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the cabin, with his wife and her friend–a cheerful moment, when conversation ‘is most agreeable,’ when Tom, the captain’s general factotum, burst in on them and began, without saying a ‘by your leave’, to bottle half a hogshead of small beer. After requests and protests, equally unavailing, this functionary found himself, says Fielding, threatened “with having one bottle to pack more than his number, which then happened to stand empty within my reach.” Thereupon Tom reported his version of the matter to the captain, who came thundering down to the cabin in a rage that knew no bounds of language or civility. This behaviour from a man who had received not only liberal payment from his passenger for accommodation, but also such frequent stores of fresh provisions that Fielding’s private purse had indeed gone some way in maintaining the ship’s crew, that passenger justly resented, and to a hasty resolve of quitting the ship by a hoy that should carry him to Dartmouth, he added threats of legal action. The ‘most distant sound of law,’ however, he tells us, “frightened a man, who had often, I am convinced, heard numbers of cannon roar round him with intrepidity. Nor did he sooner see the hoy approaching the vessel, than he ran down again into the cabin, and his rage being perfectly subsided, he tumbled on his knees, and a little too abjectly implored for mercy. I did not suffer a brave man and an old man, to remain a moment in this posture; but I immediately forgave him.” It is this incident that Thackeray chooses to complete his picture of the great novelist; adding that memorable comparison between the “noble spirit and unconquerable generosity” of Fielding, and the lives of many unknown heroes of the sea: “Such a brave and gentle heart, such an intrepid and courageous spirit I love to recognise in the manly the English Harry Fielding.”

Within a week of this reconciliation the ship had made such progress southward that the captain ‘in the redundancy of his good humour, declared he would go to church at Lisbon on Sunday next’ (not the least pleasant of the pictures which Fielding gives us of the privateer is that of his summoning all hands on deck on a Sunday morning and then reading prayers ‘with an audible voice’); but again the wind played him false, becalming him near Cape Finisterre. This last calm, however, brought with it sufficient compensation: “tho’ our voyage was retarded, we were entertained with a scene which as no one can behold without going to sea, so no one can form an idea of anything equal to it on shore. We were seated on the deck, women and all, in the serenest evening that can be imagined. Not a single cloud presented itself to our view, and the sun himself was the only object which engrossed our whole attention. He did indeed set with a majesty which is incapable of description, with which, while the horizon was yet blazing with glory, our eyes were called off to the opposite part to survey the moon, which was then at full, and which in rising presented us with the second object that this world hath offered to our vision. Compared to these the pageantry of theatres, or splendor of courts, are sights almost below the regard of children.”

Four days later, at midnight, the anchor was cast off Lisbon, after a calm and moonlit passage up the Tagus, a passage, Fielding writes, “incredibly pleasant to the women, who remained three hours enjoying it, while I was left to the cooler transports of enjoying their pleasures at second-hand; and yet, cooler as they may be, whoever is totally ignorant of such sensation, is, at the same time, void of all ideas of friendship.”

On the day following, the 24th of June, he landed, and that evening enjoyed the long unknown luxury of a good supper, in a kind of coffee-house “very pleasantly situated on the brow of a hill, about a mile from the city, [which] hath a very fine prospect of the River Tajo from Lisbon to the sea.” With that pleasant prospect the Voyage closes. Begun as it was to while away the enforced solitude of his cabin, a condition, which no man, he tells us, disliked more than himself and which mortal sickness rendered especially irksome, these pages, some of which “were possibly the production of the most disagreeable hours which ever haunted the author,” reveal Fielding to us if not as Mr Lowell has said “with artless inadvertence” at least with perfect fullness. The undimmed gaiety of spirit, the tender affection, the constant desire to remove those evils which he found oppressing his country-men by sea not less than on land, the ‘enthusiasm for righteousnes,’ the humour of the first of English novelists, burn here as brightly as though the writer were but midway in his life’s voyage. The hand that exposed evil in its native loathsomeness in a Blifil and a Wild has not lost its cunning in depicting Mrs Humphreys; the eye that delighted in the green fields of England saw in the southern sunset that which made human creations ‘almost below the regard of children.’ And to the last the patriotic energies of the author of _Pasquin_ and of the _Champion_, of the whole hearted social reformer, of the tireless magistrate, knew no relaxation. Page after page of the _Voyage_ justify the passage in which he tells us how “I would indeed have this work, which, if I live to finish it (a matter of no great certainty, if indeed of any great hope to me), will be probably the last I shall ever undertake, to produce some better end than the mere diversion of the reader”; and manifest his desire, here explicitly stated, to finish life “as I have probably lost it, in the service of my country.”

