Contents of the fikst volume



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to a true Topographer, namely, Perseverance and Enthusiasm.


These feelings, however, were transient. We have seen already that Whitaker did not

at all abandon either his love for topography or the literary composition to which it led ;

but in his latter years he was drawn into a different line of procedure by the liberal offers

which were made to him by publishers. Ilis series of works in quarto, whether accom-

plished or projected, have been purposely reviewed in succession ; and we now proceed to

the more magnificent series in folio.


A new edition of the Ducatus Leodicnsis, or History of Leedes, by Ralph Thoresby,

first published in 1715, was undertaken on a sumptuous scale by Messrs. Robinson,

Son, and Holdsworth of Leeds, and Mr. John Hurst of Wakefield. Dr. Whitaker made

copious additions, and inserted a memoir of the author. The book was published in

a very large folio ; and in a corresponding volume, having the same date in its title-page,

1816, both being richly embellished with excellent engravings, appeared Dr. Whitaker's

" lioidis and Elmete ; or, an attempt to illustrate the Districts described in those words by

Bede, and supposed to embrace the lower portions of Aredale and Wharfdale, together with

the entire Vale of Calder in the County of York." The former book was dedicated to the

Duke of Leeds, and the latter to the Archbishop of York, Dr. Venablcs-Vernon. Subse-

quently, in 1821, there was added " An Appendix to Loidis and Elmete," consisting of 88

pages, with four plates, one of which Gledhow, by J. M. W. Turner, engraved by George

Cooke, is a landscape that is scarcely surpassed by those in the " Richmondshire."
Dr. Whitaker had now arrived at the height of his success and of his enthusiasm as

a topographical historian. Whilst still engaged in the Loidis and Elmete, he continued

his collections for the History of Lonsdale, and was tempted, by the offers held out to
1 Which has been suggested to the author. From some future undertaking of a much less laborious nature, if

life and leisure permit, he means not to preclude himself. (Note by Dr. Whitaker.)


BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF


him by some London publishers then distinguished for the magnificent scale of their

transactions, to form visions of a work hitherto unexampled. 1 The Prospectus of this

undertaking, which was issued in Feb. 1816, is here reproduced, for, as displaying tho,

extended scope of a design, of which he was eventually able to accomplish but a small

portion, it may certainly be regarded as one of the most remarkable effusions that ever

proceeded either from the pen of Dr. Whitaker or from any other literary projector,

however confident and ambitious :
Prospectus of A GENERAL HISTORY of the COUNTY of YORK. BY THOMAS DUNHAM WHITAKER, LL.D.

F.S.A. Vicar of Whalley, and Rector of Heysham, in Lancashire.


TFIE History of Craven, together with the republication of Thoresby's Ducatus Leodiensis, and the

supplementary volume which accompanies it, having already embraced more than one fourth part of this great

county, both in extent and population, the Author of two of these works, and the Editor of the other, has

been induced to submit to the Public, and especially to the Nobility, Gentry, and Clergy of Yorkshire, such

an extension of the plan, as will gradually comprehend the whole.
AVith respect to the limits of such an undertaking it is impossible to speak with precision: an unexpected

redundancy of materials in one part, and an equally unforeseen deficiency in a second, may frequently occur,

and yet be very far from balancing each other; but, as a conjecture, rather than an assertion, it may be stated

that seven folio volumes, of about five hundred pages each, and of the same type with the supplementary

volume to Thoresby's Ducatus, will probably complete the work. To render this limitation, with respect to

the treatment of a subject so extensive and multifarious, the more credible, the Author wishes it to be

understood that his great objects in the use of the materials to be committed to him will be selection and

compression. Subjects which are really important, either in point of picturesque beauty, of antiquity, or of

their connexion with historical facts, will be treated of in detail: those, on the contrary, which have none of

these recommendations, will, as far as it may appear consistent with accuracy, be thrown into the shade, in

order to give relief and prominence to the others.
The Author's researches, besides a personal application to original authorities existing in public libraries,

and, where he may be permitted, in private collections also, will extend to an exact survey of every parish :

thankful as he shall always be for previous directions to objects of curiosity, he will take nothing upon trust.

