Richard Gough - Encyclopedia




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RICHARD GOUGH (1735-1809), English antiquary, was born in London on the 21st of October 1735. His father was a wealthy M.P. and director of the East India Company. Gough was a precocious child, and at twelve had translated from the French a history of the Bible, which his mother printed for private circulation. When fifteen he translated Abbe Fleury's work on the Israelites; and at sixteen he published an elaborate work entitled Atlas Renovatus, or Geography modernized. In 1752 he entered Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he began his work on British topography, published in 1768. Leaving Cambridge in 1756, he began a series of antiquarian excursions in various parts of Great Britain. In 1773 he began an edition in English of Camden's Britannia, which appeared in 1789.

Meantime he published, in 1786, the first volume of his splendid work, the Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain, applied to illustrate the history of families manners, habits, and arts at the different periods from the Norman Conquest to the Seventeenth Century. This volume, which contained the first four centuries, was followed in 1796 by a second volume containing the r 5th century, and an introduction to the second volume appeared in 1799. Gough was chosen a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1767, and from 1771 to 1791 he was its director. He was elected F.R.S. in 1775. He died at Enfield on the 10th of February 1809. His books and manuscripts relating to Anglo-Saxon and northern literature, all his collections in the department of British topography, and a large number of his drawings and engravings of other archaeological remains, were bequeathed to the university of Oxford.

Among the minor works of Gough are An Account of the Bedford Missal (in MS.); A Catalogue of the Coins of Canute, King of Denmark (1777); History of Fleshy in Essex (1803);; An Account of the Coins of the Seleucidae, Kings of Syria (1804); and "History of the Society of Antiquaries of London," prefixed to their Archaeologia.

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