We have no knowledge concerning the four months following the last entry in the pages of the _Voyage to Lisbon_. On October 8, 1754, the end so calmly expected came; and in the beautiful English cemetery, facing the great Basilica of the Heart of Jesus, was laid to rest all that an alien soil could claim of ‘our immortal Fielding.’

[1] The _Public Advertiser_, 1754, February 26.

[2] The _Public Advertiser_ 1754, April 17.

[3] Middlesex Records. _Sessions Book_. 1754.

[4] See the Middlesex Records.

[5] See the _Public Advertiser_. February, 1754.

[6] This little house was apparently replaced by a larger house; and it is probably this second building of which a sketch is inserted in a copy of Lysons’ _Environs_ to be seen in the Guildhall Library. It is now pulled down.

[7] Dr Johnson spoke of Saunders Welch as “one of my best and dearest friends.”

[8] Austin Dobson. _Fielding_, p. 170.

[9] “Dedication” of the _Voyage_, written possibly by John Fielding.

[10] Austin Dobson. _Fielding_, p. 179. From the autograph in the possession of Mr Frederick Locker.

[11] This and the following passage occur in the second version of the _Voyage to Lisbon_.


_The Hapsburg genealogy_

It appears that the Hapsburg descent, formerly claimed by the Denbigh family, must now be abandoned. The arguments against this descent, published by Mr Horace Round, have been accepted by Burke. Further, Dr G. F. Warner permits me to publish his statement that “I have myself seen the documents upon which it [the claim] rests, and found them to be unmistakeable forgeries.”

As regards Henry Fielding’s family it is interesting to find that his grandfather the Rev. and Hon. John Fielding was not only Canon of Salisbury, and a Doctor of Divinity, but also Archdeacon of Dorsetshire. Canon John Fielding was buried at Salisbury. His son George (Henry Fielding’s uncle) was Lt. Colonel of the “Royal Regiment of the Blues,” and Groom of the Bed-chamber to Queen Anne and to George II. He is buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. (J. Nichols. _History and Antiquities of Leicestershire_. 1810. Vol. iv. pt. i. p. 394.)


_Receipt and Assignment of “Tom Jones”_

The following documents are in the possession of Alfred Huth Esq., and are now first published

June 11 1748.

Rec’d. of Mr. Andrew Millar Six hundred Pounds being in full for the sole Copy Right of a Book called the History of a Foundling in Eighteen Books. And in Consideration of the said Six Hundred Pounds I promise to asign over the said Book to the said Andrew Millar his Executors and assigns for ever when I shall be thereto demanded.

L s d
L600, 00, 00. Hen. Ffielding

The said Work to contain Six Volumes in Duodecimo.

Know all Men by these Presents that I Henry Fielding of St. Paul’s Covent Garden in the County of Middlesex Esq’r. for & in consideration of the Sum of Six hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to me in hand paid by Andrew Millar of St. Mary le Strand in the County afores’d. Bookseller the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and of which I do Acquit the s’d. Andrew Millar his Executors & Assigns, have bargained sold delivered assigned & set over all that my Title Right and Property in & to a certain Book printed in Six Volumes, known & called by the Name & Title of The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, inv’d. written by me the s’d. Henry Fielding, with all Improvements, Additions or Alterations whatsoever which now are or hereafter shall at any time be made by me the s’d. Henry Fielding, or any one else by my authority to the s’d. Book To Have and to Hold the s’d. bargained Premises unto the s’d. Andrew Millar, his Ex’ors Adm’ors or Assigns for ever And I do hereby covenant to & with the s’d. Andrew Millar his Ex’ors Adm’ors & Assigns that I the s’d. Henry Fielding the Author of the s’d. bargained Premises have not at any time heretofore done committed or suffered any Act or thing whatsoever by means whereof the s’d bargained Premises or any part thereof is or shall be impeached or encumbered in any wise And I the s’d Henry Fielding for myself my Ex’ors Adm’ors & Assigns shall warrant & defend the s’d bargained Premises for ever against all Persons whatsoever claiming under me my Ex’ors Adm’ors or Assigns.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this twenty fifth day of March One thousand seven hundred & forty nine.

H F fielding [Illustration: Seal.]