He will see every thing with his own eyes ; he will make minutes upon the spot. In order to the attainment

of the same accuracy in those parts of his subject which depend upon written evidence, he most respectfully

desires the representatives of ancient and noble families, who may be induced to encourage the projected work,

to consider what a stamp of authenticity is impressed upon the whole by a general opinion of its having been
1 It will he remembered that the Magnet Britannia of the brothers Daniel and Samuel Lysons, a really sound,

substantial, and comprehensive, if less brilliant, work, was actually in progress at the same time, though unfortunately

lingering in its laborious course. The counties were taken alphabetically, and published, Bedfordshire, Berkshire,

and Buckinghamshire, 1806; Cambridgeshire, 1808; Cheshire, 1810; Cornwall, 1814; Cumberland, 1816 ; Derby-

shire, 1818; Devonshire, 1822. There this excellent work stopped. It must also be borne in mind that at a time

when Whitaker had not yet conceived his own magnificent scheme, he had done ample justice to the Magna Britannia

in the Quarterly Review for May 1811 : " On the whole, considering the laborious work of Messrs. Lysons as a series
of volumes for the purposes of reference, we think it entitled to much and general commendation.
The arrangement also is clear and the style perspicuous and unaffected. These are praises which belong to the

authors ; the defects of the work arise out of the plan itself perpetual abridgement where detail was loudly called for,

and mortifying transitions from one subject to another at the moment when interest and anxiety were beginning to be

excited." The apology for which limitations must always be Est quodam prodire tenus si non datur ultra.


THOMAS DUNHAM WHITAKER. xxvii


compiled from original authorities. In more than one topographical work, already before the public, it has

been, with very few exceptions, the happiness of the Author to have drawn from the' first fountains of

information. In this age of general intelligence and liberal communication little, it may be hoped, remains of

that absurd jealousy, by which the ancient stores of families were supposed to contain unknown and

unsuspected secrets, which might shake the titles to estates. The most superficial knowledge of the law of

England, as it exists at present, must in a moment remove every such apprehension. Discovery, while it is

the most animating object of a topographer, can alone give an interest in the minds of real judges to a

topographical work. What, for example, would have been the feelings of the writer, what the loss and

disappointment of his readers, had he been debarred from access to the stores of the Cliffords, in their two

surviving branches at Skipton and Bolton? And can it be supposed that in a county, which for several

centuries has been the principal residence of so many noble families, distinguished for their activity and

exertions in war and peace, the grantees also of so many religious houses, there should neither have been

curiosity to collect, nor care to preserve, the evidences, which from time to time had fallen into their hand ?
Antiquarian research, and even poetry itself, have of late been turned to the elucidation of ancient manners:

and the pursuit is a decisive proof of the superior intelligence and curiosity which belong to modern times.

Heretofore, when an antiquary had given a tolerable view of the ruins of a religious house, the name of the

founder, the date of the foundation, with the manors and carucatcs which it possessed, in faithful and dull

detail, his office was performed, and his readers were satisfied. Meanwhile it never occurred to the one or the

other that all this was the body only, not the soul of monastic history; that monkish manners, a system of life

not only picturesque and magnificent, but combined in some degree both with piety and usefulness, was a

study for philosophers; that all its varieties are yet accessible, and what is better, accessible not by means of

direct and formal narrative, but through the medium of inference and induction (one of the most delightful

exercises of an intelligent antiquary) in the compotuses of the religious houses. To the stores of this nature

which are reposited in the libraries of ancient families, and still perhaps unexplored, the Author looks with

anxious expectations: but in the Harleian and Cotton libraries, and above all, in the indigested, but almost

inexhaustible, collections of Dodsworth, he reckons with certainty on much original intelligence.
Besides those objects of research which are already pointed out in other topographical works, he is aware

that throughout the progress of a personal survey he must be indebted to the original information of

respectable persons resident on the spot for a knowledge of many interesting objects hitherto unnoticed, and

of discoveries which have lately taken place. On this subject he respectfully addresses himself to his brethren

the parochial clergy, whose local knowledge of their respective districts, as well as intimate acquaintance with

their own parish registers, and the antiquities of their churches, renders them peculiarly qualified to

communicate hints and directions to an inquisitive stranger. Such communications the Author will always

receive with gratitude.


For a continuation of the catalogues of incumbents from the time of Charles II. when Mr. Torre's

collections cease, the author will feel himself much indebted to their living successors.


To add materials to a history of manners as well as of places, any intelligence with respect to the birth-

places of eminent persons, as subjects for short biographical memoirs, and any account of curious and ancient

customs, will best be derived from the same respectable and intelligent authorities.
Architecture, ancient and modern, civil, military, and ecclesiastic, will always be regarded in this work

with peculiar attention; and the magnificent seats of the nobility and gentry, with which this great county

abounds, together with the distinguished specimens of art in painting and sculpture with which they are

severally adorned, will not fail to receive a due tribute of respect.


