Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 61.djvu/201

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port on the cultivation of cotton, tobacco, senna, and other useful plants, and in this capacity he had charge from 1842 to 1850 of an experimental cotton farm at Coimbatore. In 1838 he began the issue of his ‘Illustrations of Indian Botany’ with coloured, and ‘Icones Plantarum Indiæ Orientalis’ with uncoloured, quarto plates; but, though the Madras government subscribed for fifty copies, both works entailed a considerable loss upon Wight, who in 1847 started his ‘Spicilegium Neilgherrense,’ a selection of a hundred plates copied from those in the ‘Icones,’ in the hope of partly reimbursing himself. The ‘Icones’ ran to six volumes (1838–53), containing in all over 2,100 plates, and during his entire Indian career of thirty-five years he described nearly three thousand species of Indian plants.

Wight remained at Coimbatore till March 1853, when he retired. He then purchased Grazeley Lodge, near Reading, formerly the residence of Mitford the historian, and devoted himself zealously to farming the land attached to this property. In 1861 and 1862 he contributed articles on cotton farming to the ‘Gardener's Chronicle,’ and from 1865 to 1868 he gave great assistance in the editing of Edward John Waring's ‘Pharmacopœia of India.’ Wight died at Grazeley on 26 May 1872. He married, in 1838, the daughter of Lacy Gray Ford of the Madras medical board, who, with four sons and a daughter, survived him. He was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society and a member of the Imperial Academy in 1832, and a fellow of the Royal Society in 1855.

Wight's chief works were: 1. ‘Illustrations of Indian Botany,’ Glasgow, 1831, 4to. 2. ‘Prodromus Floræ Peninsulæ Indiæ Orientalis’ (with G. W. Walker-Arnott), vol. i., London, 1834, 8vo. 3. ‘Contributions to the Botany of India,’ with the assistance of Walker-Arnott, A. P. De Candolle, and Nees von Esenbeck, London, 1834, 8vo. 4. ‘Illustrations of Indian Botany,’ 2 vols. Madras, 1838–50, 4to, with 182 coloured plates. 5. ‘Icones Plantarum Indiæ Orientalis,’ 6 vols. Madras, 1838–53, 4to, with 2101 plates; Systematic Index, compiled by Dr. Hugh Cleghorn, printed by the Madras government, 1857. 6. ‘Spicilegium Neilgherrense,’ Madras, 1846–51, 4to.

[Memoir, by Dr. H. Cleghorn, with lithographic portrait and full bibliography, in Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, xi. 363; Dodwell and Miles's Medical Officers of India.]

G. S. B.

WIGHTMAN, EDWARD (d. 1612), fanatic, was the last person burned for heresy in England. He is said to have been of the same family as William Wightman, who purchased in 1544 the manor of Wykin, parish of Hinckley, Leicestershire (Burton, Description of Leicestershire, 1777, p. 287). In the warrant and writ for his execution he is described as ‘of the parish of Burton-upon-Trent,’ Staffordshire. In this and neighbouring parishes were held periodic meetings of puritan divines for lectures and conferences [see Bradshaw, William, 1571–1618]. Wightman presented himself on these occasions and ventilated anabaptist views; the puritans were for treating him tenderly, hoping to reduce his errors by argument. Wightman, however, rushed on destruction by presenting a petition to James I at Royston, apparently in March 1611. Finding that he was from the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, James sent him to Westminster to Richard Neile [q. v.], then bishop of that see, ‘with command to commit him to the Gatehouse, and to take examinations of his several opinions under his own hand.’ Neile was one of the judges of Bartholomew Legate [q. v.], the last heretic burned in Smithfield. From the beginning of April to the middle of October, Neile, William Laud [q. v.], then his chaplain, and ‘other learned divines,’ held conferences with Wightman, who ‘became every day more and more obstinate in his blasphemous heresies.’ James then ordered Wightman's removal to Lichfield for trial. After ‘divers days' conference, but to no purpose,’ at Lichfield, Wightman was tried in the consistory court; the trial occupied ‘sundry days.’ Sentence was at length publicly pronounced in the cathedral (14 Dec.) by Neile, who ‘began the business with a sermon and confutation of his blasphemies against the Trinity’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1639–40, pp. 83–5). These details are found in an apologetic statement by Neile himself, furnished twenty-seven years after the execution. Neile lays stress on his antitrinitarianism, but the list of his opinions, as detailed in the commission, shows that in addition to holding anabaptist views he claimed to be himself the promised paraclete, and the person predicted in messianic prophecies. Theophilus Lindsey [q. v.] disputes the account of his ‘ten heresies,’ partly on the ground of their inconsistency (Apology, 1774, ii. 53; Historical View, 1783, p. 292), but the case is not without parallel. The nature of his personal claims shows that religious fanaticism had turned his head.

No date appears on the printed copies of the commission and warrant for his execution, but the date of the commission was 9 March 1611–12 (Cal. State Papers, Dom.