William Stukeley

Portrait of Stukeley attributed to Richard Collins William Stukeley (7 November 1687 – 3 March 1765) was an English antiquarian, physician, and Anglican clergyman. A significant influence on the later development of archaeology, he pioneered the scholarly investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire. He published over twenty books on archaeology and other subjects during his lifetime.

Born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire as the son of a lawyer, Stukeley worked in his father's law business before attending Bene't College, Cambridge. In 1709 he began studying medicine at St Thomas' Hospital, Southwark, before working as a general practitioner in Boston, Lincolnshire. From 1710 till 1725 he embarked on annual tours of the countryside, seeking out archaeological monuments and other features that interested him; he wrote up and published several accounts of his travels. In 1717, he returned to London and established himself within the city's antiquarian circles. In 1718 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and became the first secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In 1721 he became a Freemason and in 1722 co-founded the Society of Roman Knights, an organisation devoted to the study of Roman Britain. In the early 1720s, Stukeley developed a particular interest in Stonehenge and Avebury, two prehistoric stone circles in Wiltshire. He visited them repeatedly, undertaking fieldwork to determine their dimensions.

In 1726 Stukeley relocated to Grantham, Lincolnshire, where he married. In 1729 he was ordained as a cleric in the Church of England and appointed vicar of All Saints' Church in Stamford, Lincolnshire. He was a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury William Wake, who encouraged him to use his antiquarian studies to combat the growth of deism and freethought in Britain. To this end, Stukeley developed the belief that Britain's ancient druids had followed a monotheistic religion inherited from the Biblical Patriarchs; he called this druidic religion "Patriarchal Christianity". He further argued that the druids had erected the stone circles as part of serpentine monuments symbolising the Trinity. In 1747 he returned to London as rector of St George the Martyr, Holborn. In the last part of his life, he became instrumental in British scholarship's acceptance of Charles Bertram's forged ''Description of Britain'' and wrote one of the earliest biographies of his friend, Isaac Newton.

Stukeley's ideas influenced various antiquaries throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, in addition to artists like William Blake, although had been largely rejected by archaeologists by the second half of the nineteenth century. He is nevertheless regarded as an important forerunner of archaeology for his emphasis on methodically measuring and documenting ancient sites. He has since become the subject of multiple biographies and academic studies by scholars like Stuart Piggott, David Boyd Haycock, and Ronald Hutton. Provided by Wikipedia

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1795
Printed by F. Hodson; sold by Messrs. G. and T. Wilkie, Paternoster-Row, London; J. Deighton, Cambridge; and Mrs. Watson, at the Cave, Royston

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1756
printed for A. and C. Corbett, at their Correct State Lottery-Office over-against St. Dunstan's Church, Fleetstreet

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1756
printed for A. and C. Corbett, at their Correct State Lottery-Office over-against St. Dunstan's Church, Fleetstreet

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1750
Printed for C. Corbet over-against St. Dunstan's Church, Fleetstreet

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1743
Printed for the author: and sold by W. Innys, R. Manby, B. Dod, J. Brindley, and the booksellers in London

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1757
printed by Richard Hett: and sold by Charles Corbet, Bookseller, over-against St. Dunstan's-Church, Fleet-Street

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1736
printed for Alexander Cruden, Bookseller to Her Majesty, under the Royal Exchange

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1736
Printed for W. Innys and R. Manby

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1720

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1752
printed for C. Corbet over-against St. Dunstan's-Church in Fleetstreet

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1743
printed for R. Manby, on Ludgate-Hill, over-against the Old-Bailey

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1776
printed for Messrs. Baker and Leigh, in York-Street, Covent-Garden

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1763
printed by Richard Hett: and sold by J. Baillie, in Great Wild-Street

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1757
printed for Charles Corbet, bookseller, over-against St. Dunslan's-Church, Fleet-Street

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1740
printed for W. Innys and R. Manby, at the West End of St. Paul's

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by Stukeley, William
Published 1736
printed for William Innys and Richard Manby, near the West-End of St. Paul's