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vaft mass of discordant matter, it was often a difficult task to collect the treaties which belonged to any particular nation, or to adjust the ftipulations which related to any specified fubject.

In the following collection, I have preserved a chronological order, while I have brought together the treaties which at various times have been formed with each different nation. Without any ftrong motive of choice, I began with Ruffia, in the north; I regularly proceeded to the fouth of Europe; I diverged afterwards to Africa and Asia; and ended finally in America. I flatter myself this arrangement will be found commodious. To the treaties, which belong to each particular country, and which form a diftinct head, I have prefixed a chronological index of prior treaties, for the purpose of tracing a principle of connexion, and fhewing where thofe preceding conventions may be found. The usefulness of this prefatory index will be acknowledged by thofe, who having been engaged in much study, or in much business, have felt the happiness of knowing where to lay one's hand on the thing that the preffure of the moment required. But, the brevity which I prefcribed to myself, did not allow me to fwell this prefatory index with the mention of every agreement, either for the hire of troops, or the performance of temporary ftipulations. I was directed by my notions of utility, either in publishing fome treaties, or in not mentioning others. The public, whofe convenience I have endeavoured to promote, and to whofe opinion I refpectfully fubmit, will ultimately determine whether, in making this felection, I have been directed by judgment, or by caprice.

The first treaty which was ever published in this nation, by authority, was the treaty with Spain, in 1604, which was conducted by Sir Robert Cecil, the first Lord Salisbury, with fuch wonderful talents and addrefs. No treaty was printed, without authority, during any preceding period, It had been extremely dangerous for pri

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vate perfons, in the reign of King James, in the former, or in the fubfequent reign, to have published treaties with foreign Powers; becaufe to have done this had been confidered as meddling with matters of state, and punished as an infringement of prerogative. The treaties of Charles I. were publifhed by authority. Cromwell made many treaties, because he was anxious, like John IV. of Portugal, to procure the recognition of other Powers: but, I doubt, whether he lived to publish them. The reign of Charles II. was fruitful in treaties, which were printed by authority, often fingly, and fometimes collectively. The four treaties of Breda were publifhed by the King's fpecial command, in 1667. A collection, comprehending feventeen treaties, beginning with the Commercial Treaty with Spain, in 1667, and ending with the Algerine treaty in 1682, was printed by direction of Lord Sunderland, the fecretary of ftate, in March 168+. Such had been the fmallness of this impreffion, or fuch the demand for it, that this ufeful code was reprinted in 1686. The falutary practice of publishing by authority what was fo neceffary to be known, which had been begun by King James, was continued by King William, and by his royal fucceffors.

It was however in King William's councils, that it was first determined to print authoritatively the PUBLIC CONVENTIONS of Great Britain with other Powers. It was owing to that determination, that the reign of Queen Anne faw the publication of RYMEK'S FOEDERA.

* By the affigns of J. Bill and C. Barker, the King's printers, 4to, 80 pages.

By the affigns of J. Bil, and H. Hills, and T. Newcomb, the King's printers. London, 1685, 4to, 263 pages.

The warrant, empowering Thomas Rymer to fearch the public repofitories for this great defign, was dated on the 26th of Auguft 1693. This warrant was renewed on the 3d of May 1707, when Robert Sanderson was appointed his afliftant. And, on the 15th of February 1717, Sanderfon was continued the fingle conductor of this laborious undertaking.

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The first volume, commencing with the documents of the year 1201, was published in 1704; the twentieth volume, ending with the papers of 1654, was given to the world in 1735.

As hiftoriographer thefe were not the only labours of Rymer: he left an unpublished collection, relating to the government and hiftory of England, from the year 1115 to 1698, in fifty-eight volumes *, which the prudence of the house of peers directed to be placed in The British Museum, with the Cottonian manufcripts. Of men who have done great public fervices, we naturally wish to know fomething of the origin and the end. Thomas Rymer was born in the north of England; was educated at Cambridge; and, intending to make the law his profeffion, he entered himself a ftudent of Gray's Inn. He firft appeared as a poet and a critic in 1678; when he published Edgar, an heroic tragedy, which had fcarcely preferved his name; and Reflections on Shakespeare, in 1693, which have drawn on him Warburton's indignation. On the decease of Shadwell, the great Mac Flecnoe of Dryden, in 1692, who, at once, celebrated King William's birth, as Laureat, and recorded King William's actions, as hiftoriographer, the laurel was placed on the brow of Tate, and the pen of hiftorian was delivered into the hand of Rymer. While collecting THE FOEDERA, he also employed himself, like a royal historiographer, in detecting the falfhood and afcertaining the truth of hiftory †. He lived to publish fifteen

There is a lift of this great collection in the feventeenth volume of the Fadera: and fee Ayicough's Catalogue of the Museum MSS. vol. i. N° 4573-4630.

