Since 2009, ALHA has published a series of small books on aspects of Avon history. We have now published 26 titles, and they are all listed below. Some are now out of print, but may still be available direct from the author or on Amazon.
Books are sold at Bristol Record Office and other outlets depending on local interest, all at £3.50 except Nos.10 & 20 which contain an A3 map and are £3.95. Books can also be ordered by post but please add 65p per title for postage. Below is a complete list of our publications.
For a printable order form, click on any of the book covers, or on one of the blue buttons.
To order books online, and pay by card, please go to our page on GENfair.
978 1 911592 26 6
Richard Smith lived in one of the great ages of culture, learning and debate in Bristol. He was a contemporary and colleague of the great Thomas Beddoes. Robert Southey was his neighbour, and Humphry Davy and Samuel Coleridge lectured in his time. Smith himself was a very successful practising surgeon, a lecturer, a notable collector of medical records and statistics, a figure in civic affairs, a voice in the City Council and the press, a poet even. Here Michal Whitfield (author of Dr Goodeve, of The Bristol Microscopists and Homoeopathy in Bristol) tells the story of a lively, extrovert, but representative figure.
978 1 911592 25 9
From 1850 to 1880, British agriculturists responded to the repeal of the Corn Laws by enlisting the modern advances in chemistry and industrial organisation and steam power. Prince Albert may have led the way, but several in the Avon region were also setting an example. The new approach had little time to settle before British agriculture was hit by imports steamed in across the oceans, but it left its mark, as much perhaps as had the enclosures of an earlier age. Here William Evans tells how the story played out in these parts.
Wilkins of Westbury & Redland: the life and writings of Rev Dr Henry John Wilkins (1865-
978 1 911592 24 2
Henry John Wilkins was a progressive force in local politics before entering the great tradition of English parsons who have been active local historians. The fact that he was particularly a historian of Westbury-
Richard Coates is Professor of Linguistics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He is Hon. Director of the Survey of English Place-
978 1 911592 23 5
The Guild of Kalendars was Bristol’s most ancient religious guild, existing for at least four hundred years from the twelfth century until the Reformation. It gathered together the clergy and leading citizens for monthly celebrations of the dead in the church of All Saints. From 1464 it operated Bristol’s first public library. This study examines its history and functions, and legends.
Nicholas Orme is emeritus professor of history, Exeter University, and (among many other works) co-
978 1 911592 22 8
Barton Hill, Bromley Heath, Downend, Eastville, Easton, Fishponds, Greenbank, Hillfields, Kingswood, Mangotsfield, Redfield, St George, Speedwell, Soundwell, Stapleton and Whitehall: all today thriving districts of Bristol. But all that area east of old Bristol Castle was countryside in the sixteenth century.
Kathleen Hapgood (author of ALHA No.7 The Friends to Literature: the Bristol Library Society 1772-
978 1 911592 21 1
Around 1780 two brothers, John and William Herapath, moved from Devon to Bristol where they ran pubs and breweries. From these two men descended five generations of scientists and doctors, all born in Bristol. Some members of the Herapath family were medical practitioners, whilst others made notable contributions to physical and analytical chemistry and to forensic science.
978 1 911592 20 4
Between 1911 and 1921, Abbots Leigh experienced both the Great War and the sale of the entire village and its surroundings which had belonged to the Miles family for a hundred years. Just another hundred years after that sale, Village in Transition tells in detail what happened and how the population and ownership of the area was changed.
Includes an A3 map of the village.
Peter Malpass and Michael Whitfield
978 1 911592 19 8
NOW OUT OF PRINT
In the first half of the 19th century, Bristol was one of the most unhealthy cities in the country. David Davies was the first Medical Officer of Health (1865-
Brian Vincent and Raymond Holland
978 1 911592 18 1
Chemistry only emerged as a science in the later 18th century. Since then, it has transformed our understanding of the natural world, our medical care, and our products and processes. The knowledge and experience of the two authors well qualifies them to tell us how this story played out in Bristol over some 150 years.
978 1 911592 17 4
In the period following the Reform Act of 1832 Bristol voters still had two votes each and cast them openly. But the parties were changing: old Whigs and Tories still flourished, but Liberals and Conservatives were instituting or accepting reforms in every branch of national life. Bristol itself was of course particularly involved in the abolition of slavery and municipal reforms and shared the national concern with Corn Laws and Chartism. And then, as always, there were personalities … A thoroughly documented account of a fascinating era.
978 1 911592 16 7
St James’s Fair was the first and for seven hundred years the most famous of Bristol’s fairs. At its height, it drew traders from all over England, and the rich cargoes destined for it were a magnet for pirates. Even at the end it still prospered, albeit more for pleasure than business; and it was the dubious moral character of those pleasures rather than financial failure which brought about its closure. Dr Bettey supplies a richly documented account.
978 1 911592 15 0
Homoeopathy was as controversial in the nineteenth century as it is today, but it flourished in Bristol alongside conventional medicine. Here Dr Whitfield tells the story of Bristol’s homoeopathic practitioners up to 1925 when the opening of the Homoeopathic Hospital set the seal upon their endeavours.
