The Memoirs and Travels
Sir John Reresby, Bart. (1634-1689)
Edited by Albert, Ivatt M.A.
Christs College Cambridge.
Travels of Sir John Reresby.
In the copies dated 1735 the words "to which is added a Copious Index" take the place of "Published —— Manuscript." The Preface to the original edition is as follows:-
To insist on the Value of Works of this Nature, when they come from Men of real Knowledge and Understanding, were only to repeat what the wisest Men have often said for us. The Reader, we believe, will be convinced that Sir John was a Person very equal to the Task he undertook; and having such Opportunities of prying, as it were, into the Hearts of the greatest Ministers and Princes of his Time, it had been unpardonable in him to have refrained from communicating the many Important Matters he so assuredly knew.
The Reader will, we hope, find in him an Impartiality rarely met with in Writers, who have been, like him, of a Party; for being a Man of the strictest Honour, and nicest Conscience, he it seems thought it as unjust not to applaud an Enemy for any good he had done, as weak not to accuse a Friend when, through human Frailty, he hapned to deserve it.
This, and what goes before, might be sufficient to bespeak the Reader in his Favour, even tho' he had related no Fact but such as had been repeated an hundred Times before this Appearance of his Book; but as he abounds with Things new, or what is the same, with Matters known to very few living, and which will much assist us in forming a right Idea of the Times he lived in, he must claim a greater Share of Attention. But we will now leave Sir John to plead his own Cause, and shall only add, that we flatter our selves with the Approbation of the Public, for our thus retrieving him from the Recesses of Privacy.
In 1875, Mr. James J. Cartwright, M.A. Cantab., of H.M. Public Record Office, author of Chapters of Yorkshire History, published through Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. an edition of the Memoirs "edited from the original manuscript." In the preface to this edition (which is now out of print) Mr. Cartwright intimated that he had restored matter that had been omitted from the first edition. This was chiefly of an autobiographic nature, and, through the kindness of Mrs. Cartwright and of Messrs. Longmans & Co., it has been possible to make use of a few passages of Mr. Cartwrighfs transcription of the MS. in the preparation of the biographical note which follows.
Effect has been given in the notes to a few errata, printed at the end of the 1735 volume, and apparently omitted by the editor of the 1813 text: a few other textual errors have been similarly noted there rather than in the text. It would be well for the reader to bear in mind that he is reading Memoirs originally published before the change in the calendar was made, and at a time when the year was calculated to end on March 25.