Page images
PDF
EPUB

where they were lent to the Master of the Rolls, in order that copies might be taken of them, to be placed in the Public Record Office. The thanks of all students of history are justly due to Mr. DIGBY for setting so admirable an example, which, it may be hoped, will be followed by other possessors of important historical MSS.

The papers thus laid open are perhaps not so numerous as I had hoped for, but some of them are of considerable interest for this and the succeeding volume, especially the instructions relating to the Netherlands in 1623, the account, by Bristol himself, of his last interview with Olivares, and the interrogatories administered by him to Endymion Porter after his return.

My account of the affairs of the East Indies is mainly founded on the books formerly the property of the East India Company, but now in the India Office, of which full abstracts will be found in the calendar prepared by Mr. SAINSBURY since my narrative was first in type.

Of papers in foreign countries, those contained in the Belgian Archives at Brussels now assume considerable importance, and fill up gaps amongst the Simancas MSS.

In the preface to my former work, I spoke of the untrustworthy character of such writers as Weldon. It happens that twice in the following pages,-in the case of the story of the quarrel between Arundel and Spencer (p. 114), and in the case of the well-known story of "Here be twal' kings coming" (p. 252),—I have been able to restore the narrative to its original form, and thus to demonstrate the fictitious nature of the anecdote by which its place has been usurped in our histories. To the list of writers whom it is impossible to use with confidence, must, I am afraid, be added that agreeable letterwriter, Howell. But there can be no doubt that many of his letters are mere products of the bookmaker's skill, drawn up from memory long afterwards. Take, for instance, the letter

THE FOURTH VOLUME.

vii

marked as No. 12, in Book I. sect. 2, and said to be written on March 19, 1622. In this the writer states as the news of the day, that the Elector Palatine had arrived in Holland from Prague, an event which took place in April, 1621; that 'the old Duke of Bavaria's uncle,' whatever that may mean, had been chosen Elector,' an event which apparently refers to the transference of the Electorate in February, 1623; that Mansfeld begins to get a great name in Germany,' having, with the Duke of Brunswick, a considerable army on foot for the Lady Elizabeth, a description which would be true of the state of things in the spring of 1622; that Chichester had returned from the Palatinate, an event which took place towards the end of 1622; and that Buckingham had been made Lord High Admiral, an event which took place in 1619. On the other hand, some of the letters have all the look of being what they purport to be, actually written at the time, but even then, the dates at the end are frequently incorrectly given.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »