Notes and Queries, Number 170, January 29, 1853 online

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Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are indicated by footnotes to the relevant item.

* * * * *




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

* * * * *

No. 170.]
[Price Fourpence. Stamped Edition 5d.

* * * * *


NOTES: - Page

Robertson's "Index of Charters" 101

Cowper or Cooper, by George Daniel 102

Yankee, its Origin and Meaning, by Dr. William Bell 103

Shakspeare's Bedside, or the Doctors enumerated: a new
Ballad, by James Cornish 104

FOLK LORE: - Cures for the Hooping Cough: Rubus fruticosus,
Gryphea incurva, Donkey 104

MINOR NOTES: - Epitaphs - Nostradamus on the Gold-diggings -
Whimsical Bequest - The Orkneys in Pawn - Lord Duff's Toast 105


The Meteoric Stone of the Thracian Chersonesus, by
W. S. Gibson 105

Banbury Cakes and Zeal 106

MINOR QUERIES: - Richardson or Murphy - Legend attached to
Creeper in the Samoan Isles - Shearman Family - American
Fisheries - Grindle - A Gentleman executed for whipping a
Slave to Death - Brydone - "Clear the Decks for Bognie's
Carriage" - London Queries - Scarf worn by Clergyman - Life
of Queen Anne - Erasmus Smith - Croxton or Crostin of
Lancashire - Grub Street Journal - Chaplain to the
Princess Elizabeth - "The Snow-flake" 107

MINOR QUERIES WITH ANSWERS: - Leamhuil or Lahoel - Orte's
Maps, Edition of 1570 - Prayer for the Recovery of
George III. 108


Mrs. Mackey's Poems 109

Map of Ceylon, by Sir J. Emerson Tennent 110

"Am, have, and will be:" Henry VIII., Act III. Sc. 2. 111

Sir Henry Wotton's Letter to Milton 111

Skull-caps _versus_ Skull-cups, by Thomas Lawrence 112

Inedited Poem by Pope 113

Cibber's "Lives of the Poets," by W. L. Nichols 113

English Comedians in the Netherlands 114

La Bruyère, by J. Sansom 114

Southey's Criticism upon St. Mathias' Day in Leap-year 115

Travellers - The Albumen Process - Black Tints of French
Photographers - Originator of the Collodion Process -
Developing Paper Pictures with Pyrogallic Acid 116

REPLIES TO MINOR QUERIES: - Waterloo - Irish Peerages -
Martha Blount - Quotations wanted - Pepys's Morena -
Goldsmiths' Year-marks - Turner's View of Lambeth
Palace - "For God will be your King to-day" - Jennings
Family - The Furze or Gorse in Scandinavia - Mistletoe -
Inscription on a Dagger - Steevens - "Life is like a
Game of Tables," &c. 117


Notes on Books, &c. 120

Books and Odd Volumes wanted 120

Notices to Correspondents 121

Advertisements 121

* * * * *



This work, so often quoted, is familiar to every antiquary; but as the name
of the intelligent and laborious editor does not appear in any of our
biographical dictionaries, a short sketch may not be unacceptable to our

