, such as the Dashing up the Kennel-Water on Passengers, which they call Stratting, &c.) are not only tolerated in Effect, but laugh'd at, and thereby encourag'd. With indignation I remember a poor Man had one of his Eyes actually on the Spot struck out by one Butler, who afterwards attempted with others to fire the Deanry-House, &c.
However rough, unfinished, and incorrect, yea trifling and silly, the slight Performance be, or shall be said to be, - my Vanity flatters itself it is pretty natural, picturesque, and indifferently full of genuine Humour: Which are Hits and Ingredients not despicable in Pieces of this Nature. ...
As for any coxcombic, proud, pitiful, Jacks-in-Office, or "pelting petty Officers", carrying Bull-beef Grandeur in their Strut and Aspect, I scorn to excuse my at any time ridiculing such stately Foppery. Pride is odious in any; but most so in such as can boast of no Great Extraction, and of but mean Qualifications. The Pride of such is most despicable; its Emblem the swelling little Reptile in the Fable. ...
[writing in 1770] I particularly confess to have tipp'd a poetic Fillip or two on some of the latterly mention'd inferior Great Ones, at whose Head march'd, or rather pranced, my worthy sweet Brother GEO. C-M-NGS: HE, who endeavour'd, by Wheedle, to seduce my very Daughter, as HE thought and design'd, to get her own Father murder'd in the Name of Law. In setting forth his coxcombic Air in the Ambulation to the Life, the MUSE has aim'd at doing less than Justice: As all who remember him will, I believe, amply testify. ...
1738 September. Andrew Brice refers to an attempt on his life. (Mobiad, 1770, xvii)
And, alas! did I but relate that vile, cruel, yet sottish, Attempt upon my very Life, (entirely innocent and faultless in Deed, Word, and Thought,) the Day, the very mad Day, Twelve-month after the Aera of the Poem, viz. in Sept. 1738, when the Mayoralty of Mr. CULME was just upon its Expiration; - by himself the said Right Worshipful, the then R-c-d-r, and divers collected Aldermen; and these goaded on by TERTULLIUS SECUNDUS, of Croak-Hum: All full of Fury: Subserviently aided by a Posse of over-officious Constables, and Mob-Constables for the Day: - I say, did I, as I might, fully detail the vile Affair, Readers might cry Amazement! at my uncommon Passivity, and think me indeed Pidgeon-liver'd, in not having been adequately severe upon them. But I pretty well expos'd their headlong Doings, and satisfactorily aveng'd myself, then forthwith, in my News-paper.
1742. Andrew Brice describes some of his experiences in Truro. (Grand gazetteer, p.1314, ca. 1754).
'Tis a considerable Town, with some regular Streets, well-frequented Markets, and a large Market-house and Church, the latter a good old Gothish Edifice. But the said latter wants a handsome Tower, the pitiful little Thing which contains the single Bell looking rather like a Pidgeon-Hut than a Church Tower or Steeple. And tho' the Market-house be a good one, yet 'tis odd that the Flesh Meat there should hang dangling on and by very long Iron Crooks down to one's Shoulders; so that Persons who come to buy have a Difficulty to escape with their Vesture unsmeared with Grease and Blood. The country Wenches too, in the open Market, stand holding their Baskets of Geese, Poultry, Butter &c all Rank and File, like a Company of Soldiers under Arms to be reviewed. They have good Wine and Brandy here (and that, possibly, not too often stinking of the Custom-house, as I have heard it express'd); but their Ale, at least when I was some Months here, was, generally, an Abomination to the Guts as well as Gust, and that, in some Houses, & on some Times, brewed one Day, and guzzled down the next, if not, more than lukewarm, in the Afternoon of the same Day. They had then here a reddish Species of Turneps, and a somewhat palish sort of Carrots; and these having been all boiled, crowded into the Pot, together with Cabbage taking the same Complection, one could, by the Hue, hardly distinguish either of the 3 from 'others, when pann'd up to Table. I also (the Fault being in my Eyes) mistook the Dough Walls of a real Apple-pie for a real Earthen Pan, thought a Bread-Pudding to have been Pease, and have handled a Christmas Mince-pye which seem'd somewh. like unburned Lime-stone, both for rugged Hardness and for Aspect. I also heard of a Chicken-Pye made good, as 'twas call'd, with Treacle. However, here are very good Provision of all Sorts (saving that, Calves here being killed at Eight or Nine Days Age, an Eastern Taste can scarce approve the Veal) and these in the Houses of the Better-Sort, or People of Fashion, as dressed and serv'd up as other wheres; and the Gentry are moreover fam'd (& affect to be so) for Politeness & Hospitality. In Truth, very many here live so very handsomely, and dress so very genteely, &c. &c. that the Pride of Truro, and proud Truro are opprobrious Bye-Words among the Cornish. In very Deed (and all Joking thrown aside) some modern Houses here, within as well as without, would not ill become the best Square of London or of Westminster; nor might some of the best Inhabitants disgrace a Drawing-Room.
