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I am anxious to preserve in "N. & Q." the suggestions of so eminent an architect as Mr. G. G. Scott, It.A., on a subject connected with this paper. Extensive restorations and improvements are contemplated in the abbey of Bath by the Rev. the Rector, and in Mr. Scott's letter to that gentleman occurs the following passage : —
"In dealing with the floor of the nave, much consideration will have to be given to the existing graves and monumental stones which occupy almost its entire area. I should recommend a strong stratum of concrete to be laid between the graves and the floor throughout, and all proper means to be taken for rendering the support of the floor strong and immoveable, as well as for preventing the possibility of gaseous exhalations from the graves. As the wood floors would cover many of the monumental stones, I would recommend a perfect plan of their positions to be made; copies being kept of all the inscriptions, and, where desired, brass plates to be put on the walls, containing the same inscriptions."
This last recommendation of Mr. Scott's would be impracticable, as there would be little if any space on the walls for brass plates, but copies of the inscriptions, with reference to the exact spots where laid, might be preserved in a volume of vellum or parchment, protected by an impregnable binding, indexes to be appended. There is no saying how precious a date or a fact may be to an historian or antiquary, and to the descendants of the person recorded, the inscription may be invaluable. J. H. Markland.
Three places in Staffordshire may have originated this as a family name, viz. Whitmore, near Newcastle-under-Lymc; Wetmore, in the parish of Burton-on-Trent; and Wildmoor, in that of Bobbington, the last running into Shropshire. These places, though distinguishable enough in modern writing, are not so in old MSS., where they are spelt very nearly alike. There is no doubt, however, that Erdeswick was correct in his assertion, quoted by your correspondent, that a race of gentry, springing from one Raufe, took their name from the manor and parish of Whitmore (the Witemore of I)omesday), now a station on the N. W. Railway. Railulph de Boterel is styled Custos de Novo Casteflo, Stafford, 15 Hen. IL, an office subsequently held by Henry the first Lord Audley. Will, de Boterel, 28 Hen. II., grandson of Radulph, married A visa de Witmore, which came into his possession, and gave its name to his grandson, Rob. de Whitmore, Dhs. de Wytmore, 14 John—26 Hen. III. The two next generations seem to have increased their
Property considerably; Robtus de Whytmore, >sb de Whytmore, 41—44 Hen. III., son and heir of the last, holding in right of his wife, Ada de
Walleshull "in vasta foresta de Walleshull," the manor and vill of Brocton sup. Wytemor (the modern Wildmoor), and his son Willraus de Wytmore, surnamed Forestarius, Dns de Wytmore, 45 Hen. III.—10 Edw. I., holding (I presume in right of his wife Agnes de Haselwall, who was possessed of an estate in the neighbourhood) land in the same Wytimore and in Burchton, both being within the manor of Claverley, Salop. He had likewise, by gift from the king (in reward, I suppose, for his services in the Welsh wars) the church of Claverley and its members Burchton and Bobiton. It must be this Will. £L Rob. de Whitmore, with whom Ormerod commences his pedigree of the Whitmoresof Hunstanton in Cheshire. The history of the Manor near Newcastle becomes after this less easy to follow. There was a John, Lord of Wytemore, 22,27, and 29 Edw. L, and Rad. fil. Johis de Whitemore, also lord, 7 Edw. IL The former of these should be son of William, according to Ormerod; but this author makes no allusion to either William or John being lords of Whitmore, though he could hardly fail to meet with the designation in the public records. The last of the name in possession of the manor was another John de Whitmore, 15—41 Edw. III., who appears to have been a witness to the deed quoted by Erdeswick (Harwood's ed. p. 112). He married Joan, sister (not daughter, as stated by Shaw and by Harwood from Degge) of Sir John Verdon, Kt. They had a daughter Joan, wife (8—12 Rich. II.) of Henry Clerk of Ruyton, once mayor of Coventry; and perhaps a second daughter Elizabeth, wife of James de Boghav (47 Edw. III.