Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sheringham, Robert

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SHERINGHAM, ROBERT (1602–1678), royalist divine, born in 1602, was son of William Sheringham of Guestwick, Norfolk. He was educated at Norwich under Mr. Briggs, and on 15 March 1618–19 was admitted a pensioner of Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1622–3 (Venn, Admissions to Gonville and Caius College, p. 140). He was elected a fellow of his college, commenced M.A. in 1626, and was incorporated in that degree at Oxford on 15 July 1628. In 1634 he was presented to the rectory of Patesley, Norfolk (Blomefield, Norfolk, x. 28). He became one of the proctors of the university of Cambridge in 1644, but shortly afterwards was ejected from his fellowship at Caius on account of his adherence to the king's cause. Thereupon he retired to London, and, going subsequently to Holland, he taught Hebrew and Arabic at Rotterdam and in other towns. On the king's return in 1660 he was restored to his fellowship, and led a studious and retired life, being esteemed ‘a most excellent linguist, as also admirably well versed in the original antiquities of the English nation.’ He died suddenly in his rooms at Caius College, and was buried in the neighbouring parish of St. Michael on 2 May 1678.

Hearne describes him as ‘a learned man, and endowed with an accurate judgment;’ but Dr. Percy more truly observes that ‘it is the great fault of Sheringham not to know how to distinguish what is true and credible from what is improbable and fabulous in the old Northern Chronicles.’

His works are: 1. ‘Joma. Codex Talmudicus, in quo agitur de Sacrificiis, cæterisque Ministeriis Diei Expiationis … ex Hebræo sermone in Latinum versus et commentariis illustratus,’ London, 1648, 4to, Franeker, 1696, 8vo. 2. ‘The Kings Supremacy asserted, or a Remonstrance of the Kings Right against the Pretended Parliament. Printed formerly in Holland and now reprinted,’ London, 1660, 4to; 3rd edit. enlarged, London, 1682, 4to. 3. ‘De Anglorum Gentis Origine Disceptatio. Quâ eorum migrationes, variæ sedes, et ex parte res gestæ, à confusione Linguarum, et dispersione Gentium, usque ad adventum eorum in Britanniam investigantur,’ Cambridge, 1670, 8vo.

[Addit. MS. 5880, f. 20; Bowes's Cat. of Cambridge Books, pp. 48, 101; Carter's Cambridge, pp. 129, 138; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714, iv. 1348; Kennett's Register, p. 299; Leland's Itinerary, 1744, i. 122, 123; Le Neve's Fasti; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.; Nicolson's Engl. Historical Library, 1736, p. 272; Percy's preface (p. viii) to Mallet's Northern Antiquities, 1770; Walker's Sufferings, ii. 146; Wilkins's preface to Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. vii; Wood's Fasti Oxon. (Bliss), i. 445.]

T. C.