History and Antiquities of York.

By Francis Drake

Printed: 1736

Publisher: William Bower

Dimensions 26 × 39 × 6 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 26 x 39 x 6

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)


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Item information


Full leather binding with red title plate, raised banding, gilt decoration and lettering on the spine. Gilt design on both boards. All edged gilt.

A fine example.

Drake had always been interested in history and had inherited a number of historical manuscripts. In 1729, he contacted Thomas Hearne, asking for help in compiling a history of York, but to no avail. His half-sister’s husband, however, who was a schoolmaster in Leeds, encouraged him, and, with the aid of a number of other historians and collectors, he started work. Acknowledged as giving Drake assistance with Eboracum were: John Anstis, Brian Fairfax, Roger Gale, George Holmes, Henry Keepe, Benjamin Langwith, and Browne Willis.

By April 1731, Drake was asking the city corporation for permission to inspect the historical documents in its care, and the corporation, as well as allowing him to do so, voted him £50 towards the cost of acquiring and printing illustrations for his book. Another £50 was contributed by Lord Burlington, who had rescued Drake from an unjust imprisonment for debt and was the dedicatee of the book.

Eboracum, a folio-sized book of around 800 pages with the subtitle The History and Antiquities of the City of York, from its Original to the Present Time; together with the History of the Cathedral Church and the Lives of the Archbishops, was published in 1736, much of the cost having been borne by the 540 subscribers, who included the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, but not the Archbishop of York, Lancelot Blackburne, for reasons that are not clear.

 Francis Drake (January 1696 – 16 March 1771) was an English antiquary and surgeon, best known as the author of an influential history of York, which he entitled Eboracum after the Roman name for the city.

Condition notes

Damage on boards

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