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Kuerden’s History of Lancashire

Manuscript notes in the author's own hand

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Dr Richard Kuerden (1623-90?) of Kuerden near Preston, was a staunch loyalist, educated at Oxford and Cambridge. A physician by training, he began the task of compiling material for a history of Lancashire with Christopher Towneley of Carr Hall, near Burnley.

Kuerden and Towneley transcribed family papers, wills, pedigrees and deeds, believing that their work would help ‘retrieve the Glory of their Palatine out of the Monumental Ashes’ of the Civil War.

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The project was frustrated by Towneley’s death in 1674 and, although Kuerden issued proposals for publishing a five-volume history of the county, his work and that of Towneley has survived only in manuscript form.

Kuerden’s manuscripts, which are written in a virtually illegible hand, contain copies of many items that are now lost and they have been heavily consulted by successive generations of Lancashire historians.

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Two of Kuerden’s manuscripts are held at Chetham’s. This volume was given to the Library in 1704 by the author’s family.