166 Henry Newman to President Leverett

    Whitehall 22d January 1712/3

    Reverend and Dear Sir

    I received your favours of the 19 July and the 11 November last. My Lord Archbishop of York and Dr. Mapletoft both very kindly accepted your Letters and desired me to return you their humble Service, with an assurance that you may depend on their good Offices in whatsoever may be in their power to serve the Colledge. Mr. Chamberlayn thanks you for your remembrance of him and begs you would accept his most humble Service.1 I have been long impatient to give you an Account of the Issue of our Suit in Chancery. But though the Attorney General has been attended at least half a dozen times by all parties, and teazed more than Twenty times by the Sollicitors and myself to make his report, We could not gett it from him till the 18th of last Month, and the 20th I got a Motion made for itt’s being Confirmed by my Lord Keeper which being the last day of Seals before the Holidays it has rested till this term. The Report is now filed, and all partyes concerned have 8 days notice to enter Exceptions if they have any and this day Seven night We hope to have it confirm’d. But I cannot avoid giving you some History of our Delays before the Attorney Generall lest you think me negligent in my Duty; Mr. Dummer2 and I gave in a paper Signed of the purport of No. 1. And the Gentlemen of the Corporation attending the same time were ready to sign it if it were insisted on. Upon which the Attorney General told us he Expected We should also give our opinion about the method of Applying this Charity whether in Books or Fellowships or Scholarships. We told him that We hoped that would be left to the Corporation of the Colledge who being on the spott would be the best Judges. But he said he should not leave it to them and therefore if we did not name some method we must thank ourselves if he named any that should not prove Agreeable. Upon which I consulted all our harvard Schollars in Town and drew up the Letter which you see No. 2 signed by all of us except Mr. Dummer who chose rather to signifie his consent by a seperate Letter then by signing the Letter to the Attorney Generall for a particular reason at that time. I should have been glad to be excused from drawing up this Scheme, but fearing the Attorney General or Lord Keeper would have prescribed something less consistent with our Constitution I was obliged to submitt to the Task, and must do justice to those Gentlemen that furnished me with hints for it. Mr. Rawlins first gave me the hint of Encouraging Graduates to reside at the Colledge as what would tend much to raise the dignity of our Seminary, and the very Reverend Dr. Bray gave me the hint of a poundage towards rewards, as what he had observed in some Colledges of great use, so I hope in the main it will have your Approbation. When we had given in this, the Attorney-General demanded the Consent of the Gentlemen of the Corporation and the Sub Treasurer and Secretary of the Society being present said, they did consent to it in their behalfs. But the Attorney General said he would not be Satisfyed with that without an Authentick Act of the Corporation signifying their Consent, which we were therefore constrained to procure and waited till the End of long vacation before we could see him again at his Chambers and then we delivered in our last sentiments as you see No. 3 to which his Report is affixed. Not to mention the times we attended in which we could not gett one word with him by reason of the throng of other Business before him; during this I was in no small pain for fear of some Trouble from Connecticut before we could gett it issued, but very providentially they had sent their first power to Mr. Dummer who was already a party concern’d in behalf of the School at Cambridge and had given his Consent under hand to the Division of the Charity, so that his hands were in a manner ty’d; and since that I hear they have impowered another Gentleman in the West of England to insist upon their pretensions. But I hope we shall have it Decreed irrevocably before he knows where to begin his application. Not that I beleive he would get any thing by it, but he could not contest it, without putting the Colledge to Expence as well as himself and I think the Account is already swelled too much. Many pounds as well as time might have been Saved if the Society had at first thought fitt to agree to what they doe now, but there’s no looking back in these cases without regrett. And since I could not obtain the Trust to be vested in the Corporation of the Colledge, I hope they will not disaprove of my yielding to the Trustees agreed to, rather than prolong the Dispute at the Danger of consuming the very money we contended for.

    Thus Dear Mr. President I have Endeavoured to lay before you and our Excellent Corporation an Account of the progress of this Affaire which I hope is now near being determined.

    I have only room to add my most hearty wishes for the success and Glory of our Growing Seminary under their and your Administration, and that Religion and Learning may have such an Establishment among you that both our Aspiring Universitys here may not disdain to call you Sister. I earnestly beg your prayers that I may never disparage my Native Country And hope I shall always approve myself as

    Honoured and Dear Sir

    You will please to accept

    Your most obliged humble Servant

    of two or three Books which

    I shall put up for our Library

    Henry Newman

    in a Box to Mr. Belcher.

    My Duty to the Corporation of the College.

    P.S—As to publick affairs every thing seems to have a melancholy Aspect, and tending to Confusion unless Heaven interpose as it has often done to rescue this Unthankfull Nation. We were once this Reign advanced in our Reputation above all the Nations of the Earth. The Glory of the old Romans . . . withered when it stood in competition with Ours, and every Nation resorted to us as the Center of all worldly felicity. But now Wise Sovereigns abandon us as Ratts do a falling house, only those Vermine the French priests swarm in many places as a presage of some Catastrophe at hand. In Short We are now bidding fair to be the Contempt of all the World, and if it were easie, it is not Safe to assigne the reasons, only this may be observed that Heaven seems to have suffer’d an infatuation to difuse itself through the Nation to chastize our Ingratitude for the Torrent of prosperity we lately Lived under. Languages at Babel were perhaps not more confused than the affections and opinions of Mankind are at this time in England. I hope God will at length hear the prayers of some good people among us for Unity, Peace, and Concord. I once more beg Your prayers and remain.

    Dear Sir,

    Your Most obedient

    29th January,

    humble Servant

    Henry Newman

    Sir Captain Holland going away without my Letter above or indeed any other to my friends obliges me to send this after him to the Downs with this addition, that the Attorney Generalls report is just now confirm’d in Chancery and I shall have the order of Court in Form as soon as possible. In the meantime you will be looking out for a purchase, and give me as particular an account as you can of it, for Sir Thomas Gery who has the money in his hands will not part with it till he is satisfy’d in the nature of the purchase. I think to propose that the money be paid to the Corporation of which Sir William Ashurst is Governour3 and that it be by them remitted to Mr. Sewall in Bills of Exchange unless I have your order otherwise.

    I am Sir your most obedient


    H. Newman

    [Addressed:] To the Reverend Mr. John Leverett, President of Harvard College at Cambridge in New England. Reverend Sir: This pacquett is just now received enclosed in a letter from my Brother Brattle. I am yours, W. Sr.

    College Papers, i. 44 (No. 98). Newman, College Agent in England for the recovery of the Hopkins legacy, reports progress; see No. 160 for the beginning of this effort. Postscripts are in a different hand, probably Newman’s own.