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SAMUEL JOHNSON was born at Lichfield, in Staffordshire, on the 18th of September, N. S. Or the 7th of September, O. S. 1709. His fa. ther's name was Michael Johnson, a man of obscure extraction. He had been born at Cubley, in Derbyshire, and settled as a bookseller in Lichfield, but extended his business by travelling with a portion of his goods to the neighbouring towns on market-days, and particularly to Birmingham. Michael Johnson had a brother named Andrew, who for some years kept at Smithfield the ring appropriated to wrestlers and boxers.

The name of Doctor Johnson's mother was Sarah Ford. She traced her descent from a race of substantial yeomanry in Warwickshire. She was sister to Doctor Joseph Ford, a practising physician. Her brother Dr Ford was father of Cornelius Ford, a clergyman, and chaplain to Lord VOL. I.




Chesterfield. He was usually known in his time by the name of Parson Ford. He is represented near the punch-bowl in Hogarth's print, entitled “ Midnight Conversation.”

He was accounted a man of talents, but of very profligate manners.

The father and mother of Samuel Johnson did not marry at an early period of life. They had only two children, Samuel the eldest, and Nathaniel the second son, who followed his father's employment, and died at 27 or 28 years age. Michael the father died in December, 1731, at the age of 76; and Sarah the mother in the year 1759, at 89


age. Concerning the father of Johnson, little is known. He was in the year 1718 chosen under bailiff of Lichfield, and in the year 1725 he was elected senior bailiff. His affairs appear to have been unprosperous, and he was said by his son to have been at times afflicted with melancholy. He was a zealous Tory and Jacobite, carried his son Samuel in his arms, when only three years old, to hear the celebrated Dr Sacheverel preach, and was so successful in instilling his notions into the mind of his child, that they were never surinounted by him during his future days.

Samuel Johnson was grievously afflicted in hiç infancy with the scrophula, the scars produced by which deformed his features during life. At that time the ancient opinion was not eradicated, that the royal touch could cure this cruel distemper. Johnson was carried by his mother, at three years of age, to London, and was actually touched by Queen Anne, but without success. In additiou to the deformity which the disease produced, it

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