Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

This eminent antiquary adds, respecting his discovery, that "Margaret and Admorus (evidently Aymer, after Aymer de Valence, his near kinsman,) are new characters; while in the latter, who must have died young, also expired the last gleam of the direct and once redoubtable male Badenagh line." They were thus, he says, in the year after Bannockburn, as "refugees in a foreign land, obliged to take a charitable but uncertain bequest.'

The surname of Margaret, widow of John Comyn the younger, does not appear from the above. Thomas Lord Wake of Liddel was one of the disinherited lords (les querrelleurs, as they were called) who accompanied Edward Balliol in his expedition to Scotland in 1332. Many of them were connected by blood or affinity with Balliol and the Comyns, and a complete list of their names, estates, and claims will be found in Hailes' Annals-which is not beside me-which may perhaps explain the point.

Lastly, I do not know who the John Comyn was who died in possession of the manor of Kynsale (Ireland)" before May 10, 1371." Was this not the property of the De Courcys from a much earlier period? It is the first notice I have ever seen of Comyns in Ireland after their decadence in Scotland, and is decidedly interesting. He must have been a scion of some subsidiary line of Comyns, for the houses of Badenagh and Buchan were by this time extinct - as Comyns - though the Talbots and Beaumonts, their female representatives, continued to receive summonses to the English parliaments as "Lords Comyn of Badenagh," and "Earls of Buchan."

For much valuable and more detailed information as to the Comyns, I would beg to refer HERMENTRUDE to the Appendix to Mr. Riddell's learned work above quoted. The close connection subsisting between the Balliols, the Comyns, the Hastings, and other powerful families excites one's admiration even at this distant day, for the

sagacity and energy of Bruce, which in the end enabled him to triumph over such a phalanx of enemies with the might of England at their back. Thanking A. R. (4th S. ii. 23) for his note regarding still subsisting Comyns, I would ask him if there was not once in his county a family, "Cumming of Culter," which held a baronetcy, and one of whom, some time in last century, had the title of "King of the Cherokee Indians"? I think I have seen this somewhere.

ANGLO-SCOTUS.

A. R. has pointed out that the statement of ANGLO-SCOTUS-"The worshipful and knightly house of Altyre is, and has long been, the only one of the name in Scotland"-is erroneous. I am sure A. R. will allow me to correct his own statement that Mr. Cumine of Rattray in Aberdeenshire "holds by long descent" (by which I presume he means inheritance arising from descent) a portion of the wide domains which once belonged to the earldom."

66

There is a later notice of the other Adomar (de Strabolgy), which I quote from memory (from The quotation which A. R. gives from one of another controversial work of the above eminent the publications of the Spalding Club shows that lawyer, the Reply to Bardowie), in a grant, 34th the name of Comyn, Cumming, or Cumine, had of Edw. III's reign (1360), to him, therein styled disappeared at one time from Aberdeenshire. Such "notre cher oncle, Monsieur Eymer d'Athells," was certainly the case. All bearing that danof the Manor of Felton, by his nephew David de gerous patronymic had, when the national cause Strabolgy, the last Earl of Athole of this surname, became triumphant under Bruce, either been slain, who died in England in 1375, possessed of Dav-driven out, or, as was probably the case with the ington Court in Kent. This earl's seal exhibits a family of Buchan of Auchmacoy, cited by A. R., garb on either side of his own arms, allusive to who bear the Comyn arms, forced to change their Joan his paternal grandmother, co-heiress of Ba- surname. But, a century later, descendants of denoch; while his mother, Catherine Beaumont, the great old race are again found in the old wife of the earl killed in 1335 at Kilblane, was earldom, not afraid to call themselves by their the daughter of the heiress of Buchan. Henry real name, and their origin, as preserved in family de Beaumont, her father, married Alicia Comyn, records, and acknowledged by the Altyre family, the heiress of Buchan, and as one of the disin- from whom they sprang, to be authentic, may be herited lords, claimed that earldom in her right. found detailed in its main points in Douglas's Baronage of Scotland. It can thus be shown that, from the commencement of the fifteenth century, several branches of the Altyre family have resettled, at different times, in Aberdeenshire, three of which at least are still represented.

