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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 1  1858  page 52


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Sir Robert Cotton, who seems to have been on terms of intimacy with Sir Edward, probably took this opportunity, of his friend being in authority there, to apply to him for contributions to his matchless collection then in course of formation. 
   In the Cottonian Manuscripts (Julius C. iii. p. 191) occurs the following letter from Sir Edward Bering to Sir Robert, announcing, his discovery, among the records of Dover Castle, of an original copy of Magna Charta,1 and indicating that there had been a previous correspondence between them on the subject of the charters then in the Castle.
   " Sir,I received your very wellcome lettre, whereby I find you abundant in courtesyes of all natures. I am a greate debtor to you, and those obligacions likely still to be multiplyed; as I confesse so much to you, so I hope to witness itt to posterity. 
   " I have sent up two of your books, which have much pleasured me. I have heere ye charter of K. John, datd att Running Meade; by ye first safe and sure messenger it is yours. So are the Saxon Charters, as fast as I can coppy them; but, in the meane time, I will close King John in a boxe, and send him. I shall much long to see you at this place, where you shall comand the heart of
                                 "Your affectionate freind and servant,
                                                      "EDWARD DERING.
"Dover Castle, May 20,1630."

   At this period, then, he was evidently acquainted with Anglo-Saxon, and though a student of manuscripts, not yet a collector. No antiquary would have so freely transferred to a brother collector such a precious document as an original of Magna Charta.
   Unfortunately the invaluable record thus presented by Dering is no longer in Cotton's Collection. When, and how, and whither it was removed, it is impossible now to conjecture; it certainly was not among the manuscripts destroyed by the fire, for long before that
   1 Or rather the "Articles;" vide note, p. 63.

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