Notes and Queries, Number 65, January 25, 1851
Author: Various
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"When found, make a note of."—CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

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No. 65.] SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 1851. [Price Sixpence. Stamped Edition 7d.

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NOTES:— Page Traditional English Ballads, by Dr. E.F. Rimbault 49 The Father of Philip Massinger 52 Touchstone's Dial, by George Stephens 52 Discrepancies in Dugdale's Account of Sir Ralph de Cobham, by W. Hastings Kelke 53 Henry Chettle 54 Coverdale's Bible 54 Answer to Cowley 55 Folk Lore of Lancashire, No. 1., by T.T. Wilkinson 55 Minor Notes:—Proclamation of Langholme Fair—Seats in Churches—Flemish Account—Use of Monosyllables—Specimen of Foreign English—Epitaph 56

QUERIES:— The Tale of the Wardstaff, by S.W. Singer 57 Ballad ascribed to Sir C. Hanbury Williams, by G.H. Barker 59 Minor Queries:—Book called Tartuare—William Wallace in London—Obeism—Aged Monks—Lady Alice Carmichael—"A Verse may find him"—Daresbury, the White Chapel of England—Ulm Manuscript— Merrick and Tattersall—Dr. Trusler's memoirs— Life of Bishop Frampton—Probabilism—Sir Henry Chauncy's Observations on Wilfred Entwysel—Theological Tracts—Lady Bingham—Gregory the Great—John Hill's Penny Post in 1659—Andrea Ferrara—Imputed Letter of Sallustius—Thomas Rogers of Horninger—Tandem D.O.M.—The Episcopal Mitre 59

REPLIES:— The Passage in Troilus and Cressida, by John Taylor 62 Black Images of the Virgin, by J.B. Litchfield 63 Outline in Painting 63 Ten Children at a Birth 64 Shakspeare's Use of "Captious" 65 Sword of William the Conqueror 66 Meaning of Eisell 66 Altar Lights, &c. 68 Replies to Minor Queries:—Handbell before a Corpse —Sir George Downing—Hulls, the Inventor of Steamboats—"Clarum et venerabile Nomen"—Occult Transposition of Letters—Darby and Joan—Did Bunyan know Hobbes?—Mythology of the Stars—Dodo Queries—Holland Land—Swearing by Swans—The Frozen Horn—Cockade and True Blue—The Vavasours of Hazlewood—"Breeches" Bible—Histoire des Sevarambes—Verses attributed to Charles Yorke—Archbishop Bolton of Cashel—Erasmus and Farel—Early Culture of the Imagination—William Chilcot—By and bye—Mocker—Was Colonel Hewson a Cobbler?—Mole—Pillgarlick—A recent Novel —Tablet to Napoleon—North Sides of Churchyards —Wisby—Singing of Swans—Dacre Monument at Herstmoneux—Herstmoneux Castle—Suem; Ferling; Grasson—Portrait of Archbishop Williams —Swans hatched during Thunder—Etymology of Apricot —"Plurima gemma latet circa tellure sepulta"— Time when Herodotus wrote—Lucy and Colin— Translations of Apuleius, &c.—Etymology of "Grasson" —Lynch Law—"Talk not of Love"—The Butcher Duke—Curfew—Robertson Struan 68

MISCELLANEOUS:— Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, &c. 77 Books and Odd Volumes Wanted 78 Notices to Correspondents 78 Advertisements 78

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The task of gathering old traditionary song is surely a pleasant and a lightsome one. Albeit the harvest has been plentiful and the gleaners many, still a stray sheaf may occasionally be found worth the having. But we must be careful not to "pick up a straw."

One of your corespondents recommends, as an addition to the value of your pages, the careful getting together of those numerous traditional ballads that are still sometimes to be met with, floating about various parts of the country. This advice is by no means to be disregarded, but I wish to point out the necessity of the contributors to the undertaking knowing something about ballad literature. An acquaintance with the ordinary published collections, at least, cannot be dispensed with. Without this knowledge we should be only multiplying copies of worthless trifles, or reprinting ballads that had already appeared in print.

The traditional copies of old black-letter ballads are, in almost all cases (as may easily be seen by comparison), much the worse for wear. As a proof of this I refer the curious in these matters to a volume of Traditional Versions of Old Ballads, collected by Mr. Peter Buchan, and edited by Mr. Dixon for the Percy Society. The Rev. Mr. Dyce pronounces this "a volume of forgeries;" but, acquitting poor Buchan (of whom more anon) of any intention to deceive, it is, to say the least of it, a volume of rubbish; inasmuch as the ballads are all worthless modern versions of what had appeared "centuries ago" in their genuine shape. Had these ballads not existed in print, we should have been glad of them in any form; but, in the present case, the publication of such a book (more especially by a learned society) is a positive nuisance.

Another work which I cannot refrain from noticing, called by one of the reviewers "A valuable contribution to our stock of ballad literature"? is Mr. Frederick Sheldon's Minstrelsy of the English Border. The preface to this volume {50} promises much, as may be seen by the following passage:—

"It is now upwards of forty years since Sir Walter Scott published his Border Minstrelsy, and during his 'raids,' as he facetiously termed his excursions of discovery in Liddesdale, Teviotdale, Tyndale, and the Merse, very few ballads of any note or originality could possibly escape his enthusiastic inquiry; for, to his love of ballad literature, he added the patience and research of a genuine antiquary. Yet, no doubt many ballads did escape, and still remain scattered up and down the country side, existing probably in the recollection of many a sun-browned shepherd, or the weather-beaten brains of ancient hinds, or 'eldern' women: or in the well-thumbed and nearly illegible leaves of some old book or pamphlet of songs, snugly resting on the 'pot-head,' or sharing their rest with the 'Great Ha' Bible,' Scott's Worthies, or Blind Harry's lines. The parish dominie or pastor of some obscure village, amid the many nooks and corners of the Borders, possesses, no doubt, treasures in the ballad-ware that would have gladdened the heart of a Ritson, a Percy, or a Surtees; in the libraries, too, of many an ancient descendant of a Border family, some black-lettered volume of ballads, doubtlessly slumbers in hallowed and unbroken dust."

This reads invitingly; the writer then proceeds:—

"From such sources I have obtained may of the ballads in the present collection. Those to which I have stood godfather, and so baptized and remodelled, I have mostly met with in the 'broad-side' ballads, as they are called."

Although the writer here speaks of Ritson and Percy as if he were acquainted with their works, it is very evident that he had not looked into their contents. The name of Evans' Collection had probably never reached him. Alas! we look in vain for the tantalising "pamphlet of songs,"—still, perhaps, snugly resting on the "pot-head," where our author in his "poetical dream" first saw it. The "black-lettered volume of ballads" too, in the library of the "ancient descendant of a Border family," still remains in its dusty repository, untouched by the hand of Frederick Sheldon.

In support of the object of this paper I shall now point out "a few" of the errors of The Minstrelsy of the English Border.

P. 201. The Fair Flower of Northumberland:—

"It was a knight in Scotland born, Follow my love, come over the Strand; Was taken prisoner, and left forlorn Even by the good Erle Northumberland."

This is a corrupt version of Thomas Deloney's celebrated ballad of "The Ungrateful Knight," printed in the History of Jack of Newbery, 1596, and in Ritson's Ancient Songs, 1790. A Scottish version may be found in Kinloch's Ballads, under the title of the "The Provost's Daughter." Mr. Sheldon knows nothing of this, but says,—

"This ballad has been known about the English Border for many years, and I can remember a version of it being sung by my grandmother!"

He also informs us that he has added the last verse but one, in order to make the "ends of justice" more complete!

P. 232. The Laird of Roslin's Daughter:—

"The Laird of Roslin's daughter Walk'd through the wood her lane; And by her came Captain Wedderburn, A servant to the Queen."

This is a wretched version (about half the original length) of a well-known ballad, entitled "Captain Wedderburn's Courtship." It first appeared in print in The New British Songster, a collection published at Falkirk, in 1785. It was afterwards inserted in Jamieson's Popular Ballads and Songs, 1806; Kinloch's Ancient Ballads, 1826; Chambers' Scottish Ballads, 1829, &c. But hear what Mr. Sheldon has to say, in 1847:—

"This is a fragment of an apparently ancient ballad, related to me by a lady of Berwick-on-Tweed, who used to sing it in her childhood. I have given all that she was able to furnish me with. The same lady assures me that she never remembers having seen it in print [!!], and that she had learnt if from her nurse, together with the ballad of 'Sir Patrick Spens,' and several Irish legends, since forgotten."

P. 274. The Merchant's Garland:—

"Syr Carnegie's gane owre the sea, And's plowing thro' the main, And now must make a lang voyage, The red gold for to gain."

This is evidently one of those ballads which calls Mr. Sheldon "godfather." The original ballad, which has been "baptized and remodelled," is called "The Factor's Garland." It begins in the following homely manner:—

"Behold here's a ditty, 'tis true and no jest Concerning a young gentleman in the East, Who by his great gaming came to poverty, And afterwards went many voyages to sea."

P. 329. The rare Ballad of Johnnie Faa:—

"There were seven gipsies in a gang, They were both brisk and bonny O; They rode till they came to the Earl of Castle's house, And here they sang so sweetly O."

This is a very hobbling version (from the recitation of a "gipsy vagabond") of a ballad frequently reprinted. It first appeared in Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany; afterwards in Finlay's and Chambers' Collections. None of these versions were known to Mr. Sheldon.

I have now extracted enough from the Minstrelsy of the English Border to show the mode of "ballad editing" as pursued by Mr. Sheldon. The instances are sufficient to strengthen my position.

