HC Deb 24 February 1896 vol 37 cc939-40

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can now state the results of the investigations of the Record Department as to the manner in which the gentleman commissioned to investigate and edit the documents in the Papal Registers relating to Great Britain and Ireland, has discharged his duties, in view of the complaints that the translations of the Latin of the documents contain gross blunders even on elementary points; that the arrangement of the abstracted documents is not chronological, and that much confusion results from this; that numerous errors of chronology have been committed arising from the want of knowledge and care of the editor; and that no translation or explanation is attempted of large numbers of obsolete and feudal and legal terms, or that they are mistranslated; whether special complaint has been made with regard to the Irish portion of the work, and of the errors resulting from the total ignorance of the editor of Irish topography and the forms of Irish local names; whether, in the next volume to be issued, there will be some attempt made to correct the errors in the two volumes issued in the shape of a list of errata; whether the Record Department will now procure competent assistance for the Irish portion of the work; and, whether they will consider the advisability of issuing the Irish portion of the work in a separate volume which would include the records dealt with in the two volumes already issued so far as they relate to Ireland?


It appears as a result of the Inquiry made that in some of the points to which attention was called, but not in all, the editor has made mistakes. Most of the errors found relate to Ireland, and a list of them and of any further errors which may be made known to the Record Office by the end of May will appear in the third volume. The arrangement of the abstracts follows the order in which the entries occur in the original registers, and is that adopted by French and Italian scholars. The editor has now the assistance of a coadjutor, who collates the proof-sheets with the registers, and abstracts relating to Ireland are examined by an Irish Dominican, resident at Rome, and familiar with the Vatican Archives. It is not considered desirable to reprint separately the abstracts relating to any particular part of the United Kingdom.