Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Drury, Henry Joseph Thomas

1171124Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 16 — Drury, Henry Joseph Thomas1888Lloyd Charles Sanders

DRURY, HENRY JOSEPH THOMAS (1778–1841), scholar, son of the Rev. Joseph Drury [q. v.], by Louisa, daughter of Benjamin Heath, D.C.L., of Exeter, was born at Harrow on 27 April 1778, and educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1801, M.A. 1804), of which society he became a fellow. Drury became under-master, and afterwards master, of the lower school at Harrow, and among his pupils was Lord Byron (see a letter from Byron to Drury dated 18 Oct. 1814 in Moore's Life of Lord Byron). In 1820 he was presented to the rectory of Fingert. He died at Harrow on 5 March 1841. By his wife, Caroline, daughter of A. W. Taylor of Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire, he had a son Henry [q. v.]

Drury had a great reputation in his day as a classical scholar, but contented himself with editing selections from the classics for the use of Harrow School. He also formed a most valuable library of the Greek classics, both printed editions and manuscripts, which was sold after his death, two parts in 1827 for 8,917l. 13s., and the third in 1837 for 1,693l. He was an original member of the Roxburghe Club, London, and contributed to their collection a reprint of ‘Cock Lorell's Boat’ (1817) and ‘The Metrical Life of Saint Robert of Knaresborough’ (1824), from a manuscript in his possession, which was deciphered and transcribed by Joseph Haslewood the bibliographer. Among Drury's numerous friends were Dr. Dibdin the bibliographer, who mentions him several times in ‘The Bibliographical Decameron,’ and Lord Byron. In Moore's ‘Life of Lord Byron’ are to be found several letters from the poet to his former tutor, written in affectionate terms and without much regard to the propriety usually preserved in a correspondence with a divine.

[Gent. Mag. 1841, new ser. xvi. 323; some additional facts are to be found in Heathiana: Notes Genealogical and Biographical of the family of Heath, privately printed, 1881.]

L. C. S.