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It will, doubtless, have been observed by most persons who have much attended to the matter, that, for the period from the Restoration to the year 1743, the two last mentioned works, that is to say, those of Timberland and Chandler, have hitherto been regarded as a regular and complete collection, and the only regular and complete collection, of the Proceedings in Parliament; and that, as such, they have been introduced into, and enjoyed a distinguished place in, almost every public and great private library in the kingdom. Therefore, in preparing the present volume for the press, it might naturally have been expected, that considerable assistance would have been afforded by these works. It is, however, a remarkable fact, which may be verified by a reference to the proceedings of any single session, that very little assistance indeed has been received from them. To say the truth, a discorery of the extreme imperfectness of these works produced one of the motives which led to the present undertaking. On comparing their contents with those of the authentic works before enumerated, they were found to be so extreniely defective and incorrect, that they could, in hardly any case, be relied upon with safety. In them, King's Speeches are, in numerous instances, either wholly omitted, or very much curtailed. Scarcely any of the Speeches of the different Lord Chancellors, delivered at the opening of the several Sessions, though those speeches generally contain an outline of the state of the national affairs, are preserved. The Journals appear to have been rarely consulted. Scarcely a . Motion or Resolution, is given as it stands in those authentic records. Explanatory notes there are none; and, in only one or two instances have the compilers deemed it necessary to favour the reader with information as to the source, whence they have drawn their materials ; which would seem, indeed, to have been moulded into the form of volumes for the mere purpose of filling up a chasm in a book-case.
Besides resorting to the above-recited works, recourse has been had to the best historians, and contemporary writers. From Burnet, Echard, Kennet, Oldmixon, Rapin, North, Ralph, Marvell, Reresby, Temple, Walpole, and the Work of the late Mr. Fox, recently pubJished, many Notes, historical and biographical, have been introduced; and, for the sake of connection, a short account of the principal Occurrences, during each recess of Parliament, has, where necessary, been inserted.
By way of Appendix to this volume, is subjoined a Collection of scarce and valuable Tracts, purely parliamentary, taken from the State Tracts, privately printed in the reign of Charles II. and James II. ; from the Harleian Miscellany; and from the noble Collections of Lord Somers. Through these, a more lively image of the times is conveyed, than could be received from any general description, from however eloquent a pen it might proceed. From their scarceness, it is impossible that they should, in their separate state, be generally known; and, as the utility of them, when accompanying the Parliamentary History of the times in which they were written, must be manifest to every one, the compiler does certainly consider them as not the least valuable part of his work.
June 24, 1808.
Solemn Thanks given to General Mook
The King's Letter to General Monk and the Council of State
The King's Letter to the Lord Mayor and City of London
Sir John Grenville thanked by the House of Commons . .
The Answer of the House of Commons to the King's Letter -
29. Letter from the Committee of Lords sent to the King - -
the House of Lords to the King—The King's AnswerSpeech of the Speaker
of the House of Commons to the King-The King's Answer • • •
The Oaths of Sapremacy and Allegiance to be taken by the Members, &c.-
Act of Indemnity-Mr. Lenthall's Letter to the Speaker - -
Debate in the Commons on the Act of Indemnity •
11. The Act of Indemnity passes the Commons • - ;,..
Debate in the Commons on the Bill of Sales
Aug. 1. Proceedings of the Lords on the Act of Indemnity- The Commons urge the
Lords to pass it-The Lords pass it with many Amendinents -
Debate in the Commorts on the Ministers' Bill : : . .'.
Conference between tbe Houses respecting it.-Debate thereon-Second
ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT against Mr. Drake for publishing a Pamphlet in-