Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

Books on London

History

 

Although many works listed here incorporate other topics such as architecture, social life, economics, and politics, or could serve as guides, all of these books have history as their primary focus, either the general history of London or the more specific history of one of its parts.

The collection's histories of the British capitol begin with John Stow's original 1598 edition of A Svrvay of London. Stow, a London-born chronicler and antiquarian who started out as a tailor, was the first author to expressly treat the city--its history, antiquities and government. Methodically traversing the streets of London and its suburbs, the Svrvay provides descriptions and anecdotes of every aspect of the city from its churches to its inns and alehouses, description that is enlivened by many personal recollections, both of the author and other earlier writers. Stow's account preserves in minute detail the buildings, social conditions and customs of London before memory of the profound changes effected by the reformation of the national religion faded, as well as before much of the city was destroyed by the Great Fire. Numerous editions of the Svrvay were published over the years, often undergoing substantial and at times questionable editing. These later editions also typically include illustrations and maps not found in the original. With the exception of the second, Bryn Mawr owns all the major editions of Stow, including that of 1720 edited by John Strype.

Stow's model of walking the city of London--history as walking tour--has stood as the foundation for all those historians who have followed him on the same subject, even into the twentieth century. Among the more prominent histories found in the Books on London collection that are based on this model are James Howell's Londinopolis (1657; said to be largely borrowed from Stow), Thomas De Laune's Angliae Metropolis (1690), John Entick's New and Accurate History and Survey of London (1766), William Maitland's History of London from Its Foundation to the Present Time (1769), Henry Chamberlain's Compleat History and Survey of London (1770), John Noorthouck's New History of London (1773), and Thomas Pennant's History and Antiquities of London (1814), a new edition of his History of London. Not all of these authors were Londoners, and none were historians in today's sense of the word. Howell, a writer and son of a Welsh clergyman, held a variety of employments, including factory administrator, secretary and instructor; De Laune was an Irish Catholic who became a Baptist and wrote a religious tract, for which he died in prison; and Pennant was a distinguished Welsh intellectual and naturalist who, in addition to publishing tours and topographic works, popularized and promoted the study of natural history. While most of their works have a political or social focus, Noorthouck is the first to study London's history from an economic point of view, claiming that it was in fact commerce that gave birth to English liberty and that they have mutually advanced each other ever since.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a shift in historiography took place, in which history developed into an academic discipline and profession and at the same time histories were now written for popular reading--more chronological narrative than walking tour. Mirroring this shift are the various histories of London, both general and specific, written by Sir Walter Besant, popular London novelist, scholar and social reformer. Bryn Mawr's collection includes: London (1892), Mediaeval London (1906), Early London: Prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and Norman (1908), and London South of the Thames (1912). Interestingly, Besant began work on his own Survey of London, which was intended to do for modern London what Stow did for the Elizabethan city, but which was unfortunately left unfinished. The collection contains several books dealing with more specific aspects of London's history, which also indicate this new type of historiography: George Clinch's Mayfair and Belgravia (1892); The History of the Squares of London (1907) and The Annals of Fleet Street (1912) by London historian E. Beresford Chancellor; Edgar Fay's entertaining Why Piccadilly? The Story of the Names of London (1935); and London West of the Bars (1951) by writer, editor and book critic, Wilfrid Douglas Newton.

 

Bibliography:

General History

Allen, Thomas, 1803-1833
The history and antiquities of London, Westminister, Southwark, and parts adjacent
London, Cowie & Strange, 1927-37
I36068445

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
Early London : prehistoric, Roman, Saxon and Norman / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. & C. Black, 1908
I34732482

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London city / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. & C. Black, 1910
I34732445

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London in the eighteenth century / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. and C. Black, 1925
I34732469

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London in the nineteenth century / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. & C. Black, 1909
I34732500

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London in the time of the Stuarts / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. & C. Black, 1903
I34732457

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London, by Walter Besant .
New York, Harper & brothers, 1892
DA678 .B55 1892

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
Mediaeval London / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. and C. Black, 1906
I34732470

Chamberlain, Henry
A compleat history and survey of London : Westminster, Southwark, & co
[London, 1770]
fDA677.C5 1770

Chamberlain, Henry, fl. 1770
A new and compleat history and survey of the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent ...
London : Printed for J. Cooke, [1771]
I34736372

Cruchley, G. F.
Cruchley's picture of London : comprising the history, rise, and progress of the metropolis to the present period
London : G.F. Cruchley, 1840
I30968288 (d?)

