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search has now proved that behind the iron cages of our splendid repository are stored documents which from their historical importance and extreme antiquity stand unrivaled at the present day and cast the archives of Rome, Paris, Vienna, The Hague, and Madrid completely in the shade."

Not a single subject connected with the history and government of our country but receives illustration from this magnificent collection. Take the Close rolls-so called because the documents entered upon them being of a private nature they were dispatched closed or sealed up-which begin with the reign of John and continue without interruption to the present time. Upon their well-preserved parchments the reader sees entries relating to the privileges of peers and commoners in former days, the measures employed for the raising of armies and the equipment of fleets, the regulations which affected the coinage of the realm, the aids and taxes that were levied, the riots and tumults that were suppressed, the pardons that were granted to state prisoners, the summonses for the meeting of parliament, and the hundreds of laws which related to the bench, the church, and the prerogatives of the crown. Take the Patent rolls-so called because, unlike their great antiquarian rivals the Close rolls, the letters patent are unsealed and exposed to view-which also begin with John and extend almost without a break to the present day. What do they not

contain? Is a castle besieged by the sovereign, a papal interdict removed by royal supplication, a safe conduct granted to an an unpopular prelate, church property bestowed on begging clergy, a negotiation entered into with. a foreign prince, a title of nobiltiy created, a character confirmed, a proclamation drawn up, land or office given to private persons or public bodies,all are found recorded upon the membranes of the "Letteræ Patentes." Take again the Great Roll of the Exchequer, otherwise called the Pipe roll, which with but two gaps extends from the reign of Henry II. to our own day. Here we live in the regions of finance; everything which in former times went to swell the revenues of the crown-rents of various kinds, fines, profits of lands and tenements, and the like-is fully recorded. Was a great man outlawed, his goods. seized, his daughter married or made a ward, the account thereof can be read in the Pipe rolls. To the antiquarian, the historian, the preacher of the gospel, lawyer at the bar, physician or officer of state, or to all classes of society these records, memorials, and archives are invaluable.

But what particular interest, it may be asked, have these archives to an American? Our answer is that they are quite as interesting and invaluable. to us as to an Englishman. We have not thus far explained the method of assorting and classifying this immense mass of papers, but we will show that it is impossible ever to write a correct

We will commence with the period anterior to existence as a nation and before any settlements were authorized to be made in America and trace our history down to 1660 and subsequent years. This will embrace a most interesting portion of colonial history and will serve as a specimen of what documents and papers are gathered up in the state paper office ready for

our use.


history of the settlement of America,
without the aid of this collection of
records and papers because, com-
mencing with the first voyage of the
daring navigators who set sail for the
Indies down to the dismissal of Sack-
ville-West from the White House by
President Cleveland, we have an un-
broken history of all the important
events that have taken place in which
England and America were interested,
which are contained in the colonial
records, and which is entirely separate
from anything that we have yet men-
enumerated. Before at-
tempting an explanation of this, how-
ever, we desire to refer more specific-
ally to the character of the documents
which have been classified, the meth-
ods adopted, and what the results are,
which are embodied in what is known
as the calendar of state papers, and
which are divided into two grand di-
visions, (1) foreign and (2) domestic
calenders. Some of the volumes of
the "Calenders of State Papers,"
which, it will be borne in mind, con-
stitute an index to the original docu-
ments in the state paper office, contain
elaborate expositions of the methods
and principles adopted in classifying
the papers and are almost invaluable
to the scholar or historian in ascertain-
ing what the documents and papers
refer to, and we will, in order to pre-
sent this subject to our readers in a
proper and reliable shape, avail our-
self of the explanations which have.
been given by some of the editors of
the various volumes as they have
been issued from the press.

The papers in the state paper office are arranged upon principles which are extremely simple. Derived from offices of the secretaries of state they fell, almost of course, into three great branches or divisions corresponding with the offices whence they are transmitted. Those from the office of the home secretary constitute one principal division or series of volumes, technically termed the domestic, with a subdivision for Ireland; the papers from the office of the foreign secretary form a second or foreign division or series; while whose from the colonial office are arranged in a third division or series named the colonial.

Let us commence with the colonies. The names of the several colonies, islands, or plantations at once open up the comprehensiveness and interest of the subject. Some of them seen here in their infancy have now risen into colonies; they might almost be termed independent states of the very highest importance; while others have combined into a mighty republic, whose power and influence extended throughout the world.

