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PREFACE.

The earliest topographical work in the English language, alphabetically arranged, is the “Dictionarium Angliæ Topographicum et Historicam,” of William Lambarde, author of the “ Perambulation of Kent,” written about the year 1570, but which remained in MS. till the year 1730. It is a collection of materials intended

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ERRATUM.-- Page 95, thirteenth line from top,– For “ The Liverpool

Races, formerly held at Maghull, have lately been transferred to a new course at Aintree,”-Read, “ The Liverpool Spring Races are still held at Maghull. The Meeting in July takes place at Aintree.

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of the various places in each county in single and separate alphabets : those in Lancashire amount to about seven hundred in number: no other information than the hundred in which each place is situated is given, and the description of the whole county itself, consisting merely of short extracts from what Camden had recently published, is comprised in a single folio page. In 1656 appeared “Villare Anglicum, or a View of the Towns of England, collected by the appointment of Sir Henry Spelman, knight.” This work is merely an incorporation of Speed's several lists into one alphabet, and so far became of considerable utility. In 1668 Speed's tables were republished in a small quarto, with the title of “A Book of the Names of all the Parishes, &c., in England and Wales.” In 1680 John Adams published his “ Index Villaris, or an Alphabetical Table

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PREFACE.

The earliest topographical work in the English language, alphabetically arranged, is the “ Dictionarium Angliæ Topographicum et Historicum,” of William Lambarde, author of the “ Perambulation of Kent," written about the year 1570, but which remained in MS. till the year 1730. It is a collection of materials intended for a complete topography of England, but the design of the author was superseded by the appearance of Camden's Britannia, in 1586; the concealment of the MS, is much to be regretted, as the author having brought to his task great learning, much good sense, and, for that age, considerable taste, the example of his work though left imperfect, would have encouraged other topographers to pursue a similar vein of enquiry.

In 1606 John Speed published his “ Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.” In this work the author has arranged the names of the various places in each county in single and separate alphabets : those in Lancashire amount to about seven hundred in number: no other information than the hundred in which each place is situated is given, and the description of the whole county itself, consisting merely of short extracts from what Camden had recently published, is comprised in a single folio page. In 1656 appeared “ Villare Anglicum, or a View of the Towns of England, collected by the appointment of Sir Henry Spelman, knight.” This work is merely an incorporation of Specd's several lists into one alphabet, and so far became of considerable utility. In 1668 Speed's tables were republished in a small quarto, with the title of “A Book of the ames of all the Parishes, &c., in England and Wales." In 1680 John Adams published his “ Index Villaris, or an Alphabetical Table

of all the Cities, Market Towns, Pariskes, Villages, and private Seats in England and Wales,” in folio. This work is an extension of the Villare Anglicum, as it contains not only the county and hundred in which each place is situated, but also the latitude and longitude, the deanery in which it is included, and the value of the living in the king's books. The Index Villaris became in some request, and ran to a third edition.

In 1751 a work appeared with the title of “England's Gazetteer, or an accurate Description of all the Cities, Towns, and Villages of the Kingdom,” in 3 vols. 12mo., by Stephen Whatley. This author possessed very valuable materials, and his book, being executed with much accuracy and spirit, exhibits an interesting view of the state of England in the middle of the last century; it has formed the basis of all the subsequent topographical dictionaries of England, and many of them, even the more recent, are still little more than mere copies of Mr. Whatley's publication. In this work the term Gazetteer seems first to have been adopted in a topographical sense, and, though the author has not given his reasons for this appropriation of the word, it is not improbable that the hint was taken from a sentence of Mr. Locke, in his “ Thoughts Concerning Reading and Study," which expresses that “ an English gentleman without geography cannot well understand a gazette. The word gazetteer, borrowed from the French gazetier, originally meant merely the writer of thc gazette ; and by Dr. Johnson it is explained in no other signification than that of a writer of news. The French still restrict their word to the same meaning, though, with us, gazetteer in this sense has become entirely obsolete. The word seems first to have been wrested from its pristine meaning by its application to the title of a popular newspaper, about twenty years before Mr. Whatley's book appeared; but his adaptation of the name to a topographical purpose was considered so happy, that Gazetteers of the world, and or most of the kingdoms in it, soon followed, and have been continued in various subdivisions, to the present hour.

This author cleverly

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