(1718–83), biblical scholar and Hebraist. By the generosity of friends he was enabled to enter Wadham College, Oxford, in 1744, where, while still an undergraduate, he published two dissertations. From 1747 to 1771 he was a Fellow of Exeter College, from 1767 to 1783 Radcliffe Librarian, and from 1770 till his death Canon of Christ Church. His life-work was the critical study of the Hebrew text of the OT, in which he was assisted by collations of MSS from many parts of Europe. His wife, whom he married in 1771, gave him considerable help in his researches. Their fruits were collected in his Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus (2 vols., 1776–80), a work which established the important negative conclusion that the variants in the Heb. MSS of the OT are so slight as to be of minimal importance for establishing the correct text.
From The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church in Oxford Reference.