Morell, Thomas

, an able classical scholar and editor, was born at Eton in Buckinghamshire, March 18, 1703. His father’s name was Thomas, and his mother, probably after the decease of her husband, kept a boardjng-house in the college. At the age of twelve he was admitted on the foundation at Eton-school, and was elected thence to King’s college, Cambridge, Aug. 3, 1722. He took his first degree in 1726, became M. A. in 1730, and D. D. in 1743. In 1731 he was appointed to the curacy of Kew, in Surrey, and was some time also curate of Twickenham. In July 1733 he was admitted ad eundem at Oxford; and in 1737 became a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, having just been instituted, on the presentation of his college, to the rectory of Buckland in Hertfordshire, the only preferment he ever obtained. In 1775, indeed, we find him appointed chaplain to the garrison at Portsmouth, and he for several years preached Mr. Fairchild’s Botanical Sermon on Whit-Tuesday, at St. Leonard’s Shoreditch; but these scarcely deserve the name of preferments. As he rendered many important services to literature, it is | rather singular that he never met with a patron who might have rendered him independent; but he knew little of the world, and found so much pleasure in his studies, as to neglect the common observances of polite life. He was probably contented; but he was always poor, and frequently in debt. He was warm in his attachments, and was a cheerful and entertaining companion. He was extremely fond of music, and in early life associated much with its professors. Mr. Cole thinks this did him no service, and informs us that at one time his chief dependance was on a Mons. Desnoyers, a dancing master, who had some interest with Frederick prince of Wales, but Desnoyers died before he could obtain any thing for him. Those who feel for the character of the age would not have been pleased to record that a divine and a scholar *


In Wooll’s Life of Dr. Warton we have the following characteristic anecdote of Dr. Morell. When he visited Winchester, he in a casual survey of the college entered the school, in which some junior boys were writing their exercises, one of whom, struck no less wi’h his air and manner than the questions he put to them, whispered to his school-fellows, “Is he not a fine old Grecian!” The Doctor, overhearing the expression, turned hastily round, and exclaimed, “I am indeed an old Grecian, my little man! Did you never see my head before my Thesau­ rus?" The boy, having made an awkward apology, hastily withdrew and soon finding two of the Prepositors, repeated to them the stranger’s words, who, aware of the dignity of their visitor, instantly came up, and, introducing themselves, offered in a most respectful manner to show him the college: he accepted their offer, and after visiting every part of it with a view of discovering the information and attainments, as well as gratifying the politeness of his guides, parted from them highly pleased with the attention which had been shewn him.

attained preferment through such a medium. He died Feb. 19, 1784, and was buried at Chiswick. In 1738 he married Anne, daughter of Henry Barker, esq. of Chiswick, by whom he had no issue.

He was an early contributor to the Gentleman’s Magazine; assisted Hogarth in his “Analysis of Beauty,” and published some occasional sermons. His other publications followed in this order, 1. “The Life of Dr. Edward Littleton,” prefixed to the first volume of his sermons, in 1735. 2. “Poems on Divine Subjects; original and translated from the Latin of Marcus Hieronymus Vida, with large annotations, more particularly concerning the being and attributes of God,” Loud. 1732, 8vo, reprinted 1736. 3. “The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, in the original, from the most authentic Mss. and as they are turned into modern language by the most eminent hands,” ibid. 1737. 4. “A copy of English congratulatory verses on the | maryiage of the prince of Orange with the princess Anne,” 1737. 5. “Philalethes and Theophanes; or a summary view of the last controversy occasioned by a book entitled The Moral Philosopher,’ parti.” Lond. 1739, 8vo, reprinted 1740. 6. “The Christian’s Epinikion, or Song of Triumph; a paraphrase on I Cor. xv. attempted in blank Terse; with annotations, explanatory and critical,” ibid. 1743, 4to. 7. “Hope, a poetical essay, in blank verse, on that Christian grace, in three books,1745. 8. “Spenser’s Works,” by subscription, 1747. 9. “Euripidis Hecnba, Orestes, et Phenissce, cum scholiis antiquis, &c.1748, 2 vols. 8vo. This is a reprint of King’s edition, with the Alcestes added by himself. In 1749, Dr. Morell published the “Hecuba,” translated from the Greek, with annotations. 10. A speciaien of his “Thesaurus,1757. 11. “Philoctetes,1757, 8vo. 12. “Thesaurus Graecse Poeseos, sive Lexicon Grreco-prosodiacum,” &c. 4to, with Hogarth’s portrait of the author. The value of this work has been so long and so often acknowledged, that it is only necessary to add that a much improved edition is now in the hands of an eminent scholar, and nearly ready for publication. 13. The “Prometheus” of jschylus/&e. 1767, 8vo; 1774, 4to. 14. “A Dissertation on the Corbridge altar now in the British Museum,” &c. in a Latin letter to the hon. Daines Barrington,“1774, printed in the Archasologia, vol. III. 15.” Sacred Annals; or the Life of Christ, as recorded by the Four Evangelists,“&c. 1776, 4to. He also published a corrected edition of Hederick’s Lexicon, and three editions of Ainsworth’s Dictionary; and compiled the words for Handel’s Oratorios. After his death was published a translation of” Seneca’s Epistles,“with annotations, 1786, 2 vols. 4to. This is a correct and faithful translation, but never attracted much public attention. In 1794 also was published” Notes and Annotations on Locke on the Human Understanding, written by order of the queen (Caroline), corresponding in section and page to the edition of 1793," 8vo. This, which was written by the author while in the prime of life, does great credit to his talents as a metaphysician, and has been judged a very necessary aid in the perusal of Locke. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer. Harwood’s Alumni Etonenses.