Hody, Humphrey (DNB00)
HODY, HUMPHREY (1659–1707), divine, born on 1 Jan. 1659, was son of Richard Hody, rector of Odcombe, Somersetshire. In 1675 he matriculated from Wadham College, Oxford, of which he was admitted scholar in 1677 and fellow in 1685, graduating B.A. in 1679, M.A. in 1682, B.D. in 1689, and D.D. in 1692. He was appointed sub-dean of the college in 1682, humanity lecturer in 1685, catechist in 1686, dean in 1688, sub-warden in 1689, and bursar in 1691 and 1692. In 1690 Stillingfleet, bishop of Worcester, whose son had been Hody's pupil at Wadham, made him his chaplain. He supported the ruling party in a controversy with Henry Dodwell regarding the nonjuring bishops, and was rewarded by being appointed domestic chaplain to Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury, in May 1694, an office which he continued to hold under Tenison. He was presented by Tenison in 1695 to the rectory of Chartham, Kent, which, before he was collated, he exchanged for the united rectories of St. Michael Royal and St. Martin Vintry, London (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 495). On 15 March 1697–8 he was nominated regius professor of Greek in the university of Oxford (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 516); in November 1701 he became rector of Monks' Risborough, Buckinghamshire (Lipscomb, Buckinghamshire, ii. 420); and on 1 Aug. 1704 he was promoted to the archdeaconry of Oxford (Le Neve, ii. 516). He died, on his way to Bath, on 20 Jan. 1706–7, and was buried in Wadham College chapel. His widow, Edith Daniel, died on 28 Nov. 1736, and was buried near her husband. Hody had no children.
By his will ten exhibitions were founded in Wadham College, four for the study of Hebrew, and six for the study of Greek. The endowments consisted of an estate at Merriott, Somersetshire, and property in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford. To the Bodleian and Wadham College libraries he left such of his books as the authorities might select (will registered in P. C. C. 85, Poley). Mrs. Hody bequeathed various sums of money to Wadham in order that the benefaction of her husband might be made good according to the true intention of his will (cf. her will, registered in P. C. C. 30, Wake).
Hearne, with whose nonjuring views Hody was out of sympathy, complained of his lack of judgment, but spoke highly of his industry, natural parts, and memory, and of his zeal for learning (Hearne, Coll. ed. Doble, Oxford Hist. Soc., i. 318, ii. 19). In 1684 Hody published ‘Contra Historiam Aristeæ de LXX Interpretibus dissertatio,’ 8vo, Oxford (another edition, 1685), in which he showed that the so-called letter of Aristeas, containing an account of the production of the Septuagint, was the late forgery of a Hellenist Jew, originally circulated to lend authority to that version. The dissertation was generally regarded as conclusive, although Isaac Vossius published an angry and scurrilous reply to it in the appendix to his ‘Observations on Pomponius Mela’ (1686), pp. 58–72. With H. Aldrich and E. Bernard Hody issued an edition of Aristeas's ‘History,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1692. In 1689 he wrote the ‘Prolegomena’ to the Greek chronicle of John Malala, published at Oxford in 1691, 8vo.
Hody condemned the position taken up by the nonjuring bishops, and was soon involved in a sharp controversy. He translated a Greek treatise ascribed to Nicephorus, which was preserved among the Baroccian MSS. in the Bodleian Library. His translation bore the title ‘The Unreasonableness of a Separation from the New Bishops: or, a Treatise out of Ecclesiastical History, shewing that, although a Bishop was unjustly deprived, neither he nor the Church ever made a Separation, if the Successor was not a Heretick,’ 4to, London, 1691. Hody also translated the book into Latin, with some extracts from the church historians, and called it ‘Anglicani novi Schismatis Redargutio,’ &c., 4to, Oxford, 1691. Among the replies to this was ‘A Vindication of the Deprived Bishops,’ 1692, by Henry Dodwell, who had hitherto been a warm friend. Hody answered his opponents in ‘A Letter … to a Friend concerning a Collection of Canons said to be deceitfully omitted in his edition of the Oxford Treatise against Schism,’ 4to, Oxford, 1692, and ‘The Case of Sees vacant by an unjust or uncanonical deprivation stated,’ 4to, London, 1693. Dodwell retorted with ‘A Defence,’ 1695, which Hody left unnoticed until 1699.
His next work, a learned, whimsical treatise entitled ‘The Resurrection of the (same) Body asserted; from the Traditions of the Heathens, the Ancient Jews, and the Primitive Church. With an Answer to the Objections brought against it,’ 8vo, London, 1694, was answered in 1699 by Nicholas Beare in ‘The Resurrection founded on Justice.’
In 1696, by desire of Tenison, Hody issued some anonymous ‘Animadversions on two Pamphlets lately publish'd by Mr. Collier,’ &c., 4to, London. Collier had defended his conduct in giving absolution to Sir William Parkyns at the place of execution (3 April 1696).
Hody bore a part in the controversy about the convocation, and wrote: 1. ‘Some Thoughts on a Convocation, and the Notion of its Divine Right,’ with reflections on Dodwell's ‘Defence’ [anon.], 4to, London, 1699. 2. ‘A History of English Councils and Convocations, and of the Clergy's sitting in Parliament: in which is also comprehended the History of Parliaments, with an Account of our Ancient Laws. (With Addenda and Appendix),’ 3 pts. 8vo, London, 1701.
In 1705 he published ‘De Bibliorum Textibus Originalibus, Versionibus Græcis et Latina Vulgata lib. iv. … Præmittitur Aristeæ Historia Græce et Latine,’ fol., Oxford, in which he included a revised edition of his work on the Septuagint, and published a reply to the attack of Vossius.
He left in manuscript a work founded on his professorial lectures, which was published in 1742 by Samuel Jebb, M.D., as ‘De Græcis Illustribus, Linguæ Græcæ, Literarumque Humaniorum Instauratoribus, eorum Vitis, scriptis, et Elogiis libri duo,’ 8vo, London. Prefixed to it is an account in Latin of Hody's life, extracted chiefly from a manuscript written by himself in English.
His portrait, by Thomas Forster, was engraved by M. Vandergucht, and prefixed to his ‘De Bibliorum Textibus.’ It also appeared in the ‘Oxford Almanack’ for 1738. The original painting was presented to Wadham by Mrs. Hody.
[Life as above; Biographia Britannica; Birch's Life of Tillotson; Noble's Cont. of Granger, ii. 116–17; Gardiner's Wadham Coll. Reg. p. 309; Hearne's Collections, ed. Doble (Oxford Hist. Soc.)]