History of Leicestershire


For two hundred years local historians have studied and rejoiced in the eight outsize tomes of John Nichols' remarkable History of Leicestershire (1795-1815), assimilating and recording its huge volume of information on Leicester and Leicestershire's multi-faceted history. So a new full colour publication soon to be launched by the Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society, entitled Nichols' History of Leicestershire: a bi-centenary celebration 2015, is a timely and appropriate addition to the county's literature in this significant Nichols bi-centenary year.

The publication, compiled and written by LAHS Vice Chairman Caroline Wessel, explores the remarkable lives, talents and achievements of three generations of the Nichols family and the literary and antiquarian world of London and Leicestershire they inhabited. Focussing on the extensive and varied contents of Nichols’ History, a veritable treasure trove of information is uncovered. The 'User's Guide' and 'Who's Who' chapters are invaluable tools for the Nichols researcher, whilst a chapter by Record Office archivist, Robin Jenkins, and contributions from present-day Leicester and Leicestershire people with specialist expertise, bring John Nichols' concept of enlisting the local populace right up to date. A particular delight is the inclusion of some original watercolours, engravings and sketches taken from John Nichols' own copy of his History, into which is spliced a miscellany of additional material - paintings, drawings, manuscripts, maps, letters, handwritten notes, pedigrees, autographs and newspaper cuttings.

Volume I part ii of Nichols' History is devoted to every imaginable aspect of the history of the town of Leicester. The new bi-centenary book includes reference to a number of significant Leicester citizens - but the story of Walter Ruding of Westcotes, Leicester, is particularly appealing. For it was he who came to the rescue when in 1808 Nichols' London printing works suffered a disastrous fire. Whilst attending the fashionable Leicester Races, Ruding persuaded members of the nobility and gentry to give subscriptions to finance the re-printing of the History of Leicestershire volumes that had been lost to the flames. But for Ruding's ingenuity, we would not have these precious books today.

This highly readable bi-centenary celebration book, with its evocative illustrations and gentle humour, is a must for historians and for all those who love Leicester and Leicestershire.

From 1st February 2015, you can purchase your copy from -

Clarendon Books,

144 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester LE2 3AE
Tel: 0116 270 1856 and 0116 270 1914

E-mail:  clarendonbooks@aol.com

Clarendon Books welcomes personal callers, or you can obtain your copy from them by post, using credit/debit card or cheque (cheques payable to Clarendon Books)

Price £9.95 or, if by post, £11.75 including postage/packing.

Or go online at www.lahs.org.uk (Paypal welcome)