5 MAY 1923, Page 23

The Register of the Privy Seal of Scotland. Vol. II.


In this massive and finely printed volume Dr. Hay Fleming has continued the work begun by Mr. Livingstone. The five thousand entries, to which there is an index of 170 pages, relate to royal grants, writs, remissions of penalties and so forth in the second half of James V.'s troubled reign. For family history the record is invaluable. On the general history of Scotland it throws a fitful light. The numerous references to heretics, for example, show that the Lutheran doctrines had made considerable progress in the towns. The Register testifies on almost every page to the disorder that cursed sixteenth-century Scotland. Dr. Hay Fleming has counted up 260 murders in the fourteen years, besides many cases of violent assault on officials as well as on laymen. Such a country needed a sterner ruler than James V., though he had spasms of activity, inone of which he raided the haunts of the Border thieves and hanged forty-eight of them, including the notorious Johnny Armstrong. Dr. Hay Flemitig's pro- found knowledge of the period is shown in his excellent introduction, which might have been a little longer.