Thomas Wotton (genealogist)

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Thomas Wotton (died 1766), was an English antiquarian and genealogist, best remembered for his work The English Baronetage (1727, 1741).

Contents

Origins

Wotton was the son of Matthew Wotton, who kept a bookshop at the Three Daggers and Queen's Head, near St. Dunstan's Church, Fleet Street, London (where the 1741 edition of his Baronetage was published). [1] According to John Dunton, the elder Wotton was "a very courteous, obliging man" of the highest character, whose trade "lay much among the lawyers". Thomas Wotton succeeded to his father's business and carried it on for many years, but had retired by the time of his death.

John Dunton was an English bookseller and author. In 1691 he founded The Athenian Society to publish The Athenian Mercury, the first major popular periodical and first miscellaneous periodical in England. In 1693, for four weeks, The Athenian Society published also The Ladies' Mercury, the first periodical published that was specifically designed just for women.

Career

Wotton was Warden of the Stationers' Company in 1754 and Master in 1757. Among the works of others published by him were John Rushworth's Historical Collections and editions of the works of Francis Bacon and John Selden.

John Rushworth English lawyer, historian and politician

John Rushworth was an English lawyer, historian and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1657 and 1685. He compiled a series of works covering the English Civil Wars throughout the 17th century called Historical Collections and also known as the Rushworth Papers.

Francis Bacon English philosopher and statesman

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.

John Selden English jurist and scholar of Englands ancient laws and constitution, and of Jewish law

John Selden was an English jurist, a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law. He was known as a polymath; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned men reputed in this land."

Works

English Baronetage, 1st Edition (1727)

In 1727 he issued in three small (16mo) volumes his English Baronetage. Being a Genealogical and Historical Account of their Families. It was dedicated to Holland Egerton of Heaton, Lancashire, son of Sir John Egerton, Baronet, of Wrine Hall, Staffordshire. William Holman of Halstead, Essex, and Thornhaugh Gurdon of Norfolk had placed their collections at his disposal and great assistance had been given by Arthur Collins, who himself had published a Baronetage in 1720. The work is divided into five sections, containing an account of the institution of the order by King James I, the descents, creations, successions, and public employments of the baronets; correct lists of existing and extinct baronets, exact tables of precedence, and an account of the institution of the order in Nova Scotia and Ireland. An explanatory index of terms in heraldry is appended. The baronets are listed by date of creation, not by alphabetical order.

Arthur Collins (1682–1760) was an English antiquarian, genealogist, and historian. He is most known for his work Peerage of England.

English Baronetage, 2nd Edition (1741)

In 1741 Wotton published in five octavo volumes a revised and enlarged edition, which often is erroneously attributed to Collins. The title is The English Baronetage, Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of all the English Baronets now Existing, their Descents, Marriages and Issues, Memorable Actions both in War and Peace, Religious and Charitable Donations, Deaths, Places of Burial and Monumental Inscriptions, etc.... In it were incorporated manuscript notes furnished by Robert Smyth, who had published a volume of corrections and additions. Peter Le Neve, who published three folio volumes on the same subject, also rendered valuable assistance to Wotton in preparing this edition. Letters, notes, and pedigrees furnished to Wotton for his Baronetage are in the British Library catalogued as British Museum Additional Manuscripts, 24114–21.

Octavo, a Latin word meaning "in eighth" or "for the eighth time", is a technical term describing the format of a book, which refers to the size of leaves produced from folding a full sheet of paper on which multiple pages of text were printed to form the individual sections of a book. An octavo is a book or pamphlet made up of one or more full sheets on which 16 pages of text were printed, which were then folded three times to produce eight leaves. Each leaf of an octavo book thus represents one eighth the size of the original sheet. Other common book formats are folios and quartos. Octavo is also used as a general description of size of books that are about 8 to 10 inches tall, and as such does not necessarily indicate the actual printing format of the books, which may even be unknown as is the case for many modern books. These terms are discussed in greater detail in book sizes.

Peter Le Neve British herald and antiquary

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English Baronetage, 3rd Edition (1771)

In 1771, after Wotton's death, a further edition of the Baronetage was issued in three volumes, under the editorship of Richard Johnson and Edward Kimber. The copy in the British Museum contains manuscript notes by Francis Hargrave. The arrangement of each edition is chronological.

Edward Kimber (1719–1769) was an English novelist, journalist and compiler of reference works.

Francis Hargrave English lawyer, judge and antiquary

Francis Hargrave (c.1741–1821) was an English lawyer and antiquary. He was the most prominent of the five advocates who appeared on behalf of James Somersett in the case which determined, in 1772, the legal status of slaves in England. Although the case was Hargrave's first, his efforts on the occasion secured his reputation.

Death

Wotton died at Point Pleasant, Surrey, on 1 April 1766.

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References

  1. As stated on title page

Norgate, Gerald le Grys (1900). "Wotton, Thomas"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 63. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Norgate, Gerald le Grys (1900). "Wotton, Thomas". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 63. London: Smith, Elder & Co.