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John Denton's <I>History of Cumberland</I>


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John Denton's history of Cumberland, compiled in the first decade of the seventeenth century, formed the basis of almost all antiquarian writing on Cumberland for some two hundred years, and continues to be cited. It is the earliest known attempt to write a history of Cumberland and one of the first generation of antiquarian accounts of an English shire. This volume presents a completely new, critical edition of the manuscript history of Cumberland, replacing that published in 1887 by Richard S. Ferguson under the title An Accompt of the most considerable Estates and Families in the County of Cumberland [ hitherto the only published version]. The new edition attempts both to reconstruct as much as possible of the original text from surviving copies and to identify the sources from which it was drawn, enabling the factual accuracy of Denton's work to be assessed.

Angus Winchester is Senior Lecturer in History at Lancaster University and a Past President of Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society.


By his analytical yet accessible approach to the manuscripts and background as set out in his excellent introduction, and the publishing of Denton's History of Cumberland in this edition, Angus Winchester has produced as near as possible to a definitive version of Denton's text. The book will be appreciated by scholars and historians and anyone interested in a seventeenth-century view of Cumberland. THE LOCAL HISTORIAN

Of major value, and taken with Thomas Denton's perambulations of some seven decades later, furnishes local, county and regional historians with a wealth of contemporary observation. [...] Special praise must be given to Angus Winchester's work as an editor: it is of the highest quality, and all interested in and concerned for Cumbrian history are deeply indebted to him. NORTHERN HISTORY


First Published: 15 Apr 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9780854440689
1 line drawing illustrations
Pages: 236
Size: 21.6 x 13.8
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Surtees Society

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  Editorial Method
  • 3  John Denton's History of Cumberland Part 1
  • 4  John Denton's History of Cumberland Part 2
  • 5  'Four leaves'
  • 6  Appendix I: Manuscript Copies of John Denton's History
  • 7  Appendix II: Series A and Series B manuscripts: key variants
  • 8  Appendix III: Outline of Contents