Zachary Grey (1688-1766)
Zachary Grey was an alumni Cambridge University, he attended Jesus College and then later moved to Trinity Hall. He graduated LLB in 1709 and LLD in 1720; he was ordained on 25th July 1711. He became the Rector of Houghton Conquest on the 4th April 1725.
He wrote and published a number of books on controversial religious matters - he strongly disliked Puritanism and particularly detested Cromwell and Milton - and also a commentary on Shakespeare (1754). None of his works are particularly popular today although Samuel Johnson praised his study of Shakespeare.
He was a well-known editor Samuel Butler's 'Hudibras' (published in three parts dated 1663, 1664 and1680). This was a satire on the Puritans and its narrative form is that of a mock romance derived from Don Quixote. It tells the story of a colonel in the Cromwellian army who becomes involved in various comic misadventures. Butler is said to have based his character on Sir Samuel Luke, a rigid Presbyterian, a colonel in the Parliamentary Army, and scoutmaster general for Bedfordshire.
Grey's edition included many annotations and notes and formed the basis of many subsequent editions. Grey then went on to publish an additional volume of 'Critical and Historical and Explanatory Notes' in 1752.
Grey died at Ampthill, where he passed his winters, on the 25th November 1766 and was buried at Houghton Conquest Church on the 30th November.
- Dictionary of National Biography
- The Oxford Companion to English Literature edited by Margaret Drabble
- Encyclopaedia Britannnica