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garter principal king at arms, was born in 1711, the son of Richard

, garter principal king at arms, was born in 1711, the son of Richard Bigland, of Kendal, in Westmoreland, the descendant of a family originally seated at Bigland, Lancashire. The subject of this brief notice, after going through all the offices in the College of Arms, and executing also the office of registrar, to which he was appointed in 1763, became the head of it in 1780, but enjoyed his elevation a very short time, dying in James-street, Bedford-row, March 27, 1784. He was buried with his parents at Stepney. He was deservedly esteemed and regretted, as a man of much skill in heraldry and other branches of antiquities. The great collections he had made for a history of Gloucestershire were intended to have been arranged and given by him to the public, and have since been partly published by his son Richard Bigland, of Frocester, esq. under the title of “Historical, monumental, and genealogical collections, relative to the county of Gloucester,” &c. fol. 1792, to which a second volume will probably be added by Mr. Nichols.

In May 1677, our antiquary was solemnly created Garter principal king at arms, and the day after received from his

In May 1677, our antiquary was solemnly created Garter principal king at arms, and the day after received from his majesty the honour of knighthood, much against his will, on account of the smallness of his estate. In 1681 he published “A short View of the late Troubles in England; briefly setting forth their rise, growth, and tragical conclusion, &c.” folio. This is perhaps the least valued of all his works, or rather the only one which is not very much valued. He published also at the same time, “The ancient usage in bearing of such ensigns of honour as are co'i.monly called Arms, &,c.” 8vo a second edition of which was published in the beginning of the year following, with large additions. The last work he published, was, “A perfect copy of all summons of the nobility to the great councils and parliaments of this realm, from the 49th of king Henry III. until these present times, &e.” 1685, folio. He wrote some other pieces relating to the same subjects, which were never published; and was likewise the chief promoter of the Saxon Dictionary by Mr. William Somner, printed at Oxford in 1659. His collections of materials for the Antiquities of Warwickshire, and Baronage of England, all written with his own hand, contained in 27 vols, in folio, he gave by will to the university of Oxford; together with sixteen other volumes, some of his own hand-writing; which are now preserved in Ashmole’s Museum. He gave likewise several books to the Heralds’ office, in London, and procured many more for their library.