I have advocated always the teaching of history from local and immediate surroundings, on the principle that you must begin where you are. The force of the imagination upon conduct may be great, but to allow the imagination an illimitable field in conjuring up the past is risky. To this end, I set out some few years ago to write an "Oundle Child's History," when some of older growth inquired, "Why leave us out?" Hence this record of Oundle's story.
It is often said that there is no room for originality in the writing of history, and, certainly, this is largely true with regard to my little book; but I may claim to have spent much time in research and to have elucidated a few points. But it could not have been put together without the kind help of many friends. To some I have expressed acknowledgment in the course of the narrative, and I cannot name them all; but I desire to mention those to whom I am especially indebted. To Mrs. Smith, of Cobthorne, Oundle, to Miss Smith, of the Rectory, and to Miss Dixon, of Rose Cottage, the daughter of a lover of archaeology, I owe my sincere thanks for the loan of documents and papers. Dr. George Bidder, of Cambridge, Canon Howard, late Dean of Stamford, and Mr. A. H. M. Spence, of Pembroke College, Oxford, have kindly assisted me in confirming facts.