The fourth volume of the Testamenta Eboracensia covers a period of about twenty-five years, and brings the series down to the commencement of the reign of Henry VIII. It has been found impossible to travel more quickly over a field which is so crowded with interesting documents. At the same time, the Editor has not scrupled to abridge his materials where curtailment was practicable, and all formal and valueless details have been generally discarded. The next volume ought to extend, if possible, over the reign of Henry VIII., but the reader will find that after the beginning of the sixteenth century the Wills preserved at York become gradually less interesting.
At the same time, as evidences for the genealogist, they lose not a little of their value; nay, that value increases as we near the period at which the Heralds began to hold their Visitations. But we may look in vain for the quaint verbiage of the preceding reigns, and for the minute enumeration of the testator's wealth and substance which was previously so common.