Gregory, David (1696-1767) (DNB00)

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GREGORY, DAVID (1696–1767), dean of Christ Church, Oxford, was the son of Dr. David Gregory (1661–1708) [q. v.], Savilian professor at Oxford. Two years after his father's death Gregory was admitted a queen's scholar of Westminster School, whence in 1714 he was elected to Christ Church. He graduated B.A. 8 May 1718, and M.A. 27 June 1721, and on 18 April 1724 became the first professor of modern history and languages at Oxford. He soon afterwards took orders and was appointed rector of Semley, Wiltshire; proceeding B.D. 13 March 1731 and D.D. in the following year (7 July 1732). He continued to hold his professorship till 1736, when he resigned it on his appointment to a canonry in Christ Church Cathedral (installed 8 June). Twenty years later he was promoted to the deanery (installed 18 May 1756), and 15 Sept. 1759 was also appointed master of Sherborne Hospital, Durham. In 1761 he was prolocutor of the lower house of convocation. He died at the age of seventy-one, 16 Sept. 1767, and was buried under a plain slab with a short Latin inscription in the cathedral; his picture hangs in the college hall. He was son-in-law to the Duke of Kent, having married Lady Mary Grey, who died before him (in 1762, aged 42), and lies in the same grave. Gregory was a considerable benefactor both to his college and Sherborne Hospital. While canon (1750) he repaired and adorned Christ Church Hall, and presented to it busts of the two first kings of the house of Hanover. Under his directions when dean the upper rooms in the college library were finished (1761), and he is said to have raised the terrace in the great quadrangle. At Sherborne he began by cutting down a wood on the hospital estates, and with the proceeds from the sale of the timber erected a new building for the poorer brethren, twenty rooms with a common hall in the centre. A eulogy of Gregory written by an anonymous author (Essay on the Life of David Gregory, late Dean of Christ Church, London, 1769, 4to) says that before his time the brethren of Sherborne were huddled together in wretched little huts. Gregory employed his leisure in writing Latin verses, and testified his loyalty by Latin poems on the death of George I and the accession of George II, lamenting also in verse the death of the latter, and congratulating George III when he succeeded his grandfather.

[Welch's Alumni Westm. pp. 252, 262; Cat. of Oxford Graduates, 1659–1750, p. 274; Gutch's Hist. and Antiq. of the University of Oxford, iii. 442, 457, 460, 479, Append. 282; Cole MS. xxvii. 246–7; Surtees's Durham, i. 143.]

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