Biographia Britannica Vol VI, Part 2

Biographia Britannica: or, the lives of the most eminent persons who have flourished in Great Britain and Ireland, from the earliest ages, down to the present times; collected from the best authorities, both printed and manuscript, and digested in the manner of Mr Bayle’s historical and critical dictionary.

Written between 1747 and 1766 as a ‘general monument to deserving persons’, sumptuous in both the quality of its paper and type setting, and given full and official Royal Privilege and Licence by George II, Biographia Britannica was a must-have in the library of any discerning, literary and learned gentleman in the second half of the 18th century. A completed revised second edition was published between 1778 and 1793, but never completed.


Printed for J. Walthoe, T. Osbourne, H. Whitridge, J.R. Tonson, H. Woodfall, C. Bathurst, J. Rivington, L. Davis, C. Reymers, R. Baldwin, L. Hawes, W. Clarke, R. Collins, W. Johnstone, G. Keith, T. Longman, B. Law and M. Richardson, London, 1766. Layton Collection 1042.

  • Edited by Norfolk Herald extraordinary, William Oldys, and with contributions from Thomas Broughton and John Campbell amongst many others, this comprehensive guide to the lives of distinguished men and women of Britain and Ireland, ‘statesmen, prelates, patriots, lawyers, divine’, is intimidating in its thoroughness, and sanguine in its near blanket praise of its subjects’ lives. The authors paint a detailed, and chronologically ordered picture of their subjects’ education, travels, making of acquaintances, patronage, bequests to charity, virtuous acts, professional speeches and famous quotes.


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