Hyman Hurwitz

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Hyman Hurwitz (1770–1844), was a learned Jew who became first professor of Hebrew at University College, London. He was born in Poznań, Poland in 1770, came to England about 1797[1] and conducted a private academy for Jews at Highgate, where he established a close friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and corresponded with him. Coleridge once described Hurwitz as "the first Hebrew and Rabbinical Scholar in the Kingdom".[1] In 1828, on Coleridge's recommendation,[1] he was elected professor of the Hebrew language and literature at University College, London. His inaugural lecture was published. He died on 18 July 1844.[2] Hurwitz was buried in the Brady Street Cemetery near Whitechapel in London's East End.[3]


  • Vindiciae Hebraicae, being a Defence of the Hebrew Scriptures as a Vehicle of Revealed Religion, in Refutation of J. Bellamy, 1820.
  • Hebrew Tales from the Writings of the Hebrew Sages 1826.
  • Elements of the Hebrew Language, 1829; 4th edition, 1848.
  • The Etymology and Syntax of the Hebrew Language, 1831; a first part on orthography appeared in 1807.
  • A Grammar of the Hebrew Language, 2 parts; 2nd edition, enlarged, 1835.

Hurwitz also wrote many Hebrew hymns, odes, elegies, and dirges. A Hebrew dirge, "chaunted in the Great Synagogue, Aldgate, on the day of the Funeral of Princess Charlotte" was published in 1817, with an English translation in verse by Coleridge. The Knell, another Hebrew elegy by Hurwitz on George III of the United Kingdom, appeared in an English translation by W. Smith at Thurso in 1827.


  1. ^ a b c Whalley, George, ed. (1984). The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Marginalia. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. pp. 1188–1189. ISBN 0-7100-0250-5. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  2. ^  Husband, William (1891). "Hurwitz, Hyman". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. source: [Private information; Voice of Jacob, iii. 196 (22 Aug. 1844); Brit. Mus. Cat.] 
  3. ^ "Brady Street Cemetery". United Synagogues. Retrieved 29 June 2017. 

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