was born in Red Lion Street, Houndsditch, on the 4th-15th February, 1747-8.* His great-grandfather, Brian Bentham, was a prosperous pawnbroker in the city of London, and a relation of that Sir Jeremy Snow who was one of the bankers cheated by Charles II. In those days the profession of a pawnbroker was far more elevated than now.Brian Bentham had connexion with the founder of the Aldgate Charity, Sir John Cass, and with many other distinguished people.† He died possessed of some thousands of pounds.This learned lady seems to have been less terrible than the trembling timid boy anticipated: and he got through his “Qui fit Mecænas” with due honour.

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His grandfather, who, though no Papist, was a great devotee of the Stuarts, had the habit of hoarding and hiding large quantities of money in various parts of the house.

Considerable sums, concealed from the knowledge of his family, were found, at his death and at subsequent periods, in foreign and domestic gold coin; and when Jeremy was a boy of about ten years old, twenty or thirty guineas fell out of a place which he had been using as a receptacle for his toys.

Kings upon kings, ever since my fourth year was accomplished, I had been reading of, in an odd volume of Rapin’s History.

Crowns upon crowns I had beholden upon their heads.

In their family was a literary lady, an unmarried maiden—Miss Barbara Avis—who was even a Latin scholar.

One of the most awful events of Jeremy Bentham’s life, was his introduction to the erudite Miss Barbara.Its term accomplished—nor in such a situation was much time expended in the accomplishment—one of these royal trappings passed from the hand of my fair cousin to the neck of the author of these pages.Ribbon, of itself sufficed—ribbon, without garter or even star—to turn the little head.Bentham has assured me, not only that multitudes of the citizens of London were friendly to the Stuarts, but that even in the corporation there were aldermen waiting to bring about the restoration of the exiled family, whenever a fit occasion could be found.In the year 1745, the addresses of the Pretender had a wide circulation; and many papers, showing the zeal and interest which his forefathers felt in the success of the Stuarts, fell into Bentham’s hands.Bentham thus spoke of him:—“I longed for a more intimate acquaintance with him; but a coldness existed between him and my father; and, I am bound to say, my father was not the injured party.