Contents of the fikst volume

particulars are copied from an autograph letter of Dr. Whitaker, dated

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vignettes &c., are to be included." (These particulars are copied from an autograph letter of Dr. Whitaker, dated

July 22, 1817.)
1 History of Richmondshire, vol. i. p. 1.
In his edition of the Ducatus Leodiensis, Dr. Whitaker had inserted (at the back of the Dedication) a notice

that " For the Continuation of the Pedigrees the Editor desires it to be understood that he is principally indebted

to Mr. Christopher Holland, who has executed the task with great Fidelity and Exactness."
Radclyffe was also a valuable assistant to Mr. Surtees in his History of Durham. See his letters, ranging from

to 1819, in the Life of Surtees, by Taylor and Raine, pp. 327, 362, 387; and the lines in p. 211, commencing

" Rouge Croix is the monarch of heralds," &c. His professional career was closed under a cloud.


It was not however until 1819 that the First Part of the proposed " General History of

the County of York " was given to the world. 1 The work was continued under that title

until Dr. Whitaker's death, which ensued at the close of 1821. When that event happened,

only eight Parts out of the ten had been published. He had left, however, certain

collections prepared for the remaining parishes of Richmondshire, together with the more

matured materials for Lonsdale that have been already described. The History of Rich-

mondshire extends to nearly the middle of the second volume ; its remainder is occupied by

"An History of Lonsdale, Ewecross, and Amunderness, parts of the Everwicschire of

Domesday, now included in the counties of York, Lancaster, and Westmoreland." The

work was announced as completed in the spring of 1823, in two volumes folio. Its price

on demy paper was 251. 4ts., and on super-royal drawing paper, with Indian proof

impressions of the plates, 501. 8s. 2 Its plates from the landscapes of J. M. W. Turner were

of beauty unsurpassed ; and the architectural views from the pencil of John Buckler were

excellent in their way ; whilst many embellishments were boldly and effectively engraved

on wood. 3 The Dedication was addressed to a native of Lancashire, the Rev. James

Wood, D.D. Master, and to the Fellows of St. John's college, Cambridge, the founda-

tion of Margaret Countess of Richmond, and the place of the Author's academical educa-

tion. What editorial charge was taken of the work after the Author's decease 4 does not

appear, nor was any other notice of the circumstance inserted than in a few lines placed

at the close of a table of errata of almost unprecedented length. 5

On the whole the judicious were greatly disappointed, 6 and not without reason, in the
1 Quarterly Review, vol. xxi. p. 567.
8 Quarterly Review, vol. xxix. p. 282.
* A full bibliographical account of the History of Richmonclshire, its embellishments and sheet pedigrees, has been

published in The Yorkshire Library, by William Boyne, F.S.A. 4to. 18G9, pp. 175-180.

4 In Lonsdale, pp. 31G-323, occurs the parish cf Heysham, of which Whitaker was for some years Rector; but the

list of Incumbents, p. 321, does not include his name !

8 " The Publishers trust that the peculiar circumstances in which the Work has been placed, in consequence of the

illness and death of its lamented Author, and the unavoidable disadvantages of a residence distant from the press, will

apologise for the numerous errata here pointed out, as well as for any others which may be discovered."
6 No one was better qualified to appreciate Whitaker's real merits than the Historian of Durham, Robert Surtees,

and it was equally impossible for him to be blind to the deficiencies of the History of Richmondshire. In a letter to

the late Rev. James Raine, D.C.L. the Historian of North Durham, written on the 22nd Feb. 1822, Mr. Surtees remarks:

" I lament that Whitaker's last work on such a gallant subject is so meagre. The desideratum is a History of noble

Richmondshire, on a new flation and fashion, carefully preserving every glowing gem and fragment of sparkling mica

which the magician has flung from his rich mines so carelessly over the surface, fusing in the same furnace the grosser

ores which he threw aside, and following up the numerous rich veins which he neglected to pursue. And who should

be the subtle alchymist ? who but C. Clarkson, whose industry and fidelity are on record in his substantial sterling

quarto, [a History of the Town of Richmond, published in 4to. 1821,] which will be a book of reference and authority

as long as Swale washes the castled cliffs of Richmond ; but I fear too much has been done to expect this, and

Whitaker will at least stop the way for years against any regular and ample historian. To correct merely the errata

of Richmondsliire would be a tedious task ; to fix where additional information and illustration should terminate is still

less easy. A mere account of parochial churches and fonts, with scattered touches of landscapes, and reflections here and

there pro re nata, which recall the best days of Whitaker to mind, compose the whole work, and to render it complete



result of this abortive attempt at a " General History of the County of York ;" and a

recent critic, after paying a just tribute to "Whitaker's scholarship and taste, the liveliness of

his fancy, and the vigorous beauty of his style, has plainly pronounced his last work to be at

once the most pretentious and the most defective of all the county histories ever published. 1

We have still to mention another scheme of Dr. Whitaker's latter years, to which

he had evidently been persuaded to assent at the solicitation of his publishers, but for which

he probably did no more than write the following Prospectus, which we reprint without

hesitation as eminently characteristic of the writer, as well as being one of his latest

compositions :

Proposals for publishing by Subscription, an Historical and Descriptive Account of the ABBEYS AND


series of views, drawn and engraved by W. Wcstall, A.R. A. and F. Mackenzie.

