Born at Port Royal in Jamaica, he crossed over to England and in 1819 entered the Record Office in the Tower of London. Trained under Henry Petrie (1768-1842) he gained a sound knowledge of palaeography, and soon began to edit selections of the public records. From 1861 until his death he was deputy-keeper of the Record Office, which just before his appointment had been transferred to its new London headquarters in Chancery Lane. Hardy, who was knighted in 1873, had much to do with the appointment of the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1869.
Sir T Hardy edited the Close Rolls, Rotuli litterarum clausarum, 1204-1227 (2 vols., 1833?1844), with an introduction entitled "A Description of the Close Rolls, with an Account of the early Courts of Law and Equity"; and the Patent Rolls, Rotuli litterarum patentium, 1201-1316 (1835), with introduction, "A Description of the Patent Rolls, to which is added an Itinerary of King John." He also edited the Rotuli de oblatis etfinibus (1835), which deal also with the time of King John; the Rotuli Normanniae, 1200-1205, and 1417-1418 (1835), containing letters and grants of the English kings concerning the duchy of Normandy; the Charter Rolls, Rotuli chartarum, 1295-1216 (1837), giving with this work an account of the structure of charters; the Liberate Rolls, Rotuli de liberate ac de misis et praestitis regnante Johanne (1844); and the Modus tenendi parliamentum, with a translation (1846).
He wrote A Catalogue of Lords Chancellors, Keepers of the Great Seal, Masters of the Rolls and Officers of the Court of Chancery (1843); the preface to Henry Petrie's Monunienta historica Britannica (1848); and Descriptive Catalogue of Materiels relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland (3 vols., 1862-1871).
He edited William of Malmesbury's De gestis regum anglorum (2 vols., 1840); he continued and corrected John de Neve's Fasti ecclesiae Anglicanae (3 vols., Oxford, 1854); and with CT Martin he edited and translated L'Estorie des Engles of Geoffrey Gaimar (1888-1889). He wrote Syllabus in English of Documents in Rymer's Foedera (3 vols., 1869?f 885), and gave an account of the history of the public records from 1837 to 1851 in his Memoirs of the Life of Henry, Lord Langdale (1852), Lord Langdale (1783-1851), master of the rolls from 1836 to 1851, being largely responsible for the erection of the new Record Office. Hardy took part in the controversy about the date of the Athanasian creed, writing The Athanasian Creed in connection with the Utrecht Psalter (1872); and Further Report on the Utrecht Psalter (1874).
His younger brother, Sir William Hardy (1807 - March 17, 1887), was also an antiquary. He entered the Record Office in 1823, leaving it in 1830 to become keeper of the records of the duchy of Lancaster. In 1868, when these records were presented by Queen Victoria to the nation, he returned to the Record Office as an assistant keeper, and in 1878 he succeeded his brother Sir Thomas as deputy-keeper, resigning in 1886.
Sir W Hardy edited Jehan de Waurin's Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne (5 vols., 1864?1891); and he translated and edited the Charters of the Duchy of Lancaster (1845).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.