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:

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.

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