Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE RESTORATION

(1660-1688)

BY

THORA G. STONE, M.A.

WITH A PREFACE BY

A. F. POLLARD, M.A., LITT.D., F.B.A.

FELLOW OF ALL SOULS, AND PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH HISTORY

IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

[UNIVERSITY OF LONDON INTERMEDIATE SOURCE-

BOOKS OF HISTORY, No. IV]

LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, E.C. 4

NEW YORK, TORONTO

BOMBAY, CALCUTTA AND MADRAS

Made in Great Britain

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

THE first three volumes in this series dealt with the last century and a half of the Middle Ages. The present volume, dealing with England under the Restoration, illustrates a modern period in which the interests of England have greatly expanded. Scotland and Ireland have become parts of the same monarchy which has also extended its sway into America and India, while at home the Reformation and the New Monarchy have provoked new problems of policy and administration. The increasing complexity of government is reflected in the growing bulk and variety of the sources from which the following extracts have had to be selected. Nor is it merely the activity of government which has to be illustrated; the intellectual interests of private individuals, their concern in public affairs, and their literary and political means of self-expression have expanded with equal rapidity. The New Learning had been at least as fruitful as the New Monarchy; and diaries like Pepys', memoirs like Reresby's, contemporary histories like Clarendon's and Burnet's, political satires like Dryden's, political tracts like Halifax', the Commons' Journals, and newspapers are as important and as novel materials for history as the hundreds of volumes of colonial state papers or the voluminous records of the African companies.

[ocr errors]

Miss Stone has only been able, within the limits at her disposal, to provide samples of these sources; but she has indicated their nature and extent in her preliminary Notes," which are useful for other purposes besides that of indicating the difficulty of selection. They may enable teachers and others, who have the taste and the time, to follow in the direction these samples indicate; and even the candidate for examination, who proposes to pursue his or her historical education no farther, is all the better for a glimpse at the foundations upon which historical knowledge and historical education rest, and for a brief opportunity of realising that history is not a mere tale that is told out of the imagination or on the authority of the historian.

It is beyond the scope of this series to attempt the futile task of epitomizing the history of each period which a volume covers in a dozen pages of preface or introduction. Students will find that done, in its proper place and an ampler space, in a hundred odd pages of Dr. G. M. Trevelyan's brilliant volume on “ England under the Stuarts" in Messrs. Methuen's series, and with more sober detail in three hundred pages of Sir Richard Lodge's volume in Messrs. Longmans' “Political History;" but both students and general readers will probably make the best use of these extracts by comparing them with the second and third chapters in Macaulay's “ History of England." No such handy means have hitherto been provided for testing the truth of the charge that Macaulay as a historian was a Whig pamphleteer.

There is, however, one technical point in this volume which has not occurred previously in this series and needs some explanation for the student and general reader, if not for the teacher. On page 38 a correspondent refers to

[blocks in formation]

having received a letter dated stilo novo, and the first extract here printed has the double date “4-14 April, 1660.” What is this "new style” and why these double dates ? The explanation lies in the reform of the Julian Calendar, promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. According to the Julian Calendar every fourth year was reckoned as a leap year: this made the average year slightly too long, with the result that by 1582 the year was ten days behind solar time; and the Gregorian reform consisted in dropping out ten days in October, 1582, and thenceforth reckoning the last year of a century as % leap year only when the number of the century itself was divisible by four: thus, 1600 would be a leap year, 1700 would not, nor would 1800 or 1900. This papal reform was adopted almost at once in Roman Catholic countries, but only gradually by Protestant countries, and still more slowly by countries owing allegiance to the Greek Orthodox Church. England was the last of the Protestant countries to adopt it, in 1751-2, and Russia did not adopt the new style until after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. There was thus ten days' difference between the dating of letters from 1582 to 1700; the difference was not increased in 1600 because that was a leap year according to both styles. But in 1700 the ten days were increased to eleven, and hence, after the adoption of the reform in England and the dropping out of eleven days in September, 1752, one of the cries at the general election of 1753 was "give us back our eleven days.” The difference would have been increased to twelve days in 1800, and when the Bolsheviks reformed the Russian calendar in 1918 they had to drop out thirteen.

Another reform adopted in 1752 was to change the beginning of the year from 25 March to 1 January. When

« PreviousContinue »