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1.1. To the Right Honorable, and his ſingular good Lord and maiſter, S. William Brooke Knight, Lord warden of the cinque Portes, and Baron of Cobham, all increaſe of the feare and knowledge of God, firme obedience towarde his Prince, infallible loue to the common wealth, and commen|dable renowne here in this wo [...]lde, and in the worlde to come, lyfe euerlaſting.

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To the Right Honorable, and his ſingular good Lord and maiſter, S. William Brooke Knight, Lord warden of the cinque Portes, and Baron of Cobham, all increaſe of the feare and knowledge of God, firme obedience towarde his Prince, infallible loue to the common wealth, and commen|dable renowne here in this wo [...]lde, and in the worlde to come, lyfe euerlaſting.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 _HAVING had iust occaſion, Right Honourable, to remayne in Lon|don, during the tyme of Midſomer terme laſt paſſed, and being earneſt|lye required of diuers my friends, to ſet downe ſome briefe diſcourſe of parcell of thoſe thinges, which I had obſerued in the reading of ſuch ma|nifold antiquities as I had peruſed toward the furniture of a Chronolo|gie, which I had then in hande, I was at the firſt very loth to yeelde to their deſires: firſt, for that I thought my ſelfe vnable for want of witte and iudgement, ſo ſodainly and with ſuch ſpeede to take ſuch a charge vppon me: ſecondly, by|cauſe the dealing therin might prooue an impechement vnto mine owne Treatize: and final|lye for that I had giuen ouer all ſtudy of hystories, as iudging the tyme ſpent about the ſame, to be an hinderaunce vnto my more neceſſarie dealings in that vocation & function whereun|to I am called in the myniſtery. But when they were ſo importunate with me, that no reaſona|ble excuſe coulde ſerue to put by this trauaile, I condeſcended at the length vnto their yrke|ſome ſute, promiſing that I woulde ſpende ſuch voyde time as I had to ſpare, whyleſt I shoulde be inforced to tarie in the citie, vpon ſome thing or other that shoulde ſtande in lieu of a de|ſcription of my Country. For their partes alſo they aſſured me of ſuch helpes as they coulde pur|chaſe, and thus with hope of good although no gaie ſucceſſe, I went in hande withall, then al|most as one leaning altogither vnto memorie, ſith my bookes and I were parted by fourtie myles in ſonder. In this order alſo I ſpent a part of Michaelmas and Hillarie termes inſuing, being inforced thereto I ſay by other buſineſſes which compelled me to keepe in the citie, and abſent my ſelfe from my charge, though in the meane ſeaſon I had ſome repaire vnto my libra|rie, but not ſo great as the dignitie of the matter required, & yet farre greater then the Prin|ters haſte woulde ſuffer. One helpe, and none of the ſmalleſt that I obtayned herein was by ſuch commentaries as Leland had collected ſometime of the ſtate of Britaine, bookes vtterly man|gled, defaced with wet, and weather, and finally imperfite through want of ſundrie volumes ſecondly, I gate ſome knowledge of things by letters and pamphlettes, from ſundrie places and shires of Englande, but ſo diſcordaunt nowe and then amongeſt themſelues, eſpecially in the names and courſes of riuers and ſcituation of townes, that I had oft greater trouble to recon|cile them, then to penne the whole diſcourſe of ſuch pointes as they contayned the thirde ayde did grow by conference with diuers, eyther at the table or ſecretly alone, wherein I marked in what things the talkers did agree, and wherein they impugned eche other, chooſing in the end the former, and reiecting the later, as one deſirous to ſet forth the truth abſolutely, or ſuch things in deede as were moſt likely to be true. The laſt comfort aroſe by mine owne reading of ſuch writers as haue heretofore made mention of the condition of our country, in ſpeaking whereof, yf I shoulde make account of the ſucceſſe, and extraordinary comming by ſundrie treatizes not ſuppoſed to be extaunt, I shoulde but ſeeme to pronounce more then may well be ſayde with modeſtie, and ſay farder of myſelfe then this Treatize can beare witneſſe of. How|beit, I referre not this ſucceſſe wholly vnto my purpoſe in this Deſcription, but rather giue no|tice thereof to come to paſſe in the penning of my Chronologie, whoſe cromes as it were fell out very well in the framing of this Pamphlete. In the proceſſe therefore of this Booke, if your Ho|nour regarde the ſubstaunce of that which is here declared, I muſt needes confeſſe that it is none of mine: but if your Lordshippe haue conſideration of the barbarous compoſition shewed EEBO page image 9 herein, that I may boldely clayme and chalenge for myne