« Pride Prideaux, Humphrey Prideaux, John »

Prideaux, Humphrey

PRIDEAUX, HUMPHREY: Orientalist; b. at Padstow (25 m. w.n.w. of Plymouth), Cornwall, May 3, 1648; d. at Norwich Nov. 1, 1724. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A.,1672; M.A., 1675; B.D., 1682); and published Marmora Oxoniensa (Oxford, 1676), a transcript of the inscription on the Arundel Marbles (containing 247many typographical errors). In consequence of this work, the lord-chancellor, Heneage Finch, gave him the living of St. Clement’s, near Oxford, 1679, and a prebend in Norwich Cathedral, 1681. He was appointed also, in 1679, Busby’s Hebrew lecturer in Christ College, in 1683 rector of Bladon, Oxfordshire, in 1688 archdeacon of Suffolk, and in 1702 dean of Norwich. He wrote two famous works: The True Nature of Imposture Displayed in the Life of Mahomet (London, 1697; 9th ed., Dublin, 1730); and The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews and Neighbouring Nations (2 vols., London, 1716–18; best ed., the 25th, by J. T. Wheeler, 1858, reedited, 1876; commonly called "Prideaux’s Connection"), this calling forth several works animadverting upon Prideaux’ conclusions. The first of these works maintains with great learning and prejudice the lowest view of Mohammed‘s character; the second presents a mass of erudition upon all relevant topics.

Bibliography: His Letters . . . to John Ellis, Under Secretary of State . . . 1674–1722, E. M. Thompson edited for the Camden Society, London, 1875. His Life appeared anonymously, London, 1748. Consult further: A. à Wood, Athenæ Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, iv. 656, and the Fasti, ii. 331, 348, 384, 400, 4 vols., London, 1813–20; J. Foster, Alumni Oxonienses, iii. 1212, ib. 1887.

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