Bever, Thomas

, LL. D. an eminent scholar and civilian, was born at Mortimer in Berkshire in 1725, and educated at All Souls’ college, Oxford, where he took the degree of bachelor of law, July 3, 1753, and that of doctor, April 5, 1758, and was also a fellow of his college. In 1762, with the permission of the vice-chancellor, and with the approbation of the regius professor of civil law, whose ill state of health had at that time deprived the university of the fruits of his abilities, he gave a course of lectures in the same school where Blackstone had delivered his celebrated commentaries, and sometimes, when the class ef pupils was small, at his own chambers in All Souls’ | college. In 1760, he published “A discourse on the study of Jurisprudence and the Civil Law, being an introduction to (the above) course of lectures,” 4to, but we presume had not sufficient encouragement to publish the whole. He was admitted into Doctors’ Commons, Nov. 21, 1758, and was afterwards promoted to be judge of the Cinque Ports, and chancellor of Lincoln and Bangor. In 1751, he published “The history of the Legal Polity of the Roman state and of the rise, progress, and extent of the 'Roman Laws,” Lond. 4to, a work in which he has made deep researches into the constitution of the Roman state, and displays an extensive fund of learning, connected with the investigation of the civil law. It is much to be lamented that he did not live to complete his plan: but by his will he expressly forbade any part of his Mss. to be printed, as not being in a fit state for the public eye. Dr. Coote says he committed the sequel of this work to the flames in his last illness. He adds that “he was a better scholar than writer, and a better writer than pleader.” His private character is represented as truly amiable. As a relation he was affectionate and attentive and as a friend active and disinterested. His patronage of unprotected genius was a constant mark of the benevolence of his heart. The late Mr. Hindle, and other adepts in music, of which Dr. Bever was a devoted amateur, attracted his esteem. Sherwin, the celebrated engraver, owed also the greatest obligations to him his grateful sense of which he testified by his valuable present of an unique painting (the only one Sherwin ever executed), of Leonidas taking leave of his wife and infant son, now or lately in possession of Sam. Bever, esq. of Mortimer in Berkshire, the doctor’s younger brother. Dr. Bever died at his house in Doctors’ Commons, Nov. 8, 1791, of an asthma, which probably would not then have been fatal, if he had suffered himself to be removed from London to a less turbid air, but in what concerned his health, he was reluctant to take advice. He was interred in Mortimer church, Berkshire, and a mural monument erected, in the chancel, to his memory. 1

1 Coote’s Catalogue of Civilians. —Gent. Mag. vol. LXI. and LXVIII. &c.