Notes and Queries, Number 235, April 29, 1854 online

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E. D.

_Whittington's Stone on Highgate Hill._ - It is well that there is a "N. &
Q." to record the removal and disappearance of noted objects and relics of
antiquity, as one after another disappears before the destroying hand of
Time, and more ruthless and relentless spirit of enterprise. I have to ask
you on the present occasion to record the removal of Whittington's stone on
Highgate Hill. I discovered it as I strolled up the hill a few days since.
I was informed that it was removed about a fortnight since, and a
public-house is now being built where it stood.


_Turkey and France._ - The following fact, taken from the foreign
correspondence of _The Times_, may suitably seek perpetuity in a corner of
"N. & Q."

"I wish to mention a curious fact connected with the port of Toulon,
and with the long existing relations between France and Turkey, and
which I have not seen mentioned, although it is recorded in the
municipal archives of this town. In the year 1543, the sultan, Selim
II., at the request of the King of France, sent a large army and fleet
to his assistance, under the command of the celebrated Turkish admiral
Barbarossa, who, according to the record, was the grandson of a French
renegade. This army and fleet occupied the town and port of Toulon at
the express wish of Francis I., from the end of September 1543, to the
end of March 1544. And on this day, the last of March 1854, a French
army and fleet has sailed from the same port of Toulon to succour the
descendant of the Sultan Selim in his distress. What a remarkable
example of the rise and fall of empires!"

It will not invalidate the force of the foregoing extract to state, that
Selim II. did not become sultan until 1566, and that it must have been his
father Suleyman (whom he succeeded) who came to the rescue of France in
1543. The same Turkish fleet was afterwards nearly annihilated by the
Venetians in 1571, at the battle of Lepanto.


* * * * *



The following is an extract from the letter of the French general, Custine,
to the National Convention, June 14, 1793:

"My morality is attacked; it is found out that I have a _woman_ for my
aide-de-camp. Without pretending to be a Joseph, I know too well how to
respect myself, and the laws of public decency, ever to render myself
guilty of such an absurdity. I found in the army a woman under the
uniform of a volunteer bombardier, who, in fulfilling that duty at the
siege of Liege, had received a musket-ball in the leg. She presented
herself to the National Convention, desired to continue her military
service, and was admitted to the honours of the sitting. She was
afterwards sent by you, Representatives, to the Minister of War, who
gave her the rank of aide-major to the army. On my arrival here, the
representatives of the people, commissioners with this army, had
dismissed her. Her grief was extreme; and the phrenzy of her
imagination, and her love for glory, would have carried her to the last
extremity. I solicited the representatives of the people to leave her
that rank which her merit and wounds had procured her; and they
consented to it. This is the truth. She is not my aide-de-camp, but
_attached to the staff as aide-major_. Since that time I have never had
any public or private conversation with her." - From the _Political
State of Europe_, 1793, p. 164.

Can any of your readers furnish me with the name and history of this French



* * * * *

Minor Queries.

"_Chintz Gowns._" - Tuesday, Jan. 9, 1768:

"Two ladies were convicted before the Lord Mayor, in the penalty of
5l., for wearing chintz gowns." - _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. xxxviii.
p. 395.

Can any other instances be given?


"_Noctes Ambrosianæ._" - Can any one inform me why the celebrated "Noctes
Ambrosianæ" of Blackwood's _Magazine_ has never been printed in a separate
form in this country (I understand it has been so in America)? I should
think few republications would meet with a larger sale.


_B. Simmons._ - Will you permit me to ask for a little information
respecting B. Simmons? I believe he was born in the county of Cork: for he
has sung, in most bewitching strains, his return to his native home on the
banks of the Funcheon. He was the writer of that great poem on the
"Disinterment of Napoleon," which appeared in _Blackwood_ some years ago.
He was a regular {398} poetical contributor to its pages for many years. He
held a situation in the Excise Office in London, and died there I believe
in July, 1852.

What manner of man was he; young or old, married or single? Any information
respecting such a child of genius and of song must be interesting to those
who have ever read a line of his wondrous poems. To what other periodicals
did he contribute?


_Green Stockings._ - Is the custom of sending a pair of green stockings to
the eldest unmarried daughter of a family, upon the occasion of the
marriage of a younger sister, of English, Irish, or Scottish origin?

