"The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland: We, your Majesty's Commissioners, appointed to make an Inventory of the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions connected with or illustrative of the contemporary culture, civilisation, and conditions of life of the people in Scotland from the earliest times to the year 1707, and to specify those which seem most worthy of preservation, humbly present to your Majesty this our seventh Report. Appended to the Report is a list of the monuments and constructions of Dumfriesshire, which, in the opinion of your Commissioners, seem most worthy of preservation, divided into two classes, viz. (a) those which appear to be specially in need of protection, and (b) those worth}' of preservation but not in imminent risk of demolition or decay. On the eve of its issue, in the early summer of 1916, a fire in the printers' works totally destroyed the whole material, which had to be assembled afresh for publication. The Report on the Ruthwell Cross occupies a considerable part of this volume, and is so wide in its scope that your Commissioners think it desirable to preface it with a few words of explanation. This famous monument is an object of quite exceptional interest, attracting much attention not only among British but also among Continental and American scholars. In the three years 1912 to 1914, no fewer than three books, and at least nine articles or pamphlets, appeared on the subject in England and the United States, and since then these numbers have been materially increased. In all these publications arguments regarding the date and provenance of the monument were based on the figure and ornamental sculpture and 0n the inscriptions in Runic and Latin characters, as well as on the historical and geographical probabilities for or against this or that theory of origin. Such being the case, it has seemed to your Commissioners that, while it is the first part of their duty to describe with as much fulness and accuracy as possible the Ruthwell Cross in all its aspects, it is incumbent on them also to supply the available information, archaeological, linguistic, and historical, without which no reasoned opinion can be formed as to the date and provenance of this remarkable specimen of mediaeval art. With this purpose in view, the necessary references have been made to the similar monument at Bewcastle in Cumberland, of which illustrations have been added for comparison". - From the Preface.