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William George Hoskins CBE FBA (22 May 1908 – 11 January 1992) was an English local historian who founded the first university department of English Local History. His great contribution to the study of history was in the field of landscape history. Hoskins demonstrated the profound impact of human activity on the evolution of the English landscape in a pioneering book: The Making of the English Landscape. His work has had lasting influence in the fields of local and landscape history and historical and environmental conservation. William George Hoskins was born at 26–28 St David's Hill, Exeter, Devon on 22 May 1908: his father, like his grandfather, was a baker.
He won a scholarship to Hele's School in 1918, and attended the University College of South West England where he gained BSc and MSc degrees in economics by the age of 21. Both his MSc in 1929 and his PhD in 1938 were on the history of Devon.
The remainder of his life was devoted to university teaching and the authorship of historical works. He died on 11 January 1992 in Cullompton, Devon.