A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 4, Agriculture. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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Volume IV is the sixth volume of the Victoria History of Shropshire to be published, and the fifth since the revival of the project outlined in the Editorial Note to Volume VIII (1968). The partnership between the Shropshire County Council (with the generously maintained support of the Walker Trust) and the University of London has continued, supervision of the History's work being devolved by the Council's Leisure Activities (from 1988 Leisure Services) Committee on the Victoria County History Advisory Board. From 1981 to 1985 Mr. V. M. E. Holt chaired the Committee and the late Sir Jasper More chaired the Board. Mr. A. Freudmann chaired the Committee and the Board from 1985 to 1988, when he was succeeded in both chairs by Mr. N. L. Pickering. It is sad to record Sir Jasper More's death in 1987 and sad also to record that of Sir Philip MagnusAllcroft, Bt., C.B.E., in 1988. It was Sir Philip who first approached the University on the County Council's behalf in 1959, suggesting the revival of the Shropshire History, and from that time until his death he maintained his interest in it, serving as a member-for considerable periods as chairman or vice-chairman-of the committees charged with its local supervision.
The local staff mentioned in the Editorial Note to Volume XI (1985) have continued in their posts, Mr. G. C. Baugh as County Editor and Dr. D. C. Cox and Dr. P. A. Stamper as Assistant County Editors. Mrs. M. B. Key, who had typed Volumes III and XI and was appointed part-time secretary to the History in 1984, left in 1987 when she was succeeded by Mrs. J. M. Day.
For many years the progress of the Shropshire History was very greatly assisted by the voluntary work of Mr. H. D. G. Foxall and Mrs. J. McFall, both of whom, it is recorded with great regret, died in 1989. Between 1962 and 1988 George Foxall produced, besides some more general maps, about 500 field-name maps, mainly from tithe apportionments and maps but some from estate records. This great labour, liberally undertaken to help forward the work of the Shropshire History, has increasingly proved generally valuable, and George Foxall has left all future students of Shropshire history, topography, and place names greatly in his debt. In 1980 Jessie McFall began to write the Education sections of parish histories that were included in Volume XI. She went on to write similar sections for three more volumes, as yet unpublished. In 1988 she had to give up the work for reasons of health, but the contribution which she so generously made will become apparent as future volumes appear.
During the planning of this volume valuable advice was given by Professor F. M. L. Thompson and Dr. Joan Thirsk. For help received during its research and writing thanks are rendered to the staffs of the Shropshire Record Office under Mrs. L. B. Halford, County Archivist, and of the Local Studies Library, Shrewsbury, under Mr. A. M. Carr. Shropshire Libraries' Information Service has also given valuable assistance. Mr. Fred Powell kindly gave much help with the search for illustrations. As for some previous volumes Sir Michael Leighton, Bt., has readily given access to his family papers at Loton, and once again a special debt of gratitude is due to him. Other people who have helped with particular articles are named in appropriate footnotes.
The General Introduction to the History (1970) outlines the structure and aims of the series as a whole.