Pages xiii-xiv

A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1903.

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IN placing the second volume of the History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight before their readers the editors feel that an apology is due from them for the long interval which has been allowed to elapse since the publication of the first volume.

As the history of this county was the first in the series of which it forms a part the scheme for the whole undertaking has had to be developed in the course of the preparation of the present volume. The small amount of original research which has hitherto been made for Hampshire was in itself a serious obstacle to rapid progress; but in the course of the work it was found necessary to revise very largely the system of dealing with original research for the Victoria History Series as a whole. Experience proved that many classes of records would have to be exhausted for all the counties in order to obtain the information needed for the compilation of the articles contained herein. Further difficulties have arisen owing to changes in editorship. With the exception of a few local investigations the present volume does not contain any contributions by the Rev. G. H. Gotley, who was originally appointed joint topographical editor with Mr. W. J. Hardy. Mr. Gotley's connection with the Victoria History was severed before any portion of the topography of Alton Hundred was completed.

In the course of a work which deals on a great scale with English armory, and more particularly with its ancient forms, the difficulty must be met at the outset of reconciling the conflicting methods of blazonry offered by the many handbooks of modern armorial writers. The editors have therefore decided to adopt throughout the work the simple and easily understood blazon used in mediæval times, following as far as is possible the neglected and historic English form of phrases.

The succeeding volumes will continue, until it be completed, the topographical and municipal history of the county, and thereafter will follow articles on maritime, political, social and economic history, sport and biographies.

For permission to reproduce certain of the illustrations in this volume the editors beg to thank the Viscount Dillon, Mrs. Wickham, Messrs. C. Butler, William Curtis, Montagu G. Knight, the Wardens of New College and All Souls College, Oxford, and the Society of Antiquaries. The editors are also under special obligations to Mr. Montagu G. Knight for presenting a drawing of Chawton House, and to Mr. Knight, Sir J. C. Hubert Miller, Mr. Henry J. Dutton, Mr. Henry Wheeler, and the clergy and numerous individuals throughout the hundred for affording help in the manorial history of several parishes.

Finally, the editors wish to acknowledge gratefully the contributions on architecture voluntarily made by Mr. C. R. Peers and Mr. W. H. St. John Hope.