Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hudson, John

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HUDSON, JOHN (1662–1719), classical scholar, born at Widehope, near Cockermouth, Cumberland, in 1662, was the son of James Hudson. In 1676 he entered Queen's College, Oxford, as a servitor, but was subsequently elected a tabarder. He graduated B.A. on 5 July 1681, and M.A. on 12 Feb. 1684. On 29 March 1686 he became fellow and tutor of University College. For the use of his pupils he privately printed a compilation from Bishop Beveridge's treatise, with the title 'Introductio ad Chronologiam; sive Ars Chronologica in epitomen redacta,' 8vo, Oxford, 1691; and at the request of Arthur Charlett [q.v.], master of University College, he edited `Velleius Paterculus,' 8vo, Oxford, 1693, which Charlett distributed as presents on New-year's day. A second edition was issued in 1711. He next prepared a 'Eutropius' with the Greek paraphrase of Pæanius, but becoming absorbed in an edition of `Thucydides' neglected to print it. Hudson was at onetime a Jacobite of the cautious type. His politics interfered with his election to the mastership of his college in 1691, though in the following year he had sufficient influence to secure the post for Charlett. He would, it is said, have succeeded William Levinz in the regius professorship of Greek in 1698 had not Bishop Burnet informed the king that Humphrey Hody (the successful candidate) had written in favour of the government, whereas Hudson was rather suspected of being opposed to it. He found it to his advantage to modify his opinions, but he failed to obtain any church preferment. In April 1701, on the resignation of Dr. Thomas Hyde [q.v.], he was elected Bodley's librarian, and on 5 June following he accumulated his degrees in divinity. He had given in 1696-8 seventy books to the library, and in 1705-10 he added nearly six hundred. Immediately upon his election he appointed Thomas Hearne [q.v.] an assistant librarian. Hearne had previously owed much to his kindness. He came, however, to detest Hudson for having deserted the Jacobite cause, and wrote in bitter terms of him in his diaries. Hudson was not a model librarian; he is even said to have thrown from the shelves the copy of Milton's 'Poems' presented by the poet himself in 1647, which was saved by mere chance. That he was close-fisted is clear from his contributing only ten shillings towards the relief of Sir Thomas Bodley's impoverished relations. In 1711 Hudson refused the principalship of Gloucester Hall, but in, the following year was elected, through the interest of Dr. Radcliffe, to that of St. Mary Hall. He built the present lodgings for the principal at St. Mary Hall on the site of the old refectory (Wood, Colleges and Halls of Oxf., ed. Gutch,p.674). He died of dropsy on 27 Nov. 1719, and was buried on 1 Dec. in the chancel of St. Mary's Church, Oxford. Shortly before his death he sent for Hearne, commended his edition of William of Newborough's `History,' then passing through the press, and gave him some notes for it. He left an estate at Horsepath, near Oxford, and (so Hearne was told) above 7,000l. in money. His books were bequeathedto University College library. He married, on 2 April 1710, Margaret, widow of a barrister and commoner of University College, named Knapp, and only daughter of Sir Robert Harrison, knt., alderman and mercer of Oxford, by whom he had one daughter, Margaret, born on 24 July 1711, and married on 29 July 1731 to John Boyce, rector of Saintbury, Gloucestershire. Mrs. Hudson married as her third; husband Dr. Anthony Hall [q.v.], and dying in September 1731 was buried on the 25th of that month in the chancel of St. Mary's Church, Oxford. Hearne, however, insinuates that Hudson had been previously married to a Miss Biesley. In the Bodleian Library is a portrait of Hudson by W. Sonmans, the gift of his widow (Wood, Antiq. of Oxf., ed. Gutch, vol. ii. pt. ii.p. 953), from which S. Gribelin engraved a folio plate.

Hudson's other publications are: 1. 'Thucydidis de Bello Peloponnesiaco libri octo,' with the Latin version (revised) of Æmilius Portus, and brief notes, fol., Oxford, 1696; several other editions in 4to and 8vo. 2. 'Geographiæ veteris Scriptores Græci minores. Cum interpretatione Latina [of Hudson and others], dissertationibus (H. Dodwelli), ac annotationibus,' 4 vols. 8vo, Oxford, 1698-1712. 3. 'Dionysii Halicarnassensis Antiquitatum Romanarum libri quotquot supersunt,' Greek and Latin, 2 vols. fol., Oxford, 1704. 4. `Dionysii Longini de Sublimitate libellus cum præfatione …notis … et variis lectionibus,' Greek and Latin, 8vo, Oxford, 1710; another edition, 1718. 5. 'Mæris Atticista de vocibus Atticis et Hellenicis. GregoriusMartinus de Græcarum literarum pronunciatione,' 2 pts. 8vo, Oxford, 1712. 6. `Fabularum Æsopicarum Collectio, quotquot Græce reperiuntur. Accedit Interpretatio Latina,' 8vo, Oxford, 1718. 7. `Flavii Josephi Opera quæ reperiri potuerunt omnia,' 2 vols. fol., Oxford, 1720 (also 1726), published at his dying request by his friend Anthony Hall. Hudson had annotated Dr. John Wills or Willes's `Two Discourses upon Josephus,' prefixed to Sir Roger L'Estrange's translation of that historian, fol. London, 1702. 8. `Velleii Paterculi quæ supersunt,' 8vo, 1711. 9. 'Ethices Compendium a G. Langbænio. Accedit Methodus Argumentandi Aristotelica ad άκριβείαν mathematicam redacta. Disposuit et limavit J. Hudsonus,' 12mo, London, 1721. It is doubtful, however, whether Hudson had any share in this work. He encouraged Leonard Lichfield, the Oxford printer, to publish in 1693 Erasmus's 'Dialogus Ciceronianus,' to which he added the epistles of Erasmus and others relating to the subject and an index. By his assistance David Gregory (1661-1708) [q.v.] was enabled to bring out an accurate 'Euclid' in 1703, and Hearne a creditable 'Livy' in 1708. To Ayliffe's Antient and present State of the University of Oxford, 1714, he contributed a notice of the Bodleian Library. Several letters from and to him are preserved in the Bodleian Library, where is also (Rawlinson MS. Misc. 350) his 'Indices Auctorum a variis Scriptoribus vel citatorum vel etiam laudatorum.'

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 451-60; Hearne's Collections (Oxf. Hist. Soc.); Macray's Annals of Bodleian Library.]

G. G.