The Preface. vi

The Preface.

There are also entred many considerable Extracts out of the Registry of the Bishop of London: And chiefly taken from last Wills and Testaments of the Citizens. For which I am beholden to Mr. Edw. Alexander, the present Register; from which many valuable Things may be, and are excerpted, serviceable to us; as concerning Churches, Places, Persons, Legacies, Benefactions, Custom of Funerals, Guyles, Processions, &c.

Besides, this Work is amplified with great Numbers of MSS. from Libraries and Archives, dispersed throughout the Book in proper Places; either concerning the Companies, or the Government, or the Laws, or the Liberties, or various other Matters occurring, as relating to the City.

Many choice Collections also, for the Improvement of the Work, have been taken by me out of the Library of the Heralds at their Office, by their ready and kind Permission and Assistance. To whom for their continual Friendship, and my free Access thither, I own my self much obliged.

I have also used Diligence in going my self to the Churches in London and Westminster, Southwark, and the Suburbs; for the retrieving Notices of as many of the Monuments of the dead, both ancient, and even to these Times, as I could: Taking out the Accounts of them, engraven on their Brass, or Stones; especially of such, whether Men, or Women, or Children of more Note, either for Place, Quality, Learning, &c. And withal, casting an Eye upon, and reading the Monuments, the Inscriptions whereof were entred in the former Edition, which were by this Time in many Places defaced, and not legible, so that they are preserved in the Book, tho' lost in the Monuments.

Tho' here I must inform the Reader, that in some of those Inscriptions, which are Latin, as they were in that Edition, were divers Blunders, either by false Latin confounding the Sense, or false Quantities in the Verses. Whereof some that were obvious, I hæve rectified; but others, not so easy to be set right, I have let stand as I found them; rather than setting down mine own Conjectures and Fancy, to impose upon the Reader. But I must add in favour of the Prints, that the Monks, who were commonly the Framers of these Epitaphs, were but ordinarily skilled in elegant Latin, and dispensed with themselves, for the sake of the Rhime, in less exact and true Poetry.

I have been able likewise to make considerable Additions to this Branch of the Book, that concerns the Dead, and their Monuments, by the MSS. of Matthew Hutton D. D. deceased; now remaining in the Heralds Office, and by other Books there: Where are noted very many ancient Interrements, with the respective Epitaphs.

Another thing done in this Edition is, that whereas a considerable Quantity of Additions, (called Remains) to each of the Parish Churches in the several Wards, shewing the more modern Reparations of them, with the Costs, and some Inscriptions upon Monuments of Persons more lately deceased; and some other good Tracts, which came to the former Editors Hands too late, and so thrown at the End of the Book: All these are now duly entred into their proper Places in the Body of the Book, where they ought to stand. They are called Remains or Remnants of divers worthy Things: Which should have had their due Place in the Work, if promising Friends had kept their Words. Among these Remains there be Accounts given of Charitable Gifts, bequeathed by the last Wills of some eminent Persons interred; shewn in the Inscriptions upon their Monuments.

I have also considerably improved that Part of the Book toward the End, called A Perambulation, or Circuit Walk Four Miles about London, viz. lying in the Four bordering Counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent and Essex: shewing some of the Monuments in the several Parish Churches there: For which Purpose I allowed my self some Time in resorting to all those Churches and some others somewhat further; in order to transcribe, for the Use of this Book, all such Epitaphs as were engraven upon Monuments and Gravestones of later Times (or elder Times omitted before) for Persons of some Note and Eminency; Citizens for the most Part, who had their Seats and Country Retirements there: Such chiefly as were interred since the last Edition; which are many. And as I have met with Matters of Remark or Antiquity, relating to any of those Parishes or Churches, I have entred them with some Observations.

I add to all the rest, that I have carefully reviewed the latter Editions of the Book, and compared them with the former of Stow's own setting forth: a Thing needful to be done; many Slips and erroneous Readings being discovered and set right. And where some Alterations were made from the Authors own Words, as seeming to want Correction, the pretended Emendations of them wanted Corrections themselves; and nothing was to be done, but restoring the Words as they were before. Thus where in the first Edition, Wappin is called, Wappin in the Wose, in the next Edition it was made Wappin in the West, by the Corrector. Afterwards the Editor, considering, that Wappin lay not West of the City, but rather East, took the Liberty to change it again, and make it Wappin in the East. Whereas all this while Stow was right and his Correctors wrong; that Part of Wappin being truly called In the Wose, or Oose, signifying a Wet or Marshy Place: And therefore called at this Time Wappin Marsh. And so again, where mention was made of an Alms House to be built by one Mr. Fuller in the Parish of Stepney or Stebenheth, misprinted Stekenheth, by putting of the Letter k for b, the Correctors in the next Edition thought fit to make it Stokenheath: scarce any such Parish in England.

Book I. c. 30.