First published in 1893 by Lawrence and Bullen of London and republished here is the first edition (second series) of Essex: Highways, Byways and Waterways. Containing 254 pages Barrett provides 114 pen-and-ink sketches throughout the text mainly to provide 'antiquarian detail', whether it be of wood, stone or metal.
Written and illustrated by Charles Raymond Booth Barrett, conspicuous for his publications on the Royal Hussars and Society of Apothecaries, Barrett had published the first series of Essex Highways and Byways in 1892, but had quickly realised that his tour of the county had generated so much information that he could quickly bring a second edition - series - to press and started writing this before the release of the first. The first series witnessed the author touring the small towns and boroughs of Essex. This publication sees him touring some of the smaller villages and hamlets and the various stately homes and manor houses, both resplendent and ruinous. Barrett begins his tour in the village of Newport and travelling in a circular direction - by train it is assumed as one of his credits goes to the general manager of the Great Eastern Railway - west to east, finishing at Harlow.
Of the resplendent manor houses left unchanged by time were those of Faulkbourne Hall and Ingatestone, while others such as D'Arcy Hall and Rayne were in a state of some decay and yet others, notably Rochford, Netherhall, Beckingham, Dorewards and Rickling were in a most parlous state. Special attention was paid by the author, not unnaturally, to Waltham Abbey and the priory of St. Osyth.
Starting at Newport, Barrett describes the village in peculiar detail, debunking the possible myth that Nell Gwynn lived for a time here, before moving on to Wicken-Bonhunt and Arkesden. At the former place, standing in front of the new house known as Bonhunt Farm is a dilapidated little chapel, with a tiny nave and chancel. Possibly vaulted, the author attempted to gain access, but the small chapel, probably of Norman origin, was in such a state of disrepair that it was feared that it could collapse at any moment; and so Barrett moved on, next to Rickling and Finchingfield and then to Panfield, Bocking and Braintree. Ending his perambulations at Harlow the reader is left with a desire to learn more about the antiquities and ancient architecture of Essex.
A very readable and wonderfully-illustrated book that must certainly recall a county that has changed beyond all recognition in the century that has passed since Barrett undertook his tour. Fully-indexed, this publication is heartily recommend to anyone interested in the history, myth, legend and architecture of the Essex.
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Republished here is the 1938 first edition of a Companion into Essex. Published in London by Methuen & Co., a Companion into Essex contains some 267 printed pages and sixteen plates taken from photographs by Gordon Young.
Written by Herbert Winckworth Tompkins, a journalist and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and author, Tompkins had already written a number of successful and acclaimed travelogues, histories and biographies by the time he came to write this publication. These included the text for Hertfordshire in the much-lauded Highways and Byways series, Hertfordshire for the Little Guides publication, In Constable's Country - he also wrote Constable's biography - as well as a number of informal travel books such as Marsh-Country Rambles and The Complete Idler. A Companion into Essex went through a large number of editions until the end of the 1940s, an indication of this publication's appeal to its contemporary audience. Published just before the outbreak of WWII, a Companion into Essex harks back to a more pleasant and gentile way of life and before the county was swallowed almost in its entirety by Greater London.
Bordered by the River Thames to the south, marshes and creeks on the east, Harwich Sturmer and the River Stour wending its way into Gainsborough and Constable country to the north and to the west by Hertfordshire, Essex has as much to offer in history and variety of topography as any other county in England, a fact often overlooked by outsiders not familiar with its abundances, which can boast of Colchester, Chichester, the Epping Forest and Waltham Abbey within its borders to name but a few.
Not a travel book in the truest sense, the aim of the author is acknowledged in his introduction, which credits both the then recently-published Dictionary of National Biography and a number of topographical works detailing the county of Essex. Presented in a thoroughly enjoyable chapter, Tompkins visits many of the best-known places that Essex has to offer. Starting in the Epping Forest and ending' beside the tidal Couch', the reader is regaled with deeds of daring do of literary figures - real and imaginary - of robberies, great feats of bravery and often the banal minutia, that make for fascinating reading.
Chapters contained within the Companion into Essex include those treating on Waltham Abbey, Chelmsford, the Dunmows, Maldon, Constables's Country, Colchester, Harwich, Thaxted and Saffron Walden, Cranham, Southend-on-Sea, Romford, Barking, Tilbury and Grays. On Romford market, Tompkins regales the reader with the tales of the celebrity and dwarves and the visit of Daniel Defoe who toured through much of the county. All-in-all a Companion into Essex makes for a highly-entertaining trip through a county that has changed perhaps more than any other in the past seventy-years. Fully-indexed, both by person and place, Companion into Essex is not to be missed.
Published in 1915. An A-Z of all places within the county, and descriptions and history of each.
A fascinating guide to the history and antiquities of Colchester
Published in 1818 as a Complete Guide for Tourists and Travellers this book has historical and geological information on every town and village in Essex.
Bursting with entertaining stories, this comprehensive book contains a detailed map of the county and 100 beautiful engravings, which can be used in your own family history book.
A worthwhile and amusing read for those with ancestors from this area, this book will tell you the tales of their time.
Dedicated to memory of the late Ian Hunter of Essex.
Durham, Essex & Gloucestershire
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.
Lyson's. The Environs of London being a Historical Account of the Towns, Villages and Hamlets within Twelve Miles of that Capital.
The full set of this incredibly rare and expensive set of books. This is probably one of the most useful London history books ever written and has been an invaluable reference tool for generations of eminent London historians.
Superb historical account of towns, villages and hamlets within twelve miles of the capital with numerous references to family names, extract from registers and dozens of beautifull illustrations. Each volume carries its own excellent index.
Originally published in 1791, this set has been bound into six books with the contents as follows:
Volume one - part one: The county of Surrey.
Volume one - part two: The counties of Kent, Essex and Herts.
Volume two - part one: The county of Middlesex. Acton - Heston.
Volume two - part two: The county of Middlesex. Hornsey - Wilsdon.
Volume three: Those parishes in the county of Middlesex which are not described in The Environs of London.
Volume four: The counties of Herts, Essex and Kent.
We are extremely grateful to The Barnet Archives for the kind loan of this wonderful set of books.
Published in 1892, a wonderful description of all of the towns and villages in the four counties.
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