Thomas Tanner 1674-1735

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Thomas TANNER 1674-1735

Biographical Note

The eldest child of Thomas Tanner (1640?–1719), vicar of Market Lavington, Wiltshire, and of his first wife, Sarah Willoughby (d. 1711), he was educated at Salisbury Free School and Queen's College, Oxford (1689; BA 1693; MA 1696; BD and DD in 1710). He assisted Edmund Gibson with editions of Camden's Britannia (1695) and the Reliquiae Spelmannianae (1698). He subsequently worked on a much enlarged edition of John Leland's Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica, published posthumously (1748), and on a number of other antiquarian projects most of which were left unfinished at his death and were completed and published by other scholars.

In 1696 he was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and then held a number of ecclesiastical appointments in the diocese of Norwich under the patronage of John Moore, bishop of Norwich. By 1721 he was archdeacon of Norfolk and in 1724 he was installed as a canon of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1733 he became bishop of St Asaph's.


Tanner assembled a considerable collection of books and documents for his historical publications. He left most of his manuscripts to the Bodleian Library.