A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1994.
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This volume of the Victoria History of Essex is the ninth to be published under the co-operative system described in the editorial note to volume IV. The Essex Victoria County History Committee, under the chairmanship until 1988 of Sir William Addison (whose death in 1992 is deeply regretted) and thereafter of Mr. Frank Sainsbury, has continued to supervise the progress and funding of the work. The Hon. John Petre (from 1989 Lord Petre) succeeded Mr. Sainsbury as Vice-Chairman in 1988. Mr. William H. Liddell has continued as Hon. Secretary of the Committee; Mr. Geoffrey J. Clements was succeeded as Hon. Treasurer in 1992 by Mr. Geoffrey Hare. Mr. Kenneth H. Sleat died in 1986 and was succeeded as Hon. Assistant Secretary in 1987 by Mr. George Saddington. To all of them, and to all the members of the Committee, the University of London offers its warm thanks. It also records its deep gratitude to the Local Authorities which have provided the funds of the Committee and have thus enabled the present volume to be compiled, namely Essex County Council and the Councils of the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, and (until 1993) Waltham Forest.
The generous help of the Local Authorities has recently been given in a period of extreme pressure on their finances, which prompted the launch in 1994 of an Essex V.C.H. Appeal Fund to supplement the resources of the Committee. Subscribers to that fund are thanked most sincerely, as are its Chairman, Mr. Robert G. E. Wood, and its Hon. Secretary, Mrs. Lynn Marston.
The present volume was planned by the former County Editor, Mr. W. R. Powell, and the work was begun under his editorship in 1983 before the staff turned their attention to the Bibliography Supplement. He was succeeded as County Editor in 1986 by Dr. Janet M. Cooper. In 1984 Mrs. Shirley Durgan, formerly research officer, succeeded Mrs. Norma Knight as assistant editor and Mrs. Pamela Studd was appointed editorial assistant. In 1992 Mrs. Beryl A. Board retired as senior assistant editor, and Dr. Christopher C. Thornton was appointed as assistant editor.
The General Introduction to the Victoria County History, published in 1970, and its Supplement published in 1990 give an outline of the structure and aims of the series as a whole, with an account of its origin and progress. As in volumes IV-VIII of the Essex History, the brief descriptions of the earlier parochial registers of each parish, commonly included in the topographical volumes of the V.C.H., have not been considered necessary, because of the publication by the County Council of Essex Parish Records, 1240-1894 (1950; revised edn. 1966).
The authors and editors of the present volume have again received help from many persons. Especial thanks are due to Mr. J. Bensusan-Butt, Dr. R. H. Britnell, Dr. A. F. J. Brown, Dr. M. Byford, Mr. A. Phillips, and Mr. J. Walter for extensive help over the whole period of the preparation of the volume. Mr. A. Borges, Miss J. V. Dansie, the late Miss H. E. P. Grieve, Dr. L. Higgs, Prof. G. H. Martin, the late Dr. J. B. Penfold, Brig. A. F. F. H. Robertson, and Mr. B. Usher have also provided information or commented on drafts, and their help is gratefully acknowledged. Particular thanks are also given to the staff of the Essex Record Office, especially those of the Branch Office at Colchester, the staff of the Local Studies section of Essex County Libraries, and the staff of the Colchester Museum; the staff of the Archaeology Section of Essex County Council, of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, and of the Department of Environmental Services of Colchester Borough have all provided valuable information. Others who have given help with a specific part of the volume are named in the footnotes or in the list of illustrations; they too are sincerely thanked.
Nationally, a Victoria History Trust has been established: its initial endowment was in the form of a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Tattersfield in memory of their daughter Patricia (Pippa) Tattersfield (1937-92), who from 1966 to 1992 was the General Editor's secretary and Executive Officer of the V.C.H. and whose skilful and loyal work for the series over a long period was of outstanding value.