This is the thirteenth section of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica entry for ENGLISH HISTORY which simply details the various source materials available for English and to a great extent British history. Naturally it takes no account of the 20th century and many of the secondary sources it lists would now be regarded as superseded, but it remains an invaluable account of prime sources covering the period to the end of the 19th century.
The attempt here made to combine a bibliography of English history with some account of the progress of English historical writing is beset with some difficulty. The evidential value of what a writer says is quite distinct from the literary art with which he says it; the real sources of history are not the works of historians, but records and documents written with no desire to further any literary purpose. Domesday Book is unique as a source of medieval history, but it does not count in the development of English historical writing. That is quite a secondary consideration; for there was much English history before any Englishman could write; and even after he could write, his compositions constitute a minor part of the evidence.
Our earliest information about the land and its people is derived from geological, ethnological and archaeological studies, from the remains in British harrows and caves, Roman roads, walls and villas, coins, place-names and inscriptions. The writings of Caesar and Tacitus, and a few scattered notices in other Roman authors, supplement this evidence. But the scientific accuracy of Tacitus' Germania is not beyond dispute, and that light fails centuries before the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Great Britain. The history of that conquest itself is mainly inferential; there is the flebilis narratio(*) of Gildas, vague and rhetorical, moral rather than historical in motive, and written more than a century after the conquest had begun, and the narrative of the Welsh Nennius, who wrote two and a half centuries after Gildas, and makes no critical distinction between the deeds of dragons and those of Anglo-Saxons.
(* Editor's note - flebilis narratio; lamentable history.)
The Anglo-Saxons themselves could not write until Christian missionaries had reintroduced the art at the end of the 6th century, and history was not by any means the first purpose to which they applied it. It was first used to compile written statements of customs and dooms which were their nearest approach to law, and these codes and charters are the earliest written materials for Anglo-Saxon history. The remarkable outburst of literary culture in Northumbria during the 7th and 8th centuries produced a real historian in Bede; Bede, however, knows little or nothing of English history between 450 and 596, and he is valuable only for the 7th and early part of the 8th centuries. Almost contemporary is the Vita Wilfridi by Eddius, but more valuable are the letters we possess of Boniface and Alcuin.
The famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was probably started under the influence of Alfred the Great towards the end of the 9th century. Its chronology is often one, two or three years wrong even when it seems to be a contemporary authority, and the value of its evidence on the conquest and the first two centuries after it is very uncertain. But from Ecgbert's reign onwards it supplies a good deal of apparently trustworthy information. For Alfred himself we have also Asser's biography and the Annals of St Neots, a very imaginative compilation, while most of the stories which have made Alfred's name a household word are fabulous. Even the Chronicle becomes meagre a few years after Alfred's death, and its value depends largely upon the ballads which it incorporates; nor is it materially supplemented by the lives of Saint Dunstan, for hagiologists have never treated historical accuracy as a matter of moment; and our knowledge of the last century of Anglo-Saxon history is derived mainly from Anglo-Norman writers who wrote after the Norman Conquest. Some collateral light on the Danish conquest of England is thrown by the Helmskringla and other materials collected in Vigfusson and Powell's Corpus Poeticum Boreale, and for the reign of Canute and his sons there is the contemporary Encomium Emmae, which is a dishonest panegyric on the widow of Aethelred and Canute. For Edward the Confessor there is an almost equally biased biography.
For the Norman Conquest itself strictly contemporary evidence is extremely scanty, and historians have exhausted their own and their readers patience in. disputing the precise significance of some phrases about the battle of Hastings used by Wace, a Norman poet who wrote nearly a century after the battle. One version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle goes down to 1079 and another to 1154, but their notices of current events are brief and meagre. The Bayeux tapestry affords, however, valuable contemporary evidence, and there are some facts related by eye-witnesses in the works of William of Poitiers and William of Jumiges.
A generation of copious chroniclers was, moreover, springing up, and among them were Florence of Worcester, Henry of Huntingdon, Simeon of Durham and William of Malmesbury. Their ambition. was almost invariably to write the history of the world, and they generally begin with the Creation. They only become original and contemporary authorities towards the end of their appointed tasks, and the bulk of their work is borrowed from their predecessors. Frequently they embody materials which would otherwise have perished, but their transcription is, marred by an amount of conscious or unconscious falsification which seriously impairs their value.
