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HONORARY MEMBER OF THE ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND, MEMBER OF THE ROYAL
HEIDELBERG, OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETIES OF LONDON AND FRANCE,
TO THE REV. CECIL DANIEL WRAY M.A.
OF THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF MANCHESTER
OF ITS ANCIENT PARISH
IN GRATITUDE FOR THE IMPORTANT AID
RENDERED TO THE AUTHOR
IN THE COURSE OF THESE RESEARCHES
AS A TRIBUTE
TO THE LABOURS OF A PIOUS CHURCHMAN
WHOSE NAME IS ASSOCIATED
THE LEADING INSTITUTIONS OF THIS CITY
DIRECTED TO THE CAUSE
RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND BENEVOLENCE.
S. HIBBERT-WARE M.D.
As this work makes its appearance at a time when a misunderstanding prevails between the Collegiate Chapter and a party in Manchester, the Author judges it necessary to state,
First, That the documents in the possession of the Chapter House,—now edited, translated, and commented upon, -were intrusted to the Author's inspection long before these unhappy disputes had commenced ;—at a time when the publication of them could not be supposed to bear upon any ecclesiastical question whatever since agitated ;
Secondly, That if the Author placed any doubt whatever,—at the utmost a very faint one (see page 195],—whether the documents might be regarded as still open for his consultation, he has satisfied himself that it was never understood they were withheld during a single moment from his examination ;
Thirdly, That in any comments passed upon these documents, the Author does not identify himself with any party whatsoever ;
Fourthly, That if the Collegiate Chapter of Manchester intrusted to the Author the examination of their charters, &c., it would be most unreasonable to suppose, that the members of this capitular body should be held responsible in the slightest degree whatever for any views which might be entertained in the memoir now published ;-and
Fifthly, That it would be no less inconsistent, if the Author, while unavoidably touching upon debateable matter, should arrogate to himself the infallibility of any conclusions to which he might arrive, - especially if such conclusions should be opposed to the views of the Collegiate Chapter of Manchester, in whose erudition, as well as good intentions, he places the deepest confidence.
In this Preface I shall advert, in a very general manner, first, to the circumstances which gave rise to the publication, in 1830, of the three former volumes,-and
In the second place, to the reasons which subsist for publishing a fourth or supplementary volume.
And, first, of the three former volumes, towards which the earliest materials had been collected by a very worthy man and good scholar, who died soon after the commencement of his labours.
If the design of this work originated with the late Mr. Greswell, Master of the School of Chetham's Hospital, the execution is due to the spirited publisher Mr. Agnew, who is assuredly entitled to no ordinary meed of gratitude from the inhabitants of Manchester, in his zeal to illustrate the interesting topography of the second city in Great Britain.
Among the distinguished institutions of Manchester, the Collegiate Church, the Free Grammar School, and Chetham's Hospital, have ever stood in the foremost rank. In a history of these foundations, under the proposed editorship of the possessor of Mr. Greswell's collections, the late Mr. William Ford, it had been intended to preserve the memories of founders and benefactors, to enumerate their useful labours, and to specify their munificent grants.
But Mr. Agnew was deceived in the editorial assistance promised him, notwithstanding the extraordinary outlay which he had incurred to render the volumes worthy the patronage of Manchester. Numerous were the graphical embellishments which had been executed in the first style of the arts, from original paintings and drawings, expressly made for the work. These, as I have remarked on a former occasion, were accomplished at an expense so enormous, as to preclude every reasonable hope of pecuniary remuneration.
In feeling for the disappointment and for the ruinous outlay of the publisher, and in my anxious wish to promote a work of this public interest, I undertook myself to supply the place of the individual whose services had been withdrawn from the editorship. In accepting this office, however, I was led to suppose that the materials of the proposed history were so complete that little more labour would devolve upon me than the arrangement of them in a due methodical form. But in the course of the task I was doomed to great annoyance. It was evident that a most wide field of information subsisted, perfectly unknown to Mr. Greswell, the original suggestor of the history, who had been employed in merely collecting materials, but had not himself, as I began to discover, composed a single line of the history. The pages of manuscript which I had at first conceived to have been actually written for