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almost odious to the whole family; for, while his two younger brothers eagerly rushed into the army, he himself, after attaining a good provincial education 'resolved to dedicate his life to commerce.

But as the country did not afford a sufficient scope for his ambition, young Combe repaired to the capital, and entered into the corn trade. The house of his maternal uncle, the late Boyce Trees, who was then a very eminent factor, afforded him ample opportunities for learning all the arcana of this very important and profitable branch. While in the office of his relation, he addicted himself to business with an uncommon degree of assiduity, and his new home and manner of life, perhaps, were still more endeared to him by the charms of his lovely cousin, Catharine. Their affections proving mutual, a marriage in due time ensued; and on the death of the gentleman who united in his own person the character of both uncle and fatherin-law, Mr. Combe succeeded to the business. There is a cera tain tact in the city by which rising men appear to be known to each other, so that their future fortunes are prognosticated with a degree of certainty that may seem singular and extraordinary to the uninitiated. Accordingly, an attorney of great acuteness, (Mr. Rudd) although he had only seen the subject of this memoir occasionally at a whist club, after enquiring into his character and connexions, hailed him, while yet a very young man, as the future representative and lord mayor of the metropolis. A distinguished member of the corporation *, who had occupied both situations with no common degree of credit, contributed to verify this prediction. It was he who first introduced the subject of this memoir to that great municipal body, to whose charge is entrusted the care of the rights and the franchises of the city; and it was he too, who by his influence and advice, and it may be added his patronage, paved the way for the respectable station of an alderman. This event afterwards conducted the fortunate candidate to all the remaining honours of the metropolis, such as the shrievalty, the pretorian chair, and the still greater, because more permanent distinction, of one of the representatives.

* Ms. Alderman Sawbridge. Of this genıleman the following brief aecount is taken from a tract now become very scarce :

“ He was descended from one of the most honourable and ancient families in Kent, whose ancestors frequently represented that county Parliament. He inherited a good fortune, and very early in life captivated a lady with a fortune of 100,000l. This lady died in less than a twelvemonth, and rewarded the kindness of Mr. Sawbridge with the whole of her fortune.

“ Mr. Wilkes introduced this gentleman into the practice of politics, and, in the theory; he had made a very rapid progress under the auspices of (his sister) Mrs. Macaulay.

“ He was sheriff in 1768, in conjunction with the late James Townshend, Esq.'

« In defiance of a threat of a bill of pains and penalties, held out by Government, he persevered in his duty, and returned Mr. Wilkes to Parliament five successive times, notwithstanding a resolution of the House of Commons, since declared illegal.

“ A schoolboy friendship introduced him to the notice of Lord Chatham, through whom he was brought into Parliament, and this mutual friendship reflected honour on

Meanwhile Mr. Combe aspired to greater distinction in the commercial as well as in the political world. On looking around him, he beheld not only the superior but the most opulent classes engaged in trade to consist chiefly of brewers. The Ladd's had become baronets. The descendants of the Thrales had formed an alliance with one of the most ancient of the Scottish nobility; while the Whitbreads, after purchasing landed estates, to an immense amount, in the county of Bedford, now shone in the British senate with unrivalled splendour; and, in the person of the son of the founder of that house, seemed to eclipse the aristocracy both in magnificence and in talents.

It is not a little remarkable, that all these great capitalists both rose and flourished in the borough of Southwark; and this too within a few hundred yards of each other. Mr. Combe, who . deemed it no great transition to convert his barley into malt, at length determined to establish a great brewery in the neighbourhood of Bedford Square, as this new portion of the metropolis possessed the desirable advantages of a central situation and an increasing neighbourhood. Having selected two opulent friends as partners *, a capital was speedily collected out of their joint wealth ; and the projector lived to behold this new house, trading under the firm of Gifford and Co. t, become the fourth or fifth, in point of importance, in the metropolis. I

each. The Peer aided by his influence one who wanted his patronage, and the party obliged repaid it by proper but independent exertions of gratitude and genius.

“ He (Mr. Alderman Sawbridge) was the constant and unshaken advocate of parliamentary reform, and the sworn enemy to corruption; a man of talents, a man of education, and an useful speaker.

“ He was an alderman of the ward of Langbourne, by which he was much esteemed. was never in any place, was steady in his principles, inviolable in his friendship, and consistent in his politics ; he was a staunch Whig.

In private life he was benevolent, hospitable, and sincere. He possessed all the manners and accomplishments of the gentleman and the man of fashion. Mr. Sawbridge died in 1794."

Soon after this, he was elected an alderman of the city of London, and conducted himself on all occasions, not only like an upright magistrate, but with a degree of urbanity, attention, and discernment, that speedily ensured a large portion of the public applause: while sheriff, too, he gave general satisfaction.