William Robertson was born at Fordyce, in the county of Banff, in the year
1740. Having gone through the usual course of elementary instruction in
reading and writing, he entered the Latin class at the grammar school of
his native parish; a seminary then, as now, of great celebrity in the North
of Scotland. Among his schoolfellows he contracted a particular intimacy
with Mr. George Chalmers, afterwards Secretary of the Board of Trade; so
well known by many elaborate and valuable commercial, historical, and
biographical publications. The connexion between the schoolboys,
originating in a similarity of taste and pursuits, was strengthened at a
subsequent period of their lives by the contributions of the intelligent
Deputy Keeper of the Records of Scotland to the local and historical
information of the author of _Caledonia_, so honourably recorded in that
national work. He completed his academical studies at King's College,
Aberdeen, where he was particularly distinguished by his proficiency in the
Greek language, under Professor Leslie. He was then apprenticed to Mr.
Turner of Turnerhall, advocate in Aberdeen; but had been little more than a
year in that situation, when Mr. Burnett of Monboddo applied to Professor
Leslie to recommend to him as his second clerk a young man who had a
competent knowledge of the Greek language, and properly qualified to aid
him in his literary pursuits. The Professor immediately mentioned young
Robertson; and Mr. Turner, in the most handsome manner, cancelled his
articles of apprenticeship. During his connexion with Mr. Burnett, he
accompanied him in several visits to France, on taking evidence as one of
the counsel in the great Douglas cause. On his first visit there, he went
with him to see the savage girl, who, at that time, was creating a great
sensation in Paris; and, at his request, made a translation {102} of M.
Condamines' account of her, to which Mr. Burnett wrote a preface. In the
year 1766 he was appointed Chamberlain to James, Earl of Findlater and
Seafield, on the recommendation of Lord Monboddo. In 1768 he published, at
Edinburgh, _The History of Greece, from the Earliest Times till it became a
Roman Province_, being a concise and particular account of the civil
government, religion, literature, and military affairs of the states of
Greece, for the use of seminaries of education, and the general reader, in
1 vol. 12mo. At this period, having caught a portion of the jealous
nationality of the multitude, he published a political _jeu d'esprit_
entitled _A North Briton Extraordinary_, by a young Scotsman in the
Corsican service, 4to., 1769: designed to repel the illiberal invectives of
Mr. Wilkes against the people of Scotland. Some of the popular objections
to the Union reiterated by the young Scotsman having been found in the
characteristic discussion between Lieutenant Lesmahagon and Matthew Bramble
on the same subject, in _The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker_, the
authorship was on that account erroneously attributed to Dr. Smollet, who
had then discontinued an unsuccessful opposition to Mr. Wilkes in the _The

In 1773 Mr. Robertson married Miss Donald, only child of Captain Alexander
Donald, of the 89th, or Gordon Highlanders. In the year 1777 he received
his commission from Lord Frederick Campbell, the Lord Clerk Register of
Scotland, as colleague of his brother, Mr. Alexander Robertson, who had
been appointed one of the Deputy Keepers of the Records of Scotland some
years before. He was now in a situation completely suited to his wishes,
and entered on the duties of his office with the utmost enthusiasm. It very
early occurred to him, that many ancient records of Scotland, which had
been removed by Edward I., might still be recovered; and he suggested to
Lord Frederick Campbell, who was as enthusiastic as himself in everything
tending to throw light on the early history of Scotland, that searches
ought to be made in the State Paper Office in London for the purpose of
ascertaining whether some of the earlier records might yet be found. Lord
Frederick Campbell entered warmly into his views, and the success with
which the search was made may be ascertained by consulting the Preface to
the _Index of Charters_.

The Reports to the Parliamentary Commissioners appointed to inquire into
the state of the records, with the suggestions made by him, and which have
been so ably followed up since his death by the late Thomas Thomson, Esq.,
Deputy Clerk Register, were considered of such importance as to merit a
vote of thanks of the Select Committee, which was transmitted to him along
with a very friendly letter from Mr. Abbot, then Speaker of the House of
Commons, afterwards Lord Colchester. He commenced the laborious work of
printing _The Records of the Parliament of Scotland_, in which he made
considerable progress, having, previous to his death, completed one very
large folio volume.

Between the years 1780 and 1790, in consequence of a strict investigation
into the validity of the claims of several persons to peerages in Scotland,
Mr. Robertson was much employed in inquiring into the state of the peerage,
both by those who made and those who rejected such claims. This
circumstance naturally led him to a minute acquaintance with the subject;
and induced him to publish, in 1794, a quarto volume, entitled _Proceedings
relative to the Peerage of Scotland from 16th January, 1707, to 20th April,
1788_: a work which has been found of the greatest service in conducting
the elections of the representative peers of Scotland.

In 1798, at the request of Lord Frederick Campbell, he published an -

"Index, drawn up in the Year 1629, of many Records of Charters granted
by the different Sovereigns of Scotland, between 1309 and 1413 (which
had been discovered by Mr. Astle in the British Museum), most of which
Records have been long missing; with an Introduction, giving a State,
founded upon Authentic Documents still preserved, of the Ancient
Records of Scotland, which were in that Kingdom in 1292."

