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Thus to men cast in that heroic mould
But He, who rules both calm and stormy days,
RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES.
The Hall, Bawtry.
May 30th, 1854.
THE FOUNDERS OF
TT does not often happen to those who are intent I on historical investigation of the minuter kind, and who are willing to devote themselves to the study of writings usually deemed uninviting and uninstructive, such as monumental inscriptions, parish registers, account rolls, wills, visitation books; to recover facts important not only in the history of any one family or nation, but in the history of the migration of Nations, which is, in fact, a main topic in the history of the Human Race : yet this seems to have been for once my good fortune.
The settlement of colonies, which often issues in the establishment of new and independent Colonization communities, is usually the work of Govern- vernments, or ments; and the transaction is duly chro- prise. nicled with other public events. But it is not always so. It was private commercial enterprise which led to the settlement of Barbadoes, and subsequently of
effected by Go
the other West India Islands belonging to Great Britain. It was the working in a few private men of an overstrained spirit of opposition to the established order of ecclesiastical affairs in Protestant England, which led to the colonization of New England, and, in the event, to the establishment of the United States of America as one of the great communities of the civilized world. If we desire to know the particulars of movements such as these, we must not therefore expect to find them in public histories, or floating on the surface of human knowledge, but we must look to the circumstances of private families, of which it is hard to collect the particulars, and dive deep into those evidences, whatever they may be, in which anything is to be found respecting them. In many
In the latter cases it happens that nothing can be recase difficulty of recovering covered, because all evidence has perished. satisfactory information. England is, perhaps, in this respect not in a worse condition than other countries, but all who have made the experiment know that the difficulty is very great of recovering facts respecting private people who lived even no longer ago than thereigns of Elizabeth and James the First. And even in the more favoured cases, when the people about