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Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.
PRINTERS TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
FOR HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.
Cictoria, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith.
To Our right trusty and well-beloved Councillor John, Baron Romilly, Master or Keeper of the Rolls and Records in Chancery ; Our right trusty and entirely beloved Cousin and Councillor Robert Arthur Talbot, Marquess of Salisbury; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin David Graham Drummond, Earl of Airlie, Knight of Our Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle; Our right trusty and right well-beloved Cousin Philip Henry, Earl Stanhope; Our trusty and well-beloved Edmond George Fitzmaurice, Esq. (commonly called Lord Edmond George Fitzmaurice); Our trusty and well-beloved Sir William Stirling Maxwell, Bart. ; Our trusty and wellbeloved Charles William Russell, Doctor in Divinity, President of the College of St. Patrick, Maynooth; Our trusty and well-beloved George Webbe Dasent, Doctor of Civil Law; and Our trusty and well-beloved Thomas Duffus Hardy, Esq., Deputy Keeper of the Records, greeting.
Whereas it has been represented unto Us that there are belonging to many Institutions and private Families various Collections of Manuscripts and Papers of general public interest, a knowledge of which would be of great utility in the illustration of History, Constitutional Law, Science, and general Literature, and that in some cases these Papers are liable to be lost or obliterated : And whereas We are informed that many of the possessors of such Manuscripts would be willing to give access to them, and permit their contents to be made public, provided that nothing of a private character, or relating to the title of existing owners, should be divulged :
And whereas it appears to Us that there would be considerable public advantage in its being generally known where such Papers and Manuscripts are deposited, and that the contents of those which tend to the elucidation of History, and the illustration of Constitutional Law, Science, and Literature should be published :
How know pe, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your ability and discretion, have appointed, and do by these Presents nominate, constitute, and appoint, you the said John, Baron Romilly; Robert Arthur Talbot, Marquess of Salisbury; David
raham Drummond, Earl of Airlie; Philip Henry, Earl Stanhope ; Edmond George Fitzmaurice (commonly called Lord Edmond George Fitzmaurice); Sir William Stirling Maxwell ; Charles William Russell ; George Webbe Dasent; and Thomas Duffus Hardy to be Our Commissioners to make inquiry as to the places in which such Papers and Manuscripts are deposited, and for any of the purposes herein mentioned :
and for the purpose of carrying out the said inquiry. We do hereby authorize you to call in the aid and co-operation of all possessors of Manuscripts and Papers, inviting them to assist you in furthering the object of this Commission, and to give them full assurance that no information is sought except such as relates to Public Affairs, and that no knowledge or information which may be obtained from their collections shall be promulgated without their full licence and consent: