REPORT ON THE MANUSCRIPTS OF THE RT. HON. VISCOUNT DE LTsle, V.C., PRESERVED AT PENSHURST PLACE, KENT. Vol. VI, Sidney Papers, 1626-1698. Edited by G. Dyfnallt Owen. H.M.S.O., 1966. Pp. xxix, 769. £ 10. This sixth volume of the H.M.C. Report on the Penshurst Papers completes a work begun in 1925. The papers dealt with are chiefly those of Robert, the second earl of Leicester (1595-1677), who succeeded to the title in 1626. The earl, described aptly enough by the editor, Dr. G. Dyfnallt Owen, as 'scribacious', left a mass of material, little of it of major historical value. His journal for 1646-61, which in fact has no entries between 1655 and May 1660, is a scrappy miscellany of personal and state matters, the latter chiefly culled from news-sheets. There are a few flashes of interest: a scandalous anecdote about the unctuous Presbyterian Obadiah Sedgwick, whom the earl satisfactorily dismisses as 'a sensual and voluptuous man'; a harsh judgment on Henry Rich, the first earl of Holland; and some pungent comments on the Levellers, those oddities who would 'destroy all government, magistracy, honesty, civility and humanity'. In a marginal gloss, the earl suggests that only men of property ought to have wives and children. We may perhaps agree with the editor, who devotes the whole of the introduction to them, that the most important items in this collection are the earl's journal of his embassy to Denmark in 1632 and the corres- pondence relating to his ambassadorship in Paris from 1636 to 1641. The student of that neglected and depressing topic, the foreign policy of Charles I, will find some material here. Leicester failed to hit it off with the drunken Christian IV of Denmark, whose dedication to his own desires, which were indifferent to the concerns of a debt-ridden, Palatinate- plagued Charles I, was complete. In Paris, Leicester picked up quite a lot about French intentions and got a notion of what England might do about the attainment of European stability. But this advice was unheeded as the British Isles drifted into rebellion in Scotland and Ireland, and then towards civil war in England. In the midst of his diplomatic duties, the earl did not neglect his family or his estates. His correspondence is peppered with enquiries and instructions about rents, leases, suits and 'in plain English the knavery' of his tenants. His lands in Wales in 1636 appear, at £ 1,000 per annum, to be worth half his Kent and Sussex holdings. He had difficulty in 1640-41 in getting his Welsh rents in and had to cope with 'a troublesome knave in Wales, one Lewis, a customary tenant who hath bin so bold to build a mille upon his customary-hold land contrary to all right and custome, and very prejudiciall it will be in itself, and more by the example. He braggs also that he will builde another mille'. Attempts to try the title and to 'weary that troublesome man' failed, and the earl was forced into ligitation. The index entry on p. 761 referring to the impact on South Wales of the death in 1640 of