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And We do further by these Presents authorize you, with the consent of the owners of such Manuscripts, to make abstracts and catalogues of such Manuscripts :
And We do hereby direct that you, or any three or more of you, shall form a quorum, and that you, or any three or more of you, shall have power to invite the possessors of such Papers and Records as you may deem it desirable to inspect, to produce them before you:
And Our further will and pleasure is that you Qur said Commissioners, or any three or more of you, do report to Us from time to time in writing under your hands and seals all and every your proceedings under and by virtue of these Presents :
And for the better enabling you to execute these Presents We do hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint Wilford George Brett, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, as the Secretary to this Our Commission to attend you, whose services and assistance We require you to use from time to time as occasion may require
Given at Our Court at St. James's, the Second day of April one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, in the Thirty-second Year of Our Reign. By Her Majesty's Command.
H. A. BRUCE.
Victoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith.
To the Right Reverend Father in God Charles Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe, and Our right trusty and well-beloved James Baron Talbot de Malahide, greeting.
whereas We did, by Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the second day of April one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, authorize and appoint Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor John, Baron Romilly, Master or Keeper of the Rolls and Records in Chancery, together with the several Noblemen and Gentlemen therein named in the said Warrant, or any three or more of them, to be Our Commissioners to make inquiry into the places in which Documents illustrative of History or general public interest belonging to private persons are deposited, and to consider whether, with the consent of the owners, means might not be taken to render such Documents available for public reference.
Aow know pe, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your zeal, discretion, and ability, do by these Presents authorize and appoint you the said Charles Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe, and James Baron Talbot de Malahide, to be Our Commissioners for the purposes aforesaid, in addition to and together with the Commissioners whom We have already appointed by the above-mentioned Royal Warrant.
Given at Our Court of St. James's, the Thirty-first day of August one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine, in the Thirty-third year of Our Reign.
By Her Majesty's Command.
H. A. BRUCE.
Charles Bishop of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe,
and James Baron Talbot de Malahide, addi-
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
WE, Your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed to inquire what papers and manuscripts belonging to private families and institutions are extant which would be of utility in the illustration of history, constitutional law, science, and general literature, and to which possessors would be willing to give access, respectfully beg leave to certify Your Majesty, that, in the execution of Your Commission, and for the purpose of carrying out Your Majesty's intentions, we agreed at our first meeting in the Rolls House to send out a circular explanatory of the object for which the Commission had issued, and inviting the co-operation of all persons and corporations having private collections of manuscripts. A copy of this circular will be found in the Appendix.
It is very gratifying to the Commissioners to state that Your Majesty's Commission has been fully appreciated and favourably received. Many collections, the existence of which was unknown, have been brought to light and submitted to the inspection of the Commissioners, in accordance with the terms mentioned in their circular. No less than 180 persons and heads of institutions expressed their willingness either to co-operate with the Commissioners or to request their aid in making known the contents of their collections; and so desirous were the possessors to assist in forwarding the purposes indicated that Your Commissioners deemed it desirable, in the first instance, merely to undertake a preliminary examination of the collections, and to abstain from calendaring any of the papers.
To carry such scheme into effect, an application was made to the Lords of Your Majesty's Treasury for funds to enable the Commissioners to instruct competent inspectors to visit various places in the United Kingdom, for the purpose of reporting on such collections as their possessors desired to have inspected.
The Lords of the Treasury approved of the application, and sanctioned the employment of two inspectors.
The Commissioners soon discovered that two inspectors were not sufficient to achieve the object of Your Majesty's Commission, and upon again communicating with the Lords of Your Majesty's Treasury, authority was immediately given for the employment of two additional inspectors, one for Scotland, and one for Ireland. Offers were made to Mr. H. T. Riley and Mr. A. J. Horwood, barristers-at-law, to undertake the proposed duties for England, Dr. John Stuart, of the General Register House, Edinburgh, was requested to act in a similar manner for Scotland, and Mr. J. T. Gilbert, of the Public Record Office, Dublin, for Ireland. Several possessors of collections also offered the same to the view of your Commissioners, with the special request that Mr. Joseph Stevenson should be the inspector of their papers, their requests were acceded to.
These gentlemen have acted on their instructions and their several reports will be found in the Appendix. Each report has been communicated to the proprietor of the collection to which it refers, who has assented to the publication and circulation of the same under the authority of the Commissioners.
