1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Blomefield, Francis

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BLOMEFIELD, FRANCIS (1705–1752), English topographer of the county of Norfolk, was born at Fersfield, Norfolk, on the 23rd of July 1705. On leaving Cambridge in 1727 he was ordained, becoming in 1729 rector of Hargham, Norfolk, and immediately afterwards rector of Fersfield, his father's family living. In 1733 he mooted the idea of a history of Norfolk, for which he had begun collecting material at the age of fifteen, and shortly afterwards, while, collecting further information for his book, discovered some of the famous Paston Letters. By 1736 he was ready to put some of the results of his researches into type. At the eud of 1739 the first volume of the History of Norfolk was completed. It was printed at the author's own press, bought specially for the purpose The second volume was ready in 1745. There is little doubt that in compiling his book Blomefield had frequent recourse to the existing historical collections of Le Neve, Kirkpatrick and Tanner, his own work being to a large extent one of expansion and addition. To Le Neve in particular a large share of the credit is due. When half-way through his third volume, Blomefield, who had come up to London in connexion with a special piece of research, caught smallpox, of which he died on the 16th of January 1752. The remainder of his work was published posthumously, and the whole eleven volumes were republished in London between 1805 and 1810.