Thomas Yeates (orientalist)

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Thomas Yeates (1768–1869) was an oriental linguist.

Contents

Life

He was the son of John Yeates, a turner, of Snow Hill, London, where he was born on 9 October 1768. He was at first apprenticed to his father, but, showing no taste for the trade, was allowed to pursue studies in Latin and Hebrew. At the age of fourteen he appears to have been employed as secretary to the Society for Promoting Constitutional Information, a radical association which numbered Sir William Jones (1746–1794) among its members, but he can have held this post only a short time.

Snow Hill, London location and street in the City of London

Snow Hill is a location in the City of London. Historically it was the site of one of the City of London water conduits, which on days of great celebration was made to run with red and white wine, the last occasion being the anniversary of the coronation of George I in 1727.

Following a plan which he had formed of rendering the New Testament into biblical Hebrew, he got into communication with Joseph White, who, shortly after his appointment to the professorship of Hebrew at Oxford, got Yeates a bible clerkship at All Souls' College, Oxford; he matriculated there on 22 May 1802, but never graduated. Though he worked for many years at this translation, and received encouragement from the continent as well as in England, the only portion of it ever published was a specimen which appeared in the third annual report of the London Jews' Society.

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

Biblical Hebrew stage of the Hebrew language written and spoken during the composition of the Bible

Biblical Hebrew, also called classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew, a Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Israelites in the area known as Israel, roughly west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Hebrew" was not used for the language in the Bible, which was referred to as שפת כנען or יהודית, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts.

From about 1808 to 1815 Yeates was employed by Claudius Buchanan to catalogue and describe his oriental manuscripts brought from India; and for much of this period he lived in Cambridge, where the University Press published (1812) his 'Collation of an India Copy of the Pentateuch;' the copies of this work were presented by the press to Yeates. He also, through Buchanan, obtained employment from the Bible Society, and superintended their editions of the Æthiopic Psalter and the Syriac New Testament.

Claudius Buchanan British theologian

Rev Claudius Buchanan DD FRSE was a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the Church of England, and an evangelical missionary for the Church Missionary Society. He served as Vice Provost of the College of Calcutta in India.

After Buchanan's death he was helped by Thomas Burgess, bishop of St. David's, who procured for him the secretaryship of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1823 the post of assistant in the printed book department of the British Museum, which he retained till his death.

Thomas Burgess (bishop) English author, philosopher, Bishop of Saint Davids and Bishop of Salisbury

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Royal Society of Literature senior literary organisation in Britain

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British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

He died on 7 October 1839.

Works

In 1818 he published a work called 'Indian Church History,' compiled chiefly from Assemani and the reports of Buchanan and Kerr, and containing an account of the Christian churches in the East, with an ultra-conservative history of their origin. The same year he produced a 'Variation Chart of all the Navigable Oceans and Seas between latitude 60 degrees N. and S. from Documents, and delineated on a new plan;' and in 1819 a Syriac grammar, the first that ever appeared in English. He was also employed by the publishers of Caleb Ashworth's 'Hebrew Grammar' to revise the third and subsequent editions. In 1830 he published 'Remarks on the Bible Chronology, being an Essay towards reconciling the same with the Histories of the Eastern Nations;' in 1833 'A Dissertation on the Antiquity of the Pyramids;' and in 1835 'Remarks on the History of Ancient Egypt.' His astronomical publications involved him in financial difficulties, which the Literary Fund helped him to meet.

Giuseppe Simone Assemani Maronite orientalist

Giuseppe Simone Assemani, was born on July 27, 1687 in Hasroun, Lebanon and died on January 13, 1768 in Rome. Assemani was a librarian, Lebanese orientalist and Maronite eparch. For his efforts, and his encyclopedic knowledge, he earned the nickname "The Great Assemani".

Caleb Ashworth, D.D. (1722–1775) was an English dissenting tutor.

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References

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Yeates, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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<i>Dictionary of National Biography</i> Multi-volume reference work

The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published since 1885. The updated Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) was published on 23 September 2004 in 60 volumes and online, with 50,113 biographical articles covering 54,922 lives.