Wanley, Humfrey

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Wanley, Humfrey Gender: M
born on 21 March 1672 Jul.Cal. (31 Mar 1672 greg.) at 12:00 (= 12:00 noon )
Place Coventry, England, 52n25, 1w30
Timezone LMT m1w30 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 11°32' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 14°10 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 04°14'


English librarian, palaeographer and scholar of Old English, employed by manuscript collectors such as Robert and Edward Harley. He was the first keeper of the Harlein Library, now the Harleian Collection.

Starting out as a draper in his home town, he soon tired of this and moved to Oxford University to study in 1695 thanks to his patron William Lloyd, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. There he worked as an assistant at the Bodleian Library until 1700, when he moved to London, where he gained temporary jobs as secretary to the SPCK and assistant to Hans Sloane (Sloane was secretary to the Royal Society, and Wanley was elected a Fellow of it in 1706), before landing a settled job with the Harleys which he held to the end of his life.

Wanley, together with John Bagford and John Talman, was one of three 'founder members' of the reconstituted Society of Antiquaries, which first met at the Bear Tavern on the Strand on 5 December 1707. Wanley contributed to the scholarship of Old English literature with his 1705 catalog of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, Antiquae literaturae septentrionalis liber alter.

Wanley married twice. He died of dropsy on 6 July 1726 and was buried at St Marylebone Church.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Death, Cause unspecified 6 July 1726 Jul.Cal. (17 July 1726 greg.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes family bible transcribed in "Family Genealogica" by F. A. Crisp, Vol. I (1889), p. 2: "Humphrey Wanley, son to Nath[aniel]:, borne March 21, 1671/2, about 12 a'clock at noone."


  • Vocation : Education : Librarian
  • Vocation : Humanities+Social Sciences : Linguist (Palaeographer)
  • Vocation : Writers : Publisher/ Editor (Cataloger of manuscripts)