Humfrey Wanley (750 words)


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Humfrey Wanley, palaeographer, scholar, and librarian, was instrumental in the study of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and in building up the largest private library in the country. He was born on 21 March 1672 in Coventry. He went to the Coventry Free School and was then apprenticed as a draper, but by the time he was nineteen he was actively transcribing local records. After visiting Oxford in 1692, he became interested in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and the Old English language, and he copied out for his own reference a catalogue of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at the Bodleian and a grammar of Old English. By 1694 he had moved beyond copying and was compiling material himself, including part of a catalogue of English and Irish manuscripts which was p…

Citation: Stokes, Peter Anthony. "Humfrey Wanley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 October 2006 [, accessed 25 June 2021.]

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