One of the most popular traditional ballads still {51} floating about the country, is "King Henrie the Fifth's Conquest:"—

"As our King lay musing on his bed, He bethought himself upon a time, Of a tribute that was due from France, Had not been paid for so long a time."

It was first printed from "oral communication," by Sir Harris Nicolas, who inserted two versions in the Appendix to his History of the Battle of Agincourt, 2d edition, 8vo. 1832. It again appeared (not from either of Sir Harris Nicolas's copies) in the Rev. J.C. Tyler's Henry of Monmouth, 8vo. vol. ii. p. 197. And, lastly, in Mr. Dixon's Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry of England, printed by the Percy Society in 1846. These copies vary considerably from each other, which cannot be wondered at, when we find that they were obtained from independent sources. Mr. Tyler does not allude to Sir Harris Nicolas's copies, nor does Mr. Dixon seem aware that any printed version of the traditional ballad had preceded his. The ballad, however, existed in a printed "broad-side" long before the publications alluded to, and a copy, "Printed and sold in Aldermary Church Yard," is now before me. It is called "King Henry V., his Conquest of France in Revenge for the Affront offered by the French King in sending him (instead of the Tribute) a ton of Tennis Balls."

An instance of the various changes and mutations to which, in the course of ages, a popular ballad is subject, exists in the "Frog's Wedding." The pages of the "NOTES AND QUERIES" testify to this in a remarkable degree. But no one has yet hit upon the original ballad; unless, indeed, the following be it, and I think it has every appearance of being the identical ballad licensed to Edward White in 1580-1. It is taken from a rare musical volume in my library, entitled Melismata; Musicall Phansies, fitting the Court, Citie, and Countrey Humours. Printed by William Stansby for Thomas Adams, 1611. 4to.


"It was the Frogge in the well, Humble-dum, humble dum; And the merrie Mouse in the mill, Tweedle, tweedle twino.

"The Frogge would a-wooing ride, Humble-dum, &c. Sword and buckler by his side, Tweedle, &c.

"When he was upon his high horse set, Humble-dum, &c. His boots they shone as blacke as jet. Tweedle, &c.

"When he came to the merry mill pin, Humble-dum, &c. Lady Mouse, beene you within? Tweedle, &c.

"Then came out the dusty Mouse, Humble-dum, &c. I am Lady of this house, Tweedle, &c.

"Hast thou any minde of me? Humble-dum, &c. I have e'ne great minde of thee, Tweedle, &c.

"Who shall this marriage make? Humble-dum, &c. Our Lord, which is the Rat, Tweedle, &c.

"What shall we have to our supper? Humble-dum, &c. Three beanes in a pound of butter, Tweedle, &c.

"When supper they were at, Humble-dum, &c. The frogge, the Mouse, and even the Rat, Tweedle, &c.

"Then came in Gib our Cat, Humble-dum, &c. And catcht the Mouse even by the backe, Tweedle, &c.

"Then did they separate, Humble-dum, &c. And the Frogge leapt on the floore so flat, Tweedle, &c.

"Then came in Dicke our Drake, Humble-dum, &c. And drew the Frogge even to the lake, Tweedle, &c.

"The Rat ran up the wall, Humble-dum, &c A goodly company, the Divell goe with all, Tweedle, &c."

From what I have shown, the reader will agree with me, that a collector of ballads from oral tradition should possess some acquaintance with the labours of his predecessors. This knowledge is surely the smallest part of the duties of an editor.

I remember reading, some years ago, in the writings of old Zarlino (an Italian author of the sixteenth century), an amusing chapter on the necessary qualifications for a "complete musician." The recollection of this forcibly returns to me after perusing the following extract from the preface to a Collection of Ballads (2 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1828), by our "simple" but well-meaning friend, "Mr. Peter Buchan of Peterhead."

"No one has yet conceived, nor has it entered the mind of man, what patience, perseverance, and general knowledge are necessary for an editor of a Collection of Ancient Ballads; nor what mountains of difficulties he has to overcome; what hosts of enemies he has to encounter; and what myriads of little-minded quibblers he has to silence. The writing of explanatory notes is like no other species of literature. History throws {52} little light upon their origin [the ballads, I suppose?], or the cause which gave rise to their composition. He has to grope his way in the dark: like Bunyan's pilgrim, on crossing the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he hears sounds and noises, but cannot, to a certainty, tell from whence they come, nor to what place they proceed. The one time, he has to treat of fabulous ballads in the most romantic shape; the next, legendary, with all its exploded, obsolete, and forgotten superstitions; also history, tragedy, comedy, love, war, and so on; all, perhaps, within the narrow compass of a few hours,—so varied must his genius and talents be."

After this we ought surely to rejoice, that any one hardy enough to become an Editor of Old Ballads is left amongst us.


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Gifford was quite right in stating that the name of the father of Massinger, the dramatist, was Arthur, according to Oldys, and not Philip, according to Wood and Davies. Arthur Massinger (as he himself spelt the name, although others have spelt it Messenger, from its supposed etymology) was in the service of the Earl of Pembroke, who married the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, in whose family the poet Daniel was at one time tutor. I have before me several letters from him to persons of note and consequence, all signed "Arthur Massinger;" and to show his importance in the family to which he was attached, I need only mention, that in 1597, when a match was proposed between the son of Lord Pembroke and the daughter of Lord Burghley, Massinger, the poet's father, was the confidential agent employed between the parties. My purpose at present is to advert to a matter which occurred ten years earlier, and to which the note I am about to transcribe relates. It appears that in March, 1587, Arthur Massinger was a suitor for the reversion of the office of Examiner in the Court of the Marches toward South Wales, for which also a person of the name of Fox was a candidate; and, in order to forward the wishes of his dependent, the Earl of Pembroke wrote to Lord Burghley as follows:—

"My servant Massinger hathe besought me to ayde him in obteyning a reversion from her Majestie of the Examiner's office in this courte; whereunto, as I willingly have yielded, soe I resolved to leave the craving of your Lordship's furtheraunce to his owne humble sute; but because I heare a sonn of Mr. Fox (her Majestie's Secretary here) doth make sute for the same, and for the Mr. Sherar, who now enjoyethe it, is sicklie, I am boulde to desier your Lordship's honorable favour to my servaunte, which I shall most kindlie accepte, and he for the same ever rest bounde to praye for your Lordship. And thus, leaving further to trouble you, &c. 28. March, 1587. H. PEMBROKE."

The whole body of this communication, it is worth remark, is in the handwriting of Arthur Massinger (whose penmanship was not unlike that of his son), and the signature only that of the Earl, in whose family he was entertained. I have not been able to ascertain whether the application was successful; and it is possible that some of the records of the court may exist, showing either the death of Sherar, and by whom he was succeeded about that date, or that Sherar recovered from his illness. As I have before said, it is quite clear that Arthur Massinger was high in the confidence and service of Lord Pembroke ten years after the date of the preceding note.

I have a good deal more to say about Arthur Massinger, but I must take another time for the purpose.


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(Vol. ii., p. 405.)

The conjecture of Mr. Knight, in his note to As You Like It, and to which your correspondent J.M.B. has so instructively drawn our attention, is undoubtedly correct. The "sun-ring" or ring-dial, was probably the watch of our forefathers some thousand years previous to the invention of the modern chronometer, and its history is deserving of more attention than has hitherto been paid to it. Its immense antiquity in Europe is proved by its still existing in the remotest and least civilised districts of North England, Scotland, and the Western Isles, Ireland, and in Scandinavia. I have in my possession two such rings, both of brass. The one, nearly half an inch broad, and two inches in diameter, is from the Swedish island of Gothland, and is of more modern make. It is held by the finger and thumb clasping a small brass ear or handle, to the right of which a slit in the ring extends nearly one-third of the whole length. A small narrow band of brass (about one-fifth of the width) runs along the centre of the ring, and of course covers the slit. This narrow band is movable, and has a hole in one part through which the rays of the sun can fall. On each side of the band (to the right of the handle) letters, which stand for the names of the months, are inscribed on the ring as follows:—


[the letters in the lower row inverted]

Inside the ring, opposite to these letters, are the following figures for the hours:—

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

[the figures in the upper row inverted, the 12 sideways]

The small brass band was made movable that the ring-click might be properly set by the sun at stated periods, perhaps once a month.

The second sun-ring, which I bought in Stockholm in 1847, also "out of a deal of old iron," is {53} smaller and much broader than the first, and is perhaps a hundred years older; it is also more ornamented. Otherwise its fashion is the same, the only difference being in the arrangement of the inside figures, which are as follows:—

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

[the figures in the lower row inverted]

The ring recovered by Mr. Knight evidently agrees with the above. I hope Mr. K. will, sooner or later, present the curiosity to our national museum,—which will be driven at last, if not by higher motives, by the mere force of public opinion and public indignation, to form a regularly arranged and grand collection of our own British antiquities in every branch, secular and religious, from the earliest times, down through the middle ages, to nearly our own days. Such an archaeological department could count not only upon the assistance of the state, but upon rich and generous contributions from British sources, individuals and private societies, at home and abroad, as well as foreign help, at least in the way of exchange. But any such plan must be speedily and well organised and well announced!

I give the above details, not only because they relate to a passage in our immortal bard, who has ennobled and perpetuated every word and fact in his writings, but because they illustrate the astronomical antiquities of our own country and our kindred tribes during many centuries. These sun-dials are now very scarce, even in the high Scandinavian North, driven out as they have been by the watch, in the same manner as the ancient clog[1] or Rune-staff (the carved wooden perpetual almanac) has been extirpated by the printed calendar, and now only exists in the cabinets of the curious. In fifty years more sun-rings will probably be quite extinct throughout Europe. I hope this will cause you to excuse my prolixity. Will no astronomer among your readers direct his attention to this subject? Does anything of the kind still linger in the East?



[Footnote 1: The Scandinavian Rune-staff is well known. An engraving of an ancient English clog (but with Roman characters, instead of Runic) is in Hone's Every-Day Book, vol. ii.]

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There are some difficulties in Dugdale's account of the Cobham family which it may be well to bring before your readers; especially as several other historians and genealogists have repeated Dugdale's account without remarking on its inconsistencies. In speaking of a junior branch of the family, he says, in vol. ii. p. 69., "There was also Ralphe de Cobham, brother of the first-mentioned Stephen." He only mentions one Stephen but names him twice, first at page 66., and again at 69. Perhaps he meant the above-mentioned Stephen. He continues:—

"This Ralphe took to wife Mary Countess of Norfolk, widdow of Thomas of Brotherton. Which Mary was Daughter to William Lord Ros, and first married to William Lord Braose of Brembre; and by her had Issue John, who 20 E. III., making proof of his age, and doing his Fealty, had Livery of his lands."

At page 64. of the same volume he states that Thomas de Brotherton died in 12 Edward III., which would be only eight years before his widow's son, by a subsequent husband, is said to have become of age. That he did become of age in this year we have unquestionable evidence. In Cal. Ing. P. Mortem, vol. iv. p. 444., we find this entry:—

"Anno 20 Edw. III. Johannes de Cobham, Filius et Haeres Radulphi de Cobeham defuncti. Probatio aetatis."

There is also abundant proof that Thomas de Brotherton died in 12 Edward III. The most natural way of removing this difficulty would be to conclude that John de Cobham was the son of Ralph by a previous marriage. But here we have another difficulty to encounter. He is not only called the son of Mary, Countess of Norfolk, or Marishall, by Dugdale, but in all contemporaneous records. See Rymer's Foed., vol. vi. p. 136.; Rot. Orig., vol. ii. p. 277.; Cal. Rot. Pat., p. 178., again at p. 179.; Cal. Ing. P. Mortem, vol. iii. pp. 7. 10. Being the son-in-law of the Countess, he was probably called her son to distinguish him from a kinsman of the same name, or because of her superior rank. She is frequently styled the widow, and sometimes the wife of Thomas de Brotherton, even after the death of her subsequent husband, Sir Ralph de Cobham. In the escheat at her death she is thus described:—

"Maria Comitissa Norfolc', uxor Thome de Brotherton, Comitis Norfolc', Relicta Radi de Cobeham, Militis."

It is remarkable that this discrepancy in Sir John Cobham's age, and the time of his supposed mother's marriage with his father, has never before, as far as my knowledge extends, been noticed by any of the numerous writers who have repeated Dugdale's account of this family.

Before concluding I will mention another mistake respecting the Countess which runs through most of our county histories where she is named. For a short period she became an inmate of the Abbey of Langley, and is generally stated to have entered it previously to her marriage with Sir Ralph de Cobham. Clutterbuck, in his History of Hertfordshire (vol. ii. p. 512.), for instance, relates the circumstance in these words:—


"In the 19th year of the reign of Edward III., she became a nun in the Abbey of Langley, in the country of Norfolk; but quitting that religious establishment, she married Sir Ralph Cobham, Knt., and died anno 36 Edward III."

By Cal. Ing. P. Mortem, vol. i. p. 328., we find that Ralph Cobham died 19th Edward III.[2], that is, the same year in which the Countess entered the Abbey, from whence we may conclude that she retired there to pass in seclusion the period of mourning.


[Footnote 2: If my copy be correct, it is 19 Edw. II. in the printed calendar: but it must have been Edw. III., for, from the possessions described, it must have been Sir Ralph Cobham who married the widow of Thomas de Brotherton.]

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Dr. Rimbault, in the introduction to his edition of Kind-Hearts' Dream, for the Percy Society, says, "Of the author, Henry Chettle, very little is known: ... we are ignorant of the time and place of his birth or death, and of the manner in which he obtained his living." (Pp. vii. viii.) I trouble you with this note in the hope that it may furnish him with a clue to further particulars of Henry Chettle.

Hutchins (Hist. of Dorset., vol. i. p. 53. ed. 1774) mentions a family named Chettle, which was seated at Blandford St. Mary from 1547 to about 1690, and gives the following names as lineal successors to property in that parish: Henry Chettle, ob. 1553. John, s. and h., ob. 1590. Edward, s. and h., ob. 1609, "leaving Henry, his son and heir, eleven years nine months old." Among the burials for the same parish (p. 57.) occurs "Henry Chettle, Esq., 1616;" and at pp. 119. 208. the marriage of "Henry Chettle, Gent., and Susan Chaldecot, 1610." This last extract is from the register of the parish of Steple, in the Isle of Purbeck, which also contains, says Hutchins, many notices of the Chettle family; but all, I should infer, subsequent to the year 1610.

I have ascertained that the statement in Hutchins corresponds with the entry in the register of Blandford St. Mary, of the burial of Henry Chettle in 1616; and that there is no entry of the baptism of any one of that name. In fact, the registers only begin in 1581. Now it is clear that there were two persons of this name living at the same time, viz. H.C., aged eleven years in 1609; and H.C., who marries in 1610. And if the conjecture of the learned editor be correct, as probably it is, that the poet, Henry Chettle, "died in or before the year 1607," it is equally clear that he was a third of the same name, and that he could not be the person whose name occurs as buried in 1616. But the name is not a common one, and there seems sufficient to warrant further research into this subject. I venture, therefore, to make these two suggestions in the form of Queries:

I. Can any internal evidence be gathered from the writings of Henry Chettle, as to his family, origin, and birthplace? Kind-Heart's Dream, the only one of his works which I have either seen or have the means of consulting, contains nothing specific enough to connect him with Dorset, or the West. It would seem, indeed, as if he were acquainted with the New Forest, but not better than with Essex, and other parts adjacent to London.

II. Would it not be worth while to search the Heralds' Visitations for the county of Dorset, the Will-office, and the Inquisitions "post mortem?" The family was of some consequence, and is mentioned even in Domesday-book as holding lands in the county. Hutchins blazons their arms—Az. 3 spiders, or; but gives no pedigree of the family.


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We are told by Mr. Granville Penn, in the Preface to the Annotations to the Book of the New Covenant, that "in 1535 Coverdale printed an English translation of the Old Testament, to which he annexed Tyndale's revision of the New, probably revised by himself. These last constitute what is called Coverdale's Bible. Now, the title-page of Coverdale's Bible expressly states that it was faithfully and truly translated out of Douche and Latyn into Englishe;" and that this is literally true may be seen by comparing any portion of it with the common German version of Luther. The following portion is taken quite at hazard from the original edition; and I have added Tyndale's version of 1526, as edited by Mr. Offor:


JOHN, VI. 41.

The[3] murmured the Iewes ther ouer, that he sayde: I am yt bred which is come downe from heaue[4], and they sayde: Is not this Iesus, Iosephs sonne, whose father and mother we knowe? How sayeth be then, I am come downe from heaue[5]? Iesus answered, and sayde vnto them: Murmur not amonge youre selues. No man can come vnto me, excepte the father which hath sent me, drawe him. And I shal rayse him vp at the last daye. It is wrytten in the prophetes: They shal all be taughte of God. Who so euer now heareth it of the father and lerneth it, commeth vnto me. Not that eny man hath sene the father, saue he which is of the father, the same hath sene the father.


41 Da murreten die Juden daruber, das er sagte: Ich bin das brodt, das vom himmel gekommen ist.


42 Und sprachen; Ist dieser nicht Jesus, Joseph's sohn, dess vater und mutter wir kennen? Wie spricht er denn: Ich bin vom himmel gekommen?

43 Jesus antwortete, und sprach zu ihnen: Murret nicht unter einander.

44 Es kann niemand zu mir kommen, es sey denn, das ihn ziche der Vater, der mich gesandt hat; und Ich werde ihn auferwecken am jungsten tage.

45 Es stehet geschrieben in den propheten: Sie werden alle von Gott gelehret seyn. Wer es nun hoeret vom Vater, und lernet es, der kommt zu mir.

46 Nicht das jemand den Vater habe gesehen ohne der vom Vater ist, der hat den Vater gesehen.

Tyndale, 1526.

The iewes murmured att itt, be cause he sayde: I am thatt breed which is come doune from heven. And they sayde: Is nott this Jesus the sonne of Joseph, whose father, and mother we knowe? How ys yt then thatt he sayeth, I came doune from heven? Jesus answered and sayde vnto them: Murmur not betwene youre selves. No man can come to me except my father which hath sent me, drawe hym. And y will rayse hym vp at the last daye. Hit is written in the prophetes: And they shall all be taught of God. Every man which hath herde, and lerned of the father, commeth unto me, not that eny man hath sene the father, save he which is off God. The same hath sene the father.

Authorized Version.

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.


* * * * *


On the fly-leaf of a copy of Cowley's Works (London, 1668), I find the following lines:—


"The thirsty earth, when one would think Her dusty throat required more drink, Wets but her lips, and parts the showers Among her thousand plants and flowers: Those take their small and stinted size, Not drunkard-like, to fall, but rise. The sober sea observes her tide Even by the drunken sailor's side; The roaring rivers pressing high Seek to get in her company; She, rising, seems to take the cup, But other rivers drink all up. The sun, and who dare him disgrace With drink, that keeps his steady pace, Baits at the sea, and keeps good hours. The moon and stars, and mighty powers, Drink not, but spill that on the floor The sun drew up the day before, And charitable dews bestow On herbs that die for thirst below. Then drink no more, then let that die That would the drunkard kill, for why Shall all things live by rule but I, Thou man of morals, tell me why?"

