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Br 146.25

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PREFACE.

The idea of writing a short history of Parliament was first suggested to me by Mr. F. S. Pulling, of Exeter, who at one time I thought would have shared in the work. Circumstances, however, prevented this, and the book ultimately assumed a somewhat different form from that projected at first. The object with which it was written was the hope of imparting a certain amount of life to the dry bones which are strewn in the way of the constitutional student, and of combining instruction with a certain amount of amusement. Whether the effort has been successful or not the reader must judge for himself.

I must here take the opportunity to render my acknowledgments to Mr. F. York Powell, Mr. C. H. Carmichael, and Mr. A. B. Beaven for the kind assistance which they have rendered me-especially the latter, who undertook the laborious task of revising the whole of the MS. dealing with the period after 1660.

I am indebted to the kindness of Sir George Sitwell for a very early illustration of parliamentary corruption—an isolated evidence, but sufficiently pregnant of meaning.

Extract from the will of Nicholas Stathum, Esq., of Morley, County Derby, dated 15th July, 1472, and proved on the 5th of August in the same year in the prerogative court, Canterbury.

"Item, I received 108. of... Bemont a worshippful Squier of the West Country by the hands of Page in the last Parleament. I did nothing there, and if I did, it is against my conscience for so moche as I was one of the Parleament and should be indifferent in every matter of the Parleament, I will he have it ageyne."

OXFORD, 1886.

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