The existing remains of monastic antiquity in the County of York are beyond all comparison the most

interesting and magnificent in the kingdom.
The peculiarly durable materials with which they were constructed have hitherto resisted the operation
of atmospheric causes ; the remote situation in which many of them were placed has afforded no inducement
to their removal; and modern taste has in many instances prompted their owners to preserve them with due
care and veneration.
With all their durability, however, they must finally, though slowly, perish; and walls constructed
with all the skill, and united by the most durable cement of the middle ages, can have no pretensions to
survive the art of the graver and the multiplying powers of the press.
Much, it may be said, has already been done to rescue from oblivion these precious and slowly perishing
remnants of ancient wealth, elegance, and devotion.
a sturdy detail should be given of the descent of property and blood." See the rest of this letter, in which the writer

proceeds to urge his friend Raine to give up his school and undertake this task, in the Memoir of Surtees, by Taylor

and Raine, (Surtees Society, 1852,) p. 404. Of Mr. Surtees's own work it was very justly remarked by a critic in the

Retrospective Review (ix. 229) that it " constitutes one of the best and most perfect specimens of County History that it

has been our fortune to meet with, blending together, in very happy proportions, the severer labours of the genealogist

and antiquary, and the more congenial reflections and illustrations of the man of taste and feeling."

The article here quoted appeared in the Retrospective Review in 1824. It is a general retrospect of the more

important works of English Topography, in which those of Whitaker receive particular attention, and it is remarked

that " No work of County History has hitherto issued from the press (not excepting even Sir Richard Hoare's magnifi-

cent Wiltshire) so splendid in respect both of typography and graphic illustrations as Dr. Whitaker's Richmondshire;

and yet, with all the author's high reputation and acknowledged talent, few (we believe) have fallen so short of the

expectations formed by readers of real science and desirous of substantial information, principally in those very points

in which we have represented Mr. Baker [in his History of Northamptonshire] as far excelling. That the causes of

this failure are to be met with in the ill-directed spirit of enterprise evinced by the publishers, rather than in any

defect of judgment on the part of the author, is an inference due, perhaps, to this eminent character; but it is not to be

the less lamented that he surrendered his judgment to those who, with all their skill in what constitutes the

external attractions, are so much less competent judges as to the essential requisite of works of learning and science.

The imaginative faculty, and enthusiastic spirit of the genuine antiquary, are however displayed in almost every page

of his History."
1 The Rev. James Raine, M.A. Canon of York, on the Materials for the Topography of the Wapentake of Agbrigg,

23 Jan. 1863, published in the Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal, i. 14.


To say nothing of the rude attempts which, in the comparative infancy of drawing and sculpture, were

made to perpetuate the monastic ruins of this great county, elaborate drawings, and even paintings, have at

a late period been employed to represent them ; but the best of these have not only never been engraved, but

were never intended either to be multiplied or even copied ; while such representations, as they possess the

value, have also the instability and insecurity of manuscripts, besides that they partake of the same difficulty

of access.

Nay, even in those partial attempts 'which have hitherto been made to perpetuate these remains by

engraving united with verbal description, the former mode of representation has too often failed from want of

skill, or where skill has not been wanting, from want of multiplicity in the points for representation under

the same general subject. One or two of these have generally been thought sufficient for the satisfaction of

general curiosity, whereas on nicer and more judicious inspection, or by the adoption of plans more liberal

and comprehensive, points in the highest degree interesting and beautiful, even within the compass of the

same ruin, may be multiplied with success, while additional lights are thrown on the specific uses and

destination of different apartments in monastic edifices, highly illustrative of the habits of their ancient

With these impressions strongly operating on their minds, the projectors of the present undertaking

presume to lay this Prospectus before the Public, pledging themselves to present to them a series of Engravings

from drawings of monastic remains in the County of York, more numerous, and more correct, at least, than

have ever been attempted in any former instance.

These Engravings will be accompanied by verbal descriptions annexed to each article, which, although

they aspire not to the elaborate research or minute details of works purely and locally devoted to the

illustration of single objects or confined districts, will be found equally remote from the trite repetitions, the

slight and shallow descriptions, and, above all, the copied and multiplied errors in nomenclature, chronology,

and even facts, which have usually disgraced the flimsy narratives of those who were content to have the

author considered as merely subsidiary to the engraver, and, without the labour of investigation or even the

exercise of reflection, to tread the same paths of indolent and unthinking error, which their predecessors in

the same walk have, with servile deference to authorities of no value, been willing to tread before them.

