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centuries, four silver mace of 1680 presented by Lord Chandos, Chief Steward.

These are Royal Mace, being permitted by Royal Warrant of King James l in 1619.

In times past notable personages would have a bodyguard of four or so retainers or men at arms, each armed with a mace.

The mace was a close contact weapon and effective against all but plate armour.

It contains about 1,500 books, dating from around the year 800 to the early 19th century, including 227 medieval manuscript books.

The books are still examined and read today by scholars who come from all over the world to study them.

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The present maces bear the cypher of King Charles ll. It has symbols of law and justice on the pommel and the scabbard is decorated with Tudor Roses.

Some appear to have been made locally, although the Cathedral, being a secular foundation, did not have a community of monks associated with it, and so is unlikely to have had a scriptorium.

Today very few books of this age are still to be found in the places for which they were originally made.

The Hereford Cathedral Chained Library is the largest surviving chained library in the world.

In the early 17th century, when the bookcases you see today were made, libraries similar to it could be found in universities and cathedrals, but this is the only one still to be chained.

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