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THEN so much attention is being given to local history, antiquities, and genealogy, the time seemed opportune for the formation in Nottinghamshire of such an institution as THE THOROTON SOCIETY, and accordingly proposals were made by Lord Hawkesbury and Mr. W. P. W. Phillimore in January, 1897, for establishing this Society. So much interest was taken in the scheme that it was found possible within a few weeks to issue a formal proposal in the following terms, together with a list of ladies and gentlemen who had expressed their willingness to join the contemplated Society:
[Draft: for Private Circulation.]
PROPOSALS for the formation of an Antiquarian Society for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, which it is suggested may appropriately be styled, in honour of the County Historian, "The Thoroton Society."
Nottinghamshire is almost alone amongst the Counties of England in the want of an independent Society to investigate and record the History and Antiquities of the district, though it was one of the earliest to possess its own County History, in the folio volume, The Antiquities of Nottinghamshire, which was issued by Robert Thoroton, M.D., in 1677, now a very scarce work, which is still justly deemed the standard book upon the territorial History and Genealogy of the County.
Nottinghamshire is full of historic interest—the Roman occupation, of which we are reminded by the Fosse way running through the County; the Danish occupation; the Castle of William Peveril; the events of the great Rebellion, which began on Standard Hill, and concluded with the surrender of King Charles at Southwell; Sherwood Forest, with its legends of Robin Hood; the "Dukeries," with the great houses at Clumber, Thoresby, Welbeck; the great
Monastic establishments at Lenton, Newstead, Rufford, Worksop, Thurgarton; the Minster at Southwell; the Parish Churches and Ancient Houses, and the great Industries of the County Town-will all afford work for an Antiquarian Society for many years to come.
The present time, when so much attention is given to local history, antiquities, and genealogy, seems opportune for the formation of such an Institution as The Thoroton Society. The Objects of the Society will be:
I. To promote, generally, the study of the History and
II. To print ancient records relative to the County, and
III. Local Meetings and Excursions to places of interest within the County.
The Annual Subscription to the Society will be Half-aGuinea, payable on the 1st January.
After the first 200 Members have been elected an Entrance Fee of 10/6 will be charged to new Members.
On the opposite page is a List of those Ladies and Gentlemen who have already expressed their willingness to join the proposed Thoroton Society.
Cockglode, Ollerton, Notts.,
W. P. W. PHillimore, m.a., B.C.L.,
Provisional Hon. Secretaries.
e.g.-Prehistoric and Roman Antiquities, Ecclesiastical, Military, and Domestic Architecture, Brasses, Church Bells, Monumental Inscriptions (which are nearly all unrecorded), Ancient Wills in the Probate Registries at York and Nottingham, Inquisitiones Post Mortem, Marriage Licences, Church Goods, Feet of Fines, Monastic Chartularies, etc.
A second copy of this proposal was issued in April, and in the following month the Provisional Secretaries felt justified in arranging for an Inaugural Meeting in Nottingham, which the Duke of St. Albans consented to preside over, and a circular letter was issued in the following terms :—
124, Chancery Lane, London,
THE THOROTON SOCIETY.
We beg to inform you that a Meeting for the purpose of constituting this Society will be held in the Grand Jury Room, The Shire Hall, Nottingham, on Tuesday, June 1st, 1897, at 3.30 o'clock p.m.
The Chair will be taken by His Grace the Duke of St. Albans, the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.
We trust that it will be convenient for you to attend the meeting and to bring with you any friends who may be interested in the proposal to establish an Antiquarian Society for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Annexed is a copy of the Resolutions to be proposed, and we also enclose a draft of the Rules suggested for the management of the Society.
We are, Your obedient Servants,
W. P. W. PHILLIMORE, M.A., B.C.L.,
Provisional Honorary Secretaries.
P.S.-The favour of a reply on the enclosed post card will be greatly esteemed.
Accordingly on Tuesday, June 1st, the Inaugural Meeting was held in the Grand Jury Room, at the Shire Hall, Nottingham,
when it was duly constituted under the title of the " THOROTON SOCIETY."
The Chair was taken by his Grace the DUKE of St. Alban's, the Lord-Lieutenant of the County, and amongst those present
The Duchess of St. Albans
The Mayor of Nottingham, Alderman E. H. Fraser
Mr. F. Acton
Mr. R. S. Armitage Rev. R. J. Burton
Rev. W. E. Bury
Rev. J. Bedford Mr. T. M. Blagg Mr. W. Bradshaw
Mr. A. Bright
Mr. F. Clements
Mr. S. Corner
Rev. S. F. Creswell, D.D.
Mr. P. J. Cropper
Rev. A. J. L. Dobbin
Mr. J. T. Godfrey
Dr. F. Granger
Mr. J. A. H. Green
Mr. W. S. Huskinson
Dr. J. Mackie
Rev. H. A. Martin
Dr. J. Miller
Mr. W. Moore
Mr. C. H. Torr
Dr. P. P. Truman
Mr. J. Ward
Mr. J. C. Warren
Mr. W. Wells
Mr. R. White
Mr. J. W. Dale
Mr. F. Felkin
Mr. C. Gerring
Mr. C. Tylden Wright
Mr. J. Wright
and Mr. W. P. W. Phillimore, Provisional Hon. Secretary.
Apologies for inability to attend the Meeting were received from the following:
The Right Rev. the Lord
Rev. R. H. Whitworth
Mr. H. Barber
Mr. T. C. B. Chamberlin
Mr. C. E. G. Dickinson
Mr. F. N. Ellis
Mr. H. E. Hubbart
Mr. A. V. Machin
Mr. C. E. Scott Moncrieff
Mr. S. Page
Mr. F. A. Smith
Dr. Bell Taylor
Mr. G. H. Wallis
The DUKE OF ST. ALBANS called upon Mr. Phillimore, in the absence of Lord Hawkesbury, to read the circular convening the Meeting.
Mr. PHILLIMORE also read a letter of apology from Lord Hawkesbury, regretting his inability to attend by reason of illness, together with the letters of apology already enumerated.
Responding to the call of the Chairman, MR. PHILLIMORE then proceeded to explain the objects of the Society, observing that it had been intended that Lord Hawkesbury, who had taken so active an interest in obtaining members, should have given that information and explained the steps leading up to it. They had been told that nothing of the kind was possible in Nottingham, and the subject was discouraged, but he was pleased to say that most cordial support had been given, and instead of starting today, as they had hoped, with a possible 100 members, they had at present a membership of over 170, a result which he greatly attributed to the exertions of Lord Hawkesbury. It was only proposed to have a very simple working constitution, and the meeting had seen the draft rules, which were practically the same as those of the Bristol and Gloucester Archæological Society, which had had an existence of over twenty years, and had just revised its rules in a thorough manner, and it was considered that they could not do better than to accept those rules, for the present time at any rate, until the General Meeting in July or August, when they could be modified or confirmed as was thought best. The object of the Society in the first instance was to watch over