happy to observe is at last completed by the venerable Mr. J. B. Nichols, the worthy son of a worthy father. But I do not know the date even of Roger Laurence's death eheu!A. S. A.
- Barrackpore, E. I.
April 15, 1858.
[The following notice of Laurence occurs in The Annals of Queen Anne, xi. 377., a work of no very high authority:—" This unhappy controversy began upon the practice of one Mr. R. Laurence, a book-keeper, who having been born, baptized, and bred in the dissenting way, did, after his return out of Spain, declare himself a convert to the Church of England; and to express his abhorrence of the friends he left, he declared that he thought his baptism among them was invalid, null, and void; and accordingly he was rebaptized by the Curate of Christ Church in London, without the consent of the Bishop, and without order or knowledge of the parish priest."
This most important circumstance of his life, Laurence alludes to in the Preface of the third edition of his Lay Baptism Invalid, p. xii.; but the passage is omitted in the fourth edition: "He [Mr. Bingham] is pleased to call the priest who baptised R. L. 'an irregular curate, who acquainted neither the minister of the parish, nor the bishop, with the true state of the case,' &c. I must needs say, in defence of that gentleman, that it would be happy for our Church if this author and some of his friends were but as regular as he. He was by no law of our Church obliged to acquaint the minister of the parish where R. L. was baptized with the case; for he was none of his underlings, neither did he receive any pay from him; he had his proper diocesan's general licence to baptize adult persons, without giving any particular notice first to the bishop. By virtue of that licence he regularly baptized R. L., without first acquainting the bishop, the 31st of March, 1708, being Wednesday in Passion week, and therefore on a holyday, in public, immediately after the second lesson at evening prayer, in presence of a great congregation, the church doors being open: he did it hypothetically, i.e. 'If thou art not already baptized, I baptize thee,' &c.; and this, not that the case required it, but because R. L. would not let him know the case itself, but begged baptism at his hands, only upon this general account, that he had discovered sufficient reasons to convince him that he had not been yet validly baptized; that he desired the said curate not to be too curious in inquiring of him the reasons, because it was not fit for him to discover them to him; and those to whom he had discovered them could give him no satisfactory arguments to convince him that he might desist from endeavouring to obtain catholic baptism; that he would, therefore, only inquire into R. L.'s faith and manners, and upon due satisfaction about them give him hypothetical baptism, to avoid the imputation of being irregular; which accordingly, upon such satisfaction, he did; for which I praise and glorify God, and reverence and esteem him, His regular and rightly ordained minister."
Some trouble has been taken to procure the register of his baptism under the date which he himself gives; and the books of Christ Church, Newgate Street, to which the above extract seems to refer, have been in vain searched for this purpose. Either, therefore, the baptism was never entered on the register (and this, perhaps, because Laurence was an adult), or the annalist is incorrect in his information; and it is the rather suspected that this is the case, because there seems an obvious inconsistency between the statement that Laurence was 'a book-keeper in London,' if the occupation be that which is now so called, and the fact that in the fourth edition of his Lay Baptism he is styled on the title-page "R. Laurence, M.A."
In 1841, the Rev. William Scott, of Christ Church, Hoxton, edited a new edition of Lay Baptism Invalid, with Additions and Illustrations, to whose valuable Introduction we are indebted for the preceding account of Laurence. The following work, attributed to Laurence, contains some curious notices of the discussions among the later Nonjurors relative to the usages: "The Indispensable Obligation of Ministring expressly and manifestly the great Necessaries of Publick Worship in the Christian Church: together with a Detection of the False Reasonings in Dr. B——t's [Brett's] printed Letter to the Author of Two Discourses; and that Doctor's Inconsistent Notions of the present Liturgy of the Church of England. Addressed to the Doctor by one of his Friends." London, 1732. Dr. Brett published a Reply to Laurence in 1733.]
Alexander Hamilton.—It is said that Alexander Hamilton of Kerelaw or Grange in Scotland married about 1730 Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Robert Pollok. Can the date of that marriage be ascertained? His children are said to have been: first, John; second, Robert; third, Alexander; fourth, James. What was the date of the birth of the fourth son James? where, and when, did he die? and is there any evidence existing in Scotland or elsewhere that the James Hamilton referred to was the father of the American Alexander? W. N. S.
Medical Men at Funerals.—In Erasmus (Colloq. Funus) I find the following passage:—
"Subduxit sese static medicorum. Negant enim fas esse ut, qui vitas solent opitulari, mortis sint spectatores, aut exequiis intersint."
Is it still the custom in any part of Europe for medical men not to attend funerals?T. H. P.
Academical Dresses.—What reason can be assigned for the different dresses of different degrees? Was it like a decorative order, a badge, that the wearer might be known as a graduate, and of this or that University?X. P.
The Jesuit Osorius. Can any of your readers give me any information as to the above author? I have in my possession two volumes of sermons, of which this is the title:—
"Condones R. P. Joannis Osorii, Soc. Jes. in quinque tomos distinctæ, etc. Coloniæ Agrippinæ. Anno MDCV."
The two volumes I have contain sermons for all the Sundays and greater holidays of the year. In the advertisement, "ad Lectorem" prefixed to the second volume, I find the following promise:—
"Tertium de Sanctis, reliquaque deinceps Concionum volumina, brevi, ut spero, mandabo prælis."
Was this promise ever fulfilled, and the quinque
- Laurence died on March 6, 1736, at Beckenham in Kent.