Elias Ashmole, English antiquary

Elias Ashmole, English antiquary

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Caption: Elias Ashmole (1617-1692), English antiquary and collector. Ashmole trained as a lawyer, working in London. During the Civil War (1642-1651) he fled to Oxford and studied alchemy and astrology. On his return to London in 1649 he set up his household as a centre of learning. He later lodged with the collector and gardener John Tradescant and inherited his collection of plants, coins, minerals, and curiosities. In 1677, Ashmole gave his collection to Oxford University, where it was used to found the Ashmolean Museum, England's first public museum. This engraving is from Ashmole's posthumous 'The Antiquities of Berkshire' (1719).

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