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Ar a Meeting of the COUNCIL of the SURTEES SOCIETY, on the third day of November, 1835, it was
RESOLVED That as a majority of the Members who have expressed their wishes, in conformity with the VIIth Rule, respecting the Subjects proposed for publication have voted for a Continuation of the Series of WILLS AND INVENTORIES, a selection be made from the WILLS registered at York, if permission can be obtained; that if permission be not granted, the Series of WILLS preserved in the Consistory Court of Durham be proceeded with, and that in either case the impression be extended to five hundred copies.
THE publication of a second volume of Wills and Inventories from the Registry of the Diocese of Durham was recommended by Mr. R. H. Allan, one of the twenty members of the Society applied to, in pursuance of the Sixth Rule, to suggest matter for the press for the year 1835-6--and, afterwards, of the votes given by those Members of the Society who, in conformity with the Seventh Rule, expressed their opinion on the subjects submitted to their consideration, Mr. Allan's recommendation received a decided majority. Many of the Members, however, in giving their vote to carry into effect Mr. Allan's recommendation, considering themselves to be acting in full accordance with his wish of bringing to light the historical and other information which documents of this nature afford, directed the attention of the Council to the more important Testamentary Records, which, as it was stated in the Preface to the first part of the Durham Series, were preserved at York. They suggested that the Wills registered at York would probably be found to be extremely numerous during the reigns in which the Durham Series is so greatly deficient; and further, that when the extent of the Province of York and its Prerogative Jurisdiction were taken into account, there must of necessity be a great abundance of matter for selection. The Council, in consequence, having before it
a decided manifestation of the wishes of the Society in the majority of votes for a continuation of the Series of Wills and Inventories, being convinced of the popularity of the subject with the public at large, by many direct proofs, and being itself aware of the additional importance in every point of view of the Testamentary Records preserved at York, came to the resolution prefixed to this volume, giving a preference to the Wills at York, but determining to proceed with the Durham Series if permission could not be obtained for making the necessary transcripts from the York Registers. It will be gratifying to the Members of the Society, and to all who appreciate disinterested liberality where a public purpose is concerned, to be informed, that that permission was no sooner solicited than obtained. The wishes of the Society were instantly complied with, in a manner which enhanced the obligation, and every facility was afforded by the proper officers, even to their own inconvenience, for carrying them into effect. The result is the present volume, selected by the Secretary from not fewer than fourteen Volumes, or Registers, and from such an abundance of important matter that selection became a difficult task. With the utmost carefulness that no record should be transcribed for the press which did not contain information bearing upon one or other of the objects which the Society has in view, still it has not been possible to make the volume extend over a longer period than that of a hundred and twenty years. The present selection commences with the Will of Richard Kellawe, Bishop of Durham, in 1316, the first Will of note registered at York, and terminates with the year 1430.