In a commonwealth of knowledge one incurs many debts of gratitude in undertaking a research project and preparing a manuscript for publication. This present volume began as part of my previous book Swordsmen (2003), but was detached upon the good advice of the anonymous readers of the Oxford University Press. Financial assistance for research and travel came from a senior fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Fletcher Jones and Mellon fellowships at the Huntington Library as well as a sabbatical leave and grants from the College of Graduate Studies of Cleveland State University. Research was carried out in the British Library, the Public Record Office (now the National Archives), the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the Cleveland Public Library, the Huntington Library, and the College of Law and the University Libraries of Cleveland State University. The librarians and staff of the latter institution never blink an eye when I submit mountains of requests for new books, inter-library loans and microfilm. The online English Short Title Catalogue greatly facilitates the task of locating rare books or microfilm copies. To all the archivists and librarians of these esteemed institutions I give my thanks for numerous acts of kindness.
Colleagues and friends have been most helpful and encouraging. Jane Ohlmeyer read Chapters 1–6 and offered an abundance of useful advice and bibliographical assistance in the fields of Irish and Scottish history. The anonymous readers of the Oxford University Press have always been very generous in supplying constructive evaluations of the manuscript. Others have also been helpful and encouraging, and I wish particularly to mention Barbara Donagan, Robert Ritchie, Mary Robertson, Joyce Mastboom, Donald Ramos and Scott Hendrix.
The editorial staff of the Oxford University Press have, as always, been encouraging, helpful and patient, and I wish particularly to acknowledge the kind assistance of Anne Gelling, the history editor, Kay Rogers, the production editor and Jeff New, the copy-editor.
As always my greatest debt of gratitude is to my wife, Anne Brown Manning, who has encouraged me to engage in scholarship and provided me with the leisure to do so for the past forty-five years.
Cleveland, Ohio 2005