Kenelm Henry Digby - Encyclopedia

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DIGBY, KENELM Henry (1800-1880), English writer, youngest son of William Digby, dean of Clonfert, was born at Clonfert, Ireland, in 1800. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and soon after taking his B.A. degree there in 1819 became a Roman Catholic. He spent most of his life, which was mainly devoted to literary pursuits, in London, where he died on the 22nd of March 1880. Digby's reputation rests chiefly on his earliest publication, The Broadstone of Honour, or Rules for the Gentlemen of England (1822), which contains an exhaustive survey of medieval customs, full of quotations from varied sources. The work was subsequently enlarged and issued (1826-1827) in four volumes entitled: Godefridus, Tancredus, Morus and Orlandus (numerous re-impressions, the best of which is the edition brought out by B. Quaritch in five volumes, 1876-1877).

Among Digby's other works are: Mores Catholici, or Ages of Faith (11 vols., London, 1831-1840); Compitum; or the Meeting of the Ways at the Catholic Church (7 vols., London, 1848-1854); The Lovers' Seat, Kathemerina; or Common Things in relation to Beauty, Virtue and Faith (2 vols., London, 1856). A complete list is given in J. Gillow's Bibliographical Dictionary of English Catholics, ii. 81-83.

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