The object of this publication was to endeavour to recover many ancient
records, which there was much reason to believe were still in existence.
The labour which he underwent in preparing this volume for the press, and
in transcribing a very ancient quarto manuscript, written on vellum, which
was found in the State Paper Office, was very great. Every word of this
ancient vellum MS. he copied with his own hand, and it is printed along
with the volume of the _Records of the Parliament of Scotland_. The
preface, introduction, notes, and appendix to the _Index of Charters_,
show, not only the great labour which this work required from him, but the
extensive information also, on the subject of the ancient history of
Scotland, which he possessed.

At a general meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, held Jan. 28, 1799,
he was elected a member, and placed in the literary class of the Society.
He died March 4, 1803, at his house, St. Andrew's Square, Edinburgh, in the
sixty-third year of his age.


* * * * *


In the midsummer holidays of 1799, being on a visit to an old and opulent
family of the name of Deverell, in Dereham, Norfolk, I was taken to the
house of an ancient lady (a member of the aforesaid family), to pay my
respects to her, and to drink {103} tea. Two visitors were _particularly_
expected. They soon arrived. The first, if I remember rightly (for my whole
attention was singularly riveted to the _second_), was a pleasant-looking,
lively young man - very talkative and entertaining; his companion was above
the middle height, broadly made, but not stout, and advanced in years. His
countenance had a peculiar charm, that I could not resist. It alternately
exhibited a deep sadness, a thoughtful repose, a fearful and an
intellectual fire, that surprised and held me captive. His manner was
embarrassed and reserved. He spoke but little. Yet _once_ he was roused to
animation; then his voice was full and clear. I have a faint recollection
that I saw his face lighted up with a momentary smile. His hostess kindly
welcomed him as "Mr. Cooper." After tea, we walked for a while in the
garden. I kept close to his side, and once he addressed me as "My little
master." I returned to school; but that variable, expressive, and
interesting countenance I did not forget. In after years, standing, as was
my wont, before the shop windows of the London booksellers (I have not
_quite_ left off this old habit!), reading the title-pages of tomes that I
intensely longed, but had not then the money, to purchase, I recognised at
a shop in St. Paul's Churchyard that well-remembered face, prefixed to a
volume of poems, "written by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq." The
_cap_ (for when I saw "Mr. Cooper" he wore a wig, or his hair, for his age,
was unusually luxuriant) was the only thing that puzzled me. To make
"assurance doubly sure," I hastened to the house of a near relation hard
by, and I soon learnt that "Mr. Cooper" was William Cowper. The welcome
present of a few shillings put me in _immediate_ possession of the coveted
volumes. I will only just add, that I read, and re-read them; that the man
whom, in my early boyhood, I had so mysteriously reverenced, in my youth I
deeply and devotedly admired and loved! Many, many years have since passed
away: but that reverence, that admiration, and that love have experienced
neither diminution nor change.

It was something, said Washington Irving, to have seen even the _dust_ of
Shakspeare. It is something too, good Mr. Editor, to have beheld the face
and to have heard the voice of Cowper.


