Habington Manuscript comes to Worcestershire Archive Service, March 2013

The very welcome announcement has just been made by The National Archives that custody of a collection of archives from the Lyttelton family of Hagley Hall (accepted by the nation in lieu of tax) has been allocated to the Worcestershire Archive & Archaeology Service. It is particularly exciting and significant that the collection contains the Hagley MS of Thomas Habington’s ‘Survey of Worcestershire’, a manuscript that formed the basis of this Society’s edition of Habington’s work, issued between 1893-5 and edited by John Amphlett. Thomas Habington (1560-1647), of Hindlip Hall, had a very eventful life, only just avoiding execution after the Gunpowder Plot in which he was implicated. He spent the rest of a long life gathering material towards a county history for Worcestershire, but this remained unpublished at his death. His manuscripts were eventually scattered, many ending up in the Library of the Society of Antiquaries, but with this volume going to the Lyttelton family at Hagley. It is most fitting that an iconic manuscript relating to Worcestershire, the first attempt at a comprehensive County History, should now be lodged in the archives of the County in The Hive in Worcester, the place where so much contemporary research into Worcestershire history now takes place. The Society hopes in the future to be able to publish a new edition of Habington’s work to include all the extant manuscript material, an ambition that the first editor was unable to realise.