Pages vii-viii

The Medieval Records of A London City Church St Mary At Hill, 1420-1559. Originally published by Trübner, London, 1905.

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The present volume, with Part I, places before the reader the whole of the earlier, and it is hoped all that is necessary of the later, text of the medieval records of the parish church of St. Mary at Hill, near London Bridge.

The chief aim of the Introduction has been to attempt to bring together under various headings the notes and entries which tell the story of the church life of the parish.

In the text probably the most interesting matter will be found in the 'Payments for the Church,' in the 'Casual Receipts' and in the list of 'payments' almost immediately following the Casual Receipts. The long yearly expenses for the repairs of the house property of the chantries do not present a very inviting aspect to the reader.

To enable the reader to grasp the system of accounts the best plan would perhaps be to begin at p. 217.

It is due to the memory of the many people whose names are recorded here under various circumstances, to state that our text contains many evidences of generosity and piety on the part of those mentioned, and but few instances of the reverse.

According to the custom of the Early English Text Society, the contractions in the MSS. have been expanded in the printed text in italics, and words not in the MSS. have been printed within square brackets [ ].

The presence of asterisks * * * indicate where matter present in the MSS. has been omitted in the printed edition.

After the year 1495 the text of MS. A is not printed in its entirety.

The page headings and sums total at the bottom of certain pages after 1495 have been omitted and no asterisks inserted, because such would interfere with the continuity of the reading; but these two are the only instances where the omission of text is not clearly indicated.

Where the page only of the MS. is mentioned, the reference is to MS. A, which supplies by far the greater part of our text. Where MS. B has provided any part of the text, that MS. will be found invariably specified as MS. B.

Occasionally, but very rarely, the extracts quoted in the Introduction from the text have been put into modern English.

A volume dealing with the property of St. Mary's, entitled 'The Parish of St. Mary at Hill, its Church Estates and Charities,' was printed by J. Draper of Little Tower Street, E.C., in 1878.

My very grateful thanks are due to Mr. Welch, Librarian of the Corporation Library, to Mr. Kettle, and to Mr. Welch, junior, assistants in that Library. Every possible aid which the genial and kindly courtesy and ample literary knowledge of these gentlemen could place at my disposal has been at all times most freely forthcoming. I am, too, very greatly indebted to Mr. Higgleton and the able and obliging staff of the same library.

To Mr. F. Calder, vestry clerk of St. Mary's, our thanks are especially due for his kind aid in facilitating the publication of these records.

To Mr. Deputy White, of the Court of Common Council, students are much indebted for his efforts in promoting the accessibility of the records of many city churches. It is very largely due to Mr. White that so many valuable documents (St. Mary's records amongst others) have been transferred from the church vestries to the care of the officials of the Corporation Library, where, naturally, a more systematic supervision can be exercised over them, and where, under reasonable restrictions, they are now easily accessible to students.

To Dr. Furnivall, to Dr. Murray of the great Dictionary, and to Rev. Chr. Wordsworth this work is also under various obligations.