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Preface. v
When the remnant of the Mount-Alexander estates passed, at the death of the last countess
in 1764, to the families of De la Cherois and Crommelin, the Montgomery Manuscripts, preserved at
Mount-Alexander, together with other family papers, were transferred to Samuel De la Cherois, esq.,
cousin of the countess, to whom her ladyship had bequeathed the half of the property. His son,
Daniel De la Cherois, esq., of Donaghadee, kindly permitted extracts from the Manuscripts to be
printed in the columns of the Belfast News-Letter. These extracts appeared in the years 1785 and
1786, and were followed by others, published by the same journal, in the year 1822. It was after-
wards found that there existed a very general desire to have the whole contents of this valuable
collection printed in a more permanent form. Hence the duodecimo volume published at the
News-Letter office in the year 1830. In reference to that publication, the editor has received the
following interesting particulars from James M'Knight, Esq., LL.D., Londonderry, whose valuable
Preface to the first edition requires now from its distinguished writer not one apologetic word : —
" After the late Dr. James Stuart, the historian of Armagh, had removed from Newry to Belfast, to
undertake the editorship of the News-Letter, he obtained from Mr. Joy a perusal of the MS. in his
(Mr. Joy's) possession; and he strongly urged its publication, offering to supply notes, illustrations, ad-
denda, &c, from his own immense stores of historical and local information. Mr. Joy did not like to
incur the total expense of the work; but, by way of economy, Dr. Stuart and he suggested to Mr. Mackay
its publication by instalments in the News-Letter, keeping up the types till a sufficient number of pages
had been formed, when the sheets were struck off, and so on in succession. Dr. Stuart, by anticipation,
as you will see in the early sheets, inserted references to his intended appendix, though this appendix was
never finished — perhaps indeed was never written. By this slow process, a considerable portion of the MS.
was struck off in sheets when the work had to be discontinued. These printed sheets lay in the News-Letter
office for many years as waste paper ; Dr. Stuart had left the establishment, and started the Guardian,
and I — then a young student in my second year at college — became his successor. Mr. Joy, a short
time before his death, determined to complete the publication, made pecuniary arrangements with Mr.
Mackay, and had the remainder of the MS. printed, together with the account of the ' Savages.' His
hand was so tremulous that he could not write at any length, though he managed to correct all the
proofs. The task of writing a preface consequently fell upon me, though ill-qualified for it from defective
information ; but I put together a few pages, which Mr. Joy corrected, and which were printed at the
beginning of the volume. This is its history, so far as I have any knowledge of it.
" November 27, 1866."
It would thus appear that the publication of the first edition was urged forward by the late
Henry Joy, esq., of Belfast, soon before the close of his long and honourable life, and whilst his feeble
health permitted him to do little more than simply to see that the printing of the Manuscripts was
in progress. It is gratifying to know, however, that he lived to witness the accomplishment of the
work, and also to receive, among many other acknowledgments, a very cordial letter of thanks
from sir Walter Scott, to whom he had transmitted a copy. The following is an extract from this
letter, written in Edinburgh, on the 4th of February, 1830 : — " I am honoured with a copy of your
edition of the Montgomerys, which interests me in the highest degree, and is one of those works
which carry us back to the times of our ancestors, and give us the most correct ideas of their cus-

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