All the above-mentioned writers lived in the half century immediately following the Norman Conquest, but their critical acumen and their literary art vary considerably. William of Malmesbury, Eadmer and Ordericus Vitalis attain a higher historical standard than had yet been reached in England by any one, with the possible exception of Bede. They are not mere annalists; they practise an art and cultivate a style; history has become to them a form of literature. They have also their philosophy and interpretation of history. It is mainly a theological conception, blind to economic influences, and attaching excessive importance to the effects of the individual action of emperors and popes, kings and cardinals. Even their characters are painted in different colours according to their action on quite irrelevant questions, as, for instance, their benefactions to the monastery, to which the historian happens to belong, or to rival houses; and the character once determined by such considerations, history is made to point the moral of their fortunes, or their fate. It is regarded as the record of moral judgments and the proof of orthodox doctrine, and it is long before ecclesiastical historians expel the sermon from their text.
The line of monastic historians stretches out to the close of the middle ages. Most of the great monasteries had their official annalists, who produced such works as the Annals of Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Burton, Waverley, Dunstable, Bermondsey, Oseney, Winchester (see Annales Monastici, 5 vols., ed. Luard, and other volumes in the Rolls series). Some of them are mainly local chronicles; others are almost national histories. In particular, St Albans developed a remarkable school of historians extending over nearly three centuries to the death of Whethamstede in 1465 (see Chronica Monasterii S. Albani, Rolls series, 7 vols., ed. Riley). Only a few of the 235 volumes published under the direction of the master of the Rolls, and called the Rolls series, can here be mentioned. Other medieval writers have been edited for the earlier English Historical Society; some of them have been re-edited without being superseded in the Rolls series.
For the reign of Stephen we have the anonymous Gesta Stephani in addition to the writers already mentioned, several of whom continue into Stephen's reign. For Henry II we have William of Newburgh, who reaches the highest point attained by historical composition in the 12th century; the so-called Benedict of Peterborough's Gesta Henrici , which Stubb's tentatively and without sufficient authority ascribed to Richard Fitznigel; Robert of Torigni; and seven volumes of Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, which contain some of the best and worst samples of hagiological history. For Richard and John the chronicles of Roger of Hoveden, Ralph de Diceto (Diss), Gervase of Canterbury, Ralph of Coggeshall, and a later continuation of Hoveden, known under the name of Walter of Coventry, are the best narrative authorities.
With the accession of Henry III, Roger of Wendover, the first of the St Albans school whose writings are extant, becomes our chief authority. He was re-edited and continued after 1236 by Matthew Paris, the greatest of medieval historians. His work, which goes down to 1259, is picturesque, vivid, and marked by considerable breadth of view and independence of judgment. The story is carried on by a series of jejune compilations known as the Flores historiarum (ed. Luard). Better authorities for Edward I are Rishanger, Trokelowe and Blaneforde, Wykes, Walter of Hemingburgh, Nicholas Trevet, Oxnead and Bartholomew Cotton, and others contained in Stubbs's Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II.
In the 14th century there is a significant deterioration in the monastic chroniclers, and their place is taken by the works of secular clergy like Adam Murimuth, Geoffrey the Baker, Robert of Avesbury, Henry Knighton and the anonymous author of the Eulogium historictrum. Monastic history is represented by Higden's voluminous Polychronicon, which succeeds the Flores historiarum. A brief revival of the St Albans school towards the end of the century is seen in the Chronicon Angliae and the works of T. Walsingham, which continue into the reign of Henry V. For Richard II we have also Malverne and the Monk of Evesham; for the early Lancastrians, Capgrave, Elmham, Otterbourne, Adam of Usk; and for Henry VI, Amundesham, Whethamstede, William of Worcester and John Hardyng, as well as a number of anonymous briefer chronicles, edited, though not in the Rolls series, by J. Gairdner, C. L. Kingsford, N. H. Nicolas and J. S. Davies.
