A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1974.
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Volume I of the Victoria History of Somerset was published in 1906 and Volume II in 1911. Those two volumes contained all the 'general' articles planned for the county's history, but little progress was made with the 'topographical' volumes that were to present the histories of the individual towns and parishes. It is likely that the First World War put a stop to work on the History of Somerset as of many other counties.
Following proposals made in 1963 by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society for the resumption of the Victoria History of the county, the Somerset County Council resolved to make funds available for the appointment of a special staff to write and organize the completion of the work. In 1966 a sub-committee of the County Records Committee was formed to superintend the arrangements, presided over by Lt.-Col. C. T. Mitford-Slade, C.M.G., C.V.O., H.M. Lieutenant of Somerset. The result was another of those partnerships between local patrons and the University of London, of which the prototype was that between the University and the Wiltshire Victoria History Committee, described in the editorial note to Volume VII of the Victoria History of Wiltshire. The essence of such a partnership is that the local patrons undertake to provide money to meet the expenses of compiling and editing the History of their county, and the University agrees to publish what is prepared, provided that it approves the result. The present volume is the first-fruits of the partnership in Somerset. The generous attitude displayed by the Somerset County Council is most sincerely appreciated by the University.
In 1967 Dr. R. W. Dunning was appointed county editor for Somerset, and he was joined in 1970 by Mr. R. J. E. Bush, as assistant editor.
Many people have helped in the preparation of this volume. The help of those who were concerned with particular parishes is acknowledged in the footnotes to the accounts of those parishes. The keeper of the records of the Duchy of Cornwall, the Duke of Devonshire, P.C., M.C., the Duke of Northumberland, K.G., T.D., F.R.S., the Marquess of Northampton, D.S.O., the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, the Dean and Chapter of Wells, Mr. R. J. R. Arundell, Mr. J. Stevens Cox, and Mr. A. R. E. Pretor-Pinney are thanked for making available the records in their possession. Among the public libraries and record offices to whose librarians or archivists and their staff thanks are rendered for their sympathetic co-operation, special mention must be made of the Somerset Record Office.
The structure and aims of the History as a whole are outlined in the General Introduction (1970).