Chappelow, Leonard

, an eminent oriental scholar, of whom we regret that our information is so scanty, was born in 1683, and educated at St. John’s college, Cambridge, where he took his bachelor’s degree in 1712, his master’s in 1716, and that of B. D. in 1723. To his other studies he united an uncommon application to oriental languages, in which such was his reputation, that he was chosen to succeed the learned Simon Ockley in 1720, as Arabic professor. He held also a fellowship in his college, until they bestowed on him the livings of Great and Little Hormead, in Hertfordshire. To this fellowship he was chosen in 1717, in the room of a Mr. Tomkinson, one of the nonjuror-fellows ejected at that time by act of parliament. The celebrated Mr. Baker was another, and always afterwards designated himself “Socius ejectus.” In February 1734-5, we find Mr. Chappelow a candidate for the mastership of St. John’s college, but he failed, although | after a very severe contest. Mr. Chappelow constantly read lectures during one term on the Oriental languages, for which he had a peculiar enthusiasm, and in which he was critically versed. This inclined him to the publication of the first work by which his name was more extensively known, his edition of Spencer “De Legibus Hebraeorum Ritualibus.” Spencer, after the first publication of this capital work in 1685, had continued to make improvements in it, and by will left such of his papers and writings as were perfect, to be added in their proper places, if ever there should be occasion to reprint it with the full right and property of them to his executor, bishop (afterwards archbishop) Tenison, who bequeathed them to the university of Cambridge, after having caused them to be prepared for the press, with fifty pounds towards the expences of printing. These the senate, by grace, gave leave to Mr. Chappelow to publish, and as an encouragement, bestowed upon him the archbishop’s benefaction likewise. The work was accordingly executed in 1727, 2 vols. fol. by a subscription of two guineas the small, and three guineas the large paper, begun in 1725. B en e’t college, on this occasion, was at the expence of prefixing an elegant engraving of the author, as a small testimony of gratitude to their munificent benefactor. In 1730, he published “Elementa Linguae Arabicae,” chiefly from Erpenius.

Mr. Chappelow' s next publication, at a considerable distance of time, was “A Commentary on the book of lob, in which is inserted the Hebrew text, and English translation with a paraphrase from the third verse of the third chapter, where it is supposed the metre begins, to the seventh verse of the forty-second chapter, where it ends,1752, 2 vols. 4to. In this curious work Mr. Chappelow maintains that an Arabic poem was written by Job himself, and that it was modelled by a Hebrew at a later period, but this period he does not take upon him to ascertain. In other respects his opinions, as to the intention of this sublime book, are judicious. In 1758 he published “The Traveller; an Arabic poem, entitled Tograi, written by Abu Ismael; translated into Latin, and published with notes in 1661, by Dr. Pocock, and now rendered into English in the same Iambic measure as the original; with some additional notes to illustrate the poem,” 4to. This, although ably executed, is rather a paraphrase than a translation, but well expresses the sense of the original. In 1765 he published | Two Sermons concerning the State of the Soul on its immediate separation from the body written by bishop Bull, together with some extracts relating to the same subject; taken from writers of distinguished note and character. With a preface,” 8vo. This preface is all that belongs to Mr. Chappelow, and is very short. He coincides with bishop Bull’s opinion, that the final state of man is determined at death, and he supports it by extracts from Tillotson, Whitby, Lightfoot, Stanhope, Smalridge, and Limborch. His last publication was entitled “Six Assemblies; or Ingenious Conversations of learned men among the Arabians, &c. formerly published by the celebrated Schultens, in Arabic and Latin, with large notes and observations, &c.1767, 8vo. This amusing collection of prose and poetry is part of a larger work written in Arabic by Hariri of Barsa, a city in the kingdom of Babylon, and throws considerable light upon many passages of Scripture. The editor’s notes are very valuable. Mr. Chappelow, after holding his professorship with much reputation for nearly half a century, died Jan. 14, 1768, in his seventyfifth year, leaving a widow, who died July 1779, at Cambridge. 1

1 Cole’s ms Athense in Brit. Mus. Biog. Brit, art, Spencer, Month, and Crit. Reviews. Nichols’s Bowyer.