Richard Farmer, antiquarian and Shakespeare scholar, was born at Leicester. He entered Emmanuel College Cambridge as a pensioner in 1753 (B.A. 1757, Fellow 1759, M.A. 1760, D.D. 1775) and was successively tutor (1760), master of Emmanuel (1775-97), vice-chancellor of Cambridge (1775-76, 1787-88), F.S.A. (1763), prebendary of Lichfield (1780), Canterbury (1782), and St. Paul's (1788). Farmer declined the offer of a bishopric, preferring his comfortable life as a scholar. His essay on Shakespeare set new standards of scholarship and was long regarded as authoritative. The 1798 sale catalogue of Farmer's books (8,155 lots) ran to 379 pages.
An essay on the learning of Shakespeare. 1767.
Bibliotheca Farmeriana. A catalogue of the curious, valuable, and extensive library of the late Richard Farmer. 1798.
The correspondence of Thomas Percy and Richard Farmer, ed. David Nichol Smith and Cleanth Brooks. 1946.