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ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW.
I Fear I shall be blamed by many for my temerity in printing what little I have learned during the last quarter of a century about the Public Records,—especially by those who, being better qualified than I to undertake the task, have refrained from doing so, in the hope that some day they may bring out a perfect Handbook to such Records.
That none of my critics in posse have taken the trouble to print such a work is my excuse for putting forward this very indifferent substitute for it.
The facts are these: I had, from time to time, collected a mass of notes for my own use, and found that it was very inconvenient to refer to them in MS., so thought that if they were printed and well indexed1 it might help beginners, and save them some of the trouble and mental worry from which I suffered, when I was first let loose on the enormous mass of the Records in Fetter Lane and Bloomsbury.
1 I am not going to apologise for my Index, for it is the only good part of my book, being adapted to the meanest capacity.