Rider, William (DNB00)

RIDER, WILLIAM (1723–1785), miscellaneous writer, the son of John Rider of London, gent., was born in 1723, and educated at Mr. Watkin's academy in Spital Square. On 22 June 1739 he matriculated from St. Mary Hall, Oxford, but migrated to Jesus College, where he was a scholar from 1744 to 1749; he graduated B.A. in 1745, and was subsequently appointed chaplain of the Mercers' Company, lecturer of St. Vedast, Foster Lane, and curate of St. Faith's. He was also chaplain to St. Paul's school, and in 1763 was appointed surmaster, a post from which he retired in 1783 on account of his infirmities. He died on 30 March 1785, leaving a widow, Hannah Rider, who received an allowance from the Mercers' Company until her death in 1809; a son, John Rider, who was a printer in Little Britain, died on 1 April 1800.

Besides several single sermons, Rider was author of: 1. ‘A Comment on Boadicia’ [sic], 1754, 8vo; this is a vindication of the tragedy by Richard Glover [q. v.], which was played for nine nights at Drury Lane Theatre in December 1753. 2. ‘A New Universal Dictionary; or a Compleat Treasure of the English Language. Tracing the words from their primitive fountains, explaining the various senses in which they are used, and expounding all the technical terms,’ London, 1759, fol. Proper names are included in it, and each word is followed by a full description and definition, with numerous short quotations. Mr. H. B. Wheatley calls it ‘a very interesting work’ (Philological Society's Transactions, 1865, p. 254). 3. ‘A New History of England,’ 1761–4, 12mo, in 50 vols.; this is a pretentious work, and was dedicated to George III. Charles Godwyn wrote that it had at first no reputation, but was afterwards well spoken of; Lowndes calls it ‘one of the vilest Grub Street compilations ever published;’ in 1764 Rider published an atlas to accompany the work. 4. ‘An Historical and Critical Account of the Lives and Writings of the living Authors of Great Britain,’ 1762, 8vo; published anonymously, and chiefly remarkable for the unblushing eulogy the author passes on his own ‘History of England.’ 5. ‘The Christian Family's Bible,’ 1763–7, in three large folio volumes, with lengthy comments by the editor. Rider also contributed verses to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ under the pseudonym ‘Philargyrus.’

[Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Gent. Mag. 1785, p. 1009; St. Paul's School Reg. p. 84; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Nichols's Lit. Illustrations, iii. 737, v. 52, viii. 228, ix. 592; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.; Allibone's Dict. English Lit.]

A. F. P.