‘No historie so meete’
This book explores the importance of history to Elizabethan and early Stuart gentry and how this led to a vibrant antiquarian culture. The family, town and county histories written by the community, which form the core of the study, had an influence on the development of local history in England which lasted into the twentieth century and is still felt today. Eschewing a narrow historiographical approach, the author examines a range of manuscript and published works and other material reflecting the gentry’s interest in the past: pedigree rolls, antiquarian notebooks, heraldic displays and maps. The book provides a survey of the development of local history in England from its medieval origins to 1660. This is followed by chapters on the practicalities of local historical research: the national educational and institutional framework, the development of regional networks of local historians and the gentlemen who controlled access to their sources, and analysis of the source materials available. The final section features chapters on genealogy, didacticism and the physical world.