button to main menu  Transcription of William Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

Transcription of William Camden's Britannia, edn 1789

This transcription and notes are from Britannia by William Camden, translated and edited from the 6th edn 1607 in Latin and with additions, by Richard Gough, published by T Payne, and Son, Castle Street, St Martin's, and by G G J and J Robinson, Paternoster Row, London, 1789. The copy used is in the Map Collection of Hampshire CC Museums Service, item HMCMS:FA1999.5.
source type: Camden 1789
Only pages relevant to Westmorland, Cumberland etc, are transcribed; that is - part of the chapter for Lancashire ie North of the Sands, all of Westmorland and Cumberland, and part of The Wall. These places lie in the area of the Brigantes.


`Each county section begins with the translated text of William Camden, and is followed by additions made by Richard Gough.


Richard Gough gives many footnote references. These have not been traced or commented upon; this transcription makes the text accessible, but has no pretension to be a scholarly appraisal.
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Deciding how to arrange a transcription in 'records' which are destined to become html pages is not always easy. The William Camden/Richard Gough text is reasonably well structured in sections with regular use of marginal guides. To match previous transcriptions this transcript is made page by page, ignoring the problems that a section or sentence might be split across page breaks.
Somewhen, the text, at present in MODES records, will migrate to xml. At this change the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) will be considered, though that methodology is biased towards academic study of 'Literature' rather than everyday text. TEI would mark up the whole of the Camden text as one document, the particular arrangement into pages for an edition treated as a subsidiary feature. I need to have smaller units as records, which will become html pages. The book here is being treated as an object in its own right, each page an item, rather than a text which is only incidentally presented in a book.
Some of the exact typesetting has been ignored, though italics and some unusual characters are indicated using html markup. Hyphenation across lines has been removed, judging as well as I am able to retain the hyphen where it likely belongs, comparing with the same word elsewhere in the text if possible. A word split across pages is left that way, but the beginning part of the word is added as inferred data to its continuation on the following page. Catchwords have been recorded.
Peculiarities of spelling and grammar are preserved; they might be confirmed by '(sic)', but not very often: I have typed and have proof read as accurately as I can.
Notice the interesting method of referencing footnotes by superscript letters in the text running from a..z, across several pages, then starting at a again. Also notice that even if a footnote letter is given in the text and given at the foot of the page, there is not always text in the footnote. A separate set of footnotes, intermingled, are numbered. These are Richard Gough's own additions.
(Also see OFR file TRANS01.rul under Topics)


This edition of William Camden's work has material in Greek and a sort of Anglo Saxon font. There are Unicode entities to encode some of this, the Greek successfully, the Anglo Saxon less so; they appear as obscure numerical codes in MODESforWindows but in theory would appear as the appropriate character in MODESxml. Unfortunately not all the characters are supported by the default set of fonts supplied with most people's computers, and many would remain as obscure number codes, or cause errors in xml. When transferred to html pages many would not be decoded properly, either because html readers do not read them, or the character set is not available on the machine being used.
Greek characters seem to work satisfactorily, and will be transcribed in Unicode. A software tool called Babel can help this process. The Anglo Saxon stuff is less common Unicode and will usually not be used, instead a transliteration into ordinary Latin script will be made, the fact noted by the text plus a comment being within square brackets, eg:-
[Loncasterscyre - Anglo Saxon]
Note that the use of the ampersand (&) in transcribed text causes no problems in MODESfor Windows as there is no intention to interpret them as keyword separators. But, they are necessary in Camden's marginals. These marginals must also be treated as transcriptions, and not used by keyword analysis.

Text Indexing

Keywords for indexing the text have been recorded, as well as I am able: mostly using today's placenames rather than the text's version; recognising unnamed places if possible; using locality type terms if nothing else is possible, indexing objects and topics if useful. Thus, I have tried to interpret and understand the text to make the indexing helpful and comprehensible in today's world; a basic rule is 'would you want this page if you were searching with this keyword?' The placename spellings of the text are put into the Old Cumbria Gazetteer, where all sorts of spellings are indexed.
While places have been identified with modern placename where possible, no such rationalisation has been attempted with personal names.
No attempt has been made to deal with synonymy of species names; what is found is what is used in indexing.

Gazetteer Extracts

Chunks of text relevant to each place are extracted and gathered together, and loaded into the record for the place in the Old Cumbria Gazetteer. This is much easier to use for a place than searching through pages in the history book; you can go to the original text and read it all in context of this and other texts and illustrations, if you wish. The gazetteer is arranged using standard placename spellings, today's version of the placename, but is indexed on all sorts of spellings, and by other place data.
Not all keywords allocated to the text will prompt a gazetteer entry. Some places in the text will be unidentifiable some keywords are for other topics than places.
button title page
button Brigantes
button Lancashire, north of the sands, Camden
button Lancashire, north of the sands, Additions
button Westmorland, Camden
button Westmorland, Additions
button Cumberland, Camden
button Cumberland, Additions
button Division of Cumberland at The Conquest
button The Wall, Camden
button The Wall, Additions
button Horsley's Account of The Wall

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