Harrod, William (DNB00)

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HARROD, WILLIAM (d. 1819), topographer, was son of a printer and bookseller at Market Harborough, Leicestershire, who was also for many years master of the free school there. After working some time as a journeyman printer in London, Harrod commenced business on his own account at Stamford, Lincolnshire, where he started a newspaper, which he edited and printed without much success, and became an alderman. By 1801 he had removed to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and after his father's death in December 1805 (Gent. Mag. vol. lxxv. pt. ii. p. 1179) he returned to his native town of Market Harborough. There a second marriage embroiled him in difficulties which compelled him to relinquish his business. He died in obscurity at Birmingham on 1 Jan. 1819.

Harrod published histories of the three towns in which he successively carried on his business. The titles of these works are: 1. ‘The Antiquities of Stamford and St. Martin's, compiled chiefly from the Annals of the Rev. Francis Peck, with Notes; to which is added the Present State, including Burghley,’ 2 vols. 12mo, Stamford, 1785. Harrod was here capably assisted by an eccentric Stamford apothecary named Lowe. 2. ‘The History of Mansfield and its Environs. In two parts: I. Antiquities, including a description of two Roman Villas discovered by H. Rooke, Esqr., 1786. II. The Present State. With plates,’ 4to, Mansfield, 1801. 3. ‘The History of Market-Harborough in Leicestershire, and its Vicinity,’ 8vo, 1808. In 1788 Harrod projected an enlarged edition of Wright's ‘History and Antiquities of Rutlandshire,’ but the work was discontinued, after the appearance of two numbers, for want of encouragement. The copper-plates and manuscripts were afterwards purchased by John Nichols. Thomas Barker (1722–1809) [q. v.], one of Harrod's patrons, contributed a history of Lyndon, which formed one of the parts published (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. iii. 112–13). In 1789 Harrod published a sale catalogue of his books (ib. iii. 679), and during a contested election at Nottingham in 1803 compiled ‘Coke and Birch. The Paper-War carried on at the Nottingham Election, 1803; containing the whole of the Addresses, Songs, Squibs, &c., circulated by the contending parties, including the Books of Accidents and Chances.’

[Gent. Mag. lxxxix. i. 584–5; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. G.