Cheshire History - Notes for Contributors


Contributions are very welcome from anyone who has something interesting to say, based on original research, about the history or archaeology of Cheshire, whether this is defined as the ‘old’ county from Wirral to the ‘panhandle’, or the present Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester. Contributors may be established scholars, keen students of local history, or have no previous experience of publishing their work. The annual Stephen Matthews prize, named in honour of a former Editor of the journal, is awarded for the best article by a previously-unpublished author, as assessed by the Cheshire Local History Association Executive Committee.

Cheshire History is normally published in late October each year, with a launch at the annual Cheshire History Day. If you are interested in submitting a draft article to be considered for inclusion in the next edition, please contact the Editor by the end of January, at Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, Duke Street, Chester, CH1 1RL. It is most convenient to do this by e-mail to <<>>, but the postal address above can be used as an alternative. The Editor will offer initial and supportive advice at this stage, preferably by e-mail, and would like to see a first draft of the article by the end of February. This should be submitted in MS Word as an emailed attachment to the address the Editor will give you. Further advice will be offered at this stage and if the article is accepted in principle it must normally be submitted in full by the end of April. Occasionally, in the interests of the overall balance of the journal or because the Editor’s advice is that a lot of further work is required, a contributor will be asked to re-submit in the following year. Articles should normally be no longer than 6,000 words (including endnotes) and in no circumstances should exceed 8,000 words. There is also provision for shorter items (usually 1,000 -1,500 words and not exceeding 2,000) in an ‘In Brief’ section. Book Reviews of 500-1,000 words are specially commissioned by the Editor. Please see the accompanying Style Guide for Contributors on the Conventions to be used in the preparation of contributions to the journal.

The Editor likes to work closely with contributors and may suggest some redrafting of the article in the interests of ensuring maximum impact and conformity with the rest of the journal. However, contributors will always be asked to approve the final version before it goes to press. Those who have not submitted articles to the journal before may find the following general guidance helpful.

· Cheshire History is a journal which aims to be both academic and accessible. It is important to maintain high standards of scholarship, with careful referencing of sources, but subject-matter should be presented so as to be of interest to anyone with a curiosity about Cheshire’s past.

· The opening paragraph is especially important because the reader will rarely be as interested in the subject - initially - as the writer is! So do not plunge straight into the ‘story’: use this introduction as a way of explaining why the pages which follow have a wider significance, perhaps as illustrative of social, economic, political, religious trends within the period in question, or as an example of how a particular source can be used.

· The concluding paragraph is also important, although it can take different forms. Simply summarising what has been said already - repeating it in condensed form - rarely works well. A good conclusion does partly repeat what has gone before, but rephrases it and laces it with something new: some offer a different perspective on the information or offer an intriguing suggestion, others set it into a wider context or say how the research might be taken forward. Ideally, the reader should be left with a sense that she or he has learned something worthwhile and that the conclusion has served as reinforcement.

· When structuring the body of the article, always keep in mind the argument you are seeking to make and consider the best way of presenting it to someone far less familiar with the material than you are. (You may want to ask someone else to read and comment on your draft from this perspective, before submission.) Some articles have a ‘natural’ chronological structure, others divide up by theme; in the last case, it is usually better to deal first with themes - ‘background’, ‘national context’ etc. - with which readers are likely already to have some familiarity, then work towards the specialist material. Feel free to break the article using subheadings if you wish to (most authors do this).

· Keep paragraphs fairly short - usually containing at least three sentences (often four or five) which develop a point but not so long that they will appear in the journal with a depth greater than the width of a page. Please bear in mind that Cheshire History is published on A5 pages, although submission in A4 is fine.

· A few illustrations to accompany articles are encouraged, but please refer to the accompanying Guidelines for Contributors. Images of suitable quality submitted in black and white will be inserted by the Editor at appropriate places in the body of the text, and will be reproduced in black and white. Images submitted in colour may be reproduced within the text in black and white, or the Editor may select them for colour plates to be placed at the beginning or end of the article. It is therefore essential that all images are submitted (as jpg/jpeg) separately from the article itself, not embedded within it. Please ensure that you hold the copyright of any illustrations, or that they are out of copyright, or that you can furnish written permission from the copyright holder. Any reproduction fee is normally the responsibility of the contributor, but the Editor will consider reasonable requests for assistance with this, in conjunction with the Cheshire Local History Association Executive Committee.