Conditions. The Work will be divided into distinct portions, each portion to be complete in itself.

The first will consist of Rivaulx and Byland Abbeys and Hclmsley Castle, in eleven Numbers.

The first Number to appear in November, 1819, and to be published Monthly, each Number to contain

three Plates, with descriptive Letterpress, price 10s. Gd.

The Work to correspond with the " Views of the Caves in Yorkshire ; " a few Copies will be taken ofF

on large paper, with proof impressions of the plates, to illustrate "Dr. Whitaker's History of Yorkshire."

London: Printed for Hurst, Robinson, and Co. (late Boydell's), 90, Cheapside. Subscriptions received

by Robinson and Co. Leeds; Whitley, Halifax; Wolstenholme and Todd, York; and Wilson and Rodford,

It is believed that the design thus announced was not pursued at the time, 1 either

under the care of Dr. Whitaker or any other editor. The previous work on the Caves of

Yorkshire, 2 to which the advertisement refers, was a thin volume that had been produced

in 1818 by William Westall, A.R.A.

1 At a subsequent date a portion of its design has been carried out in The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, sixty

plates from drawings by William Kichardson, architect, in two vols. folio, 1843-1855. The descriptions, however, by

the Rev. Edward Churton, M.A. do not fulfil Dr. Whitaker's intention, if we accept the criticism passed upon them in

Boyne's Yorkshire Library, p. 25.

3 " Views of the Caves near Ingleton, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove, in Yorkshire. Drawn and engraved by



Having now reviewed the whole of Dr. "Whitaker's labours in topography, it remains

for us to notice his other literary efforts. When he had completed the History of Craven,

in the spring of 1806, his thoughts recurred to a project which he had entertained in early

life, and which he thus described in a letter to his friend Mr. Wilson of Clitheroe :
I am now meditating a new work, but of such magnitude and importance, that I fear you will seriously
advise me to consider
quid ferre recusent,
Quid valeant burner!.
In short, it is no less than a History of the Roman Empire connected with that of the Christian Church, upon

a new plan. For this, however, I have large materials. The first fifteen years of my residence here (at Holme)

after leaving college was principally devoted to the study of the Greek and Latin Historians of this period,

together with select works of the Fathers.

The great objection is the fame and splendour of Mr. Gibbon's History. This, however, will be

acknowledged in its utmost extent; and the work will be given to the public merely as one which the pious

may read without a sigh, and the modest without a blush, neither of which can be said to be the case with

respect to that great but depraved and mischievous performance.

It will require, I think, the unremitting attention of ten years, which at forty-seven, or indeed at any

age, it would be presumptuous for a man to promise himself with any certainty; but with me to be employed

is to be happy, and if I die in harness, I shall at least have the satisfaction of dying innocently and perhaps

usefully employed.

We have already seen that during the years which followed the date of this letter

Dr. Whitaker was occupied by literary engagements that left no room for the great design

which is here sketched out : at the same time it is obvious how well these studies must

have armed him for the article on Gibbon which (it will be found hereafter) he contributed

to the Quarterly Review in 1814.
Another important literary project which Whitaker entertained was a new edition

of Horsley's Britannia Eomana. It is mentioned thus in his letter to Mr. Nichols of the

16th June, 1810, already in part quoted :
I many years ago projected an edition of Horsley's Britannia Eomana, but was deterred from prosecuting

it by the expense of the plates, as the old ones could not be found. For this Work I have very ample

materials by me, and as I now find that the engravings, being mere scratches, could scarcely double the expense

of the copper, I should think no bookseller, either of enterprise or opulence would feel that circumstance any

objection to undertaking it. If liberal offers were made me so as to indemnify me for the expense of journeys,

&c. I would engage to keep the press employed from this time, and to make the work a perfect Sylloge of

Roman Inscriptions discovered in Britain to the present day.
Horsley's work, which was published in 1732, has never been reprinted ; but many

portions of its materials have been reproduced, in a very superior style, in the publica-

tions of Samuel Lysons, Dr. Collingwood Bruce, and others. The work 1 of the Society of
William Westall, A.R.A. F.L.S. London: published by John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1818." Small folio and 4to.

pp. 8. Twelve plates, aquatinted. This work has been overlooked by Mr. Boyne, who has described other books on

the same subject in his Yorkshire Library, pp. 124, 125.
Lapidarium Septentrionale : or, a Description of the Monuments of Roman Rule in the North of England.


