1780 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Michael Tyson

William Cole, Collectanea for Athenae Cantabrigienses; in Restituta or ... English Literature Revived 4 (1816) 236-39.



Son of the Rev. Wm. Tyson, Dean of Stamford in Lincolnshire, who had been Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge: mother's family-name Curtis, of the same place. He was born in All Saints parish in Stamford, Nov. 19, 1740, admitted in Bene't College, A.B. A.M. ordained Deacon at White Hall Chapel by John Green, formerly Master of his College, and now Bishop of Lincoln, Sunday, March 11, 1770. In 1776, being then Bursar of the College, made one of White Hall preachers on the death of Mr. Colman of C.C.C.C. Vide some account of the name and family of Tyson of the North, in Leland's Itinerary, vol. viii. p. 5. edit. 1744.

His father, Michael Tyson, A.M. about Christmas, 1773, made Archdeacon of Huntingdon by Bishop Green, great sportsman and gunner, who appointed him soon after his Official; about which time, or before, on Mr. Colman's quitting it, Minister of St. Bene't Church in Cambridge.

In 1766, he went with a young gentleman of his College a tour into the North, and at Glasgow he was honoured with the freedom of that city. The ticket is about a foot square of parchment, the border being nicely printed with a scroll at top and bottom, of "let Glasgow flourish;" at one corner a bird, at another parti per pale, A. and G. a tree proper, on the top of which is a bird, and hanging from a bough, a bell azure in chief, and in base a salmon on its back; being parts of the arms of the city, which are thus blazoned on the back: party p. pale A. and G. a tree proper, on the top of which is a bird, and hanging from a bough, a bell azure in chief, and in a base a salmon on its back en — over all, argent, with an amulet in its mouth Or; above all are two boys holding a scroll over their heads, and "let Glasgow flourish," blowing trumpets: underneath is written, Michael Tyson, Esq. his Burgess Ticket of Glasgow, 1766; on the other side is this — At Glasgow, the twelfth day of Sept. 1766 years: The which day, in presence of the Right Honourable John Bowman, Esq. Lord Provost of the said city, John Alston, Robert Donald, and George Buchanan, Baillies thereof, Arthur Connel Dean of Gild, and sundry of the Gild Council of the said city, Michael Tyson, Esq. of Lincolnshire, is admitted and received Burgess and Gild Brother of the said city, and the whole Liberties, Privileges, and Immunities, belonging to a Burgess and Gild Brother thereof, are granted to him in most ample form, who gives his oath of fidelity as use is. Extracted from the Gild books of the said city by John Wilson.

My freedom was given to me there, 25 August, 1749: v. my vol. 34. p. 123, 124. The same arms, and exactly the same words, mutatis mutandis. In the same expedition Mr. Tyson went as far as Inverary, where he had the same compliment, on a piece of parchment of about six inches by ten; on the back of which is written — Burgess Act in favour of Michael Tyson, Esq. 1766, Inverary; on the other side a shield; and at the bottom a large seal of red wax, with five herrings swimming into a net, and at its top is written Inverary, and round it, Semper tibi pendeat Halec. At the Burgh of Inverary the 17 day of September, 1766 years: The which day, Michael Tyson, Esq. of Lincolnshire, was, by the unanimous advice and consent of John Duncanson, Esq. Provost, Messrs. John Mac Neill and John Colquhoun, Baillies, Dugald Mac Keller, Dean of Guild and Common Council of the Burgh, received, created, and admitted Burgess, Freeman, and Guild Brother thereof, with power for him — and enjoy the Privileges, Liberties, and immunities belonging to a Burgess, Freeman, and Guild Brother of the same, and that for the love, favour, and respect the said Magistrates and Council have for and bear to the said Michael Tyson, Esquire, who gave his Burgess Oath, as use is.

In 1776 he was presented by the College, for the first time, to the Living of Lumbourn in Essex, which the family of litigated, and, after a suit in chancery, it was determined in favour of the College: however, they threatened a second prosecution; but to prevent it a composition was made, one of the articles of which was to let Mrs. Calvert continue in the Parsonage House till Christmas, 1778: but Mr. Tyson, being eager to marry, and wanting to quit College, after a courtship of ten years or rather more, immediately upon his voting for the new Master of his College, who was elected, 25 June, 1778, and he, with the new Master and Miss Wale dining with me, June 28, he told me that Mr. Nasmith, his friend, Rector of Snailwell, was to marry him in Bene't Church, on Tuesday, June 30, and immediately set off for lodgings for Chigwell, near Lambourn, when Mrs. Calvert would not even permit him to stack up wood against his coming thither. I am afraid he will not do well after he is married: his passions are violent, and get the better of his judgment. Miss Margaret Wale, daughter of Mr. Hitch Wale of Shelford, son of my godfather, Gregory Wale, Esq. is one of the prettiest and most amiable women I ever met with. Hitch Wale was a poor creature, a son by a second wife, and marrying his servant, left four daughters, and small portions to each: one married Mr. Lambourn the engraver; Mr. Tyson, in one of his mad frolics after drinking, in 1777, used her so disrespectfully, that she determined never to have any further connections with him, and absolutely left him, went to London, and was got part of the way in the Oxford coach, with a design to go to a sister or relation married in that county; but a messenger express was sent after her by her friends to persuade her to return, as they suspected Mr. Tyson would make away with himself; for he was perfectly out of his senses about it. On her return he made a resolution to drink no more wine, and has kept it pretty well for a twelvemonth: I hope he will persevere: but as he has not the resources of company in the country, as in the University, though he has a taste for books, ingenious in drawing, painting, and languages, yet I doubt his perseverance. May I be wrong! He has sense and capacity in abundance, if his passions would let them act their part.

Poor Mr. Tyson on the morning he was to have married was taken ill with a putrid sore throat, and thought to have been in danger of his life: however, on sending to know how he fared, on Friday, July 3, my servant spoke to him, and he was got pretty well again. He was married the day after, viz. Sunday, July 4, 1778, and I hope will be happy, though I much doubt it. His first son was born at five in the morn, on Ascension Day. Holy Thursday, 13 May, 1779, at Lambourn. Poor Mr. Tyson died on Wednesday, May 3, 1780, of a violent fever, see my vol. 54, p. 333, 334, at Lambourn.

He gave me two copies of English verses on these two subjects, by himself. On the Birth of the Prince of Wales, 1762. An Ode on Peace, 4to. 8 pages the two. There were very few copies printed, as he told me.