These are the principal English historical writers for the middle ages; but as the connection between England and the continent grew closer, and international relations developed, an increasing amount of light is thrown on English history by foreign writers. Of these authorities one of the earliest is the Histoire des ducs de Normandie et des rois d'Angleterre(ed. Michel); briefer are the Chronique de l'Anonyme de Bethune and the Histoire de Guillaume le Marchal. A large number of French and Flemish chronicles illustrate the history of the Hundred Years War, by far the most important being Froissart (best edition by Luce, though Lettenhoves is bigger). Next come Jehan le Bel, Waurins Recueil, Monstrelet, Chastellain, Juvenal des Ursins, and more limited works such as Chronique de la traison et mort de Richard II.
Chronicles, however, grow less important as sources of history as time goes on. Their value is always dependent upon the absence of the more satisfactory materials known as records, and these records gradually become more copious and complete. They develop with the government, of whose activity and policy they are the real test and evidence. Perhaps the most important thing in history is the evolution of government, the development of consciousness and a will on the part of the state. This will is expressed in records; and, as the state progresses from infancy through the stage of tutelage under the church to its modern, omnicompetence, so its will is expressed in an ever widening and differentiating series of records.
The first need of a government is finance; the earliest organized machinery for exerting its will is the exchequer; and the earliest great record in English history is Domesday Book. It is followed by a series of exchequer records, called the Pipe Rolls, which begin in the reign of Henry I, and dating from that of Henry II is the Dialogus de scaccario, which explains in none too lucid language the intricate working of the exchequer system. It was Henry II who gave the greatest impetus to the development of the machinery for expressing the will of the state. Be began with finance and went on to justice, recognizing that justitia magnum emolumentum, the administration of justice was a great source of revenue. So national courts of law are added to the national exchequer, and by the end of the lath century legal records become an even more important source of history than financial documents.
The judicial system is described by Glanvill at the end of the 12th, and by Bracton and Fleta in the 13th century (for the exchequer see the Testa de Nevill and the Red Book of the Exchequer). During that period the Curia Regis threw off three offshoots the courts of exchequer, king's bench and common pleas; and records of their judicial proceedings survive in the Plea Rolls and Year Books, some of which have been edited for the Rolls series, the Selden and other societies. Numerous other classes of legal and administrative records gradually develop, the Patent and Close Rolls (first calendared by the Record Commission, and subsequently treated more adequately under the direction of the deputy keeper of the Records), Charters (which were first grants to individuals, then to collective groups, monasteries or boroughs, then to classes, and finally expanded as in Magna Cartainto grants to the whole nation), Escheats, Feet of Fines, Inquisitiones post mortem, Inquisitiones ad quod damnum, Placita de Quo Warranto, and others for which the reader is referred to S. R. Scargill-Bird's Guide to the Principal Classes of Documents preserved in the Record Office (3rd ed., 1908).
Every branch of administration. comes to be represented in records almost as soon as it is developed. The evolution of the army which won Crecy and Poitiers is accompanied by the accumulation of a mass of indentures and other military documents, the value of which has been illustrated in Dr Morris's Welsh Wars of Edward I and George Wrottesley's Crecy and Calais from the Public Records. The growth of naval organization is reflected in the Black Book of the Admiralty; the growth of taxation in the Liber custumaruri and Subsidy Rolls; the rise of parliament in the Parliamentary Writs (ed. Palgrave), in the Rotuli parliamentorum, in the Official Return of Members of Parliament, and in the Statutes of the Realm; that of Convocation in David Wilkins's Concilia. The register of the privy council does not begin until later in the 14th century, and then is broken off between the middle of the 15th and 1539.
Local as well as central government begets records as it grows. From the Extenta manerii of the 12th century we get to the Manorial Rolls of the 13th, when also we have Hundred Rolls, records of forest courts, of courts leet and of coroners courts, and ii variety of municipal documents, for which the reader is referred to Dr C. Gross's Bibliography of British Municipal History and to Mrs J. R. Green's more popular Town Life in the Fifteenth Century. The municipal records of London, its hustings court and city companies, are too multifarious to describe; some classes of these documents have been exemplified in the works of Dr R. R. Sharpe. Ecclesiastical records are represented by the episcopal registers (for the most part still unpublished), monastic cartularies, and other documents rendered comparatively scarce by the spoliation of the monasteries, and scattered proceedings of ecclesiastical courts. (See also the article Record.)
