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Encyclopedia > John Aubrey
John Aubrey.
John Aubrey.

John Aubrey (March 12, 1626June 7, 1697) was an English antiquary and writer, best known as the author of the collection of short biographical pieces usually referred to as Brief Lives and as the discoverer of the Aubrey holes in Stonehenge. John Aubrey may refer to: John Aubrey (1626–1697), the antiquary and writer Several of the Aubrey Baronets, including: Sir John Aubrey, 1st Baronet (c. ... Image File history File links John_aubrey. ... Image File history File links John_aubrey. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events September 30 - Nurhaci, chieftain of the Jurchens and founder of the Qing Dynasty dies and is succeeded by his son Hong Taiji. ... is the 158th day of the year (159th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events September 11 - Battle of Zenta, Prince Eugene of Savoy crushed Ottoman army of Mustafa II September 20 - The Treaty of Ryswick December 2 – St Pauls Cathedral opened in London Peter the Great travels in Europe officially incognito as artilleryman Pjotr Mikhailov Use of palanquins increases in Europe Christopher... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... An antiquarian is one concerned with antiquities or things of the past. ... Brief Lives is a collection of short biographies written by John Aubrey in the last decades of the seventeenth century. ... Aubrey holes are a ring of 56 pits at Stonehenge named after the seventeenth century antiquarian, John Aubrey. ... For other uses, see Stonehenge (disambiguation). ...

He was born at Easton Piers or Percy, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, of a well-off gentry family of the border region. His grandfather, Isaac Lyte, lived at Lytes Cary Manor, Somerset, now owned by the National Trust. Richard Aubrey, his father, owned lands in Wiltshire and Herefordshire. For many years an only child, he was educated at home, with a private tutor, "melancholy" in his solitude. His father was not intellectual, preferring field sports to learning. Aubrey read such books as came his way, including Bacon's Essays, and studied geometry in secret. He was educated at the Malmesbury grammar school under Robert Latimer, who had numbered Thomas Hobbes among his earlier pupils, and at Latimer's house Aubrey first met the philosopher whose biography he was later to write. He then studied at the grammar school at Blandford Forum, Dorset. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, in 1642, but his studies were interrupted by the English Civil War. His earliest antiquarian work dates from this period in Oxford. In 1646 he became a student of the Middle Temple. He spent a pleasant time at Trinity in 1647, making friends among his Oxford contemporaries, and collecting books. He spent much of his time in the country, and in 1649 he first 'discovered' the megalithic remains at Avebury, which he later mapped and discussed in his important antiquarian work Monumenta Britannica. He was to show Avebury to Charles II at the King's request in 1663. His father died in 1652, leaving Aubrey large estates, but with them some complicated debts. , Malmesbury is a south Cotswold town and civil parish in south west England in the county of Wiltshire. ... A grammar school is a school that may, depending on regional usage as exemplified below, provide either secondary education or, a much less common usage, primary education (also known as elementary). Grammar schools trace their origins back to medieval Europe, as schools in which university preparatory subjects, such as Latin... Hobbes redirects here. ... College name The College of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity and Sir Thomas Pope (Knight) Named after The Holy Trinity Established 1555 Sister College Churchill College President Sir Ivor Roberts KCMG MA JCR President Richard Appleton Undergraduates 298 MCR President Andrew Ng Graduates 105 Homepage Boatclub See also Trinity... For other uses, see English Civil War (disambiguation). ... Part of Middle Temple c. ... Megalithic tomb, Mane Braz, Brittany Bronze age wedge tomb in the Burren area of Ireland For the record label, see Megalith Records. ... Avebury Village framed by the Stone Circle Avebury (the traditional local pronunciation is Abury) is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ...

