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43. An Ode to the Livery of London. 4to. 1797.
47. Lord Auckland's Triumph, or the Death of Crim. Con. 4to. 1800.
48. Odes to Ins and Outs. 4to.
5). A Poetical Epistle to Benjamin Count Rumford, &c. 4to.
52. The Island of Innocence. 4to. 1802.
57. An Instructive Epistle to John Perring, Esq. Lord Mayor of London. 4to. 1804.
58. Tristia, or the Sorrows of Peter. 8vo. 1806.
59. The Fall of Portugal, or the Royal Exiles, a Tragedy. Svo. 1808.
Written in conjunction with a friend. 60. One more Peep at the Royal Academy. 4to.
61. A Solemn, Sentimental and Reprobating Epistle to Mrs. Clark. 4to. 1809.
62. Carlton House Fête, &c. 4to. 1811.
68. Anticipation, or the Prize Address to be delivered at the Opening of Drury-Lane Theatre. 4to. 1812.
64. A Most Solemn and Important Epistle to the Emperor of China. 4to. 1817.
Dr. Wolcot also superintended an edition of Pilkington's Dictionary of Painters, and compiled a selection of the “ Beauties of English Poetry.”
HIS singular being seemed more properly to appertain to the last than to the present age, in every thing character, dress, manners, and pursuits. He came into the world at a time when vertù was held in great estimation in England, and while the name of Sir Hans Sloane was still treated with a high degree of respect, as a collector of every rare and curious production of nature. To this school he appertained; notwithstanding he superadded a taste for the fine arts, and to the pursuits connected with both dedicated a long life and ample fortune. Close application and great sacrifices enabled him to emulate the late Duchess Dowager of Portland in England, and M. Lionette in Holland; and, as he survived them both, his collection became enriched with their spoils, and dignified with their choicest acquisitions.
An acquaintance of above fourteen years' duration, originally produced through the intervention of a very amiable nobleman, who had long known him, in addition to frequent and reciprocal visits, enabled the writer of this article to contemplate at leisure, and almost in every possible attitude, the singular old man whom he now endeavours to pourtray. He has known him both in opulence and in poverty; he has beheld him, at one time rolling in riches, and at another visited him in a jail, where he was subjected to the lot of the meanest of mortals, after having lived with the primati both of his own and foreign nations. Of the life and adventures of this eccentric personage, he was accustomed to take notes in his presence, and*with his full approbation; indeed, he always seemed highly flattered with
this circumstance, which he deemed a mark of particular attention.
Henry Constantine Jennings, the only son of Jennings, esquire, of Shiplake, in the county of Oxford, was born in 1731, 0. S. He descended from a very ancient and, indeed, a very illustrious family, which claimed its origin from William Moritaente, Earl of Salisbury, and reckoned Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury, among its progeni
While speaking on this subject, he was accustomed to be very high and lofty, and always treated the present Marquis of Hastings, and his uncle, the Earl of Huntingdon, as junior and comparatively obscure branches of his family!
Certain it is, that the Jenningses of Sandridge, near St. Albans, whom Coxe, in his recent biographical * work, mentions with high respect, on account of their distinguished lineage, were of the same race. The beautiful and high-minded Sarah Jennings, afterwards the celebrated Duchess of Marlborough, whose talents and whose charms enabled her to govern a queen of England and the hero of Europe at the same time, always termed the elder Mr. Jennings her cousin. “ My father,” observed the son, while
” speaking on this subject, “ was one of her members of parliament; she bequeathed him 20,000l. in one of her many wills, some of which were printed; but he died before her, and it became a lapsed legacy. She was a clever jade, and I,”
a added he, in his usual blunt manner, “only wonder that she did not leave the money to me!” +
There can be no manner of doubt of these facts, which have been lately confirmed, indeed, from the most respectable authority. In a recent communication with one of the
* Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough, with his original correspondence.
f In his old age, the great Duke of Marlborough delighted to have plays performed in his presence, at Blenheim. We find, that in “ All for Love, or the World Well Lost,” the character of Ventidius was supported by “ old Mr. Jennings," whom. we take to have been the grandfather of the subject of this memoir, We also learn that “ Mrs. Jennings" was a visitor there. See Coxe's Memoirs of John Duke of Marlborough, vol. iii.
