Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Neale, James

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NEALE, JAMES (1722–1792), biblical scholar, baptised on 12 Nov. 1722, was son of Robert Neale, druggist, of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. On 14 May 1731 he was elected to Christ's Hospital (List of Exhibitioners, ed. Lockhart), whence he proceeded with an exhibition to Pembroke College (then Pembroke Hall) Cambridge, being admitted a sizar on 4 July 1739 (College Register). He graduated B.A. in 1742, M.A. in 1746. From 1747 until 1762 he was master of Henley-upon-Thames grammar school (Burn, Henley-upon-Thames, p. 97), which flourished greatly under his superintendence; he also served the curacy of Bix, in the neighbourhood, under Thomas Hunt (1696–1774) [q. v.], the rector, whom Neale describes as having been ‘a father to me in a thousand instances’ (Præmonition to Funeral Sermon on John Sarney, 1760). He was subsequently curate of Aldbourne, Wiltshire. Neale died in 1792. He left a son, James Neale, who graduated B.A. in 1771 as a member of St. John's College, Cambridge, became perpetual curate of Allerton Malleverer, near York, and died on 10 Nov. 1828 at Botley, Hampshire (Gent. Mag. 1828, pt. ii. p. 571).

Neale was an excellent classical and oriental scholar, but want of means prevented him from publishing very much. In 1771 appeared his translation, in small octavo, of the ‘Prophecies of Hosea,’ strictly literal, without division of verses, accompanied by a scripture commentary, to which a few pertinent notes were appended.

His grandson, William Henry Neale (1785–1855), theological writer, baptised at Little Hampton, Sussex, on 12 May 1785, was third son of the Rev. James Neale (d. 1828) mentioned above. He was elected to Christ's Hospital in April 1793, where he gained an exhibition, was admitted sizar of Pembroke College, Cambridge, on 11 Feb. 1803, and graduated B.A. in 1808, M.A. in 1811. On 8 Feb. 1808 he was appointed to the mastership of Beverley grammar school, Yorkshire, but resigned it in December 1815 (Oliver, Beverley, p. 279). In November 1823 he became chaplain of the county bridewell in Gosport, Hampshire (Gent. Mag. 1823, pt. ii. p. 463), where he continued until 1850. On 5 March 1840 Neale was elected F.S.A. (Gent. Mag. 1840, pt. i. p. 416), but had withdrawn from the society by 1847. In 1853 he accepted nomination as a poor brother of the Charterhouse, and died on 20 Jan. 1855 (Charterhouse Register).

Besides re-editing his grandfather's translation of ‘Hosea,’ with much original matter, in 1850, Neale wrote:

  1. ‘The Mohammedan System of Theology; or, a compendious Survey of the history and doctrines of Islamism, contrasted with Christianity,’ 8vo, London, 1828.
  2. ‘The Different Dispensations of the true Religion, Patriarchal, Levitical, and Christian, considered,’ 8vo, London, 1843.

[Information from the master of Pembroke College, Cambridge; W. H. Neale's Preliminary Observations to J. Neale's Prophecies of Hosea, 2nd edit. pp. 5–6; Poulson's Beverlack, i. 467, and Holderness, ii. 286.]

G. G.