Magna Britannica et Hibernia. Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox, 45 pages, printed in 1731.
Transcription by S Reveley, J Fisher and L Schoenwald. (Rootsweb Westmorland Listmembers) (c) 2003"
"Westmorland is an inland County, no where touching on the Sea, but bordering on the East on Part of Yorkshire and the Bishoprick of Durham, on the South on Lancashire, and on the West and North on Cumberland: It extendeth thirty Miles in Length, but is not much above twenty-four Miles in Breadth, which making it 120 Miles in Compass, it contains in it thirty-two large Parishes, in which are a great Number of Chapels of Ease, eight Marker-Towns, Six thousand five hundred and one Houses, Five hundred and ten thousand Acres of Land, which is divided into two large Baronies, viz. the Barony of Westmorland, which is a large Champian Country, and the Barony of Kendale, which is full of Mountains, or as they are called by the Inhabitants, Fells. These two Parts belong to two Dioceses, viz. the former Carlisle, and the latter to Chester.
This County was Part of the large Country of the Brigantes, of whom we having given a large Account in Cumberland, we shall supersede any Description of them here, as we shall also of the Northumbrian Kingdom established by the Saxons, of which this Shire was a Part, because we have also set down the Succession of the Kings thereof in Northumberland, to which we thought it most properly to belong, because from that County it took its Name, and thither also we refer our Reader.
How the Conqueror, after England became perfectly subject to him, dealt with this little County, our Historians are altogether silent. 'Tis probable, it was so remote from his Eye, that he little regarded it; and though his great Commanders were greedy to heap to themselves great Inheritances from the Saxons Spoils; yet this being an hilly barren Country, we do not find it disposed of to any, till the Reign of King John, who rewarded the great Services of Robert de Vipont, who had been with him at the memorable Battle of Mirabel, in which the French and Poictovins received so terrible an Overthrow; with a Grant of the Castles of Appleby and Burgh, and the whole Bailiwick of Westmorland, to hold during the King's Pleasure. This Robert still continuing in the King's Wars, had the next ensuing Year another Grant for his better Support of the Premisses, together with the Services of all those that held not by military Services, to hold to him and his Heirs, by the Wife that he then had, by the Service of four Knights Fees for all Service; provided, that he should not commit Waste in the Woods of Winesell, nor hunt in them during the King's Life, except he were there himself in Person, and saving to the King and his Heirs, all Pleas of the Crown.
In the two Baronies of Westmorland and Kendal before-mentioned, we find no Hundreds, but only Wards, Deaneries, Parishes, and Constablewicks; all which but the Deaneries, not being distinctly known to us, we are obliged to treat of the Towns in an Alphabetical Order, putting the Market-Towns in capital Letters for the more easy finding them. The Reason given by our Antiquaries, why this County was not divided into Hundreds, Rapes or Wapentakes, as all the other Counties of England are, is, because in antient Times these Parts paid no Subsidies, being sufficiently charged in Border Service against the Scots."
History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, by Joseph Nicolson and Richard Burn, 1777 is available from Google Books.
A history of Westmorland by Richard Saul Ferguson Published in 1894, E. Stock (London) is available from Internet Archive.
Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland. by Daniel Scott Published in 1899, W. Andrews & co. (London) available on Internet Archive.
Legends of Westmorland and the Lake district. Published in 1874, Hamilton, Adams, and Co.; [etc., etc.] (London) is available in Open Library.
History of Westmorland - Placenames for the County is included on the Vision of Britain site.