RICHARD DAWES (1708-1766), English classical scholar, was born in or near Market Bosworth. He was educated at the town grammar school under Anthony Blackwall, and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, of which society he was elected fellow in 1731. His peculiar habits and outspoken language made him unpopular. His health broke down in consequence of his sedentary life, and it is said that he took to bell-ringing at Great St Mary's as a restorative. He was a bitter enemy of Bentley, who he declared knew nothing of Greek except from indexes. In 1738 Dawes was appointed to the mastership of the grammar school, Newcastleon-Tyne, combined with that of St Mary's hospital. From all accounts his mind appears to have become unhinged; his eccentricities of conduct and continual disputes with his governing body ruined the school, and finally, in 1749, he resigned his post and retired to Heworth, where he chiefly amused himself with boating. He died on the 21st of March 1766. Dawes was not a prolific writer. The book on which his fame rests is his Miscellanea critica (1745), which gained the commendation of such distinguished continental scholars as L. C. Valckenaer and J. J. Reiske. The Miscellanea, which was re-edited by T. Burgess (1781), G. C. Harles (1800) and T. Kidd (1817), for many years enjoyed a high reputation, and although some of the "canons" have been proved untenable and few can be accepted universally, it will always remain an honourable and enduring monument of English scholarship.
See J. Hodgson, An Account of the Life and Writings of Richard Dawes (1828); H. R. Luard in Did. of Nat. Biog.; J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholarship, ii. 415.
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