Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

The Ancestry of Francis Galton   41

A very appreciative notice: _of Samuel Galton the first appears in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1799 (p. 63)

"A sound and acute understanding, a quick and clear conception, extended views and a mind active and firm, joined to the habit of unremitting industry, commanded success with regard to the improvement of his fortune. The same talents were ever ready to be employed in giving advice and assistance to those who asked and in forming and directing charitable institutions."

After referring to his local charities and general beneficence, the writer continues :   ,

`~ These excellent qualities were accompanied with great hospitality, and their effect improved by the urbanity and courtesy of his manners, by an agreeable, well-formed person, and a countenance expressive of the intelligence of his mina and the cheerfulness of his disposition. He encountered the various accidents of life and the infirmity of old age with uncommon dignity; the energies of a strong and powerful mind--enabling him to support those trials which related to himself, without relaxing in his attention to the distresses of others. The same firmness of character accompanied him in death."

Surely much of this characterisation might be directly applied to his great-grandson Francis Galton. Unfortunately no pdrtrait of him appears to have been preserved'. Nor were " the various accidents of life" which the first Samuel encountered slight in character ; besides the bankruptcy of his partner a more personal distress arose from the

' A pleasing pen-picture of this typical Quaker is given by his granddaughter Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck (see Hankin, Christiana C., Life of Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, Vol. i, Autobiography. Pt. i, 1778-1787, pp. 45-53. London, 1858).

"Of all the pleasures of my childhood, by far the greatest and the sweetest in recollection were the visits, whether of days or weeks, to my dear grandfather at Dudson. I can hardly say how delightful to me was the quiet, the spirit of love and order and peace which characterised his household. The family, as I remember it, consisted of my grandfather himself and of Lizzie Forster. She had formerly superintended the education of my aunts, my father's sisters, but, after the death of my grandmother and my aunts, Lizzie Forster continued her post as head of the establishment. My grandfather himself presented so striking a likeness to Win Penn in West's picture of -the Treaty with the Indians, that I never knew any person who had seen both, who was not struck by it. He was very cheerful, orderly, active, acute as a man of business, and most kindly in his consideration and thought for the welfare and. happiness of all about him. While my mother bestowed out of her benevolent heart, like a noble benefactress, my grandfather gave in a benevolent, considerate, and business-like way ; with brotherly kindness he ascertained what would add to the wellbeing of his people, and supplied the want kindly, beneficently, yet not lavishly, with a completeness that showed his pleasure in giving, yet with an orderly economy. He considered himself as a responsible steward, and as his fortune had been the fruit of God's blessing on his industry, he desired, remembering the labour of his youth, to

P. G.   6

Previous Index Next