Men of Kent and Kentishmen/William Somner
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Men of Kent and Kentishmen/William Somner

William Somner,

ANTIQUARY,

Was born at Canterbury, where his father was Registrar of the Court. Being appointed by Archbishop Laud to an office in the Ecclesiastical Court, he applied himself to the study of antiquities and the Saxon language, and in 1640 published the "Antiquities of Canterbury," which was followed by "Notes and a Glossary to Sir Roger Twisden's Laws of Henry I.," and several treatises on local antiquities. In 1659 he published a Saxon Dictionary, a work of great labour and ability. During the Civil War, being a Royalist, he was imprisoned at Deal, but was liberated at the Restoration and appointed to the Mastership of St. John's Hospital in his native town, where he died 30th March, 1669. His books and manuscripts are preserved in the Cathedral Library, and a catalogue of them is appended to his life written by White Kennet (q. v).

[See also "Biographia Britannica."]


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