Homer, Henry

, an excellent classical scholar, the son of the rev. Henry Homer, rector of Birdingbury, in Warwickshire, who died a few months after this son, in 1791, was born in 1752, and at the age of seven was sent to Rugby school, where he remained seven years, and became the head-boy of about sixty. He afterwards went to Birmingham-school, where he remained three years more. In November 1768, he was admitted of Emanuel-college, Cambridge, under Dr. Farmer, where he became acquainted with Dr. Samuel Parr, and was in some measure directed in his studies by this eminent scholar. He proceeded regularly to his degree of B. A. in 1773, of M. A. in 1776, and that of B. D. in 1783. He was elected fellow of his college in 1778, but had lived in Warwickshire about three years before he became fellow, and returned to the university soon after his election. He then resided much at Cambridge, frequently visiting the public library, and making himself acquainted with the history or contents of many curious books which are noticed only by scholars, and particularly turned his attention to several philological works of great utility and high 'reputation. He was well versed in the notes subjoined to some of the best editions of various authors; and of his general erudition the reader will form no unfavourable opinion from the following account of the works in which he was engaged. He joined with Dr. Parr in the republication of Bellenden’s Tracts in 1787, and about the same year published three books of “Livy,” viz. the 1st, 25th, and 31st from Drachenborch’s edition, with dissertations, &c. This was followed by, 1. “Tractatus varii Latini aCrevier, Brotier,” &c. 1788. 2. Ovid’s “Epistles” ex editione Burman. 1789. 3. “Sallust. ex cditione Cortii,1789. 4. “Pliny, ex editione Cortii et Longolii,1790; 5. “Caesar, ex edit. Oudendorp,1790. | 6. “Persius ex edit. Heninii.” 7. “Tacitus, ex edit, Brotier,” complete all but the Index. 8. “Livy” and “Quintilian,” in the press at the time of his death. He also intended to have published “Quintus Curtius,” but no steps were taken towards it. To these, however, may be added his “Tacitus de Moribus Germanorum et de Vita Agricolje,1788, and Tacitus “De Oratoribus,1789. Dr. Parr having considered him as a very proper person to undertake a variorum edition of Horace, he had made some progress in that work, which was finally published by Dr. Combe, and occasioned a paper-war between Dr. Combe and Dr. Parr, which we had rather refer to than detail. Mr. Homer, in consequence of some religious scruples, refused to take priest’s orders, when by the founder’s statutes he was required to take them, in order to preserve the rank he had attained in the college; in consequence of which his fellowship was declared vacant in June 1788. HediedMay4, 1791, of a decline, hastened, if not occasioned, by too close an attention to his literary pursuits. The works he left unfinished were completed by his brothers, but, we are sorry to hear, have not met with that encouragement from the public, which they amply merit. 1


Gent. Mag. vol. LXXVI. and LXXX. Brit. Crit. vol. III, Dr. Parr’s “Remarks on the Statement of Dr. Charles Combe,1795, 8vo.