1748 February 14. Town Clerk Henry Gandy reveals Andrew Brice's activities relating to the theatre. (Radford 1950, 257-60).
In a chamber this day held at the Guildhall, I am directed by the Body with their Service, to acquaint you that notwithstanding the several Acts of Parliament made to prevent Players of Interludes, &c. Yet a company of Players which they call Kenneday's Company, are come to this City and there play in spite of the Magistrate's Teeth pretending they don't play for Hire, and think thereby to avoid the penalty of the Law. And the method they take is this, they give notice by printed papers that some gentlemen for their diversion and improvement intend such a day to perform a Consort of Musick as it is performed in the Rehearsall of the play called "Love for Love" without any Hire or Reward. And the persons having a mind to go to that play first go to the Printer of these papers and buy a small paper of Teeth Powder (he calls it) and by him are recommended as Worthy partakers of this diversion and they are admitted accordingly as is pretended gratis. By these and such-like evasions they avoid the Law and play on, nor do the Magistrates know how to come at them or punish them for what is passed.
1752 April. Grand gazetteer. Andrew Brice describes his fellow citizens.
In Truth, we may characterize many of our well-bred Exonians, by comparing them to a well composed Bowl of Punch; - tho' indeed we too often meet with some who have too much of the Acid, others in whom the Spirit too much predominates, and insipid others most miserably tasting of the Water. - As to Table, our Better Sort live moderately well in ordinary, and entertain Friends and Strangers in proper Seasons handsomely, & even very daintily on Occasion, without being wastefully profuse. They enjoy, not abuse the Blessings which Heaven bestows for that End. Their Dress is very proper to a rich Trading City, genteel and comely, not gaudily foppish. Their Diversions, mostly, are polite enough, yet free from the Affectation of most fashionable, and taken but in due Season. Tho' in Assemblies (as there is one held every Winter, & well regulated), the Ladies, &c. may use a little sociable Card-playing, they give not in to vicious Gaming, nor often to very late Hours. Nor is Hazard, and such like covetous, dangerous, and often ruinous, Dicing, at all practised by our Gentlemen. These latter in Summer frequent the Bowling green, but merely for Air, Exercise and Recreation, after sedentary Fatigue in Business, --- not as if Bowling, &c. was their Business. The like may be said of many of our Middle Sort of Tradesmen in a Keal-Alley. But we pretend not that such are their sole Diversions; for (trahit sua quemque voluptas) Persons severally gratify their own particular Tastes, as well do others elsewhere. In Winter our Gentry have also the Consorts of Musick once a Week, for the same good End, namely Recreation after Dispatch of Business. But they, most of them, demonstrate their good Taste, good Sense, true Rationality and Politeness, (we having a very pretty Theatre) in chiefly delighting in an affecting good Tragedy, a moral yet pleasant Comedy, an innocently sportful Farce or Pantomime. [...] Nor are the very meaner People, in the General, quite so rude, rugged, licentious, ferocious, riotous, and disturbing, as such are in the Metropolis, and as such, many of them next to incorrigably, were here yet within Memory. One main good Cause thereof is probably the Charity-School Establishment, whereby a Hundred can read, write and cypher, now at this Time, to Ten that could barely read 50 or 60 Years ago. By such means are they in Nonage partly broke from Wildness, moulded into some pretty good Behaviour, brought to brook Confinement, inur'd to Religious Duties, fitted for Apprenticeship, and set in a Way to become useful Members of the Community. [...] Printing has been here exercis'd above 50 Years, and that there is a good Printing-house here still this Work bears Testimony.
1752 April 17. Brice's weekly journal. Andrew Brice has troubles over last dying speeches.
As I think it my Duty to thank the whole City, and Country around, for their vehement Desire, which they next to universally express'd, of a Paper by me printed, on late Jennings execution, - so seems it also a Duty to myself to make Apology for not having gratified their so ardent Expectation : an Expectation which did me Honour, and gave me Pleasure. But such Pleasure, I seriously assure the World, has been exceeded far by Grief, and that nothing so much for my own being baulk'd of righteous Gain, as at their Disappointment. And when I shall have fairly set forth the real Case, I doubt not of coming off clean from Blame myself, on whomsover else it may be chargeable. That some one or other has been very faulty in the Affair is too too sure. I imagine it to be indisputable, that the PUBLICK has a reasonable RIGHT to the Confessions and Declarations of dying Criminals, and that those who are guilty (I say Guilty with an Emphasis) of suppressing the same, actually wrong THE PUBLICK, and perhaps the Malefactor too. But more of this by and by.
