Lyons, Israel

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LYONS, ISRAEL (c. 1700–1770), English Hebraist. Lyons, who was born in Poland, settled in Cambridge (c. 1732), worked as a silversmith, and became an authorized teacher of Hebrew at the university. He contributed Hebrew verses to the volume of elegies (1738) on the funeral of Queen Caroline and published The Scholar's Instructor, or Hebrew Grammar (1735; many subsequent editions) and Observations Relating to Various Parts of Scripture History (1768). His son israel lyons (1739–1775) was an astronomer, botanist, explorer, and mathematician. At the age of 19 he published A Treatise on Fluxions (1758), and a Fasciculus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam Nascentium (1763). In 1773 he was appointed principal astronomer to the expedition of Captain Phipps to the North Pole. Lyons appears in a most flattering light in Maria Edgeworth's novel, Harrington (1817).


H.P. Stokes, Studies in Anglo-Jewish History (1913), 224–6; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 42–44; Roth, Mag Bib, index. add. bibliography: odnb online.

[Cecil Roth]