Antiquaries of Newcastle (mentioned at p. 25 of the present volume) realises Dr. Whitaker's

proposals so far as the North of England is concerned ; whilst the more comprehensive

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, undertaken by the Royal Prussian Academy in 1863,

promises to extend to the province of Britannia as complete a sylloge of its Roman

inscriptions as it has already provided for Hispania, 1 and under the care of the same

laborious editor, JEmilius Hiibner.

Dr. Whitaker's constant study of Tacitus directed him to a minor effort, which was

undertaken, rather as an amusement than a task. It was a treatise, in the language and

* O o
style of his favourite Latin author, on the Rebellion of 1745. Tor the materials of this

he almost wholly relied on the History of that period by John Home, first published in

1802. It is entitled "De Motu per Britanniam Civico, Annis MDCCXLV. ct MDCCXLVI.

Liber Unicus, 1809." 12mo. pp. 145. Only 250 copies were printed. It was dedicated

to his old college friend, Dr. Herbert Marsh, then Lady Margaret's Professor, and after-

wards Bishop of Llandaff and Peterborough, and reviewed 2 very carefully by a critic no less

competent than Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Copleston 3 in the Quarterly Review, February

1811, vol. v. p. 84,.

In 1810 Dr. Whitaker edited " The Life and Original Correspondence of Sir George

Radcliffe, Knt. LL.D. the friend of the Earl of Stratford," in 4to. pp. 296. Of this volume

600 copies were printed, of which 100 were on royal paper. Its materials were derived

from original papers which had remained in an old chest at Overthorpe near Dewsbury,

the residence of Sir George Radcliffe ; * for access to which the Editor was indebted to " the

friendship and curiosity of Mr. Beaumont," and Dr. Whitaker took this opportunity to

acknowlege the favours which he had previously received from the same hand in the

Histories of Whalley and Craven. The volume was inscribed " To Richard Henry

Beaumont, Esq. of Whitley Beaumont in Yorkshire, E.S.A. as a memorial of the uninter-

rupted and pleasing intercourse on antiquarian subjects which has long subsisted between

Published by the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In small folio. Part I. 1870. Part II. 1871. A

third part will complete the work.

1 The second volume of the Imperial Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, published in 18G9, consists of Inscriptiones

Hispania Latince edidit ^Emilms Hiibner.

2 More briefly, but less favourably, in the Monthly Review for September 1810. Also in the Gentleman's

Magazine for April 1809. By a note written in Llssex Street, January 24, 1809, Dr. Whitaker directed presentation

copies of this little book to be sent to" John Towneley, Esq. 7, Park Street, Westminster ; the Rev. Thomas Sheepshanks,

Wimpole, near Royston; the Rev. Dr. Marsh, Cambridge; Richard Heber, Esq. near Elliott's Brewery, Westminster;

the Rev. Reginald Heber; the Bishop of Chester (Dr. Majendie), Amen Corner;" and one to Mr. Nichols himself.
3 Mr. Copleston writes to his father, 13th Jan. 1811: "The employments which have detained me here are

various. One of them is that which you guess a contribution to the Quarterly Revieiv. Much communication has

passed between me and the editor (Gifford) on that subject." See the rest of this letter in the Memoir of Edward

Copleston, D.D., Bishop of Llandaff, 1851, p. 40, and at p. 347 the list of the Bishop's contributions to the Quarterly

Review, of which this was the first.
4 "Dr. Whitaker has the pleasure of informing Mr. Nichols that having now obtained most of Sir George Radcliffe 's

original papers he can say with something like accuracy, that the work will afford matter for a thin Quarto about the

size of Dr. Zouche's Life of Sir Philip Sidney, and in the same type." (Letter from Holme, October 14, 1808.)



himself and the compiler, and as an acknowledgement of the many literary obligations

conferred by him upon the latter, during the progress of two laborious works,' already

in the possession of the public."

" On the whole, this volume may be considered as a sequel to the Collection of Lord

Stafford's Letters (1739), to the Editor of which (W. Knowler) the contents of it were

evidently unknown ; and for that reason, had the quantity of matter permitted, it would

have been expanded into a thin folio, in order to bind up uniformly with that magnificent

work. By means, indeed, of Carte's Life of Ormond, andThurloe's State Papers, this object

might still have been accomplished, had not an aversion to the modern art of book-making

long since determined me, in every collection I might lay before the public, to confine

myself to original matter." Preface, p. vi.

1 Namely, the History of Whalley and the History of Craven. In the Preface to the Second Edition of the latter,

Dr. Whitaker introduced the following passages:

" Scarcely had Mr. Beaumont, whose latest correspondence with the Author was on the subject of the present

volume (the Second Edition of the History of Craven) received from him a public testimony of grateful friendship, in

the Dedication to the Life and Correspondence of Sir George liadcliffe, when he also was no more. On this occasion the

writer waited till those who stood nearer, or were more obliged than himself, had time to discover that talents for

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