Matthew Hutton 1638/9-1711

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Matthew HUTTON 1638/9-1711

Biographical Note

Born at Nether Poppleton, Yorkshire, son of Richard Hutton; Ferdinando, Baron Fairfax was one of his grandfathers. MA Brasenose College, Oxford 1661, BD 1669, DD 1690; while at Oxford he became a friend of Anthony Wood, who encouraged his interest in antiquarian and archaeological studies. Rector of Aynho, Northamptonshire 1677, and of Croughton 1689.


Hutton was noted as an antiquary and a gatherer of manuscript collections, which he shared with contemporaries like Francis Atterbury and Thomas Hearne. Although there were hopes that he would publish some of these, and bequeath them to a public institution, neither happened. In 1703 he was commissioned to write a report on the Cotton Library, along with John Anstis and Humphrey Wanley. Around 40 volumes of his collections were purchased by Robert Harley in 1716, for £150, and these now comprise Harleian MSS 6950-85 and 7519-21 in the British Library. Hutton also gave some charters to Harley during his lifetime.

The extent of Hutton's library of printed books is not known, nor is its disposition clear. Hutton's brief will has no mention of books, and his property was largely divided between his two sons. Wanley's diary suggests that ca.230 of Hutton's books were bought by Harley in 1716, via the bookseller William Noel, for £86. Hutton's library (minus these books?) was then advertised as being sold by retail sale in London, beginning 1.3.1717; no catalogue survives, but the sale was advertised in the Daily Courant.


  • Will of Matthew Hutton, The National Archives PROB 11/525/279.
  • Alston, R.C., Inventory of sale catalogues ... 1676-1800, St Philip, 2010.
  • Bibliotheca Huttoniana : or, The library of the late reverend and learn'd antiquary, Dr. Matt. Hutton of Ayno, [London, 1717], ESTC N509911.
  • Broadway, Jan. "Hutton, Matthew (1638/9–1711), antiquary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Wright, C.E. and R.C. (eds), The diary of Humfrey Wanley, 1966, xxxix.
  • Wright, C.E., Fontes Harleianae, 1972, p.201.
  • Information from John Lancaster.