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John Stow

Stow, John, 1525?–1605, English chronicler and antiquarian. He was a tailor in his youth, but after 1560 he came under the patronage of Archbishop Matthew Parker, whose Society of Antiquaries he joined, and began collecting historical documents and manuscripts. His edition of Chaucer appeared in 1561, and in 1565 he produced a Summarie of Englyshe Chronicles. His work was periodically examined by the government, as he was suspected of Roman Catholic inclinations. His Chronicles of England (1580) was first called Annales of England (its best-known title) in the edition of 1592. He produced editions of the work of Holinshed and other English chroniclers. In 1598 there appeared his Survey of London, an immensely valuable account of the city in Elizabethan times. John Strype issued a new edition in 1720 (repr. 1971). Stow is one of the most trustworthy of 16th-century chroniclers.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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