Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Doctor James Daly


During the time between Queen Elizabeth I and the Restoration in particular, the foundations of English historical scholarship were laid and modern historical consciousness was born. Local pride was also manifested in historical-antiquarian-geographical accounts of the various regions of. Britain, especially those based on county units. This type of study, often called "chorography" by contemporaries, centred on surveys on which local antiquities were often viewed first hand. It is generally regarded as having been introduced into England by John Leland during the latter part of the sixteenth century, reaching its climax with the publication of William Camden's monumental Britannia, first issued in 1586.

The present study examines the work of the chorographers who followed these two men (chronologically, at least), and who have been relatively neglected by subsequent historians and geographers. Here, the character of this literary form as a whole is for the first time set out in detail, i.e., its subject matter and parameters; thus also, many of the individual "regional studies" which are obscure or totally unknown to the scholars of today are examined with regard to the author's background, purpose, attitude, style, etc.

In the second half of the seventeenth century, regional study became considerably more realistic and practical than that of the earlier workers in the field, usually concentrating on an examination of the natural--not "merely" civil--history of a region. The impetus for this is traced to the influence of the activities of the Royal Society, which largely followed the scientific dicta of Sir Francis Bacon.

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