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Synopsis

It was Lord Fountainhalls practice, during his whole life, to record in notebooks public events, and his observations upon them, legal decisions, and private memoranda. He kept several series of notebooks concurrently with great diligence and method. In all of those which have been preserved there is more or less matter of value to the student of history. But at his death his library was sold by public auction. The MSS. were dispersed, though their existence and value was known to some of his contemporaries. Some are lost, in particular the series of Historical Observes, 1660-1680, which, judging from the sequel, which has been preserved and printed by the Bannatyne Club, would have been of great value. According to tradition the greater part of what has been recovered was found in a snuff-shop by Mr. Crosby the lawyer, the supposed original of Scott's Pleydell, and purchased at the sale of his books after his death by the Faculty of Advocates. Preface to Forbes's Journal of the Session, Edinburgh, 1714. MS

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