Ord, Craven (DNB00)
ORD, CRAVEN (1756–1832), antiquary, the younger son of Harry Ord, of the king's remembrancer's office, by Anne, daughter of Francis Hutchinson of Barnard Castle, Durham, was born in London in 1756. His uncle, Robert Ord [q. v.], was chief baron of the Scottish exchequer. Ord was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on 26 Jan. 1775, and of the Royal Society on 3 May 1787 (Thomson, Royal Soc. App. iv. lix). He was for several years vice-president of the former society, and at the time of his death was, together with Bray and Dr. Latham, one of its three patriarchs. His life was mainly devoted to antiquarian researches. In association with Sir John Cullum, he prompted and assisted Gough in his great work on the ‘Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain,’ and to Ord's exertions, Gough testified, ‘are owing the impressions of some of the finest brasses, as well as many valuable descriptive hints’ (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. vi. 286). In September 1780 he undertook a tour in search of brasses in East-Anglia, together with Gough and Cullum, who described their success with enthusiasm. From Wisbech they proceeded ‘sixteen miles of one uniform level, through such a string of noble churches, most dreadfully situated, as cannot be matched, I believe, in the kingdom,’ to Lynn, ‘where is the noblest parcel of brasses I ever met with, in perfect preservation.’ He left few churches in southern England unexplored, and formed a unique collection of impressions of brasses. His method of obtaining the impressions was as follows: he always carried with him French paper kept damp in a specially prepared case, printer's ink, and a quantity of rags; he inked the brass, then wiped it very clean, laid on the paper, covered it with some thicknesses of cloth, and then trod upon it. He finished the outlines at home, cut out the figures, and pasted them in a large portfolio. His collection of impressions of sepulchral brasses, bound in two volumes, with deal boards over six feet in height, was purchased by Thorpe the bookseller in 1830 for 43l. 1s.
Ord's literary assistance was acknowledged by Nichols, by Mantell, and by Ormerod in their respective histories of Leicestershire, Surrey, and Cheshire; but he published nothing separately, his writings being confined to his communications to the ‘Archæologia.’ The most valuable of these were: in 1790, ‘An Inventory of Crown Jewels made in 3 Edward III’ (x. 241–260); in 1794, ‘Sir Edward Waldegrave's Accompt for the Funeral of King Edward VI’ (xii. 334–396); in 1803, ‘An Account of the Entertainment of King Henry VI at the Abbey of St. Edmunds Bury in 1433’ (xv. 65 seq.); in 1806, ‘Copies of five curious Writs of Privy Seal, one in the time of Queen Mary, and the others of Queen Elizabeth’ (xvi. 91 seq.)
Ord's extremely valuable library was mainly dispersed in June 1829, on the occasion of his leaving England for the sake of his health. At the same time was sold a portion of his choice collection of historical manuscripts. His ‘Registrum de Bury, temp. Edward III,’ was purchased by Madden for 126l., and his ‘Liber Garderobæ ab anno 18 Edw. II ad annum 15 Edw. III’ by Thorpe for 110l. 15s. His Suffolk collections, in twenty folio volumes, with three volumes of indexes, were obtained by the last-mentioned dealer for 210l.; all are now in the British Museum, together with a series of illustrative drawings (in Addit. MSS. 7101–2, 8986–7). A second sale of Ord's manuscripts took place in January 1830, when a very large quantity of small ancient deeds was sold in bags, and fetched from 2l. to 3l. each. Many of the manuscripts had previously belonged to J. Martin, the Thetford antiquary, and were acquired by Ord for a few shillings. The collections of Francis Douce and of Sir Thomas Phillipps were largely reinforced from Ord's sale. The remainder of his library was sold after his death, in May 1832.
Previous to 1829 Ord had resided chiefly at his seat of Greenstead Hall in Essex, where most of his children were born; but he died at Woolwich Common in January 1832. He married, in June 1784, Mary Smith, daughter of John Redman of Greenstead Hall, Essex, by whom he had five sons—the Rev. Craven Ord (1786–1836), vicar of St. Mary-de-Wigtoft, Lincolnshire, 1809, prebendary of Lincoln, 1814, married in 1814 Margaret Blagrave, a niece of the Rev. Sir John Cullum, bart., succeeded his father in his property at Greenstead, and died 14 Dec. 1836; Major Robert Hutchinson Ord, K.H., of the royal artillery, who married in 1817 Elizabeth Blagrave, a sister of the preceding; Captain William Redman Ord of the royal engineers; John Ord, M.D., of Hertford; Captain Harry Gough Ord, father of Sir Harry St. George Ord [q. v.] —and one daughter, Harriot Mary, who married in 1815 the Rev. George Hughes.
[Gent. Mag. 1829 ii. 65–6, 1830 i. 254, 1832 i. 469–70; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes and Literary Illustrations, passim; Nichols's History of Leicester, i. and iv. 614; Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, i. 10; Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 7965–7; Catalogue of the Curious and Valuable Library of Craven Ord, esq., sold by Mr. Evans at 93 Pall Mall.]