Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/14

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PREFACE.

verify quotations; to ascertain the connection of their subject with others previously overlooked; or to enlarge them so as to include what bears upon new matter. But such purposes can be accomplished with convenience and entire effect only when the originals are close at hand, and when that is not the case, may frequently be neglected altogether; which will account for the blunders and inconsistencies, often, it is believed, to be detected in the professed citations of earlier writings.

In ascertaining the Domesday names there is no difficulty. The original record is in perfect condition; is most beautifully, as well as distinctly, written, though in black letter; and the names of places are given with either none or but few of the contractions, which are most plentifully employed in the general text. In the printed edition of Domesday Book the common type is used, and it is not likely that mistakes should often have been made by those, under whose inspection that printing was performed; though one such mistake will hereafter be pointed out, in the account of the county of Surrey. The names therefore of the places described in the Domesday Survey may be easily recognised. The identification of those places under their modern appellations is a different affair; for though many names now in use greatly resemble those by which such places were designated in early times, in others considerable changes have, more or less, taken place: and my own experience convinces me, that even an approach to accuracy is quite hopeless without either a very intimate knowledge of not simply the principal places in each county or district, but likewise of the remote hamlets and single farms, or even fields; indeed of all the local names : or else the opportunity of consulting persons, who, if not topographical works, which, can supply information of that minute nature. In my own case, as already stated, I happen to be, partially, acquainted with all the three counties I have taken in hand, more closely with Kent and Sussex, than with Surrey ; beside which I have profited by the local knowledge and inquiries of private friends,[1] and have consulted, if not all, yet, the best histories of those counties. Repeated researches and much consideration have entirely persuaded me, that, in the verification of the places mentioned in Domesday Book, it is essentially necessary to pay the most accurate atten-

  1. And I now tender my hearty thanks to those friends, particularly to my co-members of the Sussex Archaeological Society, for the cheerful assistance they have afforded to my - often I fear troublesome - inquiries, and for the information, with which they have supplied me.