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to use an expressive vulgarism—"anyhow."
Whichever way the eye turns, it meets reams
of portfolios, piles of boxes, stacks of wills
rolls of every imaginable shape, like those of
a bakersquare, round, flat, oblong, short,
and squat; some plaited like twopenny twists,
others upright as rolls of tobacco; a few in
thick convolutions, jammed together as if they
were double Gloucester cheeses; there are
heaps laid lengthwise, like mouldering coffins;
some stacked up on end, like bundles of
firewood, and others laid down, like the bottles
in a wine-bin. The hay-loft which extends
over the riding-school is similarly occupied,
and all the racks, presses, shelves, boxes,
beams, and scaffolding, being of wood, Mr.
Braidwood has good right for estimating that
a fire would burn it up "like matches" in
less than twenty minutes. That, however,
there should be no accidental deficiency of
combustibles, the riding-school was
partitioned into two divisions, one side for the
records of the Courts of Common Pleas
and Exchequer, and the other for the
domestic furniture, china, paintings, weapons
of warfare of all kinds, books, prints, &c.,
belonging to Carlton House. It is evident that
in the estimation of the powers that were, the
records were classed with the other lumber.
But this store of second-hand furniture could
not take fire of itself; and that no chance
might be lost, the functionary in charge of it,
finding his half of the "ride " a dreary,
comfortless, and cold place, even for a lumber
store, warmed it by means of a large stove
with a chimney-flue which perforated one side
of the building. On several occasions he was
observed during the winter months
particularly after meal-timeto be somnolently
reposing by the stove, while the flue was
judiciously emulating his example, by
acquiring all the heat possible from the fire
and, indeed, once or twice its face was
illumined by a red glow of satisfaction rather
alarming to those in charge of the records,
who witnessed it. Some five or six years ago, by
the instigation of Lord Lincoln, who was then
Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests,
Prince Albert paid a visit to Carlton Ride, and
after examining, the furniture, &c., directed
that it should be all removed, and that the
remainder of the building should be given up
for the records; consequently, a variety of
important parchments were removed into it
chiefly ecclesiastical records, touching the
property belonging to the religious houses
dissolved in King Henry VIII.'s time,
together with a most valuable and minute
series of documents, relating to the receipt
and expenditure of the royal revenue, from
Henry II. down to Charles II. To these
were added various Exchequer and Common
Pleas records.

The water as well as the fire test of
destruction has been also applied to our national
muniments. The Common Pleas records
previous to the coronation of George IV. were
deposited in a long room, called "Queen
Elizabeth's Kitchen," lying under the Old
Court of Exchequer on the west side of
Westminster Hall. This room was frequently
flooded during the prevailing high tides of
spring or autumn. Rats and vermin abounded,
and neither candle nor soap could be kept in the
rooms, although mere public documents were
deemed quite safe there. The consequence was,
that before these could be removed, the
authorities had to engage in a little sporting. The
rats had to be hunted out by means of dogs.
We believe this was about the time that the
celebrated dog "Billy" was in the height of
fame; and we are not quite sure that his
services were not secured for this great
Exchequer Hunt. After several fine "bursts"
the rats allowed the documents to be removed,
and turned into a temporary wooden building,
which was so intensely cold during winter
time, that those wishing to make searches
prepared themselves with clothing as if they
were going on an Arctic expedition. Here
mice abounded in spite of the temperature;
and the candles, which the darkness of this
den rendered necessary, were gradually
consumed by them. But this light sort of food
wanted a more consolidating diet, and they
found a relishing piece de resistance in the
prayer-book of the Court, a great portion of
which they nibbled away. Ten years afterwards
the records were packed off to the
King's Mews, Charing Cross, into stables and
harness lofts; and on the demolition of this
building in 1835, Carlton Ride was selected
as their resting-place. The records of the
Queen's Remembrancer of the Exchequer
(an officer who was presumed to preserve
"memoranda or remembrances" of the
condition of the royal exchequer) kept company
with the Common Pleas muniments in their
trials and journeyings.

At present, we repeat, the whole of the
records of the three Courts, Queen's Bench,
Exchequer, and Common Pleas, are located
under the same roof at Carlton Ride. Such
of the records as are in this building are
reasonably accessible to the public. Many of
them are of intense interest. Fees only
nominal in amount are imposed, to restrain
inquisitive, troublesome, or merely idle inquirers;
a restriction highly necessary against
pedigree-hunters and lady-searchers. One
poor deluded female, who fancied herself
Duchess of Cornwall, and claimed the
hereditary fee-simple of the counties of Devon
and Cornwall, caused the employment of more
clerks and messengers to procure the
documents for her extravagant humours than any
legion of lawyers' clerks hot with the business
of term time. She begged, she implored, she
raved, she commanded, she threatened, she
cried aloud for "all the fines," for "all the
recoveries," for "all the indentures of lease
and release "touching the landed property of
these two counties.

Pedigree-hunters abound. One of these