Recent acquisitions to the Library

The Society’s Library is continually acquiring books and other documents through donation and purchase. If you’d like to consult any of them, you can find them in the Library. Some publications can be borrowed – if in doubt, consult one of our friendly librarians.


The life of Alice Barnham (1592-1650): wife of Sir Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam, Viscount St Albans, by Alice Bunton. London: Page and Thomas, 1919. 79pp, illus. “Mostly gathered from unpublished documents by A Chambers Bunton” on title page.

Hertfordshire, by James Bettley, et al. (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of England). London: Yale UP, 2019. 804 p.,120 col. + 80 b-w illus. ; 22cm. The eagerly awaited 3rd greatly (40 per cent) expanded edition of the classic guide to the buildings of the county. Generously donated by John G.E. Cox.

The book of Shenley, by Joyce Boswell. Buckingham: Barracuda, 1984. 116pp, illus. Gift of Paul Eland.

Recent journal articles

In The Local Historian, vol 49, no 1, January 2019 pp 41-50 “Timber management in South-east Hertfordshire, 1550-1910”, by Peter Austin. This paper considers the management of timber in a particularly well-wooded part of the county. Evidence was drawn mostly from surviving account books in the Gascoyne-Cecil archives at Hatfield House, but also from Panshanger estate documents in the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies.

In Rickmansworth Historical Review, No 17, February 2019:

pp 7-11 “The New Poor Law and Hertfordshire’s workhouses”, by Karen Rothery. The New Poor Law of 1834 introduced better provision of care for the poor. Under the Poor Law Commission, individual parishes which had been responsible for help to those in need were grouped together into Poor Law Unions, and new workhouses were built. The author describes the establishment of the system in Hertfordshire, with a focus on Watford, with vivid details of daily life in the work-house. The system ended in 1930. Many of its buildings have been inherited by the NHS.

pp 12-15 “Freight transport by road in west Hertfordshire, part 1”, by Fabian Hiscock. Considers how freight was carried by road in this area in the later 18th century and first half of the 19th. Long distance freight used turnpikes, and a variety of wagons drawn by as many as eight horses. Limits were imposed on the loads and the horses in order to protect road surfaces. The economics of the business is detailed, with illustrations of the cost of horses and their feed, wagons and payload, speed and

pp 18-23 “Rickmansworth Manor: Barnard / Cornwall correspondence in the Rickmansworth Historical Society’s archives”, by George D Martin. Concerns the leases, ownership and occupants o of the Manor from 1610 to 1670. This paper is a shortened transcription of documents made by T.T. Barnard in the 1950s. Occupants included the families of Wakering, Byng, Hewett and Bevill.

In Herts Past and Present, no.33, Spring 2019:

p 2-5 “The truth of the matter: highway robbery and justice in 1647”, by David Pickup. This article looks at a robbery near Hoddesdon, and shows what information can be deduced about this incident from primary sources.

pp 7-12 “Farming in Hertfordshire in World War One: what the archives reveal”, by Julie Moore. Records at HALS provide much information on the state of farming in the county during the war
years. Topics dealt with include the plough up campaign; women’s contribution to farming; clashes between inspectors from the War Agriculture Committee, landowners and farmers, and an airfield at Piggots Farm.

pp 13-18 “Norton’s first recorded foreigner, 1523-1552: a prosperous inn-keeper”, by David Croft and Ursula Scott. Norton had a Frenchman resident in the Domesday survey, but this article focuses on Anthony Fankylcastell, possibly from the Low Countries. His name appears frequently in court records, being fined for offences against brewing laws. He left a will, and a transcription of his inventory is included.

pp 20-24 “Discovering a fulling mill at Wheathampstead”, by Mike Smith. Using maps from 1676 to 1898, and Environment Agency LIDAR data, the author traces the location of a fulling mill, and speculates on the duration of its occupation of the site.

pp 25-29 “Managing the poor in Hertfordshire 1635-1795”, by Carla Hermann. Despite the low level of illegitimacy, this article examines the harsh way bastard-bearers were treated by the legal system.

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