Samuel Parker (writer)
Samuel Parker (1681–1730) was an English writer.
Parker was the younger son of the English theologian and clergyman Samuel Parker (1640–1688), who served as Bishop of Oxford and President of Magdalen College during the tumultuous reign of James II.
Life and work
After early schooling in Kent, Parker attended Trinity College, Oxford, but left after several years, c. 1700, without taking a degree, evidently because he was unwilling to take the oath of allegiance.
Parker published two translations of Cicero (Tully's Five Books De Finibus, 1702; Cicero's Cato Major, etc, 1704) and a verse translation of Homer's battle of the frogs and the mice (Homer in a Nutshell, 1699). He also translated the orations of Athanasias and produced an abridged translation of Eusebius, which was eventually bundled with other translations and abridgments of early church fathers.
He was responsible from 1708 to 1710 for a monthly periodical entitled Censura temporum, or Good and Ill Tendencies of Books,. This was a book review in dialogue form which upheld orthodoxy and the Church of England against the anti-trinitarian religious ideas of Whiston and the political notions of Locke.
Parker published two volumes of essays:Six Philosophical Essays (1700) and Sylva (1701). These include early critiques of the religious and political ideas of Locke. Among other things, Parker argues for the immateriality and hence immortality of the soul.
Parker's chef d'ouvre was Bibliotheca Biblica (collected in 5 vols., 1720–1735), a massive compilation of patristic commentary on the Bible, issued in monthly installments beginning in 1717 and funded via subscription. Parker hoped to cover all of the books of the Bible. However, at the time of his death only the first five volumes, covering the Pentateuch, had been completed. The fifth and final volume was published posthumously, in 1735, with a life of Parker appended.
Parker was a nonjuror, but he was persuaded by Dodwell's arguments in The Case in View, and began attending the Church of England again after the death of Bishop Lloyd, circa 1710-11. However, he remained a Jacobite and continued to avoid taking the oaths. He signallized his objections to the reigning monarchs by making various gestures during the prayers for the royal family. He refused to take orders in the Church of England and raised his sons in accordance with his nonjuring principles.
Parker ran an academy in Holywell, Oxford, where the nonjuror Thomas Deacon was educated. He also provided room and board for visiting foreigners for many years. There are many references to him in Thomas Hearne's diaries.
Parker had at least five sons. His eldest son, Samuel, after serving an apprenticeship in London, became a yeoman bedel at Oxford. His second son, Sackville, was a well-known Oxford bookseller who kept a shop in the High Street at the corner of Logic Lane and was a friend of Samuel Johnson. His third son, Richard, attended Lincoln College, Oxford, on a scholarship, but left without a degree on account of the oaths and later helped his father prepare the Bibliotheca Biblica. Other descendants founded the well-known Parker's bookselling establishment in the Turl, Oxford.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Parker, Samuel". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press (an article mostly on his father)
- Diaries of Thomas Hearne
- biography of Parker in Bibliotheca Biblica, vol 5.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography