Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ducarel, Andrew Coltee
DUCAREL, ANDREW COLTEE, D.C.L. (1713–1785), civilian and antiquary, was born in 1713 in Normandy, whence his father, who was descended from an ancient family at Caen, came to England soon after the birth of his second son James, and resided at Greenwich. In 1729, being then an Eton scholar, he was for three months under the care of Sir Hans Sloane on account of an accident which deprived him of the use of one eye. On 2 July 1731 he matriculated at Oxford as gentleman commoner of St. John's College. He graduated B.C.L. in 1738, was incorporated in that degree at Cambridge the same year, was created D.C.L. at Oxford in 1742, and went out a grand compounder on 21 Oct. 1748 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. i. 390; Addit MS. 5884, f. 81 b). He was admitted a member of the College of Advocates at Doctors' Commons 3 Nov. 1743 (Coote, English Civilians, p. 119). On recovering from a severe illness, in which he had been nursed by his maid Susannah, he married her out of gratitude in 1749, and she proved to be 'a sober, careful woman' (Grose, Olio, 2nd edit. p. 142). He was elected commissary or official of the peculiar and exempt jurisdiction of the collegiate church or free chapel of St. Katharine, near the Tower of London, in 1755. He was appointed commissary and official of the city and diocese of Canterbury by Archbishop Herring in December 1758; and of the sub-deaneries of South Malling, Pagham, and Terring in Sussex, by Archbishop Secker, on the death of Dr. Dennis Clarke in 1776.
From his youth he was devoted to the study of antiquities. As early as 22 Sept. 1737 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and he was one of the first fellows of that society nominated by the president and council on its incorporation in 1755. He was also elected 29 Aug. 1760 a member of the Society of Antiquaries at Cortona, was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society of London 18 Feb. 1762, became an honorary fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Cassel in November 1778, and of the Society of Antiquaries of Edinburgh in 1781.
In 1755 he unsuccessfully endeavoured to obtain the post of sub-librarian at the British Museum; but he was appointed keeper of the library at Lambeth 3 May 1757, by Archbishop Hutton, and from that time he turned his attention to the ecclesiastical antiquities of the province of Canterbury. He greatly improved the catalogues both of the printed books and the manuscripts at Lambeth, and made a digest, with a general index, of all the registers and records of the southern province. In this laborious undertaking he was assisted by his friend, Edward Rowe Mores, the Rev. Henry Hall, his predecessor in the office of librarian, and Mr. Pouncey, the engraver, who was for many years his assistant as clerk and deputy librarian. Ducarel's share of the work was impeded by the complete blindness of one eye and the weakness of the other. Besides the digest preserved among the official archives at Lambeth, he formed for himself another manuscript collection in forty-eight volumes, which were purchased for the British Museum at the sale of Richard Gough's library in 1810. In 1763 Ducarel was appointed by the government to digest and methodise, in conjunction with Sir Joseph Ayloffe and Thomas Astle, the records of the state paper office at Whitehall, and afterwards those in the augmentation office. On the death of Secker he unsuccessfully applied for the post of secretary to the succeeding archbishop.
For many years he used to go in August on an antiquarian tour through different parts of the country, in company with his friend Samuel Gale, and attended by a coachman and footman. They travelled about fifteen miles a day, and put up at inns. After dinner, while Gale smoked his pipe, Ducarel transcribed his topographical and archæological notes, which after his death were purchased by Richard Gough. In Vertue's plate of London Bridge Chapel the figure measuring is Ducarel, and that standing is Gale. With his antiquarian friends Ducarel associated on the most liberal terms, and 'his entertainments were in the true style of old English hospitality.' He was in the habit of declaring that, as an old Oxonian, he never knew a man till he had drunk a bottle of wine with him. During more than thirty years' connection with Lambeth Palace he was the valued friend or official of five primates— Herring, Hutton, Secker, Cornwallis, and Moore. He was a strong athletic man, and had a firm prepossession that he should live to a great age. The immediate cause of the disorder which carried him off was a sudden surprise on receiving at Canterbury a letter informing him that Mrs. Ducarel was at the point of death. He hastened to his house in South Lambeth, took to his bed, and three days afterwards died, on 29 May 1785. He was buried on the north side of the altar of St. Katharine's Church. His wife survived him more than six years, dying on 6 Oct. 1791 (Gent. Mag. lxi. 973).
His coins, pictures, and antiquities were sold by auction, 30 Nov. 1785, and his books, manuscripts, and prints in April 1786. The greater part of the manuscripts passed into the hands of Richard Gough and John Nichols.
His portrait, engraved by Francis Perry, from a painting by A. Soldi, executed in 1746, is prefixed to his 'Series of Anglo-Gallic Coins' (1757). This portrait has also been engraved by Rothwell and Prescott.
