ABSTRACT

This lady, who, by her writings, and the powers of her mind, has reflected so much credit on her sex and country, was born about the year 1733, at her father’s seat at Ollantigh, near Ashford in Kent. Her paternal and maternal grandfathers were both concerned in the South-sea scheme, in which fatal speculation they had considerable fortunes engaged. The former, Mr. Jacob Sawbridge, was a banker in London, a director of the South-sea company, a member of parliament, and one of those who, on the breaking up of the scheme, was, to appease the clamours of the sufferers, deprived of his seat in the house, and fined to the amount of a great part of his property. With the wreck of his fortunes, and what had been settled on his son by marriage articles, he was enabled to purchase the estate of Ollantigh, which the family still possess. From a paragraph in his grand-daughter’s History of England, it appears, that Mr. Sawbridge, though carried along with the tide of other men’s iniquity in the South-sea scheme, was guiltless of any intentional defraud or wrong; that he protested, both publicly and privately, against every unfair method taken by the directors to give an unnatural rise to the stock; and that it was generally acknowledged that government, 388in order to calm the people, confounded, on this occasion, the innocent with the gritty.