Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hüttner, Johann Christian

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HÜTTNER, JOHANN CHRISTIAN (1765?–1847), miscellaneous writer, was born about 1765 at Guben in Lusatia, Germany. He graduated at Leipzig in 1791, and came to England as tutor to a son of Sir George Staunton. He went with his pupil to China in Lord Macartney's embassy, and was occasionally employed to write official letters in Latin. He sent accounts of his experiences to friends in Germany, who promised not to publish them. A copy of them was, however, sold to a Leipzig bookseller, and his friends in Germany thought it best to bring out an authentic text, which appeared at Berlin in 1797, under the title of Nachricht von der brittischen Gesandtschaftsreisedurch China und einen Theil der Tartarei.' The work, which anticipated the official account, excited considerable attention. Two French; translations of it were published in 1799 and 1804.

Dr. Burney, 'who was much interested by some curious information he had collected on the subject of Chinese music,' obtained for Hüttner in 1807, through his influence with Canning, the appointment of translator to the foreign office. As such he translated from Spanish into German the appeal to the nations of Europe on Napoleon's invasion of the Peninsula. He kept up close relations with Germany, and for a long period acted as literary agent to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Hüttner was twice married, but left no issue. His death, which was due to a street accident, took place on 24 May 1847, at Fludyer Street, Westminster. His other works were, 'De Mythis Platonis,' Leipzig, 1788; 'Hindu Gesetzbuch oder Menu's Verordnungen' (an edited translation of Sir William Jones's English translation from the Sanskrit), Weimar, 1797; 'Englische Miscellen herausgegeben (Bd. 5-25) von J. C. Hüttner,' Tübingen, 1800, &c.; an edition, with German notes, of James Townley's farce of 'High Life below Stairs,' Tübingen, 1802, and some minor contributions to German encyclopædias and periodicals.

[Gent. Mag. 1847, pt. ii. pp.99, 100; Brit, Has. Cat.]

F. W-t.