One of the most invidious duties of the President of the Royal Historical Society is the obligation to deliver an annual address to his constituents. This obligation is perhaps the harder, since he is absolutely free to talk about anything that he likes, provided only that it has some relation, near or distant, to things historical. This year the obligation comes upon me with particular severity, because I am working night and day in seeing through the press two more volumes of a book whose composition has lain heavily on my soul for the last twenty years, and I must conclude this task speedily, since in ten days I am sailing for the United States of America and shall, therefore, have to crave leave of this Society to neglect my duties to it until I come back in the Fall. Under these conditions, I shall have, for several months, to say good-bye to those administrative records with which I have lived for the best part of a generation. Parting from old friends is always a sad thing. One is prone to dwell upon such an occasion on their more endearing and attractive qualities, even when in daily association we are sometimes too apt to regard them as tedious, dull, and unprofitable. Accordingly I do not think I can do better to-day than pay a tribute to the records to which I owe nearly all my material, and suggest to you that they are not nearly so tedious and dull on intimate acquaintance, as they seem to be to those who have only a casual knowledge of them.