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EXPLANATORY PREFACE.

That space and time, which, in prefaces, are usually employed in setting forth the objects and the utility of the work, I shall here employ in describing the contents of this work, and in explaining certain parts of it, which I think may stand in need of explanation; in doing which, I shall proceed in the order in which the matters lie before me. I. The book begins with a GENERAL Account of England and Wales; first, stating the geographical situation, the boundaries, the extent, and the population of the whole country; second, showing how the country is divided into Counties, and into their subdivisions, this part being accompanied with a Map, showing how the counties are locally situated relatively to each other; third, showing how the counties are distributed into Circuits, and pointing out the assize-towns in the several circuits; fourth, showing how the counties or parts of counties, are distributed into Dioceses; and, fifth, showing how the counties are now divided for PARLIAMENTARY PURPoses. II. After this comes an INDEx to the Diction ARY, containing the names, in alphabetical order, of the cities, boroughs, market towns, villages, hamlets, and tithings, in all the counties, and having, against the name of each, the name of the county under which the particulars relating to each place will be found. III. THE DictionARY. Here the English counties, in alphabetical order, come first; and then the Welsh counties, in the same order. Then, under each county, come the names of all the cities, boroughs, market-towns, villages, hamlets, and tithings in that county. Immediately preceding the name of each county there is a Map, describing the boundaries of the county, and pointing out the local situation of its cities, boroughs, and market-towns. Under the name of each county there is an account of its soil, extent, products, population, rental, poor-rates, and of all other the interesting particulars belonging to it; under the name of each city and other principal place, there is a history of it as far as regards matters of general interest or of great curiosity; and, where. ever there was formerly a monastic establishment, the nature and value of it are mentioned under the name of the place, whether that place be a city or hamlet. The distance from London is stated, in the case of cities, boroughs, and markettowns, And, in the case of the villages, hamlets, and tithings, their distances, and also their bearings, from the nearest city, borough, or market-town, are stated; and in all cases the population is stated. In places where there are markets or fairs, the days for holding them are stated, and mention is made of the commodities dealt in at the fairs. With regard to localities, it is not the great and well-known places, but the small and obscure places, of which we want a knowledge, How many scores of places have I received letters from, and there being no post-mark, or it being illegible, and it not being named in the date of the letter, have been unable to send an answer with any chance of its reaching its destination! Of how many places do we daily read in the newspapers, and in pamphlets and books, of which places we never before heard, of the local situation of which we know nothing; and yet, with regard to which, we, for some reason or other, wish to possess a knowledge . It was from the great and almost constant inconvenience which I experienced as to this matter, that induced me to undertake this most laborious work. For instance, if, we were to read or hear something of a transaction at Tilford, how are we to know where Tilford is, and what sort of a place it is ? We might, from some circumstance, learn that it was in the county of SURREY ; but one should not know whether it were a town or village, or what it was, nor in what part of the county it lay... My book, in the Index, tells us that it is in Surrey; in the Dictionary, it tells us, that it is a tithing, that it is in the parish of FARNHAM, and that Farnham is a MARKET-town, distant therefrom in a N.W. direction, that is, at 39 miles distant from London; and the county-map shows us, that this markettown lies at the westerN Extremity of the county. In many cases it was unnecessary to state the distances of hamlets and tithings from any other place; but in all such cases the parish (being city, borough, town, or village) is made known; which makes our knowledge on the subject quite minute enough. For instance, in the county of SURREY, Bagshot is a hamlet, the distance of which from Chertsey, the nearest town, is not stated; but the book tells us, that it is in the village and parish of WINDLEshAM, and that that village is 7% miles from CHERTsey; so that here is nothing wanting. There now remain to be explained some things, which, if left unexplained, might lead to error. First, under the name, in the Dictionary, of each county, is given the number of parishes it contains. This frequently leaves out townships, a great many of which have separate parochial jurisdiction; but it was impossible, in all cases, to come at a correct knowledge of the facts relating to this matter; and, therefore, the pa

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