William Stukeley

Nov 7, 1687 - Mar 3, 1765

William Stukeley was an English antiquarian, physician, and Anglican clergyman. He pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.
Born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire as the son of a lawyer, Stukeley worked in his father's law business before attending Bene't College, Cambridge. In 1709 he began studying medicine at St Thomas's, Southwark, before working as a general practitioner in Boston, Lincolnshire. From 1710 till 1725 he embarked on annual tours of the countryside, seeking out archaeological monuments and other features that interested him; he wrote up and published several accounts of his travels. In 1717, he returned to London and established himself within the city's antiquarian circles. In 1718 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and became the first secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London. In 1721 he became a Freemason and in 1722 co-founded the Society of Roman Knights, an organisation devoted to the study of Roman Britain. In the early 1720s, Stukeley developed a particular interest in Stonehenge and Avebury, two prehistoric stone circles in Wiltshire.
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