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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 1  1858   page 2

The Inventory of Juliana De Leyborne, Countess of Huntingdon
from the Surrenden Collection  By L. B. L.

that it will not be unacceptable to our readers if, from time to time, I introduce them, by means of these Inventories, into the abodes of our early Kent magnates. I shall begin with two of very opposite characters,—the one that of a peaceful but powerful lady, the other that of a turbulent Baron. The latter, with its long catalogue of arms, the riding-gear of himself and lady, and the list of the prisoners in his dungeons, I shall defer to our second volume. At present I will admit our readers to the residence of the great Infanta of Kent, Juliana de Leyborne, Countess of Huntingdon, herself, by birth, the heiress of countless demesnes; and being by marriage the mother of one Earl (Pembroke), and the widow of another (Huntingdon), her wealth was unbounded. To her splendid and princely habits of living, in her tapestried halls at Preston,1 where she kept her state, the following Roll of her effects bears ample witness. Although it unfortunately does not furnish such minute detail as we often find in these Inventories, yet as evidencing the affluence and hospitality of our great Infanta, it claims an early admission to our volume.
   The first membrane of the Roll is all that remains to us of this Inventory. Fortunately it is the portion which records the chattels in her house, and on many of her Kent manors. The remainder is lost. By the indorsement, " Rotls. exec.," " Inventar. Comitisse Hunt.," it is evident that this is the original Inventory 2 delivered
   1 Leyborne Castle (which must have been a confined abode, unequal to the power and wealth which the family had now attained) seems to have been resigned as the palatial residence by her grandfather, Sir William de Leyborne, the " vaillans horns sans mes sans si," who gave it, in his lifetime, to his son Thomas, the father of Juliana. I purposely omit here any detailed notice of this illustrious family, my present object being only to introduce our readers to their mode of life, as indicated by this Inventory. I hope, in a future volume, to give a complete history of Leyborne Castle, (of which many interesting remains still exist,) and its successive lords.

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