Many can't but recollect, that I some few Years since gave Reasons why I purposed never more to attend either Gaol or Gallows, for procuring Confessions, or receiving Dying Speeches. But as most Persons, probably, may have forgot, and some never may have seen, such Reasons, I deem it not unnecessary to repeat the same as follows:
Having so many Years entertain'd the World (the best, as Circumstances yielded Matter, that we could) with ACCOUNTS, &c. of Executed Criminals, and that not without repute, Thanks and Compensation, seeing the said Relations have constantly been genuine, well tending, and esteemed worthy Perusal by the best Readers; - and whereas we this Time wilfully neglect publishing the like; - Persons naturally enquire into the reason for it.
The Answer is: - We should be asham'd of appearing as t'were in common, and in that respect as on a Level, with the sorry GRUBS who now scandalously swarm here; such wretched ones are they for Authors, however either of them may be qualified for a worthy PRINTER'S Journeyman! There are no less than Four of them - [As there were at that Time] - (Two of them in Conjunction) lately set up for Writers, particularly of Dying Speeches. And truly (as the late Ingenious Dr. SWIFT observ'd of such) they are such Speeches, that although the Fraternity of Villains deserving Halters be an ignorant illiterate people, they would make a Man asham'd to have such Nonsense and false English charged upon him even when he is going to the Gallows.
Notwithstanding which Nonsense, Falsities, and abundant Contradictions, generally found in their such Performances, the Bulk of Populace, incapable of making due Distinction, buy them as the real Last Dying Words of Malefactors, at their very Execution-Place, even before they are turn'd off the Ladder.
Much more easily are credulous silly People all round the Country impos'd upon; though, took they but Three Minutes to calculate Time, &c. they would be convinced that such pretended Last Dying Words must have been printed off a full Day at least before they could be in their true Season utter'd.
One would think that some, the more they have found themselves deceiv'd, the more they love to be deceiv'd. How otherwise can it be accounted for, that tho' - [Here we gave a late notorious Instance or two] - We instance these but just as Specimens.
People being passionately eager after such Papers, they greedily catch at any one of the first Bringer. They have sometimes, truly, the tiny Wisdom to demand of the Hawker if it be right (for they are every Bout satisfy'd there is a wrong as well as a right)? And the honest vociferator would have Fifty Oaths ready to vomit forth, that 'tis the right, tho' the Devil himself had been the Author and the Printer too. The Hawker, for this Reason, will take his parcel from that Press which will soonest furnish him; - if a Day or more beforehand, so much the better to secure the Run, as the Term is; that is, get the Start of others. And your honest GRUBS, to secure the Hawkers and the Half-pence, rival one another in trumping up their vile stuff at any Rate. As a Paper is a Paper to the Country-Folk, contain what it will; so Money is Money to the Patterer and the Grub, come how it may, even over Old Nick's very Back before their Eyes - [Not regarding they deserve pelting with Dirt for every Halfpenny] - Nay, in such wicked Gains they hug themselves most; as having the Pleasure of cunningly outwitting Printers of better Conscience.
So that we, in Honour scorning, and conscientiously abhorring, such pitiful, vile Practices, can now at length promise ourselves no Share at all with our so cunning Creatures in a Country Sale, nor in Town but just a Gleaning; - however commendable, and commended, our Publications be ...... The World is therefore requested, in Justice, to take Notice, that of the Three several Grubaean papers, which will probably issue from as many Presses Tomorrow here, and the same Day be cry'd perhaps Fifty Miles remote, ANDREW BRICE has nothing of his Writing in either one; - unless a modest young Spack, according to his wonted Knack of Plagiarism, slaps in some embellishing Sentences or so, borrow'd from my former Publications.
