Cartwrightiana

Cartwrightiana

Cartwrightiana

Cartwrightiana

Synopsis

This text is the first of two volumes giving authoritative editions of the works of the early Elizabethan Puritans - Cartwright, Browne and Harrison. It contains accounts of Cartwright's examination before the Commissioners in 1590, 'A Short Catechism' (1579) and several of his letters.

Excerpt

One of the first essentials for the study and the writing of history is the accessibility of sources. If manuscripts are in far-distant places or in repositories only occasionally open to students, and if printed books are excessively rare, difficulties are multiplied. the use of the photostat and the microfilm does something to relieve the situation, but they help individuals or only a few, and those who provide calendars of manuscripts or definitive editions of rare printed works can count themselves useful handmaids to historians.

A century ago the Parker Society rendered conspicuous service in over fifty volumes of reprints which look as unattractive as they are useful. a contemporary attempt was made to form a Wycliffe Society which would do for the non-Anglican groups what the Parker Society did for the Anglican divines; but it came to little. True, an occasional Puritan work is incorporated; some of Cartwright's to which Whitgift replied appear in the three volumes of Whitgift's Works; but in the main the Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists have had to wait until the 20th century for the kind of attention the Anglicans received in the 19th. in 1907 Frere and Douglas broke the ice in Puritan Manifestoes, which reprints pamphlets dating from 1566 to 1573. in 1909 William Pierce printed An Historical Introduction to the Marprelate Tracts, and in 1912 Mr. Champlin Burrage's Early English Dissenters contained many transcripts of contemporary sources. in 1915 W.T. Whitley published The Works of John Smyth, and in the same year appeared my calendar of mss. in the Dr. Williams's Library, The Seconde Parte of a Register. It was the intention to follow that work with a reprint of A parte of a register, to which the Puritans of 1590 intended it to be a successor, but two wars and the pressure of other duties intervened, though I have always regarded it as a commitment.

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