Hall, Anthony (DNB00)

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HALL, ANTHONY (1679–1723), antiquary, born at Kirkbride, Cumberland, in 1679, was the son of Henry Hall, rector of that parish (William Hutchinson, Cumberland, ii. 485). After some schooling at Carlisle he was admitted a batler of Queen's College, Oxford, 7 July 1696, but did not matriculate until 18 Nov. 1698. He took his bachelor's degree 15 Dec. 1701, and, having been ordained, proceeded M.A. 16 June 1704. He was elected fellow of his college 18 April 1706. In November 1716 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the librarianship of the Bodleian Library, vacated by the death of John Hudson, who had hoped that Hall might succeed him. Hudson bequeathed to Hall the editing of his ‘Josephus,’ then nearly finished, and by Hall's exertions it was published in 1720 in two folio volumes. Hall also married Hudson's widow, Margaret, daughter of Sir Robert Harrison, an alderman and mercer of Oxford. On 8 April 1720 he received institution to the college rectory of Hampton Poyle, Oxfordshire, and on 4 July 1721 accumulated his degrees in divinity. He died at Garford, Berkshire, and was buried at Kingston in that county on 6 April 1723. His wife survived him.

Hall, although his literary labours were derided in his lifetime, contrived to get his books liberally subscribed for, and they were printed at the university press. Hearne is especially severe on him: ‘A dull, stupid, sleepy fellow,’ he writes, ‘a man of no industry, it being common with him to lye abed till very near dinner-time, and to drink very freely of the strongest liquors’ (Collections, Oxf. Hist. Soc. ii. 164, 171). Edward Thwaites and other fellows of Queen's persuaded him in 1705 to edit Leland's ‘Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis’ from the manuscript in the Bodleian Library, carefully concealing the fact from Tanner, who had been at work upon an edition for ten or twelve years past. The book appeared in March 1709 in two octavo volumes, and was condemned even by his own friends. Hearne says that it was full of the grossest errors, caused by incapacity to read the manuscript (ib. ii. 174). In 1719 Hall published ‘Nicolai Triveti Annales sex Regum Angliæ. E … Codice Glastoniensi,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1719. From the same manuscript he edited ‘Nicolai Triveti Annalium Continuatio; ut et Adami Murimuthensis Chronicon, cum ejusdem continuatione; quibus accedunt Joannis Bostoni Speculum Cœnobitarum et Edmundi Boltoni Hypercritica,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1722. Hall furnished the introduction or account of the ancient state of Britain for Thomas Cox's ‘Magna Britannia,’ 1720. He ‘owned the account of Berkshire to be his’ (Gough, British Topography, i. 33–4), but repudiated the description of Cumberland in a postscript to his edition of Trivet's ‘Annales.’ In the proposals for the publication of Urry's ‘Chaucer,’ 1716, the addition of a copious glossary was promised by Hall, but it appears to have been afterwards under- taken and completed by a student of Christ Church. Hall's correspondence with Dr. Arthur Charlett [q. v.] is preserved in the Ballard collection in the Bodleian Library (xviii. 23–7). His portrait has been engraved by Vertue.

[Gent. Mag. 1734 553, 1800 pt.ii. 1031–2; Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xvii. 45–6, xviii. 281; Oxford Graduates (1851), p. 285; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, ii. 164.]

G. G.