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Charles Eyston

Antiquary, b. 1667; d. Nov. 5, 1721

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Eyston, CHARLES, antiquary, b. 1667; d. November 5, 1721; he was a member of the ancient family of Eyston, then and still of East Hendred, their house being one of the few places in England where the Blessed Sacrament has always been preserved. He was eldest son of George Eyston and of Ann, daughter of Robert Dormer of Peterley. On the death of his father in 1691 he succeeded to the family estates, and in 1692 married Winefrid Dorothy, daughter of Basil Fitzherbert of Swinnerton, Staffordshire, by whom he had a large family. He was a good scholar and it was in his antiquarian researches that he became a friend of Thomas Hearne, who wrote of him: “He was a Roman Catholick and so charitable to the poor that he is lamented by all who knew anything of him: … He was a man of a sweet temper and was an excellent scholar and so modest that he did not care to have it at any time mentioned.” (Reliq. Hearnianae, cit. inf.) On his death he was succeeded by his son, Charles. It is generally stated that another of his sons joined the Jesuits, but though his son, William George, entered the Society in 1736, he left it almost at once. Several of his daughters became nuns. He wrote: “A little Monument to The Once Famous Abbey and Borough of Glastonbury”, published by Hearne in his “History and Antiquities of Glastonbury” (Oxford, 1722); reprinted by the Rev. R. Warner in his “History of the Abbey of Glaston and the town of Glastonbury” (Bath, 1826). There is in the library at Hendred an unpublished MS. entitled “A Poor Little Monument to All the Old Pious Dissolved Foundations of England: or a Short History of Abbeys, all sorts of Monasteries, Colleges, Chapels, Chantries, etc.” Another MS. mentioned under his name by Gillow was merely his property and not his work; and the same writer corrects Charles Butler‘s error in ascribing to Eyston a “History of the Reformation“, published in 1685.



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