Historical Collections: Or, An Exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four Last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth. Originally published by T. Basset, W. Crooke, and W. Cademan, London, 1680.
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THE PREFACE TO The Reader.
THE whole Reign of our Renowned Queen Elizabeth, was such a Series of admirable Events, Such a Pattern of wise and honest Counsel and steady Conduct (Such an age of hellish Plots and secret Conspiracies by the Papists) on the one hand; and such prudent Circumspection, Femal Courage and Zeal (and happy Deliverances) on the other; that no History can deserve to be more minutely described than the Affairs in her time : And though many famous Pens have already travelled therein, and given us a fair prospect of her actions, the subtile Contrivances and open Force of her Enemies against her sacred Life, Government, and the trueProtestant Religion, and the many providences and more than humane success which blessed and crowned her days; yet we never had to full an account of her last Parliaments as is comprehended in this Volume, especially so curiously as the very last is, collected by Mr. Townshend a worthy Member in that Session, who hath so faithfully done it, that it is thought very fit, even after so long an Interval, to appear in publick. There have been many excellent persons of the greatest abilities and worth, who though they had not the ambition to struggle to be chosen into the House, and were well acquainted without-doors with all the most important passages within, have yet often wished they might have had the liberty of sitting there but a few days, onely to observe the behaviour, methods, and tempers of Men of assembled, and be an eye-witness how things are managed and passed there. Now in this Relation there is so particular and exquisite an Account, that such may even satisfie their curiosity in those very Circumstances : For this is not onely the Journal-Book of what is entered upon Record, but (in the last Session especially) there are all the particular Speeches, Motions, Arguments, nay and the very behaviour of every one in that grand Assembly; and all so painted to the life, that to a considering Reader, it is almost the same thing is if be had been present with them all the while. Here you will finde that the Grievances they laboured to have redressed, were very considerable, their Arguments rational and strong, though finely adorned; which will be easily believed, when we know the famour Secretary Cecill, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Walter Rawleigh, and many other solid States-men, were fellow-Members in this illustrious Assembly, whose Speeches alone are, as I should guess, a sufficient Invitation to any one that has but heard of them in our English world, to know how they behaved themselves in that House of Commons : which that you may do, I shall make no further Preamble, but conduct you into the Work it self.
That long-expected Work of Dr. William Howells, now Chancellor of Lincoln, entituled, The General History of the World, in two Volumes, in Folio; the first reprinted, with very large Additions; and the second never before printed: being a most exact History, is finished. Printed for T. Basset, W. Crooke, and W. Cademan.