L. A.

_Nicholas Kieten._ - In the thirteenth century, "there was a giant in
Holland named Nicholas Kieten, whose size was so prodigious, that he
carried men under his arms like little children. His shoe was so large,
that four men together could put their feet in it. Children were too
terrified to look him in the face, and fled from his presence." So says our
author; but he does not give the dimensions of Kieten. May not such a real
giant, in the thirteenth century, have laid the foundation of the fabulous
stories of giants that have for so many years been the favourite romances
of the nursery? Kieten appears to be the type of the giants of our modern
pantomimes. Will he serve as a key, to disclose the origin of these
marvellous stories and captivating absurdities?


_Warwickshire Badge._ - Will you permit me to ask, through your journal, if
any of your readers can inform me whether the proper Warwickshire badge is
"the antelope" or "the bear and ragged staff?" The former is borne by the
6th regiment of the line, they being the Royal First Warwickshire. The
latter is borne by the 36th regiment of militia, they being the First
Warwickshire. This latter badge is also borne by the retainers of the Earls
of Warwick and Leicester; which latter county would seem to lay as much
claim to the bear and ragged staff as Warwick does.

The county cannot well have both, or either; this makes me think that the
bear and ragged staff is not a _county_ badge, but pertains more properly
to the Earl of Warwick.


_Armorial._ - Will any correspondent oblige me with the names to the
following coats: 1. Arg., three hares (or conies) gu. 2. Arg., on a bend
engrailed vert, between two bucks' heads cabossed sable, attired or, three
besants; a canton erminois. 3. Quarterly, per fesse indented sable and or.
4. Per pale sable and or, a cheveron between three escallop shells, all
counterchanged. 5. Gu., a lion rampant arg. Glover's _Ordinary of Arms_
would, I think, answer the above Query; and if any of your _numerous_
readers, who possess that valuable work, would refer to it in this case,
they would be conferring a favour on your constant subscriber,


Would any correspondent help me to the solution of the following case? - A.
was the _last_ and _only_ representative of an ancient family; he left at
his decease, some years ago, a daughter and heiress who married B. Can the
issue of B. (having no arms of their own) _legally_ use the arms,
quarterings, crest, and motto of A., without a license from the Heralds'


_Lord Brougham and Horne Tooke._ - In Lord Brougham's _Statesmen of the Time
of George III._, he says of Mr. Horne Tooke:

"Thus he (H. T.) would hold that the law of libel was unjust and
absurd, because _libel_ means a little book."

Can any of the readers of "N. & Q." say on what occasion Tooke maintained
this strange doctrine, or where his Lordship obtained his information that
Tooke did maintain it?



_Rileys of Forest Hill._ - Can any of your correspondents inform me relative
to the arms and motto of the Rileys of (Forest Hill) Windsor, Berks, their
descent, &c.?

J. M. R.

_Fish "Lavidian."_ - In some ancient acts of parliament mention is made of a
fish called "lavidian," and from the regulations made concerning it, it
appears to have been of such small size as to be capable of being caught in
the meshes of an ordinary net. But I cannot find that this name is
contained in any of the books of natural history, written by such authors
as Gesner or Rondeletius. Is it at this time a common name anywhere? Or can
any of your readers assist in determining the species?

J. C.

"_Poeta nascitur, non fit._" - Can any of your correspondents inform me who
is the author of the well-known saying -

"Poeta nascitur, non fit"?

I have more than once seen it quoted as from Horace, but I have never been
able to find it in any classical author whose works I have examined. Cicero
expresses a similar sentiment in his oration for the poet Archias, cap.

"Atqui sic a summis hominibus eruditissimisque accepimus, ceterarum
rerum studia, et doctrina, et præceptis, et arte constare: poëtam
natura ipsa valere, et mentis viribus excitari, et quasi divino quodam
spiritu inflari."

J. P.

Boston, U.S.A.


_John Wesley and the Duke of Wellington._ - It has always been understood
that the property bequeathed to the Colleys, who in consequence took the
surname of Wesley, afterwards altered to Wellesley, was offered to and
declined by the father of John Wesley, who would not allow his son to
accept the condition, a residence in Ireland, and the being adopted by the
legatee. Has there been a relationship ever proved between the founder of
the Methodists and the victor of Waterloo?


