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The following Life of the Rev. William Romaine, was undertaken at the request of his nearest relatives. It was promised to the public under the first impressions made by his death, and under an idea that such documents might have been collected from his own papers, as would have furnished some of the best materials for his Biographers. But nothing of this sort was found, excepting one memorandum upon his attaining the age of seventy years, which is given in the course of this work, though it does not appear to have been designed for publication. Great as is the loss of the survivors, it is much to the honour of the deceased, that though he had the pen of a ready writer, he employed it not upon himself, but upon his God and Saviour. Upon whose word, and upon whose sal. vation, he hath written largely with his own hand, and left considerable remains behind him.
Disappointed in my expectations of gleaning memoirs of his life from his own manuscripts, and having time to reflect upon an undertaking, in the execution of which I was not likely to satisfy myself or others, I would fain have resigned the task to those who were much better qualified for it than myself, as well by their superior abilities, as by their longer acquaintance with Mr. Romaine. But being pressed to it as to the performance of a promise, I could not resist the solicitation. I have therefore done the best I could-sought information from various quarters, and got it from others without seeking, for which I am thankful. I have given a detail of facts—a history, not a panegyric. Let Mr. Romaine be considered as having been a man of like passions with others, liable to mistakes, and compassed with infirmity. But let God be glorified in him through Jesus Christ, and his end in living, and mine in writing his life, will be fully answered.
REV. WILLIAM ROMAINE, &c.
THE Rev. William Romaine was born on the twentyfifth day of September, 1714. The place of his birth was Hartlepool, a town in the county of Durham, situated on a small promontory stretching into the German ocean. It is now a neat fishing town, with à very good pier and harbour, as well as a place of resort for the purpose of bathing. It has risen from obscurity to eminence in that part of England, through the bounty of the neighbouring nobility and gentry, whose custom it has been to accept by turns the office of Mayor, and to subscribe upon that occasion one hundred pounds towards the improvements of the town, and particularly for supporting and repairing the pier. The father of the Rev. Mr. Romaine was among the French Protestants who took refuge in England upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes; he settled in this place as a merchant, and became a member of the corporation, which is a very ancient one.
He was a dealer in corn, and a man fearing God, and hating covetousness, of which he gave a remarkable proof in the
year 1741. This country was then at war with Spain, and, whether from this circumstance, or from scarcity, there was a considerable advance in the price of wheat, from six to fifteen shillings per boll, the bushel of that county containing about two of the Winchester measure. Upon this occasion the people rose, and came in great numbers, a formidable mob, to Hartlepool. Mr. Romaine went out to meet them, asked them their wants, and was answered that they wanted corn cheaper. He put an immediate and an effectual stop to these riotous proceedings, first by promising to sell all the corn that he had, at five shillings a bushel, and then by performing his promise ; for he sold to all that came, while the other merchants refused
to sell any.
Such traders, however singular, as he was, are no losers themselves in the end, and great friends to the public in the mean time: what is more, they are ranked among the friends of God'; for, “ There is “ that scattereth and yet increaseth, and there is that “ withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to
poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he " that watereth shall be watered also himself. He that “ withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him, but “ blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it," Prov. xi. 24, 25, 26.
This scripture was strictly verified in Mr. Romaine of Hartlepool; for the blessing of God and of the
poor rested upon him. He brought up a family of two sons and three daughters, who were all comfortably and respectably settled in this world, and taught both by the precept and example of their parents, to look for permanent settlements, or mansions in the world to
Their father was a man of God, and consequently of strict morals; a steady member of the church of England, a constant attender upon vices, and so exact an observer of the sabbath-day, that he never suffered any of his family to go out upon it,