Constable, Cuthbert

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CONSTABLE, CUTHBERT

English Catholic landowner and amateur of the arts;b. Wycliffe, North Riding, Yorkshire, c. 1666; d. Constable Hall, March 27, 1746. The son of Francis Tunstall, he was educated as a lay pensioner at Douai College and qualified in medicine at the University of Montpellier. In 1714, by an arrangement then common, he succeeded to the very large East Riding estates of his uncle Robert Constable, Viscount Dunbar and changed his surname to Constable. Until his death he devoted himself to improving his houses and estates and to the cultivation of his scientific, antiquarian, and literary tastes. Such activities had been common among the better-educated Catholic gentry for a century or more; he is notable for the quantity of money he was able to spend on his interests. Cuthbert was a constant correspondent of Hearne, the antiquary, and helped Charles Dodd (alias Hugh Tootell) and John Knaresbrough with money and materials for their projects in Church history. He was devoted to the memory of Abraham Woodhead, the Oxford Yorkshire convert and apologist, assidously collected his papers and manuscripts, and built him a new tomb at Oxford. Cuthbert's own literary achievement was apparently limited to an edition of the third part of Woodhead's Brief Account of Church Government, including a new biography of Woodhead and a list of his known works (London 1736). Cuthbert also collected books and antiquarian and genealogical manuscripts. His son and successor at Burton Constable, William Constable, to whom he especially bequeathed his library, was an even more earnest patron and collector. It is therefore hard to distinguish the acquisitions of the father from those of the son.

Bibliography: j. kirk, Biographies of English Catholics in the 18th Century, ed. j. h. pollen and e. burton (New York 1909). j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London-New York 18851902; repr. New York 1961) 1:548551.

[h. aveling]

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Constable, Cuthbert

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