Camden, William

Camden, William

▪ British historian
born May 2, 1551, London, Eng.
died Nov. 9, 1623, Chislehurst, Kent
 English antiquary, a pioneer of historical method, and author of Britannia, the first comprehensive topographical survey of England.

      Educated at Christ's Hospital and St. Paul's School, Camden was admitted to Magdalen College, Oxford, but moved to Broadgates Hall (later Pembroke College) and then to Christ Church, becoming B.A. in 1573. In 1571 he had moved to London, and in 1575 he was appointed second master of Westminster School and in 1593 headmaster. In 1595 he published a Greek grammar. In 1589 Camden was granted the prebend of Ilfracombe and in 1597 was appointed Clarenceux king-of-arms. He was thereby relieved of a schoolmaster's chores and given more time for writing.

      From the time he left Oxford, Camden devoted his leisure to antiquarian studies and spent his vacations traveling the country, collecting material for his Britannia (1586), a topographical survey of England in Latin. He planned to write a general history of England but published only a number of medieval chronicles and some of his commonplace collections (Remaines; 1605). In 1607 he began his Annales Rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum Regnante Elizabetha (“Annals of the Affairs of England and Ireland During the Reign of Elizabeth”). The first volume, which took the story down to 1588, was published in 1615. The second, completed in 1617, was not published until two years after his death. Camden's work has been the basis of most later accounts of Elizabeth I's reign. Criticism has been leveled at his treatment of the Mary, Queen of Scots, episode, and it was alleged that he altered his account to please James I.

      Camden suffered from poor health, and in 1618 he retired to Chislehurst, Kent. Before his death he founded a chair of history at the University of Oxford. The Camden Society, founded in 1838, published many historical documents and was merged with the Royal Historical Society in 1897.

      Camden was an active member of the Society of Antiquaries, founded about 1585, which laid the foundations for the school of 17th-century historians. Camden was the first to recognize the importance of ancient languages in the study of place-names and to make known the existence of Romano-British coins.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • CAMDEN, William — (1551 1623) William Camden was important both as an antiquarian and a historian, as exemplified, respectively, by his topographical survey Britannia and his Annales rerum Anglicarum et Hibernicarum regnante Elizabetha (Annals of English and Irish …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Camden, William — (1551 1623)    Antiquary and historian, b. in London, and ed. at Christ s Hospital, St. Paul s School, and Oxf., was in 1575 appointed Second Master in Westminster School, and Head Master in 1593, and spent his vacations in travelling over… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Camden, William — (1551 1623)    English antiquary and educator. After study at St. Paul s school and Oxford, he became a teacher and headmaster at Westminster School. In 1597 he became a herald. His employments provided leisure for the antiquarian researches into …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Camden, William — ► (1551 1623) Historiador y arqueólogo inglés. Autor de Britannia, primer estudio topográfico serio de Inglaterra …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • CAMDEN, WILLIAM —    a learned English antiquary, the first and most famous born in London; second master, and eventually head master in Westminster School, during which time he gave proof of his antiquarian knowledge, which led to his appointment as Clarencieux… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • William Camden — (2 May 1551 ndash; 9 November 1623) was an English antiquarian and historian. He wrote the first topographical survey of the island of Great Britain and the first detailed historical account of the reign of Elizabeth I of England. Early years… …   Wikipedia

  • William Camden — (* 2. Mai 1551 in London; † 9. November 1623 in Chislehurst bei London) war ein englischer Historiker und Antiquar. Camden schrieb einen topographischen Überblick über die britische Insel und die erste Darstellung der Regierungszeit El …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Camden — (2 mai 1551, Londres – 9 novembre 1623) antiquaire anglais, il fut de 1577 à 1597 maître ou directeur de l école de Westminster et devint en 1597 roi d armes de Clarence, fonct …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Camden — (Londres, 2 de mayo de 1551 ibid, 9 de noviembre de 1623) fue un anticuario e historiador inglés. Obras Sus principales obras fueron: Britannia, una descripción topográfica de Gran Bretaña realizada con el apoyo de Abraham Ortelius, publicada en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Camden — Camden, William C. de Gran Bretaña, en Inglaterra, uno de los 32 municipios que integran el Gran Londres; 183 700 h. Ciudad del NE de E.U.A., en el estado de Nueva Jersey, frente a Filadelfia; 102 551 h …   Enciclopedia Universal

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