29 APRIL 1905, Page 13


Memorials of Old Herefordshire. Edited by the Rev. Compton Reade. (Bemrose and Sons. 15s.)—The editor of these memorials has found plenty of materials, and competent hands to deal with them. The position of the county and its agricultural wealth necessitated a liberal supply of castles in mediaeval days, and the chapter on Hereford castles and the earliest types of castle is most interesting. The vulgar definition of any old rampart that has been used for defensive purposes as a castle is thus very near the truth. Any eminence that could be defended might be con- sidered a castle. A few ground-plans comparing the types of castles would have been interesting. The description of the internal details of Goodrich Castle, for instance, is most instructive. A very illuminating chapter on the old city of Hereford gives one a capital idea of the conditions of citizenship in a town in which Royal and ecclesiastical privileges were continually rubbing shoulders with the chartered rights of an inhabitant. The historical sketches of the Scudamores and the Vaughans are at once provincial and national, the Vaughans affording a remarkable instance of a race ecclesiastically inclined, and pre- serving original characteristics undiminished. Most of us associate timber houses with the name of the county, and accordingly we have an all too short chapter on Weobley and the timber houses, which serves to whet one's appetite for more. But then this is the unavoidable drawback to such a collection of memorials as is provided by this volume. To Herefordshire people the book will be of great assistance, as a prompter to an understocked memory. Outsiders will feel the want of a better acquaintance with the county, and may find the volume a useful preface to a tour. But all can appreciate the chapters on Herefordshire cyder.