Memoir and Letters of James Dallaway 1763-1834 by Francis W Steer F.S.A.

From Vol CIII of the Sussex Archaeological Collections

Many years ago, Mr. Lindsay Fleming, F.S.A., collected material and wrote a brief life of James Dallaway which was never published. I have had the benefit of that work and have incorporated it in this more detailed account that later discoveries of information have enabled me to compile. Items from Mr. Fleming's library are referenced as " L.F. Collection." Extensive enquiry has not revealed other sources of documentary evidence, and it is unlikely that any more will be forthcoming unless the group mentioned by C.S.B.G. (who claimed to be the grandchild of Martha, sister of James Dallaway) comes to light. In a letter to Mr. Fleming, 22 August 1928, Canon W. L. Grane (Dallaway's grandson ) said. 'I much regret I have no correspondence of any kind aid you in the task you describe'. If Canon Grane had known of correspondence in the possession of his cousin, C.S.B.G., would certainly have said so. Under his Will, Dallaway clearly intended his literary remains to go to his daughter and so pass, one would have thought, to her son, Canon Grane, and not to the descendants of Dallaway's sister Martha. Among the many difficulties encountered in writing this study of Dallaway it may be mentioned that neither the Society nor the British Museum has a complete set of his works. I gratefully acknowledge the very considerable help that I have had from Mr.Fleming who has generously allowed me to use much material in his possession; I wish that he had consented to joint authorship of this paper, for without his knowledge and resources there would have been many more gaps in the story. I also thank all those owners and custodians mentioned in the paper (as well as many whose names do not appear) who have given me access to, or provided me with copies of, Dallaway's letters, or who have other information.

The reverend James Dallaway, M.A., M.B., F.S.A., Earl Marshal's secretary, traveller, man of letters and historian, was born in the parish of SS. Philip and James, Bristol, on 20 February 1763. He was the son of James Dallaway, of Stroud in Gloucestershire, and Martha, daughter of Richard Hopton of Worcester. The Dallaways, originally of Aston in Warwickshire, established themselves at Brimscombe, Gloucestershire, as clothiers, and later at Stroud as bankers.

In 1755, John Dallaway of Brimscombe printed A Scheme to make the River Stroudwater Navigable with the object of ' bringing together the Navigation of the Two principal Rivers in the Kingdom, Thames and Severn, and the opening of a nearer Communication by Water between Two chief Cities, London and Bristol.'

It was not until February 1775, when William Dallaway (John's son, the historian's uncle and one of the undertakers) laid the first stone of the entrance lock at Framilode on Severnside, that the Stroudwater Canal scheme was started on its way.' William Dallaway, a clothier, had been high Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1766; his younger brother, James, the historian's father, died in debt on 12 May 1787 at the early age of 57 ( note 2 ).

James, the subject of this memoir, was educated at Cirencester Grammar School under the Rev. James Washborne whence he proceeded as a Scholar to Trinity College, Oxford, ( note 3 ), where ' he made himself well known for his English poetry, some of which was characterized by great sweetness and facility of versification; but the same talent, when mingled with the dangerous tinge of satire, was destined to become fatal to his early prospects ' ( note 4 )

When the time came for Dallaway to be elected a Fellow of his College, his name was passed over without any reason being assigned, 'but the cause was generally supposed to have been some satirical verses upon an influential member of the Society'."

Leaving Oxford, Dallaway served as curate" of Rodborough, half a mile south-west of Stroud, living at Fort George (now Rodborough Fort) of which his father had acquired the remainder of the term of years in a long lease in 1787.

The Fort, ' a grandiose folly', had been built by 'Captain' George Hawker in 1765. ( note 7 ) The lease was disposed of in 1789 after the death of James Dallaway, senior; the son then went to live in Gloucester. The sojourn at Rodborough occasioned the MS. 'Journey from Rodborough to Gloucester, with a description of the County and an account of the Cathedral ', which does not seem to have been published.

From about 1785 to 1791 (note 8 ) Dallaway was engaged as editor of the first two volumes of Ralph Bigland's Historical, Monumental, and Genealogical Collections, relative to the County of Gloucester ( note 9 ) In 1789, Dallaway edited, with introductory memoirs, The Letters of Thomas Rundle, Bishop of Derry, to Mrs. Barbara Sandys, in two volumes. This same year, Dallaway was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

In 1791 he wrote to his close friend, Samuel Lysons:--( note 9 )

Gloucester May 31st 91.

 Dear Sir!

