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Archaeologia Cantiana -  Vol. 70  1956  page 26
The Origin and First Hundred Years of the Society

By Frank W. Jessup, Honorary General Secretary   continued

   There had also, inevitably, been changes in the Presidency. Earl Sydney, Lord Lieutenant, was elected in place of Earl Amherst in 1884, and he remained President until his death six years later. His successor as Lord Lieutenant, Earl Stanhope, also became President of the Society. On his death in 1905, Lord Northbourne was invited to accept the office. He, as Earl Amherst earlier had done, held the Presidency for eighteen years. By many of our older members he is still remembered with affection for his kindness and courtesy, and with respect for the skill which he showed in presiding over the Society during some of its most difficult years.
   During the years before the 1914-18 war, the Society, on many occasions, made grants towards the cost of excavations—e.g. at Lesnes, at Coldrum, and at Tonbridge Castle—but the work which most regularly engaged their sympathy was the excavation at St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, a scheme which owed much to the enthusiasm of our member, the Rev. (Canon) R. U. Potts. A substantial grant was made towards the cost of repairing Bell Harry Tower at Canterbury Cathedral in 1907, Council deciding that this appeal could properly be distinguished from the many appeals received for parish churches, which, as a matter of policy, were reluctantly but consistently passed over. The 1907 precedent was followed again in 1946, when a donation was made to the Canterbury Cathedral Appeal Fund.

Interesting, smaller, grants were those for repairing and rebinding the Bishops’ Registers at Rochester in 1905, and for rebinding the monastic register in the Dean and Chapter Library at Canterbury in 1909.
   These two latter grants, in fact, reflect the increased interest which the Society was beginning to take in written records, due, in part, to the prompting of H. W. Knocker, then of Sevenoaks, who himself was Steward to, I believe, thirty or forty manors in the county. He urged fellow solicitors and others to send old documents to the Society for preservation, and, as our Honorary Registrar of Deeds, began a County Register of Archives, which, in intention, although not in achievement, was a local forerunner of the National Register of Archives—not in achievement because war broke out, and Captain Knocker was soon engaged in less pacific activities. It was Knocker who, in 1913, persuaded Council to pass nemine contradicente a resolution deprecating any statutory interference with the Kentish custom of gavelkind. However, it was scarcely likely that this piece of antiquarianism would escape the reforming zeal of Lord Chancellor Birkenhead in 1922, and, in spite of Council’s resolution, the incidents of gavelkind disappeared in 1926.
   Knocker was one of those who, in 1910-12, took a leading part in the discussions which led to the setting up of the Records Branch of the Society for the publication of records. From time to time, records had

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