Blackwall, Anthony

, a native of Derbyshire, born in 1674, was admitted sizer in Emannel college, Cambridge, Sept. 13, 1690; proceeded B. A. in 1694, and went out M. A. 1698. He was appointed head master of the free-school at Derby, and lecturer of All-hallows there, where in 1706 he distinguished himself in the literary world by “Theognidis Megarensis sententise morales, nova Latina versione, notis et emendationibus, explanatæ et exornatae una cum variis lectionibus, &c.” 8vo. Whilst at Derby he also published “An Introduction to the Classics containing a short discourse on their excellences, and directions how to study them to advantage with an essay on the nature and use of those emphatical and beautiful figures which give strength and ornament to writing,1718, 12mo; in which he displayed the beauties of those admirable writers of antiquity, in a very instructive, concise, and clear manner. In 1722 he was appointed head master of the free-school at Market-Bosworth in Leicestershire and in 1725 appeared, in quarto, his greatest and most celebrated work, “The Sacred Classics defended and | illustrated.A second volume (completed but a few weeks before his death) was published in 1731, under the title of “The Sacred Classics defended and illustrated. The second and last volume.” To this volume was prefixed a portrait of the author by Vertue, from an original painting. Both volumes were reprinted in 4to, Lipsix, 1736. In many respects this is a work of great merit. It displays a fund of genuine learning, and contains a number of useful and important observations. In a great variety of instances it is shewn, that several of the words and phrases in the New Testament which have been condemned as barbarous, are to be found in Greek writers of the best reputation. But it is the opinion of some judicious critics, that he has not succeeded in proving the general purity and elegance of language in which the evangelists and apostles wrote. Among these Dr. Campbell appears to be Mr. Blackwall’s most formidable adversary, in his “Four Gospels translated from the Greek,” 4to edit. vol. I. p. 13 17.

Mr. Blackwall, in his seminaries at Derby and Bosworth, had the felicity of bringing up a number of excellent scholars besides Mr. Dawes. Among these was sir Henry Atkins, bart. who, being patron of the church of Clapharn. in Surrey, as a mark of his gratitude and esteem, presented our author, on the 12th of October, 1726, to that rectory, which was then supposed to be worth three hundred pounds a year. The grammar which Mr. Blackwall made use of, for the purpose of initiating the young people under his care into the knowledge of the Latin tongue, was of his own composition; and it was considered as so well adapted to that end, that he was prevailed upon to publish it in 1728. Such, however, was his modesty, that it would not permit him to fix his name to it, because he would not be thought to prescribe to other instructors of youth. The title of it is, “A 'New Latin Grammar; being a short, clear, and easy introduction of young scholars to the knowlege of the Latin tongue containing an exact account of the two first parts of grammar.” It is probable, that Mr. Blackwall’s situation at Clapham did not altogether suit his disposition; for, early in 1729, he resigned the rectory of that place, and retired to Market- Bosworth, where his abilities and convivial turn of mind rendered him generally respected. At the school-house of this town he died, ou the 8th of April, 1730. He left behind him two children, a son and a daughter. The son was an attorney at | StokeGolding, in the neighbourhood of Bosworth, where he died July 5, 1763; and the daughter was married to a Mr. Pickering. 1


Biog. Brit. vol. V. p. 17—19, note on Dawes.—Nichols’s Bowyer, vol. I.