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OF THE RIGHT HON.
FRANCIS NORTH, BARON GUILFORD,
LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL,
UNDER KING CHARLES II. AND KING JAMES II.
THE HON. SIR DUDLEY NORTH,
COMMISSIONER OF THE CUSTOMS,
AND AFTERWARDS OF THE TREASURY, TO KING CHARLES 11.
THE HON. AND REV. DR. JOHN NORTH,
MASTER OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
AND CLERK OF THE CLOSET TO KING CHARLES II.
THE HON. ROGER NORTH.
A NEW EDITION.
WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS, HISTORICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
1660, Áudz 13.
PRINTED BY S. AND R. BENTLEY, DORSET STREET.
The following Lives were originally published after the author's death, in the years 1740 and 1742, in two volumes, in quarto. Since that period the Life of the Lord Keeper Guilford has been republished in an octavo form, but the Lives of Sir Dudley North and Dr. John North have never been reprinted, and are become very scarce. In the present edition the three pieces of biography, which, in fact, form only one work, are again presented to the public in the uniform shape, in which it was doubtless the intention of the author that they should appear.
Independently of the interest which these Lives possess as works of pure biography, they derive a very considerable importance from their historical character. The light, which they throw upon a period described by Mr. Fox as “one of the most singular and important of our history," and the disclosures which they present of the court intrigues of that day, so difficult to be understood, even with all the illustrations which the researches of later times have produced, are perhaps greater than those to be derived from any other Memoirs relating to the same period, with the exception of Burnet, and the lately published Stuart MSS. The writer, the Hon. Roger North, enjoyed the most ample means of informing himself accurately upon all the topics of the day, not only from the station in society which he occupied himself, but from his intimate connexion with the Lord Keeper Guilford. In detailing the public life of the latter, he has not omitted to notice, and comment upon, every great political transaction which occurred in the later years of Charles II.'s reign, and during the short government of his successor. The party views, which he takes of public events, ought perhaps to be regarded as conferring an additional value upon his pages; for in every historical inquiry, the state of parties and of public feeling is one of the most material and difficult objects of research. From the Restoration to the Revolution, the country was divided into numerous factions. The court party, during the latter years of Charles's reign, had gradually been separating into two bodies; the first, the adherents of the Duke of York, including not only the conscientious Catholics, but all who were willing, under pretence