29 APRIL 1905, Page 37

',admen of the Great White Book and the Black Book

of the Cinque Ports. (Elliot Stock. 8s. net.)—The late Mr. H. B. Walker, of New Romney (of which town he was twelve times Mayor), pre- pared indexes to the two books in which the records of the proceedings of the Cinque Ports and the associated towns of Rye and Winchelsea are preserved. These are now published. They cover a period of four centuries and a half. The first entry bears date 1433, one of the items being a complaint of "wrongs done by the Provosts of Yarmouth to the Bailiffs of the Ports." This is a thing that, as might be imagined, frequently occurs in one form or another. "Bailiffs to Yarmouth" occurs, indeed, year after year. The notice is not always hostile. In 1553 the entry runs : "The Bailiffs to Yarmouth relate that they were very well used there, and that the people of the Cinque Ports fail in their duty there." Possibly this refers to entries in the previous years : "A Bailiff to Yarmouth from Dover, fined .£5 for not remaining there 40 days," and "Jurymen at ,Yarmouth fined 6s. 8d. each for their default." The entries are quite beyond any description, so various are they. Here is one of more than usual general importance. "Licence for some of the Burgesses to come home to their respective Towns after serving four weeks in Parlia- ment and others to abide there ; as it was used by old custom ; and as to their wages." This is under the year 1444 (these entries were copied from a book no longer in existence). The actually existing books include 1485 to 1567, and 1572 to 1828. Latterly, however, we see that the old importance of the Ports has passed away. What we should like to have had in the volume is an introduction such as is to be seen in the volumes in the "Rolls Series." How admirably the late Mr. Inderwick would have done it !