Thomas Wright (antiquarian)

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Thomas Wright c. 1859 Thomas Wright (antiquarian) 1859.jpg
Thomas Wright c. 1859

Thomas Wright (23 April 1810 – 23 December 1877) was an English antiquarian and writer.

Antiquarian Specialist or aficionado of antiquities or things of the past

An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient artifacts, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts. The essence of antiquarianism is a focus on the empirical evidence of the past, and is perhaps best encapsulated in the motto adopted by the 18th-century antiquary Sir Richard Colt Hoare, "We speak from facts, not theory."

Contents

Life

Wright was born near Ludlow, Shropshire, descended from a Quaker family formerly living at Bradford. He was educated at Ludlow Grammar School and at Trinity College, Cambridge, whence he graduated in 1834. [1]

Ludlow market town in Shropshire, England

Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England, 28 miles (45 km) south of Shrewsbury and 23 miles (37 km) north of Hereford via the main A49 road, which bypasses the town. With a population of approximately 11,000, Ludlow is the largest town in South Shropshire. The town is significant in the history of the Welsh Marches and neighbouring Wales.

Bradford City and metropolitan borough in England

Bradford is a city in West Yorkshire, England, in the foothills of the Pennines, 8.6 miles (14 km) west of Leeds, and 16 miles (26 km) north-west of Wakefield. Bradford became a municipal borough in 1847, and received its charter as a city in 1897. Following local government reform in 1974, city status was bestowed upon the City of Bradford metropolitan borough.

Trinity College, Cambridge constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England

Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England. With around 600 undergraduates, 300 graduates, and over 180 fellows, it is the largest college in either of the Oxbridge universities by number of undergraduates. In terms of total student numbers, it is second only to Homerton College, Cambridge.

While at Cambridge he contributed to the Gentleman's Magazine and other periodicals, and in 1835 he came to London to devote himself to a literary career.

His first separate work was Early English Poetry in Black Letter, with Prefaces and Notes (1836, 4 vols. 12mo), which was followed during the next forty years by an extensive series of publications, many of lasting value. He helped to found the British Archaeological Association and the Percy, Camden and Shakespeare Societies. In 1842 he was elected corresponding member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres of Paris, and was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries as well as member of many other learned British and foreign bodies.

The British Archaeological Association (BAA) was founded in 1843 and aims to inspire, support and disseminate high quality research in the fields of Western archaeology, art and architecture, primarily of the mediaeval period, through lectures, conferences, study days and publications.

The Percy Society was a British text publication society. It was founded in 1840 and collapsed in 1852.

The Camden Society was a text publication society founded in London in 1838 to publish early historical and literary materials, both unpublished manuscripts and new editions of rare printed books. It was named after the 16th-century antiquary and historian William Camden. In 1897 it merged with the Royal Historical Society, which continues to publish texts in what are now known as the Camden Series.

In 1859 he superintended the excavations of the Roman town of Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), near Shrewsbury, and issued a report.

Roman Empire Period of Imperial Rome following the Roman Republic (27 BC–476 AD)

The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome, consisting of large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean sea in Europe, North Africa and West Asia ruled by emperors. From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and its city of Rome as sole capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when it sent the imperial insignia to Constantinople following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustus. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

Viroconium Cornoviorum Roman town, near Wroxeter in modern-day Shropshire, England

Viroconium or Uriconium, formally Viroconium Cornoviorum, was a Roman town, one corner of which is now occupied by Wroxeter, a small village in Shropshire, England, about 5 miles (8.0 km) east-south-east of Shrewsbury. At its peak, Viroconium is estimated to have been the 4th-largest Roman settlement in Britain, a civitas with a population of more than 15,000. The settlement probably lasted until the end of the 7th century or the beginning of the 8th. Extensive remains can still be seen.

Wroxeter village in the United Kingdom

Wroxeter is a village in Shropshire, England, which forms part of the civil parish of Wroxeter and Uppington, beside the River Severn, 5 miles (8.0 km) south-east of Shrewsbury.

A portrait of him is in the Drawing Room Portrait Gallery for 1 October 1859.

He was a great scholar, but will be chiefly remembered as an industrious antiquary and the editor of many relics of the Middle Ages. English priest and historical writer, Thomas Edward Bridgett observed, "It is only when he has to speak of the Catholic church that he is bitter and unfair." [2]

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Thomas Edward Bridgett was an English priest and historical writer.

He died in his 67th year at Chelsea, Surrey, and was buried in Brompton Cemetery.

Selected works

Notes

  1. "Wright, Thomas (WRT830T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Bridgett, Thomas Edward. "Dogberry as a Critic", Irish Monthly, The Irish Monthly, Vol. 5, 1877, p. 747
  3. "Review: The Canterbury's Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer edited by Thomas Wright". The Athenæum: 294–295. 15 March 1851.

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