Grocyn, William

views updated May 18 2018

Grocyn, William (c.1449–1519). Cleric and Greek scholar. Grocyn came up from Winchester to Oxford in 1465, and taught in the university in the 1470s–1480s. In March 1488 he went to Florence to improve his Latin and Greek, along with William Latimer and Thomas Linacre; he also got to know the great Venetian scholar and printer Aldus Manutius. From 1491 Grocyn taught Greek in Oxford. From 1496 he spent more time in his living of St Lawrence Jewry, London; and from 1506 in Maidstone as rector of the College of All Hallows, dying at Maidstone after having been incapacitated by a stroke in 1518. A letter to Aldus is Grocyn's only known publication, but his scholarship was much admired by contemporaries, including Erasmus, who lodged with him. His Oxford Greek lectures were the first given by an Englishman, and he collected a remarkable Latin and Greek library, which reflects forward-looking humanist tastes as well as knowledge of medieval authorities. It is known from Linacre's catalogue of it and from many volumes now in Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

J. B. Trapp