Ralph Bigland (1711 – 1784) was a herald of the College of Arms and became Garter King of Arms in 1780. In 1737, he married Ann Wilkins of Frocester in Gloucestershire and his interest in the county was awakened. He began gathering information in 1750 with the intention of producing a new county history, but died before anything was printed. After his death, his son and others continued his work. Bigland and his helpers copied arms and transcribed inscriptions from monuments throughout the county; many, if not most, of these memorials are now illegible. Additional historical information is given for each parish including details of the manor, incumbents, and other interesting features. Engravings showing many of the churches are included.
The work has been edited and indexed by Brian Frith, M.B.E. and produced in 4 volumes in the Gloucestershire Record Series entitled: ‘Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections relative to the County of Gloucester; Printed from the Original Papers of Ralph Bigland, Esq., Garter Principal King of Arms’.
A sample entry is:
In BADGEWORTH Church
In the Nave, on a marble sarcophagus with urn and pyramid.
Arms; Quarterly, 1st and 4th, GWINNETT, 2d and 3d on a Fess,
between three Boar’s Heads couped, a Lion passant, for GOUGH.
Near this Place is interred
GEORGE GWINNETT GOUGH, Esq.
who departed this Life the 27th Day of May, 1756.
Descended on his Father’s Side from an ancient
Family of the GWINNETTs, in North Wales,
who came to settle in this Parish in the
Beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
His afflicted Mother, daughter of
JEREMY GOUGH of London, Esq.
erected this Monument in Memory of her
most beloved and truly worthy Son.