The North, East, and West Ridings of Yorkshire, the largest county in the United Kingdom.
Yorkshire is represented in Speed’s atlas on a smaller scale than most, but to compensate it has three maps: for the whole county, for the North and East Ridings, and for the West Riding. Like Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, it is further divided into wapentakes.
The North Riding, from the moors up to the border with Durham and Westmorland, was known for Whitby jet and stocking-knitting, at Richmond, which has a town plan on the map; prosperous East Riding stretched south of the moors to the Humber, and the shifting Holderness coastline; the map includes a plan of Hull. The town plan of York has migrated across the Ouse to the West Riding, which had no major town of its own, but plenty of “ragged rocks and swelling mountains”, in the Pennines, the Three Peaks, and the fells of the Forest of Bowland.
Thomas Baines (1806-1881), son of Edward Baines (1774-1848), the county historian of Lancashire and Yorkshire, covered all three ridings in his Yorkshire, past and present (1871-1877). The scenic landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales have attracted many wanderers and ramblers, often in caravans, including Dorothy Una Ratcliffe (1891-1967) and fellow Gypsy Lore Society members, R. A. Scott Macfie (1868-1935) and Dora Yates (1879-1974). Edmund Bogg (1851-1931), when he was not dressing up as a Native American for meetings of the Leeds Savage Club, was a prodigious rambler and historian of Richmondshire.
Many individual towns had their historians too: George Fox (1801-1871, not the Quaker visionary of Pendle Hill) illustrated his own History of Pontefract, but has left little other trace; Thomas Hinderwell (1744-1825) left a much bigger legacy in Scarborough, including its first lifeboat, and a still useful history, first published in 1798; William Bentley, parish clerk, tackled the gruesome habits of Halifax, with its guillotine, in his 1761 work: Halifax, and its gibbet-law placed in a true light. Together with a description of the town … To which are added, the unparallel’d tragedies committed by Sir John Eland.
The more peaceful pursuits of (theological) geology and natural history are well-represented in Special Collections, including John Phillips (1800-1874), Illustrations of the geology of Yorkshire (1875) from the former Geology library, and Thomas Short, The natural, experimental, and medicinal history of the mineral waters of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire, particularly those of Scarborough (1734) from the Spence collection.
The artistic rather than scientific traveller might be attracted by the ‘beautiful ruin’ of Bolton Abbey sketched by John Scarlett Davis during a portrait-painting tour of Yorkshire, or the posthumously-published ‘picturesque tour’ made by Edward Dayes, although his state of mind was sadly much less peaceful than the landscapes he painted. There are more cheerful Entertaining views in a Victorian collection of illustrated children’s chapbooks printed in Otley, which was well-placed on the river Wharfe, with its own papermill and a flourishing booktrade.
Special Collections classmarks of items cited:
- Thomas Baines (1806–1881), Yorkshire, past and present: a history and a description of the three Ridings of the great county of York, from the earliest ages to the year 1870; with an account of its manufactures, commerce, and civil and mechanical engineering. Including an account of the woollen trade of Yorkshire (1871-1877): SPEC R.19.1-4/oversize
- Dorothy Una Ratcliffe (1891-1967), Delightsome land; illustrated by Fred Lawson (1946): SPEC Scott Macfie H.3.319
- Dorothy Una Ratcliffe (1891-1967), The cranesbill caravan: an idyll in Upper Wensleydale; illustrations by Joseph Appleyard (1961): SPEC Scott Macfie A.6.7
- Edmund Bogg (1851-1931), Richmondshire: an account of its history and antiquities, characters and customs, legendary lore, and natural history, being a companion volume to “The Vale of Mowbray” (1908): SPEC Fraser 1054
- George Fox (1802?-1871), The history of Pontefract, in Yorkshire (1827): SPEC Y82.3.252
- Thomas Hinderwell (1744-1825), The history and antiquities of Scarborough. Third edition, enlarged, with a brief memoir of the author (1832): SPEC Y83.3.687
- William Bentley, Halifax, and its gibbet-law placed in a true light. Together with a description of the town … To which are added, the unparallel’d tragedies committed by Sir John Eland (1761): SPEC Y76.2.181
Geology (Theology)/Natural history:
- John Phillips (1800-1874), Illustrations of the geology of Yorkshire (1875): SPEC EB.1.05/C
- Thomas Hurtley, A concise account of some natural curiosities, in the environs of Malham, in Craven, Yorkshire (J. Walter at the Logographic Press, 1786): SPEC J2.6
- George Young (1777-1848): A geological survey of the Yorkshire coast: describing the strata and fossils occurring between the Humber and the Tees, from the German ocean to the plain of York; by George Young and John Bird, artist (1822): SPEC Y82.5.91
- Thomas Short, The natural, experimental, and medicinal history of the mineral waters of Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire, particularly those of Scarborough ;… To which are added, Large marginal notes, containing a methodical abstract of all the treatises hitherto published on these waters, with many observations and experiments (1734): SPEC Spence 80)
- Henry Baines (1794?-1878): The flora of Yorkshire (1840): SPEC Y84.3.284
- John Housman, A descriptive tour and guide to the lakes, caves, mountains and other natural curiosities in Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire and a part the West Riding of Yorkshire. Eighth edition (1817): SPEC Y81.3.89
- John Scarlett Davis (1804-1845), Twelve views in lithography, of Bolton Abbey, Wharfedale, Yorkshire, from drawings of this beautiful ruin, and the adjoining scenery, taken on the spot by J. Scarlett Davis, under the immediate approval of the Rev. W. Carr, B.D.; To which is added, A description of each view (1829): SPEC Fraser 402/folio case
- Edward Dayes (1763-1804): A picturesque tour through the principal parts of Yorkshire & Derbyshire. With illustrative notes by E.W. Brayley. Second edition (1825): SPEC Y82.3.245
- A series of chapbooks with illustrations: History of Cinderella — 2. History of Tom Thumb — 3. Hare and many friends — 4. Entertaining views — 5. Robinson Crusoe — 6. Jack the Giant Killer — 7. Little Red Riding Hood — 8. Scenes from nature — 9. Old Dame Trot — 10. Mother Hubbard — 11. Capitals of Europe — 12. House that Jack built — 13. Death & burial of Cock Robin — 14. Cock Robin and Jenny Wren — 15. Old man and his ass — 16. History of Peter Brown (Otley: Yorkshire J. S. Publishing & Stationery Co., 1840?): JUV.143:3