John Bigland

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John Bigland
Born 1750
Skirlaugh, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 23 February 1832 (age 82)
Finningley, South Yorkshire, England
Occupation Historian and schoolmaster

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

Early life and education[edit]

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


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

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[edit]

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

See also[edit]



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

External links[edit]