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Huth
Huth
347

T. Randal's 'State of the Churches under the Archdeaconry of Northumberland, and in Hexham Peculiar Jurisdiction' 4to (1779?).

In 1788, in a single week, he composed a tragedy called 'Pygmalion, King of Tyre,' and soon afterwards another named 'The Tyrant of Orixa.' Both plays were submitted to Harris, the manager of Covent Garden, but neither was acted or printed. A third play written by him, entitled' The Princess of Zanfara,' after being rejected by Harris, was printed anonymously in 1792, and frequently performed at provincial theatres.

His other writings are:

  1. 'The Hermitage; a British Story,' 1772.
  2. 'The Doubtful Marriage; a Narrative drawn from Characters in Real Life,' 3 vols. 12mo, 1775 (another edit., 1792).
  3. 'The Spirit of Masonry, in Moral and Elucidatory Lectures,' 8vo, London, 1775 (other edits., 1796, 1802, and 1843, with notes by G. Oliver).
  4. 'A Week in a Cottage; a Pastoral Tale,' 1776.
  5. A 'Romance' after the manner of the 'Castle of Otranto.'
  6. 'An Oration at the Dedication of Free Mason's Hall in Sunderland on the 16th July 1778.'

In 1776 he edited a volume of 'Poetical Remains' by his brother Robert, who had died in November 1773. It was printed at George Allan's private press at Darlington, whence also issued many of Hutchinson's 'Addresses' to his subscribers, and some trifling local brochures.

He left in manuscript 'The Pilgrim of the Valley of Hecass; a Tale,' and a volume of Letters addressed to the Minister, 1798, by, Freeholder North of Trent.' He had also prepared a copy of his 'History of Durham,' corrected for a second edition, and a 'Poetical Sketch' of his own life.

[Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. i. 421; Gent. Mag. xxxiv. i. 515-16; Surtees's Durham, vol i., Introduction, p.8; Lowndes's Bibl. Manual (Bohn), vi. (App.) pp.202, 209, 214.]

G. G.

HUTH, HENRY (1815–1878), merchant banker and bibliophile, was the third son of Frederick Huth of Hanover, a man of energy and mental power, who settled at Corunna. Driven thence by the entry of the French, the elder Huth left with his family under convoy of the British squadron, and landed in England in 1809. Here he became a naturalised British subject by act of parliament, and founded in London the eminent firm which is still carried on by his descendants. Henry Huth, the son, was born in London in 1815. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Mr. Rusden's school at Leith Hill in Surrey, where, since his father had some idea of putting him in the Indian civil service, he learned, in addition to ordinary classics, Persian, Arabic, and Hindustani. As a schoolboy he interested himself in physics and chemistry, and devoted all his pocket-money to the purchase of the necessary apparatus. When his father supplied him with a teacher of chemistry, Huth's modest private funds were set free to gratify his lasting taste for old books. In 1833 his father took him into his business.

The drudgery of work in his father's office proved so distasteful that he lost his health and was sent to travel. He first stayed for about two years at Hamburg, occupied at intervals in a business firm: then at Magdeburg for nearly a year, where he learned the German language perfectly. He then made a tour in France for about three months, and in the beginning of 1839 went to the United States of America, and, after travelling in the south for some time, entered a New York firm as a volunteer. His father, however, arranged that he should join a firm in Mexico in 1840. In 1843 he paid a visit to England, and after marrying in 1844, settled in Hamburg, but rejoined his father's firm in London in 1849.

Thenceforward he lived in London and occupied himself in forming his library. His youthful collection, which he had left behind him during his wanderings, was examined and most of the books rejected; but a few still remain in the library. In Mexico he had been fortunate in finding some rare books, and he had bought others in France and Germany. Starting with this nucleus, he began to call daily at all the principal booksellers' on his way back from the city, a habit which he continued up to the day of his death. He gave commissions at most of the important sales, such as the Utterson, Hawtrey, Gardner, Smith, Slade, Perkins, Tite, and made especially numerous purchases at the Daniel and Corser sales. He confined himself to no particular subject, but bought anything of real interest provided that the book was perfect and in good condition. Imperfect books he called 'the lepers of a library.' His varied collection was especially rich in voyages, Shakespearean and early English literature, and in early Spanish and German works. The Bibles, without being very numerous, included nearly every edition especially prized by collectors, and the manuscripts and prints were among the most beautiful of their kind. Every book he carefully collated himself before it was suffered to join the collection. In 1863 he was elected a member of the Philobiblon Society, and in 1867 printed for presentation to the members a volume of 'Ancient Ballads and Broadsides' from the unique original copies he had bought at the Daniel sale [see {DNB lkpl}]. He allowed Mr. Lilly,