_Haviland_ - Can any of your Plymouth correspondents give any information,
as tombs, in memory of persons of the name of Haviland, Havilland, or De
Havilland, existing in the churches of that place, of a date prior to A.D.
1688? Mention is made of such tombs as existing in a letter of that date in
my possession. Also, in what chronicle or history of the Conquest of
England, mention is made of a Sieur de Havilland, as having accompanied
Duke William from Normandy on that occasion?

D. F. T.

_Byron._ - Will you kindly inform me, through the medium of your "N. & Q.,"
whence the line "All went merry as a marriage bell" (in Byron's _Childe
Harold_) is derived?

C. B.

"_Rutabaga._" - What is the etymology of the word _rutabaga_? I have heard
one solution of it, but wish to ascertain whether there is any other. The
word is extensively used in the United States for Swedish turnips or


_A Medal._ - A family in this city possesses a silver medal granted to
Joseph Swift, a native of Bucks county, Pennsylvania, by the University of
Oxford or of Cambridge, of which the following is a description. It is
about two inches in diameter; on the face are the head and bust of Queen
Anne in profile, with an inscription setting forth her royal title, and on
the reverse a full-length figure of Britannia, with ships sailing and men
ploughing in the background, and this motto, "Compositis venerantur Annis."
The date is MDCCXIII. An explanation of the object of the medal is desired.



_The Black Cap._ - Can any of your antiquarian legal readers inform me of
the origin of the custom of the judges putting on a black cap when
pronouncing sentence of death upon a criminal? I can find no illustration
of this peculiar custom in Blackstone, Stephens, or other constitutional

F. J. G.

_The Aboriginal Britons._ - A friend of mine wants some information as to
the history, condition, manners, &c. of the Britons, prior to the arrival
of the Romans. What work, accessible to ordinary readers, supplies the best
compendium of what is known on this subject? The fullest account of which I
have, just now, any recollection, is contained in Milton's _History of
England_, included in an edition of Milton's _Prose Works_, three vols.
folio, Amsterdam, 1694. Is Milton's _History_ a work of any merit or



* * * * *

Minor Queries with Answers.

"_Gossip._" - This word, in its obsolete sense, according no doubt to its
Saxon origin, means a sponsor, one who answers for a child in baptism, a
godfather. Its modern acceptation all know to be widely different. Can any
of your correspondents quote a passage or two from old English authors,
wherein its obsolete sense is preserved?

N. L. J.

[The word occurs in Chaucer, _The Wyf of Bathes Prologue_, v. 5825.:

"And if I have a _gossib_, or a friend,
(Withouten gilt) thou chidest as a frend,
If that I walke or play into his hous."

And in Spenser, _Faerie Queene_, b. i. c. 12.:

"One mother, when as her foole-hardy child
Did come too neare, and with his talons play,
Halfe dead through feare, her little babe reuil'd,
And to her _gossips_ gan in counsell say."

Master Richard Verstegan is more to the point:

"Our Christian ancestors, understanding a spiritual affinity to grow
between the parents and such as undertooke for the child at baptisme,
called each other by the name of _Godsib_, which is as much as to say,
that they were _sib_ together, that is, _of kin_ together through God.
And the child, in like manner, called such his God-fathers, or
God-mothers." - _Restitution of Decayed Intelligence_, ch. vii.

A quotation or two from that delightful old _gossip_, Mr. Pepys, will show
its use in the middle of the seventeenth century:

"Lord's Day. With my wife to church. At noon dined nobly, ourselves
alone. After dinner, my wife and Mercer by coach to Greenwich, to be
_gossip_ to Mrs. Daniel's child. My wife much pleased with the
reception she had, and she was godmother, and did hold the child at the
font, and it is called John." - _Diary_, May 20, 1666.

"Lord's Day. My wife and I to Mr. Martin's, where I find the company
almost all come to the christening of Mrs. Martin's child, a girl.
After sitting long, till the church was done, the parson comes, and
then we to christen the child. I was godfather, and Mrs. Holder (her
husband, a good man, I know well) and a pretty lady that waits, it
seems, on my Lady Bath at Whitehall, her name Mrs. Noble, were
godmothers. After the christening comes in the wine {400} and
sweetmeats, and then to prate and tattle, and then very good company
they were, and I among them. Here was Mrs. Burroughs and Mrs. Bales
(the young widow whom I led home); and having staid till the moon was
up, I took my pretty _gossip_ to Whitehall with us, and I saw her in
her lodging." - _Ibid._, Dec. 2, 1666.]

