The William Blyth Gerish Collection
This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
|Title:||The William Blyth Gerish Collection|
Collection of cuttings, prints, photographs and other items made by William Blyth Gerish
1. ABBOTS LANGLEY
3. ALBURY. ALDBURY
4. AMWELL GREAT
5. ALDENHAM (INCLUDING RADLETT)
6. AMWELL LITTLE. ANSTEY
7. ANSTEY. ASTON. AYOT ST. LAWRENCE. AYOT ST. PETER
8. ARDELEY. ASHWELL.
9. ASPENDEN. ASHWELL (PRINTS ONLY)
12. BARLEY. BARNET EAST.
13. BARNET CHIPPING. BAYFORD. BENGEO.
15. BERKHAMSTEAD, GREAT
16. BERKHAMSTEAD GREAT. BERKHAMSTED LITTLE. BISHOPS STORTFORD.
17. BISHOPS STORTFORD (PRINTS ONLY)
18. BISHOPS STORTFORD. BOVINGDON.
19. BRAMFIELD. BRAUGHING.
21. BUCKLAND. BUNTINGFORD.
22. BUSHEY. BYGRAVE.
23. CADDINGTON. CODICOTE. CHESHUNT.
25. CHESHUNT and WALTHAM CROSS
26. CLOTHALL. CODICOTE. COTTERED.
27. COTTERED. DATCHWORT. DIGSWELL
28. EASTWICK. ELSTREE. ESSENDON
29. FLAMSTEAD. FLAUNDEN
30. GADDESDEN GREAT. GADDESDEN LITTLE
31. GILSTON. GRAVELEY. HADHAM LITTLE-(MONUMENTAL BRASSES ONLY)
32. HADHAM LITTLE. HADHAM MUCH - (MONUMENTAL BRASSES ONLY)
33. HADAM MUCH. HARPENDEN (ROTHAMSTEAD ONLY)
35. HATFIELD HOUSE
37. HATFIELD HOUSE
38. HEMEL HEMPSTEAD
44. HERTINGFORDBURY. HEXTON
45. HINXWORTH. HITCHIN (HITCHIN FIRST GARDEN CITY LTD. LETCHWORTH) also see 54 & 55
49. HODDESDON. HORMEAD GREAT
50. HORMEAD GREAT. HORMEAD LITTLE. HUNSDON. ICKLEFORD.
51. IPPOLYTS. KELSHALL. KENSWORTH.
52. KIMPTON. KINGS LANGLEY
53. KINGS WALDEN. KNEBWORTH
54. KNEBWORTH. LETCHWORTH. (LAYSTON see BUNTINGFORD)
55. LETCHWORTH. LILLEY. LONG MARSTON. MEESDON. MARKYATE.
56. MEPPERSHALL. MIMMS NORTH
57. MUNDEN GREAT. MUNDEN LITTLE. NEWNHAM. NORTHAW
58. NORTHCHURCH. NORTON.
59. OFFLEY. PELHAM BRENT.
60. PELHAM, FURNEUX. PELHAM STOCKING
61. PIRTON. PUCKERIDGE. PUTTENHAM. RADWELL. (RADLETT see BOX 5 ALDENHAM
62. REDBOURNE. REED.
63. RICKMANSWORTH. RIDGE
65. RUSHDEN. ST. PAULS WALDEN. SACOMBE
66. SANDON. SANDRIDGE. SARRATT
68. SHENLEY. SHEPHALL, STEVENAGE.
70. STANDON (BRASSES ONLY) STANSTEAD ABBOTS
70A STANSTEAD ABBOTS (RYE HOUSE)
71. STANSTEAD ST. MARGARETS. STAPLEFORD
72. STEVENAGE. STUDHAM
75. THORLEY. THROCKING. THUNDRIDGE
77. WALKERN. WALLINGTON
81. WATFORD. WATTON-AT-STONE.
82. WATTON-AT-STONE. WELWYN
83. WESTMILL. WESTON.
85. WIDFORD. WIGGINGTON. WILLIAN
86. WILLIAN. WORMLEY. WYDDIAL
87. WYMONDLEY GREAT. WYMONDLEY LITTLE
Eighty seven boxes form the greater part of Gerish's collection originally given by him to St Albans Library in 1915. The material is arranged alphabetically by parish but excludes St Albans. Any St Albans material collected by Gerish remains at St Albans Library.
The contents include cuttings from newspapers and other published works, prints, photographs, maps, brass rubbings and drafts of some of his transcriptions of monumental inscriptions. Sadly Gerish did not always acknowledge the date or source of his cuttings so many items are unattributed. Dates have been included in the following list only where they have been given on the original item.
Items are grouped together under loose headings eg Antiquities, Biographies, Churches, Houses, Folklore, Prints. Each section can include a variety of materials as described in the above paragraph.
To order items from this collection please state Parish.
|Held by:||Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives|
|Physical description:||87 files|
|Administrative / biographical background:||
The antiquarian William Blyth Gerish was born in Islington in 1864. He was raised in East Anglia and from an early age began researching local history.
By 1895 Gerish had moved to Hertfordshire and lived in Wormley. In 1895 he married Maude Pipe in West Green, Middlesex. They moved to Hoddesdon and then to Bishops Stortford in 1901. Gerish worked as a bank clerk in London and spent his commuting hours compiling indexes to Hertfordshire works that lacked them.
Gerish was appointed secretary and convenor of the newly formed East Herts Archaeological Society in 1898. During the 17 years he held that position Gerish organised 49 excursions to various parts of the county. He was also a frequent contributor to the society's published transactions on a wide variety of subjects.
In 1899 Gerish instigated a Notes and Queries column in the Hertfordshire Mercury which he edited and contributed to. This expanded to a similar column in the West Herts and Watford Observer in 1910. In 1900 Gerish persuaded Professor Skeat of Cambridge University to write the 'Place Names of Hertfordshire' for which he wrote the introduction.
Between 1907-1913 Gerish organised the collation of the monumental inscriptions of Hertfordshire. He personally compiled lists for 131 out of the 200 plus burial grounds the project encompassed. The completed 13 volumes containing 70,000 names are now held at the British Library.
Gerish's written work included biographical pamphlets of the Hertfordshire historians John Norden and Nathaniel Salmon as well as a full-length biography of Sir Henry Chauncy published in 1907. In addition to these there were also 19 pamphlets on Hertfordshire folklore published between 1905-1921.
Ill health forced Gerish to quit his Hertfordshire researches. In 1915 he sold his collection of 500 books and 300 pamphlets to St Albans Library and also donated his huge collection of box cases and portfolios of prints, maps, photographs, notes, cuttings and rubbings. Eighty seven boxes of this collection representing every parish in Hertfordshire except St Albans were transferred to Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) at a later date. The greater part of Gerish's book collection including his lavishly grangerized seven volume set of Cussan's 'History of Hertfordshire' is now also held at HALS.
Gerish left several unfinished manuscripts including his 'Dictionary of Hertfordshire Biography', 'Some Hertfordshire Tragedies' and the 'Dictionary of Hertfordshire Surnames'.
Gerish retired to Caister on Sea, Norfolk in 1926. There he recovered something of his health and continued the Norfolk antiquarian researches of his youth. Gerish died of the wasting disease phthisis in 1921 and was buried at Caister.
[For more information see article by Nicholas Connell 'An Indefatigable Antiquarian; The Life and Work of William Gerish' in Hertfordshire's Past No 51 Autumn 2001]