Documents, other than records strictly so called, begin to grow with the habit of correspondence and the necessity of communication. A few letters survive from the time of the Norman kings, but the earliest collection of English royal letters is the Letters of Henry III. (Rolls series). Contemporary are the Letters of Grosseteste, and a little later come the Letters of Archbishop Peckham and Raine's Letters from Northern Registers (all in the Rolls series). Private correspondence appeared earlier in the voluminous epistles of Peter of Blois, archdeacon of Bath (ed. Giles). This is a somewhat intermittent source of history until we come to the 15th century, when the well-known Paston Letters (ed. Gairdner) begin a stream which never fails thereafter and soon becomes a torrent. The most important series of official correspondence is the Papal Letters, calendared from 1198 to 1404 in 4 vols. (ed. Bliss, Johnson and Twemlow). Subsidiary sources are the Political Songs (ed. Wright), treatises like those of John of Salisbury, Gerald of Wales, and, later, Wycliffe's works, Netter's Fasciculi Zizaniorum, Gascoigne's Loci e libro veritatum, Pecock's Repressor, and the literary writings of Chaucer, Langland, Gower, Richard Rolle and others.
During the 15th century the transition, which marks the change from medieval to modern history, affects also the character of historical sources and historical writing. In the first place, history ceases to be the exclusive province of the church; monastic chronicles shrink to a trickle and then dry up; the last of their kind in England is the Greyfriar's Chronicle (Camden Society), which ends in 1554. Their place is taken by the city chronicle compiled by middle-class laymen, just as the Renaissance was not a revival of clerical learning, but the expression of new intellectual demands on the part of the laity. Secondly, the definite disappearance of the medieval ideas of a cosmopolitan world and the emergence of national states begat diplomacy, and with it an ever-swelling mass of diplomatic material. Diplomacy had hitherto been occasional and intermittent, and embassies rare; now we get resident ambassadors carrying on a regular correspondence (see Diplomacy). The mercantile interests of Venice made it the pioneer in this direction, though its representatives abroad were at first commercial rather than diplomatic agents. The Calendar of Venetian State Papers goes back to the 14th century, but does not become copious till the reign of Henry VII, when also the Spanish Calendar begins. Resident French ambassadors in England only begin in the 16th century, and later still those from the emperor, the German and Italian states other than Venice. In the third place, the development of the new monarchy involved an enormous extension of the activity of the central government, and therefore a corresponding expansion in the records of its energy.
The political records of this energy are the State Papers, a class of document which soon dwarfs all others, and renders chroniclers, historians and the like almost negligible quantities as sources of history; but in another way their value is enhanced, for these hundreds of thousands of documents provide a test of the accuracy of modern historians which is imperfect in the case of medieval chroniclers and almost non-existent in that of ancient writers. These state papers are either foreign or domestic, that is to say, the correspondence of the English government with its agents abroad, or at home. There is also the correspondence of foreign ambassadors resident in England with their governments. This last class of documents exists in England mainly in the form of transcripts from the originals in foreign archives, which have been made for the purpose of the Venetian and Spanish Calendars of state papers. The Venetian Calendar had by 1909 been carried well into the 17th century; the Spanish (which includes transcripts from the Habsburg archives at Vienna, Brussels and Simancas) covered only the reigns of Henry VII and VIII and Queen Elizabeth. No attempt had yet been made to calendar the French correspondence in a similar way, though the French Foreign Office published some fragmentary collections, such as the Correspondance de MM. de Castillon et de Marillac and that of Odet de Selve. There are other collections too numerous to enumerate, such as Lettenhove's edition of Philip II's correspondence relating to the Netherlands, Diegerick and Mullers, Teulets and Albris collections, the French Documents indits and the Spanish Documentos ineditos, all containing state papers relating to England's foreign policy in the 16th century. The Scottish and Irish state papers are calendared in separate series and without much system. Thus for Scottish affairs there are four series, the Border Papers, the Hamilton Papers, Thorp's Calendar, and, more recent and, complete, Bain's Calendar. For Ireland, besides the regular Irish state papers, there are the Carew Papers, almost as important. Anarchy, indeed, pervades the whole method of publication.
