Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/13

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PREFACE.


Among the various interesting matters comprised in that remarkable document, called "Domesday Book,"[1] one is the evidence it presents as to the early existence of churches in different parts of the kingdom; and to those engaged in archaeological inquiries the idea will readily occur, certainly it will be universally admitted, that it is very desirable to institute a comparison between the churches, mentioned in the Domesday record, and those now standing, or known to have stood, on or near the same spots. It was this consideration, which induced me, in the autumn of 1844, to commence the following compilation with regard to the three counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey; the selection being made not because they happen to be the first named in the Norman Survey, but because I am far better acquainted with them, than with any other counties. The prosecution of the undertaking speedily showed me, what want of previous experience in such researches prevented my being fully aware of, the many obstacles necessarily impeding its successful accomplishment. Not only Domesday Book, but likewise printed copies of our other ancient muniments, which it was expedient to consult, are works, not often to be found in private libraries; and although they are accessible in many public collections, especially in those of the British Museum, and of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, a distant residence is a serious impediment to enjoying the full advantage of those collections in a deliberate and accurate examination of the authorities referred to, as also by a similar exactness in copying any extracts required. In every literary undertaking of any extent usually it will be found necessary continually to

  1. Of this record Sir Henry Spelman says in his Glossary under "Domesdei:" "It is the monument of all Britain, I do not say the most ancient, but beyond dispute the most venerable. In two large volumes it contains the description of England, begun, according to the Waverley Annals and other (authorities) A. D. 1083, that is, in the sixteenth year of William the elder, but according to the Red Book of the Exchequer in the fourteenth year of the same king: finished indeed, as the book itself testifies, in his twentieth, that is last, year, and of our Lord 1087. Monumentum totius Britanniæ, non dico antiquissimum, sed absque controversia augustissimum. Duobus magnis voluminibus Angliæ descriptionem continet, inchoatam, juxta Annales Waverlienses et alios, An. Dni 1083. i. (e.) Gulielmi Senioris 16. sed juxta Rubrum Librum Scaccarii, anno ejusdem Regis 14 : finitam vero (ut ipse liber testatur) anno suo" (sic) "20. hoc est ultimo; et Domini nostri 1087."