Editor's foreword

Page xi

A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 5, the Hundred of Cleley. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.

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This volume continues the topographical description of Northamptonshire parishes from the point at which work was suspended after the publication of Volume IV of the History in 1937. It deals with about a dozen rural parishes in the extreme south of the county, adjoining the Buckinghamshire border.

Work on V.C.H. in Northamptonshire was resumed in September 1996 under a tripartite agreement between the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London, Nene College of Higher Education (now University College, Northampton) and the Northamptonshire Victoria County History Trust. This agreement terminated in August 2000, when the contracts of employment of the county editor and assistant editor at the College were not renewed. The volume was completed under a compromise agreement between the College and its two former staff, which expired in December 2001, when work on the Northamptonshire History was once again suspended. The book has been seen through the press by the former county editor.

In addition to those mentioned in the footnotes, who have helped with individual chapters, sincere thanks are due to the staff of the Northamptonshire Record Office and other repositories; to Mr. Peter Moyse, who took most of the photographs for the plates; to the Trustees of the Arnold Charity and the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol for access to records in their custody; to Dr. John Blair of The Queen's College, Oxford (who revised the architectural descriptions of the churches); and to students who attended continuing education classes conducted by the former county editor at the Northamptonshire Record Office.

The accounts of individual parishes have been written jointly by the former county editor and his assistant, with Dr. Insley taking responsibility chiefly for the sections on manors and the church. The arrangement of the material in general follows the well established principles of the History, although by way of innovation a longer and more discursive introduction to the hundred as a whole has been included, together with a separate account of the honor of Grafton, which between 1542 and 1920 was by far the most important landed estate in the district.