On the title-page, in the same hand-writing as the "Answer," is the name of the Rev. Archibald Foyer, with the date 1700.


* * * * *


Lancashire, like all other counties, has its own peculiar superstitions, manners, and customs, which find no parallels in those of other localities. It has also, no doubt, many local observances, current opinions, old proverbs, and vulgar ditties, which are held and known in common with the inhabitants of a greater extent of county, and differ merely in minor particulars;—the necessary result of imperfect oral transmission. In former numbers of this work a few isolated specimens of the folk-lore of this district have been noticed, and the present attempt is to give permanency to a few others.

1. If a person's hair, when thrown into the fire, burns brightly, it is a sure sign that the individual will live long. The brighter the flame the longer life, and vice versa.

2. A young person frequently stirs the fire with the poker to test the humour of a lover. If the fire blaze brightly, the lover is good-humoured; and vice versa.

3. A crooked sixpence, or a copper coin with a hole through, are accounted lucky coins.

4. Cutting or paring the nails of the hands or feet on a Friday or Sunday, is very unlucky.

5. If a person's left ear burn, or feel hot, somebody is praising the party; if the right ear burn, then it is a sure sign that some one is speaking evil of the person.

6. Children are frequently cautioned by their parents not to walk backwards when going an errand; it is a sure sign that they will be unfortunate in their objects.

7. Witchcraft, and the belief in its reality, is not yet exploded in many of the rural districts. The writer is acquainted with parties who place full credence in persons possessing the power to bewitch cows, sheep, horses, and even those persons to whom the witch has an antipathy. One respectable farmer assured me that his horse was {56} bewitched into the stable through a loophole twelve inches by three; the fact he said was beyond doubt, for he had locked the stable-door himself when the horse was in the field, and had kept the key in his pocket. Soon after this, however, a party of farmers went through a process known by the name of "burning the witch out," or "killing the witch," as some express it; the person suspected soon died, and the neighbourhood became free from his evil doings.

8. A horse-shoe is still nailed behind many doors to counteract the effects of witchcraft: a hagstone with a hole through, tied to the key of the stable-door, protects the horses, and, if hung up at the bed's head, the farmer also.

9. A hot iron put into the cream during the process of churning, expels the witch from the churn; and dough in preparation for the baker is protected by being marked with the figure of a cross.

10. Warts are cured by being rubbed over with a black snail, but the snail must afterwards be impaled upon a hawthorn. If a bag containing as many small pebbles as a person has warts, be tossed over the left shoulder, it will transfer the warts to whoever is unfortunate enough to pick up the bag.

11. If black snails are seized by the horn and tossed over the left shoulder, the process will insure good luck to the person who performs it.

12. Profuse bleeding is said to be instantly stopped by certain persons who pretend to possess the secret of a certain form of words which immediately act as a charm.

13. The power of bewitching, producing evil to parties by wishing it, &c., is supposed to be transmitted from one possessor to another when one of the parties is about to die. The writer is in possession of full particulars respecting this supposed transfer.

14. Cramp is effectually prevented by placing the shoes with the toes just peeping from beneath the coverlet; the same is also prevented by tying the garter round the left leg below the knee.

15. Charmed rings are worn by many for the cure of dyspepsia; and so also are charmed belts for the cure of rheumatism.

16. A red-haired person is supposed to bring in ill-luck if he be the first to enter a house on New Year's Day. Black-haired persons are rewarded with liquor and small gratuities for "taking in the new year" to the principal houses in their respective neighbourhoods.

17. If any householder's fire does not burn through the night of New Year's Eve, it betokens bad luck during the ensuing year; and if any party allow another a live coal, or even a lighted candle, on such an occasion, the bad luck is extended to the other part for commiserating with the former in his misfortunes.

Many other specimens of the folk lore of this district might be enumerated; but since many here have implicit faith in Lover's expression,—

"There is luck in odd numbers;"

I will reserve them for a future opportunity, considering that seventeen paragraphs are sufficient to satisfy all except the most thorough-paced folklorians.


Burnley, Lancashire.

* * * * *


Proclamation of Langholme Fair.—In an old paper I find the following proclamation of a fair, to be held in a town in Scotland; it may, perhaps, amuse some of your numerous readers:—

"O yes! and that's a time. O yes! and that's twa times. O yes! and that's the third and last time: All manner of pearson or pearsons whatsoever let 'em draw near, and I shall let you ken that there is a fair to be held at the muckle town of Langholme, for the space of aught days; wherein if any hustrin, custrin, land-louper, dukes-couper, or gang-y-gate swinger, shall breed any urdam, durdam, brabblement, or squabblement, he shall have his lugs tacked to the muckle trone, with a nail of twal-a-penny, until he down of his hobshanks and up with his mucle doubs, and pray to heaven neen times, Gold bles the king, and thrice the muckle Lord of Relton, pay a groat to me Jammey Ferguson, bailiff of the aforesaid manor. So ye heard my proclamation, and I'll haam to dinner."

Perhaps some of your correspondents north of the Tweed can give the meaning (if there be any) of a few of the choice expressions contained in this document.


Seats in Churches.—The following curious notice of seats in churches occurs in Thompson's History of Swine; which is quoted by him from Whitaker's Whalley, 2nd edit. 4to. p. 228.:—

"My man Shuttleworth, of Harking, made this form and here will I sit when I come; and any cousin Nowell may make one behind me, if he please, and my son Sherburne shall make one on the other side; and Mr. Catteral another behind him; and for the residue the use shall be, first come first speed; and that will make the proud wives of Whalley rise betimes to come to church."

Which seems to convey the idea, that it was at that time customary for persons to make their seats in the churches. Query, When did pews come into general use?



[The earliest notice of pews occurs in the Vision of Piers Plouman, p. 95., edit. 1813:—

"Among wyves and wodewes ich am ywoned sute Yparroked in puwes. The person hit knoweth."

See also The History of Pews, a paper read before the Cambridge Camden Society, 1841.]

{57} Flemish Account.—T.B.M. (Vol. i., p. 8.) requests references to early instances of the use of this expression. In the History of Edward II., by E.F., written A.D. 1627 (see "NOTES AND QUERIES" Vol. i., pp. 91. 220.), folio edition, p. 113., I find "The Queen (Isabella) who had already a French and an Italian trick, was jealous lest she should here taste a Flemish one;" because she feared lest the Earl of Henault should abandon her cause. This instance is, I think, earlier than any yet referred to.


Use of Monosyllables.—The most remarkable instance of the use of monosyllables that I remember to have met with in our poets, occurs in the Fire-worshippers in Lalla Rookh. It is as follows:—

"I knew, I knew it could not last— 'Twas bright, 'twas heav'nly, but 'tis past! Oh! ever thus, from childhood's hour, I've seen my fondest hopes decay; I never lov'd a tree or flow'r But 'twas the first to fade away. I never nurs'd a dear gazelle To glad me with its soft black eye, But when it came to know me well, And love me, it was sure to die! Now, too—the joy most like divine Of all I ever dreamt or knew, To see thee, hear thee, call thee mine,— Oh misery! must I lose that too? Yet go! On peril's brink we meet;— Those frightful rocks—that treach'rous sea— No, never come again—tho' sweet, Tho' Heav'n, it may be death to thee!"

This passage contains 126 words, 110 of which are monosyllables, and the remainder words of only two syllables. The sentiment embodied throughout is that of violent mental emotion; and it affords a further illustration of the correctness of MR. C. FORBES'S theory (Vol. i., p. 228.) that "the language of passion is almost invariably broken and abrupt."


St. Lucia, W.I., Nov. 1850.

Specimen of Foreign English.


That hotel open since a very few days, is renowned for the cleanness of the apartments and linen; for the exactness of the service, and for the eccelence of the true french cookery. Being situated at proximity of that regeneration, it will be propitius to receive families, whatever, which will desire to reside alternatively into that town, to visit the monuments new found, and to breathe thither the salubrity of the air.

That establishment will avoid to all the travellers, visitors, of that sepult city, and to the artists, (willing draw the antiquities) a great disorder, occasioned by the tardy and expensive contour of the iron-whay. People will find equally thither, a complete sortment of stranger wines, and of the kingdom, hot and cold baths, stables and coach houses, the whole with very moderated prices. Now, all the applications and endeavours of the hoste, will tend always to correspond to the tastes and desires, of their customers, which will acquire without doubt, to him, in to that town, the reputation whome, he is ambitious."

The above is a literal copy of a card in the possession of a friend of mine, who visited Pompeii, 1847.


Epitaph.—While engaged in some enquiries after family documents in the British Museum lately, I lighted on a little poem, which, though not connected with my immediate object, I copied, and here subjoin, hoping your readers will be as much attracted as I was by the simplicity and elegance of the lines and thoughts; and that some one of them, with leisure and opportunity, will do what I had not time to do, namely,—decypher in the MSS. the name of the "Worthie Knight" on whom this epitaph was composed, and give any particulars which can be ascertained concerning him.


(Harleian MSS., 78. 25. b. Pluto 63 E.)

