Page:Studies of a Biographer 1.djvu/94

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STUDIES OF A BIOGRAPHER

from his more prosperous relative. The Byroms of Manchester were meanwhile prospering in business. Manchester was then a country town of some 30,000 inhabitants, beginning to take a certain interest in a Bill permitting a freer use of cotton; but not, as yet, feeling itself aggrieved by exclusion from a Parliamentary representation. The upper classes had a strong tincture of the Jacobitism prevalent in the Lancashire of those days; and John, born in 1692, was clearly brought up in this faith. He was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, then under the rule of the great Bentley, who was at the time beginning the famous legal warfare which was to display his boundless pugnacity and fertility of resource in litigation. Nobody was less inclined to sympathise with excessive quarrelsomeness than Byrom; but the young man, who became scholar and fellow of his college, was always on most friendly terms with the master. Bentley could be good company when his antipathies were not aroused; and Byrom was welcomed to the great man's domestic circle. Incidentally this led to the performance which made him in a modest way famous for years to come. The Spectator had been revived in 1714, when Byrom was about