Skinner, Stephen

, an English antiquary, was born either in London, or in the county of Middlesex, about 1622. He was admitted on the royal foundation at Christ church in Oxford, 1638; but, the rebellion breaking out before he could take any degree, he travelled, and studied in several universities abroad. About 1646, he returned home; and going to Oxford, which at this time ceased to be a garrison, he took both the degrees in arts the same year. He then resumed his travels through France, Italy, Germany, the Spanish Netherlands, and other countries; visited the courts of several princes; frequented the principal universities; and established an acquaintance with the learned in different parts of Europe. On the restoration of the university of Heidelberg, by Charles Lewis, Elector Palatine, he was honoured with a doctor of physic’s degree; and, returning to England, was incorporated into the same at Oxford in 1654. About this time he settled at Lincoln; where, after practising physic with success, he died of a malignant fever, Sept. 5, 1667. Wood says, “He was a person well versed in most parts of learning, understood all books whether old or new, was most skilful in the Oriental tongues, an excellent Grecian, and, in short, a living library.

He wrote “Prolegomena Etymologica;” “Etymologicon linguae Anglicanae;” “Etymologicon Botanicum;” “Etymologica Expositio vocum forensium;” “Etymoiogicon vocum omnium Anglicarum;” “Etymologicon Onomasticon.” After his death these works, which he had left unfinished, came into the hands of Thomas Henshaw, esq. of Kensington, near London, who corrected, digested, and added to them, his additions being marked with the letter H: and after this, prefixing an epistle to the reader, published them with this title, “Etymologicon Linguae Anglicanse,” &,c. 1671, folio. 2


Ath. Ox. vol. II.