the members of their crews together with Porthmadog businessmen who made up the majority of shareholders. Shares were normally allocated in 1/64 parts, and as this obscure fraction is used in the test it might have been useful to have mentioned, for the benefit of the general reader, that it stems from an Act for the Registry of Vessels (4 Geo. IV, c. 41) which came into force on 1 January 1824 and stated that 'The property in every vessel of which there are more than one owner shall be considered to be divided into 64 shares'. The changing fortunes of the Porthmadog shipbuilding trade, which were directly related to those of the slate industry, are illustrated by means of a graph (p. 84) and show that the most productive years were between 1856 and 1860 when a total of 36 vessels were built. The subsequent recession was arrested temporarily between 1876 and 1880 when 25 ships were built. But from 1891 to 1914 there was a steady decline when 'no more than two vessels were built in any one year'. It is interest- ing to note that during the period from 1826 to 1913 the total number of ships built at Porthmadog was about 269, that is, an average of only three vessels per year over a period of eighty-seven years. After 1860, however, the tonnage of slates sent by rail from Porthmadog increased whereas the tonnage shipped by sea declined. By 1914 rail transport of slate had almost completely supplanted water transport, and, thereafter, the Porthmadog shipbuilding industry became moribund. The second part of the book is, in fact, its raison d'etre and constitutes the work (now deposited with the Gwynedd Archives Service under the reference MS. XM/1559) of the late Emrys Hughes, who 'had been compiling this material over a number of years' under the title 'Portmadoc Ships' which was adopted by Mr. Eames, in a more correct form, as the title of the book under review. The 'citizenship' of a vessel is not always clearly explained, and Mr. Eames has not established what constitutes a 'Porthmadog ship'. Normally a vessel is said to belong to a particular port if it has been built there, and whose owner or owners reside there. Mr. Emrys Hughes' formidable list of some 664 was described by him as 'A brief record of vessels trading to and from the port during the greater part of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century (p. 143). Among the ships so listed are not only ships built at Porthmadog and whose principal owners resided there, but also very many that had merely traded with Porthmadog. Strictly speaking, these cannot be regarded as 'Porthmadog' ships. For instance it is difficult to justify the inclusion of well-known Aberaeron (Cardiganshire) vessels such as the Aeron Belle, Aeron Lass (p. 146) and the Eagle Eyed (p. 176) in a list of 'Porthmadog' ships! Perhaps a happier title for this book would have been Porthmadog Ships and Shipping! If at some future date a second edition of this work be contemplated it would perhaps be of advantage to the general reader if the abbreviations now listed on p. 145 were transferred to the beginning of the book, with a reference to it in the list of contents. A glossary of some of the technical terms relating to vessels would also be a useful aid to readers. Although Mr. Eames himself regards this book as being no more than