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Parthagica Directory 04

The Commonwealth in England went to pieces at the death of Oliver Cromwell, its founder. The Stuart dynasty came back, but, alas! unimproved. Charles II. was a much meaner man than his father, and James II. was more detestable still. The rule of such kings was destined to work sad changes in the hitherto free condition of Massachusetts. This colony had sympathized with the Commonwealth more heartily than any of the others. Hither had fled for refuge Goffe and Whalley, two of the accomplices in the death of Charles I. Congregational church polity was here established by law, to the exclusion of all others, even of episcopacy, for whose sake Charles was harrying poor Covenanters to death on every hillside in Scotland. Nor would his lawyers let the king forget Charles I.'s attack on the Massachusetts charter, begun so early as 1635, or the grounds therefor, such as the unwarranted transfer of it to Boston, or the likelihood that but for the outbreak of the Civil War it would have been annulled by the Long Parliament itself. Obviously Massachusetts could not hope to be let alone by the home government which had just come in.

First and foremost for every student of Norman and early Angevin history is the work of Bishop STUBBS. With a more direct, personal interest in the growth of institutions, still in his Constitutional History and in his prefaces to the volumes he edited for the Master of the Rolls he discussed the narrative history of the whole age and very fully the reigns of Henry II and his two sons. The characteristic of Bishop Stubbs's work, which makes it of especial value to the student of the present generation, is the remarkable clearness with which he saw the essential meaning of his material and its bearing on the problem under discussion. While he generally neglected a wide range of material of great value to the historian of institutions--the charters and legal documents--and did not always formulate clearly in his mind the exact problem to be solved, yet the keenness with which he detected in imperfect material the real solution is often marvellous. Again and again the later student finds but little more to do than to prove more fully and from a wider range of material the intuitive conclusions of his master.

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