Stephen Whatley's Gazetteer of England
In March 1750, Stephen Whatley's Gazetteer of England was published. It is subtitled "A DICTIONARY of the CITIES, CORPORATIONS, MARKET-TOWNS, and the most noted VILLAGES; their Manufactures and Trade; Markets, Fairs, Customs, and Privileges; principal Buildings, and charitable Foundations, &c. With their Distance from LONDON in Miles both computed, and measured."
The Whatley Gazetteer was published in 3 Volumes, the first two (A to L, and M to Y) as described above. The third Volume is subtitled "A NEW INDEX VILLARIS, OR, Alphabetical REGISTER of the most noted Villages; With their Distance, or Bearing, from the next Market Town, or well-known Place. This WORK includes all the chief Harbours, Bays, Forests, Hills, Mines, medicinal Springs, Moors, and other Curiosities both of Nature and Art; and not only takes notice of most of the Manors and Seats in the Kingdom, both ancient and present; but also points out the old military Ways, Camps, Castles, and other remarkable Ruins of ROMAN, DANISH, and SAXON Antiquity; And particularly shews the Estates that were formerly Abbey Lands."
The Whatley Gazetteer is available on the Internet Archive website in pdf format. The data below has been derived by processing the Whatley pdf files as follows:
- Digital text has been extracted by OCR.
- Software has been designed and run to:
- clean up the extracted text
- parse the extracted text
- extract the fields associated with each placename entry
- create an html file to form an index
- create a file of extracted text for each entry
The extracted data consists of:
- The Placename. This field links to a file containing the plain text of the Whatley entry.
- Up to 3 alias placenames ("or", "also called", "otherwise")
- Parliamentary indicator (*)
- The County
- The complete index of England is a large html file of 0.5 MB.
- The OCR is not perfect, and garbled text arising might be misleading. If readers are to rely on the text, the original Whatley should be consulted in pdf form.
- After much debate, I've changed some of the original text to
make it easier to index and more understandable to a modern
reader. I've limited these changes to only two instances:
- Whatley's county name abbreviations and spellings are inconsistent so I've changed the county name following each placename to use a single consistent spelling. Elsewhere, within his text, Whatley's county name abbreviations and spellings are retained.
- The early printing convention, of using "f" to represent "s" in certain places, could cause problems so I've changed these, and "s" is used throughout.
The following indexes are available below:
- England: a complete index and by county. Derived from Volumes 1 and 2.