The Project Gutenberg eBook of Notes and Queries, Number 39, July 27, 1850

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Title: Notes and Queries, Number 39, July 27, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: October 13, 2004 [eBook #13736]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jon Ingram, David King, the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team and The Internet Library of Early Journals





"When found, make a note of."—CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

No. 39. SATURDAY, JULY 27, 1850 Price Threepence.
Stamped Edition 4d.


NOTES:— Page
Etymology of "Whitsuntide" and "Mass" 129
Folk Lore:—Sympathetic Cures—Cure for Ague—Eating Snakes a Charm for growing young 130
Long Meg of Westminster, by E.F. Rimbault 131
A Note on Spelling,—"Sanatory," "Connection" 131
Minor Notes:—Pasquinade on Leo XII.—Shakspeare a Brass-rubber—California—Mayor of Misrule and Masters of the Pastimes—Roland and Oliver 131
The Story of the Three Men and their Bag of Money 132
The Geometrical Foot, by A. De Morgan 133
Minor Queries:—Plurima Gemma—Emmote de Hastings—Boozy Grass—Gradely—Hats worn by Females—Queries respecting Feltham's Works—Eikon Basilice—"Welcome the coming, speed the parting Guest"—Carpets and Room-paper—Cotton of Finchley—Wood Carving in Snow Hill—Walrond Family—Translations—Bonny Dundee—Graham of Claverhouse—Franz von Sickingen—Blackguard—Meaning of "Pension"—Stars and Stripes of the American Arms—Passages from Shakspeare—Nursery Rhyme—"George" worn by Charles I.—Family of Manning of Norfolk—Salingen a Sword Cutler—Billingsgate—"Speak the Tongue that Shakspeare spoke"—Genealogical Queries—Parson, the Staffordshire Giant—Unicorn in the Royal Arms—The Frog and the Crow of Ennow—"She ne'er with treacherous Kiss," &c. 133
A treatise on Equivocation 136
Further Notes on the Derivation of the Word "News" 137
"News," "Noise," and "Parliament" 138
Shakpeare's Use of the Word "Delighted" by Rev. Dr. Kennedy and J.O. Halliwell 139
Replies to Minor Queries:—Execution of Charles I.—Sir T. Herbert's Memoir of Charles I.—Simon of Ghent—Chevalier de Cailly—Collar of Esses—Hell paved with good Intentions—The Plant "Hæmony"—Practice of Scalping among the Scythians—Scandinavian Mythology—Cromwell's Estates—Magor—"Incidis in Scyllam"—Dies Iræ—Fabulous Account of the Lion—Caxton's Printing-Office 140
Notes on Books, Sales, Catalogues, Sales, &c. 142
Books and Odd Volumes Wanted 143
Answers to Correspondents 143



Perhaps the following Note and Query on the much-disputed origin of the word Whitsunday, as used in our Liturgy, may find a place in your Journal. None of the etymologies of this word at present in vogue is at all satisfactory. They are—

I. White Sunday: and this, either—

1. From the garments of white linen, in which those who were at that season admitted to the rite of holy baptism were clothed; (as typical of the spiritual purity therein obtained:) or,—

2. From the glorious light of heaven, sent down from the father of Lights on the day of Pentecost: and "those vast diffusions of light and knowledge, which were then shed upon the Apostles, in order to the enlightening of the world." (Wheatley.) Or,—

3. From the custom of the rich bestowing on this day all the milk of their kine, then called white meat, on the poor. (Wheatley, from Gerard Langbain.)

II. Huict Sunday: from the French, huit, eight; i.e. the eighth Sunday from Easter. (L'Estrange, Alliance Div. Off.)

III. There are others who see that neither of these explanations can stand; because the ancient mode of spelling the word was not Whit-sunday, but Wit-sonday (as in Wickliff), or Wite-sonday (which is as old as Robert of Gloucester, c. A.D. 1270). Hence,—

1. Versteran's explanation:—That it is Wied Sunday, i.e. Sacred Sunday (from Saxon, wied, or wihed, a word I do not find in Bosworth's A.-S. Dict.; but so written in Brady's Clovis Calendaria, as below). But why should this day be distinguished as sacred beyond all other Sundays in the year?

2. In Clavis Calendaria, by John Brady (2 vols. 8vo. 1815), I find, vol. i. p. 378., "Other authorities contend," he does not say who those authorities are, "that the original name of this season of the year was Wittentide; or the time of choosing the wits, or wise men, to the Wittenagemote."

Now this last, though evidently an etymology inadequate to the importance of the festival, appears to me to furnish the right clue. The day of Pentecost was the day of the outpouring of the Divine Wisdom and Knowledge on the Apostles; the day on which was given to them that HOLY SPIRIT, by which was "revealed" to them "The wisdom of God ... even the hidden wisdom, which GOD ordained before the world." 1 Cor. ii. 7.1 It was the day on which was fulfilled the promise {130} made to them by CHRIST that "The Comforter, which is the HOLY GHOST, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John, xiv. 26. When "He, the Spirit of Truth, came, who should guide them into all truth." John xvi. 13. And the consequence of this "unction from the Holy One" was, that they "knew all things," and "needed not that any man should teach them." 1 John, ii. 20. 27.

Whit-sonday was, therefore, the day on which the Apostles were endued by God with wisdom and knowledge: and my Query is, whether the root of the word may not be found in the Anglo-Saxon verb,—

Witan, to know, understand (whence our wit, in its old meaning of good sense, or cleverness and the expression "having one's wits about one," &c.); or else, perhaps, from—

Wisian, to instruct, show, inform; (Ger. weisen). Not being an Anglo-Saxon scholar, I am unable of myself to trace the formation of the word witson from either of these roots: and I should feel greatly obliged to any of your correspondents who might be able and willing to inform me, whether that form is deduceable from either of the above verbs; and if so, what sense it would bear in our present language. I am convinced, that wisdom day, or teaching day, would afford a very far better reason for the name now applied to Pentecost, than any of the reasons commonly given. I should observe, that I think it incorrect to say Whit-Sunday. It should be Whitsun (Witesone) Day. If it is Whit Sunday, why do we say Easter Day, and not Easter Sunday? Why do we say Whitsun-Tide? Why does our Prayer Book say Monday and Tuesday in Whitsun-week (just as before, Monday and Tuesday in Easter-week)? And why do the lower classes, whose "vulgarisms" are, in nine cases out of ten, more correct than our refinements, still talk about Whitsun Monday and Whitsun Tuesday, where the more polite say, Whit Monday and Tuesday?

Query II. As I am upon etymologies, let me ask, may not the word Mass, used for the Lord's Supper—which Baronius derives from the Hebrew missach, an oblation, and which is commonly derived from the "missa missorum"—be nothing more nor less than mess (mes, old French), the meal, the repast, the supper? We have it still lingering in the phrase, "an officers' mess;" i.e. a meal taken in common at the same table; and so, "to mess together," "messmate," and so on. Compare the Moeso-Gothic mats, food: and maz, which Bosworth says (A.-S. Dic. sub voc. Mete) is used for bread, food, in Otfrid's poetical paraphrase of the Gospels, in Alemannic or High German, published by Graff, Konigsberg, 1831.



Footnote 1:(return)

The places in the New Testament, where Divine Wisdom and Knowledge are referred to the outpouring of God's Spirit, are numberless. Cf. Acts, vi. 3., 1 Cor. xii. 8., Eph. i. 8, 9., Col. i. 9., &c. &c.


Sympathetic Cures.—Possibly the following excerpt may enable some of your readers and Folklore collectors to testify to the yet lingering existence, in localities still unvisited by the "iron horse," of a superstition similar to the one referred to below. I transcribe it from a curious, though not very rare volume in duodecimo, entitled Choice and Experimental Receipts in Physick and Chirurgery, as also Cordial and Distilled Waters and Spirits, Perfumes, and other Curiosities. Collected by the Honourable and truly learned Sir Kenelm Digby, Kt., Chancellour to Her Majesty the Queen Mother. London: Printed for H. Brome, at the Star in Little Britain, 1668.

