Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/23

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Burton
Burton
19

pedigrees reduced into less compass, would shrink into a small work.’ The author was well aware of the imperfections of his work, and spent many years in making large additions and corrections towards a new edition. In the summer of 1638 he had advanced so far in the revision that the copy of the intended second edition was sent to London for press, as appears from two letters to Sir Simonds d'Ewes (Nichols, Leicestershire, ii. 843). Gascoigne says that Sir Thomas Cave, in the year 1640, ‘had in his custody a copy of Burton's that should have been reprinted, but the war breaking out prevented it’ (ibid. p. 844); and he adds, from personal inspection, that the work had been augmented to three times the original size. After Burton's death his son Cassibelan presented, with several of his father's manuscripts, to Walter Chetwynd, of Ingestree, Staffordshire, a copy of the ‘Description’ containing large manuscript additions by the author. In 1798 Shaw discovered this copy at Ingestree (Gent. Mag. lxviii. 921), and it was utilised by Nichols in the third and fourth volumes of his ‘Leicestershire.’ Doubtless this was the copy which Gascoigne saw in 1640. Several copies of Burton's work, with manuscript annotations by various antiquaries, are preserved in private libraries (see the long list in Nichols's Leicestershire, ii. 843–5). In 1777 there was published by subscription a folio edition which claimed to be ‘enlarged and corrected,’ but the editorial work was performed in a very slovenly manner. All the information contained in the ‘Description’ was incorporated in Nichols's ‘Leicestershire.’

In 1607 Burton married Jane, daughter of Humfrey Adderley of Weddington in Warwickshire, by whom he had a son Cassibelan [q. v.] Among his particular friends were Sir Robert Cotton and William Somner. In his account of Fenny-Drayton he speaks with affection and respect of his ‘old acquaintance’ Michael Drayton. Dugdale in his ‘Autobiography’ acknowledges the assistance which he had received from Burton. In 1612 Thomas Purefoy of Barwell in Warwickshire bequeathed at his death to Burton the original manuscript of Leland's ‘Collectanea.’ Wood (Athenæ, ed. Bliss, i. 200) charges Burton with introducing ‘needless additions and illustrations’ into this work; but Hearne, in the preface to his edition of the ‘Collectanea,’ denies the truth of the charge. In 1631 Burton caused part of Leland's ‘Itinerary’ to be transcribed, and in the following year he gave five quarto volumes of Leland's autograph manuscripts to the Bodleian. When the civil wars broke out, Burton sided with the royalists, and endured persecution. He died at Falde on 6 April 1645, and was buried in the parish church at Hanbury. Among the manuscripts that he left were:

  1. ‘Antiquitates de Lindley,’ which was afterwards in the possession of Samuel Lysons, who lent it to Nichols (Leicestershire, iv. 651).
  2. ‘Antiquitates de Dadlington Manerio, com. Leic.,’ which in Nichols's time belonged to Nicholas Hurst of Hinckley.
  3. Collections towards a history of Thedingworth, as appears from a letter to Sir Robert Cotton, in which Burton asks that antiquary's assistance (ibid. ii. 842).

He also left some collections of arms, genealogies, &c. About 1735 Francis Peck announced his intention of writing Burton's life, but the project does not seem to have been carried out.

[Nichols's Leicestershire, ii. 843–5, iii. xvi, lxv, iv. 651–6; Wood's Athenæ (ed. Bliss), i. 200, iii. 153–6; Oldys's British Librarian (1737), pp. 287–99; Gent. Mag. lxviii. 921; Dugdale's Autobiography, appended to Dallaway's Heraldry, 1793.]

A. H. B.

BURTON, WILLIAM (1609–1657), antiquary, son of William Burton, sometime of Atcham, in Shropshire, was born in Austin Friars, London, and educated in St. Paul's school. He became a student in Queen's College, Oxford, in 1625; but as he had not sufficient means to maintain himself, the learned Thomas Allen, perceiving his merit, induced him to migrate to Gloucester Hall, and conferred on him a Greek lectureship there. He was a Pauline exhibitioner from 1624 to 1632. In 1630 he graduated B.C.L., but, indigence forcing him to leave the university, he became the assistant or usher of Thomas Farnaby, the famous schoolmaster of Kent. Some years later he was appointed master of the free school at Kingston-upon-Thames, in Surrey, where he continued till two years before his death, ‘at which time, being taken with the dead palsy, he retired to London.’ He died on 28 Dec. 1657, and was buried in a vault under the church of St. Clement Danes, in the Strand. Bishop Kennett calls ‘this now-neglected author the best topographer since Camden,’ while Wood tells us that ‘he was an excellent Latinist, noted philologist, was well skill'd in the tongues, was an excellent critic and antiquary, and therefore beloved of all learned men of his time, especially of the famous Usher, archbishop of Armagh.’

His works are: 1. ‘In [laudem] doctissimi, clarissimi, optimi senis, Thomæ Alleni ultimo Septembris mdcxxxii Oxon iis demortui, exequiarum justis ab alma Academia postridie solutis, orationes binæ’ (the first by Burton, the second by George Bathurst), London, 1632, 4to. 2. ‘Nobilissimi herois Dn. C. Howardi