On the death of his friend Mr. Sawbridge, in 1795, the alderman was encouraged to offer himself as his successor; but on this occasion, he was opposed by Mr. Lushington, then a very eminent merchant of the city of London, who united in


* These were Mr. Delafield, his brother-in-law, who had been with Mr. Whitbread, and Mr. George Shum. The business first commenced under the firm of Shum, Combe, and Delafield; but having purchased the extensive premises of Gifford and Co., they afterwards traded under that name.

+ It has been customary ever since the accession of the House of Hanover, for the great brewers of London to receive and entertain the royal family in their respective manufactories. If we mistake not greatly, our Henry V., when contending for the crown of France, was feasted in a most hospitable and sumptuous manner by a wealthy brewer of Antwerp.

George I. and II. honoured the Gascoynes with their presence. His present Majesty George III. condescended to visit the premises of the first Whitbread, (father to the late celebrated M. P. for Bedford,) on which occasion all the men were clothed in a complete uniform dress, while the horses were decorated with new harness.

In order to revive this ancient custom, which had become nearly obsolete during a long reign, Mr. Alderinani Combe, some years since, gave an entertainment to the Duke and Duchess of York and the Duke of Cambridge. On this occasion, the stoker, dressed in a clean white cap and jacket, broiled rump steaks, more majorum, on his polished iron shovel, and served them up hot and hot to his royal guests on pewter trenchers ; while the table, placed in the centre of the brew-house, was very appropriately covered with hop-sacks, and the company regaled with brown stout, handed round in wooden mugs!

In 1804, the maximum produce of the first strong-heer brewer in the metropolis, according to the excise return, was 152,500 gallons. Mr, Combe's establishment paid the duty on 87,700 gallons,


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his own person both the East and West India interest. The election commenced on the 3d of March, and closed two days after, in consequence of Mr. Combe's wisely declining to prosecute a losing cause.

But although balked on this occasion, his disappointment proved but of short duration; for we soon after find the subject of this memoir returned one of the city representatives; and such was his increasing popularity, that at the general election in 1802, when there were no fewer than seven candidates, he was manifestly the favourite, for his name was placed at the head of the poll.

It is not to be concealed, however, that during the late war, when party-animosities ran high, Mr. Alderman Combe was both opposed and hated by a very formidable junto in the city of London. It is no less true, however, that he defeated their plans for his abasement, and finally triumphed over all his enemies. Having been nominated Captain-Commandant of the Aldgate Volunteers, it was hoped that no commission would be issued to him by the crown; but His Majesty's Ministers were far more liberal than many of their supporters, and accordingly, in due time, he became first a major, and then lieutenant-colonel. On this, as on every other occasion, he displayed a manly spirit; for he disdained to exercise his authority over others without being sufficiently apprised of his own duty. Accordingly, before he presumed to give the word of command, the alderman submitted to the drill ; and after being some time under the hands of the serjeant and the adjutant, repaired to head quarters, with the character of an excellent officer.

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* The numbers were as follows, at the close of the poll : For William Lushington, Esq.

2334 Harvey Christian Combe, Esq.

1560 In the course of the next year, the Alderman proved more fortunate, having polled 3865, and being the third candidate in point of numbers. In 1802, he was at the head of the poll, having

3377 votes, In 1806, he was again placed first, having

2294 ditto. In 1807, he stood fourth in order, with

2583 ditto. In 1812, he was once more first, having

5125 ditto.


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In 1800, Mr. Combe, who, in the mean time, had distinguished himself greatly by his public spirit during his shrievalty, was at length exalted, after a variety of difficulties, to serve the office of lord mayor. The livery are accustomed to select and return certain candidates; but the nomination of any one of these individuals, is expressly vested in the Court of Aldermen. It is usual, however, on this occasion, to choose the senior magistrates in rotation; but in 1799, a junior one was actually nominated, expressly on purpose to mortify him, and obstruct his preferment. Effectual means, however, were adopted in the course of the preceding year to defeat this mancuvre, which was at length fully accomplished by the intervention of the late Mr. Alderman Skinner. Accordingly, Mr. Combe was put in nomination with that respectable magistrate, who was his senior in the corporation, and had consequently been invested with the civic honours many years before this period. As was expected by all parties, Mr. Skinner declined.; and at the same time paid the highest compliment to the talents and integrity of the other candidate, who stood by him on the hustings. This measure proved effectual; for, as he could not be forced to serve the office a second time, nothing now remained for the opponents of the subject of this memoir but acquiescence.

During his mayoralty Mr. Combe conducted himself in such a manner as to excite the applause both of friends and enemies. He was requested by some of his constituents, on one trying occasion, to call out the military ; but my lord mayor disclaimed that course, and proved in the case of a mob, who had assembled at the Corn-market, that our ancient laws were still effectual, and that the constable's staff was more constitutional, as well as more efficacious, than the bayonet.

In respect to his parliamentary conduct, Mr. Alderman Combe appears to have acted generally with the Whigs. Accordingly, during the first war with France, in conjunction with Mr. Fox and many others, he not only disapproved of the motives in which the contest had originated, but also in


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