It appears that a certain Duncan Cumming of Lochtervandich, in Glenrinnes (second son of Sir Richard Cumming of Altyre, who flourished about the middle of the fourteenth century) had several sons, one of he younger of whom settled in the Buchan district of Aberdeenshire, and was ancestor of the families of Cumming, or Cuming, of Birness, Kininmond, and others. The family of Birness is still represented, through the female line, by John Gordon-Cuming-Skene, Esq., of Pitburg, Birness, and Dyce; Kininmond is believed to be extinct. Two centuries later, in 1634, the eldest male representative of the said Duncan Cumming, also a Duncan, sold his estate of Lochtervandich to his younger brother, George, a successful merchant, who founded a hospital in

Elgin, and "lies under a heraldically sculptured stone in the interior of the cathedral there, described thereon as George Cumming of Lochtervandich." This George sold Lochtervandich to Duff of Braco, ancestor of the Earl of Fife, and purchased the estates of Auchry and Pitullie, in Aberdeenshire, settling the former on his eldest son John, and the latter, along with the patronage of the hospital in Elgin, on his second, George Cumming. The descendants of this John Cumming, who were of course the lineal representatives of Lochtervandich, possessed the estate of Auchry until not many years ago, when they sold it and went to New Zealand, where the family now is settled. The lineal male heir and representative of the second brother, George, of Pitullie, is undoubtedly Mr. Cumine of Rattray, who, though the estate of Pitullie has passed into other hands, still retains the patronage of the hospital at Elgin, above mentioned. The estate of Rattray was acquired in recent times, so that it is only a coincidence, though an interesting one, that Mr. Cumine now possesses, as stated by A. R., "the site of one of the chief castles, and the remains of the royal burgh of Rattray.. which were erected by the powerful family from which he claims to be

descended."

That that "claim" is undeniable has been shown above. Another branch of the Altyre family, Cumming of Logie, is, I believe, still flourishing, and one more, Cuming of Relugas, is represented, through the female line, by Sir Thomas DickLauder, Bart.

I must add that, three generations ago, the spelling of their family name became fixed, as regards the Pitullie branch, in the form of "Cumine"; and the senior branch, Auchry, seems to have followed their example. Birness had latterly spelt Cuming with one m; Altyre, Relugas, and Logie seem to have used two; so that Altyre, the parent stem of all these, uses the spelling most different from the original "Comyn" of any now in use at all.

C. E. D.

There is a charter of Robert the Bruce (Reg. Mag. Sig. 24) which proves the existence of branches of the Baliol and Comyn families to which little attention has been directed. By it the king grants to his well-beloved and faithful knight Henry de Baliol the whole lands of Brankishelme, in the barony of Hawick, "exceptis illis septem libratis et sex denariatis terre que per nos Waltero Comyn infra dictam terram de Brankishelme sunt concesse." GEORGE VERE IRVING.

JENIFER.

(4th S. ii. 36.)

Miss Yonge, in her History of Christian Names, p. lxxxii. and vol. ii. p. 132, mentions Jennifer as follows:

[blocks in formation]

With all due deference to Mr. Ferguson, it may in general be taken for a certainty that, where we find a favourite name (and various compounds of the root or stem of that name) and that it may be fully explained in the language of the nation where it is used, we may take that meaning as the real signification of the word; and here we have a name, the root of which is still to be found as a living witness in female names in Wales and the bordering counties at the present time. There are many females in this neighbourhood now bearing the names of Gwenllean and Gwenifrid. JAMES BLADON.

Albion House, Pont-y-Pool.

This name is not at all uncommon in Cornwall. I have often seen it in parochial registers, and have found it borne by living persons. It is usually shortened into Jenny. It is variously written, as will be seen from the following extracts from the parish registers of Bodmin :

"Jennefer, dau. of Mr. Humphry Williams, was bapt 1717."

