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ASTUR INOX

SE

Τ Η Ε

P R E F A C E. T

HE following pages are copied from an ancient Manuscript in possession of the Duke

and Duchess of Northumberland, who conceiving that so singular a curiosity might afford the same amusement and pleasure to others, which it hath given to themselves, have caused a small irnpression to be taken off merely to bestow in presents to their friends.

The original Manuscript, which fills a very large folio volume, and is finely ingrossed upon a strong thick paper,

had by some accident or other been lost to the Northumberland family, but was happily preserved in that of the Lords Dacre ; till the present nobleman restored it to the Duke and Duchess with a politeness that deserved their particular thanks. Nor ought the very obliging offices of Lord Camden to

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1

pass unacknowledged ; by whose kind interposition it was presented to the family.

It was presumed, so curious a monument of ancient times deserved to be rescued from oblivion, and to be perpetuated at least in a small impression, upon several accounts.

In the first place, as it exhibits a curious Picture OF ANCIENT Manners. Here we see the great magnificence of our old nobility, who seated in their castles, lived in a state and splendour very much resembling and scarce inferiour to that of the Royal Court. Their Houthold was established upon the same plan, their Officers bore the same titles, and their Warrants ran in the same form and stile a. This remarkable resemblance to the Royal Establishments will strike the Reader the moment he opens this Book. As the King had his Privy Council and great Council of Parliament, to aslist him in enacting statutes and regulations for the public weal ; so the Earl of Northumberland had his Council, composed of his principal officers, by whose advice and affistance he established this Code of Oeconomic Laws b. As the King had his Lords and Grooms of the bed-chamber, who waited in their respective turns; fo the Earl of Northumberland was attended by the Constables and Bailiffs of his feveral castles, &co who entered into waiting in regujar succession. The two first offices about his person, were occasionally to be filled by his own younger sons d. Nor can we doubt but all the head officers of his

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b See p. 1. & paffim.

. See sect. vii.

· See p. 109, &c. &c. P. 53.

• See pag. 362.

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