William Stukeley

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William Stukeley

William Stukeley (November 7, 1687March 3, 1765) was an English antiquary and pioneering field-archaeologist. He was one of the first enthusiasts for the achievements of Druidic science and philosophy.


  • Our predecessors, the Druids of Britain, tho' left in the extremest west to the improvement of their own thoughts, yet advanc'd their inquiries, under all disadvantages, to such heights, as should make our moderns asham'd, to wink in the sunshine of learning and religion.
    • Stonehenge: A Temple Restor'd to the British Druids, Preface. (1740).
  • He told me, he was just in the same situation [i.e. in a garden], as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. It was occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a contemplative mood. Why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground, thought he to him self. Why should it not go sideways or upwards, but constantly to the earths centre? Assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in matter.
    • A Hastings White (ed.) Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life (1936) pp. 19-20. (1752)
    • Relating a conversation with Sir Isaac Newton.
  • This mighty wall of four score miles in length is only exceeded by the Chinese wall, which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned at the moon.
    • Private letter published in The Family Memoirs of the Rev. William Stukeley (1887) Vol. 3, p. 142. (1754).

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