Authors and their Books 14

The Lichfield Press has published facsimile copies of four books on Lichfield, long out of print, for the local historian and the lover of Lichfield. They are

The History of the Lichfield Conduit Lands Trust by Percy Laithwaite. First published 1947. £7.20
In 1546, some of Lichfield’s citizens acquired certain lands and tenements outside the City and used the income for the betterment of Lichfeldians. To celebrate the four centuries which had rolled by since January 1945, Percy Laithwaite was invited to write, from the meticulously-kept records, a history of the first four hundred years of the Trust.
In this book, he details the proud record of the Trust with ample reference to the help given to the citizens of Lichfield both as a whole – a healthy water supply, street-lighting, the Guild Hall, the Grammar School – and to individuals – Samuel Johnson’s grandmother being one of the recipients in 1673.

Lichfield, The Cathedral and the See by A.B.Clifton. First published by Geo. Bell 1892. £10.00
This is a thoroughly workmanlike account of the fabric of the cathedral, both from the outside and the interior, as well as a history of the See from the days when it stretched from the Humber and East Anglia in the north and east, to Wales on the west and to the Thames to the south. He is not always tender towards architects and designers, particularly ‘modern’ ones, but points out many precious parts of the building not usually available to the naked eye.

The Siege of Lichfield by Rev. William Gresley. First published 1844. £10.00
The author was a curate at St Mary’s Church, a convinced and outspoken clergyman.
His book, which he coyly entitles ‘a tale’, is written in what the modern reader would recognise as typically early Victorian style. In no way was he a rival to Charles Dickens who was writing ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the same time, but, if the story-line is slight, the descriptions of the sieges – in the plural – of Lichfield’s Cathedral Close are authentic and drawn from recognised sources. In the mid-1800s, rebellion must have seemed a distinct possibility and Gresley’s narration of ‘the great rebellion’ may be seen as a distinct warning to his contemporaries

Sketches of Lichfield by Alfred Williams. First published in 1892, £10.00
This is part of a bigger work containing Rugeley and its surrounding villages. With the help of local experts, Alfred Williams took three years to compile the descriptions of villages, principal country seats and churches of the locality.