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, a learned English writer, was born at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, about 1527, and

, a learned English writer, was born at Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire, about 1527, and had his school education at Cambridge; after which he became first a demy, then a fellow, of Magdalen-college in Oxford. He took the degree of M. A. in 1552, and about that time was made Greek reader of his college, and entered into orders. In June 1555 he had leave from his college to travel into foreign countries; he went to Zurich, and associated himself with the English there, who had fled from their country on account of their religion. After the death of queen Mary he returned to England, and was restored to his fellowship in Magdalen college, from which he had been expelled because he did not return within the space of a year, which was one condition on which he was permitted to travel; another was, that he should refrain from all heretical company. In 1560 he was appointed the queen’s professor of divinity at Oxford; and the year after elected president of his college. In 1562 he took both the degrees in divinity; and, in 1570, was made dean of Gloucester. In 1580 he was removed to the deanery of Winchester; and had probably been promoted to a bishopric if he had not been disaffected to the church of England. For Wood tells us, that from the city of Zurich, where the preaching of Zuinglius had fashioned people’s notions, and from the correspondence he had at Geneva, he brought back with him so much of the Calvinist both in doctrine and discipline, that the best which could be said of him was, that he was a moderate and conscientious nonconformist. This was at least the opinion of several divines, who used to call him and Dr. Fulke of Cambridge, standard-bearers among the nonconformists; though others thought they grew more conformable in the end. Be this as it will, “sure it is,” says Wood, that “Humphrey was a great and general scholar, an able linguist, a deep divine and for his excellency of style, exactness of method, and substance of matter in his writings, went beyond most of our theologists .” He died in Feb. 1590, N. S. leaving a wife, by whom he had twelve children. His writings are, 1 “Epistola de Graecis literis, et Homeri lectione et imitatione;” printed before a book of Hadrian Junius, entitled “Cornucopias,” at Basil, 1558. 2. “De Religionis conservatione et reformatione, deque primatu regum, Bas. 1559.” 3. “De ratione interpretandi auctores, Bas. 1559.” 4. “Optimates: sive de nobilitate, ejusque autiqua origine, &c.” Bas. 1560. 5. “Joannis Juelli Angli, Episcopi Sarisburiensis, vita et mors, ejusque verae doctrinae defensio, &c. Lond. 1573.” 6. “Two Latin orations spoken before queen Elizabeth; one in 1572, another in 1575.” 7. “Sermons;” and 8. “Some Latin pieces against the Papists, Campian in particular.” Wood quotes Tobias Matthew, an eminent archbishop, who knew him well, as declaring, that “Dr. Humphrey had read more fathers than Campian the Jesuit ever saw; devoured more than he ever tasted; and taught more in the university of Oxford, than he had either learned or heard.

, nephew of the preceding, was born at Newport, in the Isle of Wight, in 1592, and admitted

, nephew of the preceding, was born at Newport, in the Isle of Wight, in 1592, and admitted a scholar of Corpus Christi college, Oxford, Sept. 23, 1608. In October 1611, he took the degree of B A. and in Jan. 1615, that of M. A. in which year also he became probationer fellow of his college. Having entered into holy orders, he preached frequently, and arrived to the degree of bachelor in divinity. Upon what occasion we know not, he travelled abroad; and was in Russia, in 1619, a tour to which country was very uncommon in those days. He was esteemed to be well versed in most parts of learning, and was noted, among his acquaintance, as a good Grecian and poet, an excellent critic, antiquary, and divine; and was admirably skilled i'n the Saxon and Gothic languages. As for his preaching, it was not approved of by any of the university, excepting by some of the graver sort. Of three sermons, delivered by him before the academics, one of them, concerning the observation of Lent, was without a text, according to the most ancient manner; another was against it, and a third beside it; “shewing himself thereby,” says Anthony Wood, “a humourous person.” Selden was much indebted to him for assistance in the composition of his “Marmora Arundeliana,” and acknowledges him, in the preface to that book, to be “Vir multijugae studiique indefatigabilis.” Mr. James also exerted the utmost labour and diligence in arranging and classifying sir Robert Cotton’s library; and it is somewhat singular that bishop Nicolson imputes the same kind of blame to him, of which Osborn, the bookseller, more coarsely accused Dr. Johnson, when compiling the Harieian Catalogue, viz. “that being greedy of making extracts out of the books of our history for his own private use, he passed carelessly over a great many very valuable volumes.” Nothing was wantnig to him, and to the encouragement of his studies, but a sinecure or a prebend; if he had obtained either of which, Wood says, the labours of Hercules would have seen/ted to be a trifle. Sir Symonds D'Ewes has described him as an atheistical profane scholar, but otherwise witty and moderately learned. “He had so screwed himself,” adds sir Symonds, “into the good opinion of sir Robert Cotton, that whereas at first he only permitted him the use of some of his books; at last, some two or three years before his death, he bestowed the custody of his whole library on him. And he being a needy sharking companion, and very expensive, like old sir Ralph Starkie when he lived, let out, or lent out, sir Robert Cotton’s most precious manuscripts for money, to any that would be his customers; which,” says sir Symonds, “1 once made known to sir Robert Cotton, before the said James’s face.” The whole of these assertions may be justly suspected. His being an atheistical profane scholar does not agree with Wood’s account of him, who expressly asserts that he was a severe Calvinist; and as to the other part of the accusation, it is undoubtedly a strong circumstance in Mr. James’s favour, that he continued to be trusted, protected, and supported, by the Cotton family to the end of his clays. (See our account of Sir Robert Cotton, vol. X. p. 326 et seqq.) This learned and laborious man fell a victim to intense study, and too abstemious and mortified a course of living. His uncle, Dr. Thomas James, in a letter to Usher, gives the following character of him: “A kinsman of mine is at this present, by my direction, writing Becket’s life, wherein it shall be plainly shewed, both out of his own writings, and those of his time, that he was not, as he is esteemed, an arch-saint, but an archrebel; and that the papists have been not a little deceived by him. This kinsman of mine, as well as myself, should be right glad to do any service to your lordship in this kind. He is of strength, and well both able and learned to effectuate somewhat in this kind, critically seen both in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, knowing well the languages both French, Spanish, and Italian, immense and beyond all other men in reading of the Mss. of an extraordinary style in penning; such a one as I dare balance with any priest or Jesuit in the world of his age, and such a one as I could wish your lordship had about you; but paupertas inimica bonis est monbus, and both fatherless and motherless, and almost (but for myself) I may say (the: more is pity) friendless.