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BENJAMIN HEATH (1704-1766)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 158 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BENJAMIN HEATH (1704-1766), English classical scholar and bibliophile, was born at Exeter on the loth of April 1704. He was the son of a wealthy merchant, and was thus able to devote himself mainly to travel and book-collecting. He became town clerk of his native city in 1752, and held the office till his death on the 13th of September 1766. In 1763 he had published a pamphlet advocating the repeal of the cider tax in Devonshire, and his endeavours led to success three years later. As a classical scholar he made his reputation by his critical and metrical notes on the Greek tragedians, which procured him an honorary Thomas More was right and Henry VIII. was wrong in their attitude towards the claims of the papacy and the Catholic Church. He was therefore necessarily deprived of his arch-bishopric in 1559, but he remained loyal to Elizabeth; and after a temporary confinement he was suffered to pass the remaining nineteen years of his life in peace and quiet, never attending public worship and sometimes hearing mass in private. The queen visited him more than once at his house at Chobham, Surrey; be died and was buried there at the end of 1578•
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