So That Was Hertfordshire:

Travellers' Jottings 1322-1887

Compiled by Malcolm Tomkins

Edited by Graham Javes

Hertfordshire Publications

Published 1998 (ISBN 0-901354-78-2)


This is an attractive paperback of about 100 pages, including a number of illustrations and a 19th century map of Hertfordshire. It includes accounts of many people who have travelled through Hertfordshire The first to be noted were Simon Simeon and Hugh the Illustrator who travelled from Dublin to London in 1322, when they recorded that "there is a monastry of black monks" at St Albans. Among the many others who passed through the county were John Leland (1538, 1544), John Evelyn (1642 ... 1688), George Fox (1644-1655), Samuel Pepys (1660, 1668), Celia Fiennes (1697), Daniel Defoe (1724), Horace Walpole (1735-1783), John Wesley (1747-1789), Arthur Young (1768), George Lipscombe (1802), Robert Southey (1807), James Macadam (1819), William Cobbett (1822), and Karl Marx (1842).

The following is an extract from the entry for John Leland, describing a journey in 1538:

Travelling from Dunstable 'to Mergate [Markyate] al by chaumpaine, but for the moste parte fertile of corne, a vj miles. Mergate ... standith on an hil in a faire woode hard by Watheling Streate [Watling Street] on the east side of it ... Ther is ... a long thorough fare ... full meately welle buildid for low housing ... I saw in a praty wood side St Leonardes church [Flamstead], on the lifte hand, scant half a mile off toward north weste,' [Here he turned westwards across country] 'so forth by Chilterne-hilles and baren, wooddy and firne [firm] grounde for the most parte, the soile waxing chalky and flinty, as all Chilterne ys. A 3 [miles] to Barkhamstede' where '... in the botom of the ryver of eche side be very faire medowes. The I passid by hilly, woody and much baren ground from Hertfordshire into Buckinghamshire.'

The book is sold by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

See Going, Going, Gone - biographical information on the author

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