For the reign of Henry VII we have besides the Venetian and Spanish Calendars, only three volumes Gairdner's Letters and Papers of Richard III and Henry VII and Campbell's Materials (2 vols., Rolls series). Then with the reign of Henry VIII begins the magnificent and monumental Letters and Papers of Henry VIII., the one modern series for which the Record Office deserves unstinted praise. This is not limited to state papers, domestic and foreign, nor to documents in the Record Office; it calendars private letters, grants, etc., extant in the British Museum and elsewhere. It extends to 21 volumes, each volume consisting of two or more parts, and some parts (as in vol. iv.) containing over a thousand pages; it comprises at least fifty thousand documents. Its value, however, varies; the earlier volumes are not so full as the later, the documents are not so well calendared, and some classes are excluded from earlier, which appear in the later, volumes.
After 1547 a different plan is adopted, though not consistently followed. Only state papers are calendared, and as a rule only those in the Record Office; and the domestic are separated from the foreign. The great fault is the neglect of the vast quantities of state papers in the British Museum. The Domestic Calendar (the first volume of which is very inadequate) extended in 1909 in a series of more than seventy volumes nearly to the end of tbe 17th century; the mass of MSS. calendared therein may be gathered from the fact that for the reign of Elizabeth the Domestic state papers fill over three hundred MS. volumes. The Foreign Calendar had only got to 1582, but it occupied sixteen printed volumes against one of the Domestic Calendar. For the masses of MSS. uncalendared in the British Museum there is no guide except the imperfect indexes to the Cotton, Harleian, Lansdowne, Additional and other collections. Hardly less important than the calendars are the reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission and the appendices thereto, which extend to over a hundred volumes; twelve are occupied by Lord Salisbury's 16th-century MSS. at Hatfield House. The dispersion of these state papers is due to the fact that they were in those days treated not as the property of the state, but as the private property of individual secretaries.
State papers represent only one side of the activity of the central government. The register of the privy council, extending with some lacunae from 1539 to 1604, has been printed in thirty-two volumes. The Rot nh parliamentorum end with Henry VII, but in 1509 begin the journals of the House of Lords, and in 1547 the journals of the House of Commons. These are supplemented by private diaries of members of parliament, several of which were used in Dewes's Journals. Legal history can now be followed in a continuous series of law reports, beginning with Keilway, Staunford and Dyer, and going on with Coke and many others; documentary records of various courts are exemplified in the Select Cases from the Star Chamber, the court of requests and admiralty courts, published by the Selden Society; and there are voluminous records of the courts of augmentations, first-fruits, wards and liveries in the Record Office. For Ireland, besides the state papers, there are the Calendars of Patents and of Grants, and for Scotland the Exchequer Rolls and Registers of the Privy Council and of the Great Seal, both extending to many volumes.
Unofficial sources multiply with equal rapidity, but it is impossible to enumerate the collections of private letters, etc.; only a few of which have been published. The chronicles; which in the 15th century are usually meagre productions like Warkworth's (Camden Society), get fuller, especially those emanating from London. Fabyan is succeeded by Hall, an indispensable authority for Henry VIII, and Hall by Grafton. Other useful books are Wriothesley's Chronicle and Machyn's Diary, and they have numerous successors; some of their works have been edited for the Camden Society, which now takes the place of the Rolls series. The most important are Holinshed, Stow and Camden; and gradually, with Speed and Bacon, the chronicle develops into the history, and early in the 17th century we get such works as Lord Herbert's Reign of Henry VIII, Hayward's Edward VI, and, on the ecclesiastical side, Hvlvn. Fuller, Burnet and Collier's histories of the church and Reformation. Foxe, who died in 1587, included a vast and generally accurate collection of documents in his Acts and Monuments, popularized as the Book of Martyrs, though his own contributions have to be discounted as much as those of Sanders, Parsons and other Roman Catholic controversialists. Two other great collections are the Parker Society's publications (56 vols.), which contain besides the works of the reformers a considerable number of their letters, and Strype's works (26 vols.). The naval epic of the period is Hakluyt's Navigations, re-edited in 12 vols. in 1902, and continued in Purchas's Pilgrims.
