Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 52.djvu/172
bill of attainder, on the ground that if he were acquitted his client would still be liable to proceedings under the common law. In 1698 he was retained on behalf of the ‘Old’ East India Company, and successfully screened his political leader, Seymour, from the imputation of bribery. In June 1699 he successfully defended Charles Duncombe against a charge of falsely endorsing exchequer bills, and four months later he was elected treasurer of the Middle Temple. Next month (November 1699) he was counsel for Sir Edward Seymour against Captain Kirke, who had killed the baronet's heir, Conway Seymour, in a duel. In 1701 he was ready with advice as to the best means of proceeding against the leading Kentish petitioners. He was taken ill suddenly at the Temple Church on 2 Dec. 1701, and two days later he died of pleurisy at his house in Temple Lane. His remains were taken to Pinner Hill, where he had recently acquired a seat, and buried in the chancel of Pinner church, where there is a slab to Shower's memory (Lysons, Environs, ii. 587); but, says Le Neve, ‘he had no right to the arms he was buried with, nor any other, as I guess’ (Pedigrees of the Knights, p. 411). Shower states that he was married in Bread Street in 1682 by Samuel Johnson, the author of ‘Julian the Apostate,’ but his wife's name is not recorded. With advancing years Shower's jacobitism grew more robust. He wrote a bitter squib upon the opportunism of William Sherlock, entitled ‘The Master of the Temple as bad a Lawyer as the Dean of St. Paul's is a Divine’ (1696, 4to), and he corresponded in sympathetic terms with George Hickes [q. v.] the nonjuror. He was stigmatised in the fourth canto of Garth's ‘Dispensary’ as
Vagellius, one reputed long
For strength of lungs and pliancy of tongue.
The Reports printed as Shower's are: 1. ‘Cases in Parliament resolved and adjudged upon Petitions and Writs of Error’ (1694–8), 1698, fol.; 3rd edit. 1740, fol. (see Bridgman, Legal Bibliogr. p. 303). 2. ‘Reports of Cases in King's Bench from 30 Car. II to 6 William III’ (1678–95), London, 1708 and 1720, 2 vols. fol.; 2nd edit. 1794, 2 vols. 8vo, London. Hardwicke, Holt, and Abinger have characterised these reports as of no authority. They were in fact printed from ‘a foul copy’ which fell into the printer's hands. Shower's abridged and corrected manuscript, containing ‘many good cases touching the customs of London, never printed,’ fell into the hands of Edward Umfreville (who annotated it), and is now in the British Museum (Lansdowne MS. 1105). At the end of the volume are some curious autobiographical notes in Shower's own hand, constituting the main authority for the facts of his life.[Luttrell's Brief Hist. Narration, vols. v. and vi.; Boyer's William III, p. 70; Howell's State Trials, vols. ix. xii. xiii.; Lysons's Environs of London, ii. 586–7; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 151, ii. 414; Macaulay's Hist. of England, ii. 692; Wallace's Reporters, 1855, p. 243; Marvin's Legal Bibliography, p. 646; Brooke's Bibl. Leg. p. 219; Campbell's Lord Chancellors, iv. 136; Allibone's Dict. of English Lit.; Notes from the librarian of the Middle Temple.]
SHOWER, JOHN (1657–1715), nonconformist divine, elder brother of Sir Bartholomew Shower [q. v.], was born at Exeter, and baptised on 18 May 1657. His father, William, a wealthy merchant, died about 1661, leaving a widow (Dorcas, daughter of John Anthony) and four sons. Shower was educated in turn at Exeter, at Taunton, and at the Newington Green academy, his mother removing with him to London. In 1677, before he was twenty, he began to preach, on the advice of Morton and Thomas Manton [q. v.] Next year, in consequence of the alleged ‘popish plot,’ a merchant's lecture was begun in the large room of a coffee-house in Exchange Alley. Four young preachers were chosen as evening lecturers, among them being Shower and Theophilus Dorrington [q. v.] Shower was ordained on 24 Dec. 1679 by five ejected ministers, headed by Richard Adams (1626?–1698) [q. v.] He at once became (still retaining his lectureship) assistant to Vincent Alsop [q. v.] in Tothill Street, Westminster, and held this post till 1683, when Sir Samuel Barnardiston [q. v.] sent him abroad with two other young ministers as companions of his nephew, Samuel Barnardiston. They made the grand tour, visiting France, Switzerland, Italy, and the Rhine. At Amsterdam, in July 1684, they parted, Shower remaining in Holland till 1686. Returning to London, he resumed his lecture at Exchange Alley, but the extreme pressure to which nonconformists were then subjected led him to return to Holland in the same year. He joined John Howe (1630–1705) [q. v.] at Utrecht. At the end of 1687 he became evening lecturer in the English presbyterian church at Rotterdam, of which Joseph Hill (1625–1707) [q. v.] was one of the pastors. He returned to London on receiving a call (19 Jan. 1690–1691) to succeed Daniel Williams [q. v.] as assistant to Howe at Silver Street. Here he was very popular, and soon received a call to the pastorate of the presbyterian congregation at Curriers' Hall, London Wall, which