Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/220

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Ferguson
Ferguson
208

Brittany and collect news of the armada. He rejoined Drake as the armada advanced, and fought with distinction in the action off the Isle of Wight and in the battle of Gravelines. For his conduct on the latter occasion Mendoza reported that Elizabeth had knighted him (Cal. Simancas MSS. 1587-1603, p. 392), but he does not occur in Metcalfe's 'Book of Knights' and is not so styled subsequently.

In 1589 Fenner was again commanding the Dreadnought, and as vice-admiral went with Drake and Norris's expedition to Coruna, an account of which he gave in a letter to Burghley (State Papers, Dom. Eliz. ccxxiv. 13). He had returned to Plymouth Sound by 14 July, and from there he wrote to Walsingham saying that he proposed to employ the remainder of his fortune in a 'journey' to the Indies. This is the last mention of his name, and if the 'journey' ever took place he probably perished in it.

[Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547-90; Cal. Simancas Papers, 1587-1603; Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Dasent; Hakluyt's Principall Navigations; Laughton's Defeat of the Spanish Armada and Corbett's Spanish War of 1586-7 (Navy Records Soc.); Corbett's Drake and the Tudor Navy, passim.]

A. F. P.

FERGUSON, RICHARD SAUL (1837–1900), antiquary, born on 28 July 1837, was the elder son of Joseph Ferguson (1794–1880) of Carlisle, by his wife Margaret (d. 2 Nov. 1841), daughter of Silas Saul of Carlisle. The family settled in Carlisle about 1700, and founded the cotton industry in the city. He was educated at Carlisle grammar school, entered Shrewsbury school in 1853, and was admitted at St. John's College, Cambridge, as a scholar on 14 March 1856. He graduated B.A. in 1860, M.A. in 1863, and LL.M. in 1874. He was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn on 11 Oct. 1858, and was called to the bar on 13 June 1862, when he commenced practice as an equity draughtsman and conveyancer, and joined the northern circuit. He was examiner of civil law for Cambridge University in 1868-9. His first, literary production was a series of articles upon 'EarlyCumberland and Westmorland Friends' in the 'Carlisle Journal,' a number of biographical sketches of leading quakers in the two counties. They were republished in book form in 1871 (London, 8vo), and were followed in the same year by 'Cumberland and Westmorland M.P.'s from the Restoration to the Reform Bill of 1867' (London, 8vo), a book containing a full political history of the counties. From January 1871 to June 1872 he travelled in Egypt, Australia, and America for the sake of his health, and on his return gave the public an account of his experiences in a series of letters in the 'Carlisle Patriot,' which were reprinted, with the addition of 'Leaves from a Theban Guide Book,' as 'Moss gathered by a Rolling Stone' (Carlisle, 1873, 8vo).

After his return he settled at Carlisle, and devoted himself to the study of local antiquities. He was fortunate in the companionship of several men of like tastes, including Michael Waistell Taylor [q. v.], Robert Harkness [q. v.], and Sir George Floyd Duckett. Already in 1866 he had assisted to found the Cumberland and Westmorland Archæological and Antiquarian Society, and from 1868 he edited the society's 'Transactions.' Under his guidance nearly the whole of Cumberland and Westmoreland were explored, and record made of castles, churches, houses, manuscripts, and old customs. On the death of Canon Simpson in 1886 Ferguson succeeded him as president of the society. His own especial period was that of the Roman occupation of Cumberland. Under his care the collection of Roman antiquities at the city museum at Tullie House became extensive and valuable.

Ferguson was made a magistrate of the county of Cumberland in 1872, and a member of the Carlisle city bench in 1881. In 1886 he was elected chairman of quarter sessions. He was elected a member of the Carlisle city council in 1878, and took advantage of his position to gain access to the ancient muniments of the city, many of which he published. In 1881-2 he was chosen mayor and was re-elected in the following year. He was a strong supporter of the city privileges, and when county councils were instituted in January 1889 and he was elected a member for Carlisle, he lost no opportunity of urging the rights of the city. He was one of the earliest promoters of the project by which Tullie House was appropriated for the use of the city and furnished with a museum, a public library, a school of science and art, and art galleries. Under his influence William Jackson was induced to bequeath to the city the Jackson library, a valuable collection of local literature. In recognition of his services the corporation conferred upon him the honorary freedom of the city in 1896.

In 1887 the bishop of Carlisle, Harvey Goodwin [q. v. Suppl.], appointed Ferguson chancellor of the diocese, an office which had not hitherto been held by a layman. Ferguson was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 1 March 1877, member of the