Monumental Inscriptions from Salisbury Cathedral

Scope and Content

The volumes contain copies of monumental inscriptions in Salisbury Cathedral, including transcripts of text, drawings and rubbings of images (predominantly coats of arms etc.), and postcards showing photographs of the monuments. Baker notes the location of each monument, and also provides a list of the monuments which were listed by 'Harris' [James Harris, Copies of the epitaphs in Salisbury Cathedral, cloisters, and cemetery, 1825] and 'Price' [Francis Price, A description of that admirable structure, the cathedral church of Salisbury: with the chapels, monuments, grave-stones, and their inscriptions, 1774] but which have since disappeared. Both volumes are indexed by name.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Henry Baker (1833-1914) was born in Charlton Horethorne in Somerset but spent most of his adult life at Mere, just over the border in Wiltshire, where he farmed over 1,000 acres, employing twenty men and six boys in 1861. He was a keen local historian, who made extensive collections of monumental inscriptions within Somerset and Wiltshire. He published several works, including: Records of the seasons, prices of agricultural produce, and phenomena observed in the British Isles (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1883); and Notes on St Martin's church and parish (Salisbury: Brown, 1906); and he jointly edited with W.P.W. Phillimore and John Sadler volume 9 of Wiltshire parish registers: marriages (London: Phillimore, 1910). See also Patricia Westwood (ed.), Some Wessex memories: from the writings of Thomas Henry Baker, 1833-1914 (Southampton: P.E. Westwood, [2000?]).

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by the John Rylands Library from Poole and Pemberton in May 1916.


Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, and John Hodgson, Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, with reference to the online Census records for 1861, 1881 and 1891.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 137).

Related Material

Papers of Thomas Henry Baker are held in two other repositories:

  • Somerset Archive and Record Service: monumental inscriptions from his notebooks, 1900 (ref.: GB 168 DD/SAS C795/CH6 );
  • Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, Devizes: 23 volumes of monumental inscriptions.

Geographical Names