Wiltshire Victoria County History

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The VCH emblem, which includes the coat of arms of England

The Wiltshire Victoria County History, properly called The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire but commonly referred to as VCH Wiltshire, is an encyclopaedic history of the county of Wiltshire in England. It forms part of the overall Victoria County History of England founded in 1899 in honour of Queen Victoria. With eighteen volumes published in the series, it is now the most substantial of the Victoria County Histories.

Overview[edit]

Established in 1947, for many years the project was chiefly funded by Wiltshire County Council and other Wiltshire local authorities and managed by the Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee. In 2002 the project became a partnership between the county council (later Wiltshire Council) and the University of the West of England, employing a county editor and an assistant county editor, with offices at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. Beyond writing the history itself, the staff promoted local history by giving talks and presentations to local societies. The chairman of the Wiltshire VCH Committee said in a news release in December 2003: "While the big red volumes are still at the heart of the Wiltshire Victoria County History, we are keen to take our county history out to as many people as possible, through affordable publications, modern technology, and new ways of working."[1]

In 2014 the Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee was wound up because all funding partners had ended their funding, and the continuation of the project became the responsibility of the Wiltshire Victoria County History Trust. Work is expected to proceed more slowly, according to available resources, but will continue to be overseen, and volumes published, by the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London.

Staff[edit]

List of county editors[edit]

List of assistant county editors[edit]

Until 1968, there was only one assistant editor, but after that there were sometimes two.[5]

  • Margaret Saunders (to 1959)[6]
  • K. H. Rogers (1959 to May 1964)[6][7]
  • Colin Shrimpton (October 1964 to 1965))[7][8]
  • Janet H. Stevenson (July 1966 to 1997)[8][9]
  • Douglas A. Crowley (1968 to 1977)
  • Jane Freeman (1978 to 1998)[9]
  • Carrie Smith (1999 to 2004)[9]
  • Virginia Bainbridge (2004 to 2006)
  • James Lee PhD (UWE) (2006 to 2007)[10]
  • Alex Craven (2007 to 2014)[11]

Volumes published[edit]

General volumes[edit]

  • Volume I, Part 1 (1957): Archaeological gazetteer; prehistoric, Pagan Saxon, and early medieval remains.
  • Volume I, Part 2 (1973): Settlement and agriculture during the prehistoric, Roman, and Pagan Saxon periods.
  • Volume II (1955): Anglo-Saxon Wiltshire, the Wiltshire Domesday, the Wiltshire Geld Rolls, fiefs in the Exon Domesday.
  • Volume III (1956): Ecclesiastical history, Roman Catholicism and Protestant Nonconformity, religious houses.
  • Volume IV (1959): Economic history, agriculture, industries, roads, canals, railways, taxation, population, sport, spas, freemasonry, royal forests, Cranborne chase.
  • Volume V (1957): Medieval government, feudal Wiltshire, parliamentary representation, county government, public health, education.

Topographical volumes[edit]

A series of volumes addresses the history of Wiltshire on a parish-by-parish basis, arranged according to the former Hundreds.

Topographical volume in preparation[edit]


Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee (1947–2014)[edit]

The Committee was established in 1947.[13] It did not control the day-to-day work of the staff (who were initially employeed by the University of London and later by the University of the West of England), but from the early days of the Wiltshire County History project the committee was responsible for ensuring that funding was available for staff salaries and other expenses, offices provided, and suitable projects undertaken.[14] The members of the Committee represented the main financial contributors to the project (initially these were Wiltshire County Council and other local authorities in Wiltshire, and by 2009 Wiltshire Council and the University of the West of England), and also the Central Committee of the Victoria County History, the University of Winchester, the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society and the Wiltshire Local History Forum. The Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, as Custos rotulorum, was also an honorary member of the Committee.

The Committee was wound up in 2014 after all major contributors had withdrawn their funding for the Wiltshire VCH, so that there were no longer any partners to be represented. At that point, the project was handed over to the Wiltshire VCH Trust, with support from the national organization of the Victoria County History.