Blessed with charm, generosity of spirit and enthusiasm, Aubrey went on to become acquainted with many of the most celebrated writers, scientists, politicians and aristocrats of his day, as well as an extraordinary breadth of minor individuals: booksellers, merchants, the royal seamstress, mathematical-instrument-makers. He claimed that his memory was 'not tenacious' by seventeenth-century standards, but from the early 1640s he kept thorough (if haphazard) notes of observations in natural philosophy, his friends' ideas, and antiquities. He also began to write Lives of scientists in the 1650s. In 1660 he proposed to several of his fellow-Wiltshiremen that they should collaborate on a survey of Wiltshire. The others did nothing about it, but Aubrey produced a huge 2-volume (if unfinished) collection, the Wiltshire Antiquities, including some biographical material. Indeed, Aubrey's erstwhile friend and fellow-antiquarian Anthony Wood predicted that he would one day break his neck while running downstairs in haste to interview some retreating guest or other. Aubrey was an apolitical Royalist, who enjoyed the innovations characteristic of the Interregnum period while deploring the rupture in traditions and the destruction of ancient buildings brought about by civil war and religious change. He drank the King's health in Interregnum Herefordshire, but with equal enthusiasm attended meetings in London of the republican Rota Club, founded by James Harrington (the author of Oceana). Anthony Wood or Anthony à Wood (December 17, 1632 - November 28, 1695) was an English antiquary. ... Portrait of James Harrington, oil on canvas, c. ...

In 1663 Aubrey became a member of the Royal Society. He lost estate after estate due to lawsuits, till in 1670 he parted with his last piece of property and ancestral home, Easton Piers. From this time he was dependent on the hospitality of his numerous friends. In 1667 he had made the acquaintance of Anthony Wood at Oxford, and when Wood began to gather materials for his Athenae Oxonienses, Aubrey offered to collect information for him. From time to time he forwarded memoranda in a uniquely casual, epistolary style, and in 1680 he began to promise the work "Minutes for Lives," which Wood was to use at his discretion. Year 1663 (MDCLXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ...

Aubrey approached the work of the biographer much as his contemporary scientists had begun to approach the work of empirical research by the assembly of vast museums and small collection cabinets. Collating as much information as he could, he left the task of verification largely to Wood, and thereafter to posterity. As a hanger-on in great houses, he had little time and little inclination for systematic work, and he wrote the "Lives" in the early morning while his hosts were sleeping off the effects of the night before. These texts were, as Aubrey entitled them, Schediasmata, 'pieces written extempore, on the spur of the moment'. Time after time, he leaves marks of omission in the form of dashes and ellipses for dates and facts, inserting fresh information whenever it is presented to him. The margins of his notebooks are dotted with notes-to-self, most frequently the Latin 'quaere'. This exhortation, to 'go and find out' is often followed. In the 'Brief Life' of Father Harcourt, Aubrey notes that one Roydon, a brewer living in Southwark, was reputed to be in possession of Harcourt's petrified kidney. 'I have seen it', he writes approvingly, 'he much values it'.

Aubrey himself valued the evidence of his own eyes above all, and he took great pains to ensure that, where possible, he noted the final resting places not only of people, but also of their portraits and papers. Though his work has frequently been accused of inaccuracy, this charge is somewhat misguided. In most cases, Aubrey simply wrote what he had seen, or heard. When transcribing hearsay, he displays an astonishingly meticulous approach to the ascription of sources. Take the fascinating 'Life' of Thomas Chaloner (who, Aubrey notes wryly, was fond of spreading rumours in the concourse of Westminster Hall, and coming back after lunch to find them changed, as in a game of Chinese whispers). When an inaccurate and bawdy anecdote about Chaloner's death is found to be about James Chaloner, rather than Thomas, Aubrey lets the initial story stand in the text, while marking it as such in a marginal note. A number of similar occurrences suggest that Aubrey was interested not only in the oral history he was noting down, but in the very processes of transmission and corruption by which it was formed[citation needed].

As private, manuscript texts, the 'Lives' were able to contain the richly controversial material which is their chief interest, and Aubrey's chief contribution to the formation of modern biographical writing. When he allowed Anthony Wood to use the texts, however, he entered the caveat that much of the content of the Lives was 'not fitt to be let flie abroad' while the subjects, and the author, were still living. He asked Wood to be 'my index expurgatorius': a reference to the Church's list of banned books, which Wood seems to have taken not as a warning, but as a licence to simply extract pages of notes to paste into his own proofs. In 1692, Aubrey complained bitterly that Wood had mutilated forty pages of his manuscript, perhaps for fear of a libel case.

Wood was eventually prosecuted for insinuations against the judicial integrity of the school of Clarendon. One of the two statements called in question was founded on information provided by Aubrey and this may explain the estrangement between the two antiquaries and the ungrateful account that Wood gives of the elder man's character. It is now famous: "a shiftless person, roving and magotie-headed, and sometimes little better than crased. And being exceedingly credulous, would stuff his many letters sent to A. W. with folliries and misinformations, which would sometimes guid him into the paths of errour."

