discusses why the introductions were written in Latin and the inter-actions in the authors' minds between Renaissance themes and Welsh language and literature.) GLANMOR WILLIAMS Swansea INDEX OF THE PROBATE RECORDS OF THE BANGOR CONSISTORY COURT. Vol. 1: PRE-1700. Compiled by Nia Henson. N.L.W. Probate Indexes No. 1. Aberystwyth, 1980. Pp. xvi + 196. Any serious student of Welsh society in early modern times will welcome with gratitude the decision of the National Library of Wales to publish indexes of its probate material. All the pre-1858 probate records relating to the Welsh dioceses deposited in the Library will, in due course, be indexed and published, and this first volume will prove to be a valuable acquisition to the historian. The present volume which relates to the granting of administrations in the counties of Anglesey, Caernarfon and Merioneth does not, at first sight, appear to need a review and seems to contain little more than a long list of names and, where established, social ranks and occupations together with the parishes and counties of origin. Such an impression, however, would be entirely misleading. The records were deposited in the Library in 1945 and this present volume constitutes a new index, based on an alphabetical rather than chronological order as had originally existed (until 1700). The volume is divided conveniently into two main sections consisting of a forename index (owing to the traditional patronymic system in Wales) and a surname index. The probate records indexed begin in 1635 and end in 1858 excepting the Puritan period when the Consistory Court was temporarily abolished. Of course, there are other inventories deposited at the Public Record Office for which probate was granted at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, but they were compiled specifically for individual members of the main county families in Wales and are, therefore, not included in the present lists. It is, nevertheless, interesting to note in this volume some names which remind the reader of families which had experienced a more illustrious past. Richard Owen Theodor, for example, was a Tudor descendant and an esquire of Penmynydd; William Dolben of Segrwyd, another esquire, was the brother of David Dolben, bishop of Bangor; and Robert Wynn (a descendant of Gwydir) owned Plas Mawr, Conwy. These three individuals were representative of that middle layer of society which was, by the late-seventeenth century, somewhat on the decline in a period of social change and economic recession. The long lists of names that are displayed on each page can be particularly interesting, and it is equally surprising to discover how much meat does in fact appear on the dry bones of probate records indexes. They contain a wealth of material for the historian of the period 1635 1700, an era which has, over recent years, been subject to drastic reinterpretation by social and economic specialists. A cursory look at
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