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SIR CHARLES MERRICK BURRELL, BART. M.P.
The Following Pages
ARE MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED,
AS A TRIBUTE OF GRATITUDE
for the GENEROUS INTEREST THAT HE HAS TAKEN IN THE WORK,
THE FACILITIES HE HAS AFFOrded of ENRICHING IT BY REFERENCE TO THE VALUABLE MANUSCRIPTS IN HIS POSSESSION,
AND THE PERSONAL ATTENTIONS WHICH THE AUTHOR HAS
Ir is unnecessary to state the circumstances that have given rise to the present publication. If the volume be such as to meet the expectation of the numerous subscribers who have encouraged it, I shall be happy: if I have failed in giving satisfaction to the reader, I may regret the failure, but shall not lament having undertaken the work, since the hours that have been devoted to it have been hours of pleasantness. I am not blind to its defects; but it is not for me to point them out; others will but too soon discern them. I do not deprecate censure, and I cannot expect praise,-save the humble praise of having written what I believe to be truth, fearlessly and impartially.
I am well aware that I may incur the displeasure of the professed antiquary, for having introduced sketches of general history, which may appear to have been uncalled for, and by substituting translations for originals. In exculpation I can only allege, that I have consulted general, rather than particular gratification; and if I have sometimes departed from the dry detail of antiquarian or topographical facts, I venture to indulge the hope that my wanderings will be pardoned by the majority of my readers.
The work has been extended far beyond the limits that were originally assigned to it: the reader will not have cause to regret this, since it has been occasioned by a variety of interesting matter that came into my possession when a considerable portion of the volume was composed, and which is now incorporated with it. Not only have one hundred additional pages been given, but
also many illustrations on wood have been introduced, in addition to those executed in lithography. Although the expenses of the volume have been much increased by these additions, yet the Publisher has unhesitatingly preferred to make a sacrifice on his own part, rather than have any interesting fact relative to the town withheld. I cannot but express the grateful sense I entertain of the liberal spirit that he has manifested in the illustrations of the work, and the reader will, I am sure, agree with me in believing, that he has done his utmost to render it worthy the approbation of the numerous subscribers who have honoured it with their patronage.
It remains for me only to express my gratitude to the noblemen and gentlemen who have liberally allowed me the use of their libraries, and have in other respects aided me in the work. To the Earl of Chichester, and Lord Viscount Gage, I feel myself under great obligations, not only for supplying me with scarce works from their libraries, but also for the readiness with which they have imparted such information as could be obtained only through them. But to Sir Charles Merrick Burrell, Bart. M.P., I am particularly indebted, for the source of information he generously opened to me, by putting into my hands the valuable MSS. of the late Mr. Elliot, of Lewes, and allowing me the privilege of extracting from the MSS. of the late Sir William Burrell, whatever I deemed proper. If there be any thing of interest in the present volume, it is in a great measure to be attributed to his unlimited confidence, in conjunction with that of his excellent brother, Walter Burrell, Esq. M.P., of West Grinstead Park, to whom I am under unspeakable obligations.
To Mr.J. W. Woollgar, M.A.S., I am much indebted for the use he has allowed me to make of his father's valuable MSS. But for this assistance I should, in many instances, have been wandering in darkness amidst the complicated maze of topographical facts. Mr. Elliot's MSS. related to the ancient state of the borough and rape of Lewes; those of Mr. Woollgar chiefly to the modern condition of the town and the surrounding district. These documents have therefore been of the greatest service in the latter pages of the work. Mr. Woollgar not only favoured me with these valuable documents, but has also contributed to the illustration of the volume, by permitting the drawings Nos. 10, 21, 22, and 24, to be made from views in his possession. He has also generously furnished me with many facts