Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Vidal, Robert Studley

VIDAL, ROBERT STUDLEY (1770–1841), antiquary, born in 1770, the son of Robert Studley Vidal, formerly a solicitor in London, who died at Exeter on 2 Jan. 1796, was called to the bar at the Middle Temple. He had antiquarian tastes, and communicated two papers on trial by ordeal and on the site of Kenwith Castle, Devonshire, to the Society of Antiquaries, through his friend Henry Wansey [q. v.] (published in Archæologia, xv.). His chief work was the translation of Mosheim's ‘Commentaries on the Affairs of the Christians before the Time of Constantine,’ vols. i. and ii. 1813, vol. iii. 1835. His projected edition of Cudworth's ‘Intellectual System’ was not published. He formed a valuable collection of coins and medals, which was sold by Leigh & Sotheby in 1842 after his death. He kept a pack of harriers at Cornborough, near Bideford, Devonshire, where he died on 21 Nov. 1841. By his will he founded two scholarships of 20l. a year each at St. John's College, Cambridge, charged upon his manor of Abbotsham. He prepared the third edition of ‘A Treatise on Copyholds’ (London, 1821, 2 vols. 8vo) by Charles Watkins [q. v.], and the fifth edition of the work on ‘Tenures’ (London, 1824, 8vo) of Sir Geoffrey or Jeffray Gilbert [q. v.]

[Gent. Mag. 1842 i. 114, 1843 i. 208.]

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