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The Memoirs of the Hughes of Trostrey A. G. Mein The recent deposit of photocopies of the two volume manuscript memoirs of the Hughes family by one of their descendants, Mjr. John Masterman of Wimborne, Dorset has added to the collections of the Gwent Record Office a delightfully readable record of one of the middle ranking families of the county in the 18th. century. The two volumes will be referred to here as the "Black Book" (BB) and the "Red Book" (RB). The former is by two brothers, Thomas Bridges Hughes and Robert Hughes and they date their joint work 14th November 1797. The Red Book is dated 1816 and is described as a "copy begun by Robert Hughes, July 9th 1815". A copy it was, but revised and expanded fairly considerably by Robert. Apart from their value for the items of family and contemporary history which are recorded, these manuscripts give considerable pleasure in the reading, once one has got into the swing of the language, for they are written in a style which is the very evocation of the age of Trollope, and with a facility of language and a turn of phrase which nowadays few of us could even attempt. The dedicatory first page gives the flavour of this style. Not having received any regular connected account of our ancestors and being desirous of transmitting to posterity that information which we have often wished, we have carefully collected, and faithfully compiled all the information respecting them which we have been able to obtain-Nor were motives wanting to this undertaking, in respect for their memory, and in hopes that a nearer acquaintance with their virtues might excite us to emulate their example. It seems fair to say that while the recording of their ancestors' virtues clearly gave the brothers pleasure they have only once shirked quoting the words of one of their family skeletons, and those words could be found elsewhere if one really wanted to wade in family bile. On that occasion they had the honesty to note the intended omission. On one other they can perhaps be accused of protesting too much when dealing with an imputation by an historian of dishonourable behaviour on the part of one of their royalist soldier ancestors. This weakness however makes their story all the more acceptable as a family record of what they would like to believe happened. Conversely the calm recording of the tragic decline and early death of his much loved wife by Robert Hughes in his Red Book is very touching. Bradney has previously been the main source for the history of the families which have over the years held the Trostrey estates and have either