Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 39.djvu/247

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Moxon
Moxon
241

jeant Talfourd, defended him in an eloquent speech, which Moxon published. The judge summed up largely in the defendant's favour, but the jury found a verdict of guilty. Moxon was ordered to come up for judgment when called upon, and received no punishment. The prosecutions against the booksellers were allowed to drop. 'It was a prosecution instituted merely for the purpose of vexation and annoyance' (Blackburn, J., in R. v. Hicklin, L.R. 3, Q.B. 372). A full report of the case is in the 'State Trials,' new ser. iv. 693-722. Despite this rebuff, Moxon's series of the poets prospered. Nor did he abandon Shelley. In 1852 he purchased and published, with an introduction by Browning, some letters assigned to Shelley, but soon proved to be forgeries. Hogg's and Trelawny's lives of the poet Moxon brought out in the year of his own death. In later life he extended his business beyond the confines of pure literature, and Haydn's 'Dictionary of Dates' and nearly all the works of Samuel Sharpe the Egyptologist figured in his last lists of publications. He died at Putney Heath on 3 June 1858, and was buried in Wimbledon churchyard. His widow died at Brighton on 2 Feb. 1891, aged 82. She left one son, Arthur, and five daughters (Illustrated London News, 14 Feb. 1891, with portrait of Moxon).

The publishing business did not prosper after Moxon's death. Until 1871 it was carried on in Dover Street, at first under the style of Edward Moxon & Co., and from 1869 as Edward Moxon, Son, & Co. During this period a manager, J. Bertrand Payne, conducted the concern in behalf of Moxon's relatives. Mr. Swinburne's 'Atalanta in Calydon,' 1865, his 'Chastelard,' 1866, and the original edition of his 'Poems and Ballads' appeared under the firm's auspices. In 1868 Tennyson transferred his works to Mr. Alexander Strahan. In 1871 Messrs. Ward, Lock, & Tyler purchased most of the firm's stock and copyrights, and carried on a part of their business under the style of Edward Moxon, Son, & Co. until 1878, when Edward Moxon's name finally disappeared from the list of London publishers.

[Curwen's History of Booksellers, 1873, pp. 347-62; Illustrated London News, 12 June 1858 ; Lupton's Wakefield Worthies (1864), pp. 229 sq. ; London Directory, 1833-78; Lamb's Letters, ed. Ainger; Crabb Robinson's Diaries; English Catalogue of Books, 1835-62 ; Clayden's Life of Rogers ; Moxon's publications ; Gent. Mag. 1858, ii. 93.]

S. L.

MOXON, GEORGE (1603?-1687), congregational divine, born near Wakefield, Yorkshire, about 1603, was educated at Wakefield grammar school, and at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he was reputed an excellent writer of Latin lyrics. Having been chaplain to Sir William Brereton (1604-1661) [q. v.], he obtained the perpetual curacy of St. Helen's, Lancashire, where he disused the ceremonies and got into trouble with his bishop, John Bridgeman [q. v.] Being cited for nonconformity in 1637, he left St. Helen's in disguise for Bristol, and thence sailed for New England, where he was pastor of the congregational church at Springfield, Massachusetts. He returned to England in 1653, and became colleague with John Machin (1624-1664) [q. v.] at Astbury, Cheshire, a sequestered living. Machin was a presbyterian ; Moxon gathered a congregational church at Astbury, and supplied every other Sunday the perpetual curacy of Rushton-Spencer, Staffordshire. He was an assistant commissioner to the 'triers' for Cheshire. After the Restoration the rector, Thomas Hutchinson (d. 15 Dec. 1675), was reinstated, 21 Feb. 1661. Moxon retained his charge at Rushton till his ejection by the Uniformity Act of 1662. He seems to have preached for a time at a farmhouse near Rushton Chapel, where is still an ancient burial-ground.

In 1667 he removed to Congleton, in the parish of Astbury, and preached in his own house near Dane Bridge, which was licensed (30 April), under the indulgence of 1672, for a teacher of the congregational persuasion. Under James's declaration for liberty of conscience, a meeting-house wasbuilt for Moxon's congregation at Congleton, but he did not live to occupy it. He had been disabled by paralytic strokes and was assisted in his ministry from 1678 by Eliezer Birch (d. 12 May 1717). He died at Congleton on 15 Sept. 1687, 'ætat. 85.' He married a daughter of Isaac Ambrose [q. v.] The meetinghouse was first used on occasion of his fune- ral sermon by Birch ; it was destroyed by a Jacobite mob in 1712, but rebuilt. The congregation is now Unitarian.

George Moxon the younger, son of the above, held after 1650 the sequestered rectory of Radwinter, Essex. At the Restoration the rector, Richard Drake, was reininstated, and Moxon became chaplain to Samuel Shute, sheriff of London (1681), who was his brother-in-law. He died at Shute's residence, Eaton Constantine, Shropshire.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 128 sq., 313 ; Newcome's Autobiography (Chetham Soc.), 1852, ii. 182 ; Urwick's Nonconformity in Cheshire, 1864, pp. 155 sq. ; Pickford's Hist, of Congleton Unitarian Chapel, 1883; Head's Congleton, 1887, pp. 251 sq.; Davids's Evang. Nonconf. in Essex, 1863, pp. 445 sq.]

A. G.