—16 Rich. IL), who became lord of Whitmore, purchasing one moiety from the Clerks. In the Brit. Mus. (Hail. Rolls. No. 21) there is a pedigree of Whitmore of Caunton, co. Notts, beginning with John de Whitmore in Com. Stafford, temp. Edw. I. and bis son Wm. de Whitmore, Arm., and ending in the reign of Elizabeth; but there is nothing to show from what Staffordshire family they proceeded. They acquired this property by marriage with the heiress of Blyton de Caunton, temp. Henry VI. For particulars of the localities in Burton and Bobington parishes, respectively, I may refer to Shaw, vol. i. p. 20, and Eyton's Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 166, 171. Blakeway remarks of the Whitmores of Apley, that they do not appear to have had any connection with the Cheshire family, "though the heralds have given them similar arms, with a crest allusive to the springing of a young shoot out of an old stock." The grant may be accounted for by the fact that the Shropshire family is by some derived from Thos. Whitmore of Madeley, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, where the Whitmores of Whitmore had land as early as 56 Hen. III. There was a Thos. Whitmore, of Madeley, disclaimed in 1583 by Glover as failing to bring proof of his gentility, who may have been the same person far advanced in years. (Harl. MSS. 1396 and 1570; Morant's Essex, vol. i. p. 492.) The family at Apley are said at this day to quarter the differenced coat granted in 1593 to their ancestor William Whitmore of London. The Harl. MS. 1457, fol. 148i, ascribes to the name of Whitmore, Vert a fret or, and this coat (not the fretty) I understand is acknowledged by the College of Arms. The earliest recorded coat that I am aware of is on a seal to a deed of John de Whitmore, Lord of Whitmore 29 Edw. I. (Harl. MS. 506); and the same coat is said in the Visitations to have been borne by John de Whitmore de Thurstanton, 25 Hen. VI., the tinctures being added, arg. a chief az. (Harl. MS. 1535). John de Whitmore, who, according to Ormerod, was father of the last named, and mayor of Chester 1369—72, bare the fretty coat, if we may credit the topographers in attributing to his memory an old monument in the church of the Holy Trinity, Chester. Ormerod ascribes the plain coat with a chief to Haselwall as its original owner; still a doubt may be hazarded whether it was not really the coat of the Whitmores. It is almost identical with that of the Butillers, who were superior lords of Whitmore; and the mayor of Chester may have assumed the fretty in consequence of his marriage with the eventual heiress of Ralph de Vernon, especially as he was a claimant for property in her right, which was ultimately recovered. (Ormerod, vol. ii. 276.) At Whitmore Hall, the Manor House as rebuilt after the Restoration, among several coats of arms connected with the Mainwarings in a window of stained glass, is a small shield of four quarters, the 1st and 4th a fret gold, the 2nd a bend sinister charged with three trefoils slipped or (for Coyney ?), and the 3rd three stag's heads caboshed sa. The field-tinctures are not discernible, but the 2nd and 3rd quarters are probably arg., and there is in both of these a slight branch-like ornamentation or diapering. Against the dexter side of the shield there is the initial letter M, and against the sinister A. The history of this shield I believe is unknown. If it could be ascribed with any probability to Whitmore of Whitmore, its date would be antecedent to the commencement of the fifteenth century, whereas the shape (the top and bottom convex and pointed, the sides concave outwards) indicates a more recent period. The Whitmores of Caunton bare Vert fretty arg. The Whitmore fret may possibly have been borrowed from the Verdon, for Theobald, the first Baron, was superior lord of the manor 24 Edw. I., succeeding Nicholas le Butiller. Your correspondent will find that Erdeswick derives the Audlcy fret from the Verdon. And if Roesia, the heiress of Alveton (Erdeswick, p. 500), and second wife of Bertram de Verdon, who
founded Croxden Abbey in 1176, was a Vernon (as stated in Harl. MS. 1570), all these coats would be traceable to a common origin, the fret undoubtedly having pertained to Vernon from the earliest times. According to a seal of Croxden Abbey, in the Augmentation Office, this Bertram de Verdon used the fretty coat, as did his own descendants, and those of his younger brother, Robert, in Warwickshire and Leicestershire, who charged it upon a cross. But the Norfolk branch of the family, founded by Wm. de Verdun, Bertram's uncle, bare a lion rampant; and there is some reason to think that this was the ancient bearing of Verdon. Where it is not otherwise stated, the rolls of Stafford, Salop, Cheshire, and Wales have furnished the greater portion of the dates and other particulars in these notes. The border lands of West Staffordshire and the adjoining counties were evidently for the most part forest in those days, and the local jurisdiction uncertain. The subject is not exhausted, and I should have added more, but from unwillingness to trespass too largely upon your space. Shem.
