ROYAL COMMISSION ON THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
AND CONSTRUCTIONS OF ENGLAND.
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
1. May It Please Your Majesty,
We, the undersigned Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the
Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of
the contemporary culture, civilization and conditions of life of the people in England,
excluding Monmouthshire, from the earliest times to the year 1700, and to specify
those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly submit to your Majesty the
following Second Interim Report on the work of the Commission since its appointment.
2. We desire in the first place to record our sense of the encouragement given
to the work of the Commission by the gracious words which accompanied the acceptance by Your Majesty of a copy of our Inventory of the Monuments of Hertfordshire.
3. More than a thousand copies of the Hertfordshire Inventory have already
been sold, and we are glad to report this evidence of the appreciation of the general
4. The subject of the present Report is the southern half of the County of
Buckingham, which contains 102 parishes and 1,535 monuments, as compared with
149 parishes and 832 monuments in Hertfordshire.
5. We append to the Report a list (Schedule A) of the Ancient and Historical
Monuments and Constructions in this portion of Buckinghamshire which may
reasonably be accredited to a date anterior to 1700.
6. This list has been referred for revision to the Local Archæological Society,
and to the clergy and schoolmasters in each parish. Our endeavour throughout has
been to frame authoritative and scientific accounts of the Monuments under review,
and we are satisfied that no important example within the given period has been
7. We further append a list (Schedule B) of those of the monuments in the
County which, in our opinion, are especially worthy of preservation.
8. A fuller account of the monuments mentioned in these lists, with illustrations,
will be found in the inventory which we have issued, under the advice of the Lords
Commissioners of the Treasury, as a separate Stationery Office publication.
9. The form of publication of this Inventory is slightly different from that of
Hertfordshire, owing to the adoption by the Commission of the recommendations of
an expert Committee appointed by Lord Burghclere to consider the subdivision and
form of the Inventories in counties where two or more volumes will be required.
10. This Committee consisted of the following gentlemen:—
Rowland Bailey, Esquire, C.B., M.V.O., Controller of Your Majesty's Stationery
Office; John Murray, Esquire, M.A., F.S.A., Publisher; C. T. Hagberg
Wright, Esquire, M.A., Litt.D., Secretary to the London Library;
W. Page, Esquire, M.A., F.S.A., General Editor of the Victoria County
Histories, and an Assistant Commissioner. With Lord Burghclere as
Chairman and Mr. Duckworth as Secretary.
11. The following points were those to which the Committee gave especial
(a) The units of publication and sale.
(b) The desirability or otherwise of geographical subdivisions.
(c) The position of the Historical Introduction.
(d) The further subdivision of the volumes.
(e) The form of binding.
12. The recommendations of the Committee were made in a reasoned Report
to the Commission, dated 3rd August, 1911, and were as follows:—
(1) Future Inventories to consist of not more than 500 pages to a volume and
to be sold separately. (Pars. 3, 4.)
(2) Each unit to represent some convenient geographical subdivision, and to
contain the parishes within that subdivision arranged alphabetically.
(3) The Historical Summary to be paged separately and printed with the last
volume of a series, and also to be published in paper covers and sold
separately. (Par. 7.)
(4) Each volume to have a sectional preface dealing generally with the
monuments inventoried in the volume. (Par. 8.)
(5) Each volume to have a separate index and glossary, a sketch map of the
whole county divided into hundreds, a table of the hundreds and parishes
included in the volume, and a coloured map showing the distribution of
the monuments covered by the volume. (Pars. 5, 9.)
(6) The volumes, with the exception in (3) above, to be bound in cloth or
buckram. (Par. 11.)
13. It will be noted that in pursuance of these recommendations the Inventory
of South Buckinghamshire is bound in cloth, and contains a sectional preface dealing
generally with the subjects of the volume. The Historical summary will be reserved
for the second or concluding volume, which will contain the northern division of the
14. We regret that it is impossible to reproduce within the compass of our
Inventory the drawings of tracery and the plans and sketches of the monuments
visited which are to be found on the cards of record prepared by our Investigators.
