VCH Style Guidelines

March (Welsh and Scottish)

The border areas of Wales and Scotland with England were and are often referred to as the 'March of Wales', 'Welsh Marches' or similarly, 'Scottish Marches ' etc.

Captials should be used as follows:

  • March, Marches
  • Marcher lordship
  • Marcher lords or lords of the March.
  • Wardens of the March (note that this was an office granted in the Scottish Marches)

Be aware that Welsh Marcher lordships are seldom co-terminus with later counties even where the two bear or bore the same name, for example, Glamorgan (pre-1974 county) or Dyffryn Clwyd.

See also: counties and county towns in the UK

parish council

Until 1894 a civil parish was a place for which a separate assistant overseer of the poor was or might be appointed and for which a separate poor rate was or might be assessed (defined thus by statute in 1866, but the practice from a much earlier date).  Since 1894 a parish has been a local government unit with a parish meeting and (in most cases) a parish council also. It is not to be confused with parchial church council. Refer to in lower case, even when part of the local authority title.

  • Yeovil Without parish council appointed a new clerk in 1936

See also: parish; civil parish; parochial church council

folios, membranes and rotulets

The abbreviations for folios, membranes and rotulets are f., m., rot.; plural forms ff., mm., rott..

Rotulets are strips of parchment sewn or filed to one another at their heads; membranes can be defined as strips of parchment sewn to one another end to end. A rotulet may consist of several membranes, either because the files consist of several strips sewn end to end or because each file extends over several strips. It is generally possible to avoid rot. and rott.; ‘membrane’ may be used for a subdivision of the rotulet of a King’s Bench or Common Pleas plea roll or a Memoranda Roll of the Exchequer, even though filed at the head.

The recto of a folio should be given its number without the addition of ‘r.’; the verso should have v. in lower case roman set close after the number. The face of a membrane or rotulet should be given its number without any addition; the dorse should have d. in lower case roman set close after the number.

  • f. 51v.
  • ff. 140–142v.
  • m. 30
  • mm. 31–32d.
  • rot. 39 and d.
  • rott. 140d.–141.

Note that the inclusion of d. or v. in a reference to a sequence of numbers makes it necessary to give the last number in full, and that reference to both sides of a folio, membrane or rotulet does not make the folio, membrane or rotulet plural.

time and hours

Times should be given according to the 12 hour clock with  a.m. or p.m. in lower case with points.


Usually used with reference to a half-share of a manor. The use of the word should be avoided where possible except in quoted text.

Where it is necessary to describe the divisions of a property then half-share or half is to be preferred.

ancient parish

An ancient parish was a medieval administrative unit for both ecclesiastical and civil matters. VCH applies the term to all pre-1830 parishes.

See: parish


Avoid using as the first word of a sentence when it means 'nevertheless'.

great-grandmother, great-grandfather

Use a hyphen, in each case.

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Use caps. throughout.

See: Friends' meeting house

Friends' meeting house

Use the form given above with one cap., posessive plural apostrophe for local Quaker meeting-houses;

For the London headquarters of the society, use capitals for each word: Friends’ Meeting House.

See: Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)