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Richard Colt Hoare

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Richard Colt Hoare (9 December, 17587 May, 1838) was an English antiquarian and archaeologist of the early nineteenth century. He was descended from Sir Richard Hoare, Lord Mayor of London, the founder of the family banking business.

An ample allowance from his grandfather Henry enabled him to pursue the archaeological studies for which he had already shown an inclination. In 1783 he married Hester, daughter of William Henry, Lord Lyttelton, and after her death in 1785 he paid a prolonged visit to France, Italy and Switzerland. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1787, and in 1788 made a second continental tour, the record of his travels appearing in 1819 under the title A Classical Tour through Italy and Sicily. A journey through Wales was followed by a translation of the Itinerarium Cambriae and of the Descriptio Cambriae of Giraldus Cambrensis, Hoare adding notes and a life of Giraldus to the translation. This was first published in 1804, and was subsequently revised by T. Wright in 1863.

Colt Hoare died at Stourhead, Wiltshire, in 1838.

Contributions to archaeology

Colt Hoare excavated 379 barrows on Salisbury Plain as well as identifying many other sites in the area, publishing and classifying his findings. However as the three-age system had not yet been introduced he was unable to date his finds and therefore at a disadvantage when trying to interpret them. In 1821 his book Ancient Wiltshire attempted to outline his findings.

Hoare's most important work was his Ancient History of North and South Wiltshire (1812 - 1819); he also did some work on the large History of Modern Wiltshire (1822 - 1844).

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