In the 17th century the domestic and foreign state papers eclipse other sources almost more completely than in the 16th. The colonial state papers now become important and extensive, those relating to America and the West Indies being most numerous (18 vols. to 1700). Parliamentary records naturally expand, and the journals of both Houses become more detailed. Parliamentary diarists like Dewes, Burton and Walter Yonge, only a fragment of whose shorthand notes in the British Museum has been published (Camden Society), elucidate the bare official statements; and from 1660 the series of parliamentary debates is fairly complete, though not so full or authoritative as it becomes with Hansard in the 19th century. Social diarists of great value appear after the Restoration in Pepys, Evelyn, Reresby, Narcissus Luttrell and Swift (Journal to Stella), and political writing grows more important as a source of history, whether it takes the form of Bacon's (ed. Spedding) or Milton's treatises, or of satires like Dryden's and political pamphlets like Halifax's and then Swift's, Defoe's and Steele's. Clarendons Great Rebellion and Burnet's History of My Own Time are the first modern attempts at contemporary history, as distinct from chronicles and annals, in England, although it is difficult to exclude the work of Matthew Paris from the category. The innumerable tracts and newsletters are a valuable source for the Civil Wars and Commonwealth period (see J. B. Williams, A History of English Journalism, 1909), while Thurloe's, Clarendon's and Nalson's collections of state papers deserve a mention apart from the Domestic Calendar. There is a still more monumental collection the Carte Paperson Irish affairs in the Bodleian Library, where also the Tanner MSS. and other collections have only been very partially worked. The volumes of the Historical MSS. Commission are of great value for the later Stuart period, notably the House of Lords MSS.
For the 18th century the only calendars are the Home Office Papers and the Treasury Books and Papers, the further specialization of government having made it necessary to differentiate domestic state papers into several classes. But it need hardly be said that the bulk of correspondence in the Record Office does not diminish. Outside its walls the most important single collection is perhaps the duke of Newcastle's papers among the Additional MSS. in the British Museum; the Stuart papers at Windsor, Mr Fortescues at Dropmore, Lord Charlemont's (Irish affairs), Lord Dartmouth's (American affairs) and Lord Carlisle's, all calendared by the Historical MSS. Commission, are also valuable. Chatham's correspondence with colonial governors has been published (2 vols., 1906), as have the Grenville Papers, Bedford Correspondence, Malmesbury's Diaries, Auckland's Journals and Correspondence, Grafton's Correspondence, Lord North's Correspondence with George III, and other correspondence in The Memoirs of Rockingham, and the duke of Buckingham's Court and Cabinets of George III. Mention should also be made of Gower's Despatches, the Cornwallis Correspondence, Rose's Correspondence and Lord Colchester's Correspondence. Of special interest is the series of naval records, despatches to and from naval commanders, proceedings of courts-martial, and logs in the Record Office which have never been properly utilized.
Among unofficial sources the most characteristic of the 18th century are letters, memoirs and periodical literature. Horace Walpole's Letters (Clarendon Press, 16 vols.) are the best comment on the history of the period; his Memoirs are not so good, though they are superior to Wraxall, who succeeds him. Periodical literature becomes regular in the reign of Queen Anne, chiefly in the form of journals like the Spectator; but several daily newspapers, including The Times, were founded during the century. The Craftsman provided a vehicle for Bolingbroke's attacks on Walpole, while the Gentleman's Magazine and Annual Register begin a more serious and prolonged career. Both contain occasional state papers, and not very trustworthy reports of parliamentary proceedings. The publication of debates was not authorized till the last quarter of the century; parliamentary papers begin earlier, but only slowly attain their present portentous dimensions. Political writing is at its best from Halifax to Cobbett, and its three greatest names are perhaps Swift, Junius and Burke, though Steele, Defoe, Bolingbroke and Dr Johnson are not far behind, while Canning's contributions to the Anti-Jacobin and Gillray's caricatures require mention.
