In the course of planning, researching, and writing this book, we have incurred many debts. We are very grateful to John Morrill for his advice and assistance in planning the book and devising the chapter structure. He also gave us helpful comments on an early version of chapter 6, as did Barry Coward on drafts of chapters 5 and 11. We have benefited greatly from conversations with many other friends and colleagues, especially Phil Baker, Andrew Barclay, Alexander Courtney, Colin Davis, Tim Harris, Mark Kishlansky, Kirsteen MacKenzie, Jason Peacey, Stephen Roberts, David Scott, Graham Seel, David Underdown, and Blair Worden. Needless to say, none of the above bears any responsibility for the shortcomings of the finished book.
We are most grateful to Clive Holmes and to Jason Peacey for allowing us to read work prior to publication. We also wish to thank the History of Parliament Trust for permitting us to see draft constituency articles before publication, and to make use of this material in the chapter on elections. Thanks are due to His Grace the Duke of Northumberland for permission to consult the microfilm of the Alnwick Castle manuscripts in the British Library. An early version of chapter 5 was presented at a seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London; early versions of chapter 6 were read at seminars at Cambridge, Sussex, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Protectorate symposium held at the History of Parliament Trust, London.