FARMER, DR. RICHARD, descended from a respectable family in Leicestershire, was born at Leicester, August 28, 1735. Ile received the early part of his education in the Free Grammar School of his native town, and in 1753 was entered a pensioner of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In due time he took his degrees ; was elected fellow, and in 1760 because classical tutor of Emmanuel College, which office he held until his election to the mastership in 1775. He served the office of Vice.Chaocellor in the same year, and in 1778 was elected Chief Librarian to the University. In 1780 he was collated to a prebendal stall at Lichfield, aud some time afterwards became Prebendary of Canterbury, which he resigned (1783) for the office of a Canon Residentiary at St. Paul's. He died after a loug and painful illness, at Emmanuel Lodge, September 8, 1797, and was buried in the chapel. An epitaph to his memory was written by Dr. Parr, and is inscribed on the college cloisters. Dr. Farmer collected a valuable library of tracts aud early English literature, which was eold after his death and produced, as it is said, a great deal more than it originally cost.
Dr. Farmer was a tory in politics, and belonged to the party which goes by the name of orthodox,' iu the church ; his manners were frank aud unreserved, and his habits rather those of a boon companion than of a clergyman. It is reported of him that he declined a bishopric rather than forego his favourite amusemeut of seeing Shakepere performed on the etage, a reason which, if founded on truth, had at all events more cogeucy in the time of Garrick than at present. Dr. Farmer is now only remembered by his 'Essay on the Learning of Shakspeare,' a work which, on its first appearance, was described as learned, ingenious, and laborious. It deserves this character, but no more. It cbotaius the result of much reading, but is distinguished by neither taste nor judgment.