Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Upton, James
UPTON, JAMES (1670–1749), schoolmaster, was born at Winslow, Cheshire, on 10 Dec. 1670. He was educated at Eton, and was elected a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, whence he graduated B.A. in 1697, M.A. in 1701. At the request of John Newborough, the headmaster, he returned to Eton as an assistant master (Harwood, Alumni Eton., p. 277).
Before 1711 Upton received the rectory of Brimpton, near Yeovil, and in 1712 the rectory of Monksilver, near Taunton, both from the Sydenham family. In 1724, at the request of Lord Powlett and other gentlemen, he removed from Eton to Ilminster, Somerset, where he took pupils until 1730, when he was appointed headmaster of Taunton grammar school. All his pupils went with him, and he so greatly raised the reputation of the school that it became the largest provincial school in England, having over two hundred boys. In 1731 he received the vicarage of Bishop's Hull, Somerset. He died at Taunton on 13 Aug. 1749. He married Mary, daughter of a Mr. Proctor of Eton, by whom he had issue six sons and two daughters. From his second daughter, Ann, is descended the present Tripp family of Huntspill and Sampford Brett, Somerset.
Upton edited Theodore Goulston or Gulston's ‘Poetics of Aristotle’ (1623), with selected notes, Cambridge, 1696; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 1702 (reprinted 1728 and 1747); and Ascham's ‘Scholemaster,’ 1711 (reprinted 1743, 1761, and 1815). He published ‘A Selection of Passages from Greek Authors,’ 1726.
His second son, John (1707–1760), born at Taunton in 1707, was educated by his father and at Merton College, Oxford, where he matriculated in 1724. In 1728 he was elected fellow of Exeter, graduating B.A. 1730, M.A. 1732. He resigned his fellowship in 1736. In 1732 Lord Powlett gave him the rectory of Seavington with Donnington, Somerset; afterwards Earl Talbot gave him the rectory of Great Rissington, Gloucestershire; on 19 Jan. 1636–7 he was admitted prebendary of Rochester, and he also held the sinecure rectory of Landrillo, Denbigh. He died unmarried at Taunton on 2 Dec. 1760. Among his pupils at Oxford was the critic, Jonathan Toup [q. v.]. Upton published: 1. An excellent edition of Arrian's ‘Epictetus,’ 1739–41, incorporated in full by Schweighäuser in his edition of 1799. 2. Edition of Spenser's ‘Faerie Queen,’ 1758 (see T. Warton's Fifth Ode and The Observer Observed). 3. ‘Observations on Shakespeare,’ London, 1746 (2nd edit. 1748). The British Museum possesses editions of Aratus's ‘Phænomena,’ of the ‘Greek Anthology,’ and of the ‘Iliad,’ with many manuscript notes by John Upton.[Misc. Gen. et Her. 2nd ser. iii. 167; Toulmin's Taunton, ed. Savage, p. 203; Boase's Reg. of Exeter Coll. p. 137.]