The foul Practices above complain'd of still going on, I in like Manner persisted in my Resolution to disdain at all concerning myself in such Affairs. I had never seen the Prison's Inside, (nor thought ever more to do it) 'till Wednesday the 8th instant, when, in my Study, I receiv'd a Schedule, with these Words:
I Beg to see you this Afternoon, as soon
after Dinner as you can. Yours
To Mr. Andrew Brice,
Printer, in Northgate Street
On such Invitation, I accordingly went. With him I found particularly the Rev. Gentleman who statedly officiated, and the Keeper. After apt Compliments exchang'd, &c. he told me, that I had been recommended to him as the proper Printer of what he had drawn up, to be publish'd after his Departure. The Clergyman (for which I am far from censuring him) presently interpos'd with Words to this Effect; That he would advise him not to do Things in angry Haste; that it became him to throw off all malicious Thoughts, and absolutely to forgive all suppos'd Injuries, &c. &c. I am fully satisfy'd the said Gentleman, whose Discourse I thought very pertinent and handsome, did and said no more than his Duty prompted. But I was so entire a Stranger to the Matter, that I suspected nothing of the real (and from me latent) Truth. Plain Dunstable poor I (who have been, by my Friends, sometimes compar'd to Fielding's Parson Adams; - nor abhor I much that honest Character) at that Time imagin'd no other than that such ghostly Advice has Respect but to the Offender's Accomplices, or at worst the Witnesses &c. against him. And, without interrupting the Gentleman, I caught his first Pause to back his good Counsel as far as it became me then to do. The Prisoner mean while appear'd much discompos'd and ruffled, and with troublous Emotion suddenly broke in with, What, then, must I not tell the Truth? - The Truth. 'twas answer'd, by all Means, provided nevertheless it be fit Truth, and told from just Motives, and as became a Man in his Condition, all Things consider'd. - More pass'd to the like Purpose; but, dull as I was! I still remain'd ignorant of the point in Controversy. - To speak in brief; - The Prisoner told me, that he'd send for me again next Morning; or, if not, that he desired me to visit him again. I did so, viz. the Thursday about One o'Clock; and he then with his own Hand deliver'd to me the Paper he design'd in Print for Public View. - But I had no sooner put it in my Pocket, than, to my vast Surprise, the Keeper burst into an outrageous Passion, crying out, - Mr. Brice, I'd have you take care what you do. I'd not be in your Coat for 500l. And I'll acquaint Mr. ......... [mentioning a Gentleman by name] .... this minute, &c. &c. I reply'd, (first with an Interjection of the said Gentleman's Name) Mr. ....! Why, I pray? What Concern has he in the Case? - Besides, do you take me for a Fool or Madman, that I know not what I have to do in my own Affairs? Not to be needlessly prolix, the Prisoner appeared struck with Apprehension of dire Consequences from HIS HIGH and MIGHTINESS'S Displeasure, and therefore, turning to me, sitting by him, said, Pray, Mr. Brice, let me have the Paper, and you shall have it again Tomorrow Morning. I accordingly, without Hesitation, deliver'd it back, not in the least doubting to have it restored, agreeable to a dying Man's Promise, the next Morning. In my Way home, I met one of the Chief Officers, who, after some Talk, propos'd to me my riding out in the Coach with the Prisoner to the Place of Execution. Whereupon I return'd back to the prison, and severally asked the Minister, the Governor, and the Dying Man, if they consented to it? And each replied Yes. I repair'd therefore to the Goal next Morning, and having at length Admittance into the private Apartment, found the Prisoner of serener Countenance and more tranquil Mind. The Minister did assiduously his Function; which I had better Manners than to break in upon in the least; - still looking, however, when Leisure permitted the Man to give me the paper, according to Promise; and at last concluding with myself that his Intention was to do it at the Gallows in the Face of all the World.
The Coach, and all Persons concern'd, being at last ready, I, the hindermost of the Company who were to fill the Coach, was, by the prodigious Throng in the Passage from the Goal, not only prevented from coming near it, but in Danger of being squeez'd or trod under Foot to Death; and really I think I might have lost my Life, had not Providence placed a lusty young Gentleman, my good Friend, in the critical Moment near me, who with the Assistance of another Person, supported me from falling. Tho' there was no possibility of reaching the Coach, I resolved, if Strength enough return'd, since I had so far embark'd in the Affair, to see it out to the utmost. And so, with much Ado, being by Helpers next to dragg'd along, I got out to the Tree of Justice. After Prayer and Psalm, just as the Criminal was going to ascend the Ladder, I ask'd him for my Paper. Ah! Sir, said he, I am very sorry I have given you so much Trouble but Mr. ...... has got it, and you must apply to him for having it. - I confess, I was not pleased at such base Disappointment at the Upshot; - but, as this was neither fit Time nor Place for Expostulation; I hush'd Resentment, and said but little. -
Now, as I am fully satisfy'd that the said Gentleman never had the Paper which I expected; and as, at the same Time, I should be uncharitable in thinking the dying Man told me wilfully a known Lie; I can devise no other Means to reconcile the Contradiction than to conclude the Man had been in that Point deceiv'd himself, and that some one or other had the Paper of him, to deliver it to the Gentleman, but kept it back, or [better?] dispos'd thereof.
Be that how it may, I have been [...] shamefully wrong'd, by some one or other, after losing a great deal of to me precious Time, been at too much Expence, and so hurted in my Person as painfully to feel the disabling sad Effects of it ever since.
Thus have I in plain Terms told the plain Truth; and leave the World to judge of it as may seem most right.
All that I my self shall at present offer upon this Head is, that if the new Manner of Management be right, then that for 40 Years back, by my own Remembrance, must have been wrong; which no sober thinking Man, I believe, ever esteem'd it to be. ... The Minister might insist perhaps that Confession should be made to or before him; but then it was not clandestinely, or in hugger-mugger, but in order to its being dispers'd abroad in Print. Commonly' tho' the Divine discharg'd his proper Office in bringing the Offender to a right Temper to make due Confession, yet he left it to the Printer, or some one for him, to pen it down. And I have been many Times introduced by the Clergyman himself to that very Purpose. ... One common main Argument to induce him to make Confession at large was, That it being to be PUBLISH'D, it was probably the best Amends, or Restitution, he could in his Circumstances make to an injured and offended World in general, and it might be so drawn up as to tend to the Correction and Edification, as well as Information, of Numbers, even at a Distance. ...