"A Sympathetic Cure for the Tooth-ach.—With an iron nail raise and cut the gum from about the teeth till it bleed, and that some of the blood stick upon the nail, then drive it into a wooden beam up to the head; after this is done you never shall have the toothach in all your life." The author naively adds "But whether the man used any spell, or said any words while he drove the nail, I know not; only I saw done all that is said above. This is used by severall certain persons."

Amongst other "choice and experimental receipts" and "curiosities" which in this little tome are recommended for the cure of some of the "ills which flesh is heir to," one directs the patient to

"Take two parts of the moss growing on the skull of a dead man (pulled as small as you can with the fingers)."

Another enlarges on the virtue of

"A little bag containing some powder of toads calcined, so that the bag lay always upon the pit of the stomach next the skin, and presently it took away all pain as long as it hung there but if you left off the bag the pain returned. A bag continueth in force but a month after so long time you must wear a fresh one."

This, he says, a "person of credit" told him.


Reform Club, June 21. 1850.

Cure for Ague.—One of my parishioners, suffering from ague, was advised to catch a large spider and shut him up in a box. As he pines away, the disease is supposed to wear itself out.


L—— Rectory, Somerset, July 8. 1850.

Eating Snakes a Charm for growing young.—I send you the following illustrations of this curious receipt for growing young. Perhaps some of your correspondents will furnish me with some others, and some additional light on the subject. Fuller says,—

"A gentlewoman told an ancient batchelour, who looked very young, that she thought he had eaten a snake: 'No, mistris,' (said he), 'it is because I never {131} meddled with any snakes which maketh me look so young.'"—Holy State, 1642, p. 36.

He hath left off o' late to feed on snakes;

His beard's turned white again.

Massinger, Old Law, Act v. Sc. 1.

"He is your loving brother, sir, and will tell nobody

But all he meets, that you have eat a snake,

And are grown young, gamesome, and rampant."

Ibid, Elder Brother, Act iv. Sc. 4.



Mr. Cunningham, in his Handbook of London (2nd edition, p. 540.), has the following passage, under the head of "Westminster Abbey:"

"Observe.—Effigies in south cloister of several of the early abbots; large blue stone, uninscribed, (south cloister), marking the grave of Long Meg of Westminster, a noted virago of the reign of Henry VIII."

This amazon is often alluded to by our old writers. Her life was printed in 1582; and she was the heroine of a play noticed in Henslowe's Diary, under the date February 14, 1594. She also figured in a ballad entered on the Stationers' books in that year. In Holland's Leaguer, 1632, mention is made of a house kept by Long Meg in Southwark:—

"It was out of the citie, yet in the view of the citie, only divided by a delicate river: there was many handsome buildings, and many hearty neighbours, yet at the first foundation it was renowned for nothing so much as for the memory of that famous amazon Longa Margarita, who had there for many yeeres kept a famous infamous house of open hospitality."

According to Vaughan's Golden Grove, 1608,—

"Long Meg of Westminster kept alwaies twenty courtizans in her house, whom, by their pictures, she sold to all commers."

From these extracts the occupation of Long Meg may be readily guessed at. Is it then likely that such a detestable character would have been buried amongst "goodly friars" and "holy abbots" in the cloisters of our venerable abbey? I think not: but I leave considerable doubts as to whether Meg was a real personage.—Query. Is she not akin to Tom Thumb, Jack the Giant-killer, Doctor Rat, and a host of others of the same type?

The stone in question is, I know, on account of its great size, jokingly called "Long Meg, of Westminster" by the vulgar; but no one, surely, before Mr. Cunningham, ever seriously supposed it to be her burying-place. Henry Keefe, in his Monumenta Westmonasteriensa, 1682, gives the following account of this monument:—

"That large and stately plain black marble stone (which is vulgarly known by the name of Long Meg of Westminster) on the north side of Laurentius the abbot, was placed there for Gervasius de Blois, another abbot of this monastery, who was base son to King Stephen, and by him placed as a monk here, and afterwards made abbot, who died anno 1160, and was buried under this stone, having this distich formerly thereon:

"De regnum genere pater hic Gervasius ecce

Monstrat defunctus, mors rapit omne genus."

Felix Summerly, in his Handbook for Westminster Abbey, p. 29., noticing the cloisters and the effigies of the abbots, says,—

"Towards this end there lies a large slab of blue marble, which is called 'Long Meg' of Westminster. Though it is inscribed to Gervasius de Blois, abbot, 1160 natural son of King Stephen, he is said to have been buried under a small stone, and tradition assigns 'Long Meg' as the gravestone of twenty-six monks, who were carried off by the plague in 1349, and buried together in one grave."

The tradition here recorded may be correct. At any rate, it carries with it more plausibility than that recorded by Mr. Cunningham.


[Some additional and curious allusions to this probably mythic virago are recorded in Mr. Halliwell's Descriptive Notices of Popular English Histories, printed for the Percy Society.]


I trust that "NOTES AND QUERIES" may, among many other benefits, improve spelling by example as well as precept. Let me make a note on two words that I find in No. 37.: sanatory, p. 99., and connection, p. 98.

Why "sanatory laws?" Sanare is to cure, and a curing-place is, if you like, properly called sanatorium. But the Latin for health is sanitas, and the laws which relate to health should be called sanitary.

Analogy leads us to connexion, not connection; plecto, plexus, complexion; flecto, flexus, inflexion; necto, nexus, connexion, &c.; while the termination ction belongs to words derived from Latin verbs whose passive participles end in ctus as lego, lectus, collection; injecio, injectus, injection; seco, sectus, section, &c.


Minor Notes.

Pasquinade on Leo XII.—The Query put to a Pope (Vol. ii., p. 104.), which it is difficult to believe could be put orally, reminds me of Pope Leo XII., who was reported, whether truly or not, to have been the reverse of scrupulous in the earlier part of his life, but was remarkably strict after he became Pope, and was much disliked at Rome, perhaps because, by his maintenance of strict discipline, he abridged the amusements and questionable indulgences of the people. On account of his death, {132} which took place just before the time of the carnival in 1829, the usual festivities were omitted, which gave occasion to the following pasquinade, which was much, though privately, circulated—

"Tre cose mat fecesti, O Padre santo:

Accettar il papato,

Viver tanto,

Morir di Carnivale

Per destar pianto."

J. Mn.

Shakspeare a Brass-rubber.—I am desirous to notice, if no commentator has forestalled me, that Shakspeare, among his many accomplishments, was sufficiently beyond his age to be a brass-rubber:

"What's on this tomb

I cannot read; the character I'll take with wax."

Timon of Athens, v. 4.

From the "soft impression," however, alluded to in the next scene, his "wax" appears rather to have been the forerunner of gutta percha than of heel-ball.


California.—In the Voyage round the World, by Captain George Shelvocke, begun Feb. 1719, he says of California (Harris's Collection, vol. i. p. 233.):—

"The soil about Puerto, Seguro, and very likely in most of the valleys, is a rich black mould, which, as you turn it fresh up to the sun, appears as if intermingled with gold dust; some of which we endeavoured to purify and wash from the dirt; but though we were a little prejudiced against the thoughts that it could be possible that this metal should be so promiscuously and universally mingled with common earth, yet we endeavoured to cleanse and wash the earth from some of it; and the more we did the more it appeared like gold. In order to be further satisfied I brought away some of it, which we lost in our confusion in China."

How an accident prevented the discovery, more than a century back, of the golden harvest now gathering in California!



Mayor of Misrule and Masters of the Pastimes.—the word Maior of Misrule appears in the Harl. MSS. 2129. as having been on glass in the year 1591, in Denbigh Church.

