Thomas Denton: A Perambulation of Cumberland, 1687-8, including descriptions of Westmorland, the Isle of Man and Ireland
(Cumbria Record Office MS D/Lons/L12/4/2/2)
Description of Cumberland in the late seventeenth century, with associated material.
This volume prints for the first time the 'perambulation' of Cumberland compiled by the lawyer, Thomas Denton, for Sir John Lowther of Lowther in 1687-8. Denton's manuscript provides the most detailed surviving description of thecounty in the seventeenth century. Taking the methods of earlier antiquaries as a framework, and incorporating much of the text of the history of Cumberland written c.1603 by John Denton, the perambulation includes a wealth of contemporary detail for almost every parish and township in the county, including particulars of land tenure, valuations of estates, population estimates, descriptions of buildings and the histories of landed families. Appended to the description of Cumberland, are a perambulation of Westmorland, and the texts of two important tracts, the genealogy of the Clifford family and a treatise on customary tenantright. The volume is rounded off by descriptions of theIsle of Man and Ireland, taken in part from Camden's Britannia but including detailed topographical accounts of Man and Dublin, based on Denton's own observations. ANGUS J.L. WINCHESTER is Senior Lecturer in History, Lancaster University.