These cards, which in truth form the complete National Inventory, will ultimately
be deposited for public reference in the Record Office, but in the meantime may be
inspected on application by letter by any properly accredited person at our offices in
15. We desire to call special attention to the assistance given to the work of the
Commission by the members of the Buckinghamshire Archæological Society, who have
revised and checked our lists of Monuments in the County, and who, in Aylesbury,
where the town was divided by us into convenient sections, detached one of their
members to accompany each of our Investigators, and obtained introductions for
them to the houses visited.
16. We have pleasure in acknowledging the courtesy and hospitality extended
to ourselves and to our Investigators by the clergy and owners of houses in the County.
17. We desire further to acknowledge our indebtedness,
(1) To C. R. Peers, Esq., F.S.A., Official Inspector of Ancient Monuments
under Your Majesty's Office of Works, Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, and an assistant Commissioner, who has served as a member
both of the Ecclesiastical and Secular Sub-Commissions, and has himself
visited practically all the Ecclesiastical and Secular Monuments recorded
in our Inventory.
(2) To the Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A., F.S.A., who has supervised the
heraldry of our Inventory.
(3) To the late Bishop of Oxford, who courteously gave us a general introduction by letter to all the clergy in his diocese.
(4) To the clergy, who have freely opened their churches to our inspection.
(5) To the parochial schoolmasters, who have given us special assistance in
the revision of our preliminary lists.
(6) To Mr. A. H. Cocks, F.S.A., a Vice-President of the Buckinghamshire
Archæological Society, to Mr. W. Bradbrook, the Honorary Secretary,
to Mr. F. H. Parrott, and to Mr. E. Hollis, Curator of the Museum
18. We desire further to express our acknowledgment of the good work accomplished by our executive staff in the persons of Mr. J. Murray Kendall, Mr. J. W. Bloe,
Mr. C. C. Durston, and Mr. W. Byde Liebert, who have been largely responsible for
the sectional preface; and to Miss G. Duncan, Miss E. M. Keate, and Miss M. V.
19. We have already expressed our indebtedness to Mr. A. G. Chater, late
Honorary Secretary of the Congress of Archæological Societies, for the work done by
him as Assistant Commissioner in Hertfordshire. We have accepted his resignation
with regret. Mr. D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., a member of the Earthwork section of
the Archæological Congress, has been appointed to succeed him.
20. Our investigating staff is now engaged on the Monuments of North Buckinghamshire, which will form the subject of our next Inventory. Concurrently, work
is being done and records made by Mr. Philip Norman, F.S.A., LL.D., to whom the
primary investigations into the Ancient and Historical Monuments in the City of
London and the Liberties thereof have been entrusted. Further work on the Monuments of Greater London is in progress under the immediate superintendence of
Mr. Walter H. Godfrey, who served as an investigator during three months last
summer in order to become fully acquainted with the methods of work and system
of records adopted by the Commission.
21. It should be clearly understood that in thus entrusting the primary investigations in certain places to persons who, in our opinion, are especially qualified to
make them, we do not in any way divest ourselves of our direct responsibility to the
State with regard to the official Inventory. And we desire to place it on record that,
except in respect of buried monuments, where direct evidence may not be obtainable,
no monument has been or will be inventoried by us that has not been actually
inspected and the account checked in situ by a member of our own investigating staff.
22. An Inventory of the Monuments of Essex will follow on the completion of
the Inventories of Buckinghamshire. Preliminary inquiries are already being made
in this County, to which we hope to be able to devote our attention during the coming
23. We desire to thank the Essex Archæological Society for its willing compliance
with our proposal that the County should be divided into convenient districts, in
each of which one or more of the Society's members will be responsible for the compilation of the provisional lists of monuments on which our future inquiries will be
based, and for the action which it has taken thereon.
24. We wish again to record our unanimous appreciation of the services of
our Secretary, Mr. George Herbert Duckworth, whose ability, resourcefulness, and
unfailing energy have been of the highest value to the labours of the Commission.
SCHOMBERG K. McDONNELL.
HENRY H. HOWORTH.
J. F. F. HORNER.
J. G. N. CLIFT.
E. J. HORNIMAN.
GEORGE H. DUCKWORTH
14th June, 1912.