Chairmen of the Committee[edit]

Wiltshire Victoria County History Trust[edit]

The Trust, originally established in 2004 as the Wiltshire Victoria County History Appeal Trust, is a registered charity. Until 2014 it was responsible for raising funds for the work of the VCH beyond its core activities. With effect from February 2014, after the core funding of Wiltshire Council and the University of the West of England had been withdrawn, the Trust took on the whole responsibility for the Wiltshire VCH.

Chairmen of the Trust[edit]

  • V. C. S. Landell-Mills (2004 to date)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ PR 1357 Double boost for prestigious history of Wiltshire, 4 December 2003
  2. ^ a b 'Editorial note', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12 (1983), p. XV, at british-history.ac.uk accessed 27 November 2008
  3. ^ Douglas Crowley was assistant editor from 1968 to 1977 and was then county editor until 2006. His early research was on manorial administration, and as editor he directed research on volumes 11 to 18 of the series. He was also Honorary Editor of the Wiltshire Record Society from 1972 to 1976. His publications include The Wiltshire Tax List of 1332 (Wiltshire Record Society, vol. 45, 1989), The Court Records of Brinkworth and Charlton 1544–1648 (Wiltshire Record Society, vol. 61, 2009)
  4. ^ Virginia Bainbridge was appointed as county editor in 2006, having joined the Wiltshire VCH in 2004 as assistant editor and after working as assistant editor of the Oxfordshire VCH from 1999 to 2004. Her work has given her a broad perspective on changing social patterns and local institutions and her research interests focus on the Reformation. She is the author of Gilds in the Medieval Countryside: Religious and Social Change in Cambridgeshire 1350–1558 (Boydell and Brewer 1996) and is currently writing a book on English Nuns 1400–1600.
  5. ^ "Consequently it was possible in 1968 to appoint a second assistant editor in addition to the editor and assistant editor already employed... The post of a second assistant editor was filled in September 1968 by Mr. D. A. Crowley." From 'Editorial note', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9 (1970), pp. XV
  6. ^ a b c d "W. R. Robins, the first Chairman of the Committee, died in 1959, shortly after his resignation from the Committee, and his successor, J. L. Calderwood, in 1960." From Editorial note in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 6 (1962), p. XIII, accessed 27 November 2008
  7. ^ a b "It has to be recorded here that in May 1964 K. H. Rogers resigned from the assistant editorship, and was replaced in October 1964 by Colin Shrimpton." From 'Editorial note' in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8 (1965), p. XIII at british-history.ac.uk 16067 accessed 27 November 2008
  8. ^ a b c d 'Editorial note', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9 (1970), pp. XV, at british-history.ac.uk accessed 27 November 2008.
  9. ^ a b c "Also in 1997 Janet Stevenson retired, and in 1998 Jane Freeman resigned, as assistant editors after 32 and 20 years' service respectively... In January 1999 Carrie Smith took up the post of Assistant Editor." From 'Editorial note', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16: Kinwardstone Hundred (1999), p. XIII at british-history.ac.uk accessed 27 November 2008
  10. ^ James Lee was appointed in 2006. He had worked on several research projects, spanning the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. His research interests focus on urban history and the history of the south west region. His book Preachers and Politics: The Later Stuarts, the Church and Public Political Culture was published in 2007.
  11. ^ VCH Wiltshire Staff at victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/counties/Wiltshire
  12. ^ Work In Progress at victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/counties/wiltshire, accessed 30 November 2012
  13. ^ a b Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee 1947–1955 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 3 (1956), p. 13
  14. ^ For the constitution of the Committee, see Editorial Note to A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume VII (1953).
  15. ^ Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee as at 1 March 1965 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 8 (1965), p. XV
  16. ^ Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee as at 1 January 1970 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9 (1970), p. XVII
  17. ^ a b "Group Captain F. A. Willan, C.B.E., D.F.C., D.L., died in November 1981 shortly after being succeeded as Chairman of the Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee by Mr. N. J. M. Anderson, M.C., D.L., who had earlier succeeded him as Chairman of the County Council." From 'Editorial note', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12 (1983), pp. XV
  18. ^ Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee as at 1 January 1983 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12 (1983), p. 16
  19. ^ Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee as at 16 September 1998 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 16 (1999), p. 14
  20. ^ Wiltshire Victoria County History Committee as at 28 February 2002 from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 17 (2002), pp. 14–15

External links[edit]