_Humphry Repton._ - To snatch from utter oblivion the once highly reputed
Humphry, the king of landscape gardeners, to whom many of our baronial
parks owe much of their picturesque beauty, and who, by the side of Sir
Joseph Paxton, would now most duly have taken knightful station in these
go-ahead days, I ask, in what publication was it, that in 1780, or
thereabouts, being an indefatigable attendant at all exhibitions and sales
of art, he, the said Humphry, was accustomed (as well able he was) to
enlighten the public upon what was passing in matters of art now nearly
three quarters of a century ago? Was it the _Bee_? Again, did he not, at
his death, leave two large volumes for publication, entitled _Recollections
of my Past Life_? Where are these?


[The MS. collection of the late Humphry Repton, containing interesting
details of his public and private life, has been used by Mr. Loudon in
his biographical notice of Repton prefixed to the last edition of _The
Landscape Gardening_, 8vo., 1840. Mr. Loudon states that 'these papers
were left as a valued memorial for his children: it may be imagined,
therefore, that they contain details of a private nature, which would
be found devoid of interest to the world. Mr. Repton, indeed, possessed
a mind as keenly alive to the ludicrous, as it was open to all that was
excellent, in the variety of characters with whom his extensive
professional connexions brought him acquainted; and he did not fail to
observe and note down many curious circumstances and traits of
character, in themselves highly amusing, but, for obvious reasons,
unfit subjects for publication. Not one taint of satire or ill-nature,
however, ever sullied the wit which flowed spontaneously from a mind
sportive sometimes even to exuberance." His artistic critiques will be
found in the following works: _The Bee_: or, a Critique on the
Exhibition of Paintings at Somerset House, 1788, 8vo. _Variety_: a
Collection of Essays, 1788, 12mo. _The Bee_: a Critique on the
Shakspeare Gallery, 1789, 8vo. _Odd Whims_: being a republication of
some papers in Variety, with a Comedy and other Poems, 2 vols. 12mo.,

"_Oriel._" - I should be glad if any of your correspondents could inform me
of the origin of the term _oriel_, as applied to a window? It is not, I
believe, necessarily to the East.

T. L. N.


[_Oriol_, or _Oriel_, is a portico or court; also a small room near the
hall in monasteries, where particular persons dined. (Blount's
_Glossog._) Du Cange says, "_Oriolum_, porticus, atrium;" and quotes
Matthew Paris for it. Supposed by some to be a diminutive from _area_
or _areola_. "In modern writings," says Nares, "we meet with mention of
_Oriel_ windows. I doubt the propriety of the expression; but, if
right, they must mean those windows that project like a porch, or small
room. At St. Albans was an _oriel_, or apartment for persons not so
sick as to retire to the infirmary. (Fosbroke's _Brit. Monachism_, vol.
ii. p. 160.) I may be wrong in my notion of _oriel_ window, but I have
not met with ancient authority for that expression. Cowel conjectured
that _Oriel_ College, in Oxford, took its name from some such room or
portico. There is a remarkable portico, in the farther side of the
first quadrangle, but not old enough to have given the name. It might,
however, be only the successor of one more ancient, and more exactly an
_oriel_." For articles on the disputed derivation of this term, which
seems involved in obscurity, see Parker's _Glossary of Architecture_; a
curious paper by Mr. Hamper, in _Archæologia_, vol. xxiii.; and
_Gentleman's Magazine_ for Nov. 1823, p. 424., and March, 1824, p.

"_Orchard._" - Professor Martyn, in his Notes on Virgil's _Georgics_, seems
to be of opinion that the English word "orchard" is derived from the Greek
[Greek: orchatos], which Homer uses to express the garden of Alcinous; and
he observes that Milton writes it _orchat_, thereby corroborating this
impression. Is the word spelt according to Milton's form by any other

N. L. J.

[It is spelt _orchat_ by J. Philips, _Cider_, book i.:

- - "Else false hopes
He cherishes, nor will his fruit expect
Th' autumnal season, but in summer's pride,
When other orchats smile, abortive fail."]

