Lambert, James (1741-1823) (DNB00)

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LAMBERT, JAMES (1741–1823), Greek professor at Cambridge, was born on 7 March 1741, the son of Thomas Lambert, vicar of Thorp, near Harwich, and afterwards rector of Melton, Suffolk. His father was a member of Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1723), and the son, after being educuted at the grammar school of Woodbridge, was entered of Trinity College on 23 April 17S0. He graduated B.A. as tenth wrangler and senior medallist in 1764. and proceeded M.A. in 1767, having obtained a fellowship in 1766. For a short time he served the curacy of Alderton and Bawdrey near Wood bridge. He was assistant tutor of Trinity College for some years, and on 7 March 1771 was elected regius professor of Greek, after delivering a prelection 'De Euripide aliisque qui Philosophiam Socraticam scriptis suis illustravisse videntur.' There was no other candidate. In 1773, through Mr. Carthew of Woodbridge, Porson was sent to him at Cambridge to be tested as to his fitness to receive the education which Mr. Norris was proposing to give him; and it was through Lambert's means that he was examined by the Trinity tutors, and was in consequence sent to Eton (Porson, Correspondence, pp. 125-32). Lambert gave up his assistant tutorship in 1775, and for some years superintended the education of Sir John Fleming Leicester [q. v.], returning to college with his pupil in 1782. He resigned the Greek professorship on 24 June 1780. He was a strong supporter of Mr. Jebb of Peterhouse in his proposal for annual examinations at Cambridge, and was a member of the syndicate appointed in 1774 to consider schemes for this and other improvements in the university course of education; their proposals, however, were all thrown out by narrow majorities in the senate. In 1789 he was appointed bursar of his college, and held the office for ten years; a road near Cambridge, connecting the Trumpington and Hill's roads, is still known by the name of the 'Via Lambertina.' He latterly adopted Arian opinions, and never accepted any preferment in the church, but he kept his fellowship till his death. This occurred on 8 April 1823 at Fersfield, Norfolk, where he is buried. His portrait is in the smaller combination room at Trinity College.

[Documants in the Cumbridge University Registry; Gentleman's Magazine for July 1823, p. 34; Porson's Correspondence (Camb. Antiq. Soc.). pp. 125-32; Jebb's Remarks upon the present mode of education in the University of Cambridge, 1774, p. 62.]

H. R. L.