John Leland's Itinerary of England and Wales
In about 1535 to 1543 John Leland carried out a survey of England and Wales, commissioned by King Henry VIII. The King gave him authority by commission, to search the libraries of monasteries and colleges for the monuments of ancient writers. The resulting manuscript, with a covering letter to King Henry VIII., all in Leland's hand, is kept in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Bodleian manuscript is in in eight parts.
Following several previous publications, a modern edition of Leland's Itinerary was published in 1907, edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith. This publication divides Leland's manuscripts into eleven parts, which were printed in five volumes as follows:
- VOL. I. Containing Parts I-III.
- VOL. II. Containing Parts IV and V.
- VOL. III. Containing Part VI (The Itinerary in Wales).
- VOL. IV. Containing Parts VII and VIII.
- VOL. V. Containing Parts IX, X, and XI.
The Lucy Toulmin Smith publication is available on the Internet Archive website in pdf format. Because the descriptions of places and journeys will be of interest to local historians, I have scanned and digitised the pdf files with the objective of making them available more easily to web readers. It is also my intention to produce extracts by county.
I have produced a very short Introduction extracted from that of Lucy Toulmin Smith, and extracted her Glossary as well as Leland's covering letter to King Henry VIII. I advise new readers to start with the Introduction.
- The OCR is not perfect, and garbled text arising might be misleading. If readers are to rely on the text, the original publication should be consulted in pdf form.
- Because it was not my intention to produce a version suitable for academic research (the Lucy Toulmin Smith version is ideal for such purposes), I've removed what I consider to be superfluous text in order to concentrate only on the places Leland noted on his journeys.
The following are available below:
- Covering Letter
- Volume I: Part I.
- Volume I: Part II.
- Volume I: Part III.
- Volume I: Appendix I.
- Volume I: Appendix II.
- Volume I: Appendix III.
- Volume II: Part IV.
- Volume II: Part V.
- Volume II: Appendix.
- Volume III: Part VI.
- Volume III: Appendix A.
- Volume III: Appendix B.
- Volume IV: Part VII.
- Volume IV: Part VIII.
- Volume IV: Appendix I.
- Volume IV: Appendix II.
- Volume V: Part IX.
- Volume V: Part X.
- Volume V: Part X, Appendix.
- Volume V: Part XI.
- Volume V: Appendix.