Originally published in London 1917 by MacMillan & Co., Ltd., this first edition of the Highways and Byways in Wiltshire, is republished here in fully-searchable digital format. 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 Wiltshire contains more than 450 printed pages, including a map of the county showing the routes taken by the author, Edward Hutton, who chose a number of circular routes that took him to the four corners of Wiltshire, and almost 90 pen and ink illustrations by Nelly Erichsen, 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, bypasses and motorways.
Edward Hutton undertook twenty-seven topographical tours upon which he reported in the Highways and Byways of Wiltshire, numbered amongst which were the following: Old Sarum; Salisbury; the Meads; the Salisbury Avon; Valley of the Bourne; Amesbury; Stonehenge; Upper Valleys of the Wyle, Winterbourne, Nadder and Ebble; the Dorest Border; the Somerset Border; Devizes; Savernake Forest and its villages; Marlborough and district; Avebury; Swindon; Cricklade; concluding with a number of tours along the valley of the western Avon and the foothills of the Cotswolds.
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 Wiltshire this is no exception. A British author with a penchant for travel, Edward Hutton (1875-1969) was as familiar if not more so with Italy than Wiltshire, having already published a biography on Boccaccio, and books on Florence, Northern Tuscany, Genoa, Ravenna and Italy and the Italians, by the time he took-up his topographical tour of Wiltshire for Macmillan. However, as with his Italian excursions, Hutton, in the words of the New York Times in a review of one of his earlier works remarked, Mr. Hutton is a man of candour and keen observation and wit, attributes he brought to the fore in his writing of the Highways and Byways of Wiltshire. Highways and Byways in Wiltshire is replete with almost 90 pen and ink sketches by Nelly Erichsen, an illustrator who flourished between 1882 and 1917 and for who Italy was also familiar having already illustrated works entitled Venice and its Story and the Story of Assisi. Nelly Erichsen's illustrations of Wiltshire are a delight and compliment Hutton's text beautifully.
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Written in 1913. Powerful and evocative descriptions of local customs, practices and characters of villages in the area including;
Basset Down, Wroughton, Hodson, Chiseldon, Badbury and Medbourne, Liddington, Wanborough, Aldbourne and Baydon, Hinton Parva and Bourton, Bishopstone and Idstone, Ashbury and Kingstone Winslow, Knighton and Woolstone, Uffington and Kingstone Lisle. The last six in the list were historically in Berkshire but were transferred to Oxfordshire in 1974.
Wonderful descriptions of life and characters of villages in the South Marston area based on the observations and recollections of the author. It also mentions surrounding villages such as Sevenhampton and Stanton Fitwarren. A particulary interesting chapter covers the workhouse at Stratton St Margaret where the author interviews some of the residents.
The book was written in 1912 so it covers the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Books such as this are invaluable to the family historian. Although perhaps your ancestors did not live in the area the lifestyle of people in villages all over the county would have been very similar indeed.
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.
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.
This book contains reams of historical details about the people, places and lifestyles of those living in Swindon before 1885.
Chapters include cloth workers, the wool trade, workhouses, the smuggling trade, old Churches, Mills, Manors, Houses and popular amusements of our Grandfathers to mention just a few. Unusually there is an entire section devoted to Ghosts, have you heard the one about the ghost that defied the clergy? Another section is about the town's "characters", is your ancestor Jenny Simmonds, Old Tom and his wounds or nanny Kernal? An amusing book that will tell you everything you need to know about Swindon town in the 1800s
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