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Sydenham, Floyer (DNB00)


SYDENHAM, FLOYER (1710–1787), translator, born in Devonshire in 1710, was son of Humphrey Sydenham of Combe in Somerset, by his second wife, Katherine, daughter of William Floyer of Berne in Dorset. He was educated at Oxford, matriculating from Wadham College on 31 May 1727, graduating B.A. on 25 June 1731, and proceeding M.A. on 30 April 1734. He was elected a probationary fellow on 30 June 1733 and became a fellow, probably in the year following. He studied law at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1735. In 1744 he was presented to the rectory of Esher, but resigned it in 1747. He was an excellent Greek scholar and devoted himself to the task of translating the works of Plato. In 1759 he published his proposals in a quarto tract, and accomplished his purpose between 1759 and 1780 in four quarto volumes. In 1787 he was arrested for a trifling debt, and died in prison on 1 April. In consequence of his unfortunate death, the Literary Club was founded, for the purpose of assisting deserving authors.

Dr. Parr ‘ranked Sydenham first among the Platonic students,’ and Thomas Taylor (1758–1836) [q. v.], the Platonist, though less fervent, held a high opinion of his merits.

Besides the works mentioned, Sydenham published ‘Onomasticum Theologicum, or an Essay on the Divine Names according to the Platonic Philosophy’ (1784, 4to).

[Chalmers's Biogr. Dict. 1816, xxix. 74–5; Gardiner's Registers of Wadham College, ii. 25; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Gent. Mag. 1787, i. 366; Collinson's Hist. of Somerset, ii. 523.]

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