Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Astry, Richard

ASTRY, RICHARD (1632?–1714), antiquary, was born in Huntingdonshire in or about 1632. He was admitted of Queens' College, Cambridge, on March 14, 1647-8; proceeded B.A. in 1651; and in 1654 obtained from his college a grace for M.A., though that degree is not recorded in the university registers. After leaving the university he was elected an alderman of Huntingdon, and he was buried at St. Mary's in that town on Aug. 11, 1714, aged 83. He is the author of a quarto volume of collections, heraldic and topographical, relating to the county of Huntingdon, preserved in the Lansdowne MS. 921. The authorship of this MS., which is the only systematic attempt towards a history of Huntingdonshire, has hitherto been erroneously ascribed to Sir Robert Cotton. Mr. Thomas Baker has made copious extracts from this work in the thirty-sixth volume of his MSS. now deposited in the University Library, Cambridge. Astry also drew up 'Alphabetical Catalogues of English Surnames, with the arms belonging to them, and the particular times that the persons recorded lived; 'forming three small but rather thick oblong folio volumes, formerly in the possession of the Rev. Henry Freeman, of Norman Cross.

[MS. Baker, 36; MS. Lansd. 921.]

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