"5 Edw. VI., a gentleman (Geo. Ferrars), lawyer, poet, and historian, appointed by the Council, and being of better calling than commonly his predecessors, received his commission by the name of 'Master of the King's Pastimes.'"—Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 340.

"1578. Edward Baygine, cursitor, clerk for writing and passing the Queen's leases, 'Comptroller of the Queen's pastimes and revels,' clerk comptroller of her tents and pavilions, commissioner of sewers, burgess in Parliament."—Gwillim, Heraldry, 1724 edit.


Roland and Oliver.—Canciani says there is a figure in the church porch at Verona which, from being in the same place with Roland, and manifestly of the same age, he supposes may be Oliver, armed with a spiked ball fastened by a chain to a staff of about three feet in length. Who are Roland and Oliver? There is the following derivation of the saying "a Roland for your Oliver," without any reference or authority attached, in my note-book:—

"—Charlemagne, in his expedition against the Saracens, was accompanied by two 'steeds,' some writers say 'pages,' named Roland and Oliver, who were so excellent and so equally matched, that the equality became proverbial—'I'll give you a Roland for your Oliver' being, the same as the vulgar saying, 'I'll give you tit for tat,' i.e. 'I'll give you the same (whether in a good or bad sense) as you give me.'"




Lord Campbell, in his Lives of the Chancellors, relates, in connection with Queen Elizabeth's Lord Keeper Ellesmere, a very common story, of which I am surprised he did not at once discern the falsehood. It is that of a widow, who having a sum of money entrusted to her by three men, which she was on no account to return except to the joint demand of the three, is afterwards artfully persuaded by one of them to give it up to him. Being afterwards sued by the other two, she is successfully defended by a young lawyer, who puts in the plea that she is not bound to give up the money at the demand of only two of the parties. In this case this ingenious gentleman is the future chancellor. The story is told of the Attorney-General Noy, and of an Italian advocate, in the notes to Rogers' Italy. It is likewise the subject of one of the smaller tales in Lane's Arabian Nights; but here I must remark, that the Eastern version is decidedly more ingenious than the later ones, inasmuch as it exculpates the keeper of the deposit from the "laches" of which in the other cases she was decidedly guilty. Three men enter a bath, and entrust their bag of money to the keeper with the usual conditions. While bathing, one feigns to go to ask for a comb (if I remember right), but in reality demands the money. The keeper properly refuses, when he calls out to his companions within, "He won't give it me." They unwittingly respond, "Give it him," and he accordingly walks off with the money. I think your readers will agree with me that the tale has suffered considerably in its progress westward.

My object in troubling you with this, is to ask {133} whether any of your subscribers can furnish me with any other versions of this popular story, either Oriental or otherwise.


Putney, July 17.


In several different places I have discussed the existence and length of what the mathematicians of the sixteenth century used, and those of the seventeenth talked about, under the name of the geometrical foot, of four palms and sixteen digits. (See the Philosophical Magazine from December 1841 to May 1842; the Penny Cyclopædia, "Weights and Measures," pp. 197, 198; and Arthmetical Books, &c, pp. 5-9.) Various works give a figured length of this foot, whole, or in halves, according as the page will permit; usually making it (before the shrinking of the paper is allowed for) a very little less than 9-3/4 inches English. The works in which I have as yet found it are Reisch, Margarita Philosophica, 1508; Stöffler's Elucidatio Astrolabii, 1524; Fernel's Monolosphærium, 1526; Köbel, Astrolabii Declaratio, 1552; Ramus, Geometricæ, 1621. Query. In what other works of the sixteenth, or early in the seventeenth century is this foot of palms and digits to be found, figured in length? What are their titles? What the several lengths of the foot, half foot, or palm, within the twentieth of an inch? Are the divisions into palms or digits given; and, if so, are they accurate subdivisions? Of the six names above mentioned, the three who are by far the best known are Stöffler, Fernel, and Ramus; and it so happens that their subdivisions are much more correct than those of the other three, and their whole lengths more accordant.


Minor Queries

Plurima Gemma.—Who is the author of the couplet which seems to be a version of Gray's

"Full many a gem of purest ray serene," &c.?

"Plurima gemma latet cæca tellure sepulta,

Plurima neglecto fragrat odore rosa."


Emmote de Hastings.


A very early slab with the above inscription was found in 1826 on the site of a demolished transept of Bitton Church, Gloucester. By its side was laid an incised slab of —— De Bitton. Both are noticed in the Archæologia, vols. xxii. and xxxi.

Hitherto, after diligent search, no notice whatever has been discovered of the said person. The supposition is that she was either a Miss De Bitton married to a Hastings, or the widow of a Hastings married secondly to a De Bitton, and therefore buried with that family, in the twelfth or thirteenth century. If any antiquarian digger should discover any mention of the lady, a communication to that effect will be thankfully received by



Boozy Grass.—What is the derivation of "boozy grass," which an outgoing tenant claims for his cattle? Johnson has, "Boose, a stall for a cow or ox (Saxon)."


Gradely.—What is the meaning, origin, and usage of this word? I remember once hearing it used in Yorkshire by a man, who, speaking of a neighbour recently dead, said in a tone which implied esteem: "Aye, he was a very gradely fellow."


Hats worn by Females.—Were not the hats worn by the females, as represented on the Myddelton Brass, peculiar to Wales? An engraving is given in Pennant's Tour, 2 vols., where also may be seen the hat worn by Sir John Wynne, about 1500, apparently similar to that on the Bacon Monument, and to that worn by Bankes. A MS. copy of a similar one (made in 1635, and then called "very auntient") may be seen in the Harleian MS. No. 1971. (Rosindale Pedigree), though apparently not older than Elizabeth's time. With a coat of arms it was "wrought in backside work"—the meaning of which is doubtful. What is that of the motto, "Oderpi du pariver?"


Feltham's Works, Queries respecting.

"He that is courtly or gentle, is among them like a merlin after Michaelmas in the field with crows."—A Brief Character of the Low Countries, by Owen Feltham. Folio, London, 1661.

What is the meaning of this proverb?

As a confirmation of the opinion of some of your correspondents, that monosyllables give force and nature to language, the same author says, page 59., of the Dutch tongue,—

"Stevin of Bruges reckons up 2170 monosillables, which being compounded, how richly do they grace a tongue."

Will any of your correspondents kindly inform me of the titles of Owen Feltham's works. I have his Resolves, and a thin folio volume, 1661, printed for Anne Seile, 102 pages, containing Lusoria, or Occasional Pieces; A Brief Character of the Low Countries; and some Letters. Are these all he wrote? The poem mentioned by Mr. Kersley, beginning—

"When, dearest, I but think of thee,"

is printed among those in the volume I have, with the same remark, that it had been printed as Sir John Suckling's.



Eikon Basilice.

"[Greek: EIKON BASILIKAE], or, The True Pourtraiture of His Sacred Majestæ Charles the II. In Three Books. Beginning from his Birth, 1630, unto this present year, 1660: wherein is interwoven a compleat History of the High-born Dukes of York and Glocester. By R.F., Esq., an eye-witness.

"Quo nihil majus meliusve terris

Fata donavere, borique divi

Nee dabunt, quamvis redeant in aurum

Tempora priscum."


"[Greek: Otan tin' Euraes Eupathounta ton kakon

ginske touton to telei taeroumenon]."

G. Naz Carm.

"——more than conqueror."

"London, printed for H. Brome and H. March, at the Gun, in Ivy Lane, and at the Princes' Arms, in Chancery Lane, neer Fleet Street, 1660."

The cover has "C.R." under a crown. What is the history of this volume. Is it scarce, or worth nothing?


"Welcome the coming, speed the parting Guest?"

—Whence comes the sentence—

"Welcome the coming, speed the parting guest?"


Carpets and Room-paper.—Carpets were in Edward III.'s reign used in the palace. What is the exact date of their introduction? When did they come into general use, and when were rushes, &c., last used? Room-paper, when was it introduced?


