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James Edmund Vincent (with illustrations by Frederick L Griggs) Highways and Byways in Berkshire, 1906 James Edmund Vincent (with illustrations by Frederick L Griggs) Highways and Byways in Berkshire, 1906

Ref: IE5131
ISBN: 1-84630-598-5

Originally published in London 1906 by MacMillan & Co., Ltd., this first edition of the Highways and Byways in Berkshire, is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom. Macmillan began publishing the Highways & Byways series in 1899 and by 1909 had completed almost twenty publications in the series, which extended across the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales, with one publication on Normandy and and another on Ireland. This highly popular series continued until the beginning of the Second World War. In May 2009 Pan Macmillan reissued a one-volume collection of the best of the Highways and Byways series offering a glimpse of the very best of Britain.

The original publication of the Highways and Byways in Berkshire contains more than 440 printed pages and several maps of the county, but alas not one of the route of the author, James Edmund Vincent, who chose to take many short trips from central points, and 77 pen and ink illustrations by Hugh Thomson, providing as with all of the Highways and Byways series a wonderful mix of topography, local history and folklore, which perhaps more than ever allows the reader to rediscover parts of Britain that have long disappeared under a morass of concrete, which with its proximity to London is perhaps more the case with Berkshire than many other counties in the series.

Vincent undertook only thirteen 'expeditions' as he called them on which he reported in the Highways and Byways in Berkshire, perhaps because he chose to tarry for so long at a number of his stops, namely Windsor Castle and the Berkshire Downs. The remainder of Vincent's tours are recorded as follows: the fascination of Berkshire; the Berkshire Downs; the Stripling Thames; North Side of the Vale - Abingdon; Northern Side of the Vale - An Expedition; North of the Vale - Second Expedition; from Abingdon - Third Expedition; with Wallingford for Centre; King Alfred's Country; by Thames' Side; Windsor and its Castle; in the Forest Country; Berkshire and the Civil War.

Much of the charm a vigour of the Highways and Byways series which has stood the test of time is down to the travellers and in the case of Berkshire this is no exception. James Edmund Vincent (1857-1909) was born in Wales; a solicitor, chancellor of Bangor Diocese, author and journalist, he became best-known outside of his native country as an editor of periodicals and a topographical writer. The Highways and Byways of Berkshire was one of Vincent's last works. The Highways and Byways in Berkshire are replete with 77 pen and ink sketches by Frederick Landseer Griggs (1876-1938). A native of Hertfordshire, this was one of thirteen books illustrated by Griggs in the Highways and Byways series. An architectural draughtsman, illustrator, early conservationist, associate of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds, Griggs was the most distinguished etcher of his age and the first etcher to be elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. His illustrations from this period 'capture a vanishing England of a brooding spiritual intensity, harking back to an idyll of vanished dreams' and as such fit very well with the general themes of the Highways and Byways series, that of a vanished or forgotten heritage. The presence of so many of Grigg's sketches in one place is sufficient reason to purchase any of the series in which he was the illustrator. 

Price:   €12.11 (€14.90 Including VAT at 23%) VAT is only charged on customers in the European Union

The Gentleman's Magazine Library The Gentleman's Magazine Library

Ref: 0770brk

1731-1868, Bedfordshire, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire

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.


Price:   €15.56 (€19.14 Including VAT at 23%) VAT is only charged on customers in the European Union

The Complete Parish Officer 1772 The Complete Parish Officer 1772

Ref: 0766brk

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.


Price:   €20.49 (€25.20 Including VAT at 23%) VAT is only charged on customers in the European Union

Lyson's Magna Britannia - Berkshire (1806) Lyson's Magna Britannia - Berkshire (1806)

Ref: 0434-2

A really excellent description and history of Berkshire, its towns and villages and people.

Published in 1806. Illustrated with fine engravings. 

Price:   €13.91 (€17.11 Including VAT at 23%) VAT is only charged on customers in the European Union

Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire, 1882 Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire, 1882

Ref: IE5060
ISBN: 1-84630-241-2
Number of Pages: 385
File Size: 29 Mb
Availability: Download or CD
downloadable now

First published in London in 1882 and republished here is the third edition of John Murray's Handbook for Travellers to Berks, Bucks & Oxfordshire. Containing some 383 printed pages, the original title of the publication reads as follows: A Handbook for Travellers in Berks, Bucks, & Oxfordshire. Including a Particular Description of the University & City of Oxford, & the Descent of the Thames to Maidenhead & Windsor.

Travel writing as it is understood today can perhaps be traced to 1828 and Karl Baedeker's Rheinreise von Mainz bis Cöln. This was quickly followed by John Murray's Handbook for Travellers on the Continent and indeed Baedeker and Murray were to collaborate for the formers first publication in English in 1861. Murray's Handbooks for Travellers set the standard for English travellers for the rest of the nineteenth-century until Murray's was taken-over by the Muirhead brothers and their famous 'Blue Guides' in 1915.

John Murray (1809-1892) was educated at the prestigious English public school, Charterhouse from where he enrolled at Edinburgh University and following his studies he travelled extensively on the continent and this was the basis for his development of the first successful modern guidebooks, the Murray's Handbook for Travellers series. This series was begun in 1836 at a time when domestic and foreign travel was opening up, the guides came to cover all of Britain, the continent and further afield. Writers and contributors to these guides included known and unknown correspondents, including Thomas Cook correcting details about the Nile steamer, John Ruskin on Italian hotels and Felix Mendelssohn who recommended a hotel where he lived 'with a party of several ladies'. With their distinctive red covers and gold lettering Murray's handbooks became known and famous throughout the world. By the time the business was sold Murray's had help produce 400 titles and editions in the Handbook for Travellers Series and the company was also responsible for publishing works by David Livingstone and Charles Darwing, amongst many others.

This edition of Murray's Handbook for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, details 28 routes throughout the three counties in question and includes detailed introductory notes on each. The routes begin at Windsor Castle and the Great Park at Windsor in Buckinghamshire - a detailed plan for which is included - and ends in Oxford. Each route is introduced by the overall distance to be travelled, the available modes of transport, typically by rail and provides extremely details topographical, geological and historical information for all of the places of note in between the start and destination. The original is fully-indexed and contains many hundreds of contemporary advertisements, mainly for hotels in the United Kingdom, Ireland and continental Europe.

Republished here is a chance to own own Murray's Handbook for Travellers to Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, one of the publications that set the standard for independent travel literature throughout the English-speaking world.

This title is a DOWNLOAD. Please click the link on the receipt to initiate the download. If you would prefer a version on CD-ROM to be posted to you, please select the option below. It will cost an additional €6.00 (ex VAT) which includes all postage charges. 

Price:   €6.26 (€7.70 Including VAT at 23%) VAT is only charged on customers in the European Union

CD-ROM version and postage (plus 6.00 ex VAT)  

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