Volume I of the Victoria History of Leicestershire was published in 1907, and
was designed as the first of four volumes; Though some material for a second
volume was ready by 1908 no further progress was made until 1948, when
a group of enthusiasts in Leicestershire came together to form a Leicestershire
Victoria County History Committee. Upon this Committee there have sat
since that time representatives of the Leicestershire County Council, the
Leicester City Council, the Leicestershire Archaeological Society, the Leicestershire Literary and Philosophical Society, the Leicester Chamber of Commerce,
the Leicester Branch of the Historical Association, and the Diocese of Leicester.
In addition certain individuals have been co-opted. The two local authorities
and the two Leicestershire societies subscribed funds for editorial purposes in
the period from 1948 to 1953. Since 1953 the Leicestershire Literary and
Philosophical Society has been unable to continue its grant, but University
College, Leicester, has stepped into its place. The other three bodies continue
to subscribe. A valuable donation to the funds was made in 1949 by the
Leicester Chamber of Commerce.
The scheme devised in 1948 constitutes a partnership between Leicestershire
and the University of London similar to and modelled approximately upon that
subsisting between the University and Wiltshire, described in the introductory
note to the Victoria History of Wiltshire, Volume VII. By such a partnership
the local Committee is responsible for preparing and editing the material for
the history and the University for publishing it. As the first step in carrying
out its share of the enterprise the local Committee appointed as its honorary
local editor Dr. W. G. Hoskins, then Reader in English Local History at University College, Leicester, and now Reader in Economic History in the University of Oxford. Both the University of London and Leicestershire were
singularly fortunate in attracting to the local editorship a person so deeply
immersed in local studies as Dr. Hoskins. He planned the present volume, its
successor, and the articles which are to form the history of Leicester City, and
edited much of the material submitted. In 1951 he was joined for a time as
honorary local editor by Dr. C. H. Thompson, then Archivist to the Leicestershire County Council and now holding a parallel post in Surrey. In 1949
Mr. R. A. McKinley was appointed full-time local Assistant Editor and
became local Editor in 1952 when Dr. Hoskins resigned from his post at
University College, Leicester.
Everyone interested in local history must be sensible of the debt that is owed
to those bodies in Leicestershire who have so generously granted funds to enable
this and succeeding volumes to be prepared. Without their subsidies there is no
likelihood that the History of Leicestershire would have been completed in the
present generation. In particular, deep gratitude must be felt, as much by the
University of London as by Leicestershire, to Sir Robert Martin, Chairman
alike of the Leicestershire County Council and of the local V.C.H. Committee.
His lively interest in the Leicestershire history and powerful local influence have
contributed most valuably to the whole enterprise.
There are some points peculiar to this volume which it is desirable to explain.
The history of Leicester City is being treated on its own. Most of the general
chapters on Leicestershire, therefore, in this and the succeeding volume ignore
the City; where they do not, the fact is mentioned in text or footnote. Although
the chapter on Ecclesiastical History in Volume I purports to cover the whole
history of Christianity in Leicestershire, Roman Catholicism had been less fully
treated than the history of either the Church of England or of Protestant Nonconformity. This explains the presence in this volume of a special article on
Roman Catholicism. Volume III is designed to include a comprehensive index
to the first three volumes of the Leicestershire History; hence there is no index
in this one.
Much valuable help has been given both in the preparation and execution
of this volume and in the preparation of the volumes that are to follow it by
Professor Jack Simmons and by Dr. L. A. Parker and Mrs. A. M. Woodcock,
archivists of the county and city of Leicester respectively.
R. B. PUGH
VICTORIA COUNTY HISTORY
Where not otherwise stated members have served on the Committee from 1948 until the present time.
|Alderman Lt. Col. Sir Robert E. Martin, C.M.G., T.D., D.L. (Chairman)
Representing Leicester County Council
|Alderman Major T. G. F. Paget, D.L. (died 1952)
|Councillor Mrs. M. E. Keay, B.E.M. (from 1952)
|Councillor W. G. Coates
|The Revd. D. A. Adams
|Alderman C. R. Keene, C.B.E.
Representing the City of Leicester
|Councillor P. G. Hughes (resigned 1949)
|Councillor A. H. W. Kimberlin (from 1949)
|C. D. B. Ellis, Esq., M.C
Representing the Leicestershire Archaeological Society
|J. Milne, Esq
Representing the Leicestershire Literary and Philosophical Society
|S. H. Russell, Esq
Representing Leicester and County Chamber of Commerce
|Dr. Anne K. B. Evans (from 1950)
Representing University College, Leicester
|Professor J. Simmons
|B. Elliott, Esq. (resigned 1952)
Representing the Leicester Branch of the Historical Association
|P. A. Stevens, Esq.
|The Rt. Revd. Dr. G. Vernon Smith, M. C., formerly Bishop of Leicester (resigned 1953)
Representing the Diocese of Leicester
|A. Taylor Milne, Esq. (resigned 1950)
Representing the Central Committee of the Victoria County History
|R. B. Pugh, Esq. (from 1950)
|Sir William Brockington, C.B.E.
L. H. Irvine, Esq., M.B.E.
Professor A. Hamilton Thompson, C.B.E., F.B.A. (died 1952)
Dr. J. H. Plumb
H. P. R. Finberg, Esq. (Co-opted 1952)
Dr. W. G. Hoskins (Co-opted 1953)
|Dr. C. H. Thompson (resigned 1951)
|Dr. L. A. Parker
|S. B. Bordoli, Esq.