John Aubrey: a scholar and antiquarian

AubreyIf you have any interest in megaliths you will probably be acquainted with the antiquarian John Aubrey (1626-1697) who undertook extensive surveys of Avebury and Stonehenge, as well as stone circles throughout the rest of Britain.  He compiled his studies in his ‘Monumenta Britannica’ but this work remained in manuscript form only and was never fully published.

In William Poole’s John Aubrey and the advancement of learning, written to accompany an exhibition held at the Bodleian Library in 2010 we are given an introduction to the intellectual world of this man.  Chapter 1 notes that:

“Today, we would not be able to find one word to classify the rich intellectual life of the seventeenth-century English polymath John Aubrey.  We would call him variously an antiquarian, a mathematician, a scientist, an archaeologist, an ethnologist, a biographer, a historian, an astrologer, a botanist, a chemist, a collector, perhaps even an onomastician and a folklorist; and we would wonder what one man was doing pursuing all these interests together, and if for him they were connected or not.” (p. 9)avebury-by-john-aubrey-2

For a look into Aubrey’s intellectual world, and his many contributions, this short guide is amply illustrated.

Poole, William (2010) John Aubrey and the advancement of learning.  Oxford: Bodleian Library.
ISBN: 9781851243198
Classmark: DA93.A82.P6 (ASSL)