· Above all, enjoy writing the article. Unless the overall style demands it, the first person (‘I think…’) should normally be avoided but by all means include something quirky or amusing if appropriate and relish the opportunity to share your enthusiasm with your readers.

(Revised November 2020)



Please submit papers as e-mailed attachments, using MS Word. The editor will standardise text to 14 points for title, 12 points for author’s name and any subheadings, 11 points for main text and 10 points for endnotes, so if authors arrange this in advance this is helpful. Any font is acceptable for draft submissions but the editor will return papers for final checking by authors in Times New Roman, the standardised font to be used in the journal. Please do not right-justify the text.

Illustrations must not be embedded in the text but should be submitted as separate jpg files (identified as Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.), with captions listed in a separate file. Only jpg/jpeg images can be accepted. The editor will insert these in appropriate places during the preparation of the A5 page proofs.

Although contributors should be aware that their articles, if accepted, will appear on A5 pages (with ‘Moderate’ margins), submission in A4 is normally preferred. However, any Tables presented on A4 lose their spacing when transferred to A5, so these should be submitted as separate files, on A5 in Times New Roman script, with an indication in the main text of where they should be inserted. Alternatively, tables may be submitted as jpg/jpeg images, which the Editor will then insert at appropriate places in the text.

Conventions for Main Text

Dates: 25 December 1801; Friday, 1 January 1736; 1650s (no apostrophe); 1588-89; fourteenth century (not 14th century).

Numbers: Use words for numbers under 20 (e.g. five, twelve, eighteenth century) except for percentages (88%), areal measurements and sums of money other than round figures. Thus: 12 acres, 3 roods, 24 perches; £4 11s. 5d.; but seven acres, four pounds. Use digits also in long sequences (9 tenants held less than 2 acres; 13 held between 3 and 5 acres; a further 26 held between 6 and 10 acres).

Quotations: Single quotation marks both in text and endnotes, double only if ‘quotes within quotes’. (The Commissioners enquiring into the operation of the Poor Law in 1834 lamented the problems caused by high rents while acknowledging that it was hard to assess how significant these were: ‘It is difficult to ascertain the length to which this practice is carried as, in the entry of the charge in the parish books, it is usually described as relief “in distress” without specifying the purpose’.) Omissions within the extract should be shown by three dots, and insertions by the use of square brackets. (As Beresford pointed out, ‘After the Reformation, Barnack served the new buildings [of Cambridge] at second hand when stone from the abbeys … was taken for the colleges’.) Quotations taking up more than four lines of text should be indented without quotation marks.

Capitalisation, Punctuation and Spelling: Use capitals sparingly, e.g. bishop of Chester, city of Chester, earl of Chester, but Bishop Sumner, Earl Ranulf III. Modernise spellings unless an archaic spelling is essential to the point being made. Avoid American spellings (use labour, not labor, honour, not honor). Where phrases such as ‘nineteenth century’ are used as an adjective, insert a hyphen (e.g. nineteenth-century enclosure). Commas should normally be omitted before the word ‘and’ (men, women and children).

Conventions for References

General: Please set references to appear as endnotes at the conclusion of your paper and observe the conventions shown for the text above, except where specified below. Book and journal titles should be in italics. Always use initials (not full names) for authors’ forenames and capitalise the initial letters of all principal words in book or essay title (even if not used in the original). For books, place and date of publication should normally be given, but not the name of the publisher. However, if the publisher is a learned society (e.g. the Chetham Society), give name of the society, number in series and date. If more than one work is being cited in an endnote, they should normally be separated by a semi-colon. Note that these style guidelines avoid ’vol.’, ‘ibid.’, ‘loc.cit’ and ‘op.cit’, and indicate journal and series volumes by the use of large Roman numerals.

Books: D.M. Palliser, The Staffordshire Landscape (London, 1976), pp. 28-31; T.R. Nash, Collections for a History of Worcestershire, 2 vols. (2nd edn, London, 1781), II, pp. 14-18; C. Hartwell, M. Hyde, E. Hubbard and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cheshire (New Haven and London,, 2011), p. 347; J.C. Holt, Magna Carta (3rd edn, revised by G. Garnett and J. Hudson, Cambridge, 2015). p. 89n [where the reference is to a footnote].

Essays in Books: E. Baldwin, ‘“Selling the Bible to Pay for the Bear”: the Value Placed on Entertainment in Congleton, 1584-1637’ in T. Scott and P. Starkey, The Middle Ages in the North-West (Oxford, 1995), pp. 257-67; R.M. Smith, ‘Plagues and Peoples: the Long Demographic Cycle, 1250-1670’ in P. Slack and R. Ward, eds., The Peopling of Britain: the Shaping of a Human Landscape (Oxford, 2002), pp. 177-210.

