Bever, Thomas (DNB00)

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BEVER, THOMAS, LL.D. (1725–1791), scholar and civilian, was born at Mortimer, Berkshire, in 1725. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. 21 April 1748. At All Souls College, where he became a fellow, he graduated bachelor of law 3 July 1753, and doctor 5 April 1758. He was admitted to Doctors' Commons 21 Nov. 1758, and afterwards was promoted to be judge of the Cinque Ports, and chancellor of Lincoln and Bangor. In 1762, with the permission of the vice-chancellor and the approbation of the professor of civil law, who was unable from ill-health to discharge his duties, he delivered a course of lectures on civil law at the university. In 1766 he published 'A Discourse on the Study of Jurisprudence, and on the Civil Law, being an Introduction to a Course of Lectures.' His intention was to publish the whole series of lectures, but the project did not meet with sufficient encouragement. In 1781 he published a volume on 'The History of the Legal Polity of the Roman State; and of the rise, progress, and extent of the Roman Laws,' The work, which displays both learning and acuteness, was not completed, the remainder of his manuscripts being committed to the flames during his last illness. He died at his house in Doctors' Commons on 8 Nov. 1791, and was buried in Mortimer church, Berkshire, where there is a mural monument in the chancel to his memory. He is said to have been 'a better scholar than writer, and a better writer than pleader.' He took a special interest in music and the fine arts. By Sherwin the engraver, in recognition of peculiar obligations, he was presented with a painting of Leonidas taking leave of his wife and infant son, the only original work of this engraver of which there is any record.

[Gent. Mag. liii. 667-70, lxi. 632-4, 1068, lxviii. 517, 753-4; Coote's English Civilians, 125-6; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. v. 194-5.]

T. F. H.