Palairet, Elias (DNB00)

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PALAIRET, ELIAS (1713–1765), philologer, born in 1713 at Rotterdam, was descended from a French family that had taken refuge in Holland on the revocation of the edict of Nantes. After studying at Leyden he took holy orders, and became successively preacher at Aardenburg (1741), Doornik (1749), and Tournay. On coming to England he acted as pastor of the French church at Greenwich, and of St. John's Church, Spitalfields, and latterly preacher in the Dutch chapel at St. James's, Westminster. His abilities attracted the notice of John Egerton [q. v.], successively bishop of Bangor and Durham, who made him his chaplain. Palairet died in Marylebone on 2 Jan. 1765 (Gent. Mag. 1765, p. 46). He left all his property to his wife Margaret (Probate Act Book, P.C.C. 1765; will in P.C.C. 113, Rushworth).

His writings are:

  1. ‘Histoire du Patriarche Joseph mise en vers héroïques,’ 8vo, Leyden, 1738.
  2. ‘Observationes philologico-criticæ in sacros Novi Fœderis libros, quorum plurima loca ex autoribus potissimum Græcis exponuntur,’ 8vo, Leyden, 1752; several of Palairet's explanations were called in question in the ‘Acta eruditorum Lipsiensium’ for 1757, pp. 451–8, and by Charles Louis Bauer in the first volume of ‘Stricturarum Periculum.’
  3. ‘Proeve van een oordeelkundig Woordenboek over de heiligeboeken des Nieuwen Verbonds,’ 8vo, Leyden, 1754.
  4. ‘Specimen exercitationum philologico-criticarum in sacros Novi Fœderis libros,’ 8vo, London, 1755 (another edit. 1760); intended as a prospectus of a revised edition of his ‘Observationes.’
  5. ‘Thesaurus Ellipsium Latinarum, sive vocum quæ in sermone Latino suppressæ indicantur,’ 8vo, London, 1760 (new edit. by E. H. Barker, 1829). This useful book is accompanied by a double index of authors and words. In the preface Palairet promised a revised edition of Lambertus Bos's ‘Ellipses Græcæ,’ but he died before its completion.

In 1756 he corrected for William Bowyer the ‘Ajax’ and ‘Electra’ of Sophocles, published in 1758. His annotations on the treatises of Xenophon the Ephesian are printed in P. H. Peerlkamp's edition of that writer (4to, Haarlem, 1818).

[Aa's Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden; Nouvelle Biographie Universelle (Michaud); Nouvelle Biographie Générale; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ii. 286, 313, 716.]

G. G.