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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 28.djvu/322

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Hurd
Hurdis
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well proportioned, and with regular features. An engraving of his portrait by Gainsborough is prefixed to the collected edition of his works.

[Hurd's Works, vol. i. ‘Some Occurrences in my own Life;’ Nichols's Lit. Anecd. and Illustr. of Lit.; Letters from a late Eminent Prelate to one of his Friends; Eccl. and Univ. Reg. 1808, pp. 399 et seq.; Gent. Mag. 1808, pt. i. p. 562; Kilvert's Life and Writings of the Rt. Rev. Richard Hurd, D.D., Lord Bishop of Worcester, 1860; Watson's Life of Warburton, 1863; Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. Croker, v. 67-8; Horace Walpole's Journal of the Reign of Geo. III, ii. 49, and Letters, ed. Cunningham, iii. 289; Parr's Works, iii. 349 et seq. and Warburton's Tracts, 209 et seq.; Harris's Life of Lord Hardwicke; Chalmers's Biog. Dict.; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl.; Hallam's Literature of Europe, ed. 1839, iii. 580, iv. 457, 468; Abbey's English Church and its Bishops, 1700-1800; Abbey and Overton's English Church in the Eighteenth Century.]

J. M. R.

HURD, THOMAS (1757?–1823), captain in the navy and hydrographer, after serving on the Newfoundland and North American stations, was promoted by Lord Howe on 30 Jan. 1777 to be lieutenant of the Unicorn frigate, which, under the command of Captain Ford, cruised with remarkable success against the enemy's privateers and merchant ships, and on her return to England was one of the small squadron engaged under Sir James Wallace [q.v.] in the capture of the Danaë and destruction of two other French frigates in Concale Bay on 13 May 1779. In the action off Dominica, on 12 April 1782, Hurd was a lieutenant of the Hercules, from which he was moved into the Ardent, one of the prizes, for the voyage to England [see Graves, Thomas, Lord]. During the peace he was again employed on the West India station, and carried out the first exact survey of Bermuda. In August 1795 he was promoted to the rank of commander, and to that of captain on 29 April 1802. He was engaged in 1804 in the survey of Brest and the neighbouring coast, the results of which were published in a chart and sailing directions. In May 1808 he was appointed to the post of hydrographer to the admiralty, in succession to Alexander Dalrymple [q. v.] He held the office for fifteen years. During this time the construction of charts was carried on without intermission, and he was able to organise a regular system of surveys under his control and direction. He afterwards persuaded the admiralty to make the charts prepared in the hydrographic office accessible to the public, and thus available for the ships of the mercantile marine. At the time of his death, on April 1823, he was also superintendent of chronometers and a commissioner for the discovery of longitude.

[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. iv. (vol. ii. pt. ii.) 556; Dawson's Memoirs of Hydrography, i. 45; Gent. Mag. 1823, vol. xciii. pt. i. p. 475.]

J. K. L.

HURDIS, JAMES (1763–1801), poet, was the son of James Hurdis of Bishopstone in Sussex, where he was born in 1763. He was educated at the grammar school at Chichester, and in 1780 entered St. Mary Hall, Oxford. At the close of two years' residence he was elected a demy of Magdalen College, graduated B.A. in 1785, and was for six years curate of Burwash in Sussex. In 1788 he published his ‘Village Curate,’ which was favourably received and went through four editions. He thus became known to the literary world, and secured the friendship of Cowper and Hayley. A second volume, ‘Adriano; or the First of June,’ followed, and in 1790 Hurdis issued a third volume of poems. In 1791, through the interest of the Earl of Chichester, to whose son he had been tutor, he was appointed to the living of Bishopstone, and in the same year he wrote ‘The Tragedy of Sir Thomas More.’ In 1792 he lost his favourite sister, Catharine, upon whose death he published ‘Tears of Affliction; a Poem occasioned by the Death of a Sister tenderly beloved,’ London, 1794. In April 1793 he was residing at Temple Cowley, near Oxford; in November of the same year he was appointed professor of poetry in that university. In 1799 he married Miss Harriet Minet of Fulham. In 1800 he printed at his private press at Bishopstone his poem entitled ‘The Favourite Village.’ He died very suddenly on Wednesday, 23 Dec. 1801, at Buckland in Berkshire, while staying at the house of his friend Dr. Rathbone. He left two sons, the elder of whom, James Henry Hurdis, is noticed separately. A daughter was born after his death. There is a portrait of him engraved by his elder son after a drawing by Sharpies, and a tablet to his memory in Bishopstone church bears an inscription in verse composed by Hayley. Hurdis is at best a pale copy of Cowper, a poet who does not furnish a powerful original to an imitator. The blank verse in which most of the poetry of Hurdis is written is flaccid and monotonous. Still, here and there we come upon elegant lines, and the poet shows a feeling for nature. Besides his productions in verse, and a few separately printed sermons, he was the author of:

  1. ‘A Short Critical Dissertation upon the true meaning of the word חַתַּנָּינָם found in Genesis i. 21,’