Descriptions of Hull 16th to 18th centuries 7 (5/10/’20).

Camden’s name not only survives in the context of his authorship but also in the name of a society and in the name of a London borough.

William Camden’s two best remembered publications are Brittania and Annals (short version of the full title). The former was first published in 1586, then written in latin, and a later edition of 1607 included a full set of English county maps which greatly enhanced its importance (I have blogged before about the history of county maps but did not check-back to see when that was). The latter was a history of the reign of Elizabeth I (and bit of James I) written as a year-by-year catalogue of events with a bias towards supporting the queen. The picture above shows the cover illustration and title page of an edition of Brittania published in 1607.

The Camden Soc. was founded in 1838 to promote the interpreting and publication of historical texts (making primary sources of evidence available to the general reader). The title Camden Series survives now under the remit of the Royal Historical Society.

The London borough of Camden Town is so named as a result of a series of historical accidents whereby the name endured. In his later years William lived in a house in the Kent village of Chistlehurst, south-east of London (and now an affluent part of the London green-belt). The property he had lived in was called Camden Place and in the 18th century it was greatly enlarged and lived in by a series of influential politicians who adopted the name Camden in their titles. As London expanded onto the grounds of Camden House the name was adopted for the local borough. Surely William would have been flattered.