John Aubrey 1626–97
Aubrey was an antiquarian who unsystematically collected information about archaeological sites and about interesting figures of the present and recent past. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, he later became a fellow of the Royal Society. He is now best known for the Brief Lives published after his death from the collection of his manuscripts in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, although another Oxford antiquarian, Antony Wood, had made some unfair use of his material. Aubrey’s Lives, not always reliable, combine revealing anecdotes, accurate fact, tradition and gossip.