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nour on their respective authors and districts, I feel much pleasure in noticing the following:
“ The History of the County Palatine and City of Chester,” 110w publishing in folio, by George ORMEROD, Esq. M.A. and F.S.A. is a very valuable and interesting specimen of topography. This gentleman communicated much useful and original information relating to Lancashire, and generously presented a plate of the collegiate church at Manchester. In one of his letters to me, dated Septeinber 3, 1807, he thus judiciously remarks on the character of the present work. “ I always considered your • Beauties' as not intended to enter into deep disquisitions applicable only to the antiquary, or addressed merely to the local vanity of certain county inhabitants; but, as a popular work for general entertainment and utility, a focus to collect the rays of scattered information."
“ Cantabrigia Depicta,” by Messrs. Harraden and Son, one Vol. 4to. with several plates. “ A History and Description of Cornwall,” now publishing in 4to, by F. Hitchins, Esq. and S. Drewe, of St. Austle. The latter gentleman visited some places in Cornwall, with me, in 1804; and also communicated several long and interesting letters on the manners, customs, habits, &c. of the ininers of that county. A “ History and Illustration of St. C'eorge's Chapel, Windsor," by William Herbert, and F. Naslı, folio. A “ History of Islington,” by Mr. Nelson, one Vol. 4to. “ The History of the Inns of Court and Chancery," by W. HERBERT, ove Vol. 4to. and 8vo. “ The History and Antiguities of the County of Northampton,” by G. Baker. This worthy and zealous topographer has announced the above work to be comprised in four Vols. folio: and I am enabled, from personal knowledge, to say, that his collections are vast; and that he is assiduous and indefaligable in accumulating and analising an extensive mass of materials. He very kindly furnished much original information towards the account of Northamptonshire, in the eleventh Volume of this work. -An Account and Illustrutions of the Isle of Wight, one Vol. 8vo.-" The Southern
Coast of England,” now publishing in 4to. Numbers.--" The Thames, with Graphic Illustrations,” two Vols. 4to. and 8vo. produced by Messrs. W. and G. Cooke, and so highly creditable to their professional talents, would probably never have appeared but from the excitement and example of the Beauties of England, for which work, both those excellent Engravers executed some of the early plates. It is a pleasing circumstance to the true lover of topography, to contemplate such eminent literary and graphic publications, and to know that the taste for, and the laudable rivalry displayed in them, have originated in a work, which was as humble and unassuming in its origin, as the authors were in circumstances and pretensions.
Respecting the embellishments of this work, it is proper to remark, that, both myself and Mr. Brayley, wished to give subjects of Antiquities more frequently than they were adopted, knowing that such prints were more particularly required by the purchasers ;--but this was objected to by the Publisher, who preferred seats and wood-scenery, considering these the principal beauties of the country. From this circumstance, arose the “ Architectural Antiquities," and Antiquarian Cabinet,” the first of which lias been completed in four Vols. 4to. with 270 Plates. The latter work was commenced by Mr. Brayley, and is finished in ten Vols. 18mo. with above 400 Plates.
After the death of the original Publisher, I was requested by the respectable Publisher of this Volume, to write the account of Wiltshire, my native county, to form part of the Fifteenth Volume of the present work; and this portion of the Beauties, I can refer to with some degree of confidence and pleasure, as consisting almost wholly of original information, and being the result of personal inquiry and examination.
