Although Somerset has many claims to a complete history,
the History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, by John
Collinson, published in 1791, is the only work that can be said
to treat the history of the county in any way fully. Collinson
had little opportunity of referring to original sources, hence his work
lacks the exactness and exhaustiveness which are now looked for in a
work of this nature.
A more ambitious scheme for a county history was that of William
Phelps, who published the first part of his History and Antiquities of
Somersetshire in 1835, but only seven parts were issued and the work
was left incomplete.
It may be mentioned that the Rev. R. W. Eyton, among his
various works on the Domesday Book, published in 1880 a digest of
the Great Survey under the title of the Survey of Somerset, although this
of course cannot be reckoned as a county history.
The present volume has been unfortunately delayed on account of
unforeseen difficulties, but it is hoped that the delay has enabled the
work to be made more complete than could otherwise have been the
The Editor wishes to express his acknowledgements to Sir Henry
C. Maxwell Lyte, K.C.B., and the Rev. E. H. Bates, M.A., for advice
and help in the revision of articles, and to thank the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Archæological Institute, the Somerset Archæological
and Natural History Society, the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, the Glastonbury
Antiquarian Society, the proprietors of the Bath Herald and Mr. G. C.
Dymond for illustrations and the use of blocks.
The Editor wishes also to acknowledge the assistance of his late
colleague, Mr. H. A. Doubleday, during whose editorship the earlier
part of this volume was passed through the press.
The Index to the Domesday Introduction and Text will appear in