Page:Chronicle of the Grey friars of London.djvu/10

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PREFACE

accession of the monarch varied from that of the Mayor's entrance into office.[1]

The present compilation is therefore properly a London Chronicle; but the Editor deemed it unnecessary to copy from the manuscript the succession it contains of Mayors and Sheriffs, as their names have now been frequently printed elsewhere in other London Chronicles, and in fact in its earlier portions the manuscript consists of little else. Nor would the book have been worth printing at all in its original character of a London Chronicle, had it been nothing more; for in the early reigns its entries are slight and fragmentary, and occasionally incorrect, as some of the marginal notes will show.

It was usual for London Chronicles to commence with the reign of Richard the First, that being the date from which the roll of chief magistrates, at first termed Bailiffs, had been preserved. Such is the case with a Latin Chronicle kept in the Town Clerk's office, and which has been already presented to the Camden Society under the title of "Liber de Antiquis Legibus." Its narrative descends only to the year 1274. The French Chronicle of London, which has also been printed for the Camden Society, embraces the period from 1259 to 1343. The English Chronicle of London, which was edited by Sir Harris Nicolas, commences with the civic æra of 1189, the 1st Richard I. and extends to the year 1483. Some portions of it are highly curious. Arnold's Chronicle, like our own,

  1. Appended to Grafton's Chronicle will be found a table constructed for the express purpose of meeting the difficulties which arose from the mode of reckoning above described. It is entitled "A Table declaring the reignes of everie King of this realme sithen the conquest, and the yeares of our Lorde and monethes and dayes of their beginning, and also the names and surnames of all the Maiors and Shirifes of London, with the yere and daye of their entrance into their charge." For every year this table presents four dates: 1. the commencement of the year of our Lord, which was the 25th March; 2. that of the King's accession, as the case might be; 3. that of the entrance into office of the Bailiffs and Sheriffs, which was the 28th September; and 4. that of the entrance into office of the Mayor, the 28th October. It extends from A.D. 1189 to 1568.