PSALM XC. 9 (VULGATE LXXXIX. 10).
Has not a great deal of linguistic lore been wasted, not to say paraded, upon a very simple matter? Your correspondents have proceeded upon the erroneous assumption that the Septuagint translators mistook the meaning of a Hebrew word meaning meditation, and translated it spider. One correspondent goes learnedly to work, and overwhelms us with a train of authorities, Lee, Winer, Gesenius, Castell, and Hengstenberg; and then displays his Syriac, Arabic, .Sthiopic, and Chaldee—all, however, by means of Latin translations—to come, first, to the extraordinary conclusion, that spider is to be considered the most correct rendering of the Hebrew; and then to nullify his own conclusion, by observing in a note, "that this remark of course implies that as the Hebrew word does not mean a spider, some other word was originally used."
Another correspondent pronounces the Greek and Latin versions decidedly wrong in translating the Hebrew word by spider; and after leading us a learned course through Syriac, Arabic, and Chaldee, comes out with his conclusion, that the interpreter mistook the Hebrew word for a Syriac one signifying spider, and dictated accordingly to the Greek amanuensis.
We have here, then, two speculations. Canon Dalton supposes that the translators employed upon the Septungint had some other word before them, which they translated spider; and Ms. Bcckton thinks that the interpreter mistook a Hebrew word for Syriac, and so dictated spider as the meaning.
But is not the remark of Calmet the most natural and probable solution of the difficulty, that the word meaning a spider, though wanting now in the Hebrew text, was formerly there? Is it not most unlikely, indeed all but impossible, that the LXX. should have inserted this word, if it was not before them in their Hebrew copies? And is it not very likely that some copyists of the Hebrew may have omitted the word meaning a spider, while they transcribed that which expressed its labour? The meaning of the author of this Psalm, supposed, to have been Moses, is obvious: that our days pass away like the meditation, the toil, the frail structure of the spider. St. Jerome's annotation is worth attention : —
"Quomodo Branca qua; mittit fila, et hue illucque discurrit, et texit tota die, et labor quidem grandis est, sed effectus nnlliis est: sic et vita bominum hue illucque discurrit. Possessioncs qufcrimus: divitias apparamus: procreamus filios: laboramus: in regna sustollimur, et omnia facinius, et non intelligimus quia araneac telam teximus."
F. C. H.
ST. MARY MATFELON.
I now think that I may have cited Pennant's words incorrectly; but that does not affect the point under discussion, for my intention was, not to dispute Pennant's accuracy in reporting the traditionary version of the word "Matfelon"— which version I could not reconcile with the Hebrew or Arabic — but to suggest another version, which I could so reconcile.