Signed sealed & delivered
by the within named Henry
Fielding the day and year within
mentioned, in the presence of
Jos. Brogden


“_Pasquin turned Drawcansir_”

The _General Advertiser_ for March 13, 1752, Page 3, advertises, as for Macklin’s Benefit, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden,

“A New Dramatic Satire of Two Acts, call’d Covent Garden Theatre; or Pasquin turned Drawcansir Censor of Great Britain

Written on the Model of the Comedies of Aristophanes and the Pasquinades of the Italian Theatre in Paris; With Chorusses of the People after the manner of the Greek Drama. The Parts of the Pit, and Boxes, the Stage, and the Town to be performed by themselves for their Diversion; the Part of several dull disorderly Characters in and about St. James, to be performed by certain Persons for Example; and the Part of Pasquin-Drawcansir to be performed by his Censorial Highness, for his Interest.

The Satire to be introduced by an Oration, and to conclude by a Peroration: Both to be spoken from the Rostrum, in the Manner of certain Orators by Signer Pasquin.”

This advertisement is also in the _Covent Garden Journal_, with the addition of “galleries” after the word _Boxes_. According to Dibdin, _History of the Stage_, Vol. V. (preface dated 1800) p. 156, this satire was _by_ Macklin.


_The Walpole ‘anecdote’_

The following reference to Fielding occurs in a letter by Horace Walpole, to George Montagu, dated May 18, 1749. It may be prefaced by the statement that Fielding’s strenuous opposition to Sir Robert Walpole was not likely to be overlooked by Sir Robert’s son; and by Mr Austin Dobson’s comment “his [Horace Walpole’s] absolute injustice, when his partisan spirit was uppermost, is everywhere patent to readers of his Letters … the story no doubt exaggerated when it reached him, loses nothing under his transforming and malicious pen.” Walpole writes: “He [Rigby] and Peter Bathurst t’other night carried a servant of the latter’s, who had attempted to shoot him, before Fielding; who, to all his other vocations, has, by the grace of Mr Lyttelton, added that of Middlesex justice. He sent them word he was at supper, that they must come next morning. They did not understand that freedom, and ran up, where they found him banqueting with a blind man, a whore, and three Irishmen, on some cold mutton and a bone of ham, both in one dish, and the dirtiest cloth. He never stirred nor asked them to sit. Rigby, who had seen him so often come to beg a guinea of Sir C. Williams, and Bathurst, at whose father’s he had lived for victuals, understood that dignity as little, and pulled themselves chairs; on which he civilised.”

The ‘blind man’ was doubtless the half brother later to be knighted for his distinguished public services, Sir John Fielding; and, adds Mr Austin Dobson, “it is extremely unlikely the lady so discourteously characterised could have been any other than his wife, who Lady Stuart tells us ‘had few personal charms.’ There remain the ‘three Irishmen’ who may, or may not, have been perfectly presentable members of society. At all events, their mere nationality, so rapidly decided upon, cannot be regarded as a stigma.” Bearing in mind, on the one hand, our knowledge of Fielding as he reveals himself in his own pages, and in his friendships, and on the other the character earned by Horace Walpole’s pen, it seems matter for doubt whether this ‘anecdote’ deserves even a place in an appendix.


_Fielding’s Will_

Fielding’s will was discovered in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, by Mr G. A. Aitken. It is undated:–

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN–I HENRY FIELDING of the parish of Ealing in the County of Middlesex do hereby give and bequeath unto Ralph Allen of Prior Park in the County of Somerset Esqr and to his heirs executors administrators and assigns for ever to the use of the said Ralph his heirs &c all my Estate real and personal wheresoever and whatsoever and do appoint him sole EXECUTOR of this my last Will–Beseeching him that the whole (except my shares in the Register Office) may be sold and forthwith converted into Money and Annuities purchased thereout for the lives of my dear Wife Mary and my daughters Harriet and Sophia and what proportions my said Executor shall please to reserve to my sons William and Allen shall be paid them severally as they shall attain the age of twenty and three And as for my Shares in the Register or Universal Register Office I give ten thereof to my aforesaid Wife seven to my Daughter Harriet and three to my daughter Sophia my Wife to be put in immediate possession of her shares and my Daughters of theirs as they shall severally arrive at the Age of 21 the immediate Profits to be then likewise paid to my two Daughters by my Executor who is desired to retain the same in his Hands until that time–Witness my Hand–HENRY FIELDING–Signed and acknowledged as his last Will and Testament by the within named Testator in the presence of–MARGARET COLLIER–RICHD BOOR–ISABELLA ASH–

Proved 14th November 1754.