1755 January 25. The grand gazetteer, 43rd number
The Forty-third Number (Containing Eight Sheets, Price 1s.) OF THE GRAND GAZETTEER, OR Topographic Dictionary, BOTH GENERAL AND SPECIAL, AND ANTIENT as well as MODERN, &C
Printing-House, Jan. 25, 1755.
The rest of the DICTIONARY, with the INDEX, short INTRODUCTION, TITLE-PAGE, and ALL, will be deliver'd, stitch'd together, as soon as good Speed may be. - And, having in this Manner said nothing at all of it for a very long while, we humbly hope Indulgence in presenting what seems requisite now; tho' I find myself at this Time pretty much upon my Mettle, and write with Emotion.
How desirous soever may any be of seeing the WORK finish'd, to be bound more conveniently and perfectly for Use, - the Satisfaction of all Customers, if united, could scarce equal the growing Gladness of myself, the chain'd-down poor Drudge in their Service: I justly repeat it, THEIR SERVICE.
And now, in as serious a Mood as if I thought myself this Moment dying, - as solemnly as if the Sacrament were to me administering, - with as much Sincerity as I wish attending my last Prayer, - absolutely and peremptorily do I declare, That, at my first undertaking this Dictionary, I had no design that it should, nor a Thought that it really would, exceed 30 Numbers - AT THE VERY UTMOST: And accordingly order'd but for a suitable Quantity of Paper, - No: - I dare boldly tell the World, that, how little or how soever I may be, my Soul disdains any sinister little Arts, Deceit, or Fraud (however ordinarily practised by THE TRADE), and detests all Kinds of Imposture & Imposition.
The very truth is, I not only, as proverbially 't is express'd, reckon'd without mine Host, being not sufficiently apprized how large such a GRAND WORK, fully making good the so extensive and comprehensive Proposition, of Necessity must be; - but, moreover, after 5 or 6 Numbers came abroad, I had it very frequently and strenuously inculcated upon me, by and from many the most Learned and Judicious, that the WORK would be one of the most useful and noble of the Age, with the PROVISO, That I kept up the Spirit of it: Such was the common very Expression. Others, fearing, from the Quantity of Paper taken up by the 3 or 4 first Letters of the Alphabet, that we could not possibly so keep up the Spirit, and yet comprize the whole in a single Volume; or that, in order to keep tight to the proposal in such behalf, I should be necessitated to suppress Genius, rebate Vigour, baulk Fancy, omit many Articles, or dock and curtail numerous main ones, - (I say, they apprehending such lessening Things) - very often dinn'd me with a Good now, don't flag; don't abate; don't spoil the Work by shortening it: - Make two or more Volumes rather; and such like. - Nay, even those who stabb'd my Soul with Inquiries How many Numbers more?When will this Thing be finish'd? &c. even they themselves, us'd to own their chusing 5 Numbers too many rather than 1 too few.
And yet resolutely have I persisted in doing the Book and its reader Justice, however great the Risque ran by me in distancing the time of my hoped-for good Harvest at the End. Furthermore: - 'T is not yet quite 4 Years issued Number I. So that, tho' much of the Time afflicted by a sore and grievous Malady, and once long disabled by a next to deadly one, little more than 4 months have been lost upon the Whole, with regard to monthly Publication, even tho' 4 Christmas, 4 Easter, and as many Whitsun Tides have intervened, at which Seasons Workmen claim Intervals for recreation. Nor, remember I to have twice, if ever at all, made the common Pretence Accident at the Press, &c. An instance of strict Inquiry and constant Labour seldom if ever known.
... besides all the above there's my NEWS-PAPER to be managed, and all my other PRINTING BUSINESS to take in, to write, to rectify, to order, to direct, to correct, to supervise &c. &c. And withal all the other Concerns and Offices common to most Working-Tradesmen, who have no clerk or Amanuensis, lye upon my own proper Head and Hand. -
Judge therefore whether I have not Reason to rejoice at having brought the DICTIONARY Work so near to a full Period. And so chear'd up, the said detail of Tasks so many shall serve to introduce a Note, - (for having now spit out my whole deal of Venom, conclude would I in perfect Good-Humour) - viz. That had it not been for the relieving Facetiousness and Pleasantry of my Disposition, and the Allowance of some short Excursions of Fancy, some brief Comments, some serious Reflections, some Flights of Humour, necessary Ridicule and innocent Drollery, some slyness of Inuendo, and such like - What-d'ye-call-ums, - (Trash you may call 'em) - now and then, when Occasion seem'd to require, or would well enough admit, why then the very weighty huge Burthen had been intolerable. Alas! to be doom'd without Mercy servilely but to select, compile, or transcribe, a great much dry, dull, and dulling Stuff, would be the saddest of Deaths to. ANDREW surnamed Merry.
