St. Amand, James (DNB00)


ST. AMAND, JAMES (1687–1754), antiquary, second son of James St. Amand, apothecary to the family of James II, was born at Covent Garden, London, on 7 April 1687, and baptised at St. Paul's Church by Dr. Patrick on 21 April. He was probably at Westminster School, as his library included a schoolbook for use there, printed in 1702, containing notes in his handwriting. On 17 March 1702–3, the day on which his elder brother George (for whom Prince George of Denmark had acted as sponsor) matriculated from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he went through the same ceremony at Hart Hall. He probably never went into residence, and on 5 Sept. 1704 he was entered as a gentleman-commoner at Lincoln College. After a year's residence he embarked, on 11 Sept. 1705, at Greenwich for Holland, and travelled through that country, Germany, and Austria to Venice. He remained in Italy until 1710, and then returned to England by Geneva and Paris.

Warton speaks of St. Amand as ‘literarum Græcarum flagrans studio,’ and the object of his travel was to collate the manuscripts for a new edition of Theocritus which he meditated. His collections ‘magno studio et sumptu facta et comparata a viro Græce doctissimo’ were much used by Warton in his edition of Theocritus (1770). His house was in East Street, near Red Lion Square, in the parish of St. George the Martyr, Bloomsbury, and he collected there a considerable library of books and manuscripts. He died on 5 Sept. 1754, and his will, which was dated on 9 Aug. 1749, was proved on 17 Sept. 1754. He ordered his body to be buried at Christ's Hospital, London, with this inscription: ‘Here lyes a benefactor, let no one move his bones,’ and without his name. The tablet is in the cloisters, and is reproduced in R. B. Johnson's ‘Christ's Hospital’ (p. 142).

St. Amand left his books, coins, and prints to the Bodleian Library, but those which it did not want were to go to Lincoln College. The books, a catalogue of which was drawn up by Alexander Cruden in September 1754, consisted ‘chiefly of the then modern editions of the classics and of the writings of modern Latin scholars;’ many of them had belonged to Arthur Charlett [q. v.] The manuscripts were mainly his notes on Theocritus, Horace, and other poets, and letters and papers relating to the Low Countries. Among them were numerous letters from Italian scholars on his projected Theocritus, and a letter from Jervas on the pictures to be seen at Rome (cf. Coxe, Catalogi Cod. MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Pars prima, 1853, coll. 889–908, and Madan, Western MSS. at the Bodleian Library, pp. 158–9). William Stukeley [q. v.] was one of the executors, and in May 1755 he brought the books to Oxford in twenty-seven cases; the coins and medals followed subsequently (Stukeley, Memoirs, i. 136, ii. 6, iii. 474).

The residue of the estate was bequeathed to Christ's Hospital, together with a miniature set in gold of his grandfather, John St. Amand. The picture was left inalienable, and, if this condition were not complied with, the whole estate was to revert to the university of Oxford. A court was annually held, called ‘The Picture Court,’ when the miniature was formally produced. There was a legend that this painting was a portrait of the Old Pretender.

[Notes and Queries, 6th ser. viii. 425; Gent. Mag. 1754 p. 435, 1801 ii. 599, 1802 i. 493, ii. 599; Trollope's Christ's Hospital, pp. 121–3; Johnson's Christ's Hospital, p. 270; Macray's Bodleian Library, 2nd ed. pp. 252–4.]

W. P. C.