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MEMOIRS

OF THE LATE

MR. JOHN TOBIN.

John TOBIN was born at Salisbury, the 26th of January 1770. His father was well connected, and by education prepared for a liberal profession, but that destination was afterwards altered ; and on his marriage with Miss Webbe, the daughter of an opulent West Indian, his father surrendered to his possession an estate in the island of Nevis; and from that period he became ostensibly a planter. During the first years of this, union he did

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not renounce his residence in England, but settled with his young wife at Salisbury ; and much of their time was spent with her father at Old Sarum, in the mansion still distinguished for having been the retreat of the great Lord Chatham, and the birthplace of William Pitt.

This village is pleasantly situated on the banks of the Avon, and from its vicinity to a city, offered peculiar facilities for the pleasures of society. During the winter season, festivity and hospitality prevailed through the neighbourhood, which was also occasionally enlivened by a company of players, and it was the most pleasing recollection of John Tobin's childhood, that he had been sometimes permitted to accompany his mother to the humble theatre at Salisbury; where he contributed not a little to the amusement of her party, by the uncontrolled expression of his rapturous delight.

At the commencement of the American war, Mr. Tobin, finding his personal superintendance necessary to the prosperity of his plantations, embarked with his wife for Nevis, leaving three sons, who were all of an age to be placed at school, under the protection of their maternal grandfather, and the tuition of Dr. Mant, long deserve edly respected for the ability and success with which he conducted a classical seminary at Southampton. In separating from their parents the young Tobins lost not the comforts and privileges of home, since they regularly spent the vacations at Stratford, where they received a full share of paternal affection and indulgence. Mr.Webbe appears to have been a man of worth and sense, who, with quick generous feelings, was a shrewd observer of life and manners; and allowing for the prejudices of a West Indian, possessed a strong sense of justice and integrity: his pride was not vulgar; he despised the dissipated and the sordid, and

revolted from the language of sycophants and parasites : frank and high-spirited, he considered dissimulation as dishonesty, and strenuously enforced on his grandsons the sacred obligation to sincerity and truth. Ardent and tenacious in his opinions, he was apt to lose sight of moderation in the zeal with which he defended them : but it may be presumed they were maintained on conviction, since he scrupled not to dissent from his political party, or oppose the interests even of his relations, if they militated against his conscience.

From such a man it was scarcely possible not to have imbibed a high sense of honour and independence: but it might have been expected that the taste for luxury and expence exhibited in his munificent hospitality should have produced in his grandsons corresponding habits and propensities; yet the result was far otherwise ; and when ther the influence of example was counter

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