Shaw, Thomas

, a celebrated traveller, son of Mr. Gabriel Shaw, was born at Kenda!, in Westmorland, about 1692. He received his education at the grammar-school of that place; was admitted of Queen’s-college, Oxford, Oct. 5, 1711, where he took the degree of B. A. July 5, 1716; M. A. Jan. 16, 1719; went into orders, and was appointed chaplain to the English factory at Algiers. In this station he continued several years, and thence took opportunities of travelling into several parts. During his absence he was chosen fellow of his college, March J 6, 1727 and at his return in 1733 took the degree of doctor in divinity, July 5, 1734, and in the same year was elected F. R. S. He published the first edition of his “Travels” at Oxford in 1738, and bestowed on the university some natural curiosities, and some ancient coins and busts (three of which are engraved among the “Marmora Oxoniensia”) | which he had collected in his travels. On the death of Dr. Felton in 1740, he was nominated by his college principal of St. Edmund-hall, which he raised from a ruinous condition by his munificence; and was presented at the same time to the vicarage of Bramley in Hants. He was also regius professor of Greek at Oxford till his death, which happened Aug. 15, 1751. He was buried in Bramley church, where a monument was erected to his memory, with an inscription written by his friend Dr. Browne, provost of Queen’s-college, Oxford. His “Travels” were translated into French, and printed in 1743, 4to, with several notes and emendations communicated by the author. Dr. Richard Pocock, afterwards bishop of Ossory, having attacked those “Travels” in his “Description of the East,” our author published a supplement, by way of vindication, in 1746. In the preface, to the “Supplement” he -says, the intent and design of it is partly to vindicate the Book of Travels from some objections that have been raised against it by the author of “The Description of the East, &c.” He published <c A farther vindication of the Book of Travels, and the Supplement to it, in a Letter to the Right reverend Robert Clayton, D. D. lord bishop of Clogher.“This letter consists of six folio pages, and bears date in 1747. After the doctor’s death, an improved edition of his book came out in 1757, under the title of” Travels or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant, illustrated with cuts. The second edition, with great improvements. By Thomas Shaw, D. D. F. R. S. regius professor of Greek, and principal of St. Edmund Hall, in the university of Oxford." The contents of the supplement are interwoven in this edition; and the improvements wero made, and the edition prepared for the press, by the author himself, who expressly presented the work, with these additions, alterations, and improvements, to the public, as an essay towards restoring the ancient geography, and placing in a proper light the natural and sometimes civil history of those countries where he travelled. The Sliawia in botany received its name in honour of Dr. Shaw, who has given a catalogue, in alphabetica order, accompanied with rude plates, of the rarer plants observed by him in Barbary, Egypt, and Arabia. The species amount to 632, and the catalogue is enriched witli several synonyms, as well as occasional descriptions and remarks. His dried specimens are preserved at Oxford. | The orthography of the name is attended with difficulty to foreigners, our w being as unmanageable to them, as their multiplied consonants are to us. Some of them blunder into Schawia, Shaavia, or Shavia. Perhaps the latter might be tolerated, were it not for the ludicrous ambiguity of Shavius itself, applied by facetious Oxonians to the above famous traveller and his namesakes. 1


Supplement to the first edit, of this Dict.—Rees’s Cyclop. in art Shawia.