De Laune, Thomas, d. 1685
Angliae metropolis: or, The present state of London: with memorials comprehending a full and succinct account of the ancient and modern state thereof ... / First written by ... Tho. Delavne, gent. and continued to this present year by a careful hand
London, Printed by G. L. for J. Harris and T. Howkins, 1690
I37194483

Entick, John, 1703?-1773
A new and accurate history and survey of London, Westminster, Southwark, and places adjacent; containing whatever is most worthy of notice in their ancient and present state ... with the charters, laws, customs, rights, liberties and privileges of this great metropolis ... By the Rev. John Entick, M.A
London, E. and C. Dilly, MDCCLXVI
I31656845

Gomme, George Laurence, 1853-1916
The making of London, by Laurence Gomme
Oxford, The Clarendon press, 1912
DA677 .G6 1912

Heylyn, Peter, 1600-1662
A help to English history: containing a succession of all the kings of England ... the kings and princes of Wales; the kings and lords of Man: and the isle of Wight. As also of all the dukes, marquises, earls and bishops thereof ... Together with the names and ranks of the viscounts, barons, and baronets, of England / By Peter Heylyn ... And since his death continued, with great additions, to the first day of November, 1773. With the coats of arms of the nobility ... lists of the extinct viscounts and barons: also, The praetorian banner displayed; or, The arms of all the lord mayors of London ... with acomplete list of the said magistrates: now first published, by Paul Wright .
London : Printed for the editor, sold by Mr. Bathurst [etc.], 1773
942 H516h

Howell, James, 1594?-1666
Londinopolis, an historicall discourse; or, Perlustration of the city of London, the imperial chamber, and chief emporium of Great Britain, whereunto is added another of the city of Westminster, with the courts of justice, antiquities, and new buildings thereunto belonging, by Jam Howel
London, Printed by J. Streater for H. Twilford, G. Sawbridge, T. Dring, and J. Place, are to be sold at their shops, 1657
DA681 .H85 1657

Hunt, Leigh, 1784-1859
The town : its memorable characters and events / by Leigh Hunt ; St. Paul's to St. James's ; with forty-five illustrations
London : Smith, Elder, 1848
fDA677 .H93 1848

Hunt, Leigh, 1784-1859
The town; its memorable characters and events. St. Paul's to St. James's. By Leigh Hunt. With forty-five illustrations
London, Smith, Elder, and Co., 1848
DA677 .H93 1848b

Hunter, Henry, 1741-1802
The history of London, and its environs: containing an account of the origin of the city; its state under the Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans; its rise and progress to its present state of commercial greatness. Likewise an account of all the towns, villages, and country, within twenty-five miles of London. By the late Rev. Henry Hunter, D.D. and other gentlemen
London, Printed for J. Stockdale, by S. Gosnell, 1811
I34746365

Hutchings, W. W
London town past and present, with a chapter on The future in London by Ford Madox Hueffer
London, New York [etc.] Cassell, 1909
I34732512

Jesse, John Heneage, 1815-1874
London : its celebrated characters and remarkable places / J. Heneage Jesse
London : R. Bentley, 1871
DA677 .J63 1871b

Jesse, John Heneage, 1815-1874
London, its celebrated characters and remarkable places / J. Heneage Jesse
London : R. Bentley, 1871
DA677 .J63 1871

Knight, Charles, 1791-1873, ed
London. Ed. by Charles Knight
London, H. G. Bohn, 1851
I37202030

Lethaby, W. R. (William Richard), 1857-1931
London before the conquest, by W. R. Lethaby
London, New York, Macmillan, 1902
I36068378

Lysons, Daniel, 1762-1834
The environs of London : being an historical account of the towns, villages, and hamlets within twelve miles of that capital : interspersed with biographical anecdotes / by Daniel Lysons
London : Printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell, 1792-96
fDA677 .L99 1792

Maitland, William, 1693?-1757
The history of London from its foundation to the present time... : including the several parishes in Westminster, Middlesex, Southwark, &c., with the bills of mortality / by William Maitland ; illustrated with a complete set of the churches, palaces, publick buildings, hospitals, bridges, &c. within and adjacent to this great metropolis...and improved.
London : Printed by assignment from T. Osborne for J. Wilkie, T. Lowndes, G. Kearsly and S. Bladon, 1769
ffDA677 .M234 1769

