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A SKETCH of HIS LIFE, CHARACTER, and OPINIONS.

BY

J.H. OVERTON, M.A.

VICAR OF LEGBOURNE, NON-RESIDENTIARY CANON OF LINCOLN CATHEDRAL ;

FORMERLY SCHOLAR OP LINCOLN COLLEGE, OXFORD;

AND JOINT-AUTHOR OF 'THE ENGLISH CHURCH IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY,'

LONDON:
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

1881.

All rights reserved.

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PREFACE.

A HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS have elapsed since the death of Mr. Law; but happily there are still living several of his name and lineage, without whose sanction and assistance this work could never have been written. I desire, therefore, to express my thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Law, of the Hall Yard, King's Cliffe, to Miss Law, also of King's Cliffe, and to Mr. Farmery Law, of Stamford, all lineal descendants of Mr. George Law, the eldest brother of the subject of the present biography ; to the Rev. Henry Law, Vicar of Clacton-on-Sea, a lineal descendant of Mr. Thomas Law, second brother of the same : in a word, to all the Law family, to whom I am indebted, not only for valuable information, but also for full permission to make use of all the private documents which bear upon my subject; also to the Rev. Richard Massey, Curate in sole charge of King's Cliffe, who has helped me in various ways in my researches at Cliffe; also to the Master (Dr. Phear) and the Librarian (Dr. Pearson) of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; also to my late colleague, the Rev. Charles John Abbey, who might

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fairly have claimed my subject as his own, inasmuch as William Law fell mainly to his province in our joint work on the Eighteenth Century, but who, with the courtesy and generosity which he has always shown, at once gave up the subject to me when I told him that I desired to write upon it. I have referred in my foot-notes to the late Mr. Walton's * Notes and Materials for an adequate Biography of the celebrated Divine, William Law,' whenever I have made use of that most industriously compiled work; but my obligations to the writer are so great that they require a special acknowledgment. I am still more indebted to the Chetham Society, whose useful labours have rendered accessible our best sources of information respecting Mr. Law's personal habits and conversation.

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