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Although I may conscientiously assert that I have taken all imaginable pains to be accurate, I am aware that I must have made plenty of mistakes. From the great number of names of which I have endeavoured to give an account, each account is necessarily brief and more or less imperfect, as in so limited a space it would be utterly hopeless to trace out every collateral branch in detail.Until I commenced this undertaking, I had no conception how deep a root these ancient lineages had struck in the land, and how numerous and widely spread their ramifications were. --------*-------- No one can be more sensible than I am myself that the task of investigating the Battle Abbey Roll should have been committed to more competent hands than mine.I think I can, with all due humility, say the same of myself.Freeman, "a source of falsehood" and "a transparent fiction;" the author of 'The Norman People' declares that its date is "a mere myth, depending on the authority of some unknown herald of the sixteenth century:" while another writer (in the Sussex Archaeologia), settles the question according to the summary process by which Garibaldi disposed of the claims of poor St. It is at least certain that it does not exist now: nor is it precisely known what has become of it.According to family tradition, it passed into the possession of Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse to Henry VIII., who in 1538 received a grant of "the house and site of the late Monastery of Battel in Sussex" about three months after it had been taken possession of by the Royal Commissioners.Before the end of the century, Henry, second Abbot of Battle, cut off and sold some of the gold and silver chains and amulets of the coronation robe, to make up a sum of money that had been demanded of him by William Rufus; and the remainder of these valuables were finally disposed of by his successor, who invested the proceeds in land.
The list, thus composed, was inscribed on a roll of parchment, and hung up in the Abbey Minster, with this superscription: "Dicitur a bello 'BELLUM' locus hic, quia bello Angligenae victi sunt in morte relicti, Martyris in Christi festo cecidere Calixti. Cum pereunt Angli, Stella monstrante cometa." and the robe he had worn at his coronation, and specially bequeathed to the monks by his will.
As far as we are enabled to judge, these maltreated patronymics are not found on our Roll.
The second list—an additional one furnished by Leland—is entitled 'Un role de ceux queux veignont in Angleterre ovesque roy William le Conquerour:' and gives fifty-eight names, declaring "Tous ycels seigners desus nome estoient a la retenaunce Monseir de Moion." This (as has been shown by Mr.
I certainly do not consider," he continues, "that the names were taken from the well-known Roll of which Leland made use, and which clearly differs from this register, as in fact it does from that given by John Stowe; but whatever the register may have been, it was certainly a noteworthy monument of antiquity, and the time-honoured names it enrolls deserve to be cherished by all interested in antiquity." Quite true; but they are so mangled and distorted by their strange orthography as to be mostly unrecognizable.
Take the following specimens—Seintbrewel: Wadel: Spigurnel: Tupz: Butet: Punchet: Pachet: Parli: Cunli: Cicerli: Wilbi: Spinevile: Ferebrace: Feteplace: Gunter: Carli: Brok: Kusas: Escot: Figarvi: Kosni, &c.