Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/42

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Bushnell
Bushnell
38

days as a 'poor brother' of the Charter House, where he died on 17 Feb. 1884, aged 76.

[Medical Times and Gazette, 8 March 1884.]

J. D.

BUSHNELL, Mrs. CATHERINE. [See Hayes-Bushnell, Madame Catherine, 1825-1861.]

BUSHNELL, JOHN (d. 1701), sculptor, was a pupil of Thomas Burman, who, having seduced his servant girl, forced Bushnell into marrying her. Bushnell thereupon quitted England in disgust, and, after studying his profession for two years in France, travelled thence into Italy, where he stayed in the first instance at Rome, but latterly at Venice. In Venice he carved a sumptuous monument for a procuratore di San Marco, representing the siege of Candia and a naval engagement between the Venetians and Turks. Having now attained considerable proficiency in his art, he returned home, and among his first commissions were the statues of Charles I, Charles II, and Sir Thomas Gresham for the Royal Exchange. Probably his best works were the kings which formerly adorned Temple Bar, and the statue of John, lord Mordaunt, in Roman costume at Fulham church. The monuments of Cowley and Sir Palmer Fairbourn in Westminster Abbey are also by him. Bushnell was a man of a wayward and jealous temper, and various tales are told of his eccentricities by Walpole and other authors. He had agreed to complete the set of kings at the Royal Exchange, but hearing that Caius Cibber [q. v.], his rival, was also engaged, he would not proceed, although he had begun six or seven. To disprove the assertion of some of his brother sculptors that he could not model undraped figures, he undertook a nude statue of Alexander the Great, but failed conspicuously. He next attempted to demonstrate the possibility of the Trojan horse, and began to make one upon the same principles, of wood covered with stucco; the head was capable of containing twelve men sitting round a table, the eyes were to serve as windows. Before it was half completed, a storm of wind demolished this unwieldy machine. The two publicans, who had contracted to use his horse as a drinking-booth, offered to be at the expense of erecting it again, but Bushnell was too greatly discouraged to recommence, although his whim had cost him 500l. A still heavier failure was a project for bringing coals to London in vessels of his own construction. The collapse of these and other schemes, together with the loss by a lawsuit of an estate that he had bought in Kent, totally upset his already disordered brain, and he died insane in 1701. He was buried in Paddington church, but the entry does not occur in the register, which is imperfect during that year (Lysons's Environs of London, iii. 340). He left issue two sons and a daughter, to whom, despite his losses, he was able to bequeath a sufficient maintenance.

The sons were as eccentric as their father, for they shut themselves up in a large house in Piccadilly, fronting Hyde Park, which had been built but left unfinished by Bushnell, having neither staircase nor floors. 'Here,' relates Walpole (Anecdotes of Painting, Wornum, ii. 623-4), 'they dwelt like hermits, recluse from all mankind, sordid and unpracticable, and saying the world had not been worthy of their father.' To this strange residence, Vertue, the engraver, after many previous attempts, gainea admission during the owners' absence in 1725, and has related what he saw. Among other curiosities he was shown a bar of iron, 'thicker than a man's wrist,' which was alleged to have been broken by one of Bushnell's many inventions.

[Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists (1878), p. 65.]

G. G.

BUSHNELL, WALTER (1609–1667), ejected clergyman under the Commonwealth, was the son of William Bushnell of Corsham, Wiltshire. He became a batler of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1628, at the age of nineteen. He proceeded B.A. 20 Oct. 1631, and M.A. 11 June 1634. He afterwards was appointed vicar of Box in his native county. He appears to have escaped disturbance through the civil wars, but he suffered much perseution at the hands of the commissioners appointed in August 1654 to eject 'scandalous, ignorant, and insufficient ministers and schoolmasters.' According to his own account he was summoned before the commissioners at Marlborough on 21 Jan. 1655-6, and charged with profaning the sabbath, gambling, drunkenness, a specific act of immorality, with using the common prayer and baptising with the sign of the cross, and with general disaffection to the existing government. The charges were preferred against Bushnell by a profesional informer named John Travers, and Bushnell insisted on a public trial. On 28 April 1666 a court was held for the purpose at Market Lavington. A large number of parishioners were called as witnesses to support the case for the prosecution, but their testimony, even if genuine, merely proved that Bushnell conducted much parish business in alehouses, but was not known to drink to excess. The commissioners adjourned till 4 June, when they met at Calne. More testi-