owne, ſith there is no man of any ſo ſlender skill, that will defraude me of that reproche, which is due vnto me, for the meere negli|gence, diſorder, and euill diſpoſition of matter, comprehended in the ſame. Certes I proteſt be|fore God and your Honour, that I neuer made any choiſe of ſtile, or picked wordes, neither re|garded to handle this Treatize in ſuch preciſe order and methode as many other woulde: thin|king it ſufficient, truely & plainly to ſet forth ſuch things as I minded to intreate of, rather then with vaine affectation of eloquence to paint out a rotten ſepulchre, neither cõmendable in a writer nor profitable to the reader. How other affayres troubled me in the writing hereof many know, & peraduenture the ſlackeneſſe shewed herein can better teſtifie: but howſoeuer it be done, & whatſoeuer I haue done, I haue had an eſpeciall eye vnto the truth of things, & for the reaſt, I hope that this foule frizeled Treatize of mine, will prooue a ſpurre to others, better learned in more skilfull maner to handle the ſelfe ſame argument. As for faultes eſcaped here|in as there are diuers, I muſt needes confeſſe, both in the penning and printing, ſo I haue to craue pardon of your Honour, & of all the learned readers. For ſuch was my shortneſſe of time allowed in the writing, & ſo great the ſpeede made in the Printing, that I could ſeldome with any deliberation peruſe, or almoſt with any iudgement deliberate exactly vpon ſuch notes as were to be inſerted. Sometimes in deede their leyſure gaue me libertie, but that I applyed in following my vocation, many times their expedition abridged my peruſall, and by this later it came to paſſe, that moſt of this booke was no ſooner penned then printed, neither well concey|ued before it came to writing. But it is now to late to excuſe the maner of doing. It is poſsible that your Honour will miſtyke hereof, for that I haue not by myne owne trauaile and eyeſight viewed ſuch thinges, as I doe here intreate of. In deede I muſt needes confeſſe that except it were from the parish where I dwell, vnto your Honour in Kent, or out of London where I was borne, vnto Oxforde and Cambridge where I haue beene brought vp, I neuer trauailed 40 miles in all my lyfe, neuertheleſſe in my report of theſe thinges, I vſe their authorities, who haue performed in their perſons whatſoeuer is wanting in mine. It may be in like ſort that your Honour will take offence at my rashe and rechleſſe behauiour vſed in the compoſition of this volume, and much more that being ſcambled vp after this maner, I dare preſume to make ten|doure of the protection thereof vnto your Lordships handes. But when I conſider the ſingular affectiõ that your Ho. doth beare to thoſe that in any wiſe will trauaile to ſet forth ſuch things as lye hidden of their countries, without regarde of fine & eloquent handling, & therinto do weigh on mine owne behalfe my bounden duetie and gratefull minde to ſuch a one as hath ſo many and ſundrie wayes profited and preferred me, that otherwiſe can make no recompence, I can not but cut of all ſuch occaſion of doubt, and therevpon exhibite it ſuch as it is, and ſo pen|ned as it is vnto your Lordships tuition, vnto whome if it may ſeeme in any wyſe acceptable, I haue my whole deſire. And as I am the firſt that (notwithſtanding the great repugnauncie to be ſeene among our writers) hath taken vpon him ſo particularly to deſcribe this Iſle of Bri|taine, ſo I hope the learned and godly will beare withall and reforme with charity where I do treade amiſſe. As for the curious, & ſuch as can rather euill fauouredly eſpy then skilfully cor|rect an errour, & ſooner carpe at another mans doings then publish any thing of their owne, keping themſelues cloſe with an obſcure admiration of learning & knowledge among the cõ|mon ſort) I force not what they ſay hereof, for whether it doe pleaſe or diſpeaſe them, all is one to me, ſith I referre my whole trauaile in the gratification of your Honour, & ſuch as are of experience to conſider of my trauaile, and the large ſcope of things purpoſed in this Treatize, of whome my ſeruice in this behalfe may be taken in good part, that I will repute for my full re|compence, & large guerdon of my labours. The Almighty God preſerue your Lordship in cõ|tinuall health, wealth, and proſperitie, with my good Lady your wyfe, your Honours children, whome God hath indued with a ſingular towardneſſe vnto all vertue & learning, and the reſt of reformed familie vnto whome I wish farder increaſe of his holy ſpirit, vnderſtanding of his worde, augmentation of honour, & finally an earneſt zeale to follow his commaundements.

Your Lordſhips humble ſeruant, and houſhold Chaplein. W. H.

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