Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Homer, Henry (1753-1791)

HOMER, HENRY, the younger (1753–1791), classical scholar, the eldest of the seventeen children of Henry Homer the elder [q. v.], was born at Warwick in 1753 (Colvile, Warwickshire Worthies, p. 433). In 1758 he entered Rugby School, of which, at the age of fourteen, he was the head boy. Afterwards he studied for three years at Birmingham. In November 1768 he was admitted to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, under Dr. Farmer, where he became acquainted with Dr. Samuel Parr, who helped to direct his studies. Among his other intimate college friends were William Bennet [q. v.], afterwards bishop of Cloyne, and George Dyer [q. v.] He graduated B.A. in 1773, M.A. in 1776, and B.D. in 1783. He was elected a fellow of his college in 1778, and returned to the university from Warwickshire, where he had been living for about three years, soon after his election. About this time he was admitted into deacon's orders. He now resided chiefly at Cambridge, and spent much time in the university library, turning his attention to philological studies. In 1787 he joined with Dr. Parr in the republication of Bellenden's ‘Tracts,’ and prepared editions of several classical authors, all remarkable for the accuracy of the text and beauty of the typography. At the suggestion of Dr. Parr, he undertook a splendid variorum edition of Horace, but died before its completion. It was finally published by Dr. Charles Combe, and this occasioned an angry literary altercation between Combe and Parr. In consequence of religious scruples Homer declined to take priest's orders in compliance with the college statutes, and his fellowship was therefore declared vacant in June 1788. He died at Birdingbury of a rapid decline on 4 May 1791, and was buried in the churchyard there.

Homer edited: 1. The first, twenty-fifth, and thirty-first books of ‘Livy,’ from Drakenborch's edition, with Dissertations, 1787, 8vo. 2. Tacitus, ‘De Moribus Germanorum et de Vita Agricolæ,’ London, 1788, 12mo. 3. ‘Tractatus varii Latini, a Crevier, Brotier, Auger, aliisque clarissimis viris conscripti, et ad Rem cum criticam, tum antiquariam pertinentes,’ London, 1788, 8vo. 4. ‘P. Ovidii Nasonis Heroides ex editione P. Burmanni,’ London, 1789, 8vo. 5. ‘A. Persii Flacci Satirarum liber,’ 1789, 4to. 6. ‘Sallustii Opera Omnia excusa ad editionem Cortii cum editionibus Havercampi et Gabrielis Antonii collatam,’ London, 1789, 8vo. 7. ‘Taciti Dialogus de Oratoribus,’ 1789, 8vo. 8. ‘C. Plinii Cæcilii Secundi Epistolarum libri x.,’ London, 1790, 8vo. 9. ‘Taciti Opera Omnia,’ 4 vols., London, 1790, 8vo. An elegant and a correct edition, with an elaborate index. 10. ‘C. J. Cæsaris Opera Omnia,’ 2 vols. London, 1790, 8vo. 11. ‘M. T. Ciceronis de Officiis libri tres, ex editione Oliveti,’ London, 1791, 16mo. 12. ‘Quintilian,’ in the press at the time of the editor's death. 13. ‘T. Livii Patavini Historiarum libri qui supersunt omnes ex recensione Arn. Drakenborchii,’ 8 vols. London, 1794, 8vo; a very accurate reprint of Drakenborch's text, with an elaborate index. The works which he left unfinished were completed by his brothers Arthur Homer [see under Homer, Henry, the elder] and Philip Bracebridge Homer [q. v.]

His portrait has been engraved by J. Jones from a painting by S. Harding.

[Bloxam's Magd. Coll. Register, vii. 50; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 363; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Dyer's Hist. of the Univ. of Cambr. ii. 391; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, n. 5465; Gent. Mag. 1791 pt. i. p. 492, 1806 pt. ii. p. 1209; Johnstone's Life of Parr, pp. 408–37; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), pp. 345, 459, 1373, 1744, 1885, 2176, 2567, 2704; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. iv. 704; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 163, 660; Rugby School Registers, p. 25.]

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