Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Horman, William

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HORMAN, WILLIAM (d. 1535), vice-provost of Eton, was born at Salisbury, and educated partly at Winchester. According to Bale and Pits (De Illustr. Angl. Script. p. 722) he proceeded thence to King's College, Cambridge; but according to Wood (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 78), he was fellow of New College, Oxford, from 1477 to 1485. In the latter year he became master of Eton, and in 1494 was presented by the college to the rectory of East Wrotham, Norfolk. In 1502 he became fellow of Eton; in 1503 he resigned his rectory, and subsequently he became vice-provost. He died at Eton 12 April 1535, and was buried in the college chapel, where there is a brass bearing his effigy and an epitaph. The latter, which is printed by Wood, suggests that he lived nearly one hundred years (‘lustra vicena’).

Horman was one of the most prolific writers of his time, many of his works being apparently compendia for school use; but he seems to have been a good critic and a scholarly divine. Only two of his works are known to have been printed, his ‘Vulgaria’ and ‘Antibossicon.’ The former, a valuable collection of sentences and aphorisms in Latin and English, was first printed by Pynson in 1519, 4to, and secondly by De Worde in 1540, both editions unpaged. The ‘Antibossicon’ (Pynson, 1521, 55 leaves, 4to, without pagination) is an attack in the form of a dialogue, partly written by Robert Aldrich [q. v.], on the grammatical works of Robert Whitynton, who had affixed to the door of St. Paul's verses written under the quaint pseudonym of ‘Bossus,’ abusing Horman's friend, William Lily [q. v.] . Horman is said to have written nearly thirty other works, but of these the titles are alone preserved by Bale, viz. ‘In Theologiam Gabrielis Biel;’ ‘Fascis rerum Britannicarum;’ ‘Farrago Historiarum’ and ‘Farrago plurium;’ ‘Compendium Historiæ Gul. Malmsburiensis;’ ‘Epitome Historiæ Joh. Pici com. Mirandulæ;’ ‘De secundo regis connubio;’ ‘Collectanea Diversorum;’ ‘Sophicorum flores;’ ‘Anatomia membrorum hominis’ and ‘Anatomia corporis humani;’ ‘Orationes et carmina;’ ‘Epistolæ ad diversos;’ ‘Elegiæ in mortem Gul. Lilii;’ ‘Apotheca carminum jucundorum;’ ‘De arte dictandi;’ ‘De orthographia;’ ‘Penultimarum syllabarum tempora;’ ‘Herbarum synonyma;’ ‘Indices Chronicorum;’ ‘In Chronica Sabellici;’ ‘Ejusdem Decades rerum Venetarum;’ ‘In Catonem, Varronem, Palladium;’ ‘In Columellam, de re rustica,’ and ‘In Moralia Æsopi.’

[Gillow's Dict. English Catholics, iii. 390; Fuller's Worthies, iii. 156; Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Oxford, ii. 135; Cole's MSS. xxx. 65; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 51, 529; Dodd's Church History, i. 215; Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 55; Lipscomb's Buckinghamshire, iv. 489, 495; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 412; Maitland's List of Early Printed Books, p. 415; Cowie's Cat. of St. John's College MSS. p. 135.]

G. S. B.