Written by Alfred Harvey, M.B., Bristol: A Historical and Topographical Account of the City was first published in London in 1906, containing some 300 printed pages it includes more than forty pen and ink drawings by E. H. New.
Harvey's history of Bristol is less a chronological account of the city and more a thematic account of the some of the city's history and better-known institutions. The history is introduced by an account of the early origins of the city, both Celt and Dane, before quickly moving onto the history of the City during the reigns of the Norman and Plantagenet Kings from. Harvey provides and interesting account of the City as witnessed by the Normans, which was then ranked as one of the largest and most important in the kingdom, and accounts for the chief historical events that beset the city between the reigns of William I and Edward III, which include the granting of the Charter to freemen of the City by King John, the disastrous reign of King Stephen and the plague years of the fourteenth century.
The Plantagenet history of Bristol is followed by a description of the City from the fourteen to the fifteenth century, a period that witnessed Bristol ranked as the second most important city in the kingdom next to London and a port that was easily the most pre-eminent in the country. The Chapter entitled 'Bristol under later sovereigns' details opens with the reigns of the early Stuart monarchs and the growing favour of trade from London rather than Bristol. Indeed, throughout Harvey's history of Bristol it is the mercantile question that dominates than than the politics of Kings and with the Coronation of Charles II the rejuvenation of Bristol is witnessed through its near-monopoly of trade with the West Indies and the vast wealth that this generated for the city.
Aparty from this almost chronological account of Bristol from the early middle gaes down to the reigns of the later Stuart Kings, Harvey also presebts the history of Bristol through the eyes of some of its best known edifices, which includes the abbey and other monsatic and collegiate establishments and the city's parish churches. However, religion aside, Harvey returns time and again to trade as the lifeblood of the city and the root of its foundation and presnts a further chapter on the city's muncipal institutions before presenting the reader with a description of some of the better known amusements, streets, houses and resindets of the city. The History of Bristol is concluded by a walking itinerary of the city providing a good description of Bristol as it was more thanm a century ago.
Republished here on fully-searchable digital format, Harvey's History of Bristol with its many attendant sketches, must appeal to anyone interested in the history, culture and commerce of the City of Bristil spanning more than 2,000 years.
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Extremely rare and sought-after this is an incredibly comprehensive account of the whole county and is a 'must-have for all Somerset researchers.
The Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset were published as a series of volumes from 1888.
Each volume comprises 8 separate books, and each book has up to 50 fascinating articles relating to the two counties, amounting to hundreds of articles in total.
Topics include transcriptions of parish registers, wills, administrations and parish chest records, descriptions of parishes and churches, churchwardens' accounts, anecdotes and stories, family histories, pedigrees, etc. A phenominal resource for those with Somerset and Dorset ancestors and those interested in the history of the two counties.
The complete set of 6 volumes.
Published in 1861 and 'impartially written by George Pryce, F.S.A.', this book is described on the title page as 'A popular History of Bristol, antiquarian, topographical and descriptive, from the earliest period to the present time, with biographical notices of eminent natives and residents.'
A superb resource for Family Historians with an interest in Bristol.
John Latimer was the editor of the Bristol Mercury from 1858 to 1883 and was obviously a man who knew and loved the city with a passion.
The book contains fascinating information on all aspects of life in the city. Essential reading for those with Bristolian ancestors.
Fully searchable in Adobe Acrobat Reader
Published in 1906, this magnificent book tells the political, social, economic, ecclesiastical and natural history of Somerset from the time of the Conquest. It contains really in-depth sections on Early Man and Romano British Somerset, a translation and critical study of the Doomsday Survey and lists of land with the landowners and contents.
It is incredibly well illustrated with maps, photographs and beautiful drawings, making it an easy and fascinating read.
As far as we know this is the first ever History of Wellington. Wellington hasn't been the scene of many great battles or great commercial growth but as the author puts it is the secene of many more "peaceful triumphs". This is a thorough history of the place which describes the various names and spellings of the place, it's very early history, the town's manorial history and it's presence in Domesday, Civil War, Ecclesiastical, Nonconformist, Industrial and Modern history. It also includes many family and personal histories. Most useful to family historians will be the Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1684 - 1812.
A must for those with ancestors from Wellington
The book discusses Bath's history stretching across Roman, Saxon and Danish times until 1801 when the book was published. It tackles the tales of the city's origins (previously embellished in Monk's histories of Bath) and describes how the waters first attracted people to the site. There are several chapters dedicated to the famous public baths and it's special mineral content, as well as detailed chapters on the Civil, Military and Ecclesiastical history of the city from very early times to the 19th century. Furthermore the book has descriptions of the city's parishes, hospitals, churches, police and courts all illustrated with maps and pictures.
A great book to get an insight into how historical events and circumstances affected the lives of your Bath ancestors.
The Bath Guide has the modern and ancient history of Bath and it's environs including, "every institution in the city which regards either charity, science or amusement, with observations on the virtues and use of the waters and all other particulars necessary to the Visitor or Resident. Embellished with an accurate plan of the city, a map of the country twelve miles around Bath and lithographic prints made expressly for this work"
The guide includes interesting little details such as the cost of visiting the baths, conditions of admission to hospital (if you had an ulcer or fever you were in trouble), it lists stage and water coaches times and destinations, it even has the times the post arrived. This guide will give you an excellent idea of what your ancestor's lives were like.
