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BKARL

ORK

PREFACE.

In preparing this work, I have been much aided by information derived from private sources. About forty years since, the late Mr. Edward Hawke Locker, a: Commissioner of Greenwich Hospital, With the sanction of the Royal Family, and with the assistance of many distinguished persons, collected šoluminous materials for a life of George the Third. The progress of the work, however, was stopped, by the interposition of Lord Liverpool, then at the head of the Government, who thought the time had not yet arrived for such a publication. Mr. Frederick Locker has kindly placed at my disposal the papers collected by his father for the important work which he had undertaken; and I have thus been enabled to obtain much curious and interesting information, relating both to the public transactions and the secret history, of this reign. Lord Bolton has likewise permitted me to refer to the extensive correspondence of his grandfather, the first peer, who was

vi

PREFACE TO THE FIRST VOLUME.

for many years in office, and in confidential intér · course with Mr. Pitt, especially during the earlier. years of his administration. I have also had access to other private collections; but contemporary sources of information, unless corroborated by other testimony, cannot safely be relied on. judice, credulity, and general inaccuracy, Without wilful misrepresentation, which perhaps rarely occurs, are sufficient to mislead those who do not advance with vigilance and caution in the search for historical truth.

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