A TRIBUTE TO LOCAL SOCIETIES

The work of the painstaking historian who devotes his time to a labour of love in collecting material for his book of great local interest, and in dissecting the varied and often conflicting accounts with which he is furnished, is ably supplemented by local societies, some of whom have done good work. In towns and districts where there are enthusiastic archeological and kindred societies, controlled and influenced by energetic presidents and secretaries, all objects of real value and interest to the antiquarian are known. There is much to delight in a well kept local record. Now and then these societies help their members and friends in a very practical way by getting together on loan examples of ancient church plate, having special regard to those pieces bearing the impress of a long closed office of assay. Some time ago the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society had a remarkable exhibition of Cornish church plate, and among those shown were many very beautiful pieces, some hall-marked locally at Exeter. Such efforts are to be commended. There are many museums attached to free libraries and other public institutions, but few of them are rich in plate, and of all branches of the silversmith's art that associated with church plate is the most important, for its use at different times is interwoven with the established religion of the land, and the various changes which have taken place in customs and beliefs.