Extracted from the Principal Registry of the Probate Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice

In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury

November 1754

HENRY FIELDING Esquire–On the fourteenth day Administration (with the Will annexed) of the Goods Chattels and Credits of Henry Fielding late of Ealing in the County of Middlesex but at Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal Esquire deceased was granted to John Fielding Esquire the Uncle and Curator or Guardian lawfully assigned to Harriet Fielding Spinster a Minor and Sophia Fielding an Infant the natural and lawfull Daughters of the said Deceased and two of the Residuary Legatees named in the said Will for the use and benefit of the said Minor and Infant and until one of them shall attain the age of twenty one years for that Ralph Allen Esquire the sole Executor and Residuary Legatee in Trust named in the said Will hath renounced as well the Execution thereof as Letters of Administration (with the said Will annexed) of the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased and Mary Fielding Widow the Relict of the said deceased and the other Residuary Legatee named in the said Will hath also renounced Letters of Administration (with the said Will annexed) of the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased–the said John Fielding having been first sworn duly to administer.

In addition to the property mentioned here, Fielding possessed a library, as Mr Austin Dobson discovered, [1] which when sold six months after his death, “for the Benefit of his Wife and Family,” realised L364, 7s. 1d. or “about Ll00 more than the public gave in 1785 for the books of Johnson.” [2] Also according to the _Recollections of the Late John Adolphus_, by Henderson, Fielding purchased a 90 years’ lease of a house near Canterbury, for one of his daughters.

Of the children mentioned in this will, William became, a contemporary writer tells us, “an eminent barrister at law and inherits the integrity of his father and a large share of his brilliant talents.” [3] Mr Austin Dobson refers to William Fielding as being like his father “a strenuous advocate of the poor and unfortunate,” and adds that the obituary notice in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ records his worth and piety. [4] Harriet Fielding is said to have been of “a sweet temper and great understanding.” [5] Allen Fielding became Vicar of S6. Stephens Canterbury, and was “greatly beloved by all, especially the little children,” writes a descendant. Allen Fielding’s four sons all took Orders, and of the second, Charles, it was written on his death, that “he had not only a heart that could feel for others, but a heart that lived in giving.” [6] The noble qualities of Henry Fielding found their echo in his descendants.

[1] Austin Dobson. _Fielding_. Appendix IV. p. 212-13; _and Eighteenth Century Vignettes_, 1896, pp. 164-178.

[2] Austin Dobson. _Fielding_. Appendix IV. p. 212-13; _and Eighteenth Century Vignettes_, 1896, pp. 164-178.

[3] J. Nichols. _History and Antiquities of Leicestershire_. 1810. Vol. iv. Pt. I. p. 594.

[4] Austin Dobson. _Fielding_, p. 192.

[5] T. Whitehead. _Original Anecdotes of the late Duke of Kingston_, 1795. p. 95.

[6] _Some Hapsburghs, Fieldings, Denbighs and Desmonds_, by J. E. M. F.


_Fielding’s Tomb and Epitaph_

Fielding’s present tomb, in the beautiful English cemetery at Lisbon, was erected in 1830. On one side is inscribed:


On the other side are the following lines:

Henrici Fielding
A Somersetensibus apud Glastoniam oriundi Viri summo ingenio
en quae restant:
Stylo quo non alius unquam
Intima qui potuit cordis reserare mores hominum excolendos suscepit
Virtuti decorum, vitio foeditatem asseruit, suum cuique tribuens; Non quin ipse subinde irritaretur evitandis Ardensin amicitia, in miseria sublevanda effusus Hilaris urbanus et conjux et pater adamantus. Aliis non sibi vixit
Vixit sed mortem victricem vincit dum natura durat dum saecula currunt
Naturae prolem scriptis prae se ferens Suam et sua genlis extendet famam. [1]

[1] _Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries_. Vol. viii. p. 353.


_Fielding’s posthumous play “The Fathers”_

Fielding’s play _The Fathers_ or _The Good-natured Man_ seems to have been lost (apparently after being submitted to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams) till twenty years after Fielding’s death. It was discovered by M’r Johnes, M.P. for Cardigan, in 1775, or 1776, who sent it to Garrick. Garrick recognised it as “Harry Fielding’s Comedy”; and, after revision, it was produced at Drury Lane on November 30, 1778. Garrick not only appeared in the cast, but also wrote both prologue and epilogue. A note, in the Morrison Manuscripts, from Garrick to D’r John Hoadley, dated January 3, 1776, concludes thus “We have found the lost sheep, Henry Fielding’s Good Natured Man which was mislaid near twenty years.” [1] In the following pleasant letter Sir John Fielding commends Mrs Fielding’s Benefit night to Dr Hunter.

