THE papers of William Trumbull the elder (d. 1635) are celebrated among readers of this journal as the most expensive section of the most expensive archive purchased upto that time by the British Library. Their historical value is equally well known. A glance at the catalogue prepared by Peter Beal against the eventuality of their sale in separate lots reveals their extraordinary richness and diversity. Unlike the papers of Sir William Trumbull, they have remained intact and for nearly forty years have been open for public inspection in Reading or London. About half of them have been calendared in the reports of the Historical Manuscripts Commission. And yet the man behind the papers has remained curiously elusive.
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