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could throw upon the men and manners of the four first centuries after the Conquest. The time, it may be hoped, is not far distant, when they will be examined again, and with greater anxiety, not to ascertain the burial place of an individual, but as being themselves the burial place of much of the history, general and personal—and in this may be included every other kind of correct information relative to times and things—of all classes of men, over the widely-extending Province of York.
Soon after the year 1500, the Durham Series of Wills begins to be almost entirely perfect; and from that period downwards, as there has been no lack of matter for selection, so the utmost care has been taken to make such a selection as might best carry into effect the objects of the Society. Men of all classes, who have been forgotten for centuries, again appear, and afford the most minute and authentic information, not only relative to themselves and the rank in society which they occupied in their day, but numerous other incidental, and therefore the more valuable, notices and materials for an accurate history of the language and manners of our ancestors.
A few Wills, &c. have been obtained from other sources than the Durham Registry, and a few, which have been already before the public in substance, are reprinted, either at length, when such was not the case before, or are now, for the first time, given accurately, and with a due regard to that most important point, the phraseology of their respective periods, which had been previously either occasionally unattended to, or totally disregarded. Under the former class may be enumerated
No. XV. [Surtees, II. 381]; and under the latter, No. XVIII. [SURTEES], XXXIII. [Madox Form.] XLVIII. [SURTEES], LI. [ID.], LII. [Antiq. REP. and Whit. Richm.], LV. [BOURNE's Newc. and Hodgs. NorthUMB.]
It has been above remarked, that this source of information has been hitherto almost entirely. unexplored. County historians have occasionally availed themselves of the wills of our ancestors, but it has been chiefly for the purpose of ascertaining descent of pedigree and estate. Mr. Surtees has, in his History of Durham, gone a step further than this. He has frequently, used these documents in illustration of the rise and fall of families of importance counected with the county of Durham.Again, in the year 1826, two volumes of Wills, illustrating manners, customs, descent of blood and property, &c., from the reign of Henry II. to the accession of ELIZABETH, were collected by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, chiefly from printed authorities, and enriched by much valuable preliminary observation, and many useful explanatory and genealogical notes: but the document is rarely given to the public in its original language or phraseology; the Latin Wills are translated; the early English Wills are frequently printed in a modern garb; the accompanying Inventories are seldom if ever noticed ; and neither their Editor nor Mr. Surtees, nor any other county historian, has even attempted to make the Wills and Inventories of the middle and lower ranks contribute their share of information to the general stock of historical and social knowledge.
The Council of the Surtees Society have been careful
to keep all these matters in view. They have attended to every minute characteristic of time and rank, of language and statistics, of religious feeling and domestic economy; and if they have only brought the present volume down to the year 1580, it is because the matter to which they have access, intervening between that year and the period of the Restoration, is of such great importance, as, in their opinion, to demand a volume even of a larger size than the present. On this subject the Council refer to the Report for the present year; and, in the mean time, they announce that communications from Members of the Society, or others, illustrative of the history, public or private, of the philology, statistics, &c. &c., of the present volume, will be gladly received by the Secretary
WILLS AND INVENTORIES.
1. ORNAMENTA WILLIELMI EPISCOPI PRIMI.'
In primis, in exequiis Domini Willielmi Episcopi primi, qui obït Anno Incarnationis Dominicæ Molxxxxvto, quarto nonas Januarii, habuit Ecclesia (Dunelm.) literam et equos deportantes corpus ejusdem Patris a Vindesorâ usque Dunelmum; et de ejusdem Capellâ habuit Ecclesia plurima ornamenta, videlicet v capas, quarum iij albæ et ij nigræ; iij casulas, quarum ij albæ et una nigra, cum stolâ et manipulo magnis, in fine tantum brudatis ; unum pannum album pro altari ; unum thuribulum
parvum argenteum: unam situlam parvam argenteam, et duo candelabra ærea et deaurata; et unum candelabrum argenteum parvum . Auditâ morte istius, statim fracta fuerunt ejus sigilla et sancto Cuthberto oblata. Libri dicti Willielmi Episcopi . Habet eciam Ecclesia, ex dono dicti Willielmi Episcopi primi, unam Bibliam in duobus voluminibus ; et plures alios libros ; ut scribitur in principio secundæ partis Bibliæ ejusdem sub hac formâ.
“ Ista sunt nomina librorum quos dominus Willelmus episcopus Sancto Cuthberto dedit . Bibliotheca id est Vetus et Novum Testamentum in duobus libris . Tres Libri Augustini super Psalterium . I de Civitate Dei . I Epistolarium ejusdem . I super Evangelium Johannis . Jeronimus super xii Prophetas Epistolæ ejusdem . Idem de Ebreis nominibus . Moralia Gregorii in duabus partibus . Liber Pastoralis . II Registri . XL Omeliæ . Beda super Marcum et Lucam . Rabbanus super Matheum . II Libri Sermonum et Omeliarum . Decreta Pon
I William de Karilepho, Abbot of St. Vincent's, in Normandy-consecrated Bishop of Durham at Gloucester, 3rd Jan., 1082-Lord Chief Justice of England-the founder of the present cathedral church of Durham-died at Windsor, 6th Jan., 1095—buried in the Chapter House at Durham.
The above and the succeeding notices of the splendid robes, plate, &c., which the Monks of Durham obtained upon the death of each of its early Bishops, are, strictly speaking, neither Wills nor Inventories, but Mortuaries. They come, however, fully within our plan, and throw great light upon the clerical dress, church furniture, &c., &c., of their respective periods.