The corporation of Southampton: Introduction

The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1887.

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'The corporation of Southampton: Introduction', in The Manuscripts of the Corporations of Southampton and Kings Lynn Eleventh Report, Appendix: Part III, (London, 1887) pp. 1. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]


MSS. of the Town of Southampton.

The Southampton muniments were found by the present inspector in a state of disorder, which caused him (after working for some time upon them) to represent to the local authorities, that the difficulty of examining so large an assemblage of records would be greatly diminished by preliminary measures for their needful arrangement. Taking the same view of the case, and accepting the suggestion in the spirit that animated them in every stage of a business, which occasioned them no little inconvenience, the Town Council forthwith invited me to put the writings in order at the charge of the Corporation, and, assigning to my use the large committee room, adjoining their Council Chamber, lost no time in fitting it with an enormous table, made of planks and tressels, strong enough to bear the weight of a large and heavy pile of books and unbound documents, whilst it at the same time afforded sufficient space for sorting the multifarious evidences. Fortunately no large proportion of the manuscripts had been injured by damp or rodentia; and as most of the records had been preserved in closely fitting cases, the labour of reducing them to order was attended with no excessive discomfort from dust and dirt. Comparatively free from mould and rot, the miscellaneous writings were upon the whole a cleanly and well-kept body of muniments, but their confusion was so complete that six weeks were spent in sorting and labelling the books and unbound documents, before I could dispense for awhile with the services of clerk and porter, and returning to the ways of ordinary official labour could enter on the inspection of the—