Mazzinghi, Giovanni
Histoire de l'antiquite et de l'etat present de Londres, de Westminster, et du bourg de Southwark : contenant un guide pour les batimens publics et particuliers de la metropole : a la quelle est ajoute, un abrege de l'histoire de l'isle de Bretagne, des Tems les plus recules, jusqua l'invasion, la conquete, et la fin de la jurisdiction des Romains / par Jean Mazzinghi
London : C. Dilly & J. Owen, 1793
DA679 .M3 1793

Noorthouck, John, 1746?-1816
A new history of London, including Westminster and Southwark, to which is added, a general survey of the whole, describing the public buildings, late improvements, &c., illustrated with copper plates, by John Noorthouck
London, Printed for R. Baldwin, 1773
DA677 .N81 1773

Pennant, Thomas, 1726-1798
The history and antiquities of London / by Thomas Pennant
London : Printed for E. Jeffery by B. McMillan, 1814
fDA677 .P4 1814

Percy, Sholto, 1788-1852
London : or, Interesting memorials of its rise, progress, and present state / by Sholto and Reuben Percy ..
London : printed for Thomas Boys, 1824
Uncat 8981

R. B., 1632?-1725?
Historical remarks on the ancient and present state of the cities of London and Westminster. With an account of the most considerable occurrences, revolutions and transactions, as to wars, fires, plagues &c. which have happened in and about these cities for above nine hundred years past, till the year 1681. By Richard Burton [pseud.]
Westminster, Printed for M. Stace, 1810
I34746304

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
A survay of London : contayning the originall, antiquity, increase, moderne estate, and description of that citie / written in the year 1598; ed. by Henry Morley
London, 1890
I36061803

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
A survey of the cities of London and Westminster, borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent ... : Being an improvement of Mr. Stow's, and other surveys, by adding whatever alterations have happened in the said cities, &c. to the present year ... / By Robert Seymour, esq. [pseud.] ..
London : Printed for T. Read, 1733-35
f914.21 St7s Ed.1733

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: containing the original, antiquity, increase, modern estate and government of those cities. Written at first in the year 1598. By John Stow. Corrected, improved, and very much enlarged by John Strype. Illustrated with exact maps of the city and suburbs, and of all the wards; and likewise of the out-parishes of London and Westminster: together with draughts of the more eminent and publick edifices and monuments. To which is prefixed, the life of the author, writ by the editor. At the end is added, an appendix of certain tracts, discourses and remarks, concerning the state of the city of London. Together with a perambulation or circuit-walk four or five miles round about London, to the parish churches: describing the monuments of the dead there interred: with other antiquities observable in those places
London, Printed for A. Churchill [etc.] 1720
I34746250

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
A svrvay of London : contayning the originall, antiquity, increase, moderne estate, and description of that citie : written in the yeare 1598 / by Iohn Stow. Also an apologie (or defence) against the opinion of some men, concerning that citie, the greatnesse thereof : with an appendix, containing in Latine, Libellum de situ & nobilitate Londini, written by William Fitzstephen, in the raigne of Henry the Second
London : Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe, Printer to the honorable citie of London, and are to be sold at his shop within the Popes head Alley in Lombard street, 1598
DA680 .S87 1598

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
The history and survey of the cities of London and Westminster, borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent ... By R. Seymour, esq. [pseud.] and J. Marachant, gent.
London : Printed for M. Cooper..., 1754
I34732408

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
The survey of London: contayning the orignall, increase, moderne estate, and government of that city, methodically set downe. With a memoriall of those famouser acts of charity, which for publike and pious uses have beene bestowed by many worshipfull citizens and benefactors. Begunne first by the paines and industry of Iohn Stovv, in the yeere 1598. Afterwards inlarged by the care and diligence of A. M. in the yeere 1618. And now completely finished by the study and labour of A. M., H. D. and others, this present yeere 1633. Whereunto, besides many additions (as appeares by the contents) are annexed divers alphabeticall tables
London, Printed by Elizabeth Pvrslovv, and are to be sold by N. Bovrne, 1633
I34746262

Stow, John, 1525?-1605
The svrvay of London : containing, the originall, antiquitie, encrease, and more moderne estate of the sayd famous citie. As also, the rule and gouernment thereof (both ecclesiasticall and temporall) from time to time. With a briefe relation of all the memorable monuments, and other especiall obseruations, both in and about the same citie / Written in the yeere 1598. by Iohn Stow ... Since then, continued, corrected and much enlarged ..
London : Printed by G. Purslowe, 1618
914.21 St7

