Home  »  Volume X: English THE AGE OF JOHNSON  »  § 10. Sir John Dalrymple’s Memoirs of Great Britain, etc

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.

XII. Historians

§ 10. Sir John Dalrymple’s Memoirs of Great Britain, etc

Another Dalrymple, Sir John, of Cranstoun, a baronet, and, later, a judge, who was also a member of the Select Society, and had written an essay on feudal property, produced his Memoris of Great Britain and Ireland from 1684 to 1692, in two parts (1771–8), beginning with a review of affairs from 1660. The appendixes to his chapters contain a mass of previously unpublished political correspondence of first-rate importance on which he based his work. His first volume caused much stir for it revealed the extent to which English politics, in the reign of Charles II, had been influenced by French intrigues, and disgusted the whigs by exhibiting Sidney’s acceptance of money from Barillon. Dalrymple wrote in a pompous strain, and Johnson ridiculed his “foppery” and “bouncing style.” He continued his work, in a new edition (1790), to the capture of the French and Spanish fleets at Vigo.