The present volume, the fourth in the Wiltshire series to be published, has been
prepared under the superintendence of the Wiltshire Victoria County History
Committee. The origin and constitution of that Committee are described in the
Editorial Note prefixed to the Victoria History of Wiltshire, Volume VII, and it is
sufficient here to say that the Committee have been good enough to continue, and
indeed to augment, their remarkable grants, for the support of a local editor,
with an assistant, and have thus enabled the University of London to play its
vital part as publisher.
Users of the History will be familiar with the original scheme of arrangement
under which the general history of a county was broken into single chapters on
ecclesiastical, political, and economic history, each covering the whole period of
time. In the case of Wiltshire this plan has not been followed, and a substantial
modification is to be found in this volume, where, in place of a single chapter on
political history, there will be found two sequences of articles, the one on the
administrative, the other on the parliamentary history. These features, like the
article on the administration of public health in the county, are experimental in
character. The design of the chapter on education is more conventional.
Thanks are due to the Clerk of the Peace for Wiltshire and Clerk of the County
Council (Mr. P. A. Selborne Stringer, D.L.) and to the Wiltshire County Archivist (Mr. M. G. Rathbone) for many services rendered to the editors.