"Under this stone, thir ly'th at reste A Friendlie Manne—A Worthie Knight, Whose herte and mynde was ever prest To favour truthe—to furder righte. "The poore's defense—hys neighbors ayde, Most kinde alwaies unto his Kyne, That stynt alle striffes that might be stayed, Whose gentil grace great love dyd wynne, "A Man that was fulle earneste sette To serve hys prince at alle assayes, No sicknesse could him from itt lette, Which was the shortninge of hys daies. "His lyf was good—he dyed fulle welle, Hys bodie here—the soule in blisse; With lengthe of wordes, why should I telle, Or further shewe, that well knowne is, Since that the teares of mor or lesse Right welle declare hys worthynesse."


* * * * *



Can any of your antiquarian correspondents furnish further elucidation of the strange ceremony of the gathering of the Wardstaff (which was in old time one of the customs of the hundred of Ongar, in Essex) than are to be found in Morant's History of Essex, vol. i. p. 126.? from whence it was incorrectly copied in Blount's Jocular Tenures by Beckwith, 4to. ed. It has been also more correctly given by Sir Francis Palgrave, in his Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth, Part II. p. clvii., who justly styles it—

"a strange and uncouth fragment of the earliest customs of the Teutons; in which we can still recognise {58} the tone and the phraseology of the Courts of the Eresburg. The Irminsule itself having been described as a trunk of a tree, Thor was worshipped under the same rude symbol; and it may be suspected that the singular respect and reverence shown to the ward-staff of the East Saxons is not without its relation to the rites and ceremonies of the heathen time, though innocently and unconsciously retained."

At the time of publication of his learned and interesting work, Sir Francis did me the honour to adopt some conjectural corrections of Morant's very corrupt transcript of the rhyme, which I furnished at his request, in common with others suggested by the late Mr. Price. Since that time, a more mature examination of it has enabled me, I think, to put it into a form much more nearly resembling what it must have originally been; many of the corrections being obviously required by the prose details which accompany it in the MS. from which Morant gave it. It may not, therefore, be unacceptable to some of your readers, to subjoin this corrected copy. It may be proper to premise, that "The Tale of the Wardstaff" is the tallying or cutting of it, and that it was evidently originally spoken in parts, assigned as under; although it should seem that there is no indication of this arrangement in the MS.


The Bailiffe of the Liberty. "Iche athied[6] the staffe byleve, Thanne staffe iche toke byleve, Byleve iche will tellen[7] Now the staffe have iche got.

Lord of Ruckwood Hall. "Tho the staffe to me com Als he hoveon for to don, Faire and well iche him underfing Als iche hoveon for to don.

The Bailiffe. "All iche theron challenged, That theron was for to challenge, Nameliche,—this:—and—this: And all that ther was for to challenge.

Lord of Ruckwood. "Fayer iche him uppdede Als iche hoveon for to don.

The Bailiffe. "All iche warnyd to the Ward to cum, That therto hoveon for to cum, By SUNNE SHINING.

Lord of Ruckwood. "We our roope theder brouhton, A roope beltan[8], Als we hoveon for don; And there waren and wakeden, And the Ward soe kept, That the King was harmless, And the Country scatheless.

The Bailiffe. "And a morn, when itt day was, And the sun arisen was, Faier honour weren to us toke, Als us hoveon for to don.

The Lords, and the Tenants Fayre on the staffe we scorden, Als we hoveon for to don, Fayre we him senden, Theder we hoveon for to sende.

The Bailiffe. And zif ther is any man That this wittsiggen can Iche am here ready for to don Azens himself, iche one, Other mid him on, Other mid twyn feren, Als we ther weren. —— "Sir, byleve take this staffe, This is the Tale of the Wardstaffe."

It will be at once apparent that this is a corrupt transcript of a semi-Saxon original of much earlier date; and by comparing it with Morant's very blundering copy, the conjectural corrections I have essayed will be perceived to be numerous. Many of then will, however, be found not only warranted, but absolutely necessary, from the accompanying prose account of the ceremony. The MS. from which it was taken by Morant, was an account of the Rents of the hundred of Ongar, in the time of John Stonar of Loughton, who had a grant of it for his life in the 34th year of King Henry VIII. He seems to have died 12th June, 1566, holding of the Queen, by the twentieth part of a knight's fee, and the yearly rent of 13l. 16s. 4d., the manor, park, chase, &c., of Hatfield Broad Oak, with the hundreds of Ongar and Harlow; and the Wardstaff of the same hundreds, then valued at 101l. 15s. 10d. As the Wardstaff is said by Morant to make a considerable figure in old records, it is reasonable to hope that a more satisfactory account of it may still lie amongst unsunned ancient muniments. All the old Teutonic judicial assemblies were, as Sir F. Palgrave remarks, held in the open air, beneath the sky and by the light of the sun. The following is a part of the ancient rhyme by which the proceedings of the famous Vehm-Gerichte were opened, which were first printed by Schottelius, and the whole of which may be found in Beck's Geschichte der Westphalischen Fehm-Gerichte, and in Sir F. Palgrave's work. The similarity of expression is remarkable.


"All dewile an duessem Dage, Mit yuwer allen behage, Under den HELLEN HIMMEL klar, Ein fry Feld-gericht openbar; Geheget BYM LECHTEN SONNENSHIN Mit noechterm Mund kommen herin, De toel ock is gesettet recht, Dat maht befunden uprecht, So sprecket Recht ane With und Wonne Up Klage und Antwort, WEIL SCHIENT DIE SONNE."

I must refer to Morant, to Beckwith or Sir F. Palgrave, for the details of the ceremony of the Wardstaff, which it should appear was observed at least as late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but in Morant's time it had long been neglected. In the hope that some of your antiquarian correspondents may be enabled to throw more light on this very curious custom, I will merely add, that Morant suggests that it is possible some elucidation of it might be found "in the Evidence House in Hatfield Church, where (he says) are a great number of writings relating to the priory and lordship."


Jan 11. 1851.

[Footnote 3: aied, cut.]

[Footnote 4: i.e. tally, or score.]

[Footnote 5: i.e. a rope with a bell appended.]

* * * * *


Being engaged on a collection of fugitive pieces by wits of the last century, yet unprinted, I wish to take the opinion of your valuable correspondents as to the authorship of the enclosed piece. It has been pointed out to me in an album, dated at the beginning Feb. 14th, 1743; it occurs towards the end of the volume (which is nearly filled), without date, and signed C.H. Williams.

It is evidently not autograph, being in the hand which mainly pervades the book. Had Sir C.H. Williams been a baronet at the time, his title would doubtless have been attached to his name. I wish to know, first, at what date Sir C.H. Williams was born, became a baronet, and died? Secondly, is there any internal evidence of style that the ballad is by his hand? Thirdly, is there any clue as to who the fair and cruel Lucy may have been? And lastly, whether any of your correspondents have seen the thing in print before?


Whitwell, Yorkshire.


"Lips like cherries crimson-juicy, Cheeks like peach's downy shades, Has my Lucy—lovely Lucy! Loveliest of lady's maids!!!


"Eyes like violet's dew-bespangled, Softly fringed deep liquid eyes! Pools where Cupid might have angled And expected fish to rise.


"Cupid angling?—what the deuce! he Must not fish in Lucy's eye! Cupid leave alone my Lucy— You have other fish to fry!!!


"But with patience unavailing— Angling dangling late and soon— Weeping, still I go a wailing, And harp on without harpoon.


"Kerchief, towel, duster, rubber, Cannot wipe my weeping dry— Whaling still I lose my blubber, Catching wails from Lucy's eye.


"Blubber—wax and spermaceti— Swealing taper—trickling tear! Writing of a mournful ditty To my lovely Lucy dear.


"Pouring tears from eyelids sluicy, While the waning flamelet fades, All for Lucy—lovely Lucy, Loveliest of lady's maids.


[The foregoing ballad does not appear in the edition of the works of Sir C. Hanbury Williams (3 vols. 8vo. 1822), from the preface to which it appears that he was born in 1709, installed a Knight of the Bath in 1746, and died on the 2nd November, 1759.]

* * * * *


Book called Tartuare.—William Wallace in London.—1. Is there any one of your correspondents, learned or unlearned, who can oblige me with any account of a printed book called Tartuare? Its date would be early in the sixteenth century, if not before this.

2. After William Wallace had been surprised and taken, he was brought to London, and lodged, it is said, in a part of what is now known as Fenchurch Street. There is a reader and correspondent of yours, who, I am assured, can point out the site of this house, or whatever it was. Will he kindly assist archaeological inquirers, by informing us whereabouts it stood?


Obeism.—Can any of your readers give me some information about obeism? I am anxious to know whether it is in itself a religion, or merely a rite practised in some religion in Africa, and imported thence to the West Indies (where, I am told, it is rapidly gaining ground again); and whether the obeist obtains the immense power he is said to possess over his brother negroes by any acquired art, or simply by working upon the more superstitious {60} minds of his companions. Any information, however, on the subject will be acceptable.


Mincing Lane, Jan. 10. 1851.

Aged Monks.—Ingulphus (apud Wharton, Anglia Sacra, 613.) speaks of five monks of Croyland Abbey, who lived in the tenth century, the oldest of whom, he says, attained the age of one hundred and sixty-eight years: his name was Clarembaldus. The youngest, named Thurgar, died at the premature age of one hundred and fifteen. Can any of your correspondents inform me of any similar instance of longevity being recorded in monkish chronicles? I remember reading of some old English monks who died at a greater age than brother Thurgar, but omitted to "make a note of it" at the time, and should now be glad to find it.


Gloucester Place, Kentish Town.

