Mauduit, Israel (DNB00)


MAUDUIT, ISRAEL (1708–1787), political pamphleteer, was born, it is believed at Bermondsey, London, in 1708. He was descended from a family of French protestants who settled at Exeter early in the seventeenth century. His father, Isaac Mauduit, the first dissenting minister at the chapel of St. John's or King John's Court, Bermondsey, died 8 April 1718, aged 55; his mother, Elizabeth, died 10 March 1713, aged 41. Both were buried, with several of their infant children, in Bermondsey Church. Israel was educated for the dissenting ministry in the nonconformist school at Taunton, and afterwards travelled abroad with several other young men of the same opinions. He preached for a time at the Hague and in other protestant chapels at home and abroad, but afterwards became a partner in a woollen-draper's business in Lime Street, London, with his brother Jaspar, and with James Wright, who had married Jaspar's only child by his first wife. During the rebellion of 1745 the firm executed a government contract without retaining any profit from the transaction. In 1763 Israel was appointed customer of Southampton. Jaspar was agent in England for the province of Massachusetts Bay, but, as the business was managed by Israel, a majority of the council voted for appointing the latter to the agency (Hutchinson, Massachusetts Bay, 1828, pp. 105, 416–418). Governor Bernard, however, induced them to reverse their decision, and Jaspar remained in his post for a time, though Israel was appointed about 1763. So long as Governor Hutchinson and Lieutenant-governor Oliver were in America the agency was held by him, and when the petition for their removal from the governorship of Massachusetts came before the privy council, he applied to be heard on their behalf by counsel. The application was granted. Wedderburn argued their case, and during the proceedings made his celebrated attack on Benjamin Franklin. For some years after the outbreak of war with the American colonies he was not in sympathy with the colonists, and he withheld from them a fund for propagating the gospel among the subjects of the crown. In March 1778 he declared for American independence, and produced to Hutchinson ‘a printed sheet of his own composing’ in support of that view. On 6 May 1787 he was chosen to succeed Richard Jackson [q. v.] as governor of the Dissenters' Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, but only lived to attend one board meeting. He was elected F.R.S. on 13 June 1751.

Mauduit died at Clement's Lane, Lombard Street, London, on 14 June 1787, when his library was sold by John Walker of Paternoster Row. A bachelor, possessed of an ample fortune, he entertained at his house many friends, among whom were Baron Maseres and Dr. Heberden. Miss Hawkins calls him ‘a gentleman of the old school’ and a good classical scholar, and she quotes his punning motto, ‘Deus me audit.’ His portrait, painted by M. Chamberlin in 1751 for Benjamin Lethieullier, was engraved by Thomas Holloway for the ‘European Magazine’ (1787, pt. i. pp. 383–4, pt. ii. pp. 6–8).

Mauduit wrote: 1. ‘Letter to the Right Hon. Lord B——y, being an Enquiry into the merits of his Defence of Minorca’ [anon.], 1757, which brought out in reply, ‘A Full Answer to a Libel, entitled A Letter to Lord B——y,’ 1757. 2. ‘Considerations on the present German War’ [anon.], 1760; 6th edit. 1761. This pamphlet, which attracted many answers, came out under the countenance of Lord Hardwicke, and was defended in parliament (10 Dec. 1761) by Charles Yorke. According to Horace Walpole it was ‘shrewdly and ably written, having more operation in working a change on the minds of men than perhaps ever fell to the lot of a pamphlet,’ as, after its publication, England remained neutral on the differences between the various German states. Walpole says that its author received a place, others assert that a pension, varying in amount from 200l. to 600l. a year, was bestowed on him for life. 3. ‘Occasional Thoughts on the present German War’ [anon.], 1761; 4th edit., with additions, 1762. This also was answered in several pamphlets. 4. ‘The Plain Reasoner, or Further Considerations on the present German War’ [anon.], 1761. 5. ‘The Parallel, the substance of two Speeches supposed to have been made in the Closet by two different Ministers, some time before a late demise, on the renewal of our Prussian Treaty’ [anon.], 1762. 6. ‘An Apology for the Life and Actions of General Wolfe, in reply to a pamphlet called “A Counter-Address to the Public”’ [anon.], 1765; twenty-five copies only printed. 7. ‘Some Thoughts on the Method of Improving the advantages accruing to Great Britain from the Northern Colonies’ [anon.], 1765. 8. ‘Short View of the History of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay’ [anon.], 1769; 2nd edit. by Israel Mauduit, 1774; 4th edit. 1776. 9. ‘Short View of the History of the New England Colonies,’ 1769, attributed to him by Allibone. 10. ‘Case of the Dissenting Ministers, with Copy of the Bill for their Relief,’ 1772; 4th edit. 1772, and printed at Boston, New England, in 1773. This pamphlet, in favour of releasing them from subscription to the Thirty-nine Articles, provoked a printed letter to Mauduit in reply. 11. ‘Letters of Hutchinson and Oliver,’ printed at Boston, and remarks thereon by Israel Mauduit, 1774; 2nd edit. 1774. 12. ‘Remarks upon General Howe's Account of his Proceedings on Long Island, in the “Extraordinary Gazette” of 10 Oct. 1776’ [anon.], 1776; 2nd edit. 1778. Very sarcastic on the general's dilatoriness. 13. ‘Observations upon the Conduct of S—r W—m H—e at the White Plains, as related in the “Gazette” of 30 Dec. 1776’ [anon.], 1779. 14. ‘Strictures on the Philadelphia Mischianza, or Triumph upon leaving America unconquered’ [anon.], 1779. 15. ‘Three Letters to Lieutenant-General Sir William Howe’ [anon.], 1781. 16. ‘Three Letters to Lord Viscount Howe, with Remarks on the Attack at Bunker's Hill’ [anon.], 1781.

Mauduit wrote ‘Some Observations upon an American Wasps'-Nest’ (Phil. Trans. 1775, pp. 205–8), which was translated into German in the ‘Hamburg Magazine,’ vol. xxiv.

[Halkett and Laing's Anon. Lit. i. 486, ii. 1414, iii. 1790, 1797, 1856, 2160, 2377, 2588; Rich's Bibl. Americana, i. 150, 173, 268, 277, 297–8; Gent. Mag. 1787, pt. i. p. 549; Thomas Hutchinson's Diary, passim; Franklin's Works, ed. Sparks, iv. 447, viii. 104; Walpole's George III. ed. 1845, i. 33–4, 111; Manning and Bray's Surrey, i. 209; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, iii. 667, viii. 465; Parton's Franklin, i. 578–86; Haag's France Protestante, vii. 336; L. M. Hawkins's Anecdotes, 1822, pp. 7, 166–9.]

W. P. C.