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London:
SIMPKIN & CO., LIMITED, STATIONERS' HALL COURT, E.C.

1896.

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PREFACE.

The present work is largely the outcome of an attempt to write a short history and description of Alton for the Mechanics Institution, but I soon found that the materials began to accumulate, and proved so numerous, that I ventured to bring them together in book form.

Only one small sketch of Alton has appeared in print before, so far as I am aware, and that was written by Mr. Hy. Smith, and published in the Town in the year 1873.

My information has been obtained from very varied sources, from the British Museum, Record Office, and Lambeth Palace Library, from many Authors, amongst whom may be mentioned, T. G. Shore, Esq., Rev. G. N. Godwin, The Hampshire Record Society's Publications, the Church and Parish Books and Registers, etc.

Many friends have also rendered me most kind and valuable assistance, for which I beg to tender them my most grateful thanks ; amongst whom I should like to mention the Rev. T. Hervey, Colmer ; Rev. F. Whyley, Alton; Rev. J. Vaughan, Portchester, Rev. H. E. Victor, Brighton ; Frederick Crowley, Esq., Ashdell, Alton; and Benjamin Winstone, Esq., Ockeridge, Epping; and many others too numerous to mention.

My best thanks are due to Mr. Piggott for the able assistance he so kindly rendered me, in reading through the manuscript before putting it into the hands of the Publishers.

I also beg to thank Mr. Wm. Curtis Green for his beautiful Pen and Ink Sketches of the Parish Church of St. Lawrence and of the old Norman Arches ; Mr. Close, for his two excellent Wood Engravings of Vicarage Hill and Tanhouse Lane ; and Messrs. Vaus and Crampton, of the Helios Works, Alton and London, for their excellent illustrations.

To Messrs. Warren and Son I wish to express my appreciation of the kind interest they have taken in the work, and the care and skilful workmanship exhibited in the printing and publishing of the Book.

As this is my first attempt as an Author, I trust I shall obtain the indulgence of my readers for any imperfections in my work, and in offering it to the Inhabitants of my native Town, I do so with the hope that they may be as interested in reading it as I have been in compiling it.

WILLIAM CURTIS.

Alton,

December, 1896.

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