Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bogan, Zachary

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421802Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 05 — Bogan, Zachary1886William Prideaux Courtney

BOGAN, ZACHARY (1625–1659), author, was the third son of William Bogan, of Gutcombe House, Little Hempston, near Totnes, who married Joane, one of the daughters and heirs of Zachary Irish, of Chudleigh. He was born at Gatcombe in the summer of 1625, and received the rudiments of his education under a well-known achoolmaster who lived a few miles distant from his fathers house. When only just turned fifteen he was admitted a commoner of St. Alban Hall, Oxford (Michaelmas term 1640), and on ‘26 Nov. in the following year was chosen a scholar of Corpus Christi College; but the civil war drove him soon after to his father’s house in the country. In 1646 he returned to his college, and on 21 Oct, took his B.A. degree, becoming M.A. on 19 Nov. 1650. In the year after he had taken his first degree he was elected a fellow of his college, and in 1649 was recognised as fellow by the parliamentary visitors of the university. Whilst his energies lasted, and he was able to act as one of the college tutors, he had under his charge many pupils afterwards eminent as antiquaries and divines. But a constitution naturally weak and a disposition prone to melancholy (both of which drawbacks were often feelingly referred to in the prefaces to his works) were enfeebled by ill-health, aggravated by excessive study. After much bodily suffering he died, in his college at Oxford, l Sept. 1659, and was buried in the middle of the north cloister belonging to the college and adjacent to the south side of the chapel, when a funeral discourse was preached over the grave by one of the fellows. His portion as a younger son was 1,500l. He left on his death a third of that amount to the city of Oxford for the benefit of its poor, in acknowledgment of which gift his portrait was painted and hung up in the council-chamber, and it may stil be seen in the town-hall. His library was left to Mr. Agfas, the rest of his property passed to his elder brother. Bogan was a great-nephew of Sir Thomas Bodley. Bogan’s skill in languages was universally recognised in his lifetime, and had not his years been prematurely cut short, his learning would have made a permanent mark in literature. His works were: 1. ‘A View of the Threats and Punishments recorded in the Scriptures,' 1653, which he dedicated to his ‘honoured father’ 2. ‘Meditations of the Mirth of a Christian Life and the Vaine Mirth of a Wicked Life,’ 1653, dedicated to his ‘honoured mother.’ 3. An addition of four books on ‘customs in marriages, burials, feastings, divinations, &c.’ to the ‘Archæologiæ Atticæ’ of Francis Rous the younger, which was first added to the original work in 1649, but without any mention of his name, probably because it was chiefly compiled in his undergraduate days. The addition was acknowledged as Bogan’s in the subsequent editions. 4. ‘Homerus ‘Εβραίζων, sive comparatio Homeri cum Scriptoribus Sacris, quoad normam loquendi.' To which was added, ‘Hesiodus 'Ομηρίζων,’ 1658. The preface was signed from his father’s house in Devonshire October 1657. 5. ‘A Help to Prayer, both Extempore and by a Set Forme,' which was written in 1651, but not published until 1660, when it was edited by Daniel Agas. A long epistle by Bogan to Edm. Dickinson is appended to the latter’s ‘Delphi Phœnicizantes,' a work popular in Germany and Holland, and written to show that all that was famous at Delphi was based on the history of Joshua and the sacred writings. Bogan had intended to publish works on the Greek particles, and on the best use of the Greek and Latin poets, and the former was pearly finished when he was seized by his ast illness.

[Prince; Bliss’s Wood, iii. 476–7; Visitation of Devon, 1620 (Harl. Soc. 1872), p. 37; Register of Visitors of Oxford University (Camden Soc. 1881), p. 494; Woods History of Colleges at Oxford, 1786, p. 413; Bibliotheca Cornub. ii. 601; Didot's Nouvelle Biographie Universelle.]

W. P. C.