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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Thomas Cammack walked his hospital in London


Of Godfrey we remember little; Henry graduated at Cambridge, took Holy Orders and became Vicar of Thorpe Salvin, near Worksop. There were three Inveraritys, Duncan, Henry, and William; the first of these went out to India, and became a Judge in the Supreme Sudder Court. Henry devoted himself to yachting, and died early. William held a commission in a Highland Regiment of foot. Roseville Brackenbury, whose father, a former Peninsular officer, and member of an old Lincolnshire family, resided temporarily at Horncastle, in order to place his son under Dr. Smith, entered the East India Company's service, in the Bengal Presidency.

There were three Buchanans, sons of an old Indian officer, Major Buchanan, a Scotchman, but residing in Maida Vale, London. These were James, Alexander, and Robert. James was a dashing, chivalrous, high-spirited fellow, who took service in a Madras regiment of cavalry; his brother "Alick" was of a different fibre, being chiefly remarkable for the amount of treacle tarts which he could consume, at the shop of the once well-known "Sally Dickinson;" the third brother, Robert, entered the navy.

We may here mention, as evidence of the hard work which was done under Dr. Smith's system, a feat of memory performed by two brothers among the senior boys, Thomas and Alfred Cammack, which the present writer well remembers, as he was present as a small boy when it occurred. "Repetition," of one kind or another, was required of all boys; but these two repeated to the Master from memory, the whole of the first book of Milton's _Paradise Lost_ (798 lines), Thomas with only three promptings, and Alfred with five. Another boy, Sidney Bousfield, did the same with nine or ten promptings. Thomas Cammack walked his hospital in London, and eventually became a consulting physician of some eminence, residing at Boston; Alfred died early. Sydney Bousfield went out to India, and died some years ago.

Two pupils, Holland and Forge, who came to study with the Doctor, of more mature years than the ordinary scholars, were "crack shots," and welcomed at many of the shooting parties in the neighbourhood. A third, Frank Richardson, who was an ardent fox hunter, had his horse brought to the door weekly, on the day when the meet was nearest, and was always among the foremost in the field. He was, further, a great athlete, and would follow the hounds on foot, and not seldom be in at two deaths in the day, several miles apart; of him, it is related, that he leapt the school-yard wall, nearly 7-ft. high. There were many more who were trained by the Doctor to serve their generation worthily in various capacities, but let these suffice as a sample of his influence.

The Under Masters whose services he enlisted were, further, not unworthy of him. We will name one or two.

The first Under Master of whom the present writer has any knowledge was Thomas Myddelton. He was by birth a gentleman, being connected with the very old family of the Myddelton Biddulphs of Chirk Castle, North Wales, who have now dropped the latter name, retaining only the Myddelton. Thomas Myddelton's father, John M. (then dead), had been Rector of Bucknall, in this neighbourhood, 1804-34; his grandfather, also named Thomas, having been Vicar of Melton Mowbray; he (John M.) having been an Exhibitioner of St. Paul's School, London, graduated B.A. at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1782, and gained a Fellowship.


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