Nugent, Thomas (1700?-1772) (DNB00)

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NUGENT, THOMAS, LL.D. (1700?–1772), miscellaneous writer, was born in Ireland about 1700, but spent the greater part of his life in London. He was a competent scholar and an able and industrious man of letters. In 1765 he received from the university of Aberdeen the honorary degree of LL.D., and in 1767 was made a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He died at his rooms in Gray's Inn on 27 April 1772. He has been confounded with Johnson's friend and Burke's father-in-law, Dr. Christopher Nugent (d. 1775) [q. v.]

Nugent's original works are:

  1. ‘The History of Vandalia: containing the Ancient and Present State of the Country of Mecklenburg, its Revolutions under the Venedi and the Saxons, with the Succession and Memorable Actions of its Sovereigns,’ London, 1766–73, 3 vols. 4to.
  2. ‘A New Pocket Dictionary of the French and English Languages,’ London, 1767, 4to (frequently reprinted and redacted).
  3. ‘Travels through Germany, with a Particular Account of the Courts of Mecklenburg: in a Series of Letters to a Friend,’ London, 1768, 2 vols. 8vo (German translation, Berlin, 1781, 2vols. 8vo).
  4. ‘The Grand Tour, or a Journey through the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and France,’ London, 1778, 3 vols. 12mo.

Nugent edited in 1745 ‘Κέβητος Θηβαίου Πίναξ. Cebetis Thebani Tabula,’ London, 8vo. He also executed many translations, chiefly from the French, the most important being:

  1. ‘The New System, or Proposals for a General Peace upon a solid and lasting Foundation; with a Prefatory Discourse by the Translator on the horrid Consequence of the present Wicked and Unnatural Rebellion,’ London, 1746, 8vo;
  2. Jean Baptiste Dubos's ‘Critical Reflections on Poetry, Painting, and Music,’ London, 1748, 3 vols. 8vo;
  3. Burlamaqui's ‘Principles of Natural Law,’ London, 1748, 8vo;
  4. Burlamaqui's ‘Principles of Politic Law,’ London, 1752, 8vo; reprinted with the preceding, London, 1763, 2 vols. 8vo;
  5. Montesquieu's ‘Spirit of Laws,’ London, 1752, 2 vols. 8vo; later editions, 1756, 12mo, 1756, 8vo, 1768, 8vo, 1773, 12mo;
  6. Voltaire's ‘Essay on Universal History: the Manners and Spirit of Nations from the Reign of Charlemaign to the Age of Lewis XIV,’ Dublin, 1759, 4 vols. 8vo;
  7. Rousseau's ‘Emilius, or an Essay on Education,’ London, 1763, 2 vols. 8vo;
  8. Grosley's ‘New Observations on Italy,’ London, 1769, 2 vols. 8vo;
  9. ‘Tour to London, or New Observations on England and its Inhabitants,’ London, 1772, 2 vols. 8vo;
  10. Benvenuto Cellini's ‘Autobiography,’ London, 1771, 2 vols. 8vo; last edition, 1812, 12mo;
  11. Totze's ‘Present State of Europe,’ London, 1770, 3 vols. 8vo;
  12. Isla's ‘History of the Famous Preacher-Friar, Gerund de Campazas, otherwise Gerund Zotes,’ London, 1772, 2 vols. 8vo, and 12mo.

His translations of the Port Royal Greek and Latin grammars were for a time very popular.

[Gent. Mag. 1772, p. 247; Bibl. Topogr. Brit. vol. x.; List of Soc. of Antiq.; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biography; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 656, and Illustr. Lit. v. 777, 780; Allibone's Dict. Brit. and Amer. Authors; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.]

J. M. R.