1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Robert Holmes

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 75 (November 1805) 1086.



12. At his house in St. Giles's, Oxford, of a mortification, aged 56, the Rev. Robert Holmes, D.D. rector of Stanton, co. Oxford, canon of Salisbury and Christ-church, and dean of Winchester. He was of New college; M.A. 1774, B.D. 1787, D.D. 1789; dean of Winchester, 1804. He was appointed professor of poetry in the University of Oxford on the death of Mr. Warton, 1790; and first published a sermon on Phil. iii. 2, the resurrection of the body, deduced from that of Christ, and illustrated from his transfiguration, 1777, 4to; the Bampton lecture, in 8 sermons, 1782, 8vo; Divinity tracts, 1788, 8vo; Alfred, an ode, with 6 sonnets, 1778, 4to; an ode for the Encaenia, on the installation of the Duke of Portland, chancellor, 1793; a fast sermon before the House of Commons, 1796, 4to; a Latin epistle to Bishop Barrington, 1795, folio, respecting the Collation of the MSS, of the LXX version of the Old Testament, which had been begun seven years before, and which occupied his attention from 1788 till his death, with a specimen of the MS. of Genesis, in the Imperial library at Vienna, in blue and silver capitals of the second or fifth centuries. The Delegates of the University press agreed to allow him 40 a year for three years, "on his exhibiting to them his collations annually, to be deposited in the Bodleian library, and, when the whole is finished, to be printed at the University press, at his expence, and for his benefit, or his his assigns, if he shall live to complete his collations. Or, if they are left imperfect, they were to be at the discretion of the Delegates, they undertaking to promote the finishing of them to the best of their power, and to publish them when finished, allowing to his assigns a just proportion of the profits. Thus encouraged, and aided by a handsome annual subscription, he printed the whole of the Pentateuch, in 5 vols. folio, price 12 guineas, at the rate of 3 for each volume being subscribed for one copy. Among the subscribers were, the Archbishop of Canterbury, 18 English and 2 Irish Bishops, 19 Deans; the University of Oxford for 12 copies; the University of Cambridge 3 copies, of Dublin 2, of Glasgow 1; 14 Colleges at Oxford; those of King's at Cambridge, and Eton and Sion; the Dukes of Portland, Grafton, and Marlborough; others of the Nobility, and many of the Clergy and Laity. Sixteen annual accounts of the collation of the MSS. and four of the publication, have been published, the subscription to which last year amounted to 2137. Having brought the publication of the Pentateuch to a conclusion, he last year edited the Prophecy of Daniel, according to Theodotion and the LXX. departing from his proposed order, as if by a presentiment of his end. In 15 years 7000 had been expended on this great undertaking, the collations of which are deposited in the Bodleian library, to be published by the Doctor, or, in case of his death, by some other person, under the auspices of the Delegates of the Clarendon press."