Usher (or Ussher), James

Usher (or Ussher), James an illustrious prelate, and a great luminary of the Irish Church, was born at Dublin, Jan. 4,1580. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, being one of the first three scholars matriculated. In 160 L he was ordained; in 1.603 he became chancellor of St. Patrick's, and soon after professor of divinity at the university; in 1619 he was made bishop of Meath; and in 1624 he became archbishop of Armagh and primate. During the troubles arising out of the war between Charles I and the Parliament, Usher had to leave Ireland, and was subjected to much hardship, his property being seized and his revenues distrained. He obtained the see of Carlisle (in coimmeneudam), but from that but little emolument accrued to him. He afterwards became preacher at Lincoln's Inn, and was one of the six divines allowed by Parliament to confer with Charles at Carisbrook. No man could be matched against him in debate, and during the Civil War he preached many bitter sermons against the Independents. In 1642 he removed to Oxford, but, the king's power declining, he retired to Cardiff. He was recognized as one of the greatest scholars of his time. Richelieu is said to have offered him a high position in France. He declined a professorship at Leyden. His later years were spent in the family of lady Peterborough at Reigate, where he died, March 21, 1656. Usher was a laborious student, and amassed vast learning. His Anrtales Vet. et Novi Test. (1650-54, fol.) established his fame as a scholar and a chronologist, and fixed the Biblical chronology which has since been generally followed in this country, and which is adopted in the A. V. He wrote also De Graeca XX, Versione Syntagma Epistola ad L. Capellum de Varilis Text. Heb. Lectionibius (1652): — Britannicarum Ecclesiarum Antiquitates 639, fol.; enlarged ed. 1677): — and a multitude of works on the ecclesiastical controversies of the day, and on some questions in theology. His library for which he collected books and MSS. from all quarters, was, after his death, presented to the Dublin University, where it remains. He succeeded in obtaining six copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch and several MSS. of the Syriac version. His collected works have been edited by Dr. Elrington (1847, 16 vols. 8vo), with a life of the author.

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