Thoresby, Ralph; Whitaker, Thomas Dunham:

Ducatus Leodiensis: or, the Topography of the Ancient and Populous Town and Parish of Leedes, and Parts Adjacent, in the West-Riding of the Country of York [...]; Loidis 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.

Published: Leeds: printed by B. Dewhirst, for Robinson, Son and Holdsworth; and John Hurst, Wakefield,

Date: 1816

Second edition. 2 vols., folio (445 x 280mm), pp. [iv], xvi, [i], xvii, [i], 267, [iii], 123, [i], 159, [i], 11, [i] + 10 plates + folding pedigrees of 16 families; pp. [iv], 404, 2, 80 + 58 plates on 54 leaves + 15 folding pedigrees. All plates and pedigrees as called for. Decorative initials and further engraved illustrations in the text. Occasional toning (mostly to plate-adjacent leaves), sporadic foxing. Contemporary half green morocco, spines ornately gilt with red and green labels, marbled paper-covered boards, marbled endpapers. Rubbed, joints, edges and corners worn, some scratches and light scrapes but still a very good, sturdy set.

Thoresby (1658–1725) began work on his great project in the late 1690s, and the first edition of Ducatus Leodiensis was published in 1715. ‘This was not the first topographical publication of importance about a provincial town but it was the first work of importance by a Yorkshire antiquary. Attached to the main body of the text was a catalogue of the Musaeum Thoresbyanum and the volume included a very fine map of the area. Ducatus was published by subscription and was dedicated to Peregrine Osborne, marquess of Carmarthen and heir apparent to the duke of Leeds, and to the mayor of Leeds and aldermen of Leeds. About 2000 copies were printed and sold for £3.’ (ODNB)


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