The contents describe the growth of the town from earliest times and the endowment and eventual suppression of the Benedictine monastery. Other chapters include full details of parliamentary elections and the holders of office in the town council; the building of the iron bridge over the Severn by Thomas Telford; and the repairs to the Abbey in 1828.
The extensive notes and thirty-eight appendices are an important source of relevant documents from many different periods of English History, and include various royal charters given to the town and extracts from the Domesday Book.
James Bennett was born in 1785 at Falfield in Gloucestershire and was apprenticed for seven years to a printer and bookseller in Bath. He worked briefly in London and Gloucester before starting his own printing and bookselling business at 139 High Street in Tewkesbury in 1810.
He married Hannah Phillips in 1823 and they had five children, two of whom died in infancy. He was a town councillor, churchwarden of the Abbey at the time of its restoration in 1828, and died in 1856 at the age of 70.