Duport, James

, D. D. a learned Greek scholar, was born in 1606, in Jesus college, Cambridge, of which college his father was master from 1590 to 1617; and, after a classical education at Westminster, was admitted in 1622, of Trinity college in that university, under the tuition of Dr. Robert Hitch, afterwards dean of York, to whom | he gratefully addressed a Latin poem in his “Sylvse,” where he calls him “tutorem suurn colendissimum.” He regularly became a fellow of his college; and his knowledge of Greek was so extensive, that he was appointed regius professor of that language at Cambridge in 1632-.‘ He was collated to the prebend of Langford Ecclesia, in the cathedral of Lincoln, Aug. 14, 1641; and to the archdeaconry of Stow in that diocese, Sept. 13 of that year, being then B. D.; and on the 13th of November in the same year exchanged his prebend for that of Leighton Buzzard in the same cathedral; but in 1656 he was ejected from his professorship at Cambridge, for refusing the engagement. On the 20th of May, 1660, on the eve of the restoration, he preached a sermon at St. Paul’s cathedral; and his loyalty on that occasion was rewarded by an appointment to the office of chaplain in ordinary to Charles II. He was also restored to the professorship; which he resigned the same year in favour of Dr. Barrow; and on the 5th of September following he was, by royal mandate, with many other learned divines, created D. D. He was installed dean of Peterborough July 27, 1664, by Mr. William Towers, prebendary; and elected master of Magdalen college, Cambridge, 1668. When he obtained the rectories of Aston Flamvile and Burbach, we cannot exactly say; but it was probably in 1672, and owing to the patronage of Anthony the eleventh earl of Kent. In 167G, he preached three different sermons upon public occasions, all which were printed, Jan. 30, May 29, and Nov. 5. He died July 17, 1679, and was buried in Peterborough cathedral, to which, and to the school there, he had been a considerable benefactor. Against a pillar on the north side of the choir, behind the pulpit, is a handsome white marble tablet, with his arms and a Latin inscription commemorating his learning and virtues.

Dr. Duport left behind him several learned works, among which his “Gnomologia Homeri,1660, shews his extensive reading, and great knowledge of the Greek tongue, and was then deemed very useful for the understanding of that poet. His other works are, 1. “Tres Libri Solomonis, scilicet Proverbia, Ecclesiastes, Cantica, Graco Carmine donati, 1646,” 12mo. 2. “Metaphrasis libri Psalmorum versibus Graecis contexta cum versione Lat. Cantabr. 1666,” 4to, a work very honourably mentioned by Jo. Alb. Fabricius, in his “Bibliotheca Grteca,” and in | Tillotson’s Life by Birch. 3. “Musae Subsecivae, sen Poetica Stromata,1676, 8vo. This volume consists of three books of miscellany poems, under the title of “Sylvae,” “Carmina Gratulatoria ad Regemet Reginam,*’ Epicedia, seu Carmina Funebria,“*' Carmina Comitialia, seu Epigrammata in Comitiis Academicis composita,” “Epigrammata Sacra,” and “Epithalamia Sacra.

In 1712, when Theophrastus’s Characters were published by Needham, there were printed along with them some lectures of professor Duport upon the first sixteen characters, excepting the fifth. These lectures had lain in the celebrated library of Moore bishop of Ely for many years, and were at first supposed to have been written by Stanley, who wrote the lives of the Greek philosophers; but, upon their being communicated, they were recognized as part of what professor Duport* had read to his pupils at Cambridge during the rebellion. 1


Nichols’s Hist, of Leicestershire, vol. IV. Part II.