Journal Articles: C. Harper-Bill, ‘Dean Colet’s Convocation Sermon and the Pre-Reformation Church in England’, History, LXXIII (1988), pp. 191-210; J.T. Maddicott, ‘Plague in Seventh-Century England’, Past and Present, CLVI (1997), pp. 7-54.

If you wish to give a specific page reference within an essay or article, cite the full reference first, thus: M. Handley, ‘The Great Boughton Poor Law Union, 1837-71’, THSLC, CLVIII (2010), pp. 85-110, at p. 93; T. Cooper, ‘Challenging the “refuse revolution”: war, waste and the rediscovery of recycling, 1900-1950’, Historical Research, LXXX1 (2008), pp. 710-31, at pp. 728-30.

Edited Sources: Please give the source first, then the editor’s name. Thus: The Charters of the Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, c.1071-1237, ed. G. Barraclough (Record Soc. of Lancashire and Cheshire, CXXVI, 1988), pp. 112-13; English Historical Documents II: 1042-1189, ed. D.C. Douglas and G.W. Greenway (2nd edn., London, 1981), pp. 739-41. It may sometimes be preferable to give the number of a document in addition to or instead of a page reference, e.g. Calendar of County Court, City Court and Eyre Rolls of Chester, 1259-1297, ed. R. Stewart-Brown (Chetham Soc., new ser., LXXXIV, 1925), p. 191, no. 444.

Newspapers: Give name of newspaper in italics and date with shortened three-letter form of month, except for September, thus: Chester Chronicle, 15 Sept. 1855, 3 Mar. 1866. But show May, June and July in full.

Archival references: Indicate the title or nature of the source as well as its repository and call-number, and insert ‘fo.’ for ’folio’ if appropriate. Thus: Old Coucher Book of Ely: Cambridge University Library, EDR G/3/27, fo. 60. [or fos. 60-61 if plural]; Wallasey Tithe Award: CALS, EDT 411; Baker-Wilbraham family deeds: CALS, DBW M/M/E/no. 4.

Internet Sources: Indicate the title or nature of the source, followed by the URL within angled brackets, then the date accessed if possible, e.g. D. Leatherdale, The County with its own Magna Carta (BBC News, 9 Aug. 2015): <<>>. [accessed 3 Feb. 2019.] Please remove the hyperlink underline from the URL before submission.

Unpublished work: J.S. Clark, ‘Turnpike Roads in Shropshire: Part of the Development of Communications in the West Midlands’ (Univ. of Leicester M.A. thesis, 1997); E.C. Wadlow, ‘A Description and History of Walford’ (unpubl., 1985); J. Smith, oral communication, 28 June 2020.

Abbreviations: The following references are standard in Cheshire History and (except where appropriate in the main text) should not be set out in full:

BL for British Library.

CALS for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies (not CRO).

Ches. Hist. for Cheshire History, followed by volume number and date.

edn for edition.

JCAS for Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society.

Ormerod for G. Ormerod, The History of the County Palatine and City revised and enlarged edn by T. Helsby (London, 1882), followed by volume number. [First edition indicated by Ormerod (1819).]

OS for Ordnance Survey.

Ser. for Series.

Soc. for Society.

RSLC for Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

THSLC for Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

TLCAS for Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society.

TNA for The National Archives UK.

VCH for Victoria County History, followed by county and volume number.

If you intend to cite a source frequently, you may indicate your own choice of abbreviation the first time it is used, though the editor may subsequently standardise these between articles, e.g. English Historical Documents II: 1042-1189, ed. D.C. Douglas and G.W. Greenway (2nd edn, London, 1981) [hereafter EHD II], pp. 39-41. For books and articles cited more than once, author (if appropriate) and short title should be used after the first occasion, e.g. Palliser, Staffordshire Landscape, pp. 99-100; Handley, ‘Great Boughton Poor Law Union’, pp. 87-88; Charters of the Earls of Chester, p. xi. Only occasionally should it be necessary, in the interests of clarity, to cite the same source in consecutive endnotes; if this situation arises, consider using only one composite endnote to cover the entire discussion, e.g. A.D.M. Phillips and C.B. Phillips, A New Historical Atlas of Cheshire (Chester, 2002), pp. 30-33, 36-39, 102-5.

(Revised November 2020)