Sir Thomas Smith was one of the most important politicians and intellectuals of the day; a brilliant academic career at Cambridge was followed by his active participation in politics under Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth. He played a leading role in the controversial reform of Greek pronunciation; he introduced a new style of continental architecture to England; and he wrote analyses of the politics of his day, including his views on the relations between the monarch and parliament, views which were to be seized on in the crisis of the 17th century in a way which would no doubt have startled Smith, had he lived to see it.
For this reason the publication of the ORWF is accompanied by Richard Simpson's personal and intellectual biography of this most important of the `missing persons' of the 16th century. The biography is intended partly to remedy some of the misconceptions about Smith, but, more importantly to set OWRF and his other writings in a coherent biographical framework
Deborah Thorpe provides the complete transcription of the original manuscript's text, with notes.