Thursday, November 15, 2007

John Leland
This is about John Leland, antiquary. For other people called John Leland see John Leland (disambiguation).
John Leland (September 13, 1506April 18, 1552) was an English antiquary. He has been described as 'the father of English local history'; his Itinerary introduced the shire as the basic unit for studying the history of England—an idea that has been influential ever since.

John Leland Royal appointment
Leland's notes have survived, and held in the Bodleian Library. They are an invaluable primary source not only for the local history and the geography of England, but also for archaeology, social history, and economic history.
The writings of Leland are numerous; in his lifetime he published several Latin and Greek poems, and some tracts on antiquarian subjects. His voluminous manuscripts, after passing through many hands, came into the Bodleian library, furnishing valuable materials to John Stow, William Lambarde, William Camden, Thomas Burton, William Dugdale, and many other antiquaries and historians. Polydore Virgil, who had plagiarised them freely, had the insolence to abuse Leland's memory—calling him "a vain glorious man." From these collections Hall published, in 1709, Commentarii de Scriptoribus Brittanicis. The Itinerary of John Leland, Antiquary, was published by Thomas Hearne, at Oxford, in nine volumes in 1710, with a second edition printed in 1745, with considerable improvements and additions. The same editor published Joannis Lelandi Antiquarii de Rebus Brittanicis Collectanea in six volumes at Oxford in 1716.

Somerset and Camelot
The Leland Trail is a 28 mile footpath which follows in the footsteps of John Leland as he traversed South Somerset between 1535 and 1543 in the course of his investigation of the region's antiquities. The Leland Trail begins at King Alfred's Tower on the Wiltshire/Somerset border and finishes at Ham Hill Country Park.

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