“Sir John Fielding presents his compliments to Dr. Hunter, and acquaints him that the Comedy of ‘The Good-natured Man’ written by the late Mr. Henry Fielding will be performed at Drury Lane next Monday being the Author’s Widow’s night.

“He was your old and sincere friend. There are no other of his Works left unpublished. This is the last opportunity you will have of shewing any respect to his Memory as a Genius, so that I hope you will send all your Pupils, all your Patients, all your Friends, & everybody else to the Play that Night, by which Means you will indulge your benevolent feelings and your Sentiments of Friendship. [2]

“Bow Street, Dec’r 4, 1778.”

[1] Morrison Manuscripts. Catalogue.

[2] _The Athenaeum_. February 1. 1890.


_Undated Accounts of Fielding at Salisbury and at Barnes_

Research has so far failed to identify the period of Fielding’s traditional residence in Salisbury. According to the following passage in _Old and New Sarum or Salisbury_, by R. Benson and H. Hatcher, 1843, he occupied three houses in or near Salisbury. “It is well known that Fielding the Novelist married a lady of Salisbury named Craddock [sic] and was for a time resident in our City. From tradition we learn that he first occupied the house in the Close at the south side of St Anne’s Gate. He afterwards removed to that in St Anne’s Street next to the Friary; and finally established himself in the Mansion at the foot of Milford Hill, where he wrote a considerable portion of his _Tom Jones_.” [1]

Fielding’s residence in Barnes is no less illusive. The following passage occurs in the edition of 1795 of _Lyson’s Environs of London_: “Henry Fielding, the celebrated Novelist, resided at Barnes, in the house which is now the property of Mr Partington.” [2] In the edition of 1811 the house is described as “now the property of Mrs Stanton, widow of the late Admiral Stanton.” [3] In Manning and Bray’s _Surrey_ the name of the house is given: “On Barnes Green is a very old house called Milbourne House…. It was once the residence of Henry Fielding the celebrated novel writer. The widow of Admiral Stanton is the present owner of this house.” [4] The Barnes Rate-books appear to throw no light on the date of Fielding’s residence at Milbourne House. It is noteworthy that both the Barnes and Salisbury statements indicate a man of some means, living as befitted a Fielding.

[1] _History of Wiltshire_. Sir R. C. Hoare; volume entitled “Old and New Sarum or Salisbury,” by R. Benson and H. Hatcher, 1843. p 602.

[2] Lysons. _Environs of London_, edition of 1795. Vol. i. part iii. p. 544.

[3] _Ibid_. Edition 1811. Vol. i. p. 10.

[4] Manning and Bray. _History of Surrey_, 1814, vol. iii. p. 316.


_An undated letter of Fieldings to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu_

The following undated letter is printed in _The Letters and Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu_ edited by Lord Wharncliffe and W. M. Thomas. Lord Wharncliffe includes it with the letters from originals among the Wortley papers. [1]

Wednesday evening

Madam,–I have presumed to send your ladyship a copy of the play which you did me the honour of reading three acts of last spring, and hope it may meet as light a censure from your ladyship’s judgment as then; for while your goodness permits me (what I esteem the greatest, and indeed only happiness of my life) to offer my unworthy performances to your perusal, it will be entirely from your sentence that they will be regarded, or disesteemed by me. I shall do myself the honour of calling at your ladyship’s door to-morrow at eleven, which, if it be an improper hour, I beg to know from your servant what other time will be more convenient. I am with the greatest respect and gratitude, madam,

Your ladyship’s most obedient, most devoted humble servant.

[1] Letters and Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, edited by Lord Wharncliffe and W. M. Thomas. Vol. ii. p. 3, note I, and p. 22.


FIELDING’S _Tom Thumb_

This play appears to have carried some political significance in Fielding’s day; if it was not, indeed, written with a political intention. This may be gathered from an article in the _Daily Post_ of March 29, 1742, apropos of a performance of the _Tragedy of Tragedies_, that night, at Drury Lane. The article attributes, in detail, political intentions to the _Tragedy_–“a Piece at first calculated to ridicule some particular Persons and Affairs in Europe (at the Time it was writ) but more especially in this Island.”