Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Andrews, James Pettit

ANDREWS, JAMES PETTIT (1737?–1797), antiquary and historian, was the younger son of Joseph Andrews, of Shaw House, a fine Elizabethan mansion near Newbury, and was born about 1737. He served in the Berkshire militia from the date of its being called out until it was disembodied, and after that date exchanged arms for the law, ultimately becoming in 1792, and remaining until his death, one of the magistrates at the police court in Queen Square, Westminster. His wife, Miss Anne Penrose, was a daughter of the Rev. Mr. Penrose, the rector of Newbury, and a sister of the Rev. Thomas Penrose, whose poetical pieces, edited by Mr. Andrews in 1781, are included in several old collections of English poetry. Mr. Andrews built at great expense a large house, called Donnington Grove, near his father's seat, but soon disposed of it to another. His wife died in 1785, and he himself 6 Aug. 1797; both lie buried in Hampstead church. His chief works are:

  1. ‘The Savages of Europe,’ a translation from the French [of Messrs. Lesuire and Louvel], 1764, with illustrations by the translator—a grotesque satire on the English.
  2. ‘An Appeal to the Humane on behalf of Climbing Boys employed by the Chimney Sweepers,’ 1788.
  3. ‘Anecdotes, antient and modern,’ 1789, with ‘Addenda’ in 1790—an amusing collection of gossip from old books.
  4. ‘History of Great Britain from death of Henry VIII to accession of James VI of Scotland,’ published in 1796 in one volume, second edition in two vols. in the same year, and third edition in 1806.
  5. ‘History of Great Britain connected with the Chronology of Europe from Cæsar's invasion to accession of Edward VI,’ 1794–95, 2 vols.

Both histories, though long since superseded, contained much curious information from ancient literature; the former work was intended as a continuation of Dr. Henry's history of Great Britain. In 1798 he joined Pye, the poet laureate, in a five-act tragedy from the German, called the ‘Inquisitor.’ Mr. Andrews contributed many topographical papers to the ‘Archæologia’ and to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine.’

[Gent. Mag. lxvii. pt. ii. 716, 796 (1797); Hist. and Antiquities of Newbury (1839), 116–20, 172–75.]

W. P. C.