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.



Wright was born near Ludlow at Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire [1] 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] 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. [2]

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. [2]

In 1859 he superintended the excavations of the Roman town of Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), near Shrewsbury, and issued a report. A portrait of him is in the Drawing Room Portrait Gallery for 1 October 1859. [2]

He was a noted scholar, but will be chiefly remembered as an industrious antiquary and the editor of many relics of the Middle Ages. [2] 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." [3]

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

Selected works


  1. 1 2 "Wright, Thomas (WRT830T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Chisholm 1911.
  3. Bridgett, Thomas Edward. "Dogberry as a Critic", Irish Monthly, The Irish Monthly, Vol. 5, 1877, p. 747
  4. "Review: The Canterbury's Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer edited by Thomas Wright". The Athenæum: 294–295. 15 March 1851.

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