Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/278

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268


NOTES AND QUERIES. LIIS.XI. APRIL 3,1915.


and residing in Pendle. ( 1 ) Is the place-name known elsewhere ? (2) Is the family of that name still in existence ? (3) Is there any direct evidence of connexion between the place and family ? ABM. NEWELL.

Todmorden.


WILLIAM EGBERTS, ESQ. : WOODBISING.

(11 S. xi. 188.)

WILLIAM ROBERTS was a member of that famous coterie known as the Clapham Sect. He was a friend of Zachary Macaulay, of William Wilberforce, and of the Thorntons.

Roberts was born at Newington Butts in 1767. The family to which he belonged came from Abergavenny. William Hay- ward Roberts, once Provost of Eton, was a relative, and it was through him that a monument was placed in the church of Abergavenny which records the f amily for three hundred years.

Roberts was the son of another William Roberts, who had been originally in the Army, but afterwards " took pupils," among whom was Henry Thornton. Roberts's mother expected her son to write his letters to her in verse, and to address his requests for clothes or pocket-money in rime. Speci- mens have been printed.

Roberts has had, perhaps, more than his share of biographical attention. He is included in the ' D.N.B.,' and in 1850 one of his sons, the Rev. Arthur Roberts, Rector of Woodrising, Norfolk, pubhshed ' The Life, Letters, and Opinions of William Roberts, Esq.' From these sources very ample mate- rials may be obtained. I will limit my remarks as far as possible- to Roberts'^ association with Hannah More, and en- deavour to supplement in a few particulars what has a J ready appeared.

Roberts had two brothers and four sisters. Two of the sisters died compara- tively young, and the two survivors, Mary Elizabeth and Margaret, became close friends of Hannah More. Mary Elizabeth Roberts d at Windsor Terrace, Clifton, 30 Sept., 1832. A notice of her life appeared in The Christian Observer for November, 1832. On one occasion when Hannah More's clothes caught fire and her life was in danger, Mary Elizabeth Roberts saved her. Hannah More herself died 7 Sept., 1833 (also at Windsor Terrace, Clifton), leaving


Roberts's sister Margaret her executrix, who at once handed over the materials for a Life to her brother. He had not known Hannah More very well himself, although he had once, at any rate, visited her at Barley Wood.

Barley Wood, April 12 [1814]. MY DEAR SIB, Not with less alacrity than the gates of Paris were thrown open to their generous foe will ours be opened to receive a kind friend. We hope you will stay with us as long as you can afford. I shall derive more gratification from my friendship than from my vanity ; for we are not yet got into anything like beauty. As soon as you are pretty confident of your motions, write one line to say at what hour we shall send our chaise to Bristol on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning to bring you hither. Should your motions be too uncertain, coaches come from Bristol, and pass within a mile of us two or three times a day ; but we insist on fetching you if practicable. Yours, dear Sir,

Very sincerely,

H. MORE.

In 1831 Roberts had published a book which sold largely ' The Portraiture of a Christian Gentleman.' He dedicated it to Hannah More, and stated that her treatise upon ' The Spirit of Prayer ' had prompted him to write the book.

Your correspondent states that Roberts's ' Life ' of Hannah More was issued in two volumes in 1838. It was first issued in four volumes in 1834. The 1838 edition was only a condensed form of the original book. It was still further abridged by the Rev. Edward Bickersteth for "The Chris- tian's Family Library," and it was again reprinted as late as 1872. The original edi- tion passed quickly through four editions, each of 2,000 copies. The Quarterly Review (vol. Hi. p. 416) made fun of it. It is, indeed, a meagre and lifeless affair, and not worthy of the subject.

Roberts lived at various addresses, and the first residence named is Point Pleasant, Wandsworth. This was in 1783. In August, 1828, he lived at Clapham " in a house adjoining St. Paul's Chapel." Here he lived for seven years. In June, 1835, he removed to Wimbledon ; and in 1839 he went to live at Shalford, near Guildford. In 1844 he resided at Abbey Orchard House, St. Albans, and there he died 21 May, 1849. He married Elizabeth Anne, daughter of Radclyffe Sidebottom. He had ten children. Of these, one, already named, the Rev. Arthur Roberts, was Rector of Woodrising, Norfolk, from 31 March, 1831, until his death, 3 Sept. , 1 886. (See The Times, 7 Sept. , 1886 ; Record, 10 Sept., 1886 ; also Foster's ' Alumni ' and Boase's ' Modern Biography.'