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IT is the privilege of age to be, within reason, not merely reminiscent but even autobiographical: and though I hope I shall not tax your patience long with the autobiography I must begin by claiming your indulgence for some exercise of that privilege. When I was invited to take office as President of this Society I was in two minds whether I could accept the invitation : not, you will readily conceive, because I failed to appreciate the very great honour it did me, for I am, I believe, only the third non-Jewish President in sixty years, and I was both touched and grateful that members of the Council thought me worthy of such a distinction. I hesitated because I felt honestly doubtful whether I could contribute anything in the way of a Presidential Address which would satisfy either you to hear or me to deliver. The names of past Presidents, some whom I have known a little personally and more whom I have known well by reputation, occurred to me?Lucien Wolf, Israel Abrahams, H. S. Q. Henriques, Gustave Tuck and Philip Guedalla, to name only a few no longer with us whom I have actually been privileged to meet during the long period in which I have been able to maintain some occasional contact with the affairs of the Society. I thought of the quality and variety of the topics they had discussed and of the weight of expert knowledge of Jewish affairs in the present as well as Jewish History in the past with which they had spoken; and I hesitated to take a place in such company. It is true that in the early days of my connexion with Records, and at a date when research in documents was not so common a practice as it has since become, I was tempted to see myself as one of the historians of the English Jewries of the thirteenth century. The remarkable Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition of 1887 was then a comparatively recent achievement ?two of the colleagues whom I first met when I joined the Record Office (Charles Trice Martin and Hubert Hall) had contributed to it?and one of the first books which gave me some idea of what might be done by patient gleaning in the astonishing series of English Records to which I was then being introduced was Joseph Jacobs' cJews of Angevin England'. My first official tasks of any importance had led me to the discovery of some exclusively Jewish Records (Receipt Rolls and Tallies) which were new, and that in a relationship with like records of a non-Jewish character which made me, as it still makes me, think that accepted views of the nature and functions of the medieval Scaccarium Judeorum might need some revision; even though they had been held by such scholars as Jacobs and Charles Gross. It is true also, that, greatly daring, I ventured to express these views in the 'Transactions' of this Society in 1912 and that I sought confirmation

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