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1691; two sessions, in the proceedings of which, the State was deficient; thus filling an important hiatus in its records. As these could not be inserted in their proper place, they have been added at the end of the volume, preceding the index. From the endorsement on these papers, it appears that they were transmitted to England by the Earl of Bellomont, who was sent to Rhode Island, under a commission from the King, to inquire into certain u irregularities."
The next serious troubles which the Colony had to contend with, was in consequence of" Representations to William and Mary about irregularities in the government." This led to the appointment of a commission of inquiry under the Earl of Bellomont. The full instructions to this nobleman, with the queries he was directed to put to the Governor and others in authority; the various letters of the Board of Trade to and from the Governor, in relation to this matter; the Report of the Earl of Bellomont on the irregularities charged against Rhode Island; the Journal of the Earl's proceedings in the execution of his Majesty's Royal Commission, when he visited Newport; with a number of letters, to and from the prominent men of that tidy, appear at length in this volume. These important papers, so indispensable to the elucidation of our history, are almost entirely taken from Mr. Brown's magnificent collection of manuscripts, generously placed by him at ihe disposal of the editor. Some other papers have been kindly furnished by the Secretaries of State of New York and Connecticut, from their public archives.
The concluding documents in the Volume appertain to the history of the privateers and pirates, which infested our waters, among which the notorious Captain Kidd appears. The facilities with which privateers' commissions were obtained of the authorities led to serious complaints, and involved the Colony in many difficulties. For the papers illustrative of these, which are inserted where the events are referred to in the legislative proceedings, the editor is also indebted to Mr. Brown. Providence, May, 1858. J. R. B.