The Master of the Rolls is the third most important judge in the English legal hierarchy, ranking below the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice. He is also the chief custodian of official records (243). The position was introduced by George IV in 1838 to care for "all ancient state documents" (319). Goodman (141) expounds at some length on the historical developments affecting the office. He notes that the responsibilities in Gilbert's time were altogether different from those of today (to say nothing of those in Japan then or now).