Short Bibliography of Thomas Pennant’s Tours in Scotland and Wales

By Alex Deans

This bibliography is intended to give the reader an overview of the rather complicated publishing history of Pennant’s Scottish and Welsh Tours. It makes no claims to completeness: printed volumes were sometimes re-bound and repaginated by their owners, and bibliographical anomalies are legion. What this selection does show, however, is the constantly evolving nature of these works, which accrete information, illustrations and appendices with each new edition; it is also testimony to the sheer industry of Pennant, his informants and his publishers in the years 1771–84.

1] Tour in Scotland in 1769

(NB ‘A Map of Scotland, the Hebrides, and Part of England adapted to Mr Pennant’s Tour’, engraved by J. Bayly and ‘published by Benjamin White, 1st May, 1777’, is pasted into many copies of both Pennant’s 1769 and 1772 Tours, even those published before 1777, suggesting that it was sold as a separate item and pasted in by purchasers.)

a) 1st edition: A tour in Scotland. MDCCLXIX (Chester: printed by John Monk, MDCCLXXI. [1771]). Octavo, viii + 316 pp, 18 plates, 7 appendices + Itinerary, 316 pp.

b) 2nd edition: A tour in Scotland. MDCCLXIX. (London: printed for B. White, at Horace’s Head, in Fleet-Street, MDCCLXXII. [1772]. Octavo, viii + 331 pp. Plates/appendices as in 1st edition.

c) Supplement to the Tour in Scotland; MDCCLXIX. (Chester: printed by John Monk, MDCCLXXII. [1772]). Octavo, 18 pp. This consists of errata, corrections and notes to the Chester Edition of the previous year.

d) 3rd edition: A tour in Scotland; MDCCLXIX. (Warrington: printed by W. Eyres, MDCCLXXIV. [1774]. Quarto edition, xiv + 388 pp, 21 plates, 8 appendices (including Itinerary). ‘A completely new set of plates and appendices.’

e) The additions to the quarto edition of the Tour in Scotland, MDCCLXIX. And the new appendix. Reprinted for the accomodation of the purchasers of the first and second editions. (London: printed for B. White, at Horace’s Head, Fleet-Street, MDCCLXXIV. [1774]. Octavo, 180 pp. With 21 plates, the 7 new appendices and engraved title-page published in the Warrington 3rd edition in quarto.

f) 4th edition: A tour in Scotland; MDCCLXIX. (London: printed for Benj. White, MDCCLXXVI. [1776]) Quarto, 400 pp, 40 plates which combine those from 1st and 3rd editions, appendices as in 3rd edition (although some copies also seem to combine appendices from 1st and 3rd edition)

g) 5th edition: A tour in Scotland; MDCCLXIX. (London: printed for Benj. White, MDCCXC [1790]) Quarto, 400 pp. Plates as in 4th edition, appendices as in 3rd edition, although again with variations in some copies.

Recent publications: A facsimile reprint edition of the 3rd edition (1774) was published by Melven Press with an introduction by Barry Knight (Perth: Melven Press, 1979); Birlinn Press have reprinted the 1st edition of 1771 with an introduction by Brian D. Osborne (Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd, 2000).

2] Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides 1772 (Parts I and II)

a) 1st edition (Part I): A tour in Scotland, and voyage to the Hebrides; MDCCLXXII [1772] (Chester: printed by John Monk, MDCCLXXIV. [1774] Quarto, vii + 439 pp, 44 plates, no appendices but includes Itinerary. (Other copies of this edition consulted have only viii + 379 pp).

b) [? Pirated Dublin edition?] A tour in Scotland, MDCCLXIX. By Thomas Pennant, Esq; (Dublin: printed for A. Leathley, (no. 63) in Dame-Street, MDCCLXXV. [1775]. 2 vols. Octavo. These seem to be cheap octavo editions without plates. Vol. I (DRY.592, 388 pp) is titled A Tour in Scotland MDCCLXIX, The Fourth Edition and contains VIII Appendices, last of which is 1769 Itinerary. Vol. II is entitled A Tour in Scotland, and Voyage to the Hebrides. MDCCLXXII, The Fourth Edition, Volume II. This is Part 1 of the 1772 Tour (i.e. the Voyage to the Hebrides). No appendices, but includes Itinerary of the 1772 Tour Part I.

c) 2nd edition (Part I): A tour in Scotland, and voyage to the Hebrides; MDCCLXXII. Part I. (London: printed for Benj. White, MDCCLXXVI. [1776].) Quarto, vii + 439 pp, 44 plates, no appendices but includes Itinerary of 1772 tour.

d) 1st edition (Part II): A tour in Scotland. MDCCLXXII. Part II. (London: printed for Benj. White, 1776). Quarto, iv + 482 pp, 47 plates and 20 appendices, including Itinerary. This is followed by pp. 1–34 Additions to the Tour in Scotland 1769* (including two plates of ‘Pictish Houses’) paginated continuously with Additions to the Voyage to the Hebrides 1772 and Two Omissions, to be referred to their proper place ‘Tour 1769 Scarborough’ and ‘Voy. Hebrides. Bagpipes’. The index of plates for A tour in Scotland. MDCCLXXII. Part II makes reference to 2 Plates of ‘Pictish Houses’ in the ‘Additions’ and their pagination, suggesting that the ‘Additions’ were worked off at the same time as the cover matter for 1776 edition, and were always intended to be bound with the volume.
*NB these are different from the Additions to 1769 as described at 1e. above.

