First published n London in 1829 by Edward Suter and republished here in fully-searchable digital format is John Southerden Burn's 257-page Registrum Ecclesiae Parochialis or The History of the Parish Registers in England, also of The Registers of Scotland, Ireland, The East & West Indies, Foreign Countries, Dissenters, The Fleet, King's Bench, Mint, Royal Chapel, Etc., with Observations on Bishop's Transcripts, and the Provisions of the Act of 52d George III. Cap 146.
Over a period of many years Southerden Burn had collected a miscellany of information from the parish registers her had professionally examined. It was noted that since the establishment of procedures for keeping accurate birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records during the reign of King Henry VIII, Government had periodically sought to pass legislation for regulating the records kept as was the case in 1812 under Provisions of 52d George III Cap 146, which should have standardised the good keeping and preservation of parochial records. It was, however, lamented that by 1829 provisions laid out in the Act had not been met in two important respects, namely the sufficient details were still not being inserted in parochial records being kept and transcripts of all parish registers were not being made and lodged annually with the Bishop's Archives. The latter point was deemed to be most lamentable if by some disaster the originals were lost or damaged.
At the time of writing Southerden Burn noted that that the first issue, the level of detail kept in parish records was especially woeful, making them largely speaking devoid of interest. This was, however, not always the case, especially in the earliest periods of record keeping, which record 'memoranda of every description', which Southerden Burn wished to illustrate in this publication.
Southerden Burn begins The History of Parish Registers in England by describing from the earliest times - references are made here to biblical records - the origin of parochial records culminating, are far as England was concerned, with the Injunction of Thomas Cromwell in September 1538 instigating the keeping of parochial records as we understand them today shortly after the advent of the Established Church of England. Most parochial records in England hope to trace their origins to this date when there were many more parish churches than there are today. This is followed by the legislation passed through parliament and elsewhere relating to the keeping of parish registers between 1538 and the Act of 1812 and an amendment Bill of 1824. These latter legislative measures set out the standard forms in which parish records were to be kept.
On the state and preservation of parish registers in which many explanations are proffered for large blank spaces in many parochial records as well as many other interesting observations in record keeping in England in general. This is followed by lengthy observations of the many peculiarities that can be witnessed in birth/baptism, marriage, death/burial registers throughout England and Southerden Burn goes into some considerable detail in noting and explaining how these peculiarities arose as well as the plethora of extraneous detail on individuals denoting the culture and customs of particular areas before turning his attention to the parochial records outside of England.
Commenting on the Kirk Session Records of Scotland Southerden Burn noted that of the 850 parishes present in Scotland only 99 were believed to keep regular and correct parish records and of these only but a handful of records pre-dated the start of the eighteenth-century and from these he provides many illustrations of the types of records kept. There follows an analysis of, with the exception of the Religious Society of Friends and the Jewish community, the woeful record keeping for the many dissenting religions present in England. The History of the Parish Registers of England is concluded with a number of chapters on the utility of parochial records in general, general observations and index.
Republished here in fully-searchable digital format, John Southerden Burn's The History of Parish Registers in England presents a thorough critique of the parish registers of England, their origins anomalies and uses and is a must for the contemporary user of parish records in England.
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Not a descriptive history book, but lists and dates of all Kings, together with lists of Bishops, Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, Baronets, and all the mayors of London. Liberally illustrated with their coats of arms.
The fascinating part is that about the Kings, because it covers the Kings of all the separate kingdoms of England and Wales, i.e. South Britain during Roman times, South Britain post Roman (AD 329), Kingdoms of Kent, South Saxon, West Saxon, East Saxon, East Angles, North Humbers, Mercia, English Saxons (from 455 AD), Kings of England of the Saxon Race (800 AD), The Danish Race (1017 AD), The Normans, and so on unto more modern times.
The Kings of Wales, Man and Wight.
It gives a fascinating insight into the fragmentation of Britain into different kingdoms before the time of the Normans (1066).
These two huge books are absolutely superb. Each contains several volumes, with a topical approach to life, people, places, architecture and fashions, etc. in England from Roman times through to 1860. The author has collected thousands of old engravings to illustrate the work. A double page of text, followed by a double page of illustrations throughout the volumes.
Use the illustrations to compliment your genealogy or family history work. Understand what life was really like in old England.
Picturesque England in Lay and Legend, Song and Story.
Hundreds of illustrations (black & white engravings), some full colour plates. This is a really wonderful book in all respects. History, geography, anecdotes and stories.
Wonderful historical accounts of seventeen English counties:
Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Herefor
An excellent collection of the results of the author's research into feudal England of the 11th and 12th centuries.
Published in two enormous volumes, this is the complete naval history of England from the Norman conquest to the conclusion of 1734, including details of expeditions and actions undertaken all over the world.
As well as history this book also details all of the naval laws and customs of the time plus rates of pay and pensions.
An absolutely fascinating book, the title page states 'A picture of England containing a description of the laws, customs and manners of England. Interspersed with curious and interesting anecdotes.
What makes the book doubly interesting is that it was written by M. D' Archenholz, formerly a captain in the service to the King of Prussia, and is here translated from the original French text. So what we have is a picture of late eighteenth century England from a foreign point of view.
Here is part of the author's view of London;
'As the English are prodigal of their money and their time in favour of every public establishment, one may naturally expect to find that London is well lighted. Nothing indeed, can be more superb. The lamps, which often consist of two, or, three, or sometimes four branches, are enclosed in crystal globes, and being attached to iron supporters, are placed at a small distance from each other. They are lighted at sunset, both in winter and summer, as well when the moon shines or not. In Oxford Street alone, there are more lamps than in all Paris'.
Here are some of the more interesting subjects covered:
Liberty of the Press, the state of religion, public spirit, hospitals, public executions, singular law with regard to women, the police of London, thieves, women of the town and many more fascinating items.
THE POPULAR HISTORY OF ENGLAND - AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SOCIETY AND GOVERNMENT FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO OUR OWN TIMES
by Charles Knight 1856/1862
This 8 volume set is not dated but these are the first editions which took Charles Knight (1791 - 1873 ) 6 years to complete.
With detailed information from B.C. 55 to 1867, and 66 full page steel engravings plus over 1,000 in text illustrations these volumes will give endless hours of absorbing reading.
A comment from Charles Knight in the preface states: I have to observe, that the wood engravings have been selected by me, not as mere embellishments but as illustrations of the text. They will have the advantage, in many cases of presenting a more vivid description, of localities, of monumental remains, of costume, of works of industry and art, of popular amusements; and, in connection with portraits of sovereigns engraved on steel, of remarkable persons, in civil, military, ecclesiastal, and military history.
Each volume has title page, over 4,000 pages in total, plus 66 full page and about 1,000 in text illustrations and a double page plan: London and part of the suburbs after the Great Fire in 1666.
Size of each volume 23.5cm by 15.5cm
An excellent book which describes the history and development of Parliament.
Colonel Hutchinson was one of the major figures in the English Civil War. He was based in Nottingham. This wonderful account of his life was taken from contemporary articles, and letters, many written by his wife.
This is one of the most comprehensive insights to life and events during the Civil War, and particularly in Nottinghamshire.
A very rare book
Interesting memoirs of notorious characters that have been convicted of crimes in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Comprising the stories of traitors, murderers, incendiaries, ravishers, pirates, forgers, impostors, thieves of every description and essays on crime and punishment. The book makes detailed observations about cases including the gory details such as the confessions and last exclamations of prisoners.
Not just the crimes of nobles, but the petty criminals and everyday people too, in their hundreds. Fully searchable and a really juicy read.
Hopefully you won't find your ancestor in here!
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