Lake Allen’s History of Portsmouth was the first full history of Portsea Island and its surroundings. Written in 1817 by an 18-year-old amateur historian, the book’s scope is impressive.
From the Anglo-Saxon invasion in 501 AD, Allen relates Portesmuth’s early struggles, before tracing its growing importance to successive monarchs.
Historical events affecting the whole country are told, including the Empress Matilda’s arrival to wage war on King Stephen for England’s throne; John Felton’s murder of the Duke of Buckingham; Charles II’s marriage near Portsmouth High Street – and much more besides.
Details of everyday nineteenth century Portsmouth life abound, including the marking of Parish boundaries in antiquated ceremonies which took the Mayor and his officials through private residences; the bathing machines on Southsea beach; and even the cost of transporting sheep to the Isle of Wight.
This new edition has been edited and reset, with a foreword by Portsmouth historian, Matt Wingett.
Cover: “James Gate, Portsmouth – Liberty men returning”
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