Just a final word about 19th century publications by subscriptions as discussed in the context of Poulson’s History of Holderness.
My edition of Ball’s History of Barton (s.p.b.s) is a reprint so am not sure if his original publication of the 1850s had a list of subscribers, if so I don’t have that list. He may have published it privately, as writers may do today, as he was a printer by profession. The other book I do know of that had a list of subscribers was Charles Frost’s Notices Relative to the Early History of the Town and Port of Hull; compiled from original records and unpublished manuscripts, published 1827. I do not have the list of subscribers at home so cannot do an analysis as did with Poulson. It is clear from this title that Frost and Poulson worked in similar ways to produce their histories, and I’m sure that some names will have cropped-up in both lists of subscribers.
I am not sure as to the precise sequence of events that led up to the publication of works such as those by Frost and Poulson. Was the invitation to be a subscriber published in a newspaper or trade periodical or were individual letters sent to prospective subscribers? Did subscribers get to see the finished product before parting with their cash or did they fund in good faith? Were the financial contributions published? And other queries related to the logistics of subscription based publications.
The current theme is based on my recording in the first Update and Overview for 2021 that I had offered two projects to the E.Y.L.H.S. – the first being Poulson’s History of Holderness – which I have introduced. The second project was to write a comparison between the sites of South Ferriby and Hull and to compare and contrast their respective histories. Will explain this idea in the next blog.
(to be continued).