11 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 22

Studies on Anglo - Saxon Institutions. By H. Munro Chadwick. (Cambridge University

Press. 8s. net.)—Mr. Chadwick begins with an essay on the "Monetary System" of the Anglo-Saxons, and proceeds to the consideration of the " Social System." The connection between the two is more direct than one might imagine. Each class was estimated by money. The descent from the King is gradual till we get to the thegn and moil. The King's wergeld was double that of an Archbishop, and an Archbishop's almost double that of a Bishop or Ealdorman ; but a thegn, whether mass or secular, was worth, so to speak, as much as eight ceorls. If a aeon' had five hides of land (say five hundred acres), a church, a kitchen, a castle gate, and some special service in the King's hall, he was valued as a thegn. This reduction to a money standard comes out more strongly under the heading of the "Oath." Putting the matter baldly, "the oath of one King's thegn is equal to that of twelve ordinary persons." We have given very briefly some of Mr. Chadwick's results, putting them in a way that would be likely to impress the casual reader. His own method is very different. He investigates the subject with the most scrupulous care, accurately weighing the evidence of various documents, and maintaining an entirely scientific attitude. His book is a valuable contribution to the study of historical origins, but it is, of course, too technical for a detailed discussion in this column.