IN dedicating this book to my friends E. MAUNDE THOMPSON and EDWARD SCOTT, of the Manuscript Department of the British Museum, I wish to recognise their kindness in drawing attention to the unedited Hanover Papers, owing to which I was induced to undertake my present task. It has been my object, by giving a succinct account of Her Majesty’s family, and of the accession thereof to the British throne, to fill an obvious gap in our historical literature; while the time of publication seems opportune, falling, as it does, a few weeks before the Queen completes fifty years of her reign. But the work was originally designed, without reference to any such coincidence, as the result of historical research entered on for the sake of the subject itself and the interesting speculations necessarily suggested by the perplexing possibilities which hung in the air during the last years of Queen Anne’s reign. There is no pretence here to have set aside the general conclusions of writers such as Mr. W. H. Lecky, Professor A. W. Ward, the late Rev. J. Green, or the late Lord Stanhope, but rather to have confirmed their conclusions; although the Record Office papers exonerate Lord Bolingbroke from the charge of carelessness in striving to defend the ports and harbours when, as Secretary of State, he was responsible for their maintenance in proper strength.
The Brunswick Accession