A comprehensive history of the town with chapters covering topics such as, Ancient State of the Town, Account of the Public Buildings and Charitable Institutions of Tauton, Civil Constitution, Trade and Manufactures, Political Transactions occurring in Taunton, Hamlets and finally the "Present State" of the town, which is of course in 1822.
Lots of fascinating information about the place and environment in which our ancestors lived. Particularly interesting to family historians will be the chapter on Tauton in the Domesday book. Lots of names and descriptions.
Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the first edition of Mrs Rodolph Stawell's Motor Tours in the West Country. Published by Hodder and Stoughton in London in 1910, this was the companion edition to Stawell's previous Motor Tours in Wales and Yorkshire, whose popularity witnessed second editions within a year of their initial publication.
Containing some 230 printed pages, the original publication is fully-indexed and includes a map of the route taken by the author and her photographer-husband, Rodolph de Salis Stawell, an Australian, who had married Maud Margaret Key in Ireland in 1900. Rodolph Stawell is credited with taking the 48 black-and-white photographs that illustrate Motor Tours in the West County none of which, unfortunately, reveal the author or photographer, but their 'motor' can be seen passing through Cheddar Gorge on page eight. Maud Stawell was a well-known author and translator prior to her marriage to Rodolph Stawell and is perhaps best-remembered for her collaboration in writing and retelling Fabre's Book of Insects, which had been translated by Teixeira Mattos from Souvenirs Entomologiques.
In its review of Motor Tours in the West Country the New York Times wrote that Stawell's intention was fun book primarily written for travellers, while at the same time intending to help the motorist of who their must have been very few. Hodder and Stoughton also viewed Motor Tours of the West Country as having very little in 'common with the dry-as-dust matter of fact guide-book', but was rather a 'delightful volume is specially written for those who like to know something of the history and antiquities of the places through which they pass, and for the lovers of beautiful scenery'. Stawell discusses the principal roads in Devon and Cornwall in considerable while only two chapter, the first and last, are given over to Somerset.
Each of the seven chapters is preceded with a summary of the distances covered. In chapter one, for example, the Stawell's begin their tour in Bristol at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, before travelling to Clevedon, Wells, Ilchester, Crewkerene and arriving at the Devon border some seventy-seven miles later. Of the roads, Stawell writes that there are no bad gradients except near chard, which was a 1 in 8; the road surface from Clifton to Ilchester was poor; Ilchester to Crewkerne, fair; and from Crewkerne to the Border, extremely good. Needless to say, the author has no mention of traffic, how different from today. The preceding chapters include the Heart of Devon from the border to Tavistock; the South Coast of Devon, from Exeter to Plymouth; South Cornwall, from Plymouth to Land's End via St. Buryan; North Cornwall, the longest tour of some 198 miles, from Land's End to Morwenstow; North Devon, from Morwenstow to Porlock and finally back to Somerset, from Porlock to Yeovil.
A beautifully observed account of the stunning scenery through which the Stawell's pass, which presents an honest account of both the difficulties encountered by early motorists - gradients, gravel and hair-pin turns are amongst the many - and the delights of travelling at speeds of almost forty miles per hour in an open-top motor. A truly delightful read and one that must appeal to anyone who enjoys travel literature and the counties through which the Stawell's pass on their tour.
The original Gentleman's Magazine contained articles on a vast array of subjects, including lots of wonderful topographical pieces.
In 1891 George Gomme republished all of these topograhical articles but edited and indexed them into county specific order. Each of Gomme's works contains between two and four separate counties, except for the London volumes.
An absolute goldmine of information about the county, its people and its places.
SEE BELOW FOR A VERY SPECIAL OFFER FOR ALL OF THE VOLUMES.
This is one of the most important resources that we have seen, and one that should be of great interest to all family historians. Published in 1772 it was the handbook of the duties and responsibilities of the Parish Officer.
It includes the duties of the overseers of the poor, the power in relieving, employing and settling, etc. of poor persons; the laws relating to the poor, and settlements, and the statutes concerning masters and servants. The right of Settlement was something that was of great concern to all of our ancestors. Basically, to be able to have right of settlement in a parish, one had to be born there, married there or serving an apprenticeship there. Proof was all-important, especially if a person became destitute and needed support from the parish. Parish officers would have people literally evicted and transported to another parish under such circumstances. What happened about bastardy? What obligations does an apprentice have to his master and vice-versa? This book describes it all, together with the supporting laws.
Other sections of the book include the authority and duty of constables, tithingmen, etc.; churchwardens, how they should be chosen, their duties, church accounts, repairing of churches, etc. There are some very interesting punishments for not attending church and keeping to the rules! There is a section on surveying the highways, Scavengers, methods of taxation of the highways, and laws. And finally, the duties and powers of Watchmen.
A wonderful collection of West Country maps.
Cornwall county maps 1695, 1814, 1831, 1837, 1844, 1856.
Newquay town plan 1909.
Devon county maps 1695, 1831, 1837, 1844.
Exeter town plan 1909.
Plymouth and Devonport plan 1896.
Somerset county maps 1695, 1831, 1837, 1844.
Dorset county maps 1695, 1831, 1837, 1844, 1849, 1927, 1931.
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