BERNARD, (Dr. EDWARC) a learned astronomer, critic, and linguist, was born at Perry St. Paul, near l'owcester, the 2d of May, 1638, and educated at Merchant Taylor's school, and at St. John's college, Oxford. Having laid in a good fund of classical learning at school, in the Greek and Latin languages, he applied himself very diligently, at the university, to the study of history, the eastern languages, and mathematics, under the celebrated Dr. Wallis. In 1668 he went to Leyden, to consult some Oriental manuscripts left to that university by Joseph Scaliger and Levin Warner, and especially the 5th, 6th, and 7th books of Apollonius's Co nics, the Greek text of which is lost, and this Arabic version having been brought from the east by the celebrated Colitis, a transcript of which was thence taken by Bernard, and brought with him to Oxford, with intent to publish it there with a La tin translation ; but he was obliged to drop that design for want of encourage ment. This, however, was afterwards carried into effect by Dr. Halley, in 1710, with the addition of the 8th book, which he supplied by his own ingenuity and in dustry.
At his return to Oxford, Bernard exa mined and collated the most valuable ma nuscripts in the Bodleian library. In 1669, the celebrated Christopher Wren, Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, having been appointed Surveyor-General of his Majesty's works, and being much detained at London by this employment, obtained leave to name a deputy at Ox ford, and pitched upon Mr. Bernard, which engaged the latter in a more particular application to the study of astronomy, But in 1673 he was appointed to the pro fessorship which Wren was oblig ed to resign, as, by the statutes of the founder, Sir Henry Saville, the professors are not allowed to hold any other office, either ecclesiastical or civil.
About this time a scheme was set on foot at Oxford, of collecting and pub lishing the ancient mathematicians. Mr. Bernard, who had first formed the pro ject, collected all the old books published on that subject since the invention of printing, and all the manuscripts he could discover in the Bodleian and Savilian libraries, which he arranged in order of time, and according to the matter they contained ; of this he drew up a synopsis or view ; and, as a specimen, he publish ed a few sheets of Euclid, containing the Greek text, and a Latin version, with Proclus's commentary in Greek and La tin, and learned scholia and corollaries. The synopsis itself' was published by Dr. Smith, at the end of his life of our author, under the title of " Veterum Matheroati corum Grxcorum, Latinorum, et Arabum, Synopsis." And at the end of it there is a catalogue of some Greek writers, whose works are supposed to be lost in their own language, but are preserved in the Syriac or Arabic translations of them.
Toward the latter end of his life he was much afflicted with the stone ; yet, notwithstanding this, and other infirmi ties, he undertook a voyage to Holland, to attend the sale of Golius's manuscripts, as he had once before done at the sale of Heinsius's library. On his return to Eng land, he fell into a languishing consump tion, which put an end to his life the 12th of January, 1696, in the 58th year of his age. He was the author of many valu able works.