Local History – Windermere

Mislet farm, home of the Windermere Quakers

NEW Windermere Quaker records transcribed! Click here

Several years ago I did an MA in Local History at the University of Leicester, and won a prize for my dissertation as the best in my year. It was entitled ‘The Transformation of a Yeoman Society: Windermere 1640-1841’, and it looked at the history of the yeoman families and their tenements in Bowness and Windermere, two rural townships in the former county of Westmorland, in England. I always intended to turn it into a paper for a northern history journal, or  a book, but life events intervened and it never got done.  Recently, I decided to come back to it, because although I’m out of touch with developments in the academic field, it still contains a lot which is of interest to local historians, including a list of the inhabitants of Windermere in 1675 and where they lived. It has just been published, and to find out more visit my page ‘The Disappearing Yeoman.’

You can download the databases which I created while doing my research from my Windermere genealogy page.  You can also search for members of the Philipson family, and read about my family history.  Check out the facts behind the well-known story of Robin the Devil.  Please note everything on this website is copyright.

New to Windermere local history or genealogy before parish records?

I am mainly interested in Windermere from the medieval period up till the time of the national census. If you have never used original sources before, and are a bit daunted, I would like to urge you to try using them. We are lucky that there are so many interesting and useful sources online, and these make far more fascinating reading than anything you read at school or in secondary sources. Records of the lord demanding a peppercorn rent or rent of two arrows with eagles feathers, or a fight in Kendal over market rights, or the lord of the manor’s steward getting short shrift when he arrives to collect the heriot from a recent widow, make vivid reading, and dull sounding chartularies from local abbeys are often full of names and occupations of their tenants. Look out for a list of these sources which I will be adding soon.

 

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