Bodleian Imbroglios, Politics and Personalities, 1701–1716: Thomas Hearne, Arthur Charlett and John Hudson
This essay is about the early career of the antiquarian scholar Thomas Hearne at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Hearne is known today for his series of editions (about 35 vols.) of English medieval chroniclers as well as for his 145-volume diary and commonplace book "Remarks and Collections", which gives a detailed account of scholary life at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Hearne was a nonjuror and a Jacobite, which meant he did not accept English governments after the "Bloodless Revolution" of 1688, and hoped for the return to the English throne of the Stuart dynasty. This political and religious position of the nonjuror minority played a great part in the difficulties Hearne met with in Oxford. Hearne's scholarship, like that of other nonjurors, was motivated by an ideology which in Augustan England became increasingly unpopular and which embarrassed the University authorities.
This essay examines the events leading up to the premature end of Hearne's career at the Bodleian Library. I describe the complexity of the situation at Oxford at the time and in doing so I hope to begin to adjust the generally unsympathetic image of Hearne as a person and as a scholar.
KeywordsGreat Part Eighteenth Century Detailed Account Comparative Literature Early Career
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