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Lowth, Robert

First Name: 
Robert
Last Name: 
Lowth
Sex: 
Male
Birth: 
1710
Death: 
1787
Nationality: 
English
Religion: 
Anglican
Education: 
attended Winchester College, as a scholar, from November 1721 until September 1729
matriculated as a commoner at St John's College, Oxford, on 26 March 1729
admitted as a scholar at New College in January 1730
BA 1733
MA 1737
fellow of New College
DD 1754 by diploma at University of Oxford
Profession or Occupation: 
elected professor of poetry at Oxford 1741; reelected 1746, served a total of 10 years
ordained deacon by Bishop Thomas Secker 1741
priest 1742
Bishop Benjamin Hoadly collated him to the rectory of Ovington, Hampshire 1744
promoted to archdeacon of Winchester 1750
added rectory of East Woodhay to his preferments 1753
married Mary (d. 1803), daughter and heir of Laurence Jackson of Christchurch, Hampshire, in the process securing substantial property and a considerable fortune 1752
appointed as chaplain to William Cavendish, then marquess of Hartington, who was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland in 1755
granted the freedom of Limerick in June 1755
declined the office of the bishop of Limerick
transferred to him a prebendal stall at Durham
granted the valuable living of Sedgefield ~1755
appointed a royal chaplain on 18 August 1757
considered a candidate to be warden of Winchester College in 1764
fellow of both the Royal Society of London and that of Göttingen 1765
consecrated bishop of St David's 1766
translated to the see of Oxford 1766
1777 he was nominated bishop of London
made dean of the Chapel Royal, was sworn of the privy council
from 1786 was a member of the committee for trade and plantations
governor of the Charterhouse
trustee of the British Museum
declined the offer of the primacy upon the archbishop of Canterbury's death 1783
Politics: 
Whig
Milieux: 
Clerical religious writing; university wit and latinity
Patrons: 
Bishop Hoadly
Publication(s): 
Periodicals & Misc Contributed To: 
published Latin verses in several collections of poetry from Oxford
published Latin verses in GM
Summing Up: 

Lowth made a name for himself as a very young man through his composition of verses in both English and Latin. He began by writing pious stanzas at age 14, and his career as a poet developed at Oxford, where he wrote Latin verses. Yet it was Lowth's skill as a critic, not a writer, of verse that would win him genuine and widespread fame. While professor of poetry at Oxford, Lowth delivered the thirty-four Praelectiones de sacra poesi Hebraeorum that were to make his name. Through his travels, Lowth established firm connections with prominent whig noblemen and with influential figures in the ministry, including Frederick of Prussia. He had an illustrious career in the Anglican church, which left him free to pursue literary and theological controversy. He was successful in attaining "worldly success" through patronage. The most substantial of Lowth's publications was his new translation, with notes, of the book of Isaiah. His grammar guide was also very popular.

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