Wiltshire-born antiquarian Jon Aubrey is best-known for his discovery of the holes at Stonehenge, which were named after him – the Aubrey Holes. A solitary, bookish child, as an adult he was known as charismatic and sociable, and often wrote about thoughts and opinions of the mathematicians, scientists and politicians with whom he socialised, and became an influential and passionate biographer.
His first major undertaking as a historian was a publication called Wiltshire Antiquities, but he is best known for his publication Brief Lives (compiled from his notes after death), and, especially, his Monumenta Britannica.
In 1666, Aubrey wrote about five circular indents in the ground at Stonehenge. His observations were ignored until, in the 1920s, Colonel William Hawley’s assistant Robert Newall identified a ring of pits, and named in honour of Aubrey.
Aubrey died of an apoplexy while travelling, in June 1697, and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene, Oxford.