P.S. Divers have been at me with the Why I propos'd not MAPS to embellish the Dictionary? Answer; Because I had more Honesty than to impose such upon any Gentleman already furnished with 'em. The common Practice of that Sort is by me abhorr'd. Indeed such as have no Maps, or not enough, or hardly good ones, might not do amiss to procure some in Season of our Booksellers.
1755. The grand gazetteer, 44th [and last] number
... The said Compiler, and Author, happily enjoying pretty good Health, - (excepting temporary Disorders, incident of Animal Machines, that are subject to all the Skiey
Influences) - he had Hope to have publish'd the FULL WORK some Months ago.
But the Cause of his not so doing is not, as many have suspected, (and some, it seems, kindly reported) any the least Personal Disability, but divers other Impediments: most especially the Loss of several Pair of Hands in the Printing Business. On that Account he hath been tied to Offices which his best-qualify'd Men were wont to discharge; nay, been sometimes actually forced to work at the Composition Part of the Occupation even at Midnight.
But having now some additional good Help in the common Business, he is resolutely bent to prosecute the Work, viz. of the INDEX, the very best he possibly can; he hopes without any more long Interruption. It is indeed a Task very great, far more ponderous than the Inexperienced can imagine; the profit whereof not adequate to the Time and Pains bestowed thereon in a fiftieth Degree. Yet will he, by Heaven's favour, chearfully fulfil Engagement, and that, he hopes, to Satisfaction, perhaps beyond all Expectation.
Mean Time, to make the Dictionary Part of present ready Use, as a GAZETTEER, &c and that truly GRAND, our Customers may get all the Forty Four Numbers well and firmly stitch'd together; - or, which will be vastly better, what is call'd half-bound; - and then upon the Consummation of the Entire WORK, to have it ALL compleatly bound as handsomely as they please.
This present XLIVth (double) Number contains about Five Hundred Articles, a Multitude of them extremely informing, very curious, entertaining, and often facetiously argumentative and convictively diverting.
Let us, withal, acquaint the World, that the very Books by us us'd in the Composition - (to say nothing of our own Fancy, Reasoning, and Helps from Knowledge and Memory, &c.) - cost far above 100l.
1755 September 12. Old Exeter Journal and Weekly Advertiser. Andrew Brice attacks his nephew for printing an unstamped newspaper. [Paraphrased from Brushfield's report of the vanished issue of the newspaper.]
[I have been accused of laying information against my nephew for] a Run of Newspapers not stampt according as Law requires; [and] to this humble Charge [I plead] not guilty. And Heaven sent me a fair deliverance. [However my] pushing Nephew - (now again for the third Time - after having been twice forced to give it over) publishes a paper [as well as myself. To his I have no objection under ordinary circumstances. Nevertheless I must protest to his vending] the choicest ... Pieces of Intelligence on unstamped paper, Price a Halfpenny, a day or two preceding the stated Time of [mine] for Publication. [During the Assize week, a Copy of this illegal Paper was brought to me the Day before the Publication of my own Journal. I could not restrain my] just Indignation [before the Members of my Household. ... My Nephew was convicted for this and fined £4. I declare my Intention of paying part of the Penalty out of my own Pocket.
1756 Some considerations on the lawfulness and expediency of frequenting the theatre as it is at present circumstanced in Exeter. Thomas Brice reveals his uncle's sharp practice with theatre tickets.
[The Bath Players, widely known as the Brandy Company from their intemperance, had visited Exeter.] "The concert was in truth no more than the usual Musick at Playhouses. ... They therefore resolved for the Future to take no Money at all themselves, but at the same Time they found it convenient to enter into a most extraordinary Friendship and Dearness with Mr. Andrew Brice a Printer of this City, & prevailed on him to sell little Papers of Brick Dust under the Name of Tooth Powder or Worm Powder, and little bits of Cerate, or some other Plaister still more trifling under the Name of a Corn Plaister, at the Prices of 2/- 1/6 & 6d being the same as had usually been paid at their Play House according to the Difference of the Entertainment or of the Seat desired by the Purchaser. And now having settled all matters with Mr. Brice they continued very generously to exhibit Plays, intermixed with what they think fit to call Concerts of Musick for the Entertainment of the citizens gratis."
