William White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland was originally published in Sheffield in 1846 and is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom. Containing more than 700 printed pages, the full-title of this publication gives a good indication as to the scope of the work: History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Leicestershire, and the small County of Rutland; together with the adjacent towns of Grantham and Stamford; comprising Surveys of both Counties, and Separate Historical, Statistical and Topographical Descriptions of all the Hundreds, Towns, Parishes, Townships, Chapelries, Villages, Hamlets, Manors, Liberties and Unions. Indeed, the title goes on to state that the History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire also contains alphabetical listings of residences, gentlemen's seats as well as all of the churches, chapels, patrons and values of the parishes in the counties covered by the directory. In his preface, William White offered this publication to the public as 'the first essay towards a popular history, topography and directory of the counties of Leicester and Rutland' and to a great extent White was successful in his aims. White claimed that every parish in Leicestershire and Rutland had been visited during the compilation of his publication and he also claimed 'that almost every house in both counties' had also been visited, which was probably somewhat of an exaggeration. However, the scope of the publication cannot be denied. The History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland is introduced with general historical and descriptive surveys of Leicestershire and Rutland. These record the extent and population of each, mainly taken from the statistical abstracts of the 1841 Census and also describes the nature of industry and agriculture, gentlemen's seats as well as those of the nobility, clergy and magistrates, for both counties. The majority of the History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland is comprised of the alphabetical gazetteer and directory; initially arranged by hundred and then by parish, these contain topographical, historical details on all of the towns, villages and hamlets in the county, providing the population of each parish, township, chapelry and extra-parochial liberty, together with their 'owners of the soil', Lord of the Manors and nature and value of the church livings, places of worship, their patrons and incumbents. In addition, information is provided on public and other buildings of note, public charities, institutions, trade and commerce, communications, remarkable local occurrences, objects of interest and curiosities. The directory portion for each denomination contains an alphabetical listing of the seats of the gentry and other principal residents as well as a classification of trades and professions. For principal places such as the town of Leicester in addition to the information detailed for other locations, White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland also provides an alphabetical directory of names, trades, professions and residences, which in the instance of the town of Leicester runs to some forty-eight pages. Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, Whites History, Gazetteer and Directory of Leicestershire & Rutland has to be one of the best and one of the earliest directories for the county and is a highly recommended purchase for anyone with a historical or genealogical interest in the county.
There are no comments yet