“THE BEAUTIES OF ENGLAND AND Wales," in title and plan, originated in “ the Beauties of Wiltshire,” two volumes, * which published in 1801, in conjunction with Messrs. Vernor and Hood, booksellers, of the Poultry. At that time, I believe, there was not an original topographical work published respecting England, generally, excepting, indeed, the “ Magna Britannia,”' in six volumes, quarto. There was also “ A Description of England and Wales," in ten volumes, 12mo, 1769, and some folio works, called “ Boswell's Antiquities,” and “ British Travellers,” chiefly copied from “ Grose’s Antiquities," and published with fictitious naines, which are only entitled to notice here,, to guard the young topographer; as I am justified in saying they are hasty and illiterate compilations, without any attempt at originality, or comparative examination. Like the blinded horse in a mill, each compiler followed the other in plodding, thoughtless, unvaried succession; and thus error upon error has been repeated, and absurdity after absurdity disseminated. “ The Antiquities of England and Wales,” &c. by Grose, 1772, 1776, only embraced a few objects in the wide range of English topography. It had, however, been popular, and that led the Publishers of the “Beauties” to anticipate equal success in a new publication, which should embrace all the essential ingredients of Grose's work, also of Camden’s “ Britannia,” and be combined with whatever was interesting in the recent local histories, agricultural surveys, general tours, &c. as well as include such original information as could be oblained. Mr. Hood, the acting partner of the firm above-mentioned, readily agreed to take a principal share in our newly-projected work ; and Mr. Brayley and myself commenced a general tour over England and Wales, in June, 1800. The first Number, devoted to Bedfordshire, was published in April, 1801; and from that time
booksellers I must remark, however, that those volumes have little pretensions ta
topographical topographical or antiquarian merit. They were written under very unfa. vourable and depressing circumstances, and in referring to them, I wish to obtain the most favourable and candid construction from the topographical critic. Mr. Gough, in the Gentleman's Magazine, wrote some harsh, but I be. lieve, just strictures on them. A third volumo, to conclude the work, and embrace accounts of such places as are not noticed in the two volumes, is now ready for the press, and I trust is not only better written, but more strictly topographical than the former,
till till the conclusion of the Sixth Volume, the publication was continued in our joint names, and with our united co-operation, and exertion. The Numbers, however, did not appear in regular periodical succession; which occasioned frequent disputes between the Publisher and the authors; and probably dissatisfied soine of the most eager readers-It should, however, be remembered that the work was not intended to be a mere compilation, nor is it composed of select extracts, as the absurdity of its title of “ BEAUTIES," has been supposed to intimate:*-a large portion of it is original matter, and the parts derived from printed authorities, were carefully analised investigated and acknowledged. This, indeed, must to the topographical reader, and to those who will give themselves the trouble of comparing the particular account of any place, or county, with preceding works. In explanation of one of the delays of publication, Mr. Brayley penned the following address for the wrapper of No. X.
“ The present Number has been delayed partly in consequence of my own indisposition, and partly by the absence of Mr. Britton, who, for the sole purpose of obtaining original and aceurate information, undertook, in the most inclement season of the year, [Dec. 1801] to make a journey through the counties of Cornwall and Devon, in the former of which he is yet pursuing his researches. It is our most ardent wish to render The BEAUTIES OF ENGLAND AND WALES, as original, as correct, and as interesting, as any work of a similar nature, and limits, that can ever issue from the press. If, therefore, from the delay of promised communications, (and this is not one of the least inconveniences
• The title of “ BLAUTIES OF ENGLAND,” &c. was retained in deference to the wishes of the Publisher ; but the authors were so fully sensible of the inadequacy of that phrase to explain the nature of the work, that they afterwards subjoined the words “ ORIGINAL DELINEATIONS, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive," as a secondary title, and more illustrative of its con tents. The title of “ Beauties of England,” &c. had been previously adopted in two or !hree superficial and slight works, which will be enumerated in a subsequent page.
we have to combat,) froin indisposition, or, from the time which necessarily elapses in procuring genuine materials, by journeys to different parts of the kingdom, the publication should at any future time, as in this case, be unavoidably protracted, we trustthat our Subscribers will pardon the delay; and the more especially, because it will never be resorted to, but when it tends to increase the accuracy of the work.” · The first six Volumes have been jointly executed by Mr. Brayley and myself; and it is but justice to state, that the greatest portion of their literary composition was from the pen of that gentleman, who, with much care and exertion, endeavoured to render them accurate and original. The principal travelling, correspondence, labour of accumulating books, documents, direction of draughtsmen, engravers, aud some other necessary vocations, chiefly devolved on me; and I felt it a pleasure and duty to prosecute my task with zeal and assiduity. At the close of the sixth volume it was deemed expedient that each of us should undertake to write and conduct a Volume alternately; and, by arrangement, the counties of Hertford, Huvtingdon, and Kent, devolved on Mr. Brayley, for Vol. VII.; whilst Lancashire, Leicestershire, and Lincolushire, came under my direction, for Vol. VIII. The former counties having extended to two Volumes, mine was numbered IX. In the prosecution of this Volume, I was actuated by a favourite maxim, that the writer and reader should perfectly understand each other; that there should be no reserve or ambiguity in the former, nor suspicion or doubt with the latter. A mutual cordiality and confidence should exist, and then the one would pursue his labours with comfort and pleasure to himself, whilst the other would read with additional advantage and delight: besides, in an extensive work, like the present, the author must calculate on the communications of intelligent correspondents; who will not be likely to write freely and fully, unless they are confident that their favours will be properly appreciated and applied. I therefore stated my views and opinions as to the characteristics