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Sir Richard Colt Hoare

(1758—1838) landowner and antiquary

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(1758–1838) [Bi]

British antiquary and traveller, who engaged William Cunnington to carry out a number of excavations in the county of Wiltshire. He was born to abundant wealth in a family of bankers, being educated at private schools before joining the family business. He lived at Stourhead, a large estate with land in Wiltshire, Dorset, and Somerset, which he took over at the age of 25. After some years of foreign travel he took more interest in the local area, and this brought him face to face with the rich antiquities of Salisbury Plain. These he started to research, eventually opening no fewer than 468 barrows in the process, and between 1812 and 1821 he privately published two substantial volumes entitled The ancient history of Wiltshire (reprinted 1975, Wakefield: EP Publishing). The opening line of the first volume, ‘We speak from facts, not theory’, echoes much of the inductivist thinking of early 19th‐century antiquarianism.


K. Woodbridge, 1970, Landscape and antiquity. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Subjects: Archaeology

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