Elias Ashmole (1617–1692)

Image credit: Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

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Elias Ashmole was born in Breadmarket Street, Lichfield, in 1619, the son of a saddler. At Oxford he began his study of physics, mathematics, and astrology. During the Civil War he held important Royalist appointments and after the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 he researched and published a history of the Order of the Garter (his right hand rests on a copy of this book in the portrait). He was a generous benefactor to his native city: the Ashmole Cup is now in the Treasury of the Lichfield Heritage Centre and the Cathedral Choir benefited from several gifts of music. His celebrated collection of antiquities and his library became the basis of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the world’s first public museum.

Lichfield Guildhall



Elias Ashmole (1617–1692)




oil on canvas


H 160 x W 123 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

transferred from Lichfield Museum and Free Library, 1970

Work type



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Lichfield Guildhall

Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6LU England

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