To give some idea of the collections which have been brought under the notice of the Commissioners, we would call attention to the very large and valuable collection belonging to the House of Lords, which we shall presently mention more at large. We would also refer to those of the Dukes of Richmond, Bedford, Rutland, Hamilton,
and Manchester; of the Marquesses of Salisbury, Bath, and Lothian; the Earls of Derby, Coventry, Dartmouth, Macclesfield, Spencer, Mount Edgecumbe, Rosslyn, Brownlow, St. Germans, Bradford, Zetland, Glasgow, Charlemont, Darnley, Selkirk, Rosse, Dalhousie ; the Lords Arundel of Wardour, Herries, Torpichen, Lyttleton, Midleton, Mostyn, Wrottesley, Leigh, Talbot de Malahide, Saltoun, Gage, Wharncliffe, Inchiquin, the Countess Cowper, and others; also of the Hon. G. M. Fortescue, Hon. R. O'Brien, the Bishop of Llandaff, Sir Geo. Beaumont, Bart., Sir Fred. U. Graham, Bart., Sir E. G. L. Perrott, Bart., Sir Thos. Winnington, Bart., Sir John Trelawny, Bart., Sir Geo. Osborn, Bart., Sir Walter Trevelyan, Bart., Sir William Strachey, Bart., Sir Chas. Domvile, Bart., J. Tollemache, Esq., M.P., Ralph Assheton, Esq., Philip P. Davies Cooke, Esq., Rev. J. P. Norris, Miss Farington, Col. Towneley, M.P., Reginald Corbet, Esq., John Harvey, Esq., W. R. Baker, Esq., J. E. P. Lefroy, Esq., Serjeant Bellasis, and Mr. Hope Scott; Bromley Davenport, Esq., M.P., Sir Baldwin Leighton, Bart., R. Almack, Esq., W. Phelips, Esq., Stamford Raffles, Esq., Francis Whitgrave, Esq., Alex. Forbes Irvine, Esq., of Drum Castle, Major Jas. Rose, of Kilravrock, Dr. Caulfield, of the Royal Cork Institution, the University of Cambridge, with the Colleges of Trinity; St. John's, Pembroke, St. Peter's, Kings, and Corpus, the Deans and Chapters of Westminster, York, Canterbury, Norwich, and Ely; the Colleges of Oscott, Ushaw, Buckie, the Library of the Catholic Bishop of Edinburgh, and the Registers of the diocese; the Corporations of York, Cambridge, Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Wells, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford ; the Trinity House, London, Lincoln's Inn, Middle and Inner Temple, Grays Inn, and the Advocates' College in Edinburgh.
In addition to the preliminary investigations made by the inspectors at the private residences of the owners of collections, much has been effected in the Public Record Office. Several collections have been forwarded to the Commissioners pursuant to the clause in their circular ; these have been examined, and an inventory made of each, by the officers in the Public Record Department, by permission of the Master of the Rolls, with the sanction of the Treasury.
Among the collections and documents transmitted to us may be mentioned those of the Earl of Winchilsea and Nottingham, the Earl of Macclesfield, Lord Mostyn, Lord Leigh, General Napier, Colonel Carew, the Rev. Canon Norris, Mr. C. Meadley, and Mr. Henry Ingall.
The Hatton collection fills 13 large chests, an inventory of the contents of which will be found in the Appendix, p. 14. The value of many of these papers is very great. Among them we would refer to
THE HATTON CHARTERS.
I. 15. Saxon times, viz. A.D. 624. 1. Wulfhere, King of the Mercians, to Berhford, his “ propinquus," granting five
Manentes in Dilingtun. Act. die dominica ante nat Dñi 624, Latin.
The boundaries are in Anglo-Saxon on the dorse.
2. Three brother's, Eanberht, Alured, and Alaned, with consent of Offa, King of the Mercians, grant to Adda, Abbot.
Dat. in mense febr, indictione VII., anno vero ... incarnatione Xpi Dcc. liiij.
3. Offa Rex to Aedelmund, his faithful servant, lv, cassatorum in the province of the “ Huicciorum” in Uuestburg, near the river called Aben.
Dat. in the Synodal Council of Cloberhous [Cloveshou or Cliff. Sept. 747].
4. Uuerfrid (or Werfrith), Bishop (of Worcester), to Wulfsige, his minister (gerefan),
a hide of land in Easttune for three lives. A.D. 904. Dat. 900 wintra and 4 wintra, and “thynngebon gere.”
On dorse, Eadward Senior. A.D. 969. 5. Oswald, Bishop of Worcester, to Osulf. Land in Teottinge and Ælfigestun.
· Witnesses Saxon. A.D. 969. 6. King Edgar to Alfwold land in Æpslea. Latin, with boundaries in Anglo-Saxon.
Dat. 969. Dunstan and others, witnesses. Torn.
Æfric, Duke of the Mercians, to Cynelm, land in Ætcaldinccotan, Witnesses Latin.
8. Wulfstan, Bishop (of Worcester), to a matron, Wulgyvu, land in Pyria. Latin. Anglo-Saxon boundaries. Witnesses ( 1002–1023].
9. Ælfwerd, Abbot of Evesham, to Ædelmær, land at Norðtune. Anglo-Saxon. Witnesses, Ælfgeofu, seo hlæfode [Queen of Canute], Wulfstan, Archbishop [York, 1002–23, and Bishop of Worcester], Alfwurd, [Abbot of Evesham, 1014-1034]. (Dat. 1014-1023.)