Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/588

This page needs to be proofread.


482 NOTES AND QUERIES. [12 S.X.JUNE 24,1022. of Queen Anne, had resided for long that the first Magdalen Hospital or Hospice was opened with only eight inmates all that the institution could then shelter. And five houses in Great Prescott Street once formed the London Infirmary (with a " lock " annex), which was the parent of the London Hospital before that institu- tion was removed to the West Heath " Mount," on the border of the Mile End Common. Dr. Dodd's last public sermon was preached at the " New Magdalen " (a much more pretentious asylum than the original, with a fine chapel attached, which was greatly affected by "quality folk") on Feb. 2, 1777, two days before he forged the document which hastened his final downfall, his conviction, and his strange execution at Tyburn his crime being one of some ten score for which capital punish- ment was the penalty in those days. The able and brilliant historian, Grant Robertson, observes that two -thirds of the crimes punishable by death in England had been added in the eighteenth century. An offender could be hanged for falsely pre- tending to be a Greenwich pensioner ; for injuring a county bridge ; for cutting down a young tree ; for forging a bank-note ; for being a fraudulent bankrupt ; for stealing any property value five shillings or more than one shilling from the person ; for stealing anything from a bleaching ground ; and, if a soldier or a sailor, for begging without a pass. . . . Not until 1820 was flogging of women abolished. Such was English law, though English customs, practice, and exigencies often gave those sentenced to the halter the option of finding death at the cannon's mouth upon the Seven Seas, or on the fringes of what we now call the British Commonwealth Dr. Dodd, the Masonic Grand Chaplain, was not the object of special vengeance from the Courts of Law or the Palace. Of this time Charles Dickens, in ' A Tale of Two Cities,' tells us that putting to death was a recipe much in vogue with all trade and professions. Death is Nature's remedy for all things, anc why not Legslation's ? Accordingly, the forge was put to death ; the utterer of a bad note was put to death ; the unlawful opener of a lette: was put to death ; the purloiner of forty shillings and sixpence was put to death ; the holder o a horse at the door, who made off with it, was put to death ; the sounders of three-fourths of the notes in the whole gamut of crime were put tc death. Not that it did the least good in the wa> of prevention it might almost have been worth remarking that the fact was exactly the reverse but it cleared off (as to this world) the trouble of each particular case, and left nothing else connected with it to be looked after. POOR MISTRESS DODD. Poor Mistress Dodd of a much lower ocial status even than a chaplain or a private schoolmaster when George the Third was iing died in very indigent circumstances despite the multitude of William Dodd's quondam friends) at Ilford, near the scene of her husband's earlier scholastic and ournalistic labours. The marriage of Dodd (who claimed descent from Sir Thomas Overbury) took Dlace in April, 1751, and his wife was Mary Perkins (a servant of a Durham Prebendary), whose father was a verger of Durham Cathe- dral. This was before Dodd was appointed

o the curacy of West Ham or to the lecture-

ship there. It should be held in mind, by the by, that John Entick, the Stepney curate-historian, William Dodd's guide, philosopher and friend in matters Masonic, was buried at Stepney in the churchyard, close by the Church House in which husband and wife had resided, in May, 1773. Me. (To be continued.) MARAT IN ENGLAND. (See ante, pp. 381, 403, 422, 441, 463.) IN December, 1787, then, Le Maitre, under his latest alais of Maratt Amiatt, having disappeared from Bristol, the realJean Paul in January, 1788, emerges from his final lacuna of obscurity and reappears in Paris, where we find him obsequiously presenting a copy of one of his publications to the Queen, whom later he was to hound to the scaffold. There we will leave him until his recognition by the benevolent Bristolian in 1792, which forms the concluding incident of this inquiry. For the convenience of the reader the various links in the chain may now be summarized : We find that about 1772 a foreigner called " Le Maitre, alias Mara," was engaged as a teacher of French at Warrington Academy, that he was afterwards remembered by several pupils as having been engaged there as such, and that there was also, for a time, a local tradition of a " Marat's walk " at Warrington. That in February, 1776, the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford was robbed by a person called " Le Maitre, alias Mara," said to be Swiss or French, who for a time had taught French and tambouring in that city, and who after the crime fled to Norwich,