Cotton of Finchley.—Can some one of your readers give me any particulars concerning the family of Cotton, which was settled at Finchley, Middlesex, about the middle of the sixteenth century?


Wood Carving in Snow Hill.—Can any one explain the wood carving over the door of a house at the corner of Snow Hill and Skinner Street. It is worth rescuing from the ruin impending it.


Walrond Family.—Can any of your readers inform me what was the maiden name of Grace, the wife of Col. Humphry Walrond, of Sea, in the county of Somerset, a distinguished loyalist, some time Lieutenant-Governor of Bridgewater, and Governor of the island of Barbadoes in 1660. She was living in 1635 and 1668. Also the names of his ten children, or, at all events, his three youngest. I have reason to believe the seven elder were George, Humphry, Henry, John, Thomas, Bridget, and Grace.


Translations.—What English translations have appeared of the famous Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum?

Has La Chiave del Gabinetto del Signor Borri (by Joseph Francis Borri, the Rosicrucian) ever been translated into English? I make the same Query as to Le Compte de Gabalis, which the Abbé de Rillan founded on Borri's work?


Bonny Dundee—Graham of Claverhouse.—Can any of your correspondents tell me the origin of the term "Bonny Dundee?" Does it refer to the fair and flourishing town at the mouth of the Tay, or to the remarkable John Graham of Claverhouse, who was created Viscount of Dundee, after the landing of the Prince of Orange in England, and whose person is admitted to have been eminently beautiful, whatever disputes may exist as to his character and conduct?

2. Can reference be made to the date of his birth, or, in other words, to his age when he was killed at Killycrankie, on the 27th of July, 1689. All the biographies which I have seem are silent upon the point.


Franz von Sickingen.—Perusing a few of your back numbers, in a reply of S.W.S. to R.G. (Vol. i., p. 336.), I read:

"I had long sought for a representation of Sickingen, and at length found a medal represented in the Sylloge Numismatum Elegantiorum of Luckius," &c.

I now hope that in S.W.S. I have found the man who is to solve an obstinate doubt that has long possessed my mind: Is the figure of the knight in Durer's well-known print of "The Knight, Death, and the Devil," a portrait? If it be a portrait, is it a portrait of Franz von Sickingen, as Kugler supposes? The print is said to bear the date 1513. I have it, but have failed to discover any date at all.



Blackguard.—When did this word Come into use, and from what?

Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Elder Brother, use it thus:—

"It is a Faith

That we will die in, since from the blackguard

To the grim sir in office, there are few

Hold other tenets."

Thomas Hobbes, in his Microcosmus, says,—

"Since my lady's decay I am degraded from a cook and I fear the devil himself will entertain me but for one of his blackguard, and he shall be sure to have his roast burnt."


Meaning of "Pension."—The following announcement appeared lately in the London newspapers:—

"GRAY'S INN.—At a Pension of the Hon. Society of Gray's Inn, holden this day, Henry Wm. Vincent, Esq., her Majesty's Remembrancer in the Court of Exchequer, was called to the degree of Barrister at Law."


I have inquired of one of the oldest benchers of Gray's Inn, now resident in the city from which I write, for an explanation of the origin or meaning of the phrase "pension," neither of which was he acquainted with; informing me at the same time that the Query had often been a subject discussed among the learned on the dais, but that no definite solution had been elicited.

Had the celebrated etymologist and antiquary, Mr. Ritson, formerly a member of the Society, been living, he might have solved the difficulty. But I have little doubt that there are many of the erudite, and, I am delighted to find, willing readers of your valuable publication who will be able to furnish a solution.



Stars and Stripes of the American Arms.—What is the origin of the American arms, viz. stars and stripes?


Passages from Shakspeare.—May I beg for an interpretation of the two following passages from Shakspeare:—

"Isab. Else let my brother die,

If not a feodary, but only he,

Owe, and succeed thy weakness."

Measure for Measure, Act ii. Sc. 4.

"Imogen. Some jay of Italy,

Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him."

Cymbeline, Act iii. Sc. 4.


King's College, London.

Nursery Rhyme.—What is the date of the nursery rhyme:—

"Come when you're called,

Do what you're bid,

Shut the door after you,

Never be chid?"—Ed. 1754.

In Howell's Letters (book i. sect. v. letter 18. p. 211. ed. 1754) I find—

He will come when you call him, go when you bid him, and shut the door after him.


"George" worn by Charles I.—I should be glad if any of your correspondents could give me information as to who is the present possessor of the "George" worn by Charles I. It was, I believe, in the possession of the late Marquis Wellesley, but since his death it has been lost sight of. Such a relic must be interesting to either antiquaries or royalists.


Family of Manning of Norfolk.—Can any of your readers supply me with an extract from, or the name of a work on heraldry or genealogy, containing an account of the family of Manning of Norfolk. Such a work was seen by a relative of mine about fifty years since. It related that a Count Manning, of Manning in Saxony, having been banished from thence, became king in Friesland, and that his descendants came over to England, and settled in Kent and Norfolk. Pedigrees of the Kentish branch exist: but that of Norfolk was distinct. Guillim refers to some of the name in Friesland.


Salingen a Sword Cutler.—A sword in my possession, with inlaid basket guard, perhaps of the early part of the seventeenth century, is inscribed on the blade "Salingen me fecit." If this is the name of a sword cutler, who was he, and when and where did he live?


Billingsgate.—May I again solicit a reference to any early drawing of Belins gate? That of 1543 kindly referred by C.S. was already in my possession. I am also obliged to Vox for his Note.


"Speak the Tongue that Shakspeare spoke."—Can you inform me of the author's name who says,—

"They speak the tongue that Shakspeare spoke,

The faith and morals hold that Milton held," &c.?

and was it applied to the early settlers of New England?


Genealogical Queries.—Can any of your genealogical readers oblige me with replies to the following Queries?

1. To what family do the following arms belong? They are given in Blomfield's Norfolk (ix. 413.) as impaled with the coat of William Donne, Esq., of Letheringsett, Norfolk, on his tomb in the church there. He died in 1684.

On a chevron engrailed, two lioncels rampant, between as many crescents.

Not having seen the stone, I cannot say whether Blomfield has blazoned it correctly; but it seems possible he may have meant to say,—

On a chevron engrailed, between two crescents, as many lioncels rampant.

2. Which Sir Philip Courtenay, of Powderham, was the father of Margaret Courtenay, who, in the fifteenth century, married Sir Robert Carey, Knt.? and who was her mother?

3. Where can I find a pedigree of the family of Robertson of Muirtown, said to be descended from John, second son of Alexander Robertson, of Strowan, by his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Stewart, daughter of John, Earl of Athol, brother of King James II.? which John is omitted in the pedigree of the Strowan family, in Burke's Landed Gentry.


Parson, the Staffordshire Giant.—Harwood, in a note to his edition of Erdeswick's Staffordshire, p. 289., says,—

"This place [Westbromwich] gave birth to William Parsons, [query Walter,] the gigantic porter of King {136} James I., whose picture was at Whitehall; and a bas-relief of him, with Jeffry Hudson the dwarf, was fixed in the front of a house near the end of a bagnio court, Newgate-street, probably as a sign."

Plot, in his Natural History of Staffordshire, gives some instances of the great strength of Parsons.

I shall feel much obliged if you or your readers will inform me, 1. Whether there is any mention of Parsons in contemporary, or other works? 2. Whether the portrait is in existence? if so, where? Has it been engraved?



Unicorn in the Royal Arms.—When and why was the fabulous animal called the unicorn first used as a supporter for the royal arms of England?


