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 Elias Ashmole

Elias Ashmole

Birth
Lichfield, Lichfield District, Staffordshire, England
Death 19 May 1692 (aged 74)
South Lambeth, London Borough of Lambeth, Greater London, England
Burial Lambeth, London Borough of Lambeth, Greater London, England
Plot tomb is currently not on view because the area is being used as an office
Memorial ID 12423 · View Source
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Antiquarian and Scholar. Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, the son of Anne and Simon Ashmole, a saddler. He attended Lichfield Grammar School and became a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral. In 1633, he moved to London where he qualified as a solicitor. He married in 1638, but was widowed only three years later. During the Civil War, he was a committed Royalist. He served as an ordnance officer for the King's forces at Oxford. In 1645, he accepted the post of Commissioner of Excise a Worcester. After the surrender of Worcester to the Parliamentary Forces in 1646, he moved to to Cheshire. He married a wealthy widow in 1649, and freed from the need to earn his living, studied such subjects as astronomy, astrology, magic, botany, and alchemy. He published an alchemical text, 'Fasciculus Chemicus' in 1650. He financed the publication of the catalog of exotic plants and mineral specimens collected by John Tradescant in 1656, and acquired the collection after Tradescant's death six years later. He further cataloged the Roman coin collection at the Bodleian Library, and after the Restoration, the coins and medals held in the Royal Collection. He was appointed Comptroller and Auditor of the Excise and Windsor Herald of Arms Ordinary at the College of Arms in 1660, and became one of the founding Fellows of the Royal Society in 1661. In 1669, he received a Doctorate in Medicine from Oxford, but rarely practiced. In 1672 he published 'The Institution, Laws and Ceremonies of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.' He promised the Tradescant Collection to Oxford University provided it was made available to the public. The resultant Ashmolean Museum was completed in 1683, it is considered the first public museum. He began a process of transferring parts of his own extensive collection including artifacts, books, manuscripts, prints, coins and medals. Tragically many items were destroyed in a fire in January 1679, before reaching its destination. During the 1680s, his health faltered, and he died at age 74. He bequeathed the remainder of his library and the rest of his collections to Oxford for the Ashmolean Museum. The museum, now called Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, still functions as a well regarded institution, one of the oldest public museums in the world.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 13 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12423
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elias Ashmole (23 May 1617–19 May 1692), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12423, citing St. Mary's Churchyard, Lambeth, London Borough of Lambeth, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .