Notes and Queries, Number 31, June 1, 1850 online

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+"When found, make a note of."+ - CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

* * * * *

No. 31.] Saturday, June 1. 1850. [Price Threepence. Stamped Edition 4d.

* * * * *{1}


Parish Registers - Statistics 1
The Hudibrastic Verse, by S.W. Singer 3
Custom of presenting Gloves, by Jas. Crosby 4
Folk Lore: Exhumation of Body ominous to Family
of the Deceased - Suffolk Folk Lore - Cure for Fits - Bible and Key 4
Notes on Jeremy Taylor's Life of Christ, &c., by J.E.B. Mayor 5
Unpublished Epigrams in the British Museum 6
On Authors and Books, No. 7., by Bolton Corney 6

Punishment of Death by Burning 6
Cornelis Drebble 6
Verses attributed to Charles Yorke 7
Cultivation of Geometry in Lancashire 8
Asinorum Sepultura by W.B. MacCabe 8
Minor Queries: - Ransom of an English Nobleman - When
does Easter end? - Carucate of Land - Members
for Calais - Members for Durham - Leicester
and the reputed Poisoners of his Time - Lord John
Townshend's Poetical Works - Martello
Towers - Mynyddyslwyn - Three Dukes - Bishops and their
Precedence - Guineas - Parish Registers Tax - Charade 9

Howkey or Horkey, by S.W. Singer 10
Charles Martel 11
"Feast" and "Fast" 11
Replies to Minor Queries: - The Badger's Legs - Twm
Sion Catti - Christian Captives - Cannibals - Symbols
of the four Evangelists - Turkish Spy - Dr. Maginn's
Miscellanies - Trianon - Pimlico - The Arms of Godin - Title
of D.D. - Emancipation of the Jews - Sneck-up
or Snick-up 12

Notes on Books, Catalogues, Sales, &c. 14
Books and Odd Volumes wanted 15
Notice to Correspondents 15
Advertisements 15

* * * * *


We cannot resist the opportunity which the commencement of our Second
Volume affords us, of addressing a few words of acknowledgment to our
friends, both contributors and readers. In the short space of seven months,
we have been enabled by their support to win for "NOTES AND QUERIES" no
unimportant position among the literary journals of this country. We came
forward for the purpose of affording the literary brotherhood of this great
nation an organ through which they might announce their difficulties and
requirements, through which such difficulties might find solution, and such
requirements be supplied. The little band of kind friends who first rallied
round us has been reinforced by a host of earnest men, who, at once
recognising the utility of our purpose, and seeing in our growing
prosperity how much love of letters existed among us, have joined us heart
and hand in the great object we proposed to ourselves in our Prospectus;
namely, that of making "NOTES AND QUERIES" by mutual intercommunication, "a
most useful supplement to works already in existence - a treasury for
enriching future editions of them - and an important contribution towards a
more perfect history than we yet possess of our language, our literature,
and those to whom we owe them."

Thanks, again and again, to the friends and correspondents, who, by their
labours, are enabling us to accomplish this great end. To them be the
honour of the work. We are content to say with the Arabian poet:

"With conscious pride we view the band
Of faithful friends that round us stand;
With pride exult, that we alone
Can join these scattered gems in one;
Rejoiced to be the silken line
On which these pearls united shine."

* * * * *



Among the good services rendered to the public by yourself and your
correspondents, few, I think will be found more important than that of
having drawn their attention to Mr. Wyatt Edgell's valuable suggestions on
the transcription of Parochial Registers. The supposed impracticability of
his plan has perhaps hitherto deterred those most competent to the work
from giving it the consideration which it deserves. I believe the
scheme to be perfectly practicable; and, as a first move in the work, I
send you the result of my own dealings with the registers of my parish.

It is many years since I felt the desideratum which Mr. Edgell has brought
before the public;{2} and, by way of testing the practicability of
transcribing, and printing the parochial registers of the entire kingdom in
a form convenient for reference, I made an alphabetical transcript of my
own, which is now complete. The _modus operandi_ which I adopted was
this: - 1. I first transcribed, on separate slips of paper, each baptismal
entry, with its date, and a reference to the page of the register, tying up
the slips in the order in which the names were entered in the register;
noting, as I proceeded, on _another_ paper, the number of males and females
in each year.

2. The slips being thus arranged, they came in their places handy for
collation with the original. I then collated each, year by year; during
the process depositing the slips one by one in piles alphabetically,
according to the initial letter of the surnames.

3. This done, I sorted each pile in an order as strictly alphabetical as
that used in dictionaries or ordinary indices.

4. I then transcribed them into a book, in their order, collating each page
as the work proceeded.

5. I then took the marriages in hand, adopting the same plan; entering each
of these twice, viz. both under the husband's and the wife's name.

6. Next, the burials, on the same plan.

7. I then drew up statistical tables of the number of baptisms, marriages,
and burials in each year, males and females separately where the register
appeared badly kept, making notes of the fact, and adding such observations
as occasionally seemed necessary.

8. I then drew up lists of vicars, transcripts of miscellaneous records of
events, and other casual entries that appeared in the register.[1]

I noted, as I went on, the time occupied in each of these operations. It
was as follows: -

1. The first transcripts on slips, with addition of statistical tables -

Baptisms 2004
Marriages, 420, each twice 840
Burials 1244
Total 4088 ... 551/2 hours.
2. Collecting and filing alphabetically 23 - -
3. Sorting in strict alphabetical order 131/4 - -
4. Transcribing into book 911/2 - -
5. Copying statistical tables into book 5 - -
Transcripts of miscellaneous entries,
lists of vicars, &c. &c. 7 - -
Total 1951/4 hours.

My registers begin in the year 1558, and the present population of the
parish is about 420, so that you have here an account of the labour
necessary to complete an alphabetical transcript of the register of a rural
parish of that extent in population.

I send you the result as a first step to a work of great national
importance, and of inestimable value with relation to family descent, title
to property long in abeyance, &c. &c. As to statistics, I doubt whether any
data worthy of consideration can be obtained from these sources, owing to
the constant irregularities which occur in keeping the registers.

No man, much less the minister of a parish, who has abundant calls upon his
time, can be expected to sit down to the task of transcribing his registers
through many _consecutive_ hours; but there are few who could not give
occasionally one or two hours to the work. In this way I effected my
transcripts; the work of 195 hours being distributed through nearly five
months - no great labour after all.

On an average, twelve words, with the figures, may be calculated for each
entry, which will give for this parish about 500 folios. Each entry having
been transcribed twice, we may call it, at a rough calculation, 1000 folios
written out ready for printing.

If the authorities at the Registrar-General's office would give their
attention to it, they must have _there_ abundant data on which to form
calculations as to the probable cost of the undertaking And I cannot help
thinking that, setting aside printing as an after consideration,
alphabetical transcripts, at least, might be obtained of all the parochial
registers in the kingdom, and deposited in that office, at no
insurmountable expense; and if the cost appear too heavy, the
accomplishment of the work might be distributed through a given number of
years; say ten, or even twenty.

Parliament might, perhaps, be induced to vote an annual grant for so
important a work till it was accomplished; albeit, when we think of their
niggardly denial of any thing to the printing, or{3} even the conservation
of the public records, sanguine hopes from that quarter can hardly be

To insure correctness, without which the scheme would be utterly valueless,
I would propose that a certain number of competent transcribers be
appointed for each county, either at a given salary, or at a remuneration
of so much per entry, to copy the registers of those parishes the ministers
of which are unwilling to do it, or feel themselves unequal to the task.
The option, however, should always, in the first instance, be given to the
minister, as the natural custos of the registers, and as one, from local
knowledge, likely to do the work correctly. To each county there should
also be appointed one or more competent persons as collators, to correct
the errors of the transcribers.

I throw out these rough hints in the hope that some of your correspondents
will furnish their ideas on the subject, till we at last arrive at a fully
practicable plan of carrying out Mr. Wyatt Edgell's suggestions, and, at
all events, obtain transcripts, if not printed copies, of every register in
the kingdom.


[1] To obviate the difficulties arising from capricious spelling,
I assumed that which I thought to be the correct one, and entered
all of the name under that one, placing, however, in parenthesis,
the actual mode of spelling adopted in the instance in question,
and also entering the name, as actually spelt, in its proper place,
with reference to the place where the searcher would find it; e.g.
In my register, the name of "Caiser" appears under more than twenty
varieties of form. I enter them all under "Cayser". In the _margin_,
opposite the first of these entries, I write consecutively the
different modes of spelling the name - "Caisar", "Caiser", "Casiar",
"Kayser", &c. &c. &c. In the table itself, I write,

Cayser, John.
[Casiar] John.
[Kaysar] John, &c. &c. &c.

Then, "Casiar", "Kaysar", &c., appear in their respective places
_sic_, "Casiar", _v_. "Cayser", "Kaysar", _v_. "Cayser", &c., nearly
on the plan adopted by Mr. Duffus Hardy in his admirable indices to
the _Close Rolls_.

* * * * *


_"He that fights and runs away," &c._ - Your correspondent MELANION may be
assured that the orations of Demosthenes do not afford any trace of the
proverbial senarius, [Greek: anaer d pheugon kai palin machaesetai]; and it
does not appear quite clear how the apophthegm containing it (which has
been so generally attributed to Plutarch) has been concocted. Heeren, in
doing full justice to the biographical talent of the Chæronean, has yet
observed, "We may easily see that in his Lives he only occasionally
indicates his authorities, because his own head was so often the source."
It is in the life of Demosthenes that the story of his flight is told, but
briefly; and for that part which relates to the inscription on the shield
of Demosthenes, he says, [Greek: hos elege Putheas]. The other life among
those of the Ten Orators, the best critics think not to be Plutarch's; and
the relation in it is too ridiculous for credit; yet it is repeated by

The first writer in which the story takes something of the form in which
Erasmus gives it is Aulus Gellius (_Noct. Att._ l. xvii. c. 21.): -

"Post inde aliquanto tempore Philippus apud Chaeroneam
proelio magno Athenienses vicit. Tum Demosthenes orator ex eo
proelio salutem fuga quaesivit: quumque id ei, quod fugerat,
probrose objiceretur; _versu illo notissimo_ elusit, [Greek:
anaer d pheugon], inquit, [Greek: kai palin machaesetai]."

We here see that the senarius is designated as _a well-known verse_,
so that it must have been in the mouths of the people long before it was
applied to this piece of gossip. I have hitherto not been able to trace it
to an earlier writer.

The Apophthegmata of Erasmus were first published, I believe, in 1531, in
six books. I have an edition printed by Frobenius, at Basle, in 1538, in
which two more books are added; and, in an epistle prefixed to the seventh
book, Erasmus says, -

"Prodiit opus, tanta aviditate distractum est, ut protinus à
typographo coeperit efflagitare denuo."

He names twenty-one ancient Greek and Latin authors from which the
apophthegms had been collected; and, with regard to what he has taken from
Plutarch, he mentions the licence he has used: -

"Nos Plutarchum multis de causis sequi maluimus quam
interpretari, explanare quam vertere."

It is from this book of Erasmus that the worthy Nicolas Udall selected his
_Two Bookes of Apophthegmes_; and he tells his readers, -

"I have been so bold with mine author as to make the first
booke and second booke, which he maketh third and fowerth."

Udall has occasionally added further explanations of his own to those
translated from Erasmus. He promises, in good time, the remaining, books,
but says, -

"I have thought better, with two of the eight, to minister
unto you a taste of this bothe delectable and fruitefull

Those who are desirous of knowing at large the course pursued by Erasmus in
the compilation of this amusing and once popular work, will find it fully
stated in his preface; one passage of which will show the large licence he
allowed himself: -

"Sed totum opus quodammodo meum feci, dum et explanatius
effero qua Graece referuntur, interjectis interdum quæ apud
alios autores additur comperissem," &c.

