In 1715 Ralph Thoresby published the first history of Leeds. To celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of its publication the Thoresby Society decided to produce two volumes, A Celebration of Ralph Thoresby and Ralph Thoresby’s Review of his Life.
Ralph Thoresby’s Review of his Life, 1658-1714
[Yorkshire Archaeological Society MS 26]
In his lifetime the most famous of the works Ralph Thoresby publishedwere his Ducatus Leodiensis in 1715 and his Vicaria Leodiensis in 1724. It was not until 1830 that the Revd Joseph Hunter published what he entitled the Diary of Ralph Thoresby F.R.S. This publication however, though in two volumes, contained only extracts from the diaries (of which there are several volumes) together with extracts from a separate but related volume, what Hunter called the Review. Thoresby’s Review, now in the archives of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, is a series of extracts adapted from his diaries, with later comments, written, according to Thoresby’s own account, for the instruction of his children, in particular his sons. Hunter printed extracts from this volume to fill in gaps where diaries were missing, but it has never been published in its entirety. Consequently the Thoresby Society decided to undertake its publication as part of its tercentenary tribute, experimenting with using a team of transcribers to make the initial transcriptions from scans of the manuscript. The book offers a fascinating insight into the life of a deeply religious man of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century who was also a very well-respected antiquarian and historian, in personal contact with almost all of the eminent scholars and antiquaries of his time. In the Review Thoresby describes his travels, his visits to the museums and ‘cabinets of curiosities’ of his contemporaries, his own troubles and those of his family, and reflects clearly the divided religious state of the country in his time. There is a brief introduction and extensive indexes, and a bibliography of Thoresby’s reading is also included.
ISBN 978 0 900741 77 7