Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 45.djvu/432

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Plimer
PLot
424

He married, on 1 Nov. 1842, Elizabeth Anne, youngest daughter of General Robert Balfour of Balbirnie, Fifeshire, and had issue Walter, born on 5 July 1848, a captain in the 2nd Wiltshire rifle volunteers, Edward Oliver, born 12 Dec. 1856, and three daughters.

[Debrett's House of Commons, ed. Mair, 1873, p. 28; Times, 17 Dec. 1889.]

G. C. B.


PLIMER, ANDREW (1763–1837), miniature painter, was born at Bridgwater, Somerset, in 1763. He practised in London, residing until 1807 in Golden Square, and was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1786 to 1810, and once more in 1819. Though he never obtained the vogue of his contemporaries Richard Cosway [q. v.] and Maria Cosway [q. v.], Plimer was well patronised, and his miniatures are of the finest quality, admirable both in drawing and colour. They are now much sought for by collectors, and command large prices. Plimer's best-known work is the beautiful group of the three daughters of Sir John Rushout, recently in the collection of Mr. Edward Joseph, and now (1895) the property of Mr. Frank Woodroffe. It has been well engraved by E. Stodart. His portraits of Sir John Sinclair [q. v.] and Colonel Kemeys-Tynte have also been engraved. Two portraits by him of the Right Hon. William Windham are in the South Kensington Museum. Plimer died at Brighton on 29 Jan. 1837.

Nathaniel Plimer (1751–1822), elder brother of Andrew, born at Wellington, Somerset, also practised miniature-painting; but his work is inferior to that of his brother. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1787 to 1815, and died in 1822.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Propert's Hist. of Miniature Painting; Gent. Mag. 1837, pt. i. p. 334; Royal Academy Catalogues.]

F. M. O'D.

PLOT, ROBERT (1640–1696), antiquary, was the only son of Robert Plot of Sutton Baron, afterwards known as Sutton Barne, in Borden, Kent, a property which had been acquired by his grandfather, the descendant of an old Kentish family. His mother was Rebecca, daughter of Thomas Patenden or Pedenden of Borden. Robert Plot the elder died at Sutton Barne on 20 April 1669, aged 63, and was buried in Borden church, where a mural monument, with a long Latin inscription, was erected by his son.

The antiquary, who was baptised at Borden on 13 Dec. 1640, was educated at the free school at Wye, and matriculated at Oxford from Magdalen Hall on 2 July 1658. Josiah Pullen [q. v.] was his college tutor. He graduated B.A. in 1661, M.A. in 1664, and B.C.L. and D.C.L. in 1671. About 1676 he left Magdalen Hall, and entered as a commoner at University College, where he was at the expense of placing the statue of King Alfred over the portal in High Street. Plot had already directed his attention to the systematic study of natural history and antiquities in 1670, when he issued, in a single sheet folio, ‘Enquiries to be propounded … in my Travels through England and Wales,’ ranging his queries under seven heads: ‘Heavens and Air,’ ‘Waters,’ ‘Earths,’ ‘Stones,’ ‘Metals,’ ‘Plants,’ and ‘Husbandry.’ He seems at first to have had a design to anticipate Pennant, and recorded his intention of making a ‘philosophical tour’ throughout England and Wales in a letter to Dr. Fell, which is printed in the editions of Leland's ‘Itinerary’ subsequent to 1710. Finding it necessary to restrict his scheme, he ultimately published, in 1677, ‘The Natural History of Oxfordshire. Being an Essay towards the Natural History of England,’ Oxford, 4to; licensed 1676, and dedicated to Charles II. The work, which is illustrated by a map and sixteen beautiful plates by Burghers, each with a separate dedication, is drawn up upon a plan which is thus described by the author: first, ‘animals, plants, and the universal furniture of the world;’ secondly, nature's ‘extravagancies and defects, occasioned either by the exuberancy of matter or obstinacy of impediments, as in monsters; and then, lastly, as she is restrained, forced, fashioned, or determined by artificial operations.’ A second edition, with additions, and an account of the author by his stepson, J[ohn] B[urman], appeared at Oxford in 1705, fol. When the Duke of York visited Oxford with the Princess Anne, in the spring of 1683, Plot's ‘Natural History’ was presented to him as a leaving gift, together with Anthony à Wood's ‘History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford.’ It was frequently quoted as an authority until the close of the eighteenth century, and in the accounts which he gave of rare plants, due regard being had to the time in which he wrote, ‘Plot has not been excelled,’ says Pulteney, ‘by any subsequent writer.’ As a consequence of the reputation made by his book, Plot was, in 1682, made secretary to the Royal Society, of which he had been elected fellow on 6 Dec. 1677, and edited the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ from No. 143 to No. 166 inclusive. In March 1683, when ‘twelve cartloads of Tredeskyn's (Tradescant's) rarities came from London’ to form the nucleus