William Lambarde

William Lambarde (October 18, 1536 – August 19, 1601) was an antiquarian and writer on legal subjects.

Lambarde was born in London. His father was a draper (serving three times as Master of the Drapers' Company), an alderman and a sheriff of London. In 1556, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn. He studied Old English with Laurence Nowell, and in 1568, with Nowell's encouragement, published a collection of Anglo-Saxon laws, "Archaionomia", which was printed by John Day.

In 1570, he completed his "Perambulation of Kent", the first history of a British county. It circulated in manuscript before being printed in 1576. It proved to be very popular and went through several editions. Lambarde considered writing a similar work for all of Britain, but he set the idea aside when he learned that William Camden was already working on the same project.

Lambarde probably served as a Member of Parliament for Aldborough in the Parliament of 1563-1567. He was also a bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and a Justice of the Peace for Kent. He wrote "Eirenarcha: or of the Office of the Justices of Peace" (1581) a manual that became the standard work on the subject. He later wrote "Archeion, or, A Discourse Upon the High Courts of Justice in England" (1591), another important legal work.

Lambarde founded an almshouse in East Greenwich in 1576. Elizabeth made him Keeper of the Records in the Tower in 1601. He died that same year.


*"Lambarde, William" in "Dictionary of National Biography." 1973 repr. ed. London: Oxford University Press.
*J E Neale, "The Elizabethan House of Commons" (London: Jonathan Cape, 1949)
* Walton, Izaak. "The Lives of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, Herbert and Sanderson." London: W. Pickering, 1827. p. 469 [http://books.google.com/books?id=5n0DAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA469&dq=perambulation+of+kent&as_brr=1 googlebooks] Accessed Dec. 12, 2007

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