Late in life, Aubrey began a History of Northern Wiltshire but, feeling that was too old to finish it properly, he made over his material, around 1695, to Thomas Tanner, afterwards Bishop of St Asaph. In the next year was published his only completed work, though not his most valuable: the Miscellanies. Aubrey died of an apoplexy while travelling, in June 1697, and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford. There have been several notable people with the name Thomas Tanner: Thomas Tanner (bishop) Thomas Tanner (writer) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Bishop of Saint Asaph is the Ordinary of the Church in Wales Diocese of Saint Asaph. ...

Beside the works already mentioned, his papers included: "Architectonica Sacra" (notes on ecclesiastical antiquities) and the "Life of Mr Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury," which served as the basis for Dr. Blackburn's Latin life, and also for Wood's account. Some parts of his survey of Surrey were incorporated in R Rawlinson's Natural History and Antiquities of Surrey (1719); some of his antiquarian notes on Wiltshire were printed in Wiltshire: the Topographical Collections, corrected and enlarged by JE Jackson (Devizes: Henry Bull, 1862); part of another manuscript on "The Natural History of Wiltshire" was printed by John Britton in 1847 for the Wiltshire Topographical Society. A 2-volume facsimile with a transcript of part of his Monumenta Britannica was published by John Fowles and Rodney Legg in 1980. the Miscellanies were edited in 1890 for the Library of Old Authors; the "Minutes for Lives" were partially edited in 1813. A near-complete transcript, Brief Lives chiefly of Contemporaries set down John Aubrey between the Years 1669 and 1696, was edited for the Clarendon Press in 1898 by the Rev. Andrew Clark from manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This is still the best edition available, despite a number of excisions to spare late-Victorian blushes. More readily available is John Buchanan-Brown's serviceable Penguin paperback (Harmondsworth, 2000). This edition incorporates an excellent short introduction by Michael Hunter, whose John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning (London: Duckworth, 1975) is indispensable. Kate Bennett argues for a connection between "John Aubrey's collections and the early modern museum" in the Bodleian Library Record for 2001, and her doctoral thesis in the Bodleian begins the task of editing the Lives, further discussed in Bray, Handley and Henry, eds, Marking the Text (2000). She discusses his earliest antiquarian work in Oxoniensia LXIV (1999). Richard Rawlinson (February 3, 1690 - April 6, 1755) was an English clergyman and antiquary. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... Entrance to the Library, with the coats-of-arms of several Oxford colleges The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England is second in size only to the British Library. ...

See also John Britton, Memoir of John Aubrey (1845); David Masson, in the British Quarterly Review, July 1856; Émile Montégut, Heures de lecture d'un critique (1891); and a catalogue of Aubrey's selections in The Life and Times of Anthony Wood ..., by Andrew Clark (Oxford, 1891-1900, vol. iv. pp. 191-193), which contains many other references to Aubrey. For a more recent biography, see John Aubrey and his Friends by Anthony Powell (1948). Jean-Baptiste Joseph Émile Montégut (June 14, 1825 - December 11, 1895), was a French critic. ... Anthony Dymoke Powell, CH (December 21, 1905 - March 28, 2000) was a British novelist best known for his A Dance to the Music of Time duodecalogy published between 1951 and 1975. ...

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Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
John Aubrey

  Results from FactBites:
John Aubrey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1424 words)
John Aubrey (March 12, 1626–June, 1697) was an English antiquary and writer, best known as the author of the collection of short biographical pieces usually referred to as Brief Lives.
Aubrey approached the work of the biographer much as his contemporary scientists had begun to approach the work of empirical research by the assembly of vast museums and small collection cabinets.
Aubrey died of an apoplexy while travelling, in June 1697, and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford.
John Suckling (poet) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (907 words)
His father was Sir John Suckling, a courtier and his mother was Elizabeth Cranfield, sister of Sir Lionel Cranfield, 1st of Earl of Middlesex.
Aubrey says that he invented the game of cribbage, and relates that his sisters came weeping to the bowling green at Piccadilly to dissuade him from play, fearing that he would lose their portions.
The manner of his death is uncertain, but Aubrey's statement that he put an end to his life by poison in May or June 1642 in fear of poverty is generally accepted.
  More results at FactBites »



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