Pennant's authority is evidently Stow (Surrey, vol. ii.). After alluding to some conjectures respecting the origin of the word, he says: "It was a more probable account which I once heard given by a reverend minister in Essex (Mr. Wells, sometime vicar of Hornchurch), that the word was of a Hebrew or Syriac extraction, Matfil, or Matfilon, i. e. qute nuper enixa est." Stow gives the Hebrew characters, and from them I perceive that the word is derived, not (as I imagined) from valada, but from tafala. I do not find that the word in the sense mentioned by Stow survives in Hebrew; but in Arabic the root implies "to bear an infant," whereas I had supposed it to mean "to bear a child or a son." Mutfil, Matjil, or Muffilun, signifies either tecum habens infantem, or fatnrce propinqua, which may, I suppose, be rendered near to conception, one who will soon conceive. Besides, as the root (tafala) begins with the letter t, the different, although similar letter / which forms the fifth conjugation, may coalesce with it, and the word may belong to that conjugation; and the leading idea of the fifth conjugation is, affectation of the action im
plied by the root. This may include the idea of being promised, proposed, or set forth as one who would fulfil the object of the root, and therefore this conjugation very nearly resembles the indefinite Latin future in rus. There is another meaning of the root which seems to support my conjecture. It signifies the later evening, the time immediately before sunset; and St. Mary's is fitly symbolized by the eve which precedes the night which ends in the Day-spring. I prefer upon the whole my rendering of the word "Matfelon," because a dedication to the Virgin and Child would be too obvious and common to need the subtle nicety of an Arabic root to express it, whereas (except at Chartres) a dedication " Virgini Pariturte" would be unknown, and not easily expressed in English. Jas. Reynolds.
St Mary's Hospital.
In reply to J. R.'s request to be supplied with examples of the softening or omission of the letter d (and without reference to previous communications under this head, which I have not seen), I would mention Moladah (rTTOD), a city of southern Palestine (Josh. xv. 26), which was softened by the Greeks into Mo\a8o, was further modified by the Romans into Moleathia and Moleaha, and in the modern Arabic nomenclature of the country appears as Milh. E. W.
Hutton (vol. ii. p. 406) very prudently says:— "Why the word Matfellon was added is uncertain; but the church was called Whitechapel as being formerly a chapel of ease to Stebunheath." The derivation of the word from the Hebrew is too far-fetched a solecism to carry any weight. The word Matfellon is old English, and the name of the black knapweed, the heads of which are still used as a tonic. Lovell spells it Matcrfilon, otherwise Matrefillon; and the monks of BurySt.-Edmunds used Vedervoy, Matfelon, and Magworte (feverfew, knapweed, and wormwood) as ingredients in "a drink for the pestilence." The knapweed probably grew as abundantly at Stebon-heath as Saffron at Audley. St. Anne's in the Grove, or Briers, is the name of a church at Halifax. Hintqn-in-the-Hedges is a parish in Northants; Thistleton, in Rutland; Nett.lebed, Oxon; Flax Bourton, Somerset; Mychurch, Kent; &c.
Mackenzie E. C. Walcott, M.A., F.S.A.
ONT WIT. (3rd S. v. 30, 82.) In addition to the illustrations of this word already published, perhaps the following more extended etymological inquiry may not be devoid of interest: —
The ultimate radical to which the word can be traced is the Sansk. vid, 2nd conj. Farasmai. In inflexion it becomes gunated, as "vedmi, vetsi, vetti." According to Bopp, its primitive signification is "videre," inde 1, percipere, sentire: 2, cognoscere, comperire; 3, scire; 4, nosse, notionem habere; 5, putare, arbitrari. Causative: faeere ut quis sciat; certiorem facere; nuntiare— indicare. The Ved-as were the sacred books of knowledge.
In Greek it becomes 1$-a, df8««, having lost the digamma. Here it signifies to see, discern, perceive, efSoi, that which is seen, shape, form, image, ttSuiKoi', idol.
In Latin we have the original root in vid-eo, with the same meaning, branching out into numerous derivatives : in Lithuanian, weizd-mi, weidas; Slavonian, vjed-mi, vid-jati; TZrse, feth, science, knowledge.
In the Teutonic tongues it is very prominent and prolific.
Gothic, vit-an, or veit-an, to know, be conscious of; vit-oth, the law; Old Low Ger., vit-a, vit-en; Old Frisian, wit-a, wet-a; Swedish, vet-a, vit-ne; Danish, vid-e, vidne; Holl., wet-en.
In High German the tenuis "t" of the Low German, and the medial "d " of the classical is changed, according to Grimm's law, into "s," which stands for the aspirate, and the root becomes wis: wissen, to know; wets-en, to demonstrate; weiss, certain, true, ge-wiss. Anglo-Saxon, wit-an, to know; wit, knowledge; wit-ig, skilful (witty); wit-ga, a seer; witena-gemot, the assembly of wise men; a-wiht, aught; wiht, or hwit (whit), any thing that can be seen, however small.
