Romantic Historian?

“Honestly, I really do have to take a step back sometimes and wonder about my fixation is with old newspapers and books these days. I used to be quite content with documentary on 4OD?

 Anyway, i had to chuckle at this old letter dated 1960 to the editor of Blackcountryman about ‘another’ readers letter:

Mainly because I tend to go on a bit myself about the historian Hackwood, how great he was but how very wrong he could be”  (Simply by taking other peoples word as truth without any investigation ….you will see what I mean and I’m glad its not only me!)


Re the John Simcox story (page 24). it would seem that this is taken from Hackwood’s History of West Brornwich (1895). Unfortunately, Hackwood was not always reliable.

He appears to have misread the Marriage Settlement (1626) and Indenture (1663) of the Simcox family quoted on page 186 of Mrs. M. Willetts’ History of West Brormwich (1881).

 (“And he goes on … to return with”)

And I am afraid that the ‘G. B. Thorneycroft story appears to be another of Hackwood’s errors.

There can be no doubt that he borrowed this from Willetts (opposite page 185) who was quoting from ‘hear-say’ not evidence.

(And much more)

D. Dilworth……. West bromwich

“But I just love that old romantic bloke: Hackwood”

“Oh Hackwood, Hackwood, can’t you see, Your name is down in history.
And through you, yes we learn our past, but your steadfast history couldn’t last.
You rejoiced in rural Wednesbury, and recalled each sweet birds song
But when lost in romantic thoughts,  you often got it wrong.” x


Ya have to smile 🙂


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