Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Rider, John

RIDER or RYDER, JOHN (1562–1632), lexicographer and bishop of Killaloe, born at Carrington, Cheshire, in 1562, was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1581 and M.A. in 1583. Taking holy orders, he held the rectory of Waterstock from 14 Sept. 1580 till next year, and that of South Okenden from 20 Nov. 1583 to 31 Aug. 1590 (Newcourt, Diocese of London, ii. 449). He was also for a time beneficed at Bermondsey. But he devoted his early life mainly to study or tutorial work at Oxford. In 1589 Joseph Barnes published for him at the university press an elaborate English-Latin and Latin-English dictionary. The long title began: ‘Bibliotheca Scholastica, a double Dictionarie. Penned for all those that would haue within short space the use of the Latin Tongue, either to speake or write’ (Bodleian). The dedication was addressed in Latin to Sir Francis Walsingham, and Latin verses were inscribed to the Earl of Sussex and William Waad, both of whom had given Rider pecuniary help in his undertaking. He also acknowledged help from his Bermondsey parishioners and from friends at and near Banbury. Rider claimed that he included four thousand more words than any previous English lexicographer, and that his was the first dictionary in which English words preceded the Latin. The latter claim is untenable, for English-Latin dictionaries by Richard Huloet, John Withals, and H. F., the translator of Simon Pelgrom's Flemish-Latin work, appeared respectively in 1552, 1567, and 1580, while the ‘Catholicon Anglicum,’ although not printed till the nineteenth century, was compiled in the fifteenth. Rider's dictionary was, however, the earliest in which the English-Latin portion preceded the Latin-English. Rider doubtless owed something to the labours of Thomas Thomas [q. v.], who produced at Cambridge in 1587 an elaborate Latin-English lexicon. Fuller says that Rider borrowed ‘both his saddle and bridle’ from Thomas. But Rider's effort was generally deemed superior to that of his predecessor. According to a distich by Dr. John Underhill [q. v.]:

    Quantum Thomasio Calepinus cedere debet,
    Tantum præclaro Thomasius ipse Ridero.

In 1617 Francis Holyoake recast and edited Rider's dictionary, and was charged by Thomas's executors with extensive plagiarism. In subsequent reissues of Rider's book in 1626, 1633, and 1640, Holyoake's contributions were modified and amplified by Holyoake himself, by Nicholas Grey [q. v.], and by Holyoake's sons [see Holyoake, Francis].

From 1597 to 1615 Rider was rector of Winwick, Lancashire, but he rarely visited his parish. At the same date as he received the appointment he became dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, and he lived for the rest of his life chiefly in Ireland. Early in 1598 he was granted the queen's license to visit England. Later in the year he was made prebendary of Kildare, in 1608 archdeacon of Meath, and in 1612 bishop of Killaloe. He was consecrated on 12 Jan. 1612–1613. He resigned the rectory of Winwick on 11 Aug. 1615, and in 1622 he presented to royal commissioners at Dublin a detailed account of his diocese, which is extant in manuscript in the diocesan registry of Cashel. He was anxious to encourage the study of the Irish language. Dying on 12 Nov. 1632, he was buried in his cathedral. He left two sons, John and Thomas.

Besides his dictionary, Rider published: 1. ‘Letter concerning the News out of Ireland, and of the Spaniards landing and present state there,’ London, 1601, 4to. 2. ‘A friendly caveat to Irelands Catholickes concerning the Daungerous Dreame of Christs corporall yet invisible presence in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper,’ Dublin, 1602 (by Franckton), 4to (Brit. Mus.). This was a reply to a defence of the six catholic articles, circulated in manuscript by Henry Fitzsimon [q. v.] the jesuit. The latter sent Rider an answer to the ‘Caveat’ on 4 Feb. 1602–3, and Rider published in 1604, by way of retort, a ‘rescript’ embodying ‘a claim of antiquity in behalf of the Protestant religion.’ No copy of this pamphlet seems known. It was severely handled in Fitzsimon's ‘Catholick Confutation of Rider's Claim,’ Rouen, 1608.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. 547; Cotton's Fasti Hib. Eccl. passim; Ware's Bishops of Ireland, ed. Harris), i. 596; Ainsworth's Latin Dict. pref.; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. iv. 274; Madan's Oxford Press, p. 28; see art. Fitzsimon, Henry.]

S. L.