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A VIEW OF THE REIGN OF JAMES II.
FROM HIS ACCESSION, TO THE ENTERPRISE OF THE PRINCE OF ORANGE.
BY THE LATE
RIGHT HON. SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH;
AND COMPLETED, TO THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CROWN.
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,
A NOTICE OF THE LIFE, WRITINGS, AND SPEECHES OF
SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH.
VOL. I. .
1 RUE DU COQ, NEAR THE LOUVRE.
Sir James Mackintosh long meditated a History of England, beginning with the Revolution of 1688. That portion of it which he executed is given in the present Volume. He took up the History at the Ascension of James II., referred to the chief incidents in the reign of Charles II., developed the causes, remote and proximate, of the approaching Revolution, and broke off on the eve of that collision between James and the Prince of Orange which transferred the Crown from the King to the Prince.
It remained only to narrate the catastrophe.
Under these circumstances, it has been thought expedient to continue the Narrative to the Settlement of the Crown. The advantages of access to the original and invaluable manuscript authorities used by Sir James, rendered this course still more advisable. Some interesting extracts from them will be found in the Appendix.
In the Continuation, it will be observed that the glimpses of opinion on the character of the Revolution, and on the characters and motives of the chief persons who figured in it, do not always agree with the views of Sir James Mackintosh. But it should not be forgotten, that Sir James was avowedly and emphatically a Whig of the Revolution, and that, since the agitation of Religious Liberty and Parliamentary Reform became a national movement, the great transaction of 1688
has been more dispassionately, more correctly, and less highly estimated. The writer of the Continuation believed himself unbiassed by any predilection for either Whigs or Tories, and not only borne out but bound by the facts. He felt, in fine, that his first duty to the reader and to himself was good faith.
The latter period of the history was one essentially of action and events. Hence, and from the necessity of taking up the career of the Prince of Orange where it was dropped by Sir James, the Continuation has swelled to an unexpected compass.