Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Boyd, Hugh Stuart

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261851Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 06 — Boyd, Hugh Stuart1886William Hunt

BOYD, HUGH STUART (1781–1848), Greek scholar, was born at Edgware. Before his birth his father, Hugh McAuley, took the name of Boyd, borne by the family of his wife, the daughter of Hugh Boyd of Ballycastle, Ireland [q. v.], one of the supposed authors of the 'Letters of Junius.' His mother's maiden name was Murphy. Boyd was admitted a pensioner of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, on 24 July 1799, and matriculated on 17 Dec. of the following year. He left the university without taking a degree. He had a good memory, and once made a curious calculation that he could repeat 3,280 'lines' of Greek prose and 4,770 lines of Greek verse. In 1833 he appears to have resided some time at Bath. During the last twenty years of his life he was blind. He married a lady of Jewish family, and by her had one daughter, Henrietta, married to Mr. Henry Hayes. He lived chiefly at Hampstead, and died at Kentish Town on 10 May 1848. While blind he taught Greek to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who was much attached to him. One of her poems, the 'Wine of Cyprus,' is dedicated to Boyd. She also wrote a sonnet on his blindness and another on his death. His published works are:

  1. 'Luceria, a Tragedy,' 1806.
  2. 'Select Passages from the Works of St. Chrysostom, St. Gregory Nazianzen, &c., translated,' 1810.
  3. 'Select Poems of Synesius, translated,' with original poems, 1814.
  4. 'Thoughts on the Atoning Sacrifice,' 1817.
  5. 'Agamemnon of Æschylus,' translated, 1823.
  6. 'An Essay on the Greek Article,' included in Clarke's 'Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians,' second edition, 1835.
  7. 'The Catholic Faith,' a sermon of St. Basil, translated, 1825.
  8. 'Thoughts on an illustrious Exile,' 1825.
  9. 'Tributes to the Dead,' translation from St. Gregory Nazianzen, 1826.
  10. 'A Malvern Tale, and other Poems,' 1827.
  11. 'The Fathers not Papists, with Select Passages and Tributes to the Dead,' 1834.

[Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. v. 88, 175, 226, vii. 284, 523, 3rd ser. iv. 458; Etheridge's Life of Dr. Adam Clarke, 382-4; Weldon's Register, August 1861, p. 56; Gent. Mag. vol. xcvi. pt. ii. p. 623, new ser. xxx. p. 130; Brit. Mus. Catal.]

W. H.