Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/17

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where he devoted much time and care to the revision of his printed works for a complete edition in four volumes, in which were also to be included two unpublished treatises, ‘Nouvelle Manière de prouver l'Immortalité de l'Ame,’ and ‘Notes sur le Commentaire philosophique de M. Bayle.’ Relying upon a remarkable memory, he put off writing until copy was demanded by the printer. These two treatises were thus unfinished, and no trace of them could be found after his death. He died at his lodging at Marylebone on Monday, 25 Sept. 1727, in the 74th year of his age (Daily Courant, 5 Oct. 1727; Daily Post, 6 Oct. 1727; Historical Register, 1727).

[ Niceron's Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire des Hommes illustres dans la République des Lettres, vol. xxxiii.; Essai historique, prefixed to Sermons et Panégyriques, 1760; Burn's History of the French, Walloon, Dutch, and other Foreign Protestant Refugees settled in England, 8vo, London, 1846; MM. Haag's La France Protestante; Illaire's Etude sur Jacques Abbadie considéré comme Prédicateur, 8vo. Strasburg, 1858; Weiss's History of the French Protestant Refugees, 1854; Agnew's Protestant Exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV, 2nd edition, 1871–74.]

A. H. G.

ABBOT, CHARLES (d. 1817) botanist, sometime fellow of New College, Oxford, took his M.A. degree in 1788, and those of B.D. and D.D. in 1802. He was vicar of Oakley Raynes and Goldington, Bedfordshire, and chaplain to the Marquis of Tweeddale. In 1798 he published a ‘Flora Bedfordiensis,’ and in 1807 a volume of sermons entitled, ‘Parochial Divinity.’ He also wrote a ‘Monody on the Death of Horatio, Lord Nelson,’ in 1805. His herbarium, prepared by his wife, is preserved at Turvey Abbey; it is contained in five folio volumes, but its value for critical purposes is but small. He became a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1793, and died at Bedford, October 1817.

[Gent. Mag. 1817, ii. 378; Journal of Botany, 1881, p. 40.]

J. B.

ABBOT, CHARLES, first Baron Colchester (1757–1829), speaker of the House of Commons, 1802–1817, was born 14 Oct. 1767, at Abingdon, Berkshire. His father, the Rev. John Abbot, D.D., was a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and rector of All Saints, Colchester. His mother was Sarah, daughter of Mr. Jonathan Farr, citizen of London. Dr. Abbot died in 1760, and his widow subsequently became the wife of Jeremy Bentham, Esq., father by a former marriage of the well-known writer on jurisprudence. The Abbots had been settled in Dorsetshire from the year 1100, when Richard Abbot was high sheriff of the county; but the immediate ancestors of the Speaker had resided for some generations at Shaftesbury. Charles was sent to Westminster in March 1763, before he was six years old, and at the age of thirteen was admitted ‘into college.’ In 1775 he was elected to Christ Church, where he went into residence in January 1776. He won the college prize for Latin verse in his first year, and in his second the chancellor's prize, the subject being ‘Petrus Magnus;’ and so highly were such performances valued at that time, that the Empress Catharine, to whom the verses had been presented, sent him a gold medal. At this time the well-known scholar, Markham, was dean of Christ Church; and for five successive years the chancellor's prize was carried off by Christ-Church men, among them being Abbot, Lord Wellesley, and Lord Grenville. On leaving Oxford in the summer of 1778, Abbot spent a year in Switzerland in the study of the civil law, and in the year following took chambers in Lincoln's Inn, and began to keep terms at the Middle Temple.

In 1781 Abbot was elected Vinerian scholar by the university of Oxford, and five years afterwards Vinerian fellow, appointment which involved residence at the university. In 1783 he was called to the bar, and joined the Oxford circuit; but in 1792, upon transferring his attentions to the equity courts, he found it necessary to resign his fellowship and reside in London. He was now earning by his profession about 1,500l. a year; but the work of the bar was too hard for him: ‘a life of unceasing and ungrateful toil,’ he calls it, ‘from daybreak to midnight.’ Accordingly in 1794 he accepted the office of clerk of the rules in the court of King's Bench, a place worth 2,700l. a year. He discharged his duty energetically for seven years, collecting and endorsing old records which had been left to moulder in garrets, and purchasing law books for the use of the King's Bench. At the expiration of this period the Duke of Leeds, who had been his schoolfellow at Westminster, offered him the borough of Helston in Cornwall. Abbot accepted the offer, and took his seat in the House of Commons in the autumn of 1795. Having turned his attention to the introduction of practical improvements in legislation, in his first session he obtained a committee to inquire into the manner of dealing with expiring laws. Its report established the practice of making complete annual tables of the temporary laws of the United Kingdom, so that none, as had formerly happened, should expire unobserved. In 1797