I feel myself particularly obliged to you, for your kind Presents which I have just received. I can say with great sincerity that the Etchings exceed my highest Expectation both of their Elegance and accuracy; nor can I doubt, but that much Encouragement will be given to an undertaking, so interesting to every Lover of the Antiquities of this County. The References you have made to our Publication deserve the best Thanks both of Mr. Bigland ( note 10 ) & myself, and nothing would give me more Pleasure than an Opportunity of being serviceable to you, in any Matter of Heraldry or Genealogy that came within my Knowledge. Mr. B. is coming to Town, and intends giving you a Call, and enquiring, whether it would be practicable to obtain from the Society the Loan of some of the Plates done from your Drawings-a Hint you were so good as to communicate when I had last the Pleasure of seeing you. I beg my best Compts to your Brother ( note 11 ) and the Family at Shene and remain

Your sincere & much obliged                                   J Dallaway

The common interests of Dallaway and Lysons are shown in this letter:-

Gloucester Octr 13th. 1792

My dear Sir!

The Bearer waits on you as you were so kind as to direct, and I have the Pleasure to say that his Progress is such as I think you would approve, but no Proofs can be taken here. Let me repeat my sincerest acknowledgements for the Attention you have shown him. I enclose a Sketch of the Descent of Langley which has been sent me from the Office, and which I hope may elucidate your Portraits, though I wish Dates had been given. Edmund Langley the Founder of the Chapel at Seddington and Joan his Wife are specified, but I believe few of the other names-Of John Worth I learn nothing, but he must have been connected with the Langleys of Mylcoke as the same Arms are borne by him- If at any time you think I can give you Information nothing will give me more real Pleasure than to communicate it to you-any Extract from the herald's Office ( note 12 ) I can readily procure. Previous to my going to Town, I should be glad to know what arrangement your Brother has made and whether I can reach Putney time enough for Service upon Sunday Mornings-The Exchange I hope will be equally convenient to him. ( note 13 )

I beg my respectful Compts to your Father and Sister and remain Dear Sir!

Your most obliged Friend & Serv' James Dallaway

Looking over Leland I find the following Passage which perhaps you have not seen "one Lysan a Gentilman of auncient Stok, but now of mene Landes about XLli' by the yere dwellith in the Towne of Nethe The Lysans say That theire Familie was there in Fame afore the Conquest of the Normans " ltin': V. 4 f: 68-

The introduction to [Sir George Nayler ( note 14 ) A Collection of the Coats of Arms borne by the Nobility and Gentry of Gloucestershire (chiefly from the histories by Atkyns and Rudder), published anonymously in 1792, was written by Dallaway, and it was followed by Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry in England. With explanatory observations on armorial ensigns, a handsome 4to, by Dallaway in 1793. He wrote to Lysons:- ( note 15 )

Gloucester Novr 22. 1793

Dear Sir.

Your pacquet demands my repeated & sincere thanks. For the favour you have obtained from the Vice-chancellor I am infinitely obliged; - that another application was made was an accident, as a Gentleman of his College volunteered his services I could not refuse them. The addition I wish to have made to the title page under your direction, as it could not be omitted in justice to the printer.

The vignette, ( note 14 ), I am sure, will give much satisfaction and by myself will be ever considered as a flattering mark of your friendship. I cannot conveniently leave Glouc'. till my Book is distributed, which will necessarily delay my coming to town till near Xtmas, when I beg you to tell your Brother that I shall be at his service at Putney.

I remain Your very faithful & obliged James Dallaway

The Inquiries, dedicated to the 11th Duke of Norfolk, evoked some tart and justifiable remarks from a reviewer in the Gentleman's Magazine, ( note 15 ), who was unable to subscribe to Dallaway's idea ' that the Bayeux tapestry is of Etruscan origin, or the work of Italian artists ... We do not approve the omission of capitals in appelatives ... We cannot, however, subscribe to the superiority of the Gothic tournaments to the classic games of antiquity . . . ' and much more in the same strain. But as a piece of elegant printing, the Inquiries would be hard to rival, and

Horace Walpole wrote to Samuel Lysons on 19 March 1794 ( note 16 )

Wednesday evening.

Since I left you, I have done nothing but examine Mr. Dallaway's book, and am delighted with it; but as you told me that he is going to Constantinople, and you yourself out of town, I lose no time to ask you whether it would be possible to induce him to let me have duplicates of five of the Plates; I would willingly pay any price he would value them at. The five, are of William Bruges the first Garter; the six Heralds; of Richard III with his cognizances; of Sir John Wriothesley, and of Sir W. Dugdale. Ihave Hollar's, but prefer this, it has so amiable a countenance. Adieu! 0.

