27 MAY 1905, Page 22

Middle Temple Records. 3 vols. and Index. Edited by Charles

Henry Hopwood. . (J. Butterworth and Co. Members, 200. net, and non-Members, 408. net.)—Vol. I. covers the period 1501-1603. It contains also a short essay by Mr. J. Hutchinson, the Librarian, on the origin and early history of the Inn. Mr. Hutchinson deals specially with the subject whether the two Temples, Middle and Inner, were originally one, a question which he is disposed to answer in the negative. Vol, IL includes the period 1603-1649, and Vol. ILL 1650-1703. The three volumes are also described as "Translated and Edited" by Charles Trice Martin, BA. Mr. Martin's initials are suffixed to the prefaces Which appear in the three volumes. It would seem, therefore, that double-editorial power has been used in the preparation of the work, without reckoning Mr. Hutchinson's contribution. We hope that it will not appear ungracious if we say that something more satisfying in the way of introduction might have been given us. The contents of the volumes, as they stand, printed in chronological order, are somewhat of a wilder- ness. The ordinary reader wants some guidance if he is to find his way about with pleasure and 'profit. The entries might have been classified and compared. The admissions, the appointment of Readers, the fines for non-attendance, the occupation of chambers, are among the categories under which facts might be ranged. We do not ask for a classification of all the contents of the volumes, but for an illustrative specimen. Many curious and. interesting matters may be found in the three volumes, but, as has been said, this will not be done without much search.