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Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, Vol. 1

Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, Vol. 1

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Excerpt from Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, Vol. 1: From Original Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office

"Where the documents of the reign of Henry VII.," says Mr. Brewer in the preface to his great monumental collection of papers connected with the succeeding reign, "are reckoned by tens, those of Henry VIII. may be reckoned by hundreds;" and although for this reason chiefly the series of "Memorials," of which the present volume forms the first, will fall far short in extent and interest of that of the latter reign, it will be found to contain a most valuable and minute mass of information, connected with an eminently important juncture in the political history of England. By Henry VII. the sword of government was sheathed, the remains of the feudal system at last completely swept away, the undue domination of the nobles set aside to make room for the growing influence of the mighty middle class, in which our modern civilization, with its faults and its merits, has established its stronghold.

There are few reigns in English history which have hitherto supplied the inquirer with such scanty materials as that with which the present and succeeding volumes of the series are concerned. With one exception, the authorities of any value are foreigners. The work of Polydore Vergil - of whose history Hall's Chronicle is little more than a literal translation - was probably written after a visit to England, and in a succeeding reign. Fabyan's Chronicle is not of great value, either for the amount or the accuracy of his information.

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