Lady Alice Carmichael, daughter of John first Earl of Hyndford.—John second Lord Carmichael succeeded his grandfather in 1672. He was born 28th February, 1638, and married, 9th October, 1669, Beatrice Drummond, second daughter of David third Lord Maderty, by whom he had seven sons and four daughters. He was created Earl of Hyndford in 1701, and died in 1710.

I wish to be informed (if any of the obliging readers of your valuable publication can refer me to the authority) what became of Alice, who is named among the daughters of this earl in one of the early Scottish Peerages (anterior probably to that of Crawfurd, in 1716), but which the writer of this is unable to indicate. Archibald, the youngest son, was born 15th April, 1693. The Lady Beatrice, the eldest daughter, married, in 1700, Cockburn; Mary married Montgomery; and Anne married Maxwell. It is traditionally reported that the Lady Alice, in consequence of her marriage with one of her father's tenants, named Biset or Bisset, gave offence to the family, who upon that contrived to have her name omitted in all subsequent peerages. The late Alexander Cassy, of Pentonville, who bequeathed by will several thousand pounds to found a charity at Banff, was son of Alexander Cassy of that place, and —— Biset, one of the daughters, sprung from the above-named marriage.


"A Verse may find Him."—In the first stanza of Herbert's poem entitled the Church Porch, in the Temple, the following lines occur:—

"A verse may find him, whom a sermon flies, And turn delight into a sacrifice."

Which contain, evidently, the same idea as the one enunciated in the subsequent ones quoted by Wordsworth (I believe) as a motto prefixed to his ecclesiastical sonnets, without an author assigned:—

"A verse may catch a wandering soul that flies More powerful tracts: and by a blest surprise Convert delight into a sacrifice."

Query, Who was the author of them?



Daresbury, the White Chapel of England.—Sometime ago I copied the following from a local print:—

"'Nixon's Prophecy.—When a fox without cubs shall sit in the White Chapel of England, then men shall travel to Paris without horses, and kings shall run away and leave their crowns.'

"The present incumbent of Daresbury, Cheshire (the White Chapel of England), is the Rev. Mr. Fawkes, who (1849) is unmarried. The striking accomplishment—railway travelling and the revolutions of the present year—must be obvious to every one."

My Query to the above is this: Why is the church of Daresbury called the White Chapel of England, and how did the name originate? The people in the neighbourhood, I understand, know nothing on the subject.

An answer to the above from one of your learned correspondents would greatly oblige.


Ulm Manuscript.—Can you inform me where the Ulm manuscript is, which was in the possession of Archdeacon Butler, at Shrewsbury, in the year 1832. It is a document of great interest, and some critical value, and ought to be, if it is not already, in public keeping. It is a Latin MS. of the Acts and Epistles, probably of the ninth century, and contains the Pseudo-Hieronymian Prologue to the "Canonical" Epistles.

It renders the classical passage, 1 John v. 7, 8., in this wise:—

"Quia tres sunt qui testimonium dant, spiritus, et aqua, et sanguis, et tres unum sunt. Sicut in coelo tres sunt, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus, et tres unum sunt."

You will remember that it is quoted by Porson in his Letters to Travis, p. 148., and again referred to by him, pp. 394. 400.

Was it sold on the death of the Bishop of Lichfield, or bequeathed to any public institution? or did it find its way into the possession of the Duke of Sussex, who was curious in biblical matters, and was a correspondent of Dr. Butler? Some of your learned readers will perhaps enable you to trace it.


Hull, Yorkshire, Jan. 1851.

Merrick and Tattersall.—Will any of your correspondents be so obliging as to give the years of birth of Merrick, the poet and versifier of the Psalms, and of his biographer, Tattersall. The years of their deaths are given respectively 1769 {61} and 1829: but I can nowhere find when they were born.


[Merrick was born in 1720, and Tattersall in 1752.]

Dr. Trusler's Memoirs.—I have the First Part of the Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Dr. Trusler, with his Opinions and Remarks through a Long Life on Men and Manners, written by himself. Bath. Printed and published by John Browne, George Street, 1806. This Part is a 4to. of 200 pages, and is full of curious anecdotes of the time. It was intended to form three or more Parts. Was it ever completed: and if so, where to be procured? In all my searches after books, I never met but with this copy.

At the end of the First Part there is a prospectus of a work Trusler intended to publish in the form of a Dictionary (and of which he gives a specimen sheet), entitled Sententiae Variorum. Can any of your Bath friends say if the manuscript is still in existence, as he states that it is ready for the press; or that he would treat with any party disposed to buy the copyright?


Life of Bishop Frampton.—I have in my possession a manuscript life of Bishop Frampton, who was ejected for not taking the oaths to William and Mary. It is of sufficient detail and interest to deserve publication. But before I give it to the world, that I may do what justice I can to the memory of so excellent a man, I should be happy to receive the contributions of any of your readers who may happen to possess any thing of interest relating to him. I have reason to believe that several of his sermons, the texts of which are given in his life, are still in existence. Will you be kind enough to allow your periodical to be the vehicle of this invitation?



Probabilism.—Will any one inform me by whom the doctrine of Probabilism was first propounded as a system? And whether, when fairly stated, it is any thing more than the enunciation of a deep moral principle?


Sir Henry Chauncy's Observations on Wilfred Entwysel.—After recording the inscription on the brass plate in St. Peter's Church, St. Alban's, to the memory of Sir Bertin Entwysel, Knt., Viscount and Baron of Brykbeke in Normandy, who fell at the first battle of St. Alban's, in 1455, Chauncy proceeds to state:—

"These Entwysels were gentlemen of good account in Lancashire, whose mansion-house retains the name of Entwysel, and the last heir of that house was one Wilfred Entwysel, who sold his estate, and served as a lance at Musselborrow Field, Anno 2 Edw. VI. After that he served the Guyes in defence of Meth, and he was one of the four captains of the fort of Newhaven, who being infected with the plague and shipped for England, landed at Portsmouth, and uncertain of any house, in September, 1549, died under a hedge."—Historical Antiq. of Hertfordshire, by Sir Henry Chauncy, Knt., Serj. at Law, p. 472. fol. 1700.

On what authority is this latter statement made, and if it was traditional when Chauncy wrote, was the foundation of the tradition good? Did Sir Bertin Entwysel leave issue male, and is the precise link ascertained which connects him with the family of Entwisle of Entwisle, in the parish of Bolton-en-le-Moors, in Lancashire? Wilfred Entwysel was not "the last heir of that house," as the post mortem inq. of Edmund Entwisle, of Entwisle, Esq., was taken 14 Sept. 1544, and his son and heir was George Entwisle, then aged twenty-two years and upwards. Amongst his large estates was "the manor of Entwissell."


Theological Tracts.—Can any of your correspondents inform me where the following tracts are to be found?—

"Pattern of the Present Temple," "Garnish of the Soul," "Soldier of Battle," "Hunt of the Fox," "Fardle of Fashions," "Gamer's Arraign," and a work entitled "Vaux's Catechism."

I am sorry not to be able to give a more minute description of them; they were all published, I think, before the middle of the seventeenth century.

The Bodleian and our own University Libraries have been searched, but to no purpose.


Lady Bingham.—In Blackwood's Magazine, vol. lxviii. p. 141. there is a paper, bearing every mark of authenticity, which details the unsuccessful courtship of Sir Symonds D'Ewes with Jemima, afterwards Baroness Crewe, and daughter of Edward Waldgrave, Esq., of Lawford House in Essex, and Sarah his wife. It is stated that the latter bore the name of Lady Bingham, as being the widow of a knight, and that his monument may still be seen in Lawford church. On referring to the Suckling Papers, published by Weale, I find no account of this monument, though an inscription of that of Edward Waldgrave, Esq., apparently his father-in-law, is given. Can any of your readers give me any information as to this lady? I should, if possible, be glad to have her maiden name and origin, as well as that of her first husband. She might have been the widow of Sir Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught, &c., whose MS. account of the Irish wars is now publishing by the Celtic Society, and who died A.D. 1598. In that case, I leave a conjecture before me, that she was a Kingsmill of Sidmanton, in Hampshire. I mention this to aid enquiry, if any one will be so good as to make it. If there is such a monument in existence, his arms may be quartered on it, for which I should be also thankful.

C.W.B. {62}

Gregory the Great.—Lady Morgan, in her letter to Cardinal Wiseman, speaks of "the pious and magnificent Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, the ally of Gregory the Great, and the foundress of his power through her wealth and munificence." By Gregory the Great it is evident that Lady Morgan means Hildebrand, or Gregory VII. May ask, through the medium of your pages, whether any authority can be found for terming Gregory VII. the Great, an epithet which I had previously considered to be confined to Gregory I.?


John Hill's Penny Post, in 1659.—I noted a few years back, from a bookseller's catalogue, the title of a work—

"Hill (John), a Penny-Post; or a vindication of the liberty of every Englishman in carrying Merchants' and other Men's letters against any restraints of farmers of such employments. 4to. 1659."

Can any of your correspondents give an account of this work?


Andrea Ferrara.—Will any kind friend inform me where any history is to be found of "Andrea Ferrara," the sword cutler?


Imputed Letters of Sallustius.—Can any of your correspondents inform me whether a MS. of the Epistles of Sallustius to Caesar on Statesmanship is deposited in any one of our public libraries?


January 18. 1851.

Thomas Rogers of Horninger (Vol. ii., pp. 424. 521.).—I am obliged to Mr. Kersley for his reference to Rose's Biographical Dictionary; but he might have supposed that all such ordinary sources of information would naturally be consulted before your valuable journal be troubled with a query. Having reason to believe that Rogers took an active part in the stirring events of his time, I shall be much obliged to any of your correspondents who will refer me to any incidental notices of him in cotemporary or other writers: to diffuse which kind of information your paper seems to me to have been instituted.


