Leycester, Sir Peter : Historical Antiquities, in Two Books. The First Treating in General of Great-Brettain and Ireland. The Second Containing Particular Remarks Concerning Cheshire......., Whereunto is annexed a Transcript of Doomsday-Book, so far as it


 

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London, Printed by W. L. for Robert Clavell in Cross-Key Court in Little-Britain, 1673, 1st Edition. Hardcover, Folio 13" by 9", [6] 392 [10] 395-437 [3]pp. Contemporary calf rebacked with contrasting spine label bearing gilt titles, corners bumped/rubbed with lower corner of upper board rubbed through, later endpapers, title page printed in red & black, some toning and a few marks mostly to margins, leaves T4 & V with small hole in foredge margin, leaf Mm with tear to foredge not touching text, leaf Q4 with marginal notes in pencil dated 1817, "Some antiquities touching Cheshire" and "A transcript of Cheshire at large, out of the greater Doomsday-book" each have separate title page, dated 1672, on leaf M3r and 3E1r, respectively, illustrated with woodcut coats of arms, uncoloured folding map of 'The Countye Palatine of Chester' by John Speed (Roger Rea edition) in remarkably good condition, without the folding leaf of illustrations called for by ESTC. Wing L1943. ESTC No.R2116

Sir Peter Leycester (1587-1678) was an Oxford educated historian. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1629, leaving three years later to enter Gray's Inn, without having taken a degree. A Royalist in the Civil War, he was present at Oxford when the city surrendered to Fairfax in 1646, and his active interest in antiquarian research developed in the subsequent years, when he was excluded from other responsibilities. He was made a Baronet at the Restoration but continued with his research and in 1669 he sent a copy of his work to Oxford, where it was read by Anthony Wood, who returned it with some corrections. This research became Leycester's "Historical Antiquities in two Books". In the book Leycester, after giving both sides of the argument finds that Amicia, wife of Ralph Mainwaring, was the not lawful daughter of Earl Hugh Cyveliok (d. 1181) and noted that ‘some are displeased’ that he found against the legitimacy of his ancestress. Sir Thomas Mainwaring of Peover was one such and published a "Defence of Amicia" in 1673, to which Leycester responded with his "An Answer to the Book of Sir Thomas Manwaringe" (1673). This paper war generated fifteen pamphlets and was ridiculed by a contemporary humourist who published "A New Ballad Made of a High and Mighty Controversy between Two Cheshire Knights". Despite all this the book is a valuable work which reflects the the methodical care and attention that Leycester applied to his antiquarian studies.

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