British Diplomatic Representatives, 1789-1852

British Diplomatic Representatives, 1789-1852

British Diplomatic Representatives, 1789-1852

British Diplomatic Representatives, 1789-1852

Excerpt

This volume is intended to continue the list of British Diplomatic Representatives 1689-1789 published by the Society in 1932 and also to provide material for the list of Diplomats which is appearing under the auspices of the International Congress of the Historical Sciences. But the nineteenth century is so different in character from the eighteenth that a rather different method had to be applied to this aspect of it. The object has been to compile a list which included all who held the authority of the Crown to represent it during the period. The evidence has been derived exclusively from the original documents in the Foreign Office (and occasionally, the Colonial Office) records in the Record Office. Not only have those series of documents been consulted which contained the records of appointments and the conveyance of Full Powers, but also the general correspondence of the representatives themselves, so that the exact dates of their entry and leaving of office might be ascertained, as well as their leaves of absence and, in certain cases, even their changes of residence. For this purpose something like 5,000 volumes of records have been consulted and it is hoped no important source of information has been omitted.

My own share of this work has been a small one, being confined to consultation and advice. Miss Malcolm Smith had already begun her survey of the period 1789-1815 and laid the foundations of the list for that period. By far the greater part of the work has been done by Mr. S. T. Bindoff, and by his intimate knowledge of the unpublished material in the Record Office, as well as by his careful and thorough survey of the more obvious sources, he has been able to produce an exceptionally complete list. The principles on which he worked are laid down in his Introdtiction which follows, and will I hope commend themselves to scholars and students for whose benefit the book has been compiled.

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