An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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TERMS OF APPOINTMENT AND OFFICIAL REPORT.
Whereas We have deemed it expedient that a Commission should forthwith issue 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 1700, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation:
Now know ye, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your knowledge and ability, have authorized and appointed, and do by these Presents authorize and appoint you, the said Herbert Coulstoun, Baron Burghclere (Chairman); Robert George, Earl of Plymouth; Harold Arthur, Viscount Dillon; David Alexander Edward Lindsay (Lord Balcarres); Sir Henry Hoyle Howorth; Sir John Francis Fortescue Horner; James Fitzgerald; John George Neilson Clift; Francis John Haverfield; Emslie John Horniman, and Leonard Stokes, to be Our Commissioners for the purposes of the said enquiry:
And for the better enabling you to carry out the purposes of this Our Commission, We do by these Presents authorise you to call in the aid and co-operation of owners of ancient monuments, inviting them to assist you in furthering the objects of the Commission; and to invite the possessors of such papers as you may deem it desirable to inspect to produce them before you.
And We do further give and grant unto you, or any three or more of you, full power to call before you such persons as you shall judge likely to afford you any information upon the subject of this Our Commission; and also to call for, have access to and examine all such books, documents, registers and records as may afford you the fullest information on the subject, and to enquire of and concerning the premises by all other lawful ways and means whatsoever:
And We do by these Presents authorise and empower you, or any three or more of you, to visit and personally inspect such places as you may deem it expedient so to inspect for the more effectual carrying out of the purposes aforesaid:
And We do by these Presents will and ordain that this Our Commission shall continue in full force and virtue, and that you, Our said Commissioners, or any three or more of you, may from time to time proceed in the execution thereof, and of every matter and thing therein contained, although the same be not continued from time to time by adjournment:
And Our further will and pleasure is that you do, with as little delay as possible, report to Us, under your hands and seals, or under the hands and seals of any three or more of you, your opinion upon the matters herein submitted for your consideration.
Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the seas King, Defender of the Faith, To Our trusty and well-beloved Sir Schomberg Kerr McDonnell (commonly called the Honourable Sir Schomberg Kerr McDonnell), Knight Commander of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Commander of Our Royal Victorian Order, Secretary to Our Commissioners of Works and Public Buildings,
Whereas We did by Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual bearing date the twenty-seventh day of October, one thousand nine hundred and eight appoint Commissioners 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 1700, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation:
Now Know ye that We, reposing great confidence in you, do by these Presents appoint you the said Sir Schomberg Kerr McDonnell to be one of Our Commissioners for the purpose aforesaid, in the room of the said James Fitzgerald, deceased.
GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, to all to whom these Presents shall come,
Now know ye that We, reposing great trust and confidence in the zeal, discretion and ability of the present Members of each of the said Commissions, do by these Presents authorize them to continue their labours, and do hereby in every essential particular ratify and confirm the terms of the said several Commissions.
And We do further ordain that the said Commissioners do report to Us under their hands and seals, or under the hands and seals of such of their number as may be specified in the said Commissions respectively, their opinion upon the matters presented for their consideration; and that any proceedings which they or any of them may have taken under and in pursuance of the said Commissions since the late Demise of the Crown and before the issue of these Presents shall be deemed and adjudged to have been taken under and in virtue of this Our Commission.
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 1700, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly submit to Your Majesty the following First Interim Report on the work of the Commission since its appointment.
2. We venture, before entering more fully on the matters under review, respectfully to offer our most sincere condolence on the great loss which Your Majesty and the Nation have suffered through the lamented death of His late Majesty of Revered Memory.
3. We further desire humbly to submit our deep feelings of loyalty and devotion to Your Majesty on Your Accession, and we gratefully acknowledge our re-appointment to continue the important and enduring task which His late Majesty had entrusted to us.
4. The Commission was first appointed on 27th October, 1908, and the first meeting was held on the 10th November following. Since that date 35 meetings of the Commission and Sub-Commissions have taken place.
