Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Robertson, William (d.1686?)

ROBERTSON, WILLIAM (d. 1686?), lexicographer, was a graduate of Edinburgh, and is probably the William Robertson who was laureated by Duncan Forester in April 1645 (Edin. Graduates, Bann. Club, p. 62). From 1653 to 1680 he lived in the city of London and taught Hebrew. In 1680 he was appointed university teacher of Hebrew at Cambridge at a salary of 20l. a year.

His principal works are: 1. ‘A Gate or Door to the Holy Tongue opened in English,’ London, 1653, 8vo; this reappeared with a few changes in 1654, as ‘The First Gate or Outward Door to the Holy Tongue,’ and was followed in 1655 by ‘The Second Gate or the Inner Door.’ 2. ‘Compendious Hebrew Lexicon,’ London, 1654; this was very favourably received, and was edited by Nahum Joseph in 1814. 3. ‘An Admonitory Epistle unto Mr. Richard Baxter [q. v.] and Mr. Thomas Hotchkiss, about their applications, or misapplications, rather, of several texts of Scripture, tending chiefly to prove that the afflictions of the godly are proper punishments;’ in the second of two appended dissertations he defends ‘great Dr. Twisse's definition of Pardon,’ London, 1655. 4. ‘The Hebrew Text of the Psalms and Lamentations, with text in Roman letters parallel,’ London, 1656; dedicated to the Hon. John Sadler, his ‘worthy Mæcenas and patron.’ 5. ‘Novum Testamentum lingua Hebræa,’ London, 1661. 6. ‘The Hebrew portion of Gouldman's Copious Dictionary,’ Cambridge, 1674. 7. ‘Schrevelii Lexicon Manuale Græco-Latinum, with many additions,’ Cambridge, 1676. 8. ‘Thesaurus linguæ sanctæ,’ London, 1680; this was used largely by Chr. Stock and J. Fischer in their ‘Clavis linguæ sanctæ,’ Leipzig, 1753. 9. ‘A Dictionary of Latin Phrases,’ Cambridge, 1681; re-edited in 1824. 10. ‘Index alphabeticus hebræo-biblicus,’ Cambridge, 1683; Leusden translated it into Latin and published it at Utrecht in 1687 as ‘Lexicon novum hebræo-latinum.’ 11. ‘Manipulus linguæ sanctæ,’ Cambridge, 1683. 12. ‘Liber Psalmorum et Threni Jeremiæ,’ in Hebrew, Cambridge, 1685.

[British Museum Catalogue; Biographie Universelle.]

E. C. M.