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Alfred Neobard Palmer (1847–1915) was a chemist and local historian. He published several books concerning the local history of the Wrexham area of Wales.

Palmer was born in Thetford, Norfolk, England, on 10 July 1847 to Alfred Palmer and Harriet Catherine (née Neobard). He had a younger brother and sister, John and Catherine. He attended Thetford Grammar School from 1855 to 1860 and then a private academy from 1860 to 1862.
Palmer became a teacher in Cambridgeshire for a short time, but in 1863 started work for a chemist in Bury St. Edmunds. In 1874, he became an analytical chemist with a company in Manchester, where he met and married Esther ("Ettie") Francis in Salford in 1878. They had no children.

He later moved to Wales and in September 1880 he took up employment with the Zoedone Mineral Water Company in Wrexham, where he worked until 1882. He also worked for the Brymbo Steelworks Company where he was appointed chief chemist, but had to leave after two years due to ill health. After leaving Brymbo he set up in private practice as an analytical chemist in Chester Street, Wrexham, but later worked from 1891 to 1904 at the Cambrian Leather Works in the town.

Palmer's first work on local history was The Town, Fields and Folk of Wrexham in the Time of James the First (1883), based on a 1620 survey of the Lordship of Bromfield and Yale by John Norden. He went on to write ten books and many articles on local history and archaeology, of which The History of Ancient Tenures of Land in the Marches of North Wales, 1885, was regarded both by himself and other scholars as his best work. His works are an invaluable source to genealogists.

He died on 7 Mar 1915 in Wrexham and was buried at Wrexham Cemetery.

In commemoration of his work, Wrexham County Borough Council have named their local history centre after him, the A.N. Palmer Centre for Local Studies and Archives.

Bibliography

  • 1885 The History of Ancient Tenures of Land in the Marches of North Wales
  • 1886 The History of the Parish Church of Wrexham
  • 1888 The History of the Older Nonconformity of Wrexham
  • 1893 The History of the Town of Wrexham
  • 1903 The History of the Thirteen Country Townships of the Old Parish of Wrexham
  • 1905 A History of the Old Parish of Gresford
  • 1906-1910 The Town of Holt in County Denbigh
  • 1910 The History of Ancient Tenures of Land in the Marches of North Wales (Expanded version with Edward Owen)
  • c1908-1909 The History of the Parish of Ruabon (not finished before his death), published in 1992 by Bridge Books of Wrexham.

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  • This page was last modified on 21 April 2012, at 16:03.
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