William Camden

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Camden, William


Born May 2, 1551, in London; died Nov. 9, 1623, in Chislehurst, Kent. English antiquarian and humanist historian. Member of the Society of Antiquarians (founded c. 1585).

Camden’s antiquarian-topographical works, Britannia (Latin original, 1586; English version, 1610), Centuries-old Information on England, Normandy, and Ireland (Latin, 1603), and Remaines Concerning Britain (English, 1605), laid the foundation for the critical treatment of historical sources in England. The Chronicle of Events in England and Ireland During the Reign of Elizabeth (Latin, 1615), written from the point of view of a proponent of absolutism and the Anglican Church, is one of the highest achievements in English chronicle-writing.

The Camden Society was founded in 1838; it published a great many sources on English history. In 1897 it merged with the Royal Historical Society.


Vainshtein, O. L. Zapadno-evropeiskaia srednevekovaia istoriografiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964. Pages 440–46. (Bibliography.)
References in classic literature ?
At Westminster School he received a permanent bent toward classical studies from the headmaster, William Camden, who was one of the greatest scholars of the time.
The third section is centred not so much on William Camden as on the long-term project of his Britannia, as it unfolded over more than one hundred years.
William Camden was another travelling antiquary who was affected by the clamour of manufacture that rang across Birmingham.
The Elizabethan traveller William Camden reported that our hill had once been a Roman fort .
In his collection of articles, Richardson offers an interesting analysis of the literary strengths of William Camden, a schoolmaster who established the fundamental importance of scientific documentation in historical studies.
Disclaiming 'a general history of libraries' as her goal, she proceeds through close readings of texts written by a number of important figures of this period: John Lydgate, Thomas More, Thomas Starkey, Thomas Elyot, Matthew Parker, Edmund Spenser, Robert Cotton, William Camden, John Weever, Francis Bacon, and Thomas James.
Geoffrey of Monmouth and William Camden the author divides her text according to the standard regions because names tended to come in groups according to settlers.
William Camden (1551-1623) was an English scholar of formidable attainments and enormous influence.
But under the influence of renaissance scholarship and their own patriotism, figures such as William Camden and William Dugdale embarked upon a process of discovery, surveying the contours of both the past and the landscape.
As William Camden liked to quote Polybius: "Take away from history why, how and to what end things have been done, and whether the thing done hath succeeded according to reason; and all that remains will be an idle sport and foolery, than a profitable instruction; and though for the present it may delight, for the future it cannot profit.
Cotton began collecting medieval manuscripts, charters, coins, and other artefacts as a young student of William Camden, whom he accompanied on one of that great antiquarian's wide-ranging tours of northern England, and with whom he helped form the original Society of Antiquaries, a learned forum that flourished in late Elizabethan London.
William Camden rejected as spurious stories suggesting that the Romans had conquered Ireland and complained that this failure made England's job of civilizing the Irish more difficult: