Askew, Anthony

, M. D. an excellent scholar and promoter of literature, was born at Kendal in Westmoreland, in 1722. His father, Dr. Adam Askew, was in such high estimation at Newcastle, that he was considered as another Radcliffe, and consulted by all the families of consequence for many miles round. Anthony was educated at Sedburgh school, and from thence removed to Emanuel college, in Cambridge, where he continued until he took his degree of B. A. in December 1745. He then went to Leyden, and resided there twelve months, with the view of being initiated into the science of medicine. In the following year we find him in the suite of his majesty’s ambassador at Constantinople. Returning from thence through Italy, he came to Paris in 1749, and was admitted a member of the academy of belles lettres. He had here an opportunity of purchasing a considerable number of rare and valuable Mss. and printed books in the classics, and in various branches of science, and of laying the foundation of an elegant and extensive library, which soon after his death was sold by Baker and Leigh, Tavistock-street, for upwards of 5000l.

Having finished his travels, he returned to Cambridge, and in the year 1750 commenced M. D. He was soon after admitted fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and of the Royal Society, in London. What time could be afterwards spared from attending his professional engagements was dedicated to the conversation of literary men, and to increasing and arranging his collection of books. He died at Hampstead, in the neighbourhood of London, Feb. 27, 1774. Amongst his books and Mss. was a complete collection of the editions of Æschylus, some illustrated with ms notes, and likewise one or two, if not more, Mss. of the same author; which were collected purposely for the intention of publishing at some future period an edition of JEschylus. In 1746, he printed a specimen of this intended edition in a small quarto | pamphlet under the following title “Novae Editionis Tragoediarum Æschyli Specimen, curante Antonio Askew, M. B. Coll. Emman. apud Cantabrigienses hand ita pridem socio commensal!, Lugduni Batavorum, 1746.” This pamphlet, which is now become extremely scarce, was dedicated to Dr. Mead, and consisted only of twenty-nine lines, namely, from v. 563 to v. 596 of the Eumenides (edit. Schultz). It contained various readings from his Mss. and printed books, and the Notse Variorum. Dr. Askew was indeed reckoned one of the best Grecians in England. Dr. Taylor, usually called Demosthenes Taylor, was his great friend, from a similarity of taste and study, and left him his executor, and heir to his noble collection of books and manuscripts. 1


Gent. Mag. vol. LXXIII. Cole’s Mss Athenw Cantab, in Brit. Mas. Barn’s History of Westmoreland.