* * * * *


The meaning of the term _Yankee_, which our transatlantic brethren now
willingly adopt as their collective name, has acquired more notoriety than
it deserved from the unlucky and far-fetched derivations which it has
received in so many different publications. The term is of Anglo-Saxon
origin, and of home-growth. We all know, from the veritable Diedricht
Knickerbocker's _History of New York_, that its earliest settlers were
exclusively Dutchmen, who naturally named it, though from anything but
similarity in local situation, New Amsterdam. We may, of course, suppose
that in the multitude of these Dutch settlers the names they carried over
would be pretty nearly in the same proportion as at home. Both then and now
the Dutch _Jan_ (the _a_ sounded very broad and long), abbreviated from the
German _Johann_, our _John_, was the prevailing Christian appellative; and
it even furnished, in _Jansen_, &c. (like our _Johnson_), frequent
patronymics, particularly with the favourite diminutive _cke_, _Jancke_:
and so common does it still remain as such, that it would be difficult to
open the Directory of any decent-sized Dutch or Northern German town
without finding numerous instances, as _Jancke_, _Jaancke_, _Jahncke_, &c.,
according as custom has settled the orthography in each family. It is
scarcely necessary to say that the soft _J_ is frequently rendered by _Y_
in our English reading and speaking foreign words (as the Scandinavian and
German _Jule_ becomes our _Yule_), to show how easily and naturally the
above names were transformed into _Yahnkee_. So much for the name as an
appellative; now for its appropriation as a generic. The prominent names of
individuals are frequently seized upon by the vulgar as a designation of
the people or party in which it most prevails. We have _Paddies_ for
Irishmen, _Taffies_ for Welshmen, and _Sawnies_ (abbreviated _Alexander_)
for our Scotch brethren: so, therefore, when English interests gained the
upper hand, and the name of _New Amsterdam_ succumbed to that of _New
York_, the fresh comers, the English settlers, seized upon the most
prominent name by which to designate its former masters, which extended to
the whole of North America, as far as Canada: and the addition of _doodle_,
twin brother to _noodle_, was intended to mark more strongly the contempt
and mockery by the dominant party; just as a _Sawney_ is, in most of the
northern counties, a term next door to a fool. It is, however, to the
credit of our transatlantic brethren, and the best sign of their practical
good sense, that they have turned the tables on the innuendo, and by
adopting, carried the term into repute by sheer resolution and determinate

The term _slave_ is only the misappropriation, by malevolent neighbours, of
the Slavonic term _slaus_ or _laus_, so frequent in the proper names of
that people; _Ladislaus_, _Stanislaus_, _Wratislaus_, &c., meaning, in
their vernacular tongue, glory or praise, like the Latin _laus_, with which
it is no doubt cognate: and so _servi_ and _servants_ is but a derivative
from the _Serbs_, _Sorbs_, or _Servians_, whose glorious feats in arms
against their Turkish oppressors have proved that there is nothing
_servile_ in their character.


17. Gower Place, Euston Square.


* * * * *


On looking over a collection of MSS. which has lain untouched for many
years, I have lighted on the accompanying ballad. Of its source I know
nothing; nor do I recollect how it fell into my hands. I have never seen it
in print. The author, fancifully enough, imagines the various editions of
Shakspeare brought in succession to the sick-bed of the immortal bard, and
has curiously detailed the result of their several prescriptions.

If you do me the favour of giving it insertion in your valuable "N. & Q." I
shall feel obliged; and I think that your numerous Shakspeare
correspondents, to some of whom it may be unknown, will not be displeased
at seeing it in the columns of your interesting journal. The editorial
period to which the ballad is brought down will tolerably fix its date:

Old Shakspeare was sick - for a doctor he sent -
But 'twas long before any one came;
Yet at length his assistance Nic Row did present;
Sure all men have heard of his name.

As he found that the poet had tumbled his bed;
He smooth'd it as well as he could;
He gave him an anodyne, comb'd out his head,
But did his complaint little good.

Doctor Pope to incision at once did proceed,
And the Bard for the simples he cut;
For his regular practice was always to bleed,
Ere the fees in his pocket he put.

Next Theobald advanced, who at best was a quack,
And dealt but in old women's stuff;
Yet he caused the physician of Twick'nam to pack,
And the patient grew cheerful enough.

Next Hanmer, who fees ne'er descended to crave,
In gloves lily-white did advance;
To the Poet the gentlest of purges he gave,
And, for exercise, taught him to dance.

One Warburton, then, tho' allied to the Church,
Produced his alterative stores;
But his med'cines the case so oft left in the lurch
That Edwards[1] kick'd him out of doors.

Next Johnson arrived to the patient's relief,
And ten years he had him in hand;
But, tired of his task, 'tis the gen'ral belief,
He left him before he could stand.

Now Capel drew near, not a Quaker more prim,
And number'd each hair in his pate;
By styptics, call'd stops, he contracted each limb,
And crippled for ever his gait.

From Gopsal then strutted a formal old goose,
And he'd cure him by inches, he swore;
But when the poor Poet had taken one dose,
He vow'd he would swallow no more.

