Kidd, Thomas (DNB00)

KIDD, THOMAS (1770–1850), Greek scholar and schoolmaster, born in 1770, was the son of Thomas Kidd of Kidd, Yorkshire. After being educated at Giggleswick school under Paley, he was entered as a sizar of Trinity College, Cambridge, on 14 Dec. 1789, where he took the degrees of A.B. (as fifth junior optime) in 1794 and A.M. in 1797. He was for some time second master of Merchant Taylors' School, and in 1818 was appointed head-master of Lynn school; he next became master of Wymondham school, and lastly of Norwich. Having taken holy orders, he was successively instituted to the rectory of St. James, Garlick Hythe, London, in 1802; to that of Croxton, Cambridgeshire, in 1813; to the vicarage of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire, in 1814; to that of Bedingham, Norfolk, in 1831; and, for a second time, to both the vicarage of Eltisley and the rectory of Croxton in 1835.

At Cambridge Kidd became acquainted with Porson, who was considerably his senior, and his affection and reverence for him influenced his whole life. Though himself a genuine Greek scholar and steeped in Greek literature, he is chiefly remembered for editing the critical works of others. Thus he edited Ruhnken's minor works, Dawes's ‘Miscellanea Critica,’ as well as the very valuable volume of Porson's ‘Tracts and Criticisms.’ He took especial interest in collecting lists of the works of several of the chief English and Dutch scholars. In his preface to ‘Opuscula Ruhnkeniana’ there is a complete list of Tyrwhitt's works, while his collation of Tyrwhitt's smaller pieces is in the Dyce collection at South Kensington Museum. In his review of Sluiter's ‘Lectiones Andocideæ’ in the ‘British Critick’ for October 1805 he catalogues Valckenaer's criticisms and classical editions. It was due to him that the collection of Bentley's books, which had lain neglected at Lackingtons, was in 1807 rescued and obtained for the nation (Gent. Mag. November 1807, p. 1047). At one time he contemplated an edition of Homer, and a series of very elaborate criticisms on the Grenville edition from his pen will be found in the ‘Critical Review’ for 1803 and 1804. He reviewed R. P. Knight's ‘Analytical Essay on the Greek Alphabet’ in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for October and November 1797, and Valpy's ‘Greek Grammar’ in the ‘British Critick’ for June 1806; contributed some ‘curæ novissimæ’ of Bentley on Horace to the ‘Museum Criticum’ (i. 194), and wrote in the ‘Classical Journal,’ among other articles, ‘On the Quantity of a final short Vowel before sc,’ &c. (i. 71, 283), ‘Ionic Temple in Blenheim Gardens’ (ii. 521, 897), notices of Bishop Pearson's minor works in vols. vii. ix. xii. xiii. xvii., and ‘Literary Coincidences’ in vols. xvii. and xxxvii. His English style is sometimes confused, and always quaint. His ‘imperfect outline of the Life of R.P.,’ was prefixed to Porson's ‘Traits and Criticisms.’ Beloe, in his ‘Sexagenarian’ (i. 138), in a short account full of errors, calls him ‘the modern Parson Adams.’ He married, in 1801, Miss Smith of Hoxton Square. In 1842 Lord Melbourne gave him a civil list pension of 100l. A strong testimonial to his merits as a Greek scholar and to his general character, from the pen of Dr. Parr, will be found in Barker's ‘Parriana,’ i. 372. He died 27 Aug. 1850, and is buried in Croxton churchyard.

His published works are: 1. ‘Opuscula Ruhnkeniana,’ London, 1807. 2. ‘Tracts and Criticisms of the late R. Porson, Esq.,’ London, 1815. 3. ‘Horatii Opera ad exemplar recensionis Bentleianæ plerumque emendata et brevibus notis instructa.’ Cambridge, 1817. 4. ‘Ricardi Dawesii Miscellanea Critica,’ Cambridge, 1817; 2nd edit., 1827. 5. ‘A Sermon preached at the Visitation of the Archdeacon of Norwich, May 10, 1831.’ Letters from him will be found in Parr's ‘Correspondence’ (Works, ed. Johnstone, viii. 215–19) and Porson's ‘Correspondence’ (Cambr. Ant. Soc.), p. 113.

[Gent. Mag. 1850, pt. ii. p. 557; Foster's Index Eccl. 1800–40, p. 104.]

H. R. L.