1763 October 6. The Exeter Mercury. William Andrews attacks his former master Andrew Brice.
The Exeter Mercury; or, West-Country Advertiser. Printed by W.ANDREWS and R.TREWMAN, in Southgate-street, Exon;
Both lately living with Mr. ANDREW BRICE, the latter as an Apprentice for seven Years, and with whom a Sum of Money as an Apprentice Fee was given; - the former as a Journeyman for 14 Years and a half; - the last six Years of which Time as an Overseer or Director in his Printing-House, &c. and who for more than the said six Years, was made to believe by the said Mr. BRICE, that he would decline Business, and give it up to him, or some Share therein, long since. This was in Consideration of his [ANDREWS] not going to Plymouth to begin Business for himself, there being then no Printer there, from which Place a great deal of Work came to this City every Week, he having bought a Press, Letter, Cases, and divers other Printing Materials, for the Purpose, and having at the same Time above 50l. owing to him as Wages. - The above Promise has been divers times since repeated, often with Hands and Eyes lift up to Heaven, and in the most solemn Manner calling God to witness for him, that he would fulfil his Promises in a short Time. Would not any one imagine, then, that a Man voluntarily making such solemn Vows before God must look upon himself as bound to perform them; - (that is, indeed, supposing that he believes that there is an Almighty Being. who will hereafter reward or punish every Man according to his Deserts) - But how little were these Vows regarded! No sooner did Andrews only desire to settle Accounts of so long standing, than he was discharged from any further Service, and obliged to submit to lose almost 30 l. of his Wages, and give up all claims for former Promises, or hazard the Whole of what was due to him, by waiting the issue of a tedious Suit in Chancery; before which was ended the said Mr. BRICE might dye, and then he must pay all his own Expences, without receiving a Penny of the Debt sued for. Many, doubtless, will wonder at this, and ask, What has Chancery to do with a Servant's Wages? But so it was; for, 'twas intended to pick up, in Town and Country, as many Receipts of Andrew's signing as possible, and oblige him to prove his paying the several Sums therein specified to Mr. Brice; tho' at the same Time he well knew Andrews never received any Money for him but that he had it the first Moment he next saw him. For the Truth hereof we refer to the Gentlemen of the Law concern'd for both sides, viz. Mr. W.W. junr. and Mr. G.C. and also to the said Mr. BRICE's Sureties; who, before they would become such, had 100 l. lodg'd in their Hands by him, in order to indemnify themselves in case of Accidents, &c. By this unjust Proceeding the said Mr. BRICE (instead of paying 107 l. and upwards, the Sum he owed, and suffer'd himself to be arrested for), might have a great balance in his Favour. --- The wronging a Servant of so large a Sum, the persuading him not to begin Business for himself in Plymouth, or here in Exerter, when an Opportunity of so doing offer'd, long before Mr. SPENCER thought of come [14 & 21 October: coming] here, are not, however, yet thought Punishment enough for his daring to think of settling Accompts of 14 Years and a half standing: No, he (Andrews) must now be painted in as black and odious a light as possible; though before settling Accompts was insisted on, he was called as honest and faithful a Servant as ever Master had. This Treatment, indeed, will be the less wonder'd at, if it be remember'd how he used his own Brother's Son, who served him eight Years as an Apprentice; against whom (when he found that his virulent Writings had not the Effect he intended) he himself made Information, for printing, on umstampt Paper, some Account of the Success of His Majesty's Troops in America; which Information occasion'd a deal of Trouble, as well for the very large Expence to a poor Man just beginning Business for himself, and who had a Wife and four very young Children to provide for. Notwithstanding which the very worthy Uncle, when told by some of his Acquaintance, that he was much blamed by many for thus turning Informer against his own Brother's Son, and one who served him so long an Apprenticeship, immediately imprecates Divine Vengeance to fall upon him, if he designed in the least to injure his said Nephew, wanting only to have him check'd a little for what he had done, and told that he must do so no more. If he really intended no other, did he not them manifest how mean an Opinion he entertained of the Gentleman to who he made the Information, by supposing that he made light of the Oath which he had taken in virtue of his Office. --- It is humbly hoped any Apology for publishing the foregoing will be thought needless, when it is known, that by the most positive tho' false Assertions, and such other wicked Arts as the greatest Hypocrite that ever lived could be capable of practising, the Minds of many well-meaning worthy People are greatly prejudiced in Disfavour of the aforesaid Andrews, by which his Character is greatly hurt, and his Livelihood, with regard to his Business, endeavoured to be taken from him; for it is conceived that the preventing, by Misrepresentation, false Assertions &c. one Person from employing another, whom otherwise he would employ, is depriving him of the Means of Subsistence, and might, in some measure, be said to be robbing him of Life. --- Perhaps it may be found necessary to give a further Account of this Affair, by publishing some Letters that passed, and bringing the Testimonies of several credible Persons to prove the Things therein set forth.