Tandem D.O.M.—In an ancient mansion, which stands secluded in the distant recesses of Cornwall, there reposes a library nearly as ancient as the edifice itself, in the long gallery of which it has been almost the sole furniture for a space of full two centuries. What is still remarkable, the collection remains sole and entire in all its pristine originality, as well as simple but substantial bindings, uncontaminated by any additions of more modern literature, dressed up in gayer suits of calfskin or morocco. It is even said that few of the pages of these venerable volumes have even seen the light since the day they were deposited there by their first most careful owner, till the present proprietor took the liberty of giving them a dusting. How far he has advanced in examining their contents is uncertain; but, as he seldom can summon courage to withdraw himself from their company, even for his parliamentary duties, these literary treasures stand a chance, at last, not only of being dusted externally, but of being thoroughly sifted and explored internally. A note of the existence of such a collection of books is at least worth recording as unique of its kind. I have now a query to put in relations to it.

The collector seems to have been one Hannibal Gamon, whose name appears written in fine bold characters,—as beseems so distinguished an appellation,—on the title-page of each volume; but, besides, there is frequently appended this addition—"tandem D.O.M." The writer has his own solution on the meaning of this bit of Latin, but would be glad to know what interpretation any of your readers would be inclined to put thereon.


The Episcopal Mitre.—When first was the episcopal mitre used? And what was the origin of its peculiar form?


* * * * *



(Vol. ii., p. 386.)

The oldest edition of this play is the quarto of 1609, in which the passage referred to stands thus:—

"Hect. Begon, I say, the gods have heard me sweare.

"Cas. The gods are deafe to hotte and peevish vowes, They are polluted offrings more abhord, Then spotted livers in the sacrifice.

"And. O be perswaded, do not count it holy, It is the purpose that makes strong the vow, But vowes to every purpose must not hold: Unarme, sweet Hector."

This reading, by stopping the sense at "holy," renders less likely to be correct the emendation of Tyrwhitt, adopted by Malone:—

"O be persuaded: do not count it holy To hurt by being just: it is as lawful, For we would give much to use violent thefts, And rob in the behalf of charity."

Dr. Johnson observes, "This is so oddly confused in the folio, that I transcribe it as a specimen of incorrectness:—

'——do not count it holy To hurt by being just: it is as lawful For we would count give much to as violent thefts,' &c."

With reference to these particulars, I should be glad if you would allow me to propose a reading which has not yet been suggested:—


"O be persuaded; do not count it holy: To hurt, by being just, count it unlawful: For we would give, as much, to violent thefts, And rob, in the behalf of charity."

The meaning being, it is as unlawful to do hurt by being just, as it would be to give to a robbery, or to rob for a charity; to assist a bad cause by a good deed, or a good cause by a bad deed.

The word "count," in its second occurrence, was inserted by the printer in the wrong line; when it is restored to its proper place, the passage presents but little difficulty.


* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 510.)

Your correspondent, MR. HOLT WHITE, throws cut a suggestion relative to the origin of the black doll as a sign at old store shops, which is ingenious, but not very probable. The images of black virgins are confined, I believe, to the south of Europe, with the exception of the celebrated shrine of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. The origin of the colour appears to be oriental, as MR. W. surmises. I send the following extract, in answer to his query on the subject. It is a quotation from Grimm, in M. Michelet's Introduction to Universal History; and, as your readers must be all familiar with the language of the gifted historian, I will not make the attempt to convey his brilliant style into another tongue.

"Une des idees qui reviennent le plus dans nos meistersinger, dit Grimm, c'est la comparaison de l'incarnation de Jesus Christ avec l'aurore d'un nouveau soleil. Toute religion avait eu son soleil-dieu, et des le quatrieme siecle l'eglise occidentale celebre la naissance du Christ au jour ou le soleil remonte, au 25 Decembre, c'est-a-dire, au jour ou l'on celebrait la naissance du soleil invincible. C'est un rapport evident avec le soleil-dieu Mithra. On lit encore, dans nos poetes, que Jesus a sa naissance reposait sur le sein de Marie, comme un oiseau, qui, le soir, se refugie dans une fleur de nuit eclose au milieu de la mer. Quel rapport remarquable avec le mythe de la naissance de Brama, enferme dans le lis des eaux, le lotus, jusqu'au jour ou la fleur fut ouverte par les rayons du soleil, c'est-a-dire, par Vischnou lui-meme, qui avait produit cette fleur. Le Christ, le Nouveau-jour, est ne de la nuit, c'est-a-dire de Marie la Noire, dont les pied reposent sur la lune, et dont la tete est couronnee de planetes comme d'un brillant diademe. (Voyez les tableaux d'Albert Duerer.) Ainsi reparait, comme dans l'ancien culte, cette grande divinite, appelee tour-a-tour Maia, Bhawani, Isis, Ceres, Proserpine, Persephone. Reine du ciel, elle est la nuit d'ou sort la vie, et ou toute vie se replonge; mysterieuse reunion de la vie et de la mort. Elle s'appelle aussi la rosee, et dans les mythes allemands, la rosee est consideree comme le principe qui reproduit et redonne la vie. Elle n'est pas seulement la nuit, mais comme mere du soleil, elle est aussi l'aurore devant qui les planetes brillent et s'empressent, comme pour Persephone. Lorsqu'elle signifie la terre, comme Ceres, elle est representee avec la gerbe de ble; elle est Persephone, la graine de semence; comme cette deesse, elle a sa faucille: c'est la demi-lune qui repose sous ses pieds. Enfin, comme la deesse d'Ephese, la triste Ceres et Proserpine, elle est belle et brillante, et cependant sombre et noire, selon l'expression du Cantique des Cantiques: 'Je suis noir, mais pleine de charmes, le soleil m'a brulee' (le Christ). Encore aujourd'hui, l'image de la mere de Dieu est noire a Naples, comme a Einsiedeln en Suisse. Elle unit ainsi le jour et la nuit, la joie avec la tristesse, le soleil et la lune (chaleur, humidite), le terrestre et le celeste."

This fragment is, perhaps, rather too long; but I think your readers will consider it too beautiful to abridge. The late G. Higgins, in his Anacalepsis (ii. 100.), has some observations to the same purport, and points out the resemblance of some of the old Italian paintings of the Virgin and Child to Egyptian representations of Isis and the infant Horus.

Many of these ideas have been taken up by the free-masons, and are typified and symbolised in their initiatory ceremonies.


* * * * *


A correspondent (J.O.W.H.) at p. 318. of Vol. i. asks a question on the subject of outline in painting; instancing the works of Albert Durer and Raffaelle as examples of defined, and those of Titian, Murillo, &c., of indefined outline. He wishes to know whether there is "a right and a wrong in the matter, apart from anything which men call taste?"

The subject generally is a curious one, and has interested me for some time; as experiments exhibit several singular phenomena resulting from the interference and diffraction of rays of light in passing by the outline of a material body. As a matter of fact, I believe I may say, that there is no such thing in nature as a perfectly defined outline; since the diffraction of the rays, in passing it, causes them to be projected upon it more or less, according to the nature of the particular body, and the intensity of the light. And I may remark, by the way, that I believe this circumstance of the projection of a star upon the moon's disc at the time of an occultation, is to be accounted for on this principle (though with all due deference to higher authority); a phenomenon which is to this day unexplained.

Of course every outline is rendered less defined by any motion of the eye of the observer, however slight. Hence, perhaps, the comparative indistinctness of outline commonly seen in pictures, compared with those in nature; as the artist {64} would be apt to take advantage of this circumstance, and give to his painting the same kind of effect the reality would have to an eye wandering over it; thereby taking away the attention from individual parts, and, as it were, forcing it to judge of the general effect, which general effect is, perhaps, the main object in painting.

Hence it follows that wherever, in any design, separate portions are intended to arrest attention, the outline should be more defined and, accordingly, we may remark that Albert Durer, and others like him, who were very careful of minutiae, are also distinct and hard in their outlines, which is also the case, for the most part, in the Dutch school, and in architectural paintings, fruit-pieces, &c.; and we find that in proportion as the artist discards the comparatively unworthy minute accompaniments of his subject, and aims at unity of effect, so does he neglect sharpness of outline. Which is the correct practice—distinctness, or indistinctness of outline—will be differently judged by those who hold different opinions on painting in general. While one person will maintain that a picture, to be perfect, must be an exact copy of nature, in short an artistic daguerreotype; another will hold almost the contrary; so that the subject of outline must be matter of opinion still. However, the lover of general effect has this rational ground of argument on his side, viz., there is no such thing as a strictly defined outline in nature, even to an eye at rest; while to one in motion, which is perhaps the normal state, that outline is rendered still more indistinct.


—— Rectory, Hereford, Dec. 28. 1850.

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 459.)

The curiosity excited by the perusal of my previous communication under the foregoing head, and the interesting editorial note appended in "NOTES AND QUERIES," induce me to continue the attempt to verify one of the most remarkable instances of abnormal fecundity in an individual of the human species recorded in modern times. The reader must judge of the following "circumstantial evidence:"—

1. I have just seen widow Platts (formerly Sarah Birch), a poor, fat, decent woman, who keeps a small greengrocer's shop, in West Bar, Sheffield. She says she was born in Spring Street in the same town, on the 29th Sept. 1781; well remembers wondering why she was so much looked at when a girl: and her surprise, when afterwards told by her mother, that she was one of ten children born at the same time. Had often been told that she was so small at birth, that she was readily put into a quart measure; and for some time, lay in a basket before the fire "wrapped in a flannel like a newly hatched chicken."