The following is a list of his works: 1. ‘A Tour through Normandy, described in a letter to a friend’ (anon.), London, 1754, 4to. This tour was undertaken, in company with Dr. Bever, in 1752, and his account of it, considerably enlarged, was republished, with his name, under the title of ‘Anglo-Norman Antiquities considered, in a Tour through part of Normandy, illustrated with 27 copperplates,’ London, 1767, fol.; inscribed to Bishop Lyttelton, president of the Society of Antiquaries. A French translation, by A. L. Léchaudé D'Anisy, appeared at Caen, 1823-5, 8vo, with thirty-six plates of the tapestry, 4to. 2. ‘De Registris Lambethanis Dissertatiuncula,’ London, 1756, 8vo. 3. ‘A Series of above 200 Anglo-Gallic, or Norman and Aquitain Coins of the antient Kings of England,’ London, 1757, 4to. 4. Letters showing that the chestnut-tree is indigenous to Great Britain. In ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ arts. 17-19. 5, ‘Some Account of Browne Willis, Esq., LL.D.,’ London, 1760, 4to. 6. Letter to Gerard Meerman, grand pensioner at the Hague, on the dispute about Corsellis being the first printer in England. This was read to the Society of Antiquaries in 1760. A Latin translation by Dr. Musgrave and Meerman's answer were published in vol. ii. of Meerman's ‘Origines Typographicæ,’ 1760. They were reprinted by Nichols, with a second letter from Meerman, in a supplement to Bowyer's ‘Two Letters on the Origin of Printing,’ 1776. 7. ‘A Repertory of the Endowments of Vicarages in the Diocese of Canterbury,’ London, 1763, 4to; 2nd edition, 1782, 8vo, to which were added the endowments of vicarages in the diocese of Rochester. 8. ‘A Letter to William Watson, M.D., upon the early Cultivation of Botany in England; and some particulars about John Tradescant, gardener to Charles I,’ London, 1773, 4to. This appeared originally in ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ lxiii. 79. 9. ‘Notes taken during a Tour in Holland, 1775,’ manuscript. 10. Account of Dr. Stukeley, prefixed to vol. ii. of his ‘Itinerary,’ 1776. 11. ‘A List of various Editions of the Bible and parts thereof in English, from the year 1526 to 1776, from a MS. (No. 1140) in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, much enlarged and improved,’ London, 1776, 8vo (see Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 390; Lowndes, Bibl Man., ed. Bohn, p. 198). 12. ‘Some Account of the Alien Priories, and of such lands as they are known to have possessed in England and Wales,’ collected by John Warburton, Somerset herald, and Ducarel, 2 vols., London, 1779, 8vo; new edit. 1786. 13. ‘History of the Royal Hospital and Collegiate Church of St. Katharine, near the Tower of London,’ 1782, with seventeen plates. 14. ‘Some Account of the Town, Church, and Archiepiscopal Palace of Croydon,’ 1783. In Nichols's ‘Bibl. Topographica Britannica,’ vol. ii. 15. ‘History and Antiquities of the Archiepiscopal Palace of Lambeth,’ 1785. In ‘Bibl. Topographica Britannica,’ vol. ii. A valuable appendix to this work by the Rev. Samuel Denne [q. v.] was published in 1795. 16. ‘Abstract of the Archiepiscopal Registers at Lambeth, compiled by Ducarel, with the assistance of E. R. Mores, Mr. Hall, and Mr. Pouncey,’ Addit. MSS. 6062-6109. 17. Account of Doctors' Commons, manuscript prepared for the press. 18. ‘Testamenta Lambethana; being a complete List of all the Wills and Testaments recorded in the Archiepiscopal Register at Lambeth, 1312-1636.’ Another manuscript intended for Mr. Nichols's press. 19. Memoirs of Archbishop Hutton. Manuscript purchased at Ducarel's sale, for the Hutton family. 20. Correspondence; letters to him, Addit. MSS. 23990 and 15935; and correspondence with William Cole in Addit. MSS. 6808 f. 185, 5830 f. 200 b, and 6401 f. 8.
[Memoir by John Nichols in Biog. Brit. (Kippis), reprinted with additions in the Literary Anecdotes, vi. 380; Addit. MSS. 5867 f. 149, 6109, 15935, 28167 f. 70; Index to Addit. MSS. (1783–1835), p. 148; Egerton MS. 834; Thomson's List of Fellows of the Royal Society, p.1; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), p. 680; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. xi. 149, 4th sor. i. 49, xii. 307, 356, 7th ser. ii. 36; Walpoliana, i. 73; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, Nos. 3346, 3347; Cave-Browne's Lambeth Palace (1883), pref. pp. ix, xi, 66-8, 105, 106; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, p. 198.]