ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND.
REPORT TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
1. May it please Your 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, civilisation 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 North-Western Division of the County
of Essex, being the Fourth Interim Report on the work of the Commission since its
2. We venture to renew to Your Majesty our humble thanks for the constant
encouragement given by Your Majesty to the work of the Commission, and for Your
Majesty's gracious permission to extend our Reference to the year 1714.
3. It is with great regret that we place on record the death, on active service,
of one of Your Majesty's Commissioners, the Hon. Sir Schomberg Kerr McDonnell,
a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, a Knight Commander of the
Most Honourable Order of the Bath and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, one
of our most esteemed Members, whose knowledge and experience, always at the
disposal of the Commission and its executive staff, were of proved value to our
deliberations. He was killed in action while serving as Major in the 5th Battalion
Cameron Highlanders in the trenches in Flanders on November 23rd, 1915.
4. We venture, further, to bring to Your Majesty's notice the record of special
service of our executive staff since the outbreak of the great War.
Out of a total of fourteen persons three, who were undergoing their annual
training as volunteers on the night of August 4th, 1914, were mobilised at once;
four have entered the new armies and have obtained commissions since that date;
four, including our Secretary, were invited to serve at the War Office in April, 1915,
on the staff of the Armaments Output Committee and were incorporated in the
Ministry of Munitions on the formation of that Office in June of the same year; with
the result that before the close of the calendar year 1915, three only remained in the
service of the Commission.
5. We had hoped that, in view of our immediate and independent recognition
of the need for men and for women in spheres of work more directly concerned with
the conduct of the War, it might have been possible to allow the retention of this
limited number in our service. For this reason and in view of the special work
entrusted to us, to which reference is made in the succeeding paragraph, we deeply
regret the necessity that was felt by the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's
Treasury to discontinue all payments to the remaining staff from the 31st March of
this year. We loyally accept the decision, but at the same time we feel that the
complete closing down of the office and the dispersal of the staff must make it more
difficult to gather up the broken threads when the time comes for the resumption of
the Commission's work.
6. We have been able, nevertheless, to complete our First Interim Report on
Essex, although our visitation of the remainder of the County and of the Cities of
London and Westminster remains unfinished.
In Essex the strategic importance of the County rendered the movements of
our Investigators so suspicious in the eyes of the Military Authorities that, in view
of the trouble caused by their constant arrest, detention and release, we desisted
from further investigation at the request of the Chief Constable.
In London our progress was uninterrupted save by the limitation of our staff as
described above, and we have completed a large part of the records and plans of
churches and other structures. In especial, we have prepared a plan of Westminster
Abbey and its precincts, which we believe to be the first attempt to make an
exhaustive survey of the medieval monastic remains. We owe a debt of gratitude
to Mr. J.O. Cheadle, A.R.I.B.A., for the loan of drawings in this connection, which he
generously placed at our disposal, and we desire to refer here to the remarkable series
of full-plate photographs of the interior of the Abbey, and St. Paul's Cathedral,
which has been taken by Mr. J. W. Bloe, one of our senior investigators.
Further, our Investigators were entrusted by the Home Office with a commission
to make photographs and reports to that office on monuments that had been damaged
by air raids, and it may be noted that, owing to the completeness of our records, it
would have been possible to have replaced the broken pieces from the windows of
Lincoln's Inn Chapel, which were unique of their date, had the action of those in
charge been supervised by men possessing the requisite knowledge.
7. We should add that when the War began in August, 1914, the preparation
of the present Inventory was practically complete. The text was in type, and the
blocks for the illustrations had been manufactured. Only a few items here and there
needed revision. After full consideration and with the consent of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury we have thought it best to issue the volume now rather
than to store both proofs and blocks and to keep the type standing for a further
period until the end of the War.
8. Some 2,042 monuments are described from 85 parishes in North-West Essex,
an average of 24 monuments per parish as compared with the averages of 10 per
parish in North Buckinghamshire, 15 per parish in South Buckinghamshire, and
8 per parish in Hertfordshire. It should be added that the great increase in Essex
is due only to a very small extent to the extension of the date of our enquiries from
A.D. 1700 to A.D. 1714.
9. We append to our Report a list (Schedule A) of the Ancient Historical Monuments and Constructions in this portion of Essex which may reasonably be accredited
to a date anterior to 1714.
10. This list has been referred for revision to special representatives of the Essex
Archæological Society and to the Clergy and principal landowners in each parish.
We are satisfied that no important example within the given period has been omitted.
We have further referred the descriptions of inscriptions and glass to M. R. James,
Esq., F.B.A., D.D., Provost of King's College, Cambridge; descriptions of Armour
to C. J. ffoulkes, Esq., Curator of Your Majesty's Armouries in the Tower of London;
descriptions of heraldry to the Rev. E.E. Dorling, F.S.A.; descriptions of Costumes
and Records of names to J. Oswald Barron, Esq., F.S.A.; and descriptions of Brasses
to Mill Stevenson, Esq., F.S.A.
We desire to offer our grateful thanks to these gentlemen for the time they have
bestowed on the matters submitted to them, and for the increase in scholarship and
accuracy of description which has resulted from revision at the hands of these
11. We further append a list (Schedule B) of those monuments which, in our
opinion, are especially worthy of preservation.
12. A fuller account of the monuments mentioned in these lists, with illustrations,
will be found in the Inventory which is issued under the advice of the Lords Commissioners of Your Majesty's Treasury as a separate Stationery Office publication.