The Frog and the Crow of Ennow.—I should be glad to get an answer to the following Query from some one of your readers:—I remember some few old lines of a song I used to hear sung many years ago, and wish to learn anything as regards its date, authorship,—indeed, any particulars, and where I shall be likely to find it at length. What I remember is,—

"There was a little frog, lived in the river swim-o,

And there was an old crow lived in the wood of Ennow,

Come on shore, come on shore, said the crow to the frog again-o;

Thank you, sir, thank you, sir, said the frog to the crow of Ennow,


But there is sweet music under yonder green willow,

And there are the dancers, the dancers, in yellow."


"She ne'er with treacherous Kiss."—Can any of your readers inform me where the following lines are to be found?

"She ne'er with treacherous kiss her Saviour stung,

Nor e'er denied Him with unholy tongue;

She, when Apostles shrank, could danger brave—

Last at His cross, and earliest at His grave!"


"Incidit in Scyllam" (Vol. ii., p. 85.).—

"Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim;

Sie morbum fugiens, incidit in medicos."

Has any of your readers met with, or heard of the second short line, appendant and appurtenant to the first? I think it was Lord Grenville who quoted them as found somewhere together.


Nicholas Brigham's Works.—Nicholas Brigham, who erected the costly tomb in Poets' Corner to the memory of Geoffrey Chaucer (which it is now proposed to repair by a subscription of five shillings from the admirers of the poet), is said to have written, besides certain miscellaneous poems, Memoirs by way of Diary, in twelve Books; and a treatise De Venationibus Rerum Memorabilium. Can any of the readers of "NOTES AND QUERIES" state whether any of these, the titles of which are certainly calculated to excite our curiosity, are known to be in existence, and, if so, where? It is presumed that they have never been printed.


Ciric-Sceat, or Church-scot.—Can any of your readers explain the following passage from Canute's Letter to the Archbishops, &c. of England, A.D. 1031. (Wilkins Conc. t. i. p. 298):—

"Et in festivitate Sancti Martini primitæ seminum ad ecclesiam, sub cujus parochia quisque degit, quæ Anglice Cure scet nominatur."


[If our correspondent refers to the glossary in the second vol. of Mr. Thorpe's admirable edition of the Anglo-Saxon Laws, which he edited for the Record Commission under the title of Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, he will find s.v. "Ciric-Sceat—Primitiæ Seminum church-scot or shot, an ecclesiastical due payable on the day of St. Martin, consisting chiefly of corn;" a satisfactory answer to his Query, and a reference to this very passage from Canute.]

Welsh Language.—Perhaps some of your correspondents would favour me with a list of the best books treating on the Welsh literature and language; specifying the best grammar and dictionary.


Armenian Language.—This copious and widely-circulated language is known to but few in this country. If this meets the eye of one who is acquainted with it, will he kindly direct me whither I may find notices of it and its literature? Father Aucher's Grammar, Armenian and English (Venice, 1819), is rather meagre in its details. I have heard it stated, I know not on what authority, that Lord Byron composed the English part of this grammar. This grammar contains the two Apocryphal Epistles found in the Armenian Bible, of the Corinthians to St. Paul, and St. Paul to the Corinthians. Like the Greek and German, "the different modes of producing compound epithets and words are the treasure and ornament of the Armenian language; a thousand varieties of compounded words may be made in this tongue," p. 10. I believe we have no other grammar of this language in English.




My attention has recently been drawn to the inquiry of J.M. (Vol. i., p. 260.) respecting the work bearing this name. He inquires, "Was the book ever extant in MS. or print? What is its size, date, and extent?" These questions may in part be answered by the following extracts from Parsons's Treatise tending to Mitigation, 1607, to {137} which J.M. refers as containing, "perhaps, all the substance of the Roman equivocation," &c. It appears from these extracts that the treatise was circulated in MS.; that it consisted of ten chapters, and was on eight or nine sheets of paper. If Parsons' statements are true, he, who was then at Douay, or elsewhere out of England, had not seen it till three years after it was referred to publicly by Sir E. Coke, in 1604. Should the description aid in discovering the tract in any library, it may in answering J.M.'s second Query, "Is it now extant, and where?"

(Cap. i. § iii. p. 440.):—

"To hasten then to the matter, I am first to admonish the reader, that whereas this minister doth take upon him to confute a certain Catholicke manuscript Treatise, made in defence of Equivocation, and intercepted (as it seemeth) by them, I could never yet come to the sight therof, and therfore must admit," &c.

And (p 44):—

"This Catholicke Treatise, which I have hope to see ere it be long, and if it come in time, I may chance by some appendix, to give you more notice of the particulars."

In the conclusion (cap. xiii. §ix. p. 553.):—

"And now at this very instant having written hitherto, cometh to my handes the Catholicke Treatise itselfe of Equivocation before meneyoned," &c.... "Albeit the whole Treatise itselfe be not large, nor conteyneth above 8 or 9 sheetes of written paper."

And (§ xi. p. 554.):—

"Of ten chapters he omitteth three without mention."



I have too much respect for the readers of "NOTES AND QUERIES" to consider it necessary to point out seriatim the false conclusions arrived at by MR. HICKSON, at page 81.

The origin of "news" may now be safely left to itself, one thing at least being certain—that the original purpose of introducing the subject, that of disproving its alleged derivation from the points of the compass, is fully attained. No person has come forward to defend that derivation, and therefore I hope that the credit of expunging such a fallacy from books of reference will hereafter be due to "NOTES AND QUERIES".

I cannot avoid, however, calling Mr. Hickson's attention to one or two of the most glaring of his non-sequiturs.

I quoted the Cardinal of York to show that in his day the word "newes" was considered plural. MR. HICKSON quotes me to show that in the present day it is used in the singular; therefore, he thinks that the Cardinal of York was wrong: but he must pardon me if I still consider the Cardinal an unexceptional authority as to the usage of his own time.

MR. HICKSON asserts that "odds" is not an English word; he classifies it as belonging to a language known by the term "slang," of which he declares his utter disuse. And he thinks that when used at all, the word is but an ellipsis for "odd chances." This was not the opinion of the great English lexicographer, who describes the word as—

"Odds; a noun substantive, from the adjective odd."

and he defines its meaning as "inequality," or incommensurateness. He cites many examples of its use in its various significations, with any of which MR. HICKSON's substitution would play strange pranks; here is one from Milton:—

"I chiefly who enjoy

So far the happier lot, enjoying thee

Pre-eminent by so much odds."

Then with respect to "noise," MR. HICKSON scouts the idea of its being the same word with the French "noise." Here again he is at odds with Doctor Johnson, although I doubt very much that he has the odds of him. MR. HICKSON rejects altogether the quasi mode of derivation, nor will he allow that the same word may (even in different languages) deviate from its original meaning. But, most unfortunately for MR. HICKSON, the obsolete French signification of "noise" was precisely the present English one! A French writer thus refers to it:—

"A une époque plus reculée ce mot avait un sens différent: il signifiait bruit, cries de joie, &c. Joinville dit dans son Histoire de Louis IX.,—'La noise que ils (les Sarrazins) menoient de leurs cors sarrazinnoiz estoit espouvantable à escouter.' Les Anglais nous ont emprunté cette expression et l'emploient dans sa première acception."

MR. HICKSON also lays great stress upon the absence, in English, of "the new" as a singular of "the news." In the French, however, "la nouvelle" is common enough in the exact sense of news. Will he allow nothing for the caprice of idiom?


Leeds, July 8. 1850.

News, Noise (Vol. ii., p. 82.).—I think it will be found that MR. HICKSON is misinformed as to the fact of the employment of the Norman French word noise, in the French sense, in England.

Noyse, noixe, noas, or noase, (for I have met with each form), meant then quarrel, dispute, or, as a school-boy would say, a row. It was derived from noxia. Several authorities agree in these points. In the Histoire de Foulques Fitz-warin, Fouque asks "Quei fust la noyse qe fust devaunt le roi en la sale?" which with regard to the context can only be fairly translated by "What is going on in {138} the King's hall?" For his respondent recounts to him the history of a quarrel, concerning which messengers had just arrived with a challenge.

