Life and work 
Askew was born in Kendal, Westmorland, the son of Dr. Adam Askew, a well-known physician of Newcastle. His early education was at Sedbergh School and The Royal Free Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne, where by all accounts he was terrified of the formidable Head Master, Richard Dawes. He took the degree of M.B. at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Initially intended for the medical profession, Askew studied for one year at Leiden University in Holland. He then travelled to Hungary, Athens, Constantinople, Italy, and other countries. He started medical practice at Cambridge in 1750, in which year he took his degree of M.D., and afterwards established himself in London. He had a good practice, and was physician to St. Bartholomew's and Christ's Hospital, and Registrar of the College of Physicians. He was married twice, the second time to Elizabeth Halford, by whom he had twelve children.
Askew is best known today as a classical scholar and bibliophile. He assembled one of the greatest private collections of books and manuscripts of his time, the Bibliotheca Askeviana, helping to develop the taste for curious manuscripts, scarce editions, and fine copies.
According to De Ricci, Askew "attempted to secure a complete series of all the Greek classics ever published; he purchased privately R. Mead's Greek manuscripts, the papers of Dr. Taylor and some fine early classical codices from the library of the Maffei family". And Besson says, "rare manuscripts and choice editions in exquisite bindings abounded in his library, and Askew has been credited with having made bibliomania fashionable. . . . After the death of Askew, the library was sold at an auction which lasted from 13 February to 7 March 1775. The catalogue of the collection was sold at one shilling and sixpence, with a few copies on royal paper at four shillings . . . ."
The purchasers of Askew's books at the auction included the anatomist William Hunter, the British Museum and the kings of England and France. Books purchased by George III of England were added to the King's Library.
Askew's extensive collection of transcribed inscriptions is on show in the British Museum.
- Bibliotheca Askveiana: Auction catalogue of Anthony Askew's library
- Myers Literary Guide
- "Askew, Anthony". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/799. (subscription or UK public library membership required). The first edition of this text is available as an article on Wikisource: "Askew, Anthony". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Portrait of Askew in the National Portrait Gallery
- A podcast about a copy of the Almagest from his collection at the University of Leeds
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