The Wiltshire Record Society exists to promote the publication of the documentary sources for the history of Wiltshire. It publishes a volume each year, which is sent to members in return for an annual subscription (currently £15). If you would like to join the Society, please see the Membership page.
The Society was founded in 1937, originally as the Records Branch of the Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Sociey. The formidable R.B. Pugh, who was later to become the General Editor of the VCH and joint honorary editor of VCH Wiltshire, was the chief mover behind the scheme, and edited the first volume of the new series, published in 1939. Pugh would edit another three volumes, and also served as the President of the Wiltshire Record Society, as it became known after it gained its independence from WANHS in 1967, until his death in 1982. The Society celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012, and has so far published 69 volumes of records relating to Wiltshire’s history.
The range of records included is very wide, including documents from every century from the thirteenth to the twentieth, across the whole of Wiltshire and many neighbouring places. Medieval volumes include tax lists, monastic cartularies, registers of diocesan officials, feet of fines, account rolls, administrative records, and cases in civil and criminal law. Editions concerned with more recent periods include letters and diaries, records of businesses, county, local and estate administration, nonconformity, church affairs, agrarian history, poor relief, apprenticing, and coroners. Together the volumes in the series comprise an invaluable resource for the history of Wiltshire, as well as a fascinating kaleidoscope of Wiltshire life.
The series is uniform in format, and each volume is casebound in blue cloth. Volumes include scholarly introductions and detailed indexes, and many of the editors who have contributed to the series are leading authorities in their field. Since its inception the series has enjoyed widespread respect, and many volumes are regarded as important scholarly works of more than local significance. More than one hundred libraries and institutions worldwide currently subscribe to the series. Details of each volume in the series are given in the following pages.
The Society holds at least one general meeting each year, with an address from a notable speaker followed by a discussion. This usually takes place at a house or building of historical interest, affording members an opportunity on occasions to visit places not always open to the public. Recent meetings have been held at Hannington Hall, Norton Manor, and the Hall, Bradford on Avon.
The annual subscription to the Society, for individuals and for institutions, is £15.00. Each member receives one copy of each volume issued for the year covered by the subscription. Members also have the right to attend all general meetings and to vote at the A.G.M. Members may purchase back volumes and extra copies of current volumes at a preferential price, being the amount equal to the annual subscription.
Download the Rules of the Society.
1967-1982 R.B. Pugh
1982-2009 Christopher Elrington
2009-date Negley Harte
1962-1972 Christopher Elrington
1972-1976 Douglas Crowley
1976-1978 D.C. Cox
1978-1981 Janet Stevenson
1982-1988 J.L. Kirby
1988-1995 Jane Freeman
1995-2007 John Chandler
2007-2014 Virginia Bainbridge (jointly with Steven Hobbs from 2013)
2013-date Steven Hobbs (jointly with Virginia Bainbridge from 2013)