Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Humphreys, David

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HUMPHREYS, DAVID (1689–1740), divine, son of Thomas Humphreys, citizen and leatherseller of London, was born on 20 Jan. 1689, and educated at the Merchant Taylors' School after 1701, and at Christ's Hospital from 1704 till 1707. On 12 Sept. 1707 he was elected to a school exhibition, and was admitted a subsizar of Trinity College, Cambridge, 5 March 1707-8. He became scholar in 1709 and graduated B.A. in 1711, proceeding M.A. 1715, B.D. 1725, and D.D. by royal mandate in 1728. In the struggle with Bentley he ranked as one of the master's friends, and on 8 July 1715 was elected fellow 'provisionally,' the arrangement being that he was to take the place of Miller, Bentley's great opponent, if Miller's fellowship should be subsequently decided by the king to be vacant. The king did nothing in the matter, but a further arrangement was made, 5 Dec. 1719, by which Miller received 400l., in addition to certain other profits, and resigned the fellowship. Humphreys became a major fellow on 2 Jan. 1719-20. In 1716 Humphreys was appointed secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and he held this appointment until his death. On 6 Jan. 1730 he became vicar of Ware, and on 30 June 1732 vicar of Thundridge. His fellowship determined in 1733, and he died in 1740.

He wrote:

  1. 'The Apologeticks of Athenagoras done into English, with notes,' 1714, 8vo.
  2. 'Antiquity explained and represented in Sculpture,' a translation from Montfaucon, 1721, fol.
  3. 'An Historical Account of the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,' 1730, 8vo; partly reprinted in the `Church Review,' vols. iv. and v.

[Robinson's Register of Merchant Taylors' School, ii. 5; Graduati Cantabr.; Rud's Diary; Christ's Hosp. List of Univ. Exhibitioners, p. 27; Monk's Life of Bentley; Middleton's Full and Impartial Account; Cussans's Hertfordshire, i. 153; Cole's Athen. Cantab. (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS.); E. Hawkins's Missions of the Church of England; information from W. Aldis Wright, esq.]

W. A. J. A.