Imatges de pÓgina

orders were given for the preparation and publication of a series of Calendars of the different divisions under which the collections have been classified (Domestic, Foreign, Colonial, Ireland). This series now reaches to nearly a hundred volumes, and the service it has rendered to historical research, whether by facilitating the consultation of the original documents, or, as is often the case, rendering such consultation unnecessary, can hardly be over-rated.'

Cobbett's great work was continued under the title of Parliamentary Debates, a series generally known by

The Record Office is on the Rolls estate between Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane access to the papers can be obtained by any respectable person, on entering his name in a book kept or that purpose. There is also no restriction on copying.


Parlia mentary

In relation to the political and legislative history of SPECIAL the country, the Parliamentary History, originally projected by WILLIAM COBBETT (a prominent democratic Cobbett's leader in the early part of the present century), comes down to the year 1803, incorporating or superseding History. the earlier collections, to which, for most practical purposes, it is to be preferred. As, however, the student who has occasion to consult historical works written in the last century or in the earlier part of the present, will meet with frequent references to the older collections, it may be of service here to specify the most important. They are (1) The Parliamentary or Constitutional History Earlier of England, originally published in 1752, in eight volumes, of Parlia and expanded in subsequent editions to twenty-four; mentary (2) Sir Simonds D'Ewes' Journals of the Parliaments of Queen Elizabeth; (3) Chandler and Timberland's Debates, in twenty-two volumes; (4) Debates of the House of Commons from 1667 to 1694, collected by the Honourable Anchitell Grey, in ten volumes; (5) Almon's Debates, in twenty-four volumes; (6) Debrett's Debates, in sixtythree volumes.



[merged small][ocr errors]


the name of the printer, HANSARD, which is now an annual publication.

During the present century, the above sources of information have been supplemented by the publication Journals of of (1) the Journals of the House of Lords, which commence with the year 1509, and are accompanied by separate indexes; (2) the Journals of the House of Commons, commencing with the year 1547,-these volumes have likewise separate indexes, and also a general index for the period 1765-1801.

The Lives of the Queens of England, by Miss AGNES STRICKLAND, after a brief notice of our British and Saxon queens, commence with the life of Matilda of Flanders, and continue in unbroken succession to the end of the reign of Queen Anne. The series is not distinguished by any high literary excellence, and its value is further diminished by the strong prejudices of the writer, who throughout upholds very extreme theories of ecclesiastical government and the royal prerogative. The volumes embody, however, many interesting extracts, and afford good illustrations of the court life and domestic life of successive periods.


A far more solid and judicious performance is that Lives of the of Mrs. EVERETT GREEN,-The Lives of the Princesses of


England, commencing with the Norman Conquest, and concluding with sketches of the lives of the four daughters of Charles I.


the House

of Lords

and of the Commons.

House of


Lives of the

Lives of t
f the

The Lives of the Fudges of England,' by Foss, commence as far back as the time of Herfastus, Chancellor in the year 1068, and extend to the Vice-Chancellorship of Sir William Page Wood in 1853. The series is the result of considerable research, and is executed with commendable fairness and accuracy.

Nine vols. 1848-64. A useful abridgment of the work in one volume, entitled Biographia Juridica, was published in 1870.

of The

The Lives of the Lord Chancellors, by LORD CAMPBELL (4th edit. 1856-7), commence with the institution of the office in Saxon times, and extend to the ac- Campbell's Lives of the cession of George IV. As an historical production, the Lord Chanwhole work is wanting in a due sense of the obligations cellors and imposed by such a task, is disfigured by unblushing plagiarisms, and, as the writer approaches his own times, by much unscrupulous misrepresentation. It, however, supplies a want; and the literary execution is often characterised by much felicity and graphic power. The Lives of the Chief Justices (3 vols., 1849-57), by the same author, includes only the more notable characters who have succeeded to the post, ending with the death of lord Tenterden in 1832. This work is similarly wanting in regard for historical accuracy, but the concluding volume contains information which probably no other living writer could have supplied.

1 Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae; or, a Calendar of the Principal Dignitaries in England and Wales, and of the chief Officers in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge from the earliest times to the year 1715. Compiled by John Le Neve. Corrected and continued from 1715 to the present time by T. Duffus Hardy. 3 vols. Clarendon Press, 1854.


* Annals of Commerce, Manufactures, Fisheries, and Navigation: containing the commercial Transactions of the British Empire and other Coun tries from the earliest Accounts to Jan. 1801. By David Macpherson. 4 vols. 4to. 1805.


Lord Chief

cal History.

In connexion with our ecclesiastical and university Ecclesiasti history, Le Neve's Fasti1 is an indispensable work of reference. It consists of complete lists of ecclesiastical Fasti. dignitaries in England and Wales, and of the chief academic officers of the two universities from the earliest times to the present century, accompanied by concise biographical data.

In connexion with the industrial and commercial progress of the nation, MACPHERSON'S Annals of Commerce, &c., was designed to supply a history of the trade

Works on

the Na

tional Industry and Commerc


of the British Empire and other countries from the earliest accounts to January, 1801. It is, however, Macpher- rather a chronological record of successive transactions, having in relation to the subject more the character of a dry chronicle than of an intelligent and coherent historical survey. PORTER'S Progress of the Nation' takes up the narrative at the point where it is left by Macpherson, and is a valuable repository of facts, social as well as economical, connected with the national development during the following half-century. Professor LEONE LEVI'S History of British Commerce and of the Economic Progress of the Nation (2nd edit. 1880) commences with the year 1763 and terminates in 1878. His treatment of the subject is at once wider in its scope and more philosophic in its conception, dealing with every event which may be supposed to have contributed to or to have influenced the development of commerce, such as inventions and discoveries, free trade, monetary crises, the gold discoveries, &c. The writer also treats occasionally of the conditions of trade in other countries..

For the history of the English navy, the work by JAMES is on the whole the best authority. The introductory chapter furnishes a brief outline of the chief improvements in vessels of war and marine artillery from 1488 to 1792; with the latter date commences the -historical narrative, which, in the last edition, is continued to the battle of Navarino in 1827.

The well-known collection entitled the Harleian





The Progress of the Nation in its various social and economical Relations from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century. By G. R. Porter. 2nd edit. 1851.

The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793 to the Accession of George IV. By William James. A new edition, with Additions and Notes. 6 vols. Bentley, 1878.


Miscellany consists of selections from the valuable collection of manuscripts formed by the eminent statesman, the first earl of Oxford, and subsequently sold by the The family to the British Museum. The contents are too Miscellany multifarious to admit of being here described, and they remain, unfortunately, as yet, without an index. To the student of English history, the volumes afford material assistance, and in fact there are few branches of research in connexion with which they will not be found of service.


The Harleian Miscellany. Edited by Oldys and Park.

10 vols. 4to.


« AnteriorContinua »