The sources for 19th century history are somewhat similar to those for the 18th. Diaries continue in the Creevey Papers, Greville's Diary, and lesser but not less voluminous writers like Sir M. E. Grant-Duff. The most important series of letters is Queen Victoria's (ed. Lord Esher and A. C. Benson, 1908), and the correspondence of most of her prime ministers and many of her other advisers has been partially published. Of political biographies there is no end. The great bulk of material, however, consists of blue-books, Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, and newspapers which are better as indirect than direct evidence. The real truth is not of course revealed at once, and many episodes in 19th century history are still shrouded by official secrecy. In this respect English governments are more, cautious or reactionary than many of those on the continent of Europe, and access to official documents is denied when it is granted elsewhere; even the lapse of a century is not considered, a sufficient salve for susceptibilities which might be wounded by the whole truth.
Meanwhile the 19th century witnessed a great development in historical writing. In the middle ages the stimulus to write was mainly of a moral or ecclesiastical nature, though the patriotic impulse which had suggested the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was perhaps never entirely absent, and the ecclesiastical motive often degenerated into a desire to glorify, sometimes even by forgery, not merely the church as a whole, but the particular monastery to which the writer belonged. As nationalism developed, the patriotic motive supplanted the ecclesiastical, and stress is laid on the famous history of England. Insular self-glorification was, however, modified to some extent by the Renaissance, which developed an interest in other lands, and the Reformation, which gave to much historical writing a partisan theological bias. This still colours most of the histories of the Reformation period, because the issues of that time are living issues, and the writers of these histories are committed beforehand by their profession and their position to a particular interpretation.
In the 17th century political partisanship coloured historical writing, and that, too, remained a potent motive so long as historians were either Whigs or Tories. Histories were often elaborate party pamphlets, and this race of historians is hardly yet extinct. Macaulay is not greatly superior in impartiality to Hume; Gibbon and Robertson were less open to temptation because they avoided English subjects. Hallam deliberately aimed at impartiality, but he could not escape his Whig atmosphere. Nevertheless, the effort to be impartial marks a new conception of history, which is well expressed in Lord Acton's admonition to his contributors in the Cambridge Modern History. Historians are to serve no cause but that of truth; in so far even as they desire a line of investigation to lead to a particular result, they are not, maintains Professor Bury, real historians. S. R. Gardiner perhaps attained most nearly this severe ideal among English historians, and Ranke among Germans. But, even when all conscious bias is eliminated, the unconscious bias remains, and Ranke's history of the Reformation is essentially a middle-class, even bourgeois, presentment. Stubbs's medievalist sympathies colour his history throughout, and still more strongly does Froude's anticlericalism. Freeman's bias was peculiar; he is really a West Saxon of Godwine's time reincarnated, and his Somerset hatred of French, Scots and Mercian foreigners sets off his robust loyalty to the house of Wessex. Lecky and Creighton are almost as dispassionate as Gardiner, but are more definitely committed to particular points of views, while democratic fervour pervades the fascinating pages of J.R.Green, and an intellectual secularism, which is almost religious in its intensity and idealism, inspired the genius of Maitland.
The latest controversy about history is whether it is a science or an art. It is, of course, both, simply because there must be science in every art and art in every science. The antithesis is largely false; science lays stress on analysis, art on synthesis. The historian must apply scientific methods to his materials and artistic methods to his results; he must test his documents and then turn them into literature. The relative importance of the two methods is a matter of dispute. There are some who still maintain that history is merely an art, that the best history is the story that is best told, and that what is said is less important than the way in which it is said. This school generally ignores records. Others attach little importance to the form in which truth is presented; they are concerned mainly with the principles and methods of scientific criticism, and specialize in palaeography, diplomatic and sources. The works of this school are little read, but in time its results penetrate the teaching in schools and universities, and then the pages of literary historians; it is represented in England by a fairly good organization, the Royal Historical Society (with which the Camden Society has been amalgamated), and by an excellent periodical, The English Historical Review (founded in 1884), while some sort of propaganda is attempted by the Historical Association (started in 1906). Its standards have also been upheld with varying success in great co-operative undertakings, such as the Dictionary of National Biography, the Cambridge Modern History, and Messrs Longman's Political History of England.
