Bourne Archive: FNQ: Bourne People           Latest edit 11 Aug 2009.   

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The Bourne Archive


Fenland Notes and Queries. Edited by Rev. W.D. Sweeting, Rector of Maxey.

Part 46. July 1900.

This quarterly periodical took the form of a forum in which people sent in questions about the history, ecology and so on of the Fens and the region’s environs and others replied with some sort of answer. Some ‘answers’ seem to have been spontaneous, so qualifying as ‘notes’.

Bourne People

852  Dr. Dodd at Bourne. - Although chiefly remembered for his forgery and tragic death, Dr. Dodd was a man of letters who published many works, and deserves to be considered eminent for his literary merits. He was born at Bourne in 1729. He was of Clare Hall, Cambridge; B.A., 1748; M.A., 1759; and LL.D., 1766. In London he obtained some reputation as a popular preacher, and was made Prebendary of Brecon; and he held also the livings of Hockcliffe, co. Beds., and of Wing, co. Bucks. He attempted to obtain the living of S. George’s, Hanover Square, by bribery; for which he was struck off the list of Chaplains to the King. One of his publications was a translation of Callimachus. Among the papers of the Gentlemen’s Society at Spalding is an original bill containing his proposals for printing this translation, and also his letter to Maurice Johnson, the President of the Society, inviting subscriptions. The letter is this:-


I have long been in hopes of receiving your kind promise, which I shall now be extremely glad of, as I leave ye Country next Week, & intend getting it engraved soon as I get to Town. If you wou’d favor me with Mr. bell’s original drawing, I wou’d take particular Care of it, & see it return’d immediately when I had done with it : but if you cannot so far oblige me, I trust I shall not be disappointed of ye Copy. Doctor Mason of Trinity sent me Word Mr. Bell left no Papers to yeir library: but imagin’d Mrs. Marshall cou’d inform me of them: to whom I applied, but she knew no more, than that she thought They might be at Trinity: I have again enquir’d there, but can not find them. Since I saw you I have determin’d to give over & above what I propos’d, some of ye most select Epigrams of Callimachus, & if you’ll look at ye 5th. (in Spanhelm’s Edition) you’ll see I shall be obliged to you for a Commentary on it: for which no body is better capacitated than yourself: Nay if you wd. Favour me with a Translation of it, I shou’d think it an Honor in my Work: at least I shall hope for yr. lines from Oppian &c.

An answer to this by ye Bearer wou’d be highly agreeable, however I beg ye favour of hearing on Saturday at furthest. I am wt. all proper Compliments to yr. worthy & agreeable family


               Yr. most obliged &

                            sincere hble. Sert

                                       William Dodd.

If there is anything in my power I cou’d oblige you in, in Town, you may command me: I shall be found at Mrs. Dodds in Firth-Street, Soho.

I have made free to send you a few Receits, yt. Uf you shou’d by chance meet with any one willing to subscribe to Callimachus, you may be so obliging as to manage it for me: I have no acquaintance of weight enough wth Mr. Johnson in Spalding, to transact such an affair, or I shou’d not have troubled him, but I know his good-nature & readiness to promote Literature.                   W.D.

Bourne.               Oct. 28. 1750.

I have sent ye Head of Milton I spoke of: tis indeed too bad to send, but if I can procure a better it shall be at yr Service.

The “Proposals” according to an endorsement in the President’s writing, were “Read at the Instance of the Pr. By ye Secr.” On 1st November; and on the 8th it was proposed that the Society should subscribe for the work. The word “repealed” at the end of the endorsement seems to shew that the Society declined to subscribe.

Cambridge, June 1 1750.

Proposals for Printing by Subscription.



Translated from the Greek

With NOTES critical and explanatory

To which will be added

The Coma Berenices of CALLIMACHUS

Six Hymns of ORPHEUS,

and THEOCRITVS his Excomium [Presumably, the opposite of encomium] of Ptolemy.

By William Dodd, B.A. of Clare-Hall in Cambridge.




I.            The Work will be printed in One handsome Volume, Quarto; adorn’d with a beautiful Frontispiece, and each Hymn with elegant Head and Tail-Pieces, design’d and engrav’d by the best Masters.

II           The Price to Subscribers will be Half a Guinea; Five Shillings to be paid at the time of subscribing, and the remainder on delivery of the Book, which is now ready for the Press. – There will be some printed on Royal Paper, if subscrib’d for, Price Sixteen Shillings; Half a Guinea to be paid at the time of subscribing, and the remainder on delivery of the Book.

III         A List of the Subscribers Names will be printed.

Subscriptions are taken in by  Mr. Thurlbourn and Mr. Merrill in Cambridge; Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Barrett in Oxford; Mr. Jolliffe in St. James’s Street, Mr Whiston in Fleetstreet, Mr Dodd in Ave-Mary Lane, Mr. Nourse in the Strand, Mr. Ward against the Royal Exchange, Mr. Owen near Temple-Bar, and Mr. Cooper in Pater-Noster Row, London;Mr. Pote at Eton; Mr. Hildyard at York; Mr. Lord at Wakefield; Mr. Wood at Lincoln; Mr. Rogers at Stamford; Mr. Cook at Uppingham; Mr. Greenville at Winchester; Mr. Leake and Mr. Frederick at Bath; Mr. Flacton at Canterbury; Mr. Clay at Daventry; Mr. Warren at Birmingham; Mr. Chase at Norwich; Mr. Craighton at Ipswich; Mr. Lee at Lynn; Mr. Eaton at Yarmouth; Mr. Kincaid at Edinburgh; Mr. Barry at Glasgow; Mr. Faulkland and Mr. Watson at Dublin.

It is well known that Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote petitions and made various efforts to obtain pardon for Dr. Dodd, after his condemnation: but he had no acquaintance with him, and they only once actually met. And Dr. Johnson’s efforts were prompted by his humane disposition, and not by any admiration for the unhappy convict, whose life and character were very far from consistent with his profession. At his death, 27 June, 1777, Dodd was in his 49th year.


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