Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 05.djvu/239

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Blomfield
Blomfield
231

proceeded to Caius College, Cambridge, in 1807. In 1811 he took his B.A. degree, being placed thirteenth in the list of wranglers. He had, however, obtained such classical distinctions as were then open to competition ; he was Browne's medallist in 1809 and 1810 (in the former year being beaten by one candiaate, but receiving a prize of books from the vice-chancellor, Dr. Barnes), members' prizeman in 1812, and finally first chancelor's classical medallist. The fellowships in his own college being full, he was elected to a classical lectureship and fellowship at Emmanuel, which he retained till his death in 1816. He died from a fever contracted in a long vacation tour in Switzerland in that year. He managed, after being taken ill at Dover, to reach Cambridge, where he died on 3 Oct., and was buried in Emmanuel College Chapel ; in the cloisters of which is a tablet to his memory, with an inscription by his brother, Charles James, in which his death is said to be suis non sibi immatura.

His chief work was a translation of Matthiæ's 'Greek Grammar,' a book still unrivalled in its way. He had completed it in the spring of 1816, intending to furnish it with mdexes, &c., in the autumn. It was left for his brother Charles James to edit, who prefixed to it a short essay on the virtues and learning of the translator. Edward had met with this book in tlie course of a tour in Germany, undertaken in 1813, as soon as the events of that year had opened the continent to English travellers. Another fruit of this tour was a paper in the ' Museum Criticum ' on 'The State of Classical Literature in Germany,' a subject which had then become almost unknown in England. Besides a few other papers contributed to the ' Museum ' Blomfield had projected a Greek-English lexicon to take the place of the old Greek-Latin Lexicons of Scapula and Hedericus, which gave needless difficulty to students and were neither full nor accurate. He published a specimen of his Lexicon, which was well received, and his plans seem to have been rational and promismg. Had he lived, some of the labours of Deans Liddell and Scott might have been anticipated. At any rate he showed that he knew what was wanted. Monk, the biographer of Bentley and Greek professor, who nad been one of his intimate friends, paid a warm tribute to his learning and amiable qualities in the pages of the 'Museum Criticum.' He appears to have enjoyed a wide popidarity among his contemporaries, and to have deserved it.

[Memoirs of Charles James Blomfield by his Son, 1863 ; Cambridge Museum Criticum, ii. 620 (by Monk); Preface to Mutthiæ's Greek Grammar.]

E. S. S.

BLOMFIELD, EZEKIEL (1778–1818), compiler, was born on 28 Oct. 1778 at North Walsham, Norfolk. His parents were very poor, and in 1783 he removed with them to Norwich. Before he was ten years of age he began making collections for a 'Table of Chronological Events' and a 'System of Natural History.' He read largely, but the book that determined his lifelong studies was Mrs. Barbauld's 'Evenings at Home,' which quickened his interest in the phenomena of nature. When about fifteen religious questions troubled him, and, becoming imbued with strong religious convictions, he was placed under the care of a nonconformist minister (the Rev. S. Newton of Norwich). Under his capable mastership he rapidly acquired Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. After combating old doubts, in 1796 he joined the church of Newton, and, resolving to be a minister of the gospel, proceeded to the non-conformist Homerton College. After a year spent at Norwich in ill-health, he accepted a call to a congregation at Wymondham. There he conciliated conflicting parties, and established Sunday schools, missionary societies, &c. On 20 Oct. 1800 he married Mary, daughter of a Mr. Fursnell of Hanworth (Norfolk). Soon after his marriage he delivered a course of lectures on history at Wymondham. As his family increased he eked out a slender income by hack-work for Brightley. the printer of Bungay, and subsequently went into partnership with him. Pecuniary difficulties followed, and led to his removal from Wymondham to Wortwell in 1809, where he remained until his death, frequently visiting the neighbouring village of Harleston. He found the Norfolk and Norwich Auxiliary British and Foreign Bible Society. In 1810 he projected an academy for education of youtiis in classics. He planned a 'History of Education,' and delivered a successful course of lectures on the philosophy of history from materials gathered in 1815 and 1816. He died 14 July 1818, leaving a widow and young family totally unprovided for. Towards assisting them his 'Philosophy of History' was published in a fine quarto in 1819, with a memoir. It is somewhat fragmentary and commonplace. In 1807 had appeared, in two huge quartos, Blomfield's 'A General View of the World, Geographical, Historical, and Philosophical; on a Plan entirely new' ( Bungay, 1807); this work shows wide but ill-digested reading.

[Memoir before Philosophy of History; local inquiries and books.]

A. B. G.