The correlation of seeing and knowing is shown in the various translations of the following passage, Matt. ix. 4: — Greek, ISiw ris «>'Buu./<reiv ouTiy; Latin, "et cum vidisset cogitationes eorum ;" Gothic, " vitands thos mitonins ize;" Ang.Sax., "geseah heore gethane;" German, "ihre gedanken sahe;" Wiclifle, "whanne he had seen their thougtes;" Authorised V., "knowing their thoughts."
Another class of words, there is every reason to believe, has sprung from the same radical idea. Weiss in German meant originally both "certain" and "true," and white or bright colour, a relation which is equally found in all the Teutonic tongues. A. S.,hwite; Franc, wiz; Old Ger., hwiz; Gothic, weit; Belg., wit; O. L. G., hvitr; O. Sax., huit; Sited., hwitt; Dan., hviid; Holl., wit. Wachter says, sub voc, "sapit originem a wissen 'videre,' quia alba sunt maxime conspicua." Again, "Proprie autem est perspicwis a wissen 'cernere,' et dicitur de certo, quia prisci mortales ea certa et vera putabant, qua; in oculos incurrerent." Compare Greek, \oik6s, from AttWu, to see; Lat., eertus, from cerno, to perceive.
Wavertree, near Liverpool. J. A. Picton.
On an inscription in Stanford Church, Worcestershire, to the Right Hon. Thomas Winnington, written by Sir Charles Hanbury Williams about 1747, the word "witty" is placed apparently in opposition to " wise" :—
"Near his paternal seat here buried lies
Thomas E. Winnington.
Having read with much interest Mb. Peter Cunningham's treatise on "Wit," in "N. & Q." (3t4 S. v. 30), I venture to send you the following on the same subject. When Davenant published his heroic poem, Gondibert, he prefixed a large epistle " to his much honoured friend Mr. nobbes." In this preface he has favoured us with a definition of " wit." The passage is very long; but as some of your readers may not possess the book, I will transcribe the more remarkable sentences, and refer the curious to the work itself: —
"Wit is the laborious and the luckv resistances of thought, having towards its excellence (as we say of the
strokes of painting) as well a happiness as care.
It is, in divines, humility, examplariness, and moderation; in statesmen, gravity, vigilance, benign complacency, secrecy, patience, and dispatch; in leaders of armies, valour, painfulness, temperance, bounty, dexterity in punishing and rewarding, and a sacred certitude of promise. It is, in poets, a full comprehension of all recited in all these: and an ability to bring those comprehensions into action .... That which is not, yet is accounted wit, I will but slightly remember: which seems very incident to imperfect youth and sickly age; young men (as if they were not quite delivered from childhood, whose first exercise is language,) imagine [it consists in the music of words, and believe they arc made wise by refining their speech above the vulgar dialect. .... Old men ttmt have forgot their childhood, and are returning to their second, think it lies in a kind of tinkling of words j or else in a grave telling of wonderful things, or in comparing of times, without a discovered partiality."
Dryden, in whose prefaces are to be found many instances tending to show that "wit" was a synonym for genius (as " Sir George Mackenzie, that noble wit of Scotland "), defines it to be "a propriety of thoughts and words; or, in other words, thoughts and words elegantly adapted to the subject.' Very similar to this is the definition given by Pope, in his Essay on Criticism: —
"True Wit is Nature to advantage dress'd;
P. H. Tbepowen.
Among the thousand examples that may be brought for the use of this word in the sense of wisdom, intellect, verse, &c, Cowley has one of peculiar distinction between Wisdom and Wit— making the latter to be, as I suppose, an edged tool taken out of the armoury of Wisdom: —
"Wisdom to man she did afford— Wisdom for shield, and Wit for sword."
J. A. G.
The transition from one meaning of the word wit to the other may be exemplified from successive verses of George Herbert's admirable Church Porch: —
"When thou dost tell another's jest, therein Omit the oatbes, which true wit cannot need."
