(1658–1725) The son of a Puritan cloth merchant of Leeds, he acquired an early interest in the antiquities of his birthplace. His business activities allowed him to travel widely and to record inscriptions, transcribe documents, and compile lists and pedigrees. He became a noted numismatist and antiquary, whose collection of coins and curiosities were displayed in his private museum. Recognition came in his election to the Royal Society and in an invitation to contribute to a new edition of Camden's Britannia. His major works were Ducatus Leodiensis (1715), a topographical survey, and Vicaria Leodiensis (1724), part of a larger projected history. See, ‘The First Medievalist in Leeds: Ralph Thoresby, F.R.S., 1658–1725’, in Ian S. Wood and Graham Loud (eds), Church and Chronicle in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to John Taylor (1991), and The Diary of Ralph Thoresby, F.R.S., ed. J. Hunter (2 vols, 1830).
From The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History in Oxford Reference.