These 19th-century products require some sort of classification for purposes of reference, and the chronological is the most convenient. Lingard's, J. R. Green's and Messrs Longman's histories are the only notable attempts to tell the history of England as a whole, though Stubbs's Constitutional History (3 vols.) covers the middle ages and embodies a political survey as well (for corrections and modifications see Petit-Dutaillis, Supplementary Studies, 1908), while Hallam's Constitutional history (3 vols.) extends from 1485 to 1760 and Erskine May's (3 vols.) from 1760 to 1860. Sir James Ramsay's six volumes also cover the greater part of medieval English history. There is no work on a larger scale than Lappenberg and Kemble, dealing with England before the Norman Conquest, though J. R. Green's Making of England and Conquest of England deal with certain portions in some detail, and Freeman gives a preliminary survey in his Norman Conquest (6 vols.). For the succeeding period see Freeman's William Rufus, J. H. Round's Feudal England and Geoffrey de Mandeville, and Miss Norgate's England under the Angevins and John Lackland. From 1216 we have nothing but Ramsay, Stubbs, Longman's Political History and monographs (some of them good), until we come to Wylie's Henry IV. (4 vols.); and again from 1413 the same is true (Gairdner's Lollardy and the Reformation being the most elaborate monograph) until we come to Brewer's Reign of Henry VIII (2 vols.; to 1530 only), Froude's History (12 vols., 1529-1588) and R. W. Dixon's Church History (6vols., 1529-1570). From 1603 to 1656 we have Gardiner's History (England, 10 vols.; Civil War, 4 vols.; Commonwealth and Protectorate, 3 vols.), and to 1714 Ranke's History of England (6 vols.; see also Firth's Cromwell and Cromwell's Army, and various editions of texts and monographs). For Charles II there is no good history; then come Macaulay, and Stanhope and Wyon's Queen Anne, and for the 18th century Stanhope and Lecky (England, 7 vols.; Ireland, 5 vols.). From 1793 to 1815 is another gap only partially filled. Spencer Walpole deals with the period from 1815 to 1880, and Herbert Paul with the years 1846-1895.
A few books on special subjects deserve mention. For legal history see Pollock and Maitland's History of English Law (2 vols. to Edward I), Maitland's Domesday Book and Beyond, and Anson's Law and Custom of the Constitution; for economic history, Cunningham's Growth of Industry and Commerce, and Ashley's Economic History; for ecclesiastical history, Stephen's and Hunt's series (7 vols.); for foreign and colonial, Seeley's British Foreign Policy and Expansion of England and J. A. Doyle's books on the American colonies; for military history, Fortescue's History of the British Army, Napier's and Oman's works on the Peninsular War, and Kinglake's Invasion of the Crimea; and for naval history, Corbett's Drake and the Tudor Navy, Successors of Drake, English in the Mediterranean and Seven Years War, and Mahan's Influence of Sea Power on History and Influence of Sea-Power upon the French Revolution and Empire.
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BIBLIOGRAPHIES
The sources for the middle ages have been enumerated in C. Gross's Sources and Literature of English History to about 1485 (London, 1900), but there is nothing similar for modern history. G. C. Lee's Source Book of English History is not very satisfactory. More information can be obtained from the bibliographies appended to the volumes in Longman's Political History, or the chapters in the Cambridge Modern History, or to the biographical articles in the D.N.B. and Ency. Brit*. A series of bibliographical leaflets for the use of teachers is issued by the Historical Association. For MSS. sources see Scargill-Bird's Guide to the Record Office, and the class catalogues in the MSS. Department of the British Museum. Lists of the state papers and other documents printed and calendared under the direction of the master of the Rolls and deputy keeper of the Records are supplied at the end of many of their volumes.
(* Editor's note: The Dictionary of National Biography and the Encylopedia Britannica.)