Howe, Josiah

, an accomplished scholar of the seventeenth century, was born at Crendon in Buckinghamshire, and elected scholar of Trinity-college in 1632, of which, when B. A. he became fellow in 1637. By Hearne, in his preface to “Robert of Gloucester,” he is called “a very great cavalier and loyalist, and a most ingenious man.” He appears to have been a general scholar, and in polite literature was esteemed one of the ornaments of the university. In 1644 he preached before Charles I. at Christchurch cathedral, Oxford; and the sermon was printed, and in red letters (but only thirty copies), of which perhaps the only one extant is in the Bodleian library. In 1646 he was created bachelor of divinity by decree of the king, among others who were complimented with that degree for having distinguished themselves as preachers before the court at Oxford. He was soon afterwards ejected from his fellowship by the presbyterians, but not in the general expulsion in 1648, according to Walker. Being one of the bursars of the college, and foreseeing its fate, and having resolved at the same time never to acknowledge the authority of Cromwell’s visitors, he retired, in the beginning of 1648, to a college estate in Buckinghamshire, carrying with him many rentals, rolls, papers, and other authentic documents belonging to his office. These he was soon after induced to return on a promise of being allowed to retain his fellowship; but they were no sooner recovered than he was expelled, and not restored until 1660. He lived forty-two years after this, greatly respected, and died fellow of the college, where he constantly resided, Aug. 28, 1701, and was interred in the college chapel. Hearne says, “he | lived. so retiredly in the latter part of his life, that he rarely came abroad; so that I could never see him, though I have often much desired to have a sight of him.

Mr. Howe has a copy of recommendatory English verses prefixed to the folio edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, printed in 1647; another to Randolph’s poems, 1640, and another to Cartwright’s comedies and poems, 1651. These pieces, says Warton, which are in the witty epigrammatic style that then prevailed, have uncommon acuteness, and highly deserve to be revived. Denham, Waller, Jonson, Corbet, Brome, Shirley, &c. appear to have been of his intimate acquaintance. Wood says that he wrote some English verses, which were much applauded, spoken before the duke and duchess of York, in 1683, at Trinitycollege. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. Warton’s Life of sir Thomas Pope, preface- and of Bathurst, pp. 154, 211.