Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/132

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Dawson
Dawson
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compliments to ‘Jemmy Dawkins,’ and in 1753 Dawkins is stated to have provided the prince with upwards of 4,000l (Lang, Pickle the Spy, pp. 192, 194). At the beginning of 1753 Dawkins was again in Paris concerning himself actively with a Jacobite plot, in association with Dr. King of Oxford and the Earl of Westmorland. Frederick the Great, whose relations with England were at this time sufficiently strained to render a rupture far from improbable, urged George Keith, tenth earl marischal [q. v.], who was then in Paris, to encourage the jacobite disaffection towards George II. On 7 May the earl sent Dawkins as envoy to Frederick at Berlin. Frederick saw him, but took no steps to further the plot beyond giving vague hopes of assistance. Meanwhile the Earl of Albemarle, the English ambassador at Paris, had got wind of Dawkins's visit to Berlin, and in July 1753 a warrant was out against him. The warrant, apparently, was never executed, and in August Dawkins appears to have regarded the jacobite cause as hopeless, owing to the irregular and debauched life of the prince. He accordingly returned to England soon afterwards, and took up his residence at Laverstock (or Laverstoke) in Hampshire. It seems that the English government, which had been fully notified of Dawkins's recent movements, either judged his intrigues to be unimportant or were satisfied of the sincerity of his motives in deserting the young pretender's party, for, on 15 April 1754, he was returned M.P. for Hindon Borough in Wiltshire, and held the seat till his death, more than three years later. In 1755 Stuart, who had returned to England early in the year, proposed Dawkins as a member of the Society of Dilettanti, and on 5 April he was duly elected. He died in December 1757. He left the society a legacy of 500l. In 1763 the society commissioned Stuart, their painter, who had already executed a mezzotint portrait of Dawkins, to paint a copy of his portrait for the society. The commission was not carried out.

[Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens, i. and iv. 1762-1814; Wood's Ruins of Palmyra, 1753, and Ruins of Balbec, 1757; Andrew Lang's Pickle the Spy; Burke's Landed Gentry; Cust and Colvin's Hist. of the Soc. of Dilettanti, 1898 (this erroneously gives 1759 as the date of Dawkins's death); Historical Notices of the Soc. of Dilettanti; Pococke's Travels through England;Foster's Alumni Oxon.1715-1886.]

DAWSON, Sir JOHN WILLIAM (1820–1899), geologist, born at Pictou, Nova Scotia, on 13 Oct. 1820, was the son of James Dawson, a leading bookseller of that town, but a native of Aberdeenshire; his mother, whose maiden name was Mary Rankine, came from Stirlingshire. He received his earlier education at the high school in Pictou, and studied at the university of Edinburgh in the winters of 1841-1842 and 1846-7. From boyhood he had been a collector of fossils, and on settling; down to educational work in Nova Scotia undertook to make a geological survey of the country, paying especial attention to the coal measures. This led to his accompanying Sir Charles Lyell [q. v.] during his visit to the South Joggins district in 1842, with whom also he returned ten years later. The immediate outcome of these labours was the volume entitled 'Acadian Geology,' published in 1855 (4th ed. 1891). In 1850 he was appointed superintendent of education for the common schools in Nova Scotia. The power displayed in this task and his. eminence as a geologist obtained for him in 1855 the professorship of geology and office of principal at the McGill College and University, Montreal. The organisation was inchoate, and the buildings were incomplete, so that to his unflagging energy McGill University is most of all indebted for the high position which it now holds. He was elected F.G.S. in 1854, receiving the Lyell medal of that society in 1 881 , F.R.S. in 1 862, was president (the first) of the Royal Society of Canada, of the American Association in 1884, of the British Association in 1886 at the Birmingham meeting, and of the American Geological Society in 1893, besides being an honorary member of various scientific societies at home and in other countries. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from McGill University in 1857, and from Edinburgh in 1884, and of D.C.L. from Bishop's College, Quebec, in 1881, was made a C.M.G. in. 1882, and was knighted in 1884 during the visit of the British Association to Montreal. In 1893 long years of labour began to tell upon even his vigorous constitution, and he resigned his posts at McGill University on 31 July, but was at once nominated as Emeritus principal, professor, and honorary curator of the Redpath Museum. He continued to reside in Montreal, spending the summers, as he had previously done, in his country house at Little Metis on the south side of the estuary of the St. Lawrence. For three or four years he was able to go on with scientific work, then his strength gradually failed, and death closed an illness of some duration on 19 Nov. 1899. He married in March 1847 Margaret A. V. Mercer, daughter of T. Mercer, esq., of Edinburgh,