First published in 1883 and republished here in fully-searchable digital format is the first edition of the Diocesan History of Worcester. Containing some 383 printed pages the History of the Diocese of Worcester was written by the Rev. I. Gregory Smith, then Vicar of Great Malvern and the Rev. Phipps Onslow and published in London by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge is the oldest Anglican mission organisation and was established by the Rev. Dr. Thomas Bray and others in 1698 and apart from the Oxford and Cambridge University is the oldest publishing house or organisation in England and apart from its extensive publication and distribution of bibles and religious tracts, from the 1830s onward it embarked on the publication and distribution of general religious histories of the Anglican Church and the History of the Diocese of Worcester is one such example.
Existing as it it did as a See on the frontier of east and west, sandwiched between the powerful and unruly Kingdoms of Northumbria and Wessex, the See of Worcester, situated co-extensively within the territory of the Wiccii in Mercia was from its foundation subjected to the 'vicissitudes of a debatable land in the midst of contending forces' and more than once in its early history was the Bishop of Worcester found in his civil capacity defending his See against invaders.
The History of the Diocese of Worcester is presented in a roughly chronological fashion beginning with the conversion of the indigenous Princess of Wiccii to Christianity. Here its was seen that the Wiccians favoured the development of monasticism, which was in marked contrast to the remainder of the Kingdom of Mercia and it was argued by Smith and Onslow that assisted the Princess in civilising their Kingdom as well as providing shelter in turbulent times for members of their families and the Cathedral of Worcester was originated as one of these earliest monastic cathedrals and refuges.
From the Wiccian conversion, the History of the Diocese of Worcester traces the development of the Diocese and its history in a further fifteen chapters starting with the supremacy of the Kingdom of Mercia, the upheavals wrought by the arrival of the Danes and later the Normans and the bloodshed and battles fought on the lands of the See of Worcester during the reigns of the Plantagenet Kings. Much of the History of the Diocese of Worcester is not unnaturally given over to the period immediately before the Reformation and the subsequent impact on the Diocese during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary and Elizabeth before concluding with chapters centred around the periods of the Civil War and the Restoration, concluding with the state of the Diocese in the eighteenth century.
Written from a number of primary sources, the History of the Diocese of Worcester is fully-indexed and contains a number of valuable appendices, which include a complete list of the Bishops of the Diocese as well as the Priors and Deans, a short history on the Wiccii and a description of the arms of the See of Worcester. The History of the Diocese of Worcester is a valuable addition on the rich and varied history of this diverse and important diocese.
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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, with a single common index.
An absolute goldmine of information about the county, its people and its places.
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.
What can we say? Almost three hundred years old, this book, written by Cox was published in 1721 describing the history of the county and its people from earliest times, and has descriptions and history of each of the places in the county.
Superb scanned images of the original pages, which, although they are in the old type style of the period, are very readable, and most certainly fascinating. Superb early background information about the county for historians and genealogists. Unusually, the book still has its original map (1695) by Robert Morden, a collectors piece in its own right.
The book arrived here from a book dealer in a very sad state, and therefore we had it professionally rebound and re-covered in a traditional style of the period, in half leather, with raised bands on the spine, an inset maroon title bar with real gold leaf lettering, and lovely hand made mottled paper covered boards. Perfect in every respect.
This exceptionally rare book can now be seen by anyone.
Noake. Published in 1849
A delightful and informative history of the city of Worcester, and its changing face throughout the ages. Excellent background information for family historians.
Published in 1911 this is a wonderful history of the county of Worcestershire from ancient times.
It contains details of the origin and evolution of the towns, folklore and customs, old county families and changes in land ownership and much more.
A complete history of Bournville, a new town created in 1831 for the workers at the famous chocolate factory. The aim, which was very successful, was to create a complete living environment with housing, recreational facilities, etc. The book contains lots of early drawings of early Birmingham, and through to photographs of Bournville and its workers.
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