The history of New England and of Virginia, the parents of the northern and the southern states of America, is largely illustrated; the first possession of Canada and its restitution of the French; the settling of Bermudas or Somers islands; the first grants of Barbadoes, St. Christopher's, Antigua, Nevis, and other islands in the West Indies, of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, will also be found, together with an account of the efforts of the grantees to colonize them; also a complete record of the proceedings of the company for the Bahamas, incorporaed in 1629; and an account of the taking possession of Jamaica by the forces of the commonwealth, and the means adopted to secure and render that island serviceable to England.

Previous to the decision of the master of the rolls to have a calendar of the colonial papers prepared for publication upon the same principles as those already published of the domestic series, the former were arranged under two distinct heads, viz., "America and West Indies," or the correspondence appertaining to the colonial office and containing letters to anc from the several governors and secretary of state, and "Board of Trade" being the correspondenee with the department, and each colony was arranged by itself chronologically. It was found, however, more convienient for the simplification of a printed calendar to alter this arrangement as regards the papers down to 1688, and to adopt one chronogical arrange

ment of the whole; at the same time all the papers relating to each particular colony may be seen at a glance by reference to the index. The correspondence to 1688 consists of seventy one portfolios, bound in volumes, besides 109 entry books, which contain. entries or letters sent to the colonies, of characters, commissions, and instructions, minutes and proceedings of the companies, and proprietaries that in the first instance governed several of the colonies, journals of the board of trade, etc. These have been arranged alphabetically as regards every colony to which they relate.

During the first thirty years after 1574, down to the accession of James I, there are but ten papers. The reason is obvious; with but one exception, it can scarcely be said that England planted any colony during Elizabeth's reign, though, as every one knows, many voyages were undertaken at that early period for purposes of colonization, and a copy of the wellknown patent of incorporation to the Marquis of Winchester and others, merchant adventurers of England, for "discovery of lands unknown and not before frequented," of which Sebastian Cabot was the first governor, is to be found in the collection of state papers. This, however, as well as many other papers, containing accounts of the voyages of discovery of Frobisher and Hawkins, of Gylberte and of Drake, to Africa, America, and the West Indies are all open for perusal in the state postoffice.

thanks and lasting gratitude of every citizen of Chicago, and we think that it is time the citizens of Chicago get up some lasting memorial, and that of a substantial character, which should be presented to him to show to him and the people of England our appreciation of the services that he rendered us in the hour of our sorrow and adversity. It was to him that we owe indirectly the establishment of our public library, because at the time when he sent to us the magnificent contribution of books from the queen and people of England we had no organization whatever to accept the same, and in order to comply with the terms of his donation the public library had to be incorporated, and until that was done his gift had to be held in abeyance.

This is a reminiscence worth recalling, and it is also worth recalling that when Mr. Hughes heard of the great calamity which had befallen us, he applied to the queen of England and to the houses of parliament for donations of books, and it was through his efforts that we now have in our midst one of the finest collections of state papers west of the Alleghanies. We say again that we think that it is high time that Mr. Hughes should receive a proper recognition at the hands of the people of Chicago-something besides our thanks, which have already been tendered him by the library board.

The act on the part of Mr. Hughes was one of the most disinterested acts of benevolence in the history of our

The first two papers calendared relating to the period that we are investigating are of singular interest. They most probably relate to Sir Humphrey Gylberte's patent "to discover and take possession of all remote and barbarous lands unoccupied by any Christian prince or people." Gylberte appears to have assigned his patent to others, and the "fragment of report of certain persons" with whom he subsequently conferred in person, is so marvelous as to baffle every idea of credibility.

Under the encouragement of Elizabeth and by the enterprise of Raleigh, the first English colony was attempted to be planted in America, and the account of Sir Richard Grenville, the general of the fleet sent out in 1585, of "the success of his voyage," with the letters of Ralph Lane, give several details of the earliest efforts of English energy applied in a direction in which it has since been so richly rewarded. Although Raleigh's colony did not meet with the anticipated success, it caused others to undertake similar adventures, and they finally attained the desired object.

And here let us say that although it seems not to be generally known, yet it is a fact that the city of Chicago has in its public library an incomplete set of the calendar of state papers (complete at the time that they were donated), both foreign and domestic, and colonial, which were procured for us by the Hon. Thomas Hughes of Rugby, and for which he deserves the

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