The connexion with the Herefordshire family is not so impossible as the descent from Sitsyllt; but the earliest authentic ancestor of the lord treasurer is his grandfather, David, who, according to Burghley's enemies, "kept the best inn" in Stamford.
Burghley's private life was singularly virtuous; he was a faithful husband, a careful father and a considerate master.
On the other hand, principles are valueless without law and order; and Burghley's craft and subtlety prepared a security in which principles might find some scope.
The sources and authorities for Burghley's life are endless.
The most important collection of documents is at Hatfield, where there are some ten thousand papers covering the period down to Burghley's 1 This was the form always used by Cecil himself.
For Burghley's early life, see Cooper's Athenae Cantab.; Baker's St John's Coll., Camb., ed.
No satisfactory life of Burghley has yet appeared; some valuable anonymous notes, probably by Burghley's servant Francis Alford, were printed in Peck's Desiderata Curiesa (1732), i.