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William Camden (1551 - 1623)

The pioneering work of John Leland was developed with added skill and refinement by the great antiquaries in the age of Elizabeth I - especially by the next visitor known to have recorded his thoughts of Manchester, William Camden.

William Camden was born in London and, like Leland, had some family roots in Lancashire. After an education in London and Oxford, Camden became master of the prestigious West¬minster School. His formidable researches, especially in the field of topography, culminated in his magnificent work "Britannia", which, soon after its publication, was translated into several European languages and became one of the standard reference sources for foreign travellers to England.

On November 9th 1623, Camden died after a painful illness of blood vomiting and paralysis. He was honoured with an inter¬ment in Westminster Abbey and his name is commemorated in the famous Camden Society. There is one curious coincidence concerning William Camden. He was related to the Curwens of Workington in Cumberland, many of whom emigrated to New England in the seventeenth century. In 1777 Samuel Curwen, a descendant of these original emigrants, visited England and wrote a description of Man¬chester. Could it be that Samuel's ancestor was the famous William Camden?

 
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