+ He published, in 1702, his first letter to Bishop Nicholson: "Wherein, as he fays, King Robert III. of Scotland is, beyond all difpute, freed from the imputation of baftardy." He foon after published his fecond letter to Bishop Nicholfon; "containing an hiftorical deduction of the alliances between France and Scotland: whereby the pretended old league with Charlemagne is difproved, and the true old league is afcertained." After his decease, there was published, in 1714, a fmall treatife "Of the Antiquity, Power,

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*

fifteen folio volumes of the public conventions; and
from his collections Sanderfon publifhed the fixteenth
volume in 1715. Rymer finifhed his ufeful career in
December, 1713, and was buried in the church of St.
Clement's Danes. Yet, after all his labours, he is
ofteneft remembered for his critical ftrictures on
Shakespeare: for, fuch has been the fingular fortune
of this illuftrious poet, that whoever has connected
himself with his name, either as commentator, pane-
gyrift, or detractor, has been raised up by the strength
of his pinions, and will be carried through the ex-
panse of time by the continuance of his flight.

Robert Sanderfon, who had thus been Rymer's co-
adjutor, continued the Fadera after his death. The
feventeenth volume, which is the most useful of the
whole, because it contains an INDEX of the perfons, of
the things, and of the places, that this and the fixteen
preceding volumes comprehend, he published in the
year 1717. The eighteenth volume, which was re-
published with the Caftrations, he published in 1726;
the nineteenth in 1732, and the twentieth in 1735.
Sanderson, who was usher of the court of Chancery,
clerk of the chapel of the Rolls, and fellow of the
Antiquary Society, died on the 25th of December,
1741.

A new edition of the first feventeen volumes was
published in 1727, by George Holmes, with colla-
tions and amendments. Holmes was born at Skip-
ton, in Yorkshire; he became clerk to Petyt, the
keeper of the records in the Tower, about the year
1695; he continued almost fixty years the deputy-

and Decay of Parliaments." And in the fame year," Some
Translations from Greek, Latin, and Italian Poets, with other
Verfes and Songs, never before printed. By Thomas Rymer,
late Hiftoriographer-royal," Thefe tranflations, verfes, and fongs,
not being fufficient to make a volume in 12mo. were published
with Curious Amusements; by a Gentleman of Pembroke-hall in
Cambridge.

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keeper;

keeper; and, on account of his knowledge and his
industry, he was, by the recommendation of lord
Hallifax, who was then chairman of a committee of
the Houfe of Lords, appointed to methodize the re-
cords, on the death of Petyt, with a falary of £. 200
a year. This he enjoyed till his decease, in 1748, at
the
age of eighty-feven.-Such were the able and in-
duftrious men to whom we owe the Fadera, a work
which is at once infinitely useful, and highly honoura-
ble to the British nation.

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The bookfellers at the Hague published a third edition of the Fadera in 1739, having contracted the twenty volumes into ten. In this edition the documents are tranflated into French, and printed in the oppofite column; and fome other papers of less usefulness are added. With De Bure, I am inclined to confider this edition as the best; becaufe, with equal accuracy, it contains more matter in lefs fpace. Thus much with regard to thofe collections of treaties, which were published by authority.

The reign of Queen Anne firft faw a collection of treaties, which was published by private individuals, without authority. Two volumes appeared in 1710, which began with treaties of very early date, but of no validity, and comprehended documents rather hiftorical than diplomatic. A third volume was added, in 1713, without greater regard to selection, arrangement, or precifion. And when these treaties were republished by the London booksellers, in 1732, a fourth volume was added, containing fuch additional documents as recent events had produced. In 1772, two small volumes of treaties were publifhed, beginning with the grand alliance, of 1689, and ending with the declarations of 1771, which concluded our difpute with regard to Falkland Islands. A fupplemental volume was added in 1781, comprehending public papers, from 1495 to 1734, fome of greater and fome of lefs value. Thefe treaties were republifhed in

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