Tovey, De Blossiers (DNB00)

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TOVEY, DE BLOSSIERS (1692–1745), author of ‘Anglia Judaica,’ son of John Tovey, a citizen and apothecary of London, was born in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields on 1 March 1691–2. He matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, on 12 March 1708–9, and graduated B.A. in 1712. He was elected fellow of Merton College in the same year, and proceeded M.A. in 1715. He was called to the bar of the Inner Temple in 1717, and took the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford in 1721. He was ordained soon afterwards. From 1723 to 1727 he was rector of Farley, Surrey, and from 1727 to 1732 vicar of Embleton, Northumberland. In 1732 he returned to Oxford on his election as principal of New Inn Hall, and he held that office until his death in 1745.

Tovey was interested in history and archæology, and devoted much time to a history of the Jews in mediæval England. He freely utilised the numerous documents which Prynne had first published in his ‘Short Demurrer to the Jews' long-discontinued Remitter into England’ (1655), but he supplied additional information, and his treatise remains a standard contribution to an interesting byway of English history. The title runs: ‘Anglia Judaica; or the History and Antiquities of the Jews in England, collected from all our historians, both printed and manuscript, as also from the records in the Tower and other publick repositories,’ Oxford, 1738, 4to; it was dedicated to George Holmes [q. v.], deputy-keeper of the records in the Tower. A letter from Tovey to Rawlinson, dated 1744, ‘concerning a Roman brick found in Market Lane,’ was printed in ‘Archæologia’ (1770), i. 139.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Rawlinson MSS. in Bodleian Library.]

S. L.