"_Peckwater._" - Why is the quadrangle at Christ Church, in Oxford, called

N. L. J.

[The Peckwater Quadrangle derives its name from an ancient hostle, or
inn, which stood on the south-west corner of the present court; and was
the property of Ralph, the son of Richard Peckwater, who gave it to St.
Frideswide's Priory, 30th Henry III.; and about the middle of the reign
of Henry VIII., another inn, called Vine Hall, was added to it; which,
with other buildings, were reduced into a quadrangle in the time of
Dean Duppa and Dr. Samuel Fell. The two inns were afterwards known by
the name of Vine Hall, or Peckwater's Inn; and by this name were given
to Christ Church, in 1547, by Henry VIII.]

_Richard III._ - What became of the body after the battle of Bosworth Field?
Was it buried at Leicester?



[After the battle of Bosworth Field, the body of Richard III. was
stript, laid across a horse behind a pursuivant-at-arms, and conducted
to Leicester, where, after it had been exposed for two days, it was
buried with little ceremony in the church of the Grey Friars. In
Burton's MS. of the History of Leicester, we read that, "within the
town was a house of Franciscan or Grey Friars, built by Simon Montfort,
Earl of {401} Leicester, whither (after Bosworth Field) the dead body
of Richard III., naked, trussed behind a pursuivant-at-arms, all dashed
with mire and blood, was there brought and homely buried; where
afterward King Henry VII. (out of royal disposition) erected for him a
fair alabaster monument, with his picture cut out, and made
thereon." - Quoted in Nichols's _Leicestershire_, vol. i. p. 357.: see
also pp. 298. 381.]

_Binding of old Books._ - I shall feel obliged to any of your readers who
will tell me how to polish up the covers of old books when the leather has
got dry and cracked. Bookbinders use some composition made of glair, or
white of egg, which produces a very glossy appearance. How is it made and
used? and how do they polish the leather afterwards? Is there any little
work on book-binding?


[Take white of an egg, break it with a fork, and, having first cleaned
the leather with dry flannel, apply the egg with a soft sponge. Where
the leather is rubbed or decayed, rub a little paste with the finger
into the parts affected, to fill up the broken grain, otherwise the
glair would sink in and turn it black. To produce a polished surface, a
hot iron must be rubbed over the leather. The following is, however, an
easier, if not a better, method. Purchase some "bookbinders' varnish,"
which may be had at any colour shop; clean the leather well, as before;
if necessary, use a little water in doing so, but rub quite dry with a
flannel before varnishing; apply your varnish with wool, lint, or a
very soft sponge, and place to dry.]

_Vessel of Paper._ - When I was at school in the north of Ireland, not very
many years ago, a piece of paper, about the octavo size, used for writing
"exercises," was commonly known amongst us as a vessel of paper. Can any of
your correspondents tell me the origin of the phrase; and whether it is in
use in other localities?


[Lemon, in his English _Etymology_, has the following remarks on this
phrase: - "_Vessel of Paper_: The etymology of this word does not at
first sight appear very evident; but a derivation has been lately
suggested to me, which seems to carry some probability with it; viz.
that _a vessel of paper_ may have derived its appellation from
_fasciculus_, or _fasciola_; quasi _vassiola_; a vessel, or small slip
of paper; a little winding band, or swathing cloth; a garter; a
_fascia_, a small narrow binding. The root is undoubtedly _fascis_, a
bundle, or anything tied up; also, the fillet with which it is bound."]

* * * * *



(Vol. ix., pp. 30, 31.)

My collections are arranged for illustrating, in the manner alluded to in
the above notice, upwards of four hundred families. In Tyrconnel's _Horse_,
I find a Dominick _Sheldon_, Lieut.-Colonel. His name appears in the
"Establishment" of 1687-8 for a pension of 200l. Early in the campaign, he
was actively opposed to the revolutionary party in Down and Antrim; and was
afterwards joined in an unsuccessful negotiation for the surrender of
Derry. At the battle of the Boyne he commanded the cavalry, and in a
gallant charge nearly retrieved the day, but had two horses shot under him.
When Tyrconnel left Ireland for France, to aid the cause of the Stuarts, he
selected this colonel as one of the directory, who were to advise the young
Duke of Berwick, to whom Tyrconnel had committed the command of the Irish
army, and who was afterwards so distinguished in the wars of the brigades

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Online LibraryVariousNotes and Queries, Number 235, April 29, 1854 → online text (page 3 of 6)