The Development of the Treasury, 1660-1702

The Development of the Treasury, 1660-1702

The Development of the Treasury, 1660-1702

The Development of the Treasury, 1660-1702

Excerpt

There are many gaps in our knowledge of the Restoration. A surprising number of these occur in the supposedly overcrowded field of biography; but in administration the problem is more serious. What were the real choices open to the government at any particular time? What could, what could not be done? In all too many cases we do not yet have the answers. These gaps are concealed in the general histories by quotations from Dryden, by references to the Duchess of Cleveland, and by denunciations of this king or that as unpatriotic. All this cannot be satisfactory; yet research students continue to work in other periods. Perhaps the collections available for study are too large for comfort. The opportunities are also large. We shall not have a full understanding of the England of the later Stuarts until we are better informed about its administration. I hope that this book will be of some use in this respect, and that other students will fill in the gaps which remain.

Since I understand that Mr. C. Douglas Chandaman of Glasgow is working on a financial history of the Restoration, I have omitted all but incidental references to finance. While this omission may seem curious at one or two points, such as the Stop of the Exchequer, I hope that it will be understood.

This is a much revised version of the dissertation which I offered at Cambridge for the Ph.D. degree in 1954 under the title The Treasury and Exchequer in the Reign of William III. The dissertation was confined to the years after the Revolution and also, by the rules of the Board of Research Studies, to sixty thousand words. In extending the period covered from fourteen to forty-two years there has been a natural change of focus. The text has been completely rewritten. Most of the longer footnotes have been . . .

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