John Le Neve

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John Le Neve (1679–1741) was an English antiquary, known for his Fasti Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ ("Feasts of the Anglican Church"), a work of English church biography which has been published in many subsequent editions.



He was born on 27 December 1679 in Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London, the only son of John Le Neve (d.1693, buried in Westminster Abbey 2 August 1693 [1] ), by his second wife Amy Bent (d.12 December 1687), daughter of John Bent of London, a member of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors. His grandfather, another John Le Neve, resided firstly at Cavendish, Suffolk and later in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. His father's first wife had been Frances Monck (1633-1677), buried in Westminster Abbey, a daughter of Colonel Thomas Monck of Potheridge, Devon, the brother of General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670), by whom he had a daughter Mary le Neve, who died an infant. [2] His uncle Richard le Neve (d.1673) was a sea-captain who died in action against the Dutch in 1673 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, while another of his uncles, Edmund le Neve (d. 1689), was a barrister of the Middle Temple.

Youth and education

Le Neve's mother died on 12 December 1687, when he was eight years old, and at the age of twelve he was sent to Eton College as an oppidan. His father died on 20 July 1693 when Le Neve was fourteen, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, as were both his wives. He succeeded to a small amount of property and became a ward of his kinsman (whose exact relationship to him has not been traced) Peter Le Neve (1661-1729), the herald and antiquary. Another of his guardians was his first cousin John Boughton, whose sister he married in 1699. From Eton he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was admitted in 1694 and matriculated in 1696, but left without taking a degree. [3]


All his works were loss-making, and he fell into difficulties. At the age of 41 he took holy orders and in January 1722 was presented by his patron William Fleetwood to the rectory of Thornton-le-Moor in Lincolnshire. His creditors pursued him and in December 1722 he was imprisoned in Lincoln gaol for insolvency.

Marriage and progeny

Le Neve married by licence dated 25 January 1698–9 at St George the Martyr, Southwark, his first cousin Frances Boughton, second daughter of Thomas Boughton of King's Cliffe, Northamptonshire by his wife Elizabeth Le Neve, sister of Le Neve's father. By his wife Le Neve had eight children.


He died at some time before 23 May 1741.



  1. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.570, pedigree of Monk of Potheridge
  2. Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, pp.569-70, pedigree of Monk of Potheridge
  3. "Le Neve, John (NV694J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. Memoirs, British and Foreign, of the Lives and Families of the most Illustrious Persons who died in the years 1711 and 1712,' 2 vols.
  5. Preface to Browne Willis's Survey (1742 ed.), 1 i.

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