« PreviousContinue »
POPE fays, in the Epilogue to the Satires, in this volume, line 99, that he never
"Din'd with the Man of Rofs."
A few more particulars, which I have accidentally met with, concerning this extraordinary man, and his mode of living, to which Pope probably alludes, may be here admitted, though too long and unimportant for a Note on the place. These were fent to an Editor of a newspaper, 1787, but they bear the evident marks of authenticity.
"To the PRINTER.
"Sir, I fend you a few anecdotes relative to Mr. John Kirle, the Man of Rofs, which I picked up the other day in that town. He kept a public table on the Thursday of every week, and had always twelve perfons to dine with him on that day. The dinner confifted of a furloin of beef, a loin of veal, a leg of mutton, (all bought at Rofs market,) and a plain pudding. What remained of this was given away in the afternoon. His hour of dinner was at two o'clock. Cyder, perry, and ale, were the only liquors drank at his table. His Sunday dinner consisted of a rump of beef; the remains of which were given away to the poor. His household establishment confifted of two maids, a boy, and an upper fervant. He was fkilled in architecture; and once, on a visit to fee fome building near Benfon in Oxfordshire, was taken up as an highwayman, and carried before a justice, to whom he said he was the Man of Rofs. This, however, did not avail him completely; for three perfons of confequence in the neighbourhood went in their coaches and fix to bail him. He raised the spire of Ross upwards of one hundred feet. He made a causeway on the Monmouth road, for the use of foot paffengers. He inclosed within a ftone-wall, ornamented with two elegant entrances, a space of ground of near half an acre, in the center of which he funk a bafon, as a reservoir for water for the use of the inhabitants of
Rofs. Over one of the door cafes of the entrance, there are still remaining his coat of arms cut out in ftone. He used to fend many old and infirm poor persons of Rofs into the woods and fields, to pick up felf fown oaks, afhes, &c. to embellish the hedge-rows of his walks and estate. He had an elder brother, I believe, who was not reckoned very wife, and from whom he inherited. After his death (which happened at the age of 90), in 1724, his body lay in ftate in his best parlour for fix weeks. The estate is now divided into parcels, belonging to several perfons; one of them, however, belongs to a female collateral defcendant. She is at prefent unmarried, and I hope when the changes her fituation, and becomes a mother, she will give the name of Kyrll to be prefixed to the firname of her firft fon or daughter. Mr. Ball, the owner of the King's Arms at Rofs, the house Mr. Kyrll lived in, has got an original painting of him; it represents him as a man of 60 years, fair in complexion, and grave in aspect. Permiffion, I fancy, can be obtained to have an engraving made from it, which would be a great acquifition to our collections of English portraits; and there is the more reason for defiring this to be done speedily, as one of our young military men, fome years ago, in a fit of anger at his hair-dreffer, took the curling irons in his hand, and made two holes with them in the picture. There is now living at Rofs, a female defcendant of his, who, from a proper regard to the memory of her illuftrious ancestor, is now repairing and embellishing a favourite feat of his, known by the name of "Kyrll's feat."
END OF THE FOURTH VOLUME.
Strahan and Preston, New-Street Square, London.