, a learned Saxonist, and the descendant of some learned Oxonians,
, a learned Saxonist, and the
descendant of some learned Oxonians, was born in 1667,
but where, or where educated, has not been discovered.
That he was well grounded in classical learning is evident.
He was admitted battler of Queen’s college, Oxford, on
Sept. 14, 1689, took his degree of B. A. jn Jan. 1694, and
that of M.A. in 1697, and either then or in the following
year, was admitted fellow of the college. Queen’s was at
this time remarkable for the number of its Saxon scholars,
one of the principal of whom was Mr. Thwaites, who so
early as 1698 became a preceptor in the Saxon tongue
there. The industry of his pupils was great, but they had
few helps. In a letter to Wanley, dated March 24,
1698-9, he says, “
We want Saxon Lexicons. I have
fifteen young students in that language, and but one Somner for them all.” This was undoubtedly a sufficient reason for the patronage he bestowed on Mr. Thomas Benson’s
Vocabulary, an epitome of Somner, begun to be printed
in small quarto, but which was afterwards printed in 8vo,
under the title of“
Vocabularium Anglo-Saxonicum Lexico
Gul. Somneri magna parte auctius,” Oxon.
Dionysii Orbis Descriptio, cum veterum scholiis et Eustathii commentariis. Accedit Periegesis Prisciani, cum notis Andrea Papii,” Oxon. 8vo. This was followed in
Heptateuchus, Liber Job, et Evangelium Nicodemi,
Anglo-Saxonice. Historic Judith fragmentum, Dano-Saxonice*. Edidit nunc primum ex Mss. codicibus Edwardus
Thwaites, e collegio Reginse,” Oxon. which being dedicated to Dr. Hickes, the celebrated non-juror, gave some
offence in those days of party-spirit. The same year Mr.
Thwaites had some concern in the edition of king Alfred’s
Saxon version of “
Boethius cle Consolatione Philosophize,”
the professed editor of which was Mr. Christopher Rawlinson. Mr. Thvvaites also rendered much assistance to Dr.
Hickes in his “
Thesaurus,” which is amply acknowledged
in the epistolary preface. In 17 Os, he was elected by the
university, reader in moral philosophy, and the next year
appointed regius professor of Greek. His last work,
Grammatica Anglo-Saxonica ex Hickesiano linguarum
Septentrionalium Thesauro excerpta,” appeared at Oxford
the best Septentrionalist,” next to Dr. Hickes, a man, too, “
his personage, pleasant in conversation, of great vivacity,
and of a most agreeable natural behaviour. 7 '” Besides
these excellencies, he wrote,“
says Mr. Browne,” the
finest hand I ever saw."