5. The earlier meetings were devoted to the consideration of the method in which the work of the Commission would best be carried out. It was at these meetings that we became conscious of the debt we owe to the experience and enthusiasm shown by the late Mr. Fitzgerald, whose untimely death we most sincerely deplore.
6. At its third meeting on 17th December, 1908, the Commission accepted a scheme suggested by the Chairman, in which were embodied various proposals received from the Commissioners themselves. Under this scheme it was agreed that the work should be sub-divided, and should be allotted according to the nature of the monuments to be investigated.
The Earl of Plymouth, Chairman of the Ecclesiastical Sub-Commission; Lord Balcarres, Chairman of the Sub-Commission on Earthworks; Professor Haverfield, Chairman of the Sub-Commission on Roman Monuments; while Lord Burghclere himself took charge of the Sub-Commission on Secular Monuments.
12. It was recognised from the outset that it would be necessary to regard the enquiries into this County in the light of an experiment, designed to reveal the method by which we should best be able to conduct our investigations into the remaining counties of England.
13. At the beginning of the financial year 1909–10 we were in a position to appoint our staff of investigators, and preliminary instructions were then issued as to the manner in which the monuments of the County were to be noted and catalogued.
14. In the ensuing months the Sub-Commissions met frequently to supervise the work of the investigators, while the Commission was summoned from time to time to discuss the more important recommendations of the Sub-Commissions.
16. This list has been referred for revision to the local Archæological Societies, to the County Council, and to the clergy and schoolmasters in each parish. Our endeavour throughout has been to frame authoritative and scientific accounts of the Monuments under review, and we are satisfied that no important example within the given period has been omitted.
18. A fuller account of the monuments mentioned in these lists, with illus trations, will be found in the Inventory which we have issued, under the advice of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, as a separate Stationery Office publication.
19. Additional details, including various plans and sketches which we have collected but have not thought it necessary to publish, will be preserved, together with a set of the photographs taken of all the monuments visited, and we hope that in due course it may be found possible to make these Records accessible to students of archæology and architectural detail.
20. We have from time to time been asked for advice and assistance with respect to the preservation of monuments which have been threatened with destruction. In these cases we have tried to give such help as lay within our power. But, we are agreed that, having regard to the conditions under which we carry on our work, it would seriously impair the efficiency of our enquiry were it expected that we should at any moment interrupt its settled course in order to report upon the nature and value of threatened monuments in counties outside the immediate purview of the Commission.
21. Cases, however, occur where it is desirable to deal at once with imperilled monuments of historic importance, and we are of opinion that the time has come when such cases (which may often arise outside the immediate scope of our labours, or be beyond the powers of our Commission to control) should be dealt with by a Government Department acting with the assistance of a permanent Advisory Board.
(5) To the secretaries and members of the East Hertfordshire Archæological Society and the St. Albans and Hertfordshire Archæological Society, for their revision of the completed lists of monuments submitted to them.
23. We wish further to add that we received great assistance with regard to the scope and method of our enquiry from the evidence of Mr. C. H. Read, LL.D., President of the Society of Antiquaries, who, up to this date, is the only witness who has appeared before us.
(1) To William Page, Esquire, F.S.A., General Editor of the Victoria History of the Counties of England, who has acted as a member of each of the Sub-Commissions, and is largely responsible for the general introduction to the Inventory.
(2) To C. R. Peers, Esquire, F.S.A., Official Inspector of Historical Monuments under Your Majesty's Office of Works, and Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, who has served as a member of both the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sub-Commissions, and has himself visited practically all the Ecclesiastical and Secular Monuments recorded in our Inventory; and
(3) To A. G. Chater, Esquire, Honorary Secretary of the Congress of Archæological Societies, who has supervised the collection of detail with regard to Earthworks, and who is serving upon the Sub-Commission dealing with this type of monument.
25. We desire further to express our acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in the persons of Mr. J. Murray Kendall, Mr. J. W. Bloe, Mr. C. C. Durston, Miss E. M. Keate, and Miss G. Duncan.
26. Finally, we wish to record our unanimous appreciation of the services of our Secretary, Mr. George Herbert Duckworth, whose ability, resourcefulness and unfailing energy have been of the highest value to the labours of the Commission.