Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

The Ancestry of Francis Galton 43

fourth child Mary at 28 ; his fifth Edith in the first year of life ; his sixth Elizabeth at 21 and his youngest Hannah at 141 Only his third son Samuel survived to carry on the linb'. To anyone who has studied the pedigrees of families in the 17th century this immense mortality will not seem wholly exceptional. Of its great influence on national life and character there can be small doubt.

The death of his brothers and sisters all previous to that of his father, meant that Samuel Galton the second became, on the death of his father in 1799, a man of large wealth and considerable estates. His portrait (see Plate XXV) seems to indicate a man very similar to the verbal description given by the writer in the Gentleman's Magazine of his father. In the family he was often spoken of as Samuel John or John Samuel, but he was not so registered at birth ; it * seems probable that the name was merely adopted to distinguish him from his father. Born in 1753, Samuel Galton the second went in 1759 to school at Bristol-a fact which shows how the Bristol connection of the Galtons was still maintained. In 1760 he was transferred to James Fell's School at Worcester, which he left in the following year. In 1768 he

their beautiful but sober plumage, and pointed out, when they soared up aloft, how bright their iridescent colours appeared in the sun   I loved, too, to assist my grandfather

in arranging old letters and papers from friends of his youth, or of his ancestors   !

"One more anecdote respecting my grandfather. He was most kind to us his grandchildren, but I believe yet more especially to me, who was three years and a half older than any of the others, and who from delicate health always preferred the quiet society of those older than myself, to children's play. It was 'his custom to give each of his grandchildren a guinea on the day of their birth, and on every birthday add another, paying us also interest on the former. When we were seven years old, he made us keep the accounts ourselves. This was to goo till each attained the age of twenty-one, when he intended the whole sum as a little present; besides this, he frequently gave me money, sometimes half-a-crown, sometimes a guinea. He gave me also a little accountbook in which he desired I should set down accurately everything I received and expended. This was contrary to my natural taste and habits ; it was also very different from my dear mother's magnificent manner of spending and acting in all that related to money : but one day my grandfather called me to him and said : 'My child, thou didst not like when I advised thee, the other day to save thy sixpence, instead of spending it in barberry drops and burnt almonds    We cannot be self-denying wisely till we know the real value of what we give up; that is why I wish thee to keep exact accts.' "

1 Their mother, Mary Galton, died at the Swan Inn, Tewkesbury, on her way from Cheltenham to Birmingham in the presence of the two Sainuels and her daughter Mary" my exemplary and dear mother," as the younger Samuel expresses it.


Previous Index Next