THE HISTORY OF EVESHAM
George May: 978-1-902918-29-7
The Victorian interest in the antique inspired many amateur archaeologists and antiquarians to undertake local researches, some of which were published at their own expense, but there were a few historian printer-booksellers who typeset their own material.
George May was one of that number and in 1845 printed this remarkably informative History of Evesham.
It covers the origins of the town, the foundation of the Abbey, and the life of the monastery. The author is not only a conscientious researcher and recorder of events, but also provides from time to time personal observations which show him to have been a staunch libertarian.
One particular value of this instructive Victorian local history lies in the descriptions of those places and social events that have been lost over the intervening years. Another is in less familiar historical detail, such as the speed with which abbey buildings were demolished by the contractors of the Crown after the seizure of the monasteries by Henry VIII.
A new edition of this rare local history
George May was born in Bristol in 1803 and bought a printing business in Evesham on the corner of Bridge Street in 1828. He published his History of Evesham in two editions of 1834 and 1845, as well as a Guide to Stratford on Avon and a manual of prayers for use at sea.
After 22 years, he moved for a time to Boston in the United States, returning to London in 1854. He was injured in a traffic accident in 1862 and retired in the Charter House, studying that institutionŐs medieval customs. His last visit to Evesham was in September 1870 and he died on May 13th 1871, aged 68.