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Rev. John Raine, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Orator of the University.
Reader in Natural Philosophy in Durham University. Rev. W. Wilson, M.A., Rector of Wolsingham. Thomas Wilkinson, Esq., Bishopwearmouth. Henry T. Maire Witkam, Esq., Lartington. The Ven. Francis Wrangham, M.A., Archdeacon of the East Riding of York.
shire. Rev. Thomas H. Yorke, M.A., Vicar of Bishop Middleham. C. G. Young, Esq., F.S.A., York Herald and Registrar of the College of Arms,
MEMBERS ELECTED AT TRE ANNIVERSARY, 14TH JULY, 1835.
John Church Backhouse, Esq., Darlington.
the Public Records.
Thomas Greenwood, Esq., Barrister at Law, and Reader in History in the Uni
versity of Durham. Sir Charles Edward Grey, Knt., one of his Majesty's Commissioners to the
Canadas. Gilbert Henderson, Esq., M.A., of Brazen Nose College, Oxford, and the Temple,
London. John Fowden Hindle, Esq., Woodford Park, Lancashire. David Laing, Esq., Seoretary to the Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh. Rev. Thos. Hill Lowe, M.A., Precentor of the Cathedral of Exeler. John Whitefoord Mackenzie, Esq., Edinburgh. James Maidment, Esq., Advocate, Edinburgh. Alexander Nicholson, Esq., F.S.A., Ufford, Suffolk. George Shaw, Esq., Durham. Thomas Turner, Esq., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and of Lincoln's Inn. Rev. John Wm. Whittaker, D.D., Vicar of Blackburn, Lancashire. Thomas Willement, Esq., London.
PRESENT CANDIDATES FOR ADMISSION IN 1836.
Rev. Temple Chevallier, B.D., Professor of Mathematics in the University of
READ AT THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY HELD AT THE WATERLOO
HOTEL, DURHAM, JULY 14, 1835,
AND ORDERED TO BE PRINTED.
The Council of the Surtees Society beg to lay before its Members the following particulars relative to the state and prospects of the Institution, in compliance with its 13th rule.
The present state of the Society is in every respect of the most gratifying and encouraging nature. When its institution was first proposed, although it combined the object of doing honour to the memory of a gentleman who had most disinterestedly and successfully devoted his rare talents and acquirements to the benefit of the public, with a plan of great public utility, long contemplated by himself, yet, even with these purposes in view, the most sanguine of its promoters did not feel themselves justified in anticipating for the first year that more than fifty members would join their intended Society. That they had greatly under-rated the extent of respectful feeling for the memory of Mr. Surtees, which existed among his personal friends and acquaintances, and the anxiety of those who had not known him to co-operate with them in paying a public and most characteristic tribute of respect to the memory of one to whom such a tribute was most pre-eminently due, by benefiting at the same time the literary public at large, has been abundantly proved. The anticipated number of Members has been more than doubled. The Society, even in the very first year of its existence, has upon its list one hundred and seven Members, many of them ranking among the very highest literary characters in the kingdom ; and its Council have great pleasure in announcing that there are not fewer than twenty-five candidates for admission this day, all of whom are influenced by the same deep feeling of respect for the memory of Mr. Surtees, and the same anxiety to promote the great public purpose which the Society has in view.
When the nature of the two main objects of the Society is considered, its Council cannot refrain from expressing their confidence that its numbers will continue to increase, and its usefulness be, in consequence, promoted. The field, of which it has taken possession, has been hitherto totally unoccupied by any past or present association of literary men; and that a most abundant harvest may be reaped, even within the limits which it has prescribed to itself, will be manifest to any one acquainted with the Manuscript Catalogues of the public or private Libraries of the Kingdom. The objects which it embraces are of so general a nature, and the authors whose works come within its rules are so numerous and important, that there is no one single department of literature which may not eventually be benefited by its labours. The appellation of an Antiquarian Society, which has in more than one instance been applied to it by persons who appear not to comprehend and appreciate its real objects, it unequivocally rejects, in the usual acceptation of the term. It aims at men and manners, and leaves the painful and seldom appreciated County Historian or Parochial Topographer in full occupation of his field. It meddles not with descent of property and blood, or with heraldic or numismatic lore. It does not despise these auxiliary aids in the elucidation of historic or moral truth; contrary, it will avail itself of their assistance when need may requirembut such investigations as constitute the leading object of our various Societies of Antiquaries, form no part of its plan. Neither can its proceedings interfere with those of the Record Commission, the object of which is to make known, under the authority of Government, the substance of those of the most important of our national and legal Records which are preserved in the official repositories of the kingdom. There exists another Commission, if it may be so termed, at the head of which stands a gentleman whose name, as a Member, does honour to the Surtees Society; a gentleman intimately acquainted with the late Mr. Surtees, and well qualified to appreciate his character as a County Historian. About twelve years ago, it was determined by the House of Commons, “ That a plan should be devised for collecting, arranging, and publishing the materials for the History of Britain from the earliest times to the accession of Henry VIII.” Mr. Petrie, of whom we speak, the Keeper of the National Records
preserved in the Tower, was very judiciously selected as the person best qualified to devise a scheme for this mighty undertaking, and carry
it into effect ; and since that time he has devoted himself exclusively to the task. Possessing, as he does, the most extensive knowledge of our old Historians, and the degree of authenticity and veracity, or the contrary, which may be conceded to them, much may be expected from his labours; the more, perhaps, that he has taken due time to mature his plans to reject the fabulous, and condense the truth. Now, to Mr. Petrie, the Historical Publications of the Surtees Society must, of necessity, be of the greatest value in the collections and arrangements in which he is engaged. There are many dark periods of English History upon which our public authorities throw only a glimmering light; and it is possible that some Author, brought before the world by the Surtees Society, after a sleep of many centuries, may essentially contribute to dispel the obscurities of the time in which he lived. By one such resuscitation, if we may so term it, History may be a great gainer; but what if numerous other authors may be found, pressi longâ nocte, who, by the combined and steady light which they are able to throw upon the dark portions of our national history, leave us nothing further to wish for!
The Council of the Society beg to suggest that these are all