Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sumner, Robert Carey

SUMNER, ROBERT CAREY (1729–1771), master of Harrow, born on 9 March 1728–9 at Windsor, was grandson of a Bristol merchant and nephew of John Sumner, canon of Windsor and head master of Eton College. Robert was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge, where he was admitted a scholar on 18 Dec. 1747 and a fellow on 28 Dec. 1750, graduating B.A. in 1752, and proceeding M.A. in 1755. He became assistant master at Eton in 1751, and afterwards master at Harrow. On 3 Aug. 1760 he married a sister of William Arden ‘of Eton,’ a scholar of King's College. In consequence of his marriage he vacated his fellowship. In 1768 he obtained the degree of D.D., and, dying on 12 Sept. 1771, was buried in Harrow church. He was the friend of Dr. Johnson and the master of Dr. Parr and Sir William Jones, both of whom in later years celebrated his praises (Field, Life of Parr, i. 16–18; Jones, Poeseos Asiaticæ Commentariorum Libri, p. v). He published ‘Concio ad Clerum’ (London, 1768, 4to), which Parr declared equal in point of latinity to any composition by any of his countrymen in the century.

[Harwood's Alumni Etonenses, p. 334; Grad. Cantabr. 1660–1786, p. 375; Gent. Mag. 1760 p. 394, 1825 i. 388; Registers of Eton College and King's College.]

E. I. C.