1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Joseph Mawbey

John Taylor Esq., in Records of my Life (1832) 2:188.



I was present at one of the annual celebrations at Chelsea Hospital (indeed at both) when Mr. Burke was paymaster, and the elder Mr. Boswell was present. The conversation turned upon Sir Joseph Mawbey. After some animadversion upon the peculiarities of that gentleman, and during a short pause among the company, Monsey said, "It is curious to contemplate the immense difference among human beings, beginning with Sir Isaac Newton, and descending to Sir Joseph Mawbey." Boswell immediately said, "When you come to Sir Joseph, you are not far from the pigs," (alluding to Sir Joseph's business as a distiller.) "Yes," said Burke, "it is worse than the half-way-house." Young Burke, a delicate young man, added, "I have heard him called a pig of lead," and then the subject ended. But after all, however politics might bias opinions, Sir Joseph Mawbey was considered by his friends as a public-spirited character, and a man of taste, and in the latter capacity has displayed his talents in many poetical effusions. But what will not party do to sour the temper and corrupt the judgment!