Two hundred years ago Thomas Hearne recommended that Stow's Survey should be reprinted as
a venerable original. No words could express better
the intention of the present edition. The not infrequent misprints and some obvious errors have
been corrected, and it has been necessary at times to
vary the punctuation. But otherwise the text now
given follows faithfully the edition of 1603, save that
the list of Mayors and Sheriffs has been revised, since
the original was in its earlier part so tangled with
error that more close reproduction could only have
been mischievous. The edition of 1603 was printed
for the most part in black letter. In the present
edition the Roman type represents the black letter
of the original; the Italic type is used for those
passages or phrases which, in 1603, were printed in
Roman type. Occasionally it has been necessary in
the interest of uniformity to vary the type. But the
only changes of importance are the printing in Roman
type on i. 117 of the paragraph beginning: 'Hauing
thus in generality'; and the printing in Italics of the
quotations on ii. 96 and 105. The pages of the 1603
edition are marked by a | in the text, and by the
number of the page (in Italics) in the margin.
The text of 1603 is followed by a collation with the
first edition of 1598, showing all the variations between
the two versions.
Of the making of Notes to such a book as the
Survey there need be no end. Critics may be disposed to ask once more: 'Why have ye not noted
this, or that?' But some restriction was necessary.
The chief aims of the Notes in this edition have
therefore been: to correct any errors of statement
or fact which might be found; to trace as far as
possible the sources of Stow's information; to supplement the text with fresh matter from Stow's own
collections; to illustrate it, within a reasonable compass, by quotations from contemporary writers. There
has been no intention to complete Stow's history.
Still less have I endeavoured to carry that history
beyond his own time. I have, however, added notes
on places and place-names, especially in those cases
where Stow had himself given some history, suggested
a derivation, or cited obsolete forms.
The preparation of the text and its passage through
the press have been supervised by Mr. C. E. Doble.
How much care and pains his labour has entailed,
only one who has had some share in it can realize.
For myself I have further to thank Mr. Doble both
for suggesting to me the undertaking of this edition
and for his constant advice and assistance in its performance. Mr. Doble has also supplied the Glossary.
The map of London circa 1600 has been prepared by
Mr. Emery Walker; it is based on a comparison of
Stow's text with the maps of Hoefnagel in Braun and
Hogenberg's atlas (circa 1560), of Faithorne (1658),
and of Morden and Lea (1682). The famous map of
Ralph Agas was probably based on Hoefnagel's map.
I have to thank Dr. R. R. Sharpe, the Records
Clerk at the Guildhall, Mr. W. H. Stevenson of
St. John's College, Oxford, and Mr. J. A. Herbert
of the British Museum for their assistance in various
points of difficulty.