Samuel Barker (Hebraist)

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Samuel Barker (1686–1759) was an English Hebraist.


Barker was the son of Augustin Barker of South Luffenham and Thomasyn Tryst of Maidford, Northants,[1] and inherited the Lordship of the Manor of Lyndon, Rutland by the bequest of his father's second cousin Sir Thomas Barker, 2nd Bt of Lyndon (1648-1706/7).[2] Sir Thomas was a member of the 'Order of Little Bedlam' or Bedlam Club based at Burghley House.[3] Samuel entered Wadham College, University of Oxford in June 1704 and took his B.A. on 13 February 1707/8.[4] In 1717 Samuel married Sarah, only daughter of William Whiston, in whose memoirs he is mentioned. Their interests coincided closely, 'Wicked'[5] Will Whiston being the translator-editor of Josephus. Whiston in later life resided with Samuel at Lyndon Hall[6] and died there. Samuel was the father of Thomas Barker (1722–1809), called 'The father of meteorology', and was therefore the father-in-law of Ann Barker née White, the sister of Gilbert White of Selborne.[7] Gilbert White maintained correspondence with Samuel Barker junr. (grandson of Samuel), who like his great-grandfather Whiston attended Clare College, University of Cambridge.[8]


He wrote (in Latin) several learned tracts, which were collected and published (1761) in one quarto volume after his death, together with a Hebrew grammar, on which he had long been engaged.[9] John Nichols said of it, 'This was a juvenile production – the produce of the ingenious Author's leisure hours.'[10] It contained:

  • Ancient Hebrew Poesy Restored
  • On the Anacreontic songs
  • On Greek accents
  • Ancient Ionic writings
  • On consonant and vowel letters
  • On the pronunciation of the Hebrew language

He was the author of a letter, dated 7 November 1723, to Joseph Wasse, rector of Aynho, Northamptonshire, concerning a passage in the Sigean inscription, which may be found in the Biblioteca Literaria of Samuel Jebb and William Bowyer, No. 10 (1724).


  1. ^ See Abstract of Release of Marriage Portion published online by National Archives Online Leicester Record Office, Conant MSS, DG11/967.
  2. ^ Will of Sir Thomas Barker, written 1704, see abstract published online by National Archives Online Leicester Record Office, Conant MSS, DG11/1013. A family tree is given in John Kington (ed), Thomas Barker, Weather Journals of a Country Squire (Rutland Local History and Record Society 1988) ISBN 0-907464-06-8.
  3. ^ Bryan Waites, 'Sir Thomas Barker and the Order of Little Bedlam', Rutland Local History and Record Society Newsletter No. 1 Pt 10 (April 2010), pp 5–6. read here
  4. ^ Oxford University Alumni 1500–1714, Vol. I p. 71, column 2, as 'son of Austin of Medford, Northants.'
  5. ^ See Jonathan Swift's 'Ode for Music, On the Longitude' (Swift's Works, ed. 1803, xxiv. 39), set to music by Benjamin Cooke: read here.
  6. ^ John Cornforth, 'Lyndon Hall, Rutland. The home of Lady Conant', Country Life Nov. 10 1966.
  7. ^ H.A. Evans, Highways and Byways in Northampton and Rutland Pocket edition (Macmillan & Co., London 1924), 161–62.
  8. ^ Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses 1261–1900, Samuel Barker admitted 1777.
  9. ^ Poesis vetus Hebraica restituta; accedunt quædam de Carminibus Anacreonticis, de accentibus Græcis; de scriptura veteri Ionica, de literis consonantibus et vocalibus, et de pronunciatione linguæ Hebraicæ. Auctore Samuele Barker armigero, nuper de Lyndon, in com. Rotelandiæ, (Londini: Prostat venalis apud J. Whiston & B. White, 1761). In modern reprints the name in the title is mistakenly written 'Baker'.
  10. ^ J. Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, (Nichols and Bentley, London 1812–1815) Vol. 9: Additions to the Eighth Volume, p. 680.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Barker, Samuel". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.