Picturesque natural scenery, as well as the efforts of modern taste in the production of scenery which rivals

nature, will in no instance be passed over without attention.


xxviii BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF


The entire text of Domesday, Leland's Itinerary, and many portions of that of Camden will be incorporated

with the work. The late returns of population will also be subjoined to the account of every parish.


A work of this nature would be extremely imperfect without genealogical accounts of the principal and

ancient families of the county; yet of all branches of antiquarian literature, none has remained to the present

time in such a state ef error and confusion, especially with respect to the earlier descent?, as genealogies. On

this subject, however, the author is quite at ease, as no pedigree will be inserted in the following work which

has not been either compiled, or at least revised and corrected, by one of the most skilful genealogists in the

kingdom, William Radclyffe, esq. Rouge Croix, so that each may be considered as having received the stamp

of official authority. Much more amusing and instructive memorials however of the ancient nobility and

gentry of Yorkshire will be given at the close of their respective genealogies, in original letters and other

curious documents, principally referring to their services on the Scottish border, from the reign of Henry

VIII. to that of Elizabeth. To these, of which a very large and valuable collection has been entrusted to the

author, will be added facsimiles of the autographs.
As a proper accompaniment to genealogies, the armorial blazonings, which once adorned the windows of

almost every church in Yorkshire, though the greater part of them are now no more, having been preserved

by the care of Glover and Dugdale, in their respective visitations, will be enumerated, and many of them

engraved.


Nearly allied to the subject of genealogies is that of epitaphs, with respect to which a system of very strict

selection will be observed. The bulk of this work will never be purposely swelled by prolix and tumid

panegyrics on inconsiderable persons; and it may sometimes happen, according to the merit or demerit of each,

that a monument will be given without an epitaph, or an epitaph without a monument. Elegance in the

composition, or distinguished merit in the subject of a monumental inscription, will alone ensure its insertion.
Subsidiary to the Author's department in this laborious work arc those of the draftsman and the engraver,

concerning which the public have a right to be informed that no expense will be spared to render the History

of Yorkshire what, in the present state of the national taste, can alone procure for it a favourable reception

truly magnificent. To this end distinct but superior artists will be engaged for subjects of landscape and

architecture.
It is sufficient to name J. M. W. Turner, esq. R. A. in the former of these departments, and Mr. Buckler in

the latter.


One species of ornament will be peculiar to the present work.
It was the complaint of Stukeley, an excellent draftsman, that the Roman antiquities of Britain had never

been drawn. Even in Ilorsley's Britannia Romana, the inscriptions are represented by miserable scratches of

mere outlines. In the History of Yorkshire they will be engraved from finished drawings, in all the softness

of mouldering antiquity.


The engravings will of course be numerous, as no object of real beauty or importance will be omitted; but

in the outset of the plan it is no more possible to conjecture what will be the number of these embellishments,

than to pronounce with tolerable accuracy on the quantity of letter-press. It is obvious, however, from the

character of the different districts into which the county of York is divided, that the number of plates must

vary greatly in different volumes.
The work will commence with an account of the portion of the North Riding popularly called the County

of Richmond, together with those parts of Lonsdale and Ewecross which are included in the Everwicschire of

Domesday.
This part, which is already in considerable forwardness, will be put to press in the course of a few months.

It will naturally be asked, what use is intended to be made in the ensuing work of the well-known publica-

tions by which the county of York has already been partially illustrated. Of these, perhaps, the most cele-

THOMAS DUNHAM WHITAKER. xxix


brated, Thoresby's Ducatus, has been completely reprinted in conformity with a plan which had been partially

executed before the undertaking now proposed was thought of. But the example will not be followed in other

instances. Drake's Eboracum, for instance, though a work of great merit, contains too much matter of a sort

purely local to be incorporated, in its present state, with a general history of the county. Its contents will

therefore be melted down into a general mass; the less interesting portions will be rejected; and an uniform

text, with respect to the city of York, will be formed out of that and such other authorities as may be acces-

sible to the author. Minor works of the same nature, all of which, however useful within the respective

districts of which they treat, are liable to the same objection as parts of a more extensive undertaking, may, it

is hoped, be brought to undergo the same process, and to endure the transfusion of their better and brighter

parts into the projected volumes without a murmur.


Such is the general outline of a work, undertaken, as the author freely confesses, at too late a period of life,

but under the cheering influence of some encouragements and expectations with which he could not have

flattered himself earlier. In the course of three months, however, will appear what may properly be regarded

as a more extended prospectus, or rather specimen, of a general History of Yorkshire; that is, the Supple-

mental Volume to Thoresby's Ducatus, executed precisely according to the Sketch which has been traced on

the present sheet.


