Blue grained cloth binding with gilt banding, title and feathered emblem on the spine.
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The Surtees Society is a text publication society and registered charity (No. 1003812) based in Durham in northern England. The society was established on 27 May 1834 by James Raine, following the death (on 11 February) of the renowned County Durham antiquarian Robert Surtees. Raine and other former friends of Surtees created the society to honour his memory and carry on his legacy, with the focus on publishing documents relating to the region between the River Humber and Firth of Forth in the east and the River Mersey and the River Clyde in the west, the region that had once constituted the kingdom of Northumbria. Membership of the Society is by annual subscription (currently £25). Members receive the book published for the year of subscription.
Robert Surtees (1 April 1779 – 13 February 1834) was a celebrated English historian and antiquary of his native County Durham. In 1802, upon the death of his father, he inherited the family estate including Mainsforth Hall. Although a student of law he never practised as a lawyer, and instead devoted himself to the study of literature and antiquities. By 1804, Surtees had begun collecting material for what was to become his monumental county history, The History of Durham.
He was a studious and sensitive man who did not always have good health. He was hospitable at Mainsforth, and guests included Sir Walter Scott, with whom Surtees frequently corresponded.
By 1816, the first volume of The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham was published (“compiled from original records preserved in public repositories and private collections by Robert Surtees”). Two further volumes followed and a final volume was published posthumously in 1840. The work covers much of the county but does not include Weardale, Teesdale, the Aucklands, Brancepeth, or Durham Castle or Cathedral. James Raine compiled The History and Antiquities of North Durham (2 vols, 1830 and 1852) to supply the need.
Immediately following Surtees’ death, in May 1834, James Raine and other former friends established the Surtees Society to honour his memory and continue his work.
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