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John Bigland

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John Bigland
Died23 February 1832 (age 82)
OccupationHistorian and schoolmaster

John Bigland (1750 – 22 February 1832) was an English schoolmaster and later an historian.

Early life and education

He was born of poor parents at Skirlaugh in the Holderness area of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

This section needs expansion with: information on his education. You can help by adding to it. (February 2012)


Bigland began his career as a village schoolmaster. In 1803, he published his first work occasioned, on his own account, by his religious scepticism. His work was a success, and he became a professional author, publishing in rapid succession a series of popular books, mainly connected with geography and history.


A natural history of birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects
A natural history of birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects

He was the author of articles in magazines; of a continuation to April 1808 of George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton's History of England in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son; and of an addition of the period of George III to Oliver Goldsmith's History of England. His other works include:

  • Reflections on the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ (1803)
  • Letters on the Study and Use of Ancient and Modern History (1804)
  • Letters on the Modern History and Political Aspect of Europe (1804)
  • Essays on Various Subjects (1805), two volumes
  • Letters on Natural History (1806)
  • A Geographical and Historical View of the World, Exhibiting a Complete Delineation of the Natural and Artificial Features of Each Country, &c. (1810), five volumes
  • A History of Spain from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Year 1809 (1810); translated and continued by Le Comte Mathieu Dumas to the epoch of the Restoration (1814), two volumes
  • A Sketch of the History of Europe from the Year 1783 to the Present Time (1811); in a later edition continued to 1814 (translated, and augmented in the military part, and continued to 1819 by Jacques W. MacCarthy, Paris, 1819), two volumes
  • The Philosophical Wanderers, or the History of the Roman Tribune and the Priestess of Minerva, Exhibiting the Vicissitudes That Diversify the Fortunes of Nations and Individuals (1811)
  • Yorkshire, being the 16th volume of the Beauties of England and Wales (1812)
  • A History of England from the Earliest Period to the Close of the War, 1814 (1815) two volumes
  • A System of Geography for the Use of Schools and Private Students (1816)
  • An Historical Display of the Effects of Physical and Moral Causes on the Character and Circumstances of Nations, Including a Comparison of the Ancients and Moderns in Regard to Their Intellectual and Social State (1816)
  • Letters on English History for the Use of Schools (1817)
  • Letters on French History for the Use of Schools (1818)
  • A Compendious History of the Jews (1820)
  • Memoirs (1830)

Personal life

Towards the end of his life, Bigland resided at Finningley, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire. He died, age eighty-two, in Finningley.

See also



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Bigland, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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