Scarlett, Nathaniel (DNB00)

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SCARLETT, NATHANIEL (1753–1802), biblical translator, born 28 Sept. 1753, was educated at the Wesleyan school, Kingswood, Gloucestershire, and at Merchant Taylors' School, which he entered in 1767. He became a shipwright, afterwards an accountant, when he projected the ‘Commercial Almanac.’ eventually a bookseller in the Strand, and publisher of ‘The British Theatre.’ Originally a methodist, he became a universalist, under the preaching of Elhanan Winchester, and a baptist through the influence of Winchester's successor, William Vidler [q. v.] In 1798 appeared a version of the New Testament, ‘humbly attempted by Nathaniel Scarlett, assisted by men of piety and literature.’ The basis of this was a manuscript translation by James Creighton, an Anglican clergyman. Once a week Creighton, Vidler, and John Cue, a Sandemanian, met Scarlett at his house, 349 Strand, to revise this translation. The final arrangement, dramatic in form, with introduction of speaker's names, also the headings and notes, are entirely Scarlett's work. The book is a useful curiosity. It was called ‘A Translation of the New Testament from the Original Greek,’ 1798, 12mo, plates; there are two distinct engraved title-pages, bearing the same date. Scarlett contributed both prose and verse to the ‘Universalist's Miscellany;’ from it was reprinted ‘A Scenic Arrangement of Isaiah's Prophecy, relating to the Fall of … Babylon,’ 1802, 4to, in verse. He died on 18 Nov. 1802, aged 50.

[Universalist's Miscellany, 1802; Monthly Repository, 1817 p. 193, 1818 p. 6; Notes and Queries, 4 June 1884.]

A. G.