In order to remove a doubt which has been suggested, the Subscribers to the present volumes are requested

to observe that they will form integral parts of the general work, and that they (the Subscribers) will be enti-

tled at a fair price to all the supplemental matter and engravings which it may be judged expedient to insert

in the correspondent parts of the general work when reprinted.


The work will be handsomely printed in folio, on fine demy paper, and the large-paper copies on super-royal

drawing paper, and will be delivered to the subscribers in Parts, price 21. 2s. each, or on large paper, with

proof impressions of the plates, price 4/. 4*. each Part.
The'impressions of the plates will be delivered in the exact order they are subscribed for.
Subscriptions to be received by Messrs. LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, and BUOWN, Paternoster Row,

London; Messrs. ROBINSON, SON, and HOLDSWORTH, Leeds; Mr. JOHN HURST, Wakefield; and by all

the other Booksellers in the county.
The printing of the work will commence as soon as 500 copies, ov as many as will cover the expenses, are

subscribed for.


February, 1816.

[This Prospectus is followed by a list of Subscribers for 57 copies on Large Paper, and 81 on Small Paper.]


This Prospectus was issued at a period when, commercially speaking, costly literature

had attained its summit of favour, and flourished not only in works of high pictorial art,

such as Turner's Liber Studiorum, and his Picturesque Views on the Southern Coast, Sir

"Walter Scott's Antiquities of the Scottish Border, and Lodge's Illustrious Portraits, hut

also in certain antiquarian works, as the enlarged editions of Dugdale's Monasticon and

Dugdale's History of St. Paul's, and Stothard's Monumental Effigies, all published peri-

odically in numbers, or in detached volumes, as were the county histories then in progress,

by Ormerod, Surtees, Clutterbuck, Baker, &c. Thus even an antiquarian author, if so

eminent as Dr. Whitaker, was enabled to share in the literary extravagance of the time, and

we find that the meed awarded to the Historian of Eichmondshire was at the handsome rate

of One Pound for every page, 1 whether the page was occupied with his own writing, or with

epitaphs and documentary evidence, or even with vignettes and " blank spaces."


1 " By the contract, it is to be printed uniformly with the Additions to Thoresby's Ducatus, and the Author is to
e

XXX

BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF

The sentiments with which Dr. Whitaker had closed the second edition of his History

of Craven, in the year 1811, have heen already extracted. Subsequently he described

those passages as a lingering and reluctant leave-taking of Topography, that had been

provoked by sickness, and its natural concomitant despondency. 1
Six years later, when he buckled on his harness for the History of Richmondshire, he

was sufficiently sanguine to adopt a very different tone. He now declared that, " by a

singular blessing of Providence, the strength and spirits of the Author have been renewed,

and his whole constitution has undergone a kind of rejuvenescence. Imagination, curiosity,

and the spirit of research have, in his breast, become as active as ever. Locomotion and

change of scene relieve the tedium, and remove the inconveniences, of uninterrupted study ;

the assistance of skilful artists at once excites and gratifies the writer ; and instead of

shrinking, as he once did, from the toil of a History of Kichmondshire, considered as a

whole, he now dares to regard it as the auspicious commencement of a still greater

undertaking, as an opening to more extended research, and more copious illustration."


At the same time he distinctly renounced all responsibility for genealogies, his

repugnance to which he had always confessed, 2 and prominently asserted this freedom in

the following
Advertisement to the Reader.
The Author of the History of Richmondshire has the sincere pleasure of stating, that the genealogical

parts of the work are from other hands, much more conversant with subjects of this nature than himself.

Those with the initials (or his name) have been furnished by William Radclyffe, Esq. Rouge Croix. 3 He can

now, therefore, no longer give offence by presuming to hint, that since the deluge it has not been usual for

three generations of the human race to survive more than three centuries, or by declining to accept without

animadversion whatever cither dulness or design may have obtruded upon the genealogies of ancient families.


But it is due to the present College of Arms to say, that, although much remains upon their records in

the earlier descents of many lines to which a critical test has never been applied, a diligence of inquiry and

accuracy of reasoning now prevail in the compilation of pedigrees, which, as they result even in these trifles

from the general intelligence of the age, were certainly not equalled in any other period.


Subsequently, in the same History, the Author expresses himself still more strongly,

when introducing the pedigree of TunstaU. " In this work I am happy to be emancipated

from the slavery of compiling genealogies; but in defiance of family prejudice and bigotry,

of which I have had sufficient experience, I shall never knowingly adopt errors, nor

conceal truth." (vol. ii. p. 270.)
receive the same price, viz. 4/. per sheet; in which the blank spaces at the beginning and end of every Parish, spaces for



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