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Return to Hermits and Anchorites of England.
Preface to Rotha Mary Clay's The Hermits and Anchorites of England.
Link to a full text version here.

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Clay, Rotha Mary., The Hermits and Anchorites of England. Methuen & Co., London. 1914. 



I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to all those who have rendered assistance in the preparation of this volume, by the supply of materials, and the loan of manuscripts, books engravings, and photographs.  Particular mention must be made of Miss M. Leaf, who has kindly permitted her drawings of the “Prick of Conscience” window to be reproduced.  The valued help of a large number of correspondents and helpers can of necessity only be acknowledged privately, but I should like to name Canon C. W. Foster, Mr. E. L. Guilford, Mr. H. B. McCall, Mr. W. Brown, Mr. J. W. Clay, Mr. A. G. Little, Rev. C. H. Evelyn-White, Canon Wilson, Rev. B. Zimmerman, Canon Deedes, and Mr. W. Farrar.  Mr. W. Rye, of Lammas, generously granted me access to his Norfolk MSS., especially to Mr. John L’Estrange’s transcripts of wills from the Norwich Registers.  Canon Wordsworth, Rev. R. M. Sergeatson, and Rev. H. Salter freely placed at my disposal notes relating to Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, and Oxfordshire ; and to other good offices Mr. Salter has added that of proof-reading.  To Rev. Dr. J. C. Cox I owe much, both in planning and carrying out this book.  In conclusion, heartfelt thanks are offered to my friend, Miss Arnold-Forster, Rev. M. F. Peterson, Prof. G. H. Leonard, and Rev. C. S. Taylor, who have encouraged, advised, and greatly assisted me in this work.

I have sought documentary evidence for all the statements made in this book, taking as a motto the words of the faithful old historian, Thomas Habingdon, when describing a Wor-


cestershire hermitage : “Other thinges which I receaved from uncertayne rumours I will rather conceale than hazard mysealfe to father an untruthe”.  I trust that my readers will point out errors, and will send me additional notes.  The necessity of condensing my manuscript has led, I fear, to a sacrifice, in some cases of clearness, and in others of interest of detail.


           Miller Bridge, Ambleside
St. Cuthbert and St. Herbert’s Day, 1913.


-end preface-

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