Barret, John

, a scholar of Cambridge of the sixteenth century, who had travelled various countries for languages and learning, is known now principally as the author of a triple dictionary in English, Latin, and French, which he entitled an “Alvearie,” as the materials were collected by his pupils in their daily exercise, like so many diligent bees gathering honey to their hive. When ready for the press, he was enabled to have it printed by the liberality of sir Thomas Smith, and Dr. Nowell, dean of St. Paul’s, whose assistance he gratefully acknowledges. It was first printed by Denham in 1573, with a Latin dedication to the universal Maecenas, lord Burghlev, and various recommendatory verses, among which the Latin of Cook and Grant, the celebrated masters of St. Paul’s and Westminster schools, and the English of Arthur Golding, the translator of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, have chief merit. This book was more commodious in size than in form, for as there is only one alphabet, the Latin and French words are to be traced back by means of tables at the end of the volume. In the then scarcity of dictionaries, however, this must have been an useful help, and we find that y, second and improved edition, with the title of a “Quadruple Dictionarie,” (the Greek, thinly scattered in the first impression, being now added) came out after the decease of the author in 1580, and is the only edition of which Ames and Herbert take any notice, nor does Ainsworth, who speaks of it in the preface to his dictionary, seem to be aware of a prior edition. Of Baret’s life we have not been able to discover any particulars. In the Ashmole Museum is his patent by queen Elizabeth, for printing this dictionary for fourteen years. 2


Tanner’s Jhuvlc-.Vs Life of Nuwdl.