Berwick, Edward (1754?–1820), classicist and anglican clergyman, was born in Co. Down, son of Duke Berwick, gentleman. After attending the Rev. Saumarez Dubourdieu's school in Lisburn, Co. Antrim, he entered TCD (1770), gained a scholarship (1773), and graduated BA (1774). He angered the provost, John Hely-Hutchinson (qv), who was attempting to turn Trinity into a family borough, by not pledging his vote to Hutchinson's son in the parliamentary election of May 1776, and was deprived of his scholarship. Hutchinson's antipathy to Berwick probably also stemmed from his belief that he had written some squibs that appeared in the Freeman's Journal and Hibernian Journal in 1774, lampooning Hutchinson's tyranny and venality and dubbing him ‘Prancer’ for his efforts to establish a riding school in the college. Probably the work of several authors, one of whom was Berwick, these squibs were afterwards collected and published as Prancerania (1775); a later volume was published as Prancerania poetica (1779). On 3 January 1775 they were roundly condemned by Trinity's senior fellows as ‘scandalous and malicious’ (Scully, 241). Berwick appealed to the college visitors, who on 18 April 1776 restored his scholarship, but his difficulties continued: Hutchinson refused to accept Berwick's vote against his son in the ensuing election, which led Berwick to take an unsuccessful court case against him.
Berwick was ordained in 1776, and became vicar of Leixlip, Co. Kildare (1779–1820), where he mostly resided, and of Tullylish, Co. Down (1787–95). In 1795 he became rector of Clongish, Co. Longford (–1820), and private chaplain to Francis Rawdon Hastings (qv), earl of Moira; he was also chaplain to the earl of Granard. With his two livings (administered by curates) each worth about £500 a year, and salaries from his chaplaincies, Berwick was comfortably off. Described as a ‘mild, charitable and humane’ man, with ‘a great sense of humour and a charming temper’ (Grattan, iv, 22–3), he was politically liberal, and a lifelong supporter of catholic emancipation. He was friendly with several leading liberals and radicals including Henry Grattan (qv), John Philpot Curran (qv), T. W. Tone (qv), and Thomas Russell (qv). Tone dubbed him ‘The Abbé’ and noted that he ‘has a species of something like rationality’ (Moody, 249). He was also linked to Grattan through his marriage to Anne Bermingham, a relative of Grattan, and they were regular correspondents, forming a literary circle with Curran, Francis Hardy (qv), the antiquary Joseph Cooper Walker (qv), and the poet William Preston (qv); it was Berwick and Grattan who prevailed on Hardy to publish his life of Lord Charlemont (qv). Berwick wrote a series of squibs for Robert Stewart (qv) during the parliamentary election for Co. Down in 1790, and compiled a collection of 144 pamphlets and broadsides entitled ‘The County Down election 1790’ (NLI). In 1798 he was accused of harbouring rebels and threatened with arrest by Lord Carhampton (qv) after he attempted to stop military excesses at Leixlip and tended in his home some peasants who had been wounded by yeomanry.
His best-known classical publication was the first complete translation from the Greek of Philostratus's Life of Apollonius of Tyana (1809). It was a controversial work, as a previous translation had stressed the similarity between the lives of Apollonius and Christ, but Berwick maintained that by publishing it in full he was refuting such allegations. His other classical publications included the Lives of Marcus Valerius, Messala Corvinus and Titus Pomponius Atticus (1812), the Lives of Caius Asinius Pollis, Marcus Terrentius Varro and Cneius Cornelius Gallus (1814), and Memoirs of Scipio Africanus (1817). He also published A treatise on the government of the church. (1811). He assisted Sir Walter Scott's research into the life of Jonathan Swift (qv), published a review of Scott's work entitled A defence of Jonathan Swift (1819), and is credited with preserving the transcript of Swift's correspondence with Vanessa, which was once believed to be lost. Commissioned by Moira to edit the correspondence of Archbishop John Bramhall (qv), he published it as the Rawdon papers (1819). According to George Moore (qv), Berwick ‘wrote the best English prose that ever came out of Ireland’ (January 1915; John Eglinton (ed.), Letters of George Moore (n.d.), 25), and Moore appears to have modelled the style of production of his works on Berwick's Apollonius. Berwick died 5 June 1820 at Esker, Leixlip, and is buried in the local Convey graveyard.
He married first (7 January 1791) Anne Bermingham of Monkstown, Co. Dublin, who died aged 24, and with whom he had at least two sons, George and Walter Berwick (qv); after her death he married (11 December 1802) Rebecca Shuldham (d. 1855) of Ballymulvey, Co. Longford, and had another son, Edward Berwick (b. 7 July 1804), who graduated BA from TCD in 1827 and was called to the bar in 1832. He became a vice-president of QCG (1845) and was nominally professor of history and English literature from 1845 until appointed president in 1849. Although he had little opportunity to teach, he was involved in structuring the BA degree and establishing history and English literature in the curriculum. He was mainly an administrator and published little besides his President's reports. In his Address delivered . . . at the close of session 1849–50 (1850), he rejected charges that the queen's colleges were anti-national or proselytising. He remained president of QCG until his death on 7 March 1877.