Leland or Leyland, John,c.1506–1552, English antiquary. He was successively chaplain and librarian to Henry VIII. In 1533 he was appointed king's antiquarian, and in this capacity traveled through England, collecting a great mass of historical and geographical data for a proposed book to be entitled History and Antiquities. The work was never completed because he went insane in 1550. His notes, however, were invaluable to later scholars.
See his Itinerary (ed. by T. Hearne, 9 vol., 1710–12) and Collectanea (ed. by Hearne, 6 vol., 1715); biography by E. Burton (1896).