22 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 66

Students will welcome the final instalment of the late Pro-

fessor T. F. Tout's Chapters in the Administrative History of Mediaeval England (Manchester University Press, 30s.) in fifth volume which is to be supplemented by an index volume. The author lived long enough to complete his history of the Privy Seal, the Siet, and other Seals up to 1899 ; while iii Professor Hilda Johnstone has dealt with the Queen's house- holds, and Mrs. Margaret Sharp with the Black Prince's house- hold that governed Wales and Cheshire, Cornwall and Gas- cony. Professor Tout, in the work to which he devoted many years of research, broke new ground. The development of the early Civil Service, apart from the Chancery and Exche- quer, has been traced by him for the first time from the records, and countless and details have been made to elucidate the political and constitutional history of the fourteenth century. Hoccleve, the poet, a younger contemporary of Chaucer, was a clerk of the Privy Seal, and his writings are used to illustrate the habits of these early officials, who lived together in a house near the Strand and went daily to Westminster, and who expected gifts from the suitors who came to their office.

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