The only sure ground, as far as I can discover, for this gradually
constructed legend, is the mention of the flight of Demosthenes by
Æschines and Dinarchus. In the more amplified editions of Erasmus's
_Adages_, after the publication of the Apophthegmata, he repeats the story
in illustration of a Latin proverb (probably only a version of the Greek),
"Vir fugiens et denuo pugnabitur;" and I find in some collections of the
sixteenth century both the Latin and Greek given upon the authority of
Plutarch! Langius, in his _Polyanthea_ (a copious common-place book which
would outweigh twenty of our late Laureate's) has given the apophthegm
verbatim from Erasmus, and has boldly appended Plutarch's name. But the
more extraordinary course is that which one Gualandi took, who published,
at Venice, in 1568,{4} in 4to., an _omnium gatherum_, in five books, from
various sources, in which there is much taken from Erasmus, and yet the
title is _Apoftemmi di Plutarco_. In this book, the whole of the
twenty-three apophthegms of Erasmus which relate to Demosthenes are given,
and two more added at the end. It appears that Philelphus, and after him
Raphael Regius, had printed, in the fifteenth century, Latin collections
under the title of _Plutarch's Apophthegms_, and, according to
Erasmus, had both taken liberties with their original. I have not seen
either of these Latin versions, of which there were several editions. As
far as regards Demosthenes, I think we may fairly conclude that the story
is apocryphal. The Greek proverbial verse was no doubt a popular saying,
which Aulus Gellius thought might give a lively turn to his story, of which
an Italian would say, "Se non vero è ben trovato."


Feb. 9. 1850.

* * * * *


The following extracts from a MS. "Day-book" of the celebrated Anne
Countess of Pembroke, recording the daily events of the last few months of
her life passed at Brougham Castle in 1675, afford a further illustration
of the custom of presenting gloves (Vol. i. pp. 72. 405.) as a matter of
courtesy and kindness; and show, also, that it was not unusual to make
presents of small sums of money in exhibition of the same feelings on the
part of the donor: -

"January, as the year begins on New Year's Day.

"10th day, And to-day there dined here with my folks my cousin
Thomas Sandford's wife, of Askham, and her second son; so after
dinner I had them into my chamber and kissed her, and took him by
the hand, and I gave her a pair of buckskin gloves, and him 5_s_.,
and then they went away.

"12th day. There dined here in the Painted Chamber with my folks
Mrs. Jane Carleton, the widow, sister to Sir W'm. Carleton,
deceased. So after dinner I had her into my chamber, and kissed
her and talked with her awhile, and I gave her 5_s_., and she went

"17th day, To-day there dined with my folks my cousin, Mr. Thomas
Burbeck, of Hornby, and his wife and their little daughter, and
his father-in-law, Mr. Cotterick, and his wife and his mother;
and there also dined here Mr. Robert Carleton, only son to the
widow, Lady Carleton. So after dinner I had them all into my
chamber, and kissed the women, and took the men by the hand, and
I gave to my cousin, Mr. Burbeck, and his wife each 10_s_., and
his mother 10_s_., and his father-in-law, Mr. Cotterick, and his
wife, each of them 10_s_., and 6_s_. to the child, and I gave Mr.
Carleton a pair of buckskin gloves, and then they all went away."

In another entry the Countess records the gift to a Mrs. Winch of Settra
Park of "four pair of buckskin gloves that came from Kendall."

It does not appear that any present was made to the Countess in return. As
in the case of Archbishop Laud and Master Prynne (Vol. i. p. 405.), these
gifts were evidently expressions of condescension and good will by one in a
high position to another in a somewhat lower station. It is, I take it,
evident that the money-gifts, from the rank in life of the parties, and
their connection with the Countess, could have been made with no other
meaning or intention.


Streatham, April 22. 1850.

* * * * *


_Exhumation of a Body ominous to Family of the Deceased._ - In the counties
of Leicester and Northampton, and I doubt not in other parts of England,
there is a superstitious idea that the removal or exhumation of a body
after interment bodes death or some terrible calamity to the surviving
members of the deceased's family. Turner, in his _History of Remarkable
Providences_, Lond. 1677, p. 77., thus alludes to this superstition: -

"Thomas Fludd of Kent, Esq., told me that it is an old
observation which was pressed earnestly to King James I., that he
should not remove the Queen of Scots' body from Northamptonshire,
where she was beheaded and interred. For that it always bodes ill
to the family when bodies are removed from their graves. For
some of the family will die shortly after, as did Prince Henry,
and, I think, Queen Anne."

In the above-named counties, _nine roasted mice_, three taken each third
morning, constitutes the common charm for the hooping-cough.


_Suffolk Folk Lore._ - I send you a few articles on "Folk Lore", now, or not
long ago, current in the county of Suffolk, in addition to what is to be
found in the latter part of the second volume of Forby's _Vocabulary of
East Anglia_.

