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Eyston, Charles


English antiquarian who wrote about pre-Reformation monastic foundations; b. East Hendred, Berkshire, 1667; d. there, Nov. 5, 1721. Eyston, scion of an ancient Catholic family, succeeded to his father's estate in 1691. He married Winifred Dorothy Fitzherbert in 1692, and of their numerous children, several daughters entered the convent, while one of the sons became a Jesuit. Eyston was devoted to antiquarian researches, and formed a friendship with the famous scholar, Thomas Hearne, who included Eyston's "A Little Monument to the Once Famous Abbey and Borough of Glastonbury" in his History and Antiquities of Glastonbury (Oxford 1722). This was later reprinted by R. Warner in History of the Abbey of Glaston and the Town of Glastonbury (Bath 1826). Hearne's appreciation of Eyston in Reliquiae Hearnianae stated: "He was a Roman Catholick and so charitable to the poor that he is lamented by all who knew anything of him an excellent scholar and so modest that he did not care to have it at any time mentioned." Eyston wrote also an unpublished study of "Old Pious Dissolved Foundations of England ," which was in the family library at Hendred for many years.

Bibliography: A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time 2:204205. t. hearne, Reliquiae Hearnianae (London 1869). The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900) 6:969970.

[h. f. gretsch]

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