4 MARCH 1905, Page 25

Middlesex County Records : Calendar of Sessions Books 1689-1709. By

W. J. Hardy. (Guildhall, Westminster.)—This volume is, in a way, the successor of those brought out under the auspices of the Middlesex County Record Society by Mr. J. Cordy Jeaffreson. A somewhat different plan is now followed. This is to deal with one class of records at a time. Mr. Jeaffreson took what seemed to him most worthy of notice from all classes. The result is that the book is not so full of general interest, but is more valuable as furnishing materials for history. There are various noticeable things in it. We may observe that the licensing question was even then bristling with difficulties, though the national conscience in the matter of the drink traffic was scarcely awake. If decent order was kept in the licensed house, everybody was satisfied. Imprisonment for debt was a common cause of trouble; but then prisons were, so to speak, private ventures of people who made as much as they could out of the inmates. Not a few modern problems existed; but that generation dealt with them with a simplicity and directness which we cannot imitate.