Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/27

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

PREFACE FOR the general design and scope of the History of Surrey the reader is referred to the General Advertisement of the Victoria History. One history of the county of the first class exists already, Manning and Bray's, published in three volumes in 1814; the first volume had appeared alone earlier. But not only has something been learned in the last hundred years in history and archasology, but certain features of the county, which are treated in this volume, scarcely occupied the attention of those very learned and painstaking writers at all. The various sides of Surrey Natural History, which are dealt with by specialists here, lay outside their plan altogether. Geology was an unknown science then, for if a beginning had been made yet the geology of to-day is practically new knowledge. Manning and Bray have the distinction of having started this Topographical History upon the right lines, by translating Domesday and engraving a map of the Domesday Survey of the county. But the literature of the Domesday Survey is now something very different from what it was. Mr. J. Horace Round, the unrivalled authority upon Domesday and the age of Domesday, has contributed an Introduction to the Survey of Surrey, and the Editor has executed an entirely new translation of the whole of the text, with notes, with the invaluable assistance of the same specialist. The general sketch of the Political History is included in the present volume. One of the aims of the series is to ' show what part the county played in the larger History of the Empire.' The geographical position of Surrey, between London and the south coast, has made the county the scene of events, especially of the march of armies, connected with the most important crises of our histories. Yet the reader will find that local considerations have ruled the scope of treatment of political events. The Great Charter was granted in a Surrey meadow ; but it is not of local interest. Had John and the Barons adjourned across the Thames its effects would have been the same. The Chartist meeting of 1848 was in Surrey ; but the bad local choice of its promoters had a good deal to do with the peaceful fiasco which ensued. The Political History is amplified about the age of Elizabeth. The existence in a Surrey manor house of a vast mass of unpublished papers, the Loseley MSS., which the courtesy of the owner, Mr. More Molyneux, has placed at the disposal of the Editor, xix