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Dugdale, Sir William

Dugdale, Sir William (1605–86). Dugdale's father was bursar at St John's College, Oxford, before retiring to Warwickshire. Dugdale married at 18 and spent the rest of his life at Blythe Hall, Shustoke (Warks.), east of Birmingham, devoting himself to history and antiquities. Friends found him a place in the Herald's Office and he became Garter king-at-arms in 1677, and was knighted. A royalist during the civil wars, his property was sequestered and his salary unpaid. In 1655, with Roger Dodsworth, he published the first volume of Monasticon Anglicanum, documents relating to the English monasteries. The second and third volumes appeared in 1661 and 1673, and the whole was repeatedly reissued and augmented. In 1656 Dugdale printed his Antiquities of Warwickshire, one of the first and greatest of county histories. After the Restoration, Dugdale devoted himself mainly to his heraldic duties, including strict visitations, though he continued to publish important work, particularly the Baronage, which came out in 1675 and 1676. In undertakings of this depth, Dugdale relied greatly upon the work of other scholars, not always acknowledged, but a later charge that he was ‘that grand plagiary’ is ungenerous. He was a fine and dedicated scholar in an age of great scholarship.

J. A. Cannon

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Dugdale, Sir William

Sir William Dugdale, 1605–86, English antiquarian. His chief works are Antiquities of Warwickshire (1656), The Baronage of England (1675–76), and the greater part of Monasticon Anglicanum (3 vol., 1655–73). The Dugdale Society, founded in 1920, publishes historical manuscripts.

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