The Inquiries has an 'Appendix of Illustrations ' (not listed in the table of contents) comprising lives of Sir William Dugdale and Gregory King, a list of all the Officers of Arms, a list of books on heraldry and a transcript of the Book of St. Albans (1486). The pages of this Appendix are numbered [i] to cxii, but they were also published under the title of Heraldic Miscellanies, ( note 17 ), with the pages numbered in Arabic figures [1] to 112 and preceded by a title-page and an anonymous ' Advertisement' on pages numbered [i] to vi. Heraldic Miscellanies was printed for T. Cadell, but no year of publication is given; the Inquiries was printed by R. Raikes, Gloucester, for Cadell.

The title-page of Miscellanies has an engraved scene of ruins, a tree, documents and an Irish harp forming a background for a shield of Dallaway's arms and a motto ribbon; Gregory King is wrongly described on the title-page as Windsor, instead of Lancaster, Herald.

Sandwiched between leaving Oxford in about 1785 and all this editing and writing, Dallaway managed to qualify-by what means is not known-for the degree of Bachelor of Medicine which he took at Oxford in 1794 when he was appointed-either through the influence of the Duke of Norfolk as has been asserted, or more likely through that of the Marquess of Bute ( note 18 )---chaplain and physician to the British factory at Constantinople when Mr. (afterwards Sir) Robert Liston (1742-1836) took up his post there as ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

Dallaway left London on 20 March 1794 in company with Gaetano Mercati, an artist, and Dr. John Sibthorp, Sherardian professor of botany at Oxford, ' ever memorable in the annals of botany for his zeal in the pursuit of science, no less than for his munificent designs to promote its advancement. ( note 19 )

Dr. Sibthorp had made other botanical tours in Greece and Turkey in 1786 and 1787, but on this last journey in 1794-5 he developed a pulmonary affection and died in February 1796. He left funds to complete his Flora Graeca which finally appeared (1806-40) in ten folio volumes with a hundred coloured plates in each. The journey to, and stay in, Constantinople, is one of the most important periods in Dallaway's life. The following; paragraphs are based on a memorandum ( note 20 ) by him entitled " An Itinerary from London to Constantinople in Sixty Days. (Taken in the Suite of his Excellency, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Porte,) In the year 1794 ".

The crossing from Dover to Ostend took sixty-three hours, the pacquet in which they sailed, under convoy of a frigate, being becalmed the whole of 24 March. The journey continued, in some such manner as shown in a sketch presumably by Dallaway of the route to Vienna by way of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Louvain, Liege, Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Bonn, Koblenz and Frankfurt. 'We entered the gates of Frankfort at the Main, at 7 p.m. after having exhausted twelve hours in thirty eight miles. A very troublesome interruption in travelling through the German states is the frequent change of current coin. At the barriers, which are like our turnpikes, the demand is very disproportionate; and at every ' station', or stage, our carriages were surrounded by people, claiming' smeargeldt ' or money for greasing the wheels, which they vociferously demanded, whether the operation was applied or not'.

On the way from Frankfurt to Aschaffenburg 'we traversed the plains of Dettingen, famous for the victory gained on the 16th June, 1743, by George II in person, of which he was always pleased to converse; and what will render it more memorable, for which Handel composed his " Te Deum " '.

'Passing through the village of Reppendorff, near Kizengen, we met the Emperor ( note 21 ) upon his route to the army in the Netherlands. His coach was drawn by the common post-horses,-two valets sat on the coach-box, and his brothers, the Archdukes Charles and Joseph, accompanied him. Re appeared to be fatigued and pensive, and much engaged in reflections on this eventful period'.

The way led through Nuremberg, Ratisbon and many other German and Austrian towns to Vienna where the party arrived on April 12 and stayed till April 20. Entering Hungary, they proceeded along the banks of the Danube and then across the plains. ' At Ketskenieth we arrived early in the evening, and were accommodated in a spacious inn. This large village, consists of whitened walls with roofs of reeds. In the principal room, the younger inhabitants were celebrating their Easter, and were dancing to wild but the most


picture reproduced by courtesy of the Curator of the Museum and Art Gallery, Plymouth

Link to Bristol & Gloucester Archaeological Society paper

James Dallaway 1763-1834 Notes to Letters

Note 1.

Unpublished History of the Thames and Severn Canal by I-1. G. W. House- hold.

Note 2

" See Iryine Gray, 'James Dallaway, b. 1763: A Gloucestershire Antiquary and Writer', in Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. 81 (1963), pp. 208-10. Information in this article has been used in compiling the outline pedigree of the Dallaway family.

Note 3

Matriculated 4 June 1778, aged 15; B.A., 1782; M.A., 1784: J. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, 1715-1886, vol. 1 (1888), p. 333. H. E. D. Blakiston in his Trinity College (1898), p. 197, lists Dallaway as a distinguished member of the foundation. The librarian of Trinity College (Mr. J. P. Cooper) tells me that to the best of his knowledge no letters or other papers of Dallaway are there.

