Mr. C. was candidate for the place of secretary to the Society [for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce] on the death of Mr. More; but, if it be deemed extraordinary that a person of his superior talents and eminence in the republick of letters should have thought of accepting that place, his generous testimony, on resigning it, to the greater merit of his opponent, Mr. Taylor, who was unanimously elected, is such a rare instance of candour, as to entitle the author to a very high degree of applause.
The mechanical reputation of Mr. C. has, for so many years, supported, and which, from the sacrifices he made to it, ought to have supported him, seemed indispensably to have required the present publication [A Memorial]. The manufactures he is more immediately acquainted with are those extensive ones of wool and cotton, every process of which he has directed, from the raw state of the article till perfected in the loom. He has brought forward three mechanical inventions, in departments of invention totally distinct from each other. These are, the method of combing wool by machinery, by which £40,000 a year is saved to the manufacturers, and soon will be two millions; the geometrical principle principle of constructing arches, so as to have no lateral pressure; and the late improvements in the steam-engine, simplifying its construction, and reducing its expence, for manufactories.
Mr. C. was fellow of Magdalen college, Oxford; acquainted with, and a correspondent of, the late Sir William Jones, whose letters are here subjoined [from these we learn that he was proposed by his friends, 1780, as a candidate to represent the University of Oxford in parliament (and who more proper for the purpose?) but declined bringing-up his friends, who were principally independent voters], with one from Bp. Thurlow, who gave him a prebend of Durham; and one from Lord Bathurst, who, in 1791, at his great age, visited his combing-mill; from Sir John Sinclair, on the Society for improving British wool; from Dr. Crawford, physician at Baltimore, on his new-invented fire-proof bricks, and extracts relating to his discovery of the successful use of yeast in putrid fevers.
Mr. C. is author of the poetical story of Armine and Elvira, 1772, which is going to be reprinted, with other poems by the same author.