IF I have striven, in the present volume, and in the one which will succeed it, to take a broader view of the deeds of the great men who made this England in which we live, and to realise and measure the greatness of Pym, as I have formerly attempted to realise and measure the greatness of Strafford, it must not be forgotten that this has been in great measure rendered possible by the amount of new material which has come into my hands, and which till very lately was entirely inaccessible. The invaluable diary of Sir Symonds d'ewes, and the State Papers in the Public Record Office, have indeed been studied by previous inquirers, though I have found amongst them gleanings not wholly despicable. The Clarendon mss, the Curie and Tanner mss. In the Bodleian Library have also been helpful. But even if these mines had been more thoroughly worked than they have been, little or nothing would have been found in them to fill up the great deficiency which every pre vious historian of the period must have felt. The suspicions entertained of Charles I. By the Parliamentary leaders form the most prominent feature of the history of the Long Parliament. The whole narrative will be coloured by the conviction of the Titer that these suspicions were either well or ill founded. Yet hitherto there has been no possibility of penetrating, except by casual glimpses, behind the veil of Charles's privacy. What evidence has been forthcoming was too scattered and incoherent to convince those who were not half — convinced already. Though even now much remains dark, considerable light has been thrown upon the secrets 'of Charles's policy by the copies, now in the Record Office, of the correspondence of Rossetti, the Papal Agent at the Court of Henrietta Maria, with Cardinal Barberini. The originals are preserved in the Barberini Palace, where the agents of the Record Office were permitted, by the courtesy of the librarian, Don Sante Pieralisi, to make the copies of them which have stood me in such good stead. I do not know any literary service for which I have had reason to be more profoundly grateful than that which was performed by these gentlemen by directions from the authorities at the Record Office, and of which I and my readers have been the first to reap the benefit.