20 JANUARY 1950, Page 5

The box, sealed for forty years, and opened at Trinity

College, Cambridge, last Saturday, appears at first sight to have contained nothing of great interest ; but it at least (haws attention to the man who bequeathed the box, Mr. A. J. Munby, and he was a very interesting person indeed. No one whose record in the Dictionary of National Biography is contributed by Austin Dobson can be considered negligible. The record discloses the fact that Munby (born in 1828, died in 1910) was a lifelong friend of R. D. Black- more, and that one of his poems was highly praised by Robert Browning. More notable on the personal side is the statement that (as his will disclosed in 1910) "on January 14th,.1873, he had married his servant, Hannah Cullwick," who died in July, 1909. " Owing to the refusal of the wife to quit her station [Munby was a First Division Civil Servant], the marriage, though known to her relations and to three of her husband's friends, had never been made known to his own family." Having regard to Munby's per- sonality, and his devotion to " the glorification of the working woman," it looks as though something well worth finding may be discovered when the contents of the box, which was not to be opened for forty years, are sorted out.