Whether the Norman word noas acquired in time a wider range of signification, and became the English news, I cannot say but stranger changes have occurred. Under our Norman kings bacons signified dried wood, and hosebaunde a husbandman, then a term of contempt.



1. News.—I regret that MR. HICKSON perseveres in his extravagant notion about news, and that the learning and ingenuity which your correspondent P.C.S.S., I have no doubt justly, gives him credit for, should be so unworthily employed.

Does MR. HICKSON really "very much doubt whether our word news contains the idea of new at all?" What then has it got to do with neues?

Does MR. HICKSON'S mind, "in its ordinary mechanical action," really think that the entry of "old newes, or stale newes" in an old dictionary is any proof of news having nothing to do with new? Does he then separate health from heal and hale, because we speak of "bad health" and "ill health"?

Will MR. HICKSON explain why news may not be treated as an elliptical expression for new things, as well as greens for green vegetables, and odds for odd chances?

When MR. HICKSON says dogmaticè, "For the adoption of words we have no rule, and we act just as our convenience or necessity dictates; but in their formation we must strictly conform to the laws we find established,"—does he deliberately mean to say that there are no exceptions and anomalies in the formation of language, except importations of foreign words? If he means this, I should like to hear some reasons for this wonderful simplification of grammar.

Why may not "convenience or necessity" sometimes lead us to swerve from the ordinary rules of the formulation of language, as well as to import words bodily, and, according to MR. HICKSON'S views of the origin of news, without reference to context, meaning, part of speech, or anything else?

Why may we not have the liberty of forming a plural noun news from the adjective new, though we have never used the singular new as a noun, when the French have indulged themselves with the plural noun of adjective formation, les nouvelles, without feeling themselves compelled to make une nouvelle a part of their language?

Why may we not form a plural noun news from new, to express the same idea which in Latin is expressed by nova, and in French by les nouvelles?

Why may not goods be a plural noun formed from the adjective good, exactly as the Romans formed bona and the Germans have formed Güter?

Why does MR. HICKSON compel us to treat goods as singular, and make us go back to the Gothic? Does he say that die Güter, the German for goods or possessions, is singular? Why too must riches be singular, and be the French word richesse imported into our language? Why may we not have a plural noun riches, as the Romans had divitæ, and the Germans have die Reichthumer? and what if riches be irregularly formed from the adjective rich? Are there, MR. HICKSON, no irregularities in the formation of a language? Is this really so?

If "from convenience or necessity" words are and may be imported from foreign languages bodily into our own, why might not our forefathers, feeling the convenience or necessity of having words corresponding to bona, nova, divitiæ, have formed goods, news, riches, from good, new, rich?

News must be singular, says MR. HICKSON; but means "is beyond all dispute plural," for Shakspeare talks of "a mean:" with news, however, there is the slight difficulty of the absence of the noun new to start from. Why is the absence of the singular an insuperable difficulty in the way of the formation of a plural noun from an adjective, any more than of plural nouns otherwise formed, which have no singulars, as clothes, measles, alms, &c. What says MR. HICKSON of these words? Are they all singular nouns and imported from other languages? for he admits no other irregularity in the formation of a language.

2. Noise.—I agree with MR. HICKSON that the old derivations of noise are unsatisfactory, but I continue to think his monstrous. I fear we cannot decide in your columns which of us has the right German pronunciation of neues; and I am sorry to find that you, Mr. Editor, are with MR. HICKSON in giving to the German eu the exact sound of oi in noise. I remain unconvinced, and shall continue to pronounce the eu with less fullness than oi in noise. However, this is a small matter, and I am quite content with MR. HICKSON to waive it. The derivation appears to me nonsensical, and I cannot but think would appear so to any one who was not bitten by a fancy.

I do not profess, as I said before, to give the root of noise. But it is probably the same as of noisome, annoy, the French nuire, Latin nocere, which brings us again to noxa; and the French word noise has probably the same root, though its specific meaning is different from that of our word noise. Without venturing to assert it dogmatically, I should expect the now usual meaning of noise to be its primary meaning, viz. "a loud sound" or "disturbance;" and this accords with my notion of its alliances. The French word bruit has both the meanings of our word noise; and to bruit and to noise are with us interchangeable terms. The French bruit also has the sense of a disturbance more definitely than our word noise. "Il y a du bruit" means "There is a row." {139} I mention bruit and its meanings merely as a parallel case to noise, if it be, as I think, that "a loud sound" is its primary, and "a rumour" its secondary meaning.

I have no doubt there are many instances, and old ones, among our poets, and prose writers too, of the use of the noun annoy. I only remember at present Mr. Wordsworth's—

"There, at Blencatharn's rugged feet,

Sir Lancelot gave a safe retreat

To noble Clifford; from annoy

Concealed the persecuted boy."

3. Parliament.—FRANCISCUS's etymology of Parliament (Vol. ii., p. 85.) is, I think, fit companion for MR. HICKSON's derivations of news and noise. I take FRANCISCUS for a wag: but lest others of your readers may think him serious, and be seduced into a foolish explanation of the word Parliament by his joke, I hope you will allow me to mention that palam mente, literally translated, means before the mind, and that, if FRANCISCUS or any one else tries to get "freedom of thought or deliberation" out of this, or to get Parliament out of it, or even to get sense out of it, he will only follow the fortune which FRANCISCUS says has befallen all his predecessors, and stumble in limine. The presence of r, and the turning of mens into mentum, are minor difficulties. If FRANCISCUS be not a wag, he is perhaps an anti-ballot man, bent on finding an argument against the ballot in the etymology of Parliament: but whatever he be, I trust your readers generally will remain content with the old though humble explanation of parliament, that it is a modern Latinisation of the French word parlement, and that it literally means a talk-shop, and has nothing to do with open or secret voting, though it be doubtless true that Roman judges voted clam vel palam, and that palam and mens are two Latin words.



"Delighted" (Vol. ii., p. 113.).—I incline to think that the word delighted in Shakspeare represents the Latin participle delectus (from deligere), "select, choice, exquisite, refined." This sense will suit all the passages cited by MR. HICKSON, and particularly the last. If this be so, the suggested derivations from the adjective light, and from the substantive light, fall to the ground: but MR. HICKSON will have been right in distinguishing Shakspeare's delighted from the participle of the usual verb to delight, delectare=gratify. The roots of the two are distinct: that of the former being leg-ere "to choose;" of the latter, lac-ere "to tice."


Meaning of the Word "Delighted."—I am not the only one of your readers who have read with deep interest the important contributions of MR. HICKSON, and who hope for further remarks on Shakspearian difficulties from the same pen. His papers on the Taming of the Shrew were of special value; and although I do not quite agree with all he has said on the subject, there can be no doubt of the great utility of permitting the discussion of questions of the kind in such able hands.

Perhaps you would kindly allow me to say thus much; for the remembrance of the papers just alluded to renders a necessary protest against that gentleman's observations on the meaning of the word delighted somewhat gentler. I happen to be one of the unfortunates (a circumstance unknown to MR. HICKSON, for the work in which my remarks on the passage are contained is not yet published) who have indulged in what he terms the "cool impertinence" of explaining delighted, in the celebrated passage in Measure for Measure, by "delightful, sweet, pleasant;" and the explanation appears to me to be so obviously correct, that I am surprised beyond measure at the terms he applies to those who have adopted it.

But MR. HICKSON says,—

"I pass by the nonsense that the greatest master of the English language did not heed the distinction between the past and the present participles, as not worth second thought."

