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Bloxam, Matthew Holbeche

Bloxam, Matthew Holbeche (1805–88). English antiquary and writer, a major authority in ecclesiological and liturgiological circles. Influenced by Rickman, he brought out the first edition of The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture in 1829, a remarkable and scholarly achievement for a young man then in his twenties. This important book ensured that Bloxam became an authority of the Gothic Revival. His tome was several years earlier than Pugin's more celebrated publications, and twenty years ahead of those of the influential John Henry Parker. Bloxam's Principles came out in new editions in 1836 and 1838, and the 1841, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, and 1849 editions were printed by Oxford University Press. Prompted by ‘Great’ Scott, Bloxam revised and expanded the work, and the eleventh edition, in three volumes, was published in London in 1882. This great book, illustrated with numerous admirable woodcuts by Thomas Orlando Sheldon Jewitt (1799–1869), must stand as one of the earliest (and most scholarly) texts of the whole ecclesiological movement and the Gothic Revival. His importance should be better recognized.

Bibliography

Bloxam (1882);
J. Curl (2002b);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

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