Home  »  Volume IX: English FROM STEELE AND ADDISON TO POPE AND SWIFT  »  § 29. Diplomatic: Thomas Madox; Heraldry; Ames’s Typographical Antiquities

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IX. From Steele and Addison to Pope and Swift.

XIII. Scholars and Antiquaries

§ 29. Diplomatic: Thomas Madox; Heraldry; Ames’s Typographical Antiquities

It is not surprising to find that legal antiquities and the history of various offices of state interested many of the able men who either held office or engaged in the business of law, and the results include some of the most successful essays in the antiquarian literature of the time. Of such was The History and Antiquities of the Exchequer of the Kings of England (1711) by Thomas Madox, historiographer royal, whose other works include Formulare Anglicanum, a series of ancient charters and documents arranged in chronological sequence from the Norman conquest to the end of the reign of Henry VIII. This book, with its learned introduction, is important as a contribution to the study of diplomatic, a subject long neglected in this country. Elias Ashmole and John Anstis, both members of the College of Arms, each produced a work on the Order of the Garter. The numerous additions to the literature of heraldry comprised, besides writings by Selden, Dugdale, Nisbet, and others, The Academy of Armory (1688), by Randle Holme (third of that name), with its extraordinary glossaries of terms used in every—conceivable art, trade, and domestic employment.

Two books are noteworthy as ventures into new regions of research that have since become fields of modern activity. Henry Bourne’s Antiquitates Vulgares, or The antiquities of the common people (1725) foreshadowed the study of local customs and traditions, now called folklore; and the account of English printers and printing which Joseph Ames issued in 1749, under the title of Typographical Antiquities, is the foundation stone of the history of printing in England