king and a rebellious commonalty. Edward I was mistrustful still, and given to brusque experiment; established merchants lost the lucrative Household contracts to aliens, while the vigorous economic changes promoted by war brought wealth to new men. The suspension of the city's liberties gave the challengers their chance, and the professional administration, which gained strength all the time and was available and indispensable to any party, ensured institutional continuity. When the king withdrew his wardens the gilds were ready, and fed by continuous immigration: their notions of citizenship, and thence of government, carried the day. In a study of this kind it is easier to write of institutions than of people; the records reveal names in abundance, but very few persons. Although the medieval Londoner looks much like his provincial cousin writ large and sooner, Dr. Williams has succeeded very well in his efforts to discern men as well as things. He has avoided parochialism effortlessly enough, and if there are places where his narrative reads more dramatically even than medieval life, these are not great blemishes. Nor are the inevitable compressions, although they may make some readers wish that there were more about such subjects as the early Commune and its antecedents or the training of professional clerks. What matters is that we have here an informed and detailed commentary upon our greatest town, at one of the most significant stages of its growth. G. H. MARTIN. Leicester. HERBERT CORRESPONDENCE: THE SIXTEENTH AND SEVENTEENTH CENTURY LETTERS OF THE HERBERTS OF CHIRBURY, POWIS CASTLE, AND DOLGUOG, FORMERLY AT POWIS CASTLE IN MONTGOMERYSHIRE. Edited by W. J. Smith. Board of Celtic Studies, University of Wales History and Law Series, No. XXI. Cardiff, University of Wales Press, and Dublin, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1963. Pp. 412. 45s. This volume, published jointly by the University of Wales Press and the Irish Manuscripts Commission, is drawn from the records of the Herbert family formerly at Powis Castle and now in the National Library of Wales. It contains fifty-nine letters of the Herberts of Powis Castle, ranging from about 1613 to 1696, and a much larger collection (635 letters) of the correspondence of the Herberts of Montgomery and Dolguog, extending from the 1550s to 1690. The catholic Herberts of Powis Castle were too prudent to leave much on paper, and there is little of general interest in their correspondence. A steward defends himself, about 1635, from the standard charge of enriching himself at his master's expense (pp. 20-1). The second collection is much more interesting, though it is not complete. Most of the diplomatic correspondence of Sir Edward Herbert, later Lord Herbert of Chirbury, is in the Public Record Office, and has not
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