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February 18.

St. Simeon, Bp. of Jerusalem, A.D. 116. Sts. Leo and Paregorius, 3d Cent.


On the 18th of February 1734, the house of commons received a petition from Mr. Samuel Buckley, a learned printer; setting forth that he had, at his sole expense, by several years' labour, and with the assistance of some learned persons abroad and at home, made collections of original papers and letters relating to "Thuanus's History," written in Latin, in order to [produce?] a new and accurate edition, in 7 vols. folio, which was finished; that the act of the 8th of Q. Anne, for the encouragement of learning, extended only to the authors, purchasers, or proprietors of the copy-right of any book in English, published after the 10th of April, 1710, and allowed the importation of vending of any books in foreign language printed beyond the seas; so that any books, first compiled and printed in this kingdom in any of those languages, might be reprinted abroad and sold in this kingdom, to the great damage of the first printer or proprietor: he therefore prayed, that he might be allowed the same benefit in his copy of the "History of Thuanus," in Latin, for fourteen years. Leave was given to bring in the bill, and it afterwards passed into an act.

The protection of this excellent work was a justice due to the spirit and liberality of Mr. Buckley. He had been originally a bookseller. John Dunton says of him, "He is an excellent linguist, understands the Latin, French, Dutch, and Italian languages, and is master of a great deal of wit: he prints the 'Daily Courant,' and 'Monthly Register,' which, I hear, he translates out of the foreign papers himself:"—a great merit, it should seem, in the eyes of old Dunton.

Mr. Buckley was a really learned printer. The collections for his edition of Thuanus were made by Carte, who had fled to France from an accusation of high treason, during the rebellion of 1715 and while in that country possessed himself of so many materials for the purpose, that he consulted Dr. Mead, the celebrated physician, and patron of literary men, concerning the undertaking. By the doctor's recommendation, it was intrusted to Mr. Buckley, who imported the paper for it, which, with the materials, cost him 2,350l. He edited the work with fidelity, and executed it with elegance.

Mr. Buckley was the publisher of the "Spectator," which appeared in folio from his shop at the Dolphin in Little Britain, a place then filled with booksellers. At the close of the seventh volume this popular work was suspended, but resumed by Buckley in Amen-corner. He attained to opulence and respectability, was in the commission of the peace for Middlesex, and died, greatly esteemed, on the 8th of September, 1741, in the sixty-eighth year of his age.* [1]

It is related of the great lord chancellor Hardwicke, that he so highly regarded "Thuanus's History," as to have resigned the seals for the express purpose of being enabled to read it in the original language.* [2] It has been computed that a person who gave his attention to this work for four hours every day, would not finish the perusal in twelve months. It comprehends the events of sixty-four years, during the times wherein Thuanus lived and flourished as an eminent French author and statesman. His English biographer quotes, as a character of his writings, that, "in a word, they are calculated to render those who attend to them better and wiser men."† [3]


Wall Speedwell. Veronica vivensis.
Dedicated to St. Simeon of Jerusalem.


Notes [All notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Mr. Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes. [return]

2. Bibliog. Dict. [return]

3. Mr. Collinson's Life of Thuanus. [return]