Sir Henry Spelman

[Sir Henry Spelman] Historian and antiquary; born c.1564 in Congham, England; died in 1641 in London, England. He was educated at Walsingham School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar. His experience in litigation over the leases of two abbeys, combined with a scandal connected with a church and parsonage in the possession of his uncle, caused him to write a pamphlet De non temerandis ecclesiis, which induced many lay owners of ecclesiastical property to make restitution. This tract led to his History and Fate of Sacrilege, which traced the decay and ruin of many families in Great Britain whose ancestors seized church lands. This was supposed to have perished in the Great Fire, but part of it was discovered in the Bodleian Library. Other works include Concilia Ecclesiastica Orbis Britannici, Glossarium Archaiologicum, completed by William Dugdale, and Reliquiae Spelmannianae, which was edited by Edmund Gibson in 1698.

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