Dr Michael Whitfield was senior lecturer in General Practice at the University of Bristol. In his retirement he has devoted himself to the history of medical practice in nineteenth-
978 1 911592 14 3
NOW OUT OF PRINT
At the end of the eighteenth century, Bristol & South Gloucestershire were home to a flourishing felt hat industry. It was the major employer in many villages and exports ran into tens of thousands. But then markets were lost, damaging strikes drove the major employers away, technology and fashions changed. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century the local industry was dead. Here Dr Heal tells the story of this decline.
978 1 911592 13 6
NOW OUT OF PRINT
For over three centuries from the time of Elizabeth I a felt-
978 1 911592 12 9
In Shapwick & Winscombe, the late Mick Aston tells about work on two Somerset parishes: Shapwick, on which he was engaged for ten years; and Winscombe. Shapwick was historically a classic example of a closed settlement, dominated by one or two landlords; Winscombe of the open kind, enjoying relative freedom. But despite these contrasts, there were great similarities in the investigations: co-
978 1 911592 11 2
In 1530, England was an orthodox Catholic country whose King had been proclaimed Defender of the Faith by the Pope. By 1603, it was a fiercely Protestant country, where Catholics were forbidden to worship and the Queen was subject to a papal fatwa. In this book, Dr Bettey traces the various responses of the people in the Avon region as they withstood or ran ahead of the bewildering shifts in official religion, ending with a summary of the factors which brought about this monumental transformation.
978 1 911592 10 5
In 1850, Redland was still largely a rural area outside the city of Bristol. By 1900 it was very much the middle-
978 1 911592 09 9
NOW OUT OF PRINT
In 1849, Bristol suffered its second outbreak of cholera. Among those who rallied to counter it were members of the recently formed Bristol Microscopical Society.
Dr Whitfield profiles the members with particular attention to the three who reckoned to have found micro-
978 1 911592 08 2
The original Morning Star of the Reformation was John Wycliffe, whose teaching prefigured much that would become mainstream Protestantism a century later, especially the direct relation of Christian to God through the words of the Bible and not through priests. Despite repression, his followers, known as Lollards, remained active in the South West until overtaken or subsumed within the Lutheran reformation of the sixteenth century. Bettey’s account here takes the story through to that other great figure, William Tyndale, the Gloucester man who can claim much of the credit for the wording of the King James Bible of 1611.
978 1 911592 07 5
The Bristol Library Society took over the old Jacobean library founded by Robert Redwood and operated it until they in turn handed it over to the City Council in 1894. This account therefore illustrates the transition from private charity, via personal subscription, to the rates as the basis for public library provision; and features some of the debates involved. It also sheds light on reading habits over this period, and the links between literature, science and civic culture in the age of assured progress.
978 1 911592 06 8
Keynsham in the late nineteenth century seemed just the place for a free non-
978 1 911592 05 1
The Bristol Dock Company was set up in 1803 to finance, carry out and operate the improved harbour which had long been urged. But the company structure and capital reflected the local politics and tensions which had delayed action hitherto, and which continued to handicap its operations over its 45-
978 1 911592 04 4
NOW OUT OF PRINT
Dr Henry Goodeve was a distinguished Victorian physician who made his reputation in British India. Cook’s Folly was a seventeenth century building which stood on the Bristol side of the Avon Gorge until it was pulled down in the 1930s. Before they set out to India, Goodeve and his wife had visited the Folly and formed an ambition to make it their home. Goodeve’s very successful practice in India enabled them to fulfil this dream and live there for the rest of their lives. Their story links a study of the practice and teaching of medicine in mid nineteenth century India to the social history of a Victorian professional family.
William Evans. Illustrated by Simon Gurr
978 1 911592 03 7
Conventional history is all very well, but it goes on too long. Alternative Annals brings together in 29 easy pieces all the truly memorable moments and characters of Avon’s history, together with some that didn’t actually feature, but should have, or perhaps will some day. Many have previously appeared in the pages of Avon Local History & Archaeology, while others have been specially, ah, researched for this publication.
978 1 911592 02 0
The Blue Maids Orphanage opened in 1795, a generation before Muller’s Orphanage. But it lay at the bottom of Ashley Hill with Muller’s at the top, and has been rather overshadowed by the larger and richer institution. Yet there is a tale to tell even in its relative lack of funds and the struggles of the directing committee to keep it going until eventual closure in 1927. Drawing on the surviving records (including century-
978 1 911592 01 3
In addition to three monastic houses and eighteen parish churches, four friaries and many hospitals, almshouses and chapels were crowded in and around Bristol in the later Middle Ages. This book relates how these institutions were founded, built and supported by pious benefactors; how they provided help and relief to the sick, the old, the destitute and the outcasts of society; and how the physical and spiritual needs of Bristolians suffered in the suppression of religious houses and chantries under Henry VIII and Edward V1, when so many charities were destroyed.
In 2009, we embarked on the project of publishing compact but authoritative books on aspects of Avon's history. Since then we have published twenty-
Our booklets are original works about aspects of Avon history. ‘History’ is interpreted broadly, to include archaeology, prehistory and pre-
Texts should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words, excluding references and reading list, but including appendices and explanatory notes. Illustrations are a big feature of our list, but of course some subjects are more graphic than others.
We welcome proposals from authors. Whether you are a new or an established author, an academic or an amateur, if you have researched a topic which fits our parameters, and would like to write about it, click for a copy of our Guidelines for Authors and then contact our Editor, Dr Jonathan Harlow at