Huddesford, William (DNB00)

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HUDDESFORD, WILLIAM (1732–1772), antiquary, was baptised on 15 Aug. 1732 at St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford, and was son of George Huddesford, president of Trinity College, Oxford. George Huddesford [q.v.] was his youngest brother. He matriculated at Trinity College on 20 Oct. 1749, was elected scholar in 1750 and fellow in 1757. He graduated B.A. in 1753, M.A. in 1756, and B.D. in 1767, and he was proctor of the university in 1765. In 1758 he was ordained, and held from 1755 until his death the keepership of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. He was appointed in 1761 vicar of Bishop's Tachbrook, Warwickshire. Huddesford died unexpectedly at Oxford on 6 Oct. 1772.

During his short life he worked vigorously. He published: 1. ‘Edvardi Luidii … lithophylacii Britannici ichnographia,’ Oxford, 1760, a new edition of the treatise of Edward Lhuyd [q.v.], whose fossils were under his charge at the Ashmolean. It contained some new plates and the author's discourse on the sea-shells of the British ocean. 2. ‘Martini Lister, M.D., Historiæ, sive Synopsis Methodicæ Conchyliorum et Tabularum Anatomicarum editio altera,’ Oxford, 1760. The plates in this edition were especially fine. Two indices are added, one for the shells in Lister's arrangement, the other for that of Linnæus. The latter is in both Latin and English. 3. ‘Catalogus librorum Manuscriptorum Antonii à Wood,’ 1761, a new edition of which was struck off by SirThomas Phillipps at the Middlehill press in 1824. 4. ‘An Address to the Freemen and other Inhabitants of the City of Oxford,’ 1764, an anonymous address playfully described as printed at ‘Lucern for Abraham Lightholder.’

In 1772 Joseph Pote, bookseller at Eton, published in two volumes the lives of Leland, Hearne, and Anthony à Wood, and in the last two memoirs obtained some aid from Huddesford. At the time of his death Huddesford had many works in view, including a collection of curiosities from the 160 pocketbooks of Hearne, and he had collected materials for the lives of two Welsh antiquaries, Humphry and Edward Lhuyd. His description of Osney Abbey is in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,' 1771, pp. 153, 204; his character of Wood is in Bliss's ' Athenæ Oxonienses,' i. 135-8 (introd.); and his memoir of the Rev. Francis Wise, B.D., is inserted in Nichols's 'Illustrations of Literature,' iv. 479-80. A parody on Cato's soliloquy in 'Granger's Letters,' App. pp. 11-12, is tentatively ascribed to Huddesford, and in the same work (pp. 136-51) are numerous letters by him. Many letters to and from him are printed in Nichols's 'Illustrations of Literature,' iv. 456-80, v. 586, and a volume of his correspondence is among the Ashmole MSS. in the Bodleian Library. His library was sold by James Fletcher & Son at Oxford in 1771.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Gent. Mag. 1761 p.431, 1772 p. 495; Nichols's Lit. Anecdotes, iii. 677,683-4, v. 291, viii. 600; Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. iii. 667, vi. 473-5;Wood's Oxford City, ed. Peshall, p. 227.]

W. P. C.