The Henry Peet Collection

Scope and Content

The records comprise of: maps, plans, process blocks, correspondence, transcriptions of original documents, correspondence, electrotypes, woodblocks, prints, glass negatives and photographs of ancient Liverpool that Henry Peet had acquired or prepared for his research on Liverpool Local History.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Peet was born on 16 April 1856 at Holbeach, Lincolnshire the younger son of Major F. Peet and Judith Peet née Burnett. He was descended on his grandfather's maternal side from the De Vantiers of Thorney, a French Huguenot family, he would later write a book on the history of the Huguenot family of De Vantier. He was an antiquary and archaeologist and well known for his research into church archives. Henry Peet was a Churchwarden for the parish of Liverpool for 4 years, leaving the post in 1895. Peets time as churchwarden was highly successful, a journalist for the Liverpool Courier noted at the time

" His admirable discharge of the duties of Churchwarden of the Parish Churches are too well known and recognised to call for reference here, and Liverpool people and antiquaries generally need hardly be reminded of the great benefit they have derived, while he occupied that office, from his researches as an antiquary to which we owe his Inventory of the Parish Churches of Liverpool." (Liverpool Courier, June 1st 1895).

Peet was known for the Adelphi Pharmacy on Ranelagh Place, Liverpool. He began his career with a five-year apprenticeship with Messrs. Donington and Co., Spalding, he moved to Liverpool in 1878  to take over an old-established business at the corner of Mount Pleasant. A few years after this he acquired the business of the late Mr John Flint, in Ranelagh Place. He ran the two businesses until 1903  and concentrated his work in the Ranelagh Place business.

He was appointed as J.P. for the City of Liverpool in 1894. He was a member of the Liverpool Select Vestry for twenty-two years, being Chairman in 1902 -1903 . Peet was a strong advocate of the Parish Churches being included in the City Churches Bill, and was himself one of the witnesses before the House of Lords in regard to the matter. The result was that the proposal was incorporated into the Act.

Henry Peet was very interested in local history and was the Vice President of the Historic Society of Lancs and Cheshire. he worked at the University of Liverpool School of Local History under Professor Twemlow in Paleography and Diplomatics and transcribed and edited the first volume issued by the School titled The Earliest Registers of the Parish of Liverpool, 1660-1704 9St. Nicholas's Church) With some of the Earlier Transcripts commencing in 1604.

His interest in history and parish records led Peet to produce a series of publications many in Lincolnshire Notes and Queries on local history and churches. His publications include: History of Holbeach Parish Church, Liverpool in the Reign of Queen Anne, Registers of St Nicholas's Church from 1604-1704 and Records of the Parish of Liverpool from the Vestry Minute Books.

There is little evidence amongst Peet's papers about his private life. According to the Lancashire Biographies published in 1917 , he was said to have an interest in travel, and in his younger days mountaineering, particularly in Switzerland. Peet travelled throughout Europe and to; Egypt, Turkey, Canada and the United States, he wrote accounts of many of his holiday trips for the Liverpool Courier. There is a dedication to the memory of his wife Charlotte Peet née Tinsley, who died 4 June 1902 aged 46 years. Peet wrote an article about Mrs Charles Tinsley which can be found at Peet 18  in the Miscellaneous Antiquarian Papers of Henry Peet. Henry Peet died on the 5th Novemner 1938.


Henry Peet carried out extensive research on Liverpool Local History, often working on different subjects concurrently. The collection is divided into eighteen parts that reflect the subjects on which Peet based his publications.

  • Peet 1 1893 Parish Inventories
  • Peet 2 1890 - 1915 The Churches of St George and St John
  • Peet 3 1907 - 1908 Liverpool in the Reign of Queen Anne
  • Peet 4 1786 - 1913 Liverpool Almshouses and Amalgamated Charities
  • Peet 5 1786 - 1917 Liverpool Vestry Books
  • Peet 6 c.1911 The School Liverpool
  • Peet 7 1911 - 1915 The Molyneux Charity and Communion Flagon
  • Peet 8 1880 - 1922 The Church of St Nicholas
  • Peet 9 1879 - 1923 The Church of St Peter
  • Peet 10 1920 - 1937 Thomas Steers and the Steers Family
  • Peet 11 1932 - 1937 Sir Thomas Johnson
  • Peet 12 1935 The German Church
  • Peet 13 1910 The African Slave Trade
  • Peet 14 1618 - 1899 Papers concerning Holbeach and Uffington, in Lincolnshire
  • Peet 15 c.1901 The Family of De Vantier
  • Peet 16 1895 - 1920 Personal and Biographical papers of Henry Peet
  • Peet 17 1831 - 1917 Miscellaneous Subjects
  • Peet 18 1898 - 1930Miscellaneous Antiquarian Papers by Henry Peet

These subjects have been used to arrange the collection. The eighteenth and final part is one bound volume entitled Miscellaneous Antiquarian Papers by Henry Peet and contains many pamphlets written by Peet. The collection as a whole has three levels of description.

The first level is the particular subject that Peet was working on for the purpose of a printed pamphlet or reading. Each of these subjects is divided up according to the type of document, the second level of description. For example all letters about that topic are listed together, all secondary sources and notes are gathered together. The third and final level of description is the actual item itself.

Access Information

Access is open to bona fide researchers.

Acquisition Information

Received from Midland Bank Executor and Trustee Company Ltd in January 1939. Henry Peet bequeathed to the University Library all of his maps, plans, photographic negatives, process blocks and prints of ancient Liverpool which he had prepared for his printed works on Liverpool History, free of duty.


The bulk of the collection dates from 1879 - 1937 only one or two items are earlier than this date.

Other Finding Aids

A finding aid is available for consultation in the reading room.

Archivist's Note

This list was revised using Xemacs Open Source Text editor and additional material incorporated in March 2004  by Roy Lumb.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and licensing rules available on request.


There are no anticipated accruals.

Related Material

Lincolnshire Archives hold Peets notes relating to Lincolnshire and Liverpool.

Geographical Names