Note 4

Dallaway's first publications illustrate this interest; they were: Verses addressed to Sir G. 0. Paul, bart., on his benevolent scheme for the improvement of the countyprisons (Gloucester, 1785) and Sonnets ... on the death of Chatterton (privately printed by Dallaway on his Press at Rodborough Fort, 1788).' Print- ing was a hobby of Dallaway's and he carried types with him to Constantinople. In John Nichols, Illustrations of the Literary History of the Eighteenth Century, vol. 7 (1848), pp. 565-6, is reproduced Dallaway's letter to the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 57, part 11 (1787), p. 954, dealing with Chatterton's knowledge of heraldry.

Note 5

Obituary notice in Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 2, new series, part 2 (1834), pp. 318-20.

Note 6

I have not ascertained the dates and places where Dallaway was admitted to Holy Orders.

Note 7

Gray, op. cit., p. 208, and P. H. Fisher, Notes and Recollections of Stroud, Gloucestershire (2nd ed., 1891), esp. p. 69. I am much indebted to Mr. G. L. Remnant for the excellent photograph of Rodborough Fort (Plate 11).

Note 8

Not 1796 as generally stated because Dallaway left England in 1794.

Note 9

The publication of Bigland's Collections continued until 1889, for details, see Hyett and Bazeley, The Bibliographer's Manual of Gloucestershire Literature, vol. 1 (1895), pp. 31-44. An exceptional copy was in the Bruton Collection, lot 234, Sotheby's, 10 June 1921.

Note 10

See Lindsay Fleming, Memoir and Select Letters of Samuel Lysons (1934). The letter, not addressed, is in the L.F. Collection.

Note 11

Etchings of Views and Antiquities in the County of Gloucester, hitherto imperfectly, or never engraved, of which the first part appeared in May 1791. Richard Bigland. The Reverend Daniel Lysons, 1762-1834.

Note 12

Dallaway usually put the apostrophe before instead of after the final 's' when referring to the Heralds' Office [College of Arms].

Note 13

The Rev. Daniel Lysons was at this time curate of Putney. Note 14 Nayler (1764?-183I) was the son of George Nayler, a surgeon of Stroud, he was created Garter King of Aims in 1822; see W. H. Godfrey and others, The College of Arms (London Survey Committee,1963), p. 63. Note 15 L.F. Collection. The letter is not addressed.

Note 14

A man in armour seated on a rocky coast, near a castle, and gazing over a moonlit sea. His right hand rests on a shield charged with the arms of Dallaway.

Note 15

Vol.64,partl(1794),pp.54-57. In the library of His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, E.m., K.G., is one copy of the Inquiries presented by Dallaway, and another, in two volumes, extra illustrated and coloured, but with no indication of its provenance.

Note 16

The original letter, in L.F. Collection and pasted in Dallaway's own copy of Inquiries, is printed, with notes, in Wilmarth S. Lewis, ed., The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence, vol. 15 (1952), p. 249-50. The letter is addressed to Lysons in King's Bench Walk, Temple, London. In his familiar letters, Walpole usually subscribed himself with an " 0 " for Orford. Walpole's copy of Inquiries is now in Dr. Wilmarth Lewis's library at Farmington, Connec ticut; it is bound in green morocco with Walpole's arms on the sides, a binding which was a mark of special approbation.

Note 17

This rare book seems to have escaped the attention of compilers of lists of Dallaway's works. A copy is in the library of F.W.S.

Note 18

Dallaway's Constantinople is dedicated to the Marquess of Bute who, in accepting the compliment, wrote as follows:- Madrid. 30 July. 1796. Dear Sir I received your letter from Rome, and though disappointed, that with your thirst after information, and your unwearied diligence in procuring it, you should have found it necessary so soon to abandon the Fast, I nevertheless am happy to learn that you mean to favor the world with the result of those observations and inquiries you have had in your power to make. In regard to your inscribing such a work to me you may be assured of my never failing wish to render you all the good services which happen to fall in my way, and on that account I should recommend your selecting some more powerful name, at the same time assuring you that mine is extremely at your command. With my best wishes I remain Dear Sir your faithful humble Servant Bute Reverend James Dailaway This letter is in L.F. Collection.

Note 19

R. T. Giinther, Oxford Gardens (1912), p. 20. See also Francis W. Steer, ed., I am, my dear Sir ... (1959), esp. pp. x, xi and Plate ix.

Note 20

Printed, 72 pp., inlaid in Dallaway's personal copy of Constantinople

Note 21

Francis II(1768-1835), last Emperor of Rome and King of Germany who, from 11 Aug. 1804, became hereditary Emperor of Austria.


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