But Johnson, determined to save him or kill,
A second prescription display'd;
And, that none might find fault with his drop or his pill,
Fresh doctors he call'd to his aid.

First, Steevens came loaded with black-letter books,
Of fame more desirous than pelf;
Such reading, observers might read in his looks,
As no one e'er read but himself.

Then Warner, by Plautus and Glossary known,
And Hawkins, historian of sound[2];
Then Warton and Collins together came on,
For Greek and potatoes renown'd.

With songs on his pontificalibus pinn'd,
Next, Percy the Great did appear;
And Farmer, who twice in a pamphlet had sinn'd,
Brought up the empirical rear.

"The cooks the more num'rous the worse is the broth,"
Says a proverb I well can believe;
And yet to condemn them untried I am loth,
So at present shall laugh in my sleeve.



[Footnote 1: One Edwards, an apothecary, who seems to have known [more] of
the poet's case than some of the regular physicians who undertook to cure

[Footnote 2: From the abilities and application of Sir J. Hawkins, the
publick is now furnished with a compleat history of the science of musick.]

[This ballad originally appeared in the _Gentleman's Mag._ for 1797, p.
912.; and at p. 1108. of the same volume will be found the following


How could you assert, when the Poet was sick,
None hit off a method of cure;
When Montagu's pen, like a magical stick,
His health did for ever ensure?"]

* * * * *


_Cures for the Hooping Cough (Rubus fruticosus)._ - The following is said to
prevail in the counties of Warwick, Worcester, and Stafford, as a remedy
for this harrowing disorder in children: that if a child is put to walk
beneath a common bramble (_Rubus fruticosus_), having rooted in the ground
at both extremities (which may be very commonly met with where they grow
luxuriantly), a certain number of times, a perfect cure would be the


_Gryphea incurva._ - In the course of conversation with an old man in the
county of Warwick, relative to ancient customs, he related to me as a fact
within his own knowledge, that the pretty round stone shell, as he termed
it (picking one up at the same time), a specimen of the _Gryphea incurva_,
or Devil's Thumb, as it is frequently called, which is found in
considerable quantities in the gravel beds of that county, when prepared in
a certain manner - calcined, I believe - is a certain specific for this
complaint in its most obstinate form. Indeed, he related to me some very
extraordinary cures which he had himself witnessed.

_Donkey._ - A certain number of hairs taken from the black cross on the
shoulders of a donkey, and put into a small bag made of black silk, and
worn round a child's neck afflicted with the complaint, is a never-failing


* * * * *

Minor Notes.

_Epitaph_ in Tynemouth churchyard:

"Wha lies here?
Pate Watt, gin ye speer.
Poor Pate! is that thou?
Ay, by my soul, is't;
But I's dead now."

J. MN.

_Epitaph_ composed by an old gardener at Ilderton, Northumberland, for his
own tombstone:

"Under this stone lies Bobbity John,
Who, when alive, to the world was a wonder;
And would have been so yet, had not Death in a fit
Cut his soul and his body asunder."

J. MN.

_Nostradamus on the Gold-diggings._ - Nostradamus (physician to Henry II. of
France) has the following among his prophecies (p. 33.):

"Las, qu'on verra grand peuple tourmenté
Et la loy sainte en totale ruine,
Par autres Loix toute la Christianité,
Quand d'or, d'argent trouve nouvelle mine."

Garencières translates thus:

"Alas! how a great people shall be tormented,
And the holy law in an utter ruin;
By other laws all christendom be troubled,
When new mines of gold and silver shall be found."


_Whimsical Bequest._ - Is the following cutting from the _Ipswich Journal_
of January 8th, 1853, worth preserving in your pages?

WHIMSICAL BEQUEST. - On Saturday last, the unmarried of whatever age and
sex, numbering between 800 and 900 residents in the parish of St.
Leonard's, Colchester, received their new year's gift in the shape of
'a penny roll,' bequeathed to them in days of yore, under the following
singular circumstances: - Many years ago, a piece of waste land, called
'Knave's Acre,' in the parish of St. Leonard's, was used as a

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