Memorial of Exeter.

By Richard Izake

Printed: 1724

Publisher: E. W. Score

Dimensions 13 × 20 × 3.5 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 13 x 20 x 3.5


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Item information


Printed in 1724, an expanded second edition on behalf of Samuel Izacke

Richard Izacke (c.1624–1698) of Devon was an antiquarian and lawyer who served as Chamberlain of the City of Exeter. His history, Antiquities of the City of Exeter, was first published in 1677. As chamberlain of Exeter, Izacke could access the city’s archives and using these resources he produced a manuscript history of the city, dedicating it to the city’s corporation in 1665. The history was first published in London in 1677 as Antiquities of the City of Exeter. Later editions were undertaken by his son Samuel and had greatly expanded titles.

The largest section of the first edition consists of 180 pages of “Memorials”: short descriptions of events related to Exeter, ordered by year from 1200 to 1676. Research has shown that the entries up to 1590 were substantially copied from a manuscript chronicle in the city archives that had been written by John Hooker, the first chamberlain of Exeter, who had died in 1601. Izacke’s unacknowledged and sometimes inaccurate plagiarism of Hooker’s work, as well as the errors that he himself made, have caused his History to be subjected to much criticism.

However, despite its faults, the book was republished seven times up to 1757. After a reprint of the first edition in 1681, there was a gap of over forty years before the second edition was published by Izacke’s son Samuel. Following this there were five more reissues, all with unchanged text, but slightly different title pages.

Izacke’s manuscript history of 1665 provided the content for another book, first published in 1736 by his grandson (also named Samuel). This was about legacies left to the poor.  Four further editions were published under various titles, the last in 1820.

Condition notes

Small scuff on back cover.

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