Nichol’s History of Leicestershire: a bi-centenary celebration 2015

29 January 2015

The publication compiled by Caroline Wessel to coincide with the bi-centenary of John Nichols' History of Leicestershire

The publication compiled by Caroline Wessel to coincide with the bi-centenary of John Nichols’ History of Leicestershire

For two hundred years local historians have studied and rejoiced in the outsize tomes of John Nichols’ remarkable History of Leicestershire (1795-1815), assimilating and recording its huge volume of information on every aspect of the county’s history and antiquities. So a new full colour publication just launched by the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society, entitled Nichols’ History of Leicestershire: a bi-centenary celebration 2015, is a timely and appropriate addition to the county’s literature in this significant Nichols bi-centenary year.

The publication, compiled and written by LAHS Vice Chairman Caroline Wessel, explores the remarkable lives, talents and achievements of three generations of the Nichols family and the literary and antiquarian world of London and Leicestershire they inhabited. Focussing on the extensive contents of Nichols’ History, a veritable treasure trove of information is uncovered, and a particular delight is the inclusion of original watercolours, engravings and sketches taken from John Nichols’ own copy of his History. Two chapters are written by Julian Pooley. Director of the Nichols Archive Project, that calendars around 14,000 Nichols family letters and journals housed in libraries worldwide.

The Herricks of Beaumanor shared an especially close friendship with the Nichols family. Chapter 5 on this Herrick friendship uses original letters between the families to describe J.Gough Nichols’ research for the Beaumanor armorial window and the Herrick American links, whilst the writer of a Nichols’ journal witnesses the present day Beaumanor in 1846 when it was only half built.

The ‘User’s Guide’ and ‘Who’s Who’ chapters are invaluable tools for the Nichols researcher, whilst a chapter by Record Office archivist, Robin Jenkins, and contributions from present-day Leicestershire people with specialist expertise, bring John Nichols’ concept of enlisting the local populace right up to date.

This highly readable book, with its evocative illustrations and gentle humour, is a must for historians, and for all those who love Leicestershire.

You can purchase your copy from Clarendon Books

144 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester LE2 3AE
Tel: 0116 270 1856 and 0116 270 1914

Clarendon Books welcomes personal callers, or you can obtain your copy from them by post, telephone or e-mail, using credit/debit card or cheque (cheques payable to Clarendon Books)

Price £9.95 or, if by post, £11.75 including postage/packing.

Books will also be on sale at the New Walk Museum, Jewry Wall Museum and Guildhall bookshops in Leicester, and at the Record Office, Beaumanor Hall and Hinckley Museum (open from Easter 2015)