2. The improbability of finding any living gossip who was present at the birth, must be obvious: but I have conversed with old women who had heard their mothers describe the occurrence from personal knowledge.

3. One ancient dame had no more doubt of the fact than the cause of it. Having apparently heard and believed a monstrous tradition of a multitudinous gestation extant in common "folklore." "It was," said she, with all gravity, "the effect of a wish," intended to spite the father; who, having had two children by his wife, and an interval of nine years elapsing before the portentous pregnancy in question, did not desire, it seems, any further increase to his family.

4. The parents died, the daughter married, and the "story of her birth" was forgotten: until the publication of White's Sheffield Directory in 1833, when, among other local memorabilia, the strange announcement of "ten children at birth," was reproduced on the contemporary authority of the Leeds Mercury. From that time Mrs. Platts has been more or less an object of curiosity.

5. The Directory paragraph is as follows:—

"An instance of extraordinary fecundity is recorded in the Leeds Mercury of 1781, which says that Ann [Sarah] Birch, of Sheffield, was, in that year, delivered of ten children!!! We, in our time, have heard of Sheffield ladies having three children at birth; but we know no other case, but that of the aforesaid Mrs. Birch, which countenances the fructiferous fame which they have obtained in some circles."

I have been unsuccessful in an effort to collate the foregoing with the original newspaper paragraph: but Mr. White, while he personally assured me of the veracity of the transcript, also pointed out to me an earlier version of the same fact from the same source in the Annals of the Clothing Districts, published about thirty years since.

6. In conformity with the suggestion (NOTES AND QUERIES, Vol. ii., p. 459), I have examined the Parish Register of Baptisms, but the entry is as curt and formal as possible, viz.:—

"Sarah, Dr. of Thos. and Sarah Birch, Cutler,"

under the date, Dec. 12.1781.

Taking all the foregoing circumstances into account, there seems to me little ground for the erection of any strong objection to the alleged fact—extraordinary as it is—of ten children having been brought forth at one time; or, to the hardly less interesting coincidence, that one of them is still living. I cannot but add, that if the contemporary notice of this extraordinary birth in the Leeds Mercury of 1781 should not be admitted as good evidence for the fact, it does, at least, negative the presumptive value of any objection {65} derived from the silence of the writer in the Philosophical Transactions six years afterwards; strange as such silence assuredly appears. After all, the question occurs: What has become of the bodies said to have been preserved? As all parties concur in naming "old Mr. Staniforth" as the accoucheur in attendance on Mrs. Birch; and as that gentleman has been dead many years, I called upon his eldest surviving pupil, Mr. Nicholson, surgeon, to ask him whether, in conversation, or among the preparations in the surgery of his worthy master, he had ever met with any illustration of the parturition in question? He replied that he had not. It may not, perhaps, be out of place here to mention that the above-named Mr. Nicholson, surgeon, himself delivered a poor woman of five children, on the 10th of February, 1829, at Handsworth Woodhouse, near Sheffield. This case was even more remarkable than that which gave occasion to the paper which was read before the Royal Society in 1787, inasmuch as not only were four of the children born alive, but three of them lived to be baptized.


Sheffield, Jan. 13. 1851.

* * * * *


(Vol. ii., p. 354.)

In All's Well that Ends Well, Act I. Sc. 3., Helena says to the Countess, speaking of her love for Bertram,—

"I know I love in vain; strive against hope; Yet, in this captious and intenible sieve, I still pour in the waters of my love, And lack not to lose still."

It is not without hesitation that I venture to oppose MR. SINGER on a point on which he is so well entitled to give an opinion. But I cannot help thinking that MR. SINGER'S explanation, besides being somewhat too refined and recondite, is less applicable to the general sense and drift of the passage than that of Steevens, which Malone and Mr. Collier have adopted.

What I think wanting to Steevens' interpretation, is an increase, if I may so express myself, of intensity. He takes the word, I conceive, in its right bearing, but does not give it all the requisite force. I should suggest that it means not merely "recipient, capable of receiving," but, to coin a word, captatious, eager or greedy to receive, absorbing; as we say avidum mare, or a greedy gulf. The Latin analogous to it in this sense would be, not capax, or MR. SINGER'S captiosus, but captax, or captabundus; neither of which words, however, occurs.

The sense of the word, like that of many others in the same author, must be determined by the scope and object of the passage in which it is used. The object of Helena, in declaring her love to the Countess, is to show the all-absorbing nature of it; to prove that she is tota in illo; and that, however she may strive to stop the cravings of it, her endeavours are of no more use than the attempt to fill up a bottomless abyss.

The reader may, if he pleases, compare her case with that of other heroines in like predicaments. Thus Medaea, in Apollonius Rhodius:

[Greek: "Pante moi phrenes eisin amechanoi, oude tis alke Pematos."]

And the same lady in Ovid:

"—— Luctata diu, postquam ratione furorem, Vincere non poterat. Frustra, Medea, repugnas. —— Excute virgineo conceptas pectore flammas, Si potes, infelix. Si possem sanior essem: Sed trahit invitam nova vis."

Or Dido, in Virgil or Ovid:

"Ille quidem male gratus, et ad munera surdus; Et quo si non sim stulta carere velim: Non tamen AEneam, quamvis male cogitat, odi; Sed queror infidum, questaque pejus amo."

Or Phaedra, in Seneca:

——"Furor cogit sequi Pejora: vadit animus in praeceps sciens, Remeatque, frustra sana consilia appetens. Sic cum gravatam navita adversa ratem Propellit unda, cedit in vanum labor, Et victa prono puppis aufertur vado."

The complaints of all are alike; they lament that they make attempts to resist their passion, but find it not to be resisted; that they are obliged at last to yield themselves entirely to it, and to feel their whole thoughts, as it were, swallowed up by it.

Such being the way in which Shakspeare represents Helena, and such the sentiments which he puts into her mouth, it seems evident that the interpretation of captious in the sense of absorbent is better adapted to the passage than the explanation of it in the sense of fallacious.

"I know I love in vain, and strive against hope; yet into this insatiable and unretaining sieve I still pour in the waters of my love, and fail not to lose still."

I said that the sense of fallacious seemed to be too refined and recondite. To believe that Shakspeare borrowed his captious in this sense, from the Latin captiosus, we must suppose that he was well acquainted with the exact sense of the Latin word; a supposition which, in regard to a man who had small Latin, we can scarcely be justified in entertaining. This interpretation is, therefore, too recondite: and to imagine Helena as applying the word to Bertram as being "incapable of receiving her love," and "truly captious" (or deceitful and ensnaring) "in that respect," is surely to indulge in too much refinement of exposition.

That Shakspeare had in his mind, as MR. SINGER {66} suggests, the punishment of the Danaides, is extremely probable; but this only makes the explanation of captious in the sense of absorbent more applicable to the passage, with which that of Seneca, quoted above, may be aptly compared.

I am sorry that Johnson was so unfortunate as to propose carious as an emendation; but even in doing this, he had, according to my notion of the lines, the right sense in view, viz., that of letting through or swallowing up, like a rotten tub or a quicksand.

I hope that MR. SINGER will take these remarks in good part, as being offered, not from a wish to oppose his opinion, but from a conviction that the interpretation now given is right, and from a desire that to every word in Shakspeare should be assigned its true signification.



* * * * *


(Vol. iii., p. 24.)

There can be little doubt that the sword respecting which P. inquires is in the armoury at Goodrich Court. It was presented by Lord Viscount Gage to the late Sir Samuel Meyrick, and exhibited by Dr. Meyrick to the Society of Antiquaries, Nov. 23. 1826. The Doctor's letter is to be found in the Appendix to the Archaeologia of that date, with an engraving of the sword. He states that the arms on the pommel are those of Battle Abbey, that its date is about A.D. 1430, and that it was the symbol of the criminal jurisdiction of the abbot. At the dissolution of the abbey it fell into the hands of Sir John Gage, who was one of the commissioners for taking the surrender of religious houses.

Its entire length is 3 feet 5 inches, and the breadth of the blade at the guard 2 inches. The Doctor considers it to be "the oldest perfect sword in England." The arms are a cross, with a crown in the first and last quarters, and a sword in the second and third. There are also the letters T.L., the initials of the Abbot, Thomas de Lodelow, who held that office from 1417 to 1437. This fixes its date in the reign of Henry V., though the fact of the first William having been the founder of Battle Abbey has given colour to the tradition of its having been his property.



I much doubt the fact of the Conqueror's sword ever having been in the possession of the monks of Battle. Nor am I aware of any writer contemporary with the dissolution of that famous abbey who asserts it. William's royal robe, adorned with precious gems, and a feretory in the form of an altar, inclosing 300 relics of the saints, were bequeathed by him to the monastery; and Rufus transmitted them to Battle, where they were duly received on the 8th of the calends of November, 1088. This information is furnished by the Chronicle of Battel Abbey, which I have just translated for the press; but not one word is said of the sword.

Though I have always lived within a few miles of Firle Place, the seat of the Gages, and though I am tolerably well acquainted with the history and traditions of that noble family, I never heard of the sword mentioned by P. Had that relic really been preserved at Battle till the time of Henry VIII., it is not improbable that it might have come into Sir John Gage's hands with the manor of Aleiston, of which he was grantee, while his son-in-law, Sir Anthony Browne, became possessor of the abbey itself.

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