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Τ Η Ε
F A M I L Y OF SW IF T. *
Taken from Mr DEANE SWIFT's Effay.
THAncient in York faire
Sect. I. HE family of the Swifts was
ancient in Yorkfaire, From them defcended a noted person, who passed under the name of Cavaliero Swift, a man of wit and humour. He was made an Irish peer by King James or King Charles I. with the title of Baron Carlingford t, but never was in that kingdom. Many traditional pleasant stories are related of him, which the family planted in Ireland hath received from their parents.
This Lord died without issue-male ; and his heiress, whether of the first or second descent, was married to Robert Fielding, Efq; commonly called Handsome Fielding. She brought him a considerable estate in Yorkshire, which he squandered away, but had no children. The Earl of Eglinton married another co-heiress of the fame family, as he hath often told me.
* This little Tract, Mr Swift tells us, was written by Dr Swift, about fix or eight and twenty years ago, as an introduction to his life, which he had reason to apprehend would some time or other become a topic of general conversation. Mr Swist got the original manuscript, under the Doctor's own band, from his friend and cousin-german Mrs Whiteway.
+ Bernam Swift, Esq; created Viscount (not Baron) of Carlingford, in Ireland, March 20th 1627, the 3d of Charles I.
SECT. II. Another of the same family was Sir Edward Swift, well known in the time of the great rebellion and usurpation; but I am ignorant whether he left heirs or no.
Sect. III. Of the other branch, whereof the greater part settled in Ireland, the founder was William Swift *, prebendary of Canterbury, towards the last years of Queen Elizabeth, and during the reign of King James I. He was a divine of some distinction. There is a sermon of his extant, and the title is to be seen in the catalogue of the Bodleian library ; but I never could get a copy, and I suppose it would now be of little value.
Sect. IV. This William married the heiress of Philpot, I suppose a Yorkshire gentleman to by whom he got a very considerable estate ; which however she kept in her own power, I know not by what artifice. She was a capricious, ill-natured, and passionate woman, of which I have been told several instances. And it hath been a continual tradition in the family, that the absolutely difinherited her only fon Thomas, for no greater crime than that of robbing an orchard when he was a boy. And this much is certain,. that, except a church or chapter lease, which was not renewed, Thomas never enjoyed more than one hundred pounds a-year ;
* Dr Swift is here mistaken. From the dedication of William Swift's sermon, it appears, that Thomas, the father of William, was presented, in 1569, to the parish of St Andrew, in Canterbury; and that, upon the decease of Thomas, William, in 1591, succeeded his father.
+ Rather a gentleman of Kent, or some of the neighbouring counties.
which was all at Goodrich, in Herefordshire, whereof not above one half is now in the possession of a greatgrandfon *
Sect. V. His original picture is now in the hands of Godwin Swift t, of Dublin, Efq; his , great-grandson, as well as that of his wife's, whoseems to have a good deal of the threw in her countenance ; whose arms as an heiress are joined with his own: And by the last, he seems to have been a person somewhat fantastic; for there he gives, as his device, a dolphin (in those days. called a Swift) twisted about an anchor, with this motto, Festina lente.
Sect. VI. There is likewise a feal with the fame coat of arms (his not joined with his wife's) which the said William commonly made use of; and this is also now in the pofleffion of Godwin Swift above mentioned.
SECT. VII. His eldest son Thomas S, seems to have been a clergyman before his father's death. He was vicar of Goodrich, in Herefordshire, within a mile or two of Rofs || : He had like-
wise * Deane Swift, Esq; + in the hands of Mrs Elizabeth Swift, relict of Godwin. * In the hands of Mrs Swift above mentioned
S. His only fon Thomas was a clergy man before his father's death,
|| Within four miles of Ross.
wife another church-living, with about one hundred pounds a-year in land, as I have already mentioned. He built a house on his own land, in the village of Goodrich *, which, by the architecture, denotes the builder to have been fomewhat whimsical and fingular, and very much towards a projector. The house is above a hundred years old, and still in good repair, inhabited by a tenant of the female line t; but the landlord, a young gentleman, lives upon his own estate in Ireland.
Sect. VIII. This Thomas was distinguished by his courage, as well as his loyalty to K. Charles I. and the sufferings he underwent for that prince, more than any person of his condition in England. Some historians of those times, relate several particulars of what he acted, and what hardships he underwent for the person and cause of that blessed martyr'd prince. He was plundered by the Round-heads, six and thirty times, some fay above fifty. He mortgaged his small estate, and gathered all the nioney he could get, quilted it in his waistcoat, got off to a town held for the King; where being asked by the governor, who knew him well, what he could do for his Majeity ? Mr Swift said he would give the King his coat; and stripping it off, presented it to the governor; who observing it to be worth little, Mr
* Not in the village, but in the parish of Goodrich.
+ That tenant of the female line hath been dead these many years.
Swift said, Then take my waistcoat. He bid the governor weigh it in his hand; who ordered it to be ripped, found it lined with three hundred broad pieces of gold; which, as it proved a feasonable relief, must be allowed to be an extraordinary supply from a private clergyman with ten children, of a small estate, fo often plundered, and soon after turned out of his livings in the church.
SECT. IX. At another time, being informed that three hundred horse, of the rebel-party, intended in a week to pass over a certain river, upon an attempt against the Cavaliers, Mr Swift having a head mechanically turned, he contrived certain pieces of iron with three spikes, whereof one must always be with the point upwards. He placed them over night in the ford, where he received notice that the rebels would pass carly the next morning ; which they accordingly did, and lost two hundred of their men, who were drowned, or trode to death by the falling of their horses, or torn by the spikes.
SECT. X. His fons, whereof four * were fettled in Ireland, (driven thither by their sufferings, and by the death of their father) related many other passages, which they learned, either from their father himself, or from what had been told them by the most credible persons of Here
* He should have faid five. I suppose he forgot Dryden Swift, who died very young, and a batchelor, foon after he had come over to Ireland with his brothers.