An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 4, South east. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.
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ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND.
REPORT TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilization and conditions of life of the people in England, excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year 1714, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly submit to Your Majesty the following Report on the Monuments in the S.E. Division of the County of Essex, being the 7th Interim Report on the work of the Commission since its appointment.
3. It is with great regret that we place on record the sudden death of our Chairman, the Earl of Plymouth, Privy Councillor, Knight Grand Cross of the most excellent Order of the British Empire, Companion of the most honourable Order of the Bath, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Glamorgan, a Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire and of Shropshire, Sub-Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England and a Trustee of the National Gallery, for whose wise direction and leadership the Commission since the death of our former Chairman, Lord Burghclere, owes a deep debt of gratitude.
We have also to record the severe loss suffered by the Commission through the death of Mr. R. P. L. Booker, M.A., F.S.A., who freely gave expert assistance to the Commission on all questions concerning Roman Monuments, and was primarily responsible for the Sections in Volume III (N.E. Essex) dealing with the important Roman remains in Colchester and its vicinity.
4. We have pleasure in reporting the completion of our enquiries into S.E. Essex, an area containing 658 monuments in 104 parishes, with an average of 6.3 monuments per parish. This Report is the fourth and concluding Report on the monuments of the county, and it is interesting to note that for the whole county the total number of monuments described in our illustrated Inventories amounts to 5,596 in 399 parishes, being an average of 15.5 per parish, which compares with averages of 24 monuments per parish in N.W. Essex (Volume I), 14–5 monuments in Central and S.W. Essex (Volume II), and 13 monuments per parish in N.E. Essex (Volume III).
5. Following our usual practice, we have prepared an illustrated volume containing the full Inventory of the monuments in the S.E. area of the county which, under the advice of the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury, will be issued as a separate Stationery Office publication.
6. No alteration has been found to be necessary in the order and method of describing the monuments scheduled. But, in view of the fact that Essex, Volume IV, is the concluding volume of a series which covers a most varied and interesting part of the country, we have added to the usual Sectional Preface dealing with S.E. Essex alone, a general review of the preceding volumes, with a statement calling attention to those monuments in the county, whether churches and their fittings, domestic monuments, Roman remains, or earthworks, that appear to be especially noteworthy.
7. We desire to draw attention to the fact that our colleague, Mr. Page, is responsible for that part of the General Review which deals with Saxon and Danish times, while Mr. R. E. Mortimer Wheeler, M.C., D.Lit., F.S.A., is responsible for the sections dealing with Roman Essex, and Mr. A. W. Clapham, F.S.A., for the comparative review of the Mediaeval monuments and the description of the types of houses that are characteristic of the periods to which they belong.
The illustrations, which have throughout been selected for their educational as well as for their artistic value, are principally the work of one of our Senior Investigators, Mr. J. W. Bloe, F.S.A. We desire to congratulate him on the skill with which the difficulties inherent in taking photographs in places which are ill-lighted and from angles that demand almost acrobatic feats on the part of the photographer have been overcome, as well as for the skill in the selection of monuments for the comparative groups which are a feature of the Essex Inventories.
9. The index to this volume has again been the subject of special attention, and has been combined with the indices of previous volumes in such a way that in itself it forms a complete reference index to the monuments of the county. In view of the great accuracy required and the arduous nature of the work, we desire to express our special acknowledgments to Miss M. G. Saunders, a member of our executive staff, who has been primarily responsible for its compilation.
10. As in the previous volumes, the descriptions of monuments have been referred for revision to the incumbents of each parish, to special representatives of the Essex Archaeological Society, and to the principal owners of domestic buildings, and we are satisfied that no important monument dating from the earliest times to the year 1714 has been omitted. We have also inserted in this volume certain corrections and additions that have come to light as we passed from one part of the county to another.
11. Our special thanks are due to the Rev. Canon F. W. Galpin, M.A., President of the Essex Archaeological Society, to Mr. H. W. Lewer, F.S.A., to the Rev. G. Montagu Benton, M.A., F.S.A., to Mr. C. F. D. Sperling and to the Rev. W. J. Pressey, M.A., for the time and trouble that they have devoted to checking the records of Church Plate and fittings contained in the four Essex volumes.
13. We offer our grateful thanks to the Rev. E. E. Dorling, V.P.S.A., for revision of the descriptions of Heraldry; to Mr. Oswald Barron, F.S.A., for revision of the descriptions of Costumes and spelling of names; to Mr. Mill Stephenson, F.S.A., for revision of descriptions of Brasses; to Mr. J. Murray Kendall, M.B.E., F.S.A., for revision of the descriptions of Armour; to Mr. R. E. Mortimer Wheeler, M.C., D.Lit., F.S.A., for revision of descriptions of Roman Remains; to Mr. Albany Major, O.B.E., F.S.A., Secretary to the Committee on Ancient Earthworks and Fortified Enclosures, for revision of the accounts of Earthworks; and to Mr. F. S. Eden for his descriptions and illustrations of the Ancient Glass in the county.
14. We desire again to call attention to the assistance given to our work by the Secretary (The Rev. T. H. Curling, M.A.) and members of the Essex Archaeological Society. We have also to thank the Bishop of Chelmsford for his letter of introduction to the clergy in his diocese, and the clergy who have freely opened their churches for investigation; and we have pleasure in acknowledging the hospitality extended to our staff by the clergy and owners of houses in the county.
15. We desire to express our acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by our Executive Staff in the persons of Mr. A. W. Clapham, F.S.A., Mr. J. W. Bloe, F.S.A., Mr. E. A. R. Rahbula, F.S.A., Mr. W. Byde Liebert, Mr. G. E. Chambers, F.S.A., Mr. M. L. Logan, Mr. P. K. Kipps and Miss M. G. Saunders; also by Miss M. V. Taylor, M.A., who has investigated the Roman Remains of this portion of the County of Essex.
16. We regret exceedingly that owing to loss of staff and its continued non-replacement owing to Treasury ruling, and, a fortiori, to the refusal to entertain any immediate prospect of its extension, it has not been possible to go forward with the pre-war intention of the Commission to train and place senior investigators in charge of separate counties or divisions of counties with competent staffs under them to report the results of their enquiries to a central office in London for final editing and publication; and, in addition, that it has been found necessary, in order still further to restrict expenditure on travel and subsistence, to postpone our proposed survey of Lincolnshire and confine our investigations in the immediate future to the counties of London and Middlesex.