The Merchant Venturers of Bristol: A History of the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol from Its Origin to the Present Day by Patrick McGrath

The Merchant Venturers of Bristol: A History of the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol from Its Origin to the Present Day by Patrick McGrath soon to be presented for sale on the really rather good BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: Bristol: The Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol, 1975, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs; Facsimiles; List of abbreviations; Appendices [6];

From the cover: The Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol received its first charter from Edward VI in 1552, and for over 250 years it played a major part in the commercial and economic life of Bristol. It was a powerful pressure-front fighting at local and national level for the interests of the merchant community and it had an influence far beyond the confines of the city. It also exercised control over the river and the port and it was responsible for the management of the pilots. From an early date it had its own almshouse and its own school, and its interest in educational and charitable activity increased as it gradually lost its economic functions in the course of the nineteenth century.

This study, based on a detailed examination of the Societys records, has many new things to say about the Merchant Venturers. It considers, for example, the role of the Society as a property-developer, particularly in the manor of Clifton, its attempt to develop the Hotwell spa, and the part it played in preserving the Downs as an open space. It investigates the way in which the Society managed the Seamens Hospital Fund for the benefit of mariners and their dependents, and it discusses the Societys efforts in the mid-nineteenth century to provide a water supply for Bristol.

Education was a very important part of its work, and the book has much to say about Golstons Hospital, the Merchant Venturers remarkable technical college, and the fascinating love-hate relationship with University College Bristol, in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the Society hoped that there would be established a federal West of England University with its Technical College as one of the constituents.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Orange boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XVIII] 613 pages. Index. 8¾” x 5½”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I draw your attention to more books in my History Individual Organisations catalogue?

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