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HARMAR or HARMER, JOHN (1555?–1613), professor of Greek at Oxford, was born, probably of humble parentage, at Newbury in Berkshire about 1555. Through the influence of the Earl of Leicester, he was elected to St. Mary's College, Winchester, in 1569, at the age of fourteen; in 1572 he obtained a scholarship at New College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 10 Jan. 1575, being described as 'plebei filius' (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., n. ii. 60), and was admitted perpetual fellow. He graduated B. A. on 21 Jan. 1577 (ib. iii. 64), and M. A. 18 Jan. 1582. He was reckoned a 'subtle Aristotelian,' was well read in patristic and scholastic theology, and was a 'most noted Latinist and Grecian ' (Wood). About this period he appears to have gone abroad, being assisted by the Earl of Leicester, and to have held disputations at Paris with the 'great doctors of the Romish party' (ib.) In 1585 the earl obtained his appointment as regius professor of Greek at Oxford, and on 26 April 1587 he was elected one of the proctors. From 1588 to 1595 he was head-master of Winchester, and in 1596 became warden of St. Mary's College, and held that office until his death. He was also rector of Droxford in Hampshire, and a prebendary of Winchester. In 1604 he was appointed one of the translators of the New Testament, and had a 'prime hand' in that work. On 16 May 1605 he was admitted B.D. He died 11 Oct. 1613, and was buried in the chapel of New College. He was a 'considerable benefactor to the libraries of both Wykeham's colleges.' His published works (all in the British Museum) are a translation of Calvin's sermons on the ten commandments, 4to, 1579, 1581; an edition 'D. Jo. Chrysostomi Homelise Sex, Grace,' 12mo, 1586; a translation of Beza's sermons from French into English, 4to, 1587 (in this book he acknowledges, in an epistle dedicatory, his obligations to the Earl of Leicester); another volume of ' St. Chrysostom's Homilies,' 4to, 1590. His nephew, John Harmar (1594?-1670) [q. v.], was also professor of Greek at Oxford.

[Clark's Register of the University of Oxford, ii. ii. 60, iii. 64 (Oxford Hist. Soc.); Wood's Athenæ, i. 200, 201, 239, ii. 138, 139, ed. Bliss; Kirby's Register of Winchester Scholars, p. 1 42 Anderson's Annals of the English Bible, ii. 376.]

W. H.