Gosset, Isaac (1735?-1812) (DNB00)

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GOSSET, ISAAC, the younger (1735?–1812), bibliographer, born in Berwick Street, Soho, London, in 1735 or 1736, was the only son of Isaac Gosset, the elder [q. v.] After attending Dr. Walker's academy at Mile End, where he added some Hebrew and Arabic to an unusual amount of Greek and Latin, he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, 25 Feb. 1764, graduated B.A. 10 Oct. 1767, M.A. 27 June 1770, and went out grand compounder for the degrees in divinity 7 Nov. 1782 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, col. 543; Oxford Graduates, 1851, p. 267). His delicacy prevented him from taking much clerical work, but he was often sought as a preacher of charity sermons. As a boy he developed an intense love for collecting books, especially early classics, grammars, and theological works. At the London auction rooms his deformity subjected him to the coarse gibes of his opponent, Michael Lort, and he was ridiculed for his impatience at too frequent a repetition of threepenny biddings at Paterson's (J. T. Smith, Book for a Rainy Day, p. 94). He became much attached to Richard Heber, whom he regarded as his pupil in book-hunting. He helped Dibdin in preparing the second edition of his ‘Introduction to the Classics’ (Dibdin, Reminiscences, pt. i. p. 205). A severe illness which kept him from the sale of the Pinelli collection in 1789 was cured by permission to inspect one of the volumes of the first Complutensian Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes, printed on vellum, and clad in the original binding (ib. pt. i. 206 n.) Gosset died suddenly in Newman Street, London, 12 Dec. 1812, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, and was buried in Old Marylebone cemetery (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vii. 364–5). By his marriage on 9 Jan. 1782 to Miss C. Hill of Newman Street (Gent. Mag. lii. 45) he had two sons and a daughter. His elder son, Isaac Gosset (1782–1855), was chaplain to the royal household at Windsor under four sovereigns (ib. lii. 598, new ser. xliii. 435–6). His younger son, Thomas Stephen Gosset (1791–1847), a senior fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1812, M.A. 1815, ninth wrangler and senior chancellor's medallist), became vicar of Old Windsor in 1824 (ib. new ser. xxviii. 549). Gosset left in manuscript an unfinished work on New Testament criticism. At the solicitation of Dr. Edwards he contributed some notes to John Nichols's edition of William Bowyer's ‘Critical Conjectures and Observations on the New Testament, collected from various Authors,’ 4to, London, 1782. He is described under the character of Lepidus in Dibdin's ‘Bibliomania’ (ed. 1842, pp. 121–122, 363, 407), and laughingly approved the description when read to him by its author. Stephen Weston lamented the loss to bibliography in ‘The Tears of the Booksellers,’ which appeared the year after his death in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ vol. lxxxiii. pt. i. p. 160. His library, which was rather select than extensive, was sold by Leigh & Sotheby during three weeks of June 1813. For some of the prices which the volumes brought reference may be made to Horne's ‘Introduction to Bibliography,’ ii. 651, and the ‘Classical Journal,’ viii. 471. Gosset was elected F.R.S. on 18 June 1772 (Thomson, Hist. of Roy. Soc. App. iv. p. liv). His portrait has been engraved.

[Gent. Mag. lxix. ii. 1088–9, lxxxii. ii. 596, 601, 669–70; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. xi. 66; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 114, 497, viii. 150; Clarke's Repertorium Bibliographicum, p. 455; Dibdin's Decameron, iii. 5–8, 78; Foster's Our Noble and Gentle Families, vol. ii; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 143.]

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