Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Loveday, John

LOVEDAY, JOHN (1711–1789), philologist and antiquary, born in 1711, was only son of Thomas Loveday of Caversham, Oxfordshire, and Feenes Manor, Berkshire, by Sarah, daughter of William Lethieullier, a wealthy Turkey merchant of Clapham, Surrey (Burke, Landed Gentry, 7th edit. ii. 1139). After attending Reading school he matriculated at Oxford as a gentleman-commoner of Magdalen College on 13 Feb. 1727–8, and graduated B.A., in 1731, M.A. in 1734 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1714–1886, iii. 874). As an undergraduate he showed taste and aptitude for philological and archæological studies, and Hearne, who was indebted at a later date to Loveday for valuable assistance, spoke of him in 1728 as ‘optimæ spei juvenis, literarum et literatorum amantissimus’ (Preface to Liber Niger Scaccarii). In acknowledgment of this compliment Loveday, at his own expense, restored in 1750 Hearne's monument in Oxford (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. iii. 472 n.)

Loveday lived in studious retirement at Caversham. Miss Berry gives a delightful account of a visit paid in 1774 to the ‘old Tory country gentleman,’ who had married a cousin of hers (Life and Correspondence, ed. 1865, i. 8–9). Possessed of an ample patrimony, he collected pictures, books, and antiquities, purchasing, among other collections, Dr. John Ward's manuscripts and coins. He laid the foundation of the family library, which still remains intact at Williamscote, near Banbury. Though he published nothing in his own name, he was always ready to assist others in literary researches, and he numbered among his intimate acquaintance nearly all the distinguished men of letters of his day. He died on 16 May 1789. He married, first, in 1739 Anna Maria (d. 1743), daughter of William Goodwin of Arlescote, Warwickshire, by whom he had a son John (see below); secondly, in 1745, Dorothy (d. 1755), daughter of Harrington Bagshaw of Bromley, Kent; and thirdly, in 1756, Penelope (d. 1801), daughter of Arthur Forrest of Jamaica, by whom he had a son Arthur (d. 1827), who became a clergyman, and three daughters.

Loveday wrote many papers under various pseudonyms in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine.’ His ‘Observations upon Shrines,’ a paper read before the Society of Antiquaries on 12 Dec. 1754, was printed in ‘Archæologia,’ i. 23–6, without receiving his final correction. His annotations on the margin of his copy of Wood's ‘Athenæ Oxonienses’ were used by Dr. Bliss in his edition of that work (Preface, p. 14). In 1890 his great-grandson, John Edward Taylor Loveday, printed for presentation to the Roxburghe Club his ‘Diary of a Tour in 1732 through parts of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.’

His son, John Loveday (1742–1809), scholar, born on 22 Nov. 1742, was educated at Reading school. On 5 Feb. 1760 he matriculated at Oxford as a gentleman-commoner of Magdalen College, graduating B.C.L. in 1766, and D.C.L. in 1771. He was admitted an advocate in Doctors' Commons on 4 Nov. 1771 (Coote, English Civilians, p. 127), but having increased his property by a marriage in 1777 with his ward Anne, only daughter and heiress of William Taylor Loder of Williamscote, he ceased to practise, sold the Caversham property, and lived at Williamscote, where he died on 4 March 1809, leaving four sons and a daughter. He assisted Dr. Chandler in the preparation of ‘Marmora Oxoniensia,’ 1763, and compiled the index. To the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ he contributed many papers on local antiquities. A few years before his death he presented Dr. Ward's manuscripts to the British Museum.

[Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 468 and elsewhere; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. vols. i. iii. iv. v.; Gent. Mag. 1789, pt. i. p. 471; Cal. Clarendon State Papers, vol. i.; Index to Addit. MSS. Brit. Mus. 1783–1835, p. 288; Addit. MS. 22596; Valpy's Reading School Poems, pp. 87, 206, 216.]

G. G.