CHAUNCY (Sir Henry)

The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire: with the original of counties, hundreds or wapentakes and hamlets; the foundation and origin of monasteries, churches, and vicarages; the several honors, mannors, and parks of the nobility and gentry; and the succession of the lords each. Faithfully collected from public records, ancient manuscripts and other select authorities...

Published: London: Printed by Ben. Griffin,

Date: 1700

First edition, folio, [12], 601, [23]pp., including the very rare leaf “Directions for Placing the Cuts...”, mounted engraved frontispiece portrait, title-page printed in red and black, folding engraved map and 44 engraved plates, most double-page or folding, text and plates a little age toned, a couple of plates with splash stains, marbled endpapers, full blue nineteenth-century morocco, blind and gold tooling on cover and spine, a little rubbed but still a nice copy.

Provenance: Dogmersfield library bookplate of Sir Henry St. John Mildmay, with press-marks, sold by Sotheby's, 20 April 1907; Signature of “John Burns, 1917” to front endpaper.

Upcott I, p. 333-338; Wing, C7341.

“Sir Henry Chauncy, (1632–1719), lawyer and antiquary. Although he did not give up the legal profession at this time, Chauncy's landed inheritance gave him the opportunity and financial resources to compile his monumental work, The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, finally published as a single large volume in 1700 in a print run of 500 copies and dedicated to its principal sponsor, the third earl of Bridgewater. Beginning with an account of the county's soil and rivers and its ‘inhabitants and government’, it then proceeds on a hundred by hundred basis, describing the origins of towns and villages, the descent of their manors, depicts various family coats of arms, and goes on to list the vicars, rectors, and monuments of the county's parish churches. Chauncy's work can be regarded as the first true history of the county, its text illustrated by forty-six engravings, the great majority of them bird's-eye perspective drawings of the seats of the noblemen and gentlemen who had subscribed to the publication.”—(ODNB).


Offered by Forest Books