'When Mr. Pope published the notes on the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, in giving an account of his family, Mr. Pottinger, a relation of his, observed, that his cousin Pope had made himself out a fine pedigree, but he wondered where he got it; that he had never heard anything himself of their being descended from the Earls of Down; and, what is more, he had an old maiden aunt, equally related, a great genealogist, who was always talking of her family, but never mentioned this circumstance; on which she certainly would not have been silent, had she known anything of it.... The Earl of Guildford says that he has seen and examined the pedigrees of that family [the Popes, Earls of Down] and is sure that there were then none of the name of Pope left, who could be descended from that family.' Warton's Essay on Pope, vol. ii. p. 256, ed. 1806.
Pope's claim to descent from the Earls of Downe is, however, allowed by Mr. Hunter (Pope, his Descent and Family, 1857) to be not improbable.
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