Information request

I received the following email this morning and have posted it here because Mr Luttrell includes a request for information, although it’s probably a very long shot. And also because it provides a glimpse of local history studies in Preston at the end of the nineteenth century. The lecture was followed by an organ recital:

Dear Mr Smith,
I attach a copy of a flyer which I thought might be of interest to you; as you see, it announces a lecture to be given in Preston in 1898 by F W Maitland.
The flyer is pasted into a copy of Maitland’s work, published just a few months before, ‘Township and Borough’, which, as you also will see, is what prompted his Preston lecture.
The copy in which the flyer is found is of Maitland’s work and in fact is the copy which he presented to Dr F W Collinson, the President of the society as noted on the flyer. I will send along a few more images tomorrow about this copy should they be of interest to you.
By chance, do you know if the text of Maitland’s lecture survives? It would be wonderful to have the chance to read it!
All the best,
Joe Luttrell Meyer Boswell Books, Inc.

Securing Maitland as speaker must have been something of a coup for the Preston Scientific Society (now the Preston Society) for he was the Downing Professor of the Laws of England at Cambridge and had just published Township and Borough, a masterly study of town history. His visit to Preston was part of his proselytising tour of Britain, urging local history societies to dig deep in their archives to uncover the early history of the country’s towns and boroughs, as the Preston historian Henry Clemesha, who seems to have attended the lecture, later recollected:

In a lecture given three years ago in Preston by Professor Maitland, the lecturer urged that some effort should be made to discover its town fields, and pointed out their importance in the history of a town. The materials for their reconstruction are very slight indeed.

Since that time a great deal more material has been discovered, but much more remains to be traced, transcribed and published on line.

Joe Luttrell has been running an antiquarian bookshop in San Francisco for getting on for fifty years.

Preston history lecture flyer 1898

One thought on “Information request

  1. Hi Peter,

    This is why you haven’t yet had anything from me on freehold land societies – and the less said about my dissertation the better!

    There’s a bit of a write up in the attached from BNA – a bit faint, but it’s in the centre under Old Preston. And I’d never heard of the Post-Gilchrist lectures but this in the Archives may have something to do with them MBCH/6/5 Minutes relating to the Gilchrist Lectures, 1885-1900.

    But on down the rabbit hole… This and this Note that Sir Ughtred Shuttleworth was a trustee in 1890. There’s another related item at the Archives for Padiham.

    Who knew?

    Best wishes Sue 



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