e) A tour in Scotland, and voyage to the Hebrides; MDCCLXXII. 2 vols (London: printed for Benj. White, MDCCXC. [1790]). Quarto. (First complete edition of the 1772 Tour?) Vol. I has vii + 440 pp, and 44 plates. The only appendix is Pennant’s Itinerary. Vol. II has iv + 489 pp, and 45 plates, and 21 appendices, including the Itinerary. These are the same as those in the 1st edition (Part II) of 1776, but without the 2 extra plates of ‘Pictish Houses’ appearing in the Additions to the Tour in Scotland, MDCCLXIX. Appendices are slightly different from 1776 edition of 1772 Tour Part II.

An edition of the Tour in Scotland and Voyage to the Hebrides, 1772, based on Benjamin White’s 1776 2nd edition of Part I, and 1st edition of Part II, was published with an introduction by Charles W. Withers, edited by Andrew Simmons (Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd, 1998). 

3] Tour in Wales

a) 1st edition: A tour in Wales. MDCCLXX. (London: printed by Henry Hughes, MDCCLXXVIII [1778]). Quarto, vii + 525 pp, 27 plates.
NB: Pennant’s Welsh tour is actually dated 1773 (although in fact it includes material from his many journeys around Wales since childhood). MDCLXX (1770) was corrected by hand to MDCLXXIII (1773) on a number of copies, but does still appear printed as MDCCLXX in other copies, such as Glasgow’s Hunterian K.5.9. and the copy on Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

b) 1st edition: A Journey to Snowdon (London: printed by Henry Hughes, 1781), iii + 487 pp, + index and Additions and Corrections to Vol. I of Tour in Wales, paginated separately.

Often bound with:

c) 1st edition: Continuation of the Journey (London: printed by Henry Hughes, 1783)

d) A tour in Wales. MDCCLXXIII. (Dublin: printed for Messrs. Sleater, Potts, Moncrieffe, Walker, Exshaw, Flin, Burnet, Jenkin, White and Beatty, MDCCLXXIX [1779].) 469 pp [Vol. 1 only. Probable pirated edition].

e) 2nd edition: A tour in Wales. Quarto, 2 vols (London: Printed for Benjamin White, at Horace’s Head in Fleet Street, MDCCLXXXIV [1784]). Vol. I, viii + 547 pp. 26 plates; Vol. II, 551 pp, 26 plates, and 17 appendices. These two volumes include all three journeys, and both volumes contain Additions and Corrections, paginated separately.

f) Tours in Wales by Thomas Pennant Esq. With notes. 3 vols (London: Printed for Wilkie and Robinson; J. Nunn; White and Cochrane; Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme; Vernor, Hood, and Sharpe; Cadell and Davies; J. Harding; J. Richardson; J. Booth; J. Mawman; and J. Johnson and Co., 1810). Octavo. The editorial notes are by the author’s son, David Pennant. Vol. I, 415 pp; Vol. II, 415 pp; Vol. III, 484 pp. Includes the illustrations by Moses Griffiths.

g) Hynafiaethau Cymreig: teithiau yn Nghymru, sef cyfieithiad o’r “Tours in Wales” gan Thomas Pennant; at yr hyn yr ychwanegwyd cofrestr o bum’ llwyth breninol Cymru, a phymtheg llwyth Gwynedd, a’u disgynyddion, fel yr ymddangosasant yn “Pennant’s History of Whiteford and Holywell.” Ynghyda chyfieithiad o’r nodiadau a’r rhagymadrodd, yn yr argraffiad Seisoneg diweddaf gan John Rhys. Hefyd, nodiadau, hanes bywyd yr awdwr, a rhagarweiniad i hanes y llwythau gan W. Trevor Parkins (Caernarfon: H. Humphreys, 1883) 635 pp. A translation into Welsh by the Celtic scholar John Rhŷs of the 1810 edition (f, above), with supplementary material on Welsh genealogy added from Pennant’s History of the parishes of Whiteford, and Holywell (1796).

h) Extra-Illustrated Copy of A Tour In Wales. Pennant’s own bespoke 8-vol. edition of the 1784 Tour, with a wealth of marginal watercolours by Moses Griffith and others, held at NLW and available to view digitally on:

Recent publications: A facsimile edition of A Tour in Wales, based on Benjamin White’s 2-vol. edition of 1784 (e, above), was published by Bridge Books, with an introduction by R. Paul Evans (Wrexham, 1991); Cambridge University Press have also reprinted this tour (Cambridge, 2014). A limited-edition volume was published by the Gregynog Press (Newtown, 2006): Pennant and his Welsh Landscapes: Selected Readings from A Tour in Wales (1778–1784), edited and introduced by Gwyn Walters, with woodcuts by Rigby Graham.