North, George (1710-1772) (DNB00)
NORTH, GEORGE (1710–1772), numismatist, born in 1710, was the son of George North, citizen and pewterer, who resided in or near Aldersgate Street, London. He was educated at St. Paul's School, and in 1725 entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1728, M.A. 1744. He was ordained deacon in 1729, and went to officiate as curate at Codicote in Hertfordshire, near Welwyn, a village of which he was also curate. In 1743 he was presented to the vicarage of Codicote, and held this small living, which was not worth more than 80l. a year, until his death. In 1744 he was appointed chaplain to Lord Cathcart. North was a diligent student of English coins, of which he possessed a small collection. He corresponded on English numismatics and antiquities with Dr. Ducarel, and many of his letters are printed in Nichols's ‘Literary Anecdotes’ (v. 427 ff). He first attracted the attention of Francis Wise and other antiquaries by ‘An Answer to a Scandalous Libel intituled The Impertinence and Imposture of modern Antiquaries displayed,’ published anonymously in 1741, in answer to Asplin, vicar of Banbury (cf. Nichols, Lit. Illustr. iv. 439). In 1742 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He was also a member of the Spalding Society (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 103). In 1752 he published ‘Remarks on some Conjectures,’ &c. (London, 4to), in answer to a paper by Charles Clarke on a coin found at Eltham [see Clarke, Charles, d. 1767)]. In this pamphlet North discussed the standard and purity of early English coins. In 1750 he made a tour in the west of England, visiting Dorchester, Wilton, and Stonehenge, but from this time suffered much from illness. During an illness about 1765 a number of his papers were burnt by his own direction. He died on 17 June 1772, aged 65, at his parsonage-house at Codicote, and was buried at the east end of Codicote churchyard.
North is described (cf. Nichols, Lit. Anecdotes, v. 469) as ‘a well-looking, jolly man,’ ‘much valued by his acquaintance.’ He was never married. He left his library and his coins to Dr. Askew and Dr. Lort, the latter being his executor. Among his books was a manuscript account of Saxon and English coins by North with drawings by Hodsol. This came, ultimately, into the possession of Rogers Ruding [q. v.], who also acquired two plates engraved by North to accompany a dissertation (never completed) on the coins of Henry III (Ruding, Annals of the Coinage, i. 186, ii. 176). North also compiled ‘A Table of English Silver Coins from the Conquest to the Commonwealth, with Remarks.’ A transcript of this by Dr. Gifford was in 1780 in the collection of Tutet. North's notes on Ames's ‘Typographical Antiquities’ were made use of by Herbert.
North drew up the sale catalogues for the coin collections of the Earl of Oxford (1742) and of Dr. Mead (1755); he also catalogued, in 1744, West's series of Saxon coins and Dr. Ducarel's English coins. A paper on Arabic numerals in England, written by North in 1748, was published by Gough in the 'Archæologia' (x. 360).
[Nichols's Lit. Illustrations and Lit. Anecdotes, especially v. 426 if., based on an account by Dr. Lort; on the account of North in Cole's MSS. see Nichols's Lit. Anecd. v. 468 n.]