Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Symonds, John (1729-1807)
SYMONDS, JOHN (1729–1807), professor of modern history at Cambridge, born at Horningsheath in Suffolk on 23 Jan. 1728–9, was the eldest son of John Symonds (d. 1757), rector of Horningsheath, by his wife Mary (d. 1774), daughter of Sir Thomas Spring of Pakenham, bart.
Symonds was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1752. In 1753 he was elected a fellow of Peterhouse, and he proceeded M.A. in 1754. In 1771 he was appointed professor of modern history on the death of Thomas Gray, the poet, and in the following year he was created LL.D. by royal mandate and migrated to Trinity College. He died, unmarried, on 18 Feb. 1807, at Bury St. Edmund's, where he filled the office of recorder, and was buried at Pakenham.
Symonds was the author of:
- ‘Remarks on an Essay on the History of Colonisation’ (by William Barron), London, 1778, 4to.
- ‘The Expediency of revising the Present Edition of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles,’ Cambridge, 1789, 4to.
- ‘The Expediency of revising the Epistles,’ Cambridge, 1794, 4to.
He also contributed numerous articles to Young's ‘Annals of Agriculture.’ A portrait of Symonds was engraved by J. Singleton in 1788 from a painting by George Keith Ralph.
[Davy's Sussex Collections, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 19150 ff. 381–93, 19167 f. 51, 19174, f. 695; Cole's Athenæ Cantabr. Add. MS. 5880 f. 197; Reuss's Register of Living Authors, 1790–1803, ii. 370; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, iv. 382–3, v. 410; Gent. Mag. 1778 p. 421, 1807 i. 281; Bridges's Autobiography, i. 64–5; Bromley's Cat. of Engr. Portraits, 395.]