13. The Glossary attached to the Inventory has been revised by a special
Committee consisting of your Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners, Sir John
Horner, Mr. Oswald Barron, F.S.A., Mr. D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., Sir Wm.
St. John Hope, and Mr. G. H. Duckworth, F.S.A., with the especial assistance of
Mr. John Bilson, F.S.A., with the object of making the explanations as brief as
possible and at the same time supplying such definitions as will be intelligible to the
general reader. In view of the existence of words with a peculiar local significance,
it is proposed that the Glossary shall be revised whenever a new County comes under
14. The Index has also received careful revision at the hands of a Sub-Committee
consisting of Mr. Wm. Page, General Editor of the Victoria County Histories,
Mr. C. R. Peers, and Mr. G. H. Duckworth, and we think it of general interest to
append to this Report the main subject headings that have been adopted.
15. In the Inventory itself it will be noted that a paragraph has been introduced
at the beginning of each parish in which the position of the parish is defined, and
attention called to the principal monuments in the parish.
Further, in order to curtail descriptions, the smaller monuments have been
grouped and each group is introduced by a covering paragraph which deals generally
with their appearance, type and condition.
16. We desire to call attention to the assistance given to our work by the
members of the Essex Archæological Society, who sub-divided the County and placed
at our disposal the services of an expert member in each division.
17. We have pleasure in acknowledging the courtesy and hospitality extended
to ourselves and to our Investigators by the Clergy and owners of houses in the
18. We desire also to acknowledge our indebtedness:—
(1) To Sir Hercules Read, LL.D., F.B.A., former President of the Society of
Antiquaries, and Keeper of British and Mediæval Antiquities and Ethnography at the British Museum, to G. F. Hill, Esq., Keeper of Coins and
Medals in the British Museum, and to C. R. Peers, Esq., F.S.A., Chief
Inspector of Ancient Monuments in Your Majesty's Office of Works,
Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, for acting as a standing Committee
to assist the Chairman in the consideration of differences of opinion on
(2) To the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres for a Lecture to the Staff on the
care of Ancient Monuments.
(3) To Sir Wm. St. John Hope for two Lectures on Ecclesiastical Architecture.
(4) To the Rev. E. E. Dorling for a Lecture on Heraldry.
(5) To Professor Haverfield for a Lecture on Roman Remains.
(6) To Mr. F. Sydney Eden for a Lecture on Ancient Glass, and for his Reports
and for the tracings and drawings of Ancient Glass made by him on our
behalf in Essex and in London.
(7) And to Mr. C. R. Peers, F.S.A., Mr. W. H. Page, F.S.A., Mr. D. H.
Montgomerie, F.S.A., Sir W. H. St. John Hope, for their unremitting
work as Assistant Commissioners.
18. We have also to thank:—
(1) The Bishops of London and St. Albans for their letters of introduction to
the Clergy of their Dioceses.
(2) The Clergy, who have freely opened their Churches to our inspection.
(3) Guy Maynard, Esq., the Curator of the important Museum at Saffron
(4) The Rev. T. W. Curling, Secretary of the Essex County Archæological
19. We desire further to express our acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by our Executive Staff in the persons of Mr. J. Murray Kendall, F.S.A.,
Mr. A. W. Clapham, F.S.A., Mr. J. W. Bloe, Mr. C. C. Durston, Mr. W. H. Godfrey,
F.S.A., Mr. W. Byde Liebert, and to Mr. E. A. Rahbula; to Miss E. M. Keate, on
whom has devolved the work of checking and copying the proofs of the Inventory
and Index, and to Miss M. V. Taylor, M.A., for her investigation into the Roman
Remains in the County of Essex.
20. We wish to offer our congratulations to our Investigators:—
Captain W. Byde Liebert, of the London Scottish Regiment, on his
recovery from a wound received in the first battle of Ypres, and on his promotion to his present rank.
Captain R. E. M. Wheeler on his Commission in the Royal Field
Lieutenant C. C. Durston, of the Honourable Artillery Company, on duty
with his Battery in Egypt and in Gallipoli, who has since been transferred to
the Royal Flying Corps.
Lieutenant E. A. Rahbula, on his promotion from the Middlesex Hussars
to the Royal Field Artillery, after some months of active service in Egypt.
Lieutenant J. Murray Kendall, on his promotion from the Sportsmen's
Battalion to a Commission in the 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Lieutenant E. G. Newnum, on his Commission in the Royal Naval
Mr. A. W. Clapham on his appointment to the Officers' Training Corps
of the 2nd Artists' Rifles.
21. We desire once more to express our high opinion of the services of our
Secretary, Mr. G. H. Duckworth, whose connection with the Commission since its
appointment has been one long record of ability, power of organization and devotion
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.
HENRY H. HOWORTH.
J. F. F. HORNER.
J. G. N. CLIFT.
E. J. HORNIMAN.
GEORGE H. DUCKWORTH
20th June, 1916.
Inasmuch as the sittings of the Commission are now suspended indefinitely
and it is uncertain when the work can be resumed, we desire to take this opportunity
of placing on record our deep appreciation of the able manner in which the Chairman
has directed our deliberations and by his wise counsel and guidance has enabled the
Commission to overcome the difficulties inherent in the preliminary organization of
the scheme under which the work of the Commission has already been successfully
started and, it is hoped, will ultimately be completed.
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.
HENRY H. HOWORTH.
J. F. F. HORNER.
J. G. N. CLIFT.
E. J. HORNIMAN.
GEORGE H. DUCKWORTH.