(Verse 11.) "The cheapest sins most dearly punisht are; Because to shun them also is so cheap: For we hare wit to mark them, and to spare."
(Verse 12.) Again — "Langh not too much: the wittie man laughs least: For wit is newes only to ignorance."—(Verse 89.) "Profanenesse, filthinesse, abusivenesse—
These are the scumme, with which coarse wits abound." "All things are big with jest: nothing that's plain But may be wittie, if thou hast the vein."
(Verse 40.) "Wit's an unruly engine, wildly striking Sometimes a friend, sometimes the engineer."
(Verse 41.) "Usefulness comes by labour, wit by ease."
(Verse 49.) Job J. Babdwelx Wobkabd, M.A.
Hans Memlinc: "Massacre Of The InnoCents" (3r* S. v. 74.) — There is no such picture now at Bruges. If H. Ward's work contains notes of any other paintings by this great master, or by Roger of Bruges, or Roger de la Pasture (van der Weyden), your correspondent would greatly oblige me by communicating to me extracts of such passages.
For several years past I have been engaged in collecting materials for a complete history of the School of Bruges. With this view I have examined a considerable portion of the archives of the town, and of its different churches and corporations. I have copied a great many documents concerning paintings, some of which disappeared from Bruges in 1578—84, and many more since 1792. There is reason to believe that a considerable proportion of these are in the possession of private collectors in England. Brief notices of any paintings supposed to have been imported from this town would be extremely useful, many could be recognised at once by the armorial bearings of the donors.
Permit me in concluding to correct a popular error concerning Memlinc, reproduced in your notice of the Arundel Society's publications. There is no proof whatever that the figure looking through the window in the "Adoration of the Magi," is a portrait of Memlinc. Indeed, the whole legend of his poverty and sojourn at St.
John's hospital appears to be a fiction invented in the latter half of the last century. Documents discovered by me in the archives here prove that he was married and settled here iu 1479, and possibly still earlier. In 1480 he figures in the list of the principal burgesses of Bruges who advanced money to the city towards the expenses of the war against France. His wife, whose name was Anne, and who bore him two sons and a daughter, died before September 10, 1487. The painter himself died before December 10, 1495. (See Athenaum, Oct. 12, 1861.) W. H. Jambs Weaij:.
Col. Robebt Venables (3'" S. v. 99, 120.) — The reprint of the Exverienced Angler was edited by the writer, chiefly Induced by the being in the possession of the manuscript of the Memoir prefixed to that reprint. It was a small quarto, in a very old hand, apparently a transcript from the original by Col. Venables, or by one who knew his history. What became of the manuscript has escaped my recollection; and the error of "Toome" may possibly have been in that transcript, and passed unnoticed by me while reading the proof sheet. J. H. Buen.
Allow us to correct two errors which we inadvertently made. For "his friend Dr. Peter Barwick," should be read "his friend Dr. John Barwick;" and for "Life of Dr. Peter Barwick," should be read "Life of Dr. John Barwick."
C. H. & Thompson Coopeb. Cambridge.
Who Write Oeb Negbo Songs? (3"1 S. iv. 392.) To complete the record begun by A., it may be well to add to his note, that Stephen C. Foster was buried at Pittsburg on January 21,1864, and that over his grave were played some of his wellknown airs, including his " Old Folks at Home."
Thomson The Poet's House And Cellar (1* S. xi. 201.) — Having a copy of the catalogue of the effects of Thomson, referred to by Me. CabBVTKBB8, allow me to correct some mistakes into which Mb. Cabbtjthebs appears to have fallen. In the first place, the catalogue consists of ttcenty pages, instead of "eight pages octavo;" and the library consists of 386 lots, instead of "260." The number of volumes is about 514; and the oldest book (No. 199 of the third day's sale) is the 4to edition of II Decameron di Boccaccio, Venice, 1585. So far as I notice, there are no pictures properly so-called; but there are eightythree engravings, including ten, instead of " nine," antique drawings by Castelli; and the engravings embrace, apart from those by the masters mentioned by Mb. Cabbcthebs, specimens of the