Upton, James

, a classical scholar and editor, was the fourth son of a gentleman of Cheshire, and born at Wimslow, in that county, December 10, 1670. He was educated at Eton, and became a fellow of King’s college, Cambridge, where he proceeded B. A. 1697, and M. A. 1701. He afterwards, at the request of Dr. Newborough, the head master, returned to Eton, where he was tutor to the famous sir William Wyndham, and was an assistant teacher at the school. He married the daughter of Mr. Proctor, who kept a boarding-house at Eton, but afterwards removed to Ilminster, in Somersetshire, upon the invitation of several gentlemen of the county, and particularly of the earl Powlett, to whom he was afterwards chaplain, and aii whose sons were under his tuition at Taunton. He remained a few years at Ihninster, and taught the learned languages there till he was elected to the care of the free grammarschool in Taunton: which he conducted with the highest reputation, and raised to be the largest provincial school at that time ever known in England. The number of his pupils amounted to more than 200; and many of them were from the first families in the West of England. He served for many years the church of Bishop’s-Hull, in which | parish the school is situated. So early as 1711 he was in possession of the rectory of Brimpton, near Yeovil, in the presentation of the Sydenham family. In 1712 he was presented by sir Philip Sydenham to the rectory of Alonksilver, 14 miles from Taunton. He died August 13, 1749, aged seventy-nine.

In 1696 he published, at Cambridge, an excellent edition of Aristotlede Arte Poetica,” with notes. In 1702, at Eton, Dionysius Halicarnassensis “de Structura Orationis.” In 1711, a revised and corrected edition of Roger Ascham’s “School-Master,” with explanatory notes. In 1726 his “Novus Historiarum Fabellarumque Delectus;” a very useful and much approved selection of passages from Greek authors, with a Latin translation. He was also the author of several single sermons, and there is a Latin ode of his writing in the Gent. Mag. for Oct. 1737.

He had two sons, one a captain of the navy, who died in the same year with his father; the other, John Upton, born in 1707, who, after receiving a classical education at his father’s school at Taunton, was entered of Exeter college, Oxford, of which he was elected fellow in 1728, and proceeded M. A. in 1732. In the same year the celebrated critic Toup became his pupil, and during the whole of his residence in the university had no other tutor. In 1736 he vacated his fellowship. Having been tutor to the sons of lord chancellor Talbot, that nobleman gave him a prebend in the cathedral of Rochester; besides which he had the rectory of Sevington cum Dinnington, in Somersetshire, by the gift of the earl Powlett; afterwards the rectory of Great Rissington, in Gloucestershire, conferred upon him by earl Talbot, who, as just mentioned, had been one of his pupils; and lastly, he was also rector of the sinecure of Llandrillo, in Denbighshire, in the diocese of St. Asaph, given to him by the bishop. He never married, and died at Taunton, Dec. 9, 1760, in the fifty-third year of his age.

Mr. Upton’s chief publication was an edition of Arrian’s “Epictetus,” printed at London, 1739 41, 2 vols. 4to. This Harwood accounts the most perfect edition that ever was given of a Greek ethical writer. There is his own copy of this edition in the possession of a gentleman of Exeter college, with his curte secundtf, written by him in the margins, and they are very copious and frequent. In 1758 he published an excellent edition of Spencer’s “Fairie | Queene,” with a glossary and notes, explanatory and critical, 2 vols. 4to; and “Observations on Shakspeare,” of which Dr. Johnson, in his preface to his edition of that hard, gives no vry favourable opinion, nor indeed a just one. 1

1 Harwood’s Alumni Etonenses Memoirs by Toulmin, intended for the continuation of his History of Taunton. Gent. Mug. To!S. LX. LXXII.