Marlborough family, this very subject happened incidentally to be mentioned, and the alliance was not disowned.
Henry Jennings, at an early age, was sent to Westminster school for his education. Dr. Nicholls, at that time, was head master; and of his class-fellows he was accustomed to state, that they all turned out remarkable men: Mr. Hastings, Sir Elijah Impey, an Earl of Buckinghamshire, and, if we mistake not, either Churchill or Lloyd, or both, were usually enumerated in this catalogue. A former Duke of Richmond was at school at the same time, but he did not appertain to these. While at this celebrated seminary, the subject of our memoir acquired a fine taste for the classics: this was accompanied, at the same time, with a very laudable proficiency; and neither of these qualifications ever forsook him, at any time, through the whole of a very long and protracted life.
At the age of seventeen, Mr. Jennings obtained a commission in the 1st regiment of foot-guards.
At that period (1748), the mall in St. James's Park had a large iron ring at one end of it, for playing the game which gave rise to the appellation by which this fine walk is still designated. This diversion has long ceased to be practised in England, and was, indeed, introduced from the Continent, where it is still in vogue, particularly in Germany. A kind of club-stick is employed on this occasion ; and the grand contest is, who shall first
l drive the wooden ball through the iron circle, an event which constitutes the victor. At the same period, according to the testimony of our informant, after the lapse of far more than half a century, St. James's Park exhibited a very different appearance from what it assumes at present. It was mostly under water, out of which arose several duck islands; and there was a house of entertainment, where company were accustomed to drink tea, and amuse themselves on holidays.
Our young ensign did not long wear his fine rich regimental coat, which, at that period, was nearly all covered with gold lace, like the present full dress, and cost 401. or 506. He resigned in consequence of some “innovations” on the part of
a prince of the blood, whom he was accustomed to characterise as follows: 6 The Culloden Duke of Cumberland was a great prig, - a Martinet, - very disagreeable and troublesome to the young officers of that day, by his regulations, his alterations, and his frequent changes. However, after the affair at ClosterSeven, when he had, for the first time, tasted of adversity, he began to think for himself, and ever after continued a great man."
Mr. Jennings was now sent abroad on his travels, and, not content with a partial view of foreign countries, resolved to make the grand tour of Europe. This occupied a long period; for it appears, from a note, that after residing some time in France, he crossed the Alps, and spent eight whole years in Italy, three of which were passed at Rome. In company with Lord Mount-Hermor, only son of the Duke of Montague, he afterwards visited Sicily. Of this young nobleman he was always accustomed to speak with the highest possible degree of love, respect, and admiration. His praises were uttered with a kind of rapture not easily to be described ; and seldom could he mention his name, in after lifc, unaccompanied with a tear, which stole down his furrowed cheek, and marked the sincerity as well as constancy of his friendship ! He alone, was allowed to rival and even to excel himself in respect to a knowledge of the fine arts. 6 Mount-Hermor !" he was accustomed to exclaim, “possessed a certain indescribable tact - he could discern the merits of a fine picture at a single glance — he could discriminate an original statue at first view — I never yielded to any one but him but, alas ! he is no more; he was snatched from his family and from me, while a very young man — and I have never since been able to find a sincere friend and confidential ad viser !" This recognition did honour to the feelings of the survivor.
While in Italy, Mr. Jennings formed, or rather, perhaps, renewed his acquaintance with the late Duke of Marlborough, then Marquis of Blandford. The latter travelled in a grand style, and seemed to possess an unlimited power from his