He has also himself suffered much from the inaccuracy of copyists.
The first volume was attacked in 1733 for unfairness and inaccuracy by Isaac Maddox, afterwards bishop of St Asaph and of Worcester, to whom Neal replied in a pamphlet, A Review of the principal facts objected to in the first volume of the History of the Puritans; and the remaining volumes by Zachary Grey (1688-1766), to whom the author made no reply.
In his histories proper the special motive for embellishment disappears, but the habit of inaccuracy remains.
These defects are an almost total absence of any comprehension of what has since been called the philosophy of history, the constant presence of gross prejudice, frequent inaccuracy of detail, and, above all, a complete incapacity to look at anything except from the narrow standpoint of a half-pessimist and half self-satisfied philosophe of the 18th century.
They are called by the French (with their usual inaccuracy of pronunciation and spelling) "chotts"; the word should really be the Arabic shat, an Arab term for a broad canal, an estuary or lake.