1765 Feb 15. The Exeter Flying Post. Attack on Andrew Brice.
The Author's Valedictory Sermon to this hopeful Spark, his Progeny. Go, thou playsome, slily-snickering, dry-bobbing Son of PHANTASY. That frolic Dame was honestly thy Mother; conceiv'd, form'd, and with no hard Travail - (Indignation aiding) - brought thee forth. HISTORIC TRUTH, however, had a finger in the pye, and (as another trite Saying goes) blow'd to thy making. Go; - try thy Fortune, as thy Betters have done. As Circumstances allow'd, I have brought thee up to ---- what thou art; have now tolerably cloath'd thee in a decent plain Suit of Print: And what is to be done next but send thee into the World? Good hands receive thee, and not harshly treat thee! And may'st thou best thrive in thy proper vocation of pleasing and profiting thy Entertainers!
In answer to an inquisitive many: That the Poem was not forthwith, when composed, publish'd, was principally owing to my being attack'd with various intervening Maladies, and other very pitiable and forbidding Incidents, which had set it by, scarcely at long length remember'd. Those miserable Circumstances had quite overwhelm'd me long ere I conceiv'd an Idea of any TOPOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY; - that arduous Undertaking, Labour inconceivable, and Attention without respite, which engross'd me whole!
I err'd in saying engross'd me whole: For all the same while the Management of my News-paper, and all and every the Offices of a Master printer, Corrector, &c. &c. whatsoever, lay upon single me. I could ill be said ever at all to rest; for when any short Slumber should have some little eas'd my over-laboured Thoughts, the DICTIONARY, that Sisyphian Toil! still haunted me, as bad perhaps as a perpetual Epihialtes, during near Five Years together, without Relaxation.
Notwithstanding all - (Be tributary Thanks devoutly offer'd in the Highest, and render'd here below where secondarily due) [Namely to the worthy Mr. J.Patch, still living, and my sole surviving Helper ...] - I have wonderfully! liv'd; nay, and liv'd to see, and to rejoice in seeing, a very happy Alteration in Numbers of the Common People. The more Considerate Sort growing asham'd of such horrible Mobbinngs, the Populace have grown also less frequently riotous, in natural very Consequence. Depriv'd of the intoxicating Swill, heretofore lavish'd in Profusion on 'em, to set them outrageously a madding, in order to serve no very laudable Purpose, they have become in Fact much soberer, in Despite of even any natural Propensity to, or habitual Avidity of, the annual Draff.
The Boys, whom I justly styled the JUNIOR MOB, and who bore so brutal, so scandalous, a part in the Mobbing Transactions of the Day, (and which latter were delineated, and painted from the real very Life, in the Poem) have since that Time totally desisted from such abominable and dangerous Practices. Such their Reformation may possibly have been owing, in a measure, to better tutorage, and stricter Discipline at School; the Charity-Schools not excepted.
I with Pleasure, moreover, see reformation and Improvement particularly in our Butchers; those rugged Chieftans of the MOB in their Old Days of Battle. Several of them now appear as polite in Conversation at least as other Tradesmen, ...
Born, bred, brought up, and having always dwelt, in this City, I have a sort of natural Inclination to love her, as my Mother, and wish sincerely for her Welfare. And having been well accepted, and in the main handsomely treated, from my puerile days upward, by the generality even of the Better Sort, I joyfully congratulate my worthy townsmen on the happy reformation of Behaviour that hath in Part already taken place, especially at Elections, - though not as yet to all Perfection, and such as, we hope, Time will gradually bring about.
And, oh! may this playsome Satire, and jocular rebuke, greatly conduce thereto!
During my poor Remains of Life I shall heartily wish a Continuance of Prosperity, and growing Reputation, in all Respects, to this my beloved native EXETER - from which no Endeavours have prevail'd to draw me away) - till with all other Places she be, at last, dissolved.
1773 November 12. The Exeter Flying Post. The death of Andrew Brice.
1773 November 19. The Exeter Flying Post. The funeral of Andrew Brice.
On Sunday last were interr'd, in St. Bartholomew-yard, the Remains of Mr. Andrew Brice. - The Procession (agreeable to the Plan mentioned in our last) was numerous and respectable, and consisted of several Lodges, each of whom proceeded regularly, according to Seniority, with their proper Insignia. The Funeral Service was performed by the Re. Brother Walker, who was so obliging as to attend the procession from the New Inn, to the Place of Interment. - There were near 200 Brethren attended the Corpse, and notwithstanding the vast Concourse of Spectators, the utmost Decency was observed, and the Whole Ceremony conducted with a Solemnity becoming the Occasion. The following Elegy was perform'd at the Grave, by Brother Gaudry, Sully, &c. &c. accompanied by a Band of Music.
On the DEATH of
BRO. ANDREW BRICE:
The Words by G.E.Whitaker. - The Music by J.S.Gaudry
From this vain World of Noise and Strife,
T' enjoy a new-born heav'nly Life,
Our dearest Brother fled!
his Body we commit to Earth,
His Soul to God, who gave him Birth,
To raise him from the Dead.
[Chorus and two more verses]
This page last updated 10 Jan 2007
© Ian Maxted, 2003.