I trust I am not trespassing on courtesy when I express a fear that a sentence like this exhibits the writer's entire want of acquaintance with the grammatical system employed by the great poet and the writers of his age. We must not judge Shakspeare's grammar by Cobbett or Murray, but by the vernacular language of his own times. It is perfectly well known that Shakspeare constantly uses the passive for the active participle, in the same manner that he uses the present tense for the passive participle, and commits numerous other offences against correct grammar, judging by the modern standard. If MR. HICKSON will read the first folio, he will find that the "greatest master of the English language" uses plural nouns for singular, the plural substantive with the singular verb, and the singular substantive with the plural verb. In fact, so numerous are these instances, modern editors have been continually compelled to alter the original merely in deference to the ears of modern readers. They have not altered delighted to delightful; but the meaning is beyond a doubt. "Example is better than precept," and perhaps, if MR. HICKSON will have the kindness to consult the following passages with attention, he may be inclined to arrive at the conclusion, it is not so very dark an offence to assert that Shakspeare did use the passive participle for the active; not in ignorance, but because it was an ordinary practice in the literary compositions of his age.

"To your professed bosoms I commit him."

King Lear, Act i. Sc. 1.


"I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell,

And gave him what becomed love I might.

Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty."

Romeo and Juliet, Act iv. Sc. 3.

"Thus ornament is but the guiled shore

To a most dangerous sea."

Merchant of Venice, Act iii. Sc. 2.

"Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,

I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts."

King John, Act iii. Sc. 3.

"And careful hours, with time's deformed hand,

Have written strange defeatures in my face."

Comedy of Errors, Act v. Sc. 1.

In all these passages, as well as in that in Measure for Measure, the simple remark, that the poet employed a common grammatical variation, is all that is required for a complete explanation.



Execution of Charles I.—Sir T. Herbert's "Memoir of Charles I." (Vol. ii. pp., 72. 110.).—Is P.S.W.E. aware that Mr. Hunter gives a tradition, in his History of Hallamshire, that a certain William Walker, who died in 1700, and to whose memory there was an inscribed brass plate in the parish church of Sheffield, was the executioner of Charles I.? The man obtained this reputation from having retired from political life at the Restoration, to his native village, Darnall, near Sheffield, where he is said to have made death-bed disclosures, avowing that he beheaded the King. The tradition has been supported, perhaps suggested, by the name of Walker having occurred during the trials of some of the regicides, as that of the real executioner.

Can any one tell me whether a narrative of the last days of Charles I., and of his conduct on the scaffold, by Sir Thomas Herbert, has ever been published in full? It is often quoted and referred to (see "NOTES AND QUERIES," Vol. i., p. 436.), but the owner of the MS., with whom I am well acquainted, informs me that it has never been submitted to publication, but that some extracts have been secretly obtained. In what book are these printed? The same house which contains Herbert's MS. (a former owner of it married Herbert's widow), holds also the stool on which King Charles knelt at his execution, the shirt in which he slept the night before, and other precious relics of the same unfortunate personage.


Ecclesfield, July 11. 1850.

Execution of Charles I. (Vol. ii., p 72.).—In Ellis's Letters illustrative of English History Second Series, vol. iii. p. 340-41., P.S.W.E. will find the answer to his inquiry. Absolute certainty is perhaps unattainable on the subject; but no mention occurs of the Earl of Stair, nor is it probable that any one of patrician rank would be retained as the operator on such an occasion. We need hardly question that Richard Brandon was the executioner. Will P.S.W.E. give his authority for the "report" to which he refers?


Simon of Ghent (Vol. ii., p. 56.).—"Simon Gandavensis, patria Londinensis, sed patre Flandro Gandavensi natus, a. 1297. Episcopus Sarisburiensis."—Fabric. Bibl. Med. et Infint. Latin., lib. xviii. p. 532.

Chevalier de Cailly (Vol. ii., p. 101.)—Mr. De St. Croix will find an account of the Chevalier Jacque de Cailly, who died in 1673, in the Biographie Universelle; or a more complete one in Goujet (Bibliothèque Françoise, t. xvii. p. 320.).


Collar of Esses (Vol. ii., pp. 89. 110.).—The question of B. has been already partly answered in an obliging manner by [Greek: ph]., who has referred to my papers on the Collar of Esses and other Collars of Livery, published a few years ago in the Gentleman's Magazine. Permit me to add that I have such large additional collections on the same subject that the whole will be sufficient to form a small volume, and I intend to arrange them in that shape. As a direct answer to B.'s question—"Is there any list extant of persons who were honoured with that badge?" I may reply, No. Persons were not, in fact, "honoured with the badge," in the sense that persons are now decorated with stars, crosses, or medals; but the livery collar was assumed by parties holding a certain position. So far as can be ascertained, these were either knights attached to the royal household or service, who wore gold or gilt collars, or esquires in the like position, who wore silver collars. I have made collections for a list of such pictures, effigies, and sepulchral brasses as exhibit livery collars, and shall be thankful for further communications. To [Greek: ph].'s question—"Who are the persons now privileged to wear these collars?" I believe the reply must be confined to—the judges, the Lord Mayor of London, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the kings, and heralds of arms. If any other officers of the royal household still wear the collar of Esses, I shall be glad to be informed.


[To the list of persons now privileged to wear such collars given by Mr. Nichols, must be added the Serjeants of Arms, of whose creation by investiture with the Collar of Esses, Pegge has preserved so curious an account in the Fifth Part of his Curialia.]

Hell paved with good Intentions (Vol. ii., p. 86.).—The history of the phrase which Sir Walter Scott attributed "to a stern old divine," and which J.M.G. moralises upon, and asserts to be a misquotation for "the road to hell," &c., is this:—Boswell, {141} in his Life of Johnson (sub 15th April, 1775), says that Johnson, in allusion to the unhappy failure of pious resolves, said to an acquaintance, "Sir, hell is paved with good intentions." Upon which Malone adds a note:

"This is a proverbial saying. 'Hell,' says Herbert, 'is full of good meanings and wishings.'—Jacula Prudentum, p. 11. ed. 1631."

but he does not say where else the proverbial saying is to be found. The last editor, Croker, adds,—

"Johnson's phrase has become so proverbial, that it may seem rather late to ask what it means—why 'paved?' perhaps as making the road easy, facilis descensus Averni."


The Plant "Hæmony" (Vol. ii., p. 88.).—I think MR. BASHAM, who asks for a reference to the plant "hæmony", referred to by Milton in his Comus, will find the information which he seeks in the following extract from Henry Lyte's translation of Rembert Dodoen's Herbal, at page 107, of the edition of 1578. The plant is certainly not called by the name of "hæmony," nor is it described as having prickles on its leaves; but they are plentifully shown in the engraving which accompanies the description.

"Allysson.—The stem of this herbe is right and straight, parting itself at the top into three or foure small branches. The leaves be first round, and after long whitish and rough, or somewhat woolly in handling. It bringeth foorth at the top of the branches little yellow floures, and afterward small rough whitish and flat huskes, and almost round fashioned like bucklers, wherein is contained a flat seede almost like to the seed of castell or stocke gilloflers, but greater.

"Alysson, as Dioscorides writeth, groweth upon rough mountaynes, and is not found in this countrey but in the gardens of some herboristes.

"The same hanged in the house, or at the gate or entry, keepeth man and beast from enchantments and witching."


As a "Note" to DR. BASHAM'S "Query", I would quote Ovid's Metamorph., lib vii. l. 264-5.:

"Illic Hæmoniá radices valle resectas.

Seminaque, et flores, et succos incoquit acres."


Practice of Scalping amongst the Scythians—Scandinavian Mythology.—In Vol. ii., p. 12., I desired to be informed whether this practice has prevailed amongst any people besides the American Indians. As you have established no rule against an inquirer's replying to his own Query, (though, unfortunately for other inquirers, self-imposed by some of your correspondents) I shall avail myself of your permission, and refer those who are interested in the subject to Herodotus, Melpomene 64, where they will find that the practice of scalping prevailed amongst the Scythians. This coincidence of manners serves greatly to corroborate the hypothesis that America was peopled originally from the northern parts of the old continent. He has recorded also their horrid custom of drinking the blood of their enemies, and making drinking vessels of their skulls, reminding us of the war-song of the savage of Louisiana:—

"I shall devour their (my enemies') hearts, dry their flesh, drink their blood; I shall tear off their scalps, and make cups of their skulls." (Bossu's Travels.) "Those," says this traveller through Louisiana, "who think the Tartars have chiefly furnished America with inhabitants, seem to have hit the true opinion; you cannot believe how great the resemblance of the Indian manners is to those of the ancient Scythians; it is found in their religious ceremonies, their customs, and in their food. Hornius is full of characteristics that may satisfy your curiosity in this respect, and I desire you to read him."—Vol. i. p. 400.

