This, the final volume on the archives of the Finch family, deals with three groups of papers. Firstly there is the general correspondence of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, as secretary of state from January to November 1693: this covers naval and military reversals in the West Indies and off Portugal - the Smyrna fleet disaster - and the extensive correspondence with William Blathwayt, secretary of war in attendance on William III in the Low Countries. The second group is Nottingham's secret service papers, which consist mainly of transcripts made in Rotterdam under the direction of the Huguenot theologian Pierre Jurieu, of spies' reports smuggled out of France in invisible ink or cipher. Naval intelligence from the French Channel and Atlantic ports had the highest priority, but the agents also reported on the land war in Flanders, Piedmont and Catalonia, social and economic conditions in France, events at the court of Louis XIV, and the persecution of the Huguenots. The third set of papers is Nottingham's naval and military papers to 1694. This volume also contains a very full introduction and index, to ensure that it can be used independently of its predecessors (now out of print). This is the last of the Commission's Reports and calendars series, begun in 1870, as well as in the Finch subseries begun in 1913.
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