1. To ascertain whether her pretended lovers really love her or not, the
maiden takes an apple-pip, and naming one of her followers, puts the pip in
the fire. If it makes a noise in bursting from the heat, it is a proof of
love; but if it is consumed without a crack, she is fully satisfied that
there is no real regard towards her in the person named.

2. "I remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her." (_Shakesp._) - The
efficacy of peascods in the concerns of sweethearts is not yet forgotten
among our rustic vulgar. The kitchen-maid, when she shells green peas,
never omits, when she finds one having _nine_ peas, to lay it on the lintel
of the kitchen door; and the first clown who enters it is infallibly to be
her husband, or at least her sweetheart.

3. If you have your clothes mended upon your back, you will be ill spoken

4. If you sweep the house with blossomed broom in May,
Y're sure to sweep the head of the house away.

Similar to which is the following: -

5. To sleep in a room with the whitethorn bloom in it during the month of
May, will surely be followed by some great misfortune.

6. _Cure for Fits._ - If a young woman has fits, she applies to ten or a
dozen unmarried men (if the sufferer be a man, he applies to as many
maidens) and obtains from each of them a small piece of silver of any kind,
as a piece of a broken spoon, or ring, or brooch, buckle, and even
sometimes a small coin, and a penny; the twelve pieces of silver are taken
to a silversmith or other worker in metal, who forms therefrom a ring,
which is to be worn by the person afflicted. If any of the silver remains
after the ring is made, the workman has it as his perquisite; and the
twelve pennies also are intended as the wages for his work, and he must
charge no more.

In 1830 I went into a gunsmith's shop in the village where I then resided,
and seeing some fragments of silver in a saucer, I had the curiosity to
inquire about them, when I was informed that they were the remains of the
contributions for a ring for the above purpose which he had lately been
employed to make.


_Bible and Key._ - Mr. Stevens's note on divination (Vol. i. p. 413.)
reminds me of another use to which the bible and key are made subservient
by the rustics in this locality. When some choice specimen of the
"Lancashire Witches" thinks it necessary to decide upon selecting a suitor
from among the number of her admirers, she not unfrequently calls in the
aid of these auxiliaries to assist in determining her choice. Having opened
the Bible at the passage in Ruth which states, "whither thou goest I will
go," &c., and having carefully placed the wards of the key upon the verses,
she ties the book firmly with a piece of cord; and, having mentioned the
name of an admirer, she very solemnly repeats the passage in question, at
the same time holding the Bible suspended _by joining the ends of her
little fingers_ inserted under the handle of the key. If the key retain its
position during the repetition, the person whose name has been mentioned is
considered to be rejected and so another name is tried until the book turns
round and falls through the fingers, which is said to be a sure token that
the name just mentioned is that of an individual who will certainly marry


Burnley, April 27.

P.S. In confirmation of the above, I may state that I have a Bible in my
possession which bears evidence of having seen much service of this


(_Eden's Edit._)

Part I. _Ad_ sect. 8. § 2. p. 166. - "It was Tertullian's great argument in
behalf of Christians, 'see how they love one another.'" - _Apol._ c. 39.

Part I. Discourse iv. § 4. p. 173. - "A cook told Dionysius the tyrant, the
black broth of Lacedæmon would not do well at Syracuse, unless it be
tasted by a Spartan's palate." - Cicero, _Tusc. D._ v. § 98. Stob. _Flor.
Tit._ 29. n. 100. Plut. _Inst. Lac._ 2. [these have been already referred
to in "NOTES AND QUERIES"]: and compare Plutarch (_Vit. Lycurgi_, c. 12.).

Part II. _Ad_ sect. 12. § 4. p. 394. - "If a man throw away his gold, as did
Crates the Theban." - Diog. Laert. vi. § 87.

Ibid. § 7. p. 395. note _b_. - "Gaudet patientia duris." - Lucan. ix. 403.

Ibid. § 16. p. 404. note _y_. - "Plato vocat puritatem [Greek: apokrisin
cheironon apo beltionon.]" _Definit._ p. 415. D.

Ibid. § 41. (on the tenth commandment) p. 446. note _z_. - "Non minus esse

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