But the subject of the "Origines Americanæ" is not what I now beg to propose for consideration; it is the tradition-falsifying assertion of Mr. Grenville Pigott, in his Manual of Scandinavian Mythology (as quoted by D'Israeli in the Amenities of English Literature, vol. i. p. 51, 52.), that the custom with which the Scandinavians were long reproached, of drinking out of the skulls of their enemies, has no other foundation than a blunder of Olaus Wormius, who, translating a passage in the death-song of Regner Lodbrog,—

"Soon shall we drink out of the curved trees of the head,"

turned the trees of the head into a skull, and the skull into a hollow cup; whilst the Scald merely alluded to the branching horns, growing as trees from the heads of aninals, that is, the curved horns which formed their drinking cups.


Cromwell's Estates.—Magor (Vol. ii., p. 126.).—I have at length procured the following information respecting Magor. It is a parish in the lower division of the hundred of Caldicot, Monmouthshire. Its church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is in the patronage of the Duke of Beaufort.


"Incidis in Scyllam," &c. (Vol. ii., p. 85.).—MR. C. FORBES says he "should be sorry this fine old proverb should be passed over with no better notice than seems to have been assigned to it in Boswell's Johnson," and then he quotes some account of it from the Gentleman's Magazine. I beg leave to apprise MR. FORBES that there is no notice whatsoever of it in Boswell's Johnson, though it is introduced (inter alia) in a note of Mr. Malone's in the later editions of Boswell; but that note contains in substance all that MR. FORBES'S communication repeats. See the later {142} editions of Boswell, under the date of 30th March, 1783.


Dies Iræ (Vol. ii., p. 72. 105.).—Will you allow me to enter my protest against the terms "extremely beautiful and magnificent," applied by your respectable correspondents to the Dies Iræ, which, I confess, I think not deserving any such praise either for its poetry or its piety. The first triplet is the best, though I am not sure that even the merit of that be not its jingle, in which King David and the Sybil are strangely enough brought together to testify of the day of judgment. Some of the triplets appear to me very poor, and hardly above macaronic Latin.


Fabulous Account of the Lion.—Many thanks to J. EASTWOOD (Vol. i., p. 472.) for his pertinent reply to my Query. The anecdote he refers to is mentioned in the Archæological Journal, vol. i. 1845, p. 174., in a review of the French work Vitraux Peints de S. Etienne de Bourges, &c. No reference is given there; but I should fancy Philippe de Thaun gives the fable.


Caxton's Printing-office (Vol. ii., p. 122.).—The abbot of Westminster who allowed William Caxton to set up his press in the almonry within the abbey of Westminster, was probably John Esteney, who became abbot in the year 1475, and died in 1498. If the date mentioned by Stow for the introduction of printing into England by Caxton, viz. 1471, could be shown to be that in which he commenced his printing at Westminster, Abbot Milling (who resigned the abbacy for the bishopric of Hereford in 1475) would claim the honour of having been his first patron: but the earliest ascertained date for his printing at Westminster is 1477. In the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1846, I made this remark:

"There can, we think, be no doubt that the device used by Caxton, and afterwards by Wynkyn de Worde, (W. 4.7 C.) was intended for the figures 74, (though Dibdin, p. cxxvii, seems incredulous in the matter), and that its allusion was to the year 1474 which may very probably have been that in which his press was set up in Westminster."

Will the Editor of "NOTES AND QUERIES" now allow me to modify this suggestion? The figures "4" and "7" are interlaced, it is true, but the "4" decidedly precedes the other figure, and is followed by a point (.). I thinly it not improbable that this cypher, therefore, is so far enigmatic, that the figure "4" may stand for fourteen hundred (the century), and that the "7" is intended to read doubled, as seventy-seven. In that case, the device, and such historical evidence as we possess, combine in assigning the year 1477 for the time of the erection of Caxton's press at Westminster, in the time of Abbot Esteney. If The Game and Play of the Chesse was printed at Westminster, it would still be 1474. In the paragraph quoted by ARUN (Vol. ii., p. 122.) from Mr. C. Knight's Life of Caxton, Stow is surely incorrectly charged with naming Abbot Islip in this matter. Islip's name has been introduced by the error of some subsequent writer; and this is perhaps attributable to the extraordinary inadvertence of Dart, the historian of the abbey, who in his Lives of the Abbots of Westminster has altogether omitted Esteney,—a circumstance which may have misled any one hastily consulting his book.




The Fawkes's of York in the Sixteenth Century, including Notices of the Early History of Guye Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot Conspirator, is the title of a small volume written, it is understood, by a well-known and accomplished antiquary resident in that city. The author has brought together his facts in an agreeable manner, and deserves the rare credit of being content to produce a work commensurate with the extent and interest of his subject.

We learn from our able and well-informed contemporary, The Athenæum that "one curious fact has already arisen out of the proposal for the restoration of Chaucer's Monument,—which invests with a deeper interest the present undertaking. One of the objections formerly urged against taking steps to restore the perishing memorial of the Father of English Poetry in Poets' Corner was, that it was not really his tomb, but a monument erected to do honour to his memory a century and a half after his death. An examination, however, of the tomb itself by competent authorities has proved this objection to be unfounded:—inasmuch as there can exist no doubt, we hear, from the difference of workmanship, material, &c., that the altar tomb is the original tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer,—and that instead of Nicholas Brigham having erected an entirely new monument, he only added to that which then existed the overhanging canopy, &c. So that the sympathy of Chaucer's admirers is now invited to the restoration of what till now was really not known to exist—the original tomb of the Poet,—as well as to the additions made to it by the affectionate remembrance of Nicholas Brigham."

Messrs. Ward and Co., of Belfast, announce the publication, to subscribers only, of a new work in Chromo-Lithography, containing five elaborately tinted plates printed in gold, silver, and colours, being exact fac-similes of an Ancient Irish Ecclesiastical Bell, which is supposed to have belonged to Saint Patrick and the four sides of the jewelled shrine in which it is preserved, accompanied by a historical and descriptive Essay by the Rev. William Reeves, D.D., M.R.I.A. By an Irish inscription on the back of the case or shrine of the bell, which Doctor Reeves has translated, he clearly proves that the case or shrine was made in the end of the eleventh century, and that the bell itself is several hundred years older; and also that it has {143} been in the hands of the Mulhollands since the time the case or shrine was made; that they bore the same name, and are frequently mentioned as custodians of this bell in the "Annals of the Four Masters."

We have received the following Catalogues:—William Heath's, 29. Lincoln Inn Fields, Select Catalogue, No. 4., of Second-Hand Books, perfect, and in good condition. Thomas Cole's, 15. Great Turnstile, Catalogue of a Strange Collection from the Library of a Curious Collector. John Petheram's, 94. High Holborn, Catalogue of a Collection of British (engraved) Portraits. Cornish's (Brothers), 37. New Street, Birmingham, List No. IX. for 1850 of English and Foreign Books.



(In continuation of Lists in former Nos.)

Odd Volumes.


Letters, stating particulars and lowest price, carriage free, to be sent to Mr. BELL, Publisher of "NOTES AND QUERIES," 186. Fleet Street.


VOLUME THE FIRST OF NOTES AND QUERIES, with Title-page and very copious Index, is now ready, price 9s. 6d., bound in cloth, and may be had, by order, of all Booksellers and Newsmen.

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