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Laurence Echard (c. 1670–1730) was an English historian and clergyman. He wrote a History of England that was a standard work in its time.
He was the son of the Rev. Thomas Echard or Eachard of Barsham, Suffolk, by his wife, the daughter of Samuel and Dorothy Groome, and was born at Barsham. On 26 May 1687, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted a sizar of Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1692 and M.A. in 1695. Echard, having been ordained by John Moore, bishop of Norwich, was presented to the livings of Welton and Elkington, Lincolnshire, and was appointed chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln.
For more than twenty years Echard resided in Lincolnshire, chiefly at Louth, and wrote a number of works. On 24 April 1697 he was installed prebendary of Louth in the cathedral of Lincoln, and on 12 August 1712 archdeacon of Stow. In or about 1722 Echard was presented by George I to the livings of Rendlesham and Sudbourne in Suffolk. There he lived in bad health for nearly eight years. He died at Lincoln, while on his way to Scarborough for the benefit of the waters, on 16 August 1730, and was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalen's Church on the 29th of the same month.
He translated Terence, part of Plautus, Pierre Joseph d'Orléans' History of the Revolutions in England, and made numerous compilations on history, geography, and the classics. His chief work, however, is his The history of England: from the first entrance of Julius Caesar and the Romans to the end of the reign of King James the first containing the space of 1678 years (1707–1720). It covers the period from the Roman occupation to his own times, and continued to be the standard work on the subject until it was superseded by Nicolas Tindal's translations and expansions of Rapin de Thoyras's French Histoire d'Angleterre ("History of England"), which began to appear in English in 1727.
Echard married twice, first Jane, daughter of the Rev. Potter of Yorkshire, and secondly Justin, daughter of Robert Wooley of Well, Lincolnshire. There were no children by either marriage.
- "Eachard, Laurence (ECRT688L)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- The Forgotten Historian. Ronald T. Ridley. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- Royal Collection Trust. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Cousin, John William (1910). "Echard, Laurence". A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons – via Wikisource.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Echard, Laurence". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.