Joseph Hunter (antiquarian)

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Joseph Hunter
Joseph Hunter.jpg
Born(1783-02-06)6 February 1783
Sheffield, England
Died9 May 1861(1861-05-09) (aged 78)
London, England

Joseph Hunter FSA (6 February 1783 – 9 May 1861) was a Unitarian Minister, antiquarian, and deputy keeper of public records now best known for his publications Hallamshire. The History and Topography of the Parish of Sheffield in the County of York, the two-volume South Yorkshire (a history of the Deanery of Doncaster), still considered among the best works written on the history of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, [1] and his 1852 pamphlet on Robin Hood in which he argued that a servant of this name at the court of Edward II was identical with the famous outlaw. His name was adopted by the Hunter Archaeological Society.



Hunter was born in Sheffield on 6 February 1783 to cutler Michael Hunter (1759–1831) and Elizabeth Girdler (1761–1787) [2] in a house on the north side of New Church Street (a site now occupied by the Town Hall). Following the death of his mother in 1787 he was placed under the guardianship of Joseph Evans, a minister at Upper Chapel. [2] He went to school in Attercliffe and subsequently served an apprenticeship as a cutler, obtaining his freedom of the Cutler's Company in September 1804. [3] However, in 1805 he left Sheffield to study theology at Manchester College in York. [2]

In 1809 he moved to Bath to take up a post as a Unitarian Minister at Trim Street Chapel, [4] there he met and married Mary Hayward, [5] with whom he would have six children, [2] one of whom, Sylvester Joseph Hunter, converted to Catholicism and became a Jesuit priest. In 1833 he moved to London to work at the Record Commission as Assistant Keeper of Public Records. In 1843, he was granted a coat of arms and chose as his motto Vita si Cervina (avoid me if you are a deer). [3] He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1856. [6] He died in 1861 and is buried at Ecclesfield Parish Church in Sheffield.

From his schooldays onwards, he had been an enthusiastic collector of memorial inscriptions and similar genealogical gleanings. [5] At the time of his death, much of his research remained unpublished. His papers were deposited in the British Museum (now the British Library). Between 1894 and 1896, the Harleian Society published four volumes of his collection of pedigrees under the title Familiae Minorum Gentium.

Hunter Archaeological Society

The Hunter Archaeological Society, which was formed in 1912 "to study and report on the archaeology, history and architecture of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire", was named in his honour. [7]

List of publications (excluding articles and papers)

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  1. Wood, Michael (1999). "Tinsley Wood". In Search of England Journeys into the English Past. University of California Press. pp. 203–221. ISBN   0-520-23218-6.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Manning, John Edmondson (1900). A History of Upper Chapel, Sheffield. Sheffield: The Independent Press. pp.  86–92. OCLC   19012007.
  3. 1 2 Gunn, James M A (March 2005). "Reverend Joseph Hunter". Genealogists' Magazine. 28 (5): 196.
  4. Odom, William (1926). "Hunter, Joseph, F.S.A.". Hallamshire Worthies. Sheffield: Northend. pp. 12–14.
  5. 1 2 Hunter, Sylvester Joseph (1861). A brief memoir of the late Joseph Hunter, with a catalogue of his publications. John Edward Taylor.
  6. "MemberList | American Antiquarian Society".
  7. "The Society". The Hunter Archaeological Society. Archived from the original on 23 September 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2006.