Welch, Charles, 1848-1924
Modern history of the city of London; a record of municipal and social progress, from 1760 to the present day. By Charles Welch... With illustrations drawn and selected by Philip Norman, F.S.A
London, Blades, East & Blades, 1896
I3474633x

Wheatley, Henry Benjamin, 1838-1917
London, past and present : its history, associations, and traditions
London : John Murray, 1891
Uncat 1389

Great chronicle of London The Great chronicle of London / edited by A. H. Thomas ... and I. D. Thornley ..
London : Printed by G. W. Jones at the sign of the Dolphin, 1938
q942.1 G79

Special Topics

Barratt, Thomas J., 1841-1914
The annals of Hampstead, by Thomas J. Barratt ... with over five hundred illustrations
London, A. and C. Black, 1912
fDA690.H198 B2 1912

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
London south of the Thames / by Sir Walter Besant
London : A. & C. Black, 1912
I34732494

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
South London / by Sir Walter Besant, with an etching by Francis S. Walker, R. E. and 119 illustrations
New York : Frederick A. Stokes company, [c1898]
DA685 .S65 B4 1898

Besant, Walter, Sir, 1836-1901
Westminster / by Sir Walter Besant ... With 130 illustrations by William Patten and others
New York : F. A. Stokes co., [c1895]
DA685.W5 B5 1895

Bryan, George
Chelsea in the olden & present times / by George Bryan
Chelsea : The author, 1869
DA685.C5 B9 1869

Chancellor, E. Beresford (Edwin Beresford), 1868-1937
Memorials of St. James's street : together with The annals of Almack's / by E. Beresford Chancellor
New York : Brentano's, 1922
DA685.S143 C4 1922

Chancellor, E. Beresford (Edwin Beresford), 1868-1937
The annals of Fleet Street, its traditions & associations, by E. Beresford Chancellor
New York, F. A. Stokes [1912?]
DA685.F5 C5 1912b

Chancellor, E. Beresford (Edwin Beresford), 1868-1937
The annals of the Strand, topographical and historical
New York, Frederick A. Stokes [n.d.]
DA685.S8 C5 1900

Chancellor, E. Beresford (Edwin Beresford), 1868-1937
The history of the squares of London : topographical & historical / by E. Beresford Chancellor ; with thirty-six illustrations
London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1907
DA689.S7 C5 1907

Clinch, George, 1860-1921
Mayfair and Belgravia: being an historical account of the parish of St. George, Hanover square. By George Clinch ... With numerous illustrations
London, Truslove & Shirley, 1892
I34732524

Faulkner, Thomas, 1777-1855
An historical and topographical description of Chelsea and its environs; interspersed with biographical anecdotes of illustrious and eminent persons who have resided in Chelsea during the three preceding centuries
London, Printed by J. Tilling for T. Egerton [and others] 1810
DA685.C5 F2 1810

Fay, Edgar
Why Piccadilly? The story of the names of London, by E. Stewart Fay
London, Methuen & co., ltd. [1935]
DA689.S9 F3 1935

Hair, John
Regent Square : Eighty Years of a London Congregation
London : James Nisbet, 1898
Uncat 7302

Newcourt, Richard, d. 1716
Repertorium ecclesiasticum parochiale londinense : an ecclesiatical parochial history of the diocese of London: containing an account of the bishops of that Sea, from the first foundation thereof: also, of the Deans, Archdeacona, Dignitaries and Prebendaries ..
London : Printed by B. Motte, 1708-1710
Uncat f1260

Newton, Wilfrid Douglas, 1884-1951
London west of the Bars
London, R. Hale [1951]
DA677 .N4 1951

Povah, Alfred, b. 1823 or 4
The annals of the parishes of St. Olave Hart Street and Allhallows Staining, in the City of London
London : Blades, 1894
Uncat f783

Robins, William, of Paddington, Eng
Paddington: past and present, by William Robins
Camden Town [Eng.], Printed for the author by A. & W. Hall [1853]
DA685.P2 R6 1853

Tanswell, John, 1800-1864
The history and antiquities of Lambeth / By John Tanswell .
London : F. Pickton, 1858
Uncat 7321

 

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