Littleton, Adam

, a learned scholar, was descended from the Westcot family of Mounslow, in Worcestershire, and born Nov. 8, 1627, at Hales-Owen, in Shropshire, of which place his father, Thomas, was vicar. He was educated under Dr. Busby, at Westminster-school, and in 1644 was chosen student of Christ-church, Oxford, but was ejected by the parliament visitors in Nov. 1648. This ejection, however, does not seem to have extended so far as in other cases, for we find that, soon after, he became usher of Westminster-school; and in 1658 was made second master, having for some time in the interim taught school in other places. In July 1670, being then chaplain in ordinary to the king, he accumulated his degrees in divinity, which were conferred upon him without taking any in arts, as a mark of respect due to his extraordinary merit. This indeed had been amply attested to the university by letters from Henchman, bishop of London, recommending him as a man eminently learned, of singular humanity and sweetness of manners, blameless and religious life, and of genius and ready faculty in preaching. In Sept. 1674, he was inducted into the rectory of Chelsea, was made a | prebendary of Westminster, and afterwards sub -dean. In 1685 he was licensed to the church of St. Botolph Aldersgate, which he held about four years, and then resigned it, possibly on account of some decay in his constitution.

He died June 30, 1694, aged sixty-seven years, and was buried on the north side of the chancel of Chelsea church, where there is a handsome monument, with an epitaph to his memory. He was an excellent philologist and grammarian, particularly in the Latin, as appears from his Dictionary of that language; he appears also to have studied the Greek with equal minuteness, a Lexicon of which he had long been compiling, and left unfinished at his death. He was also well skilled in the Oriental languages and in rabbinical learning; in prosecution of which he exhausted great part of his fortune in purchasing ‘ books and manuscripts from all parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The consequence of this improvidence, we are sorry, however, to add, was his dying insolvent, and leaving his widow in very distressed circumstances. Some time before his death, he made a small essay towards facilitating the knowledge of the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Arabic tongues, which he intended to have brought into a narrower compass. He was versed also in the abstruse parts of the mathematics, and wrote a great many pieces concerning mystical numeration, which came into the hands of his brother-in-law Dr. Hockin. In private life he was extremely charitable, easy of access, communicative, affable, facetious in conversation, free from passion, of a strong constitution, and a venerable countenance. Besides his “Latin Dictionary,” which appeared first in 1678, 4to, and was often reprinted, but is now superseded by Ainsworth’s, he published, 1. “Tragicomcedia Oxoniensis,” a Latin poem on the Parliament-Visitors,“1648, a single sheet, 4to, which, however, was afterwards attributed to a Mr. John Carrick, a student of Christ-churdi. 2.” Pasor metricus, sive voces omnes Nov. Test, primogenias hexametris versibus compreherusae,“1658, 4to, Greek and Latin. 3.” Diatriba in octo Tractatus distributa,“&c. printed with the former. 4.” Elementa Religionis, sive quatuor Capita catechetica totidem Linguis descripta, in usum Scholarum,“1658, 8vo, to which h added, 5.” Complicatio Radicum in primaeva Hebrseorurh Lingua.“6.Solomon’s Gate, or an entrance into the Church,“&c. 1662, 8vo. Perhaps this title was taken | from the north gate of Westminster-abbey, so called 7.” Sixty-one Sermons,“1680, fol. 8.A Sermon at a solemn meeting of the natives of the city and county of Worcester, in Bow-church, London, 24th of June, 1680,“4to. 9.” Preface to Cicero’s Works,“Lond. 1681, 2 vols.’fol. 10.A Translation of ‘ Selden’s Jani Anglorum Facies Altera,’ with Notes,“which for some unkuown reason he published under the name of Redman Westcote, 1683, fol. With this were printed three other tracts of Selden, viz. his” Treatise of the Judicature of Parliaments,“&c.” Of the original of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Testaments.“<* Of the Disposition of Intestates* Goods.” 11. “The Life of Themistocles,” from the Greek, in the first vol. of Plutarch’s Lives, by several hands, 1687, 8vo. He also published “Dissertatio epistolaris de Juramento Medicorum qui Ορκοσ Ἱπποκρατουσ dicitur,” &c. also A Latin Inscription, in prose and verse, intended for the monument of the fire of London, in Sept. 1666. This is printed at the end of his Dictionary; with an elegant epistle to Dr. Baldwin Hamey, M. D. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Bio;;. Brit. Preface to Ainsworth’s. soi|s’ Environs, vol. II.