Latimer, William (1460?-1545) (DNB00)

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LATIMER, WILLIAM (1460?–1545), classical scholar, born about 1460, was elected in 1489 a fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford, where he spent several years in studying logic and philosophy, and graduated B.A. Afterwards he travelled in Italy with Grocyn and Linacre, continuing his studies in the university of Padua, and acquiring a knowledge of Greek. During his residence abroad he graduated M.A., and it appears that after his return to Oxford he was incorporated in that degree in 1513 (Oxf. Univ. Reg., Oxf. Hist. Soc., ed. Boase, i. 89). He 'became most eminent, and was worthily numbered among the lights of learning in his time by John Leland' (Leland, Encomia, pp. 18, 74). About the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII he was tutor to Reginald Pole, afterwards cardinal and archbishop of Canterbury, by whose influence he subsequently obtained preferment in the church. He was a prebendary of the cathedral church of Salisbury and rector of Wotton-under-Edge, and also of Saintbury, Gloucestershire, where he died at a very advanced age, about September 1545.

He was a great friend of Sir Thomas More and Richard Pace (Paceus, De Fructu, p. 54; cf. Hist. MSS. Comm. 1st Rep. p. 25); was learned in sacred and profane letters; and, as Erasmus remarks, was 'vere theologus integritate vitæ conspicuus.' Of his writings none are known to be extant except some 'Epistolæ ad Erasmum.' Erasmus reproached him with his unwillingness to appear in print. In conjunction with Linacre and Grocyn he was engaged in translating Aristotle's works into Latin, but after their death he abandoned the undertaking.

[Bale's Scriptt. Brit. Cat. ix. 8; Collectanea (Oxf. Hist. Soc.), ii. 346, 354, 366, 372; Erasmi Epistolæ, 1519, pp. 318, 321; Johnson's Life of Linacre, pp. 18, 159, 204, 263–5; Kennett MS. 46, f. 47 b; Lilii Elogia de Viris Illustribus; More's Life of Sir Thomas More (Hunter), p. 38; Pits, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, p. 695; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 469; Wood's Annals (Gutch), i. 657, ii. 24; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 147.]

T. C.