If there was one person whom more than any other I admired in the field of history, it was Bill Urry.

I first met him in Canterbury in the early 70s. I was turning a corner by Canterbury Cathedral on my way to the cloisters and the entrance to the archives, when a man rushed around the corner and completly bowled me over. He helped me get back to my feet and apologised. He introduced himself. It was Bill Urry.

Bill displayed an energy and knowledge of Canterbury history that was quite extraordinary. He wrote what for me is one of the very best works on local history, 'Canterbury Under the Angevin Kings'.

We corresponded and he sent me a letter which I publish, if only for the reason that he used his armorial seal on it. He did this because I used mine in those days on the flap of the envelope, a habit I have long discontinued; but not to be outdone, he reciprocated in kind.