"Jenefret, dau. of Mr. Walker Hobbs, was bap1. 1724." "Thomas, son of Joseph Gatty and Jane his wife, was bapt. Ap1. 1762."

46

Philippa, dau. of Joseph Gatty and Jenifer his wife, was bapt. Decr. 1762.

"John, son of Joseph Gatty and Jennifer his wife, was bapt. 1765."

66

Joseph, son of Joseph Gatty and Jane his wife, was bap'. 1769."

"Perhaps to this stem we may put the female name Genovefa, sixth century, and the present Christian name Genovefa in Germany, and Généviève in France. If the name be German, it might mean weaver of spells.' Miss

Yonge, however, argues for a Celtic origin, as also do

Leo and Mone. But Grimm assumes the Germanhood of the name, which compares with others having the same termination."

In the case of Mrs. Gatty, it will be noticed that she was called indifferently Jenifer or Jane. I should be glad to ascertain if any other instance of this exists.

It seems to me scarcely probable that the hard 9 in "Guenever" can be softened into the soft j in "Jenifer," nevertheless it is curious that the latter name is found to prevail in a race essentially British. Is the name also found in Wales? JOHN MACLEAN.

Hammersmith.

My mother had several sisters, one of whom was named Jennifer (we always spelled the name thus), and another Jane (known in the family as "Jenny"). I mention the latter fact to show that Jennifer was not a corruption of Jenny. WM. PENGELLY.

Torquay.

HEBER'S MISSIONARY HYMN.
(4th S. i. 222.)

The following information regarding this wellknown hymn will, I hope, be of interest to all readers of "N. & Q." It was first given to me by a lady whose mind is "full of suggestions and remembrances," and to whom the readers of "N. & Q." are indirectly indebted for some interesting notes; but I transcribe it now verbatim from the fly-leaf, accompanying the facsimile of the original autograph of the "good bishop's." (Published by Messrs. Hughes & Son, Wrexham):

"On Whitsunday, 1819, the late Dr. Shipley, Dean of St. Asaph, and Vicar of Wrexham, preached a Sermon in Wrexham Church, in aid of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts. That day was also fixed for the commencement of the Sunday Evening Lectures, intended to be established in that Church, and the late Bishop of Calcutta (Heber), then Rector of Hodnet, the Dean's Son-in-law, undertook to deliver the first Lecture. In the course of the Saturday previous, the Dean and his Son-in-Law being together at the Vicarage, the former requested Heber to write Something for them to sing in the morning,' and he (Heber) retired

"

"

for that purpose from the table, where the Dean and a few friends were sitting, to a distant part of the room. In a short time the Dean enquired, What have you written?' Heber having then composed the first three verses, read them over. There, there, that will do very well,' said the Dean; No, no, the sense is not complete,' replied Heber; accordingly, he added the fourth verse, and the Dean being inexorable to his repeated request of 'Let me add another, oh! let me add another,' thus completed the Hymn of which the annexed is a facsimile, and which has since become so celebrated; it was sung the next morning in Wrexham Church, for the first

time.-E."

[merged small][ocr errors]

"Twas when the Seas were roaring.* "From Greenland's Icy Mountains,

From India's coral Strand, Where Afric's sunny fountains

Roll down their Golden Sand, From many an ancient River, From many a palmy plain, They call us to deliver

Their land from error's chain. "What though the spicy breezes Blow soft o'er Ceylon's Isle, Though every prospect pleases, And only Man is vile, In vain, with lavish kindness, The gifts of God are strown, The Heathen in his blindness

Bows down to wood and stone! "Can we, whose souls are lighted With wisdom from on high, Can we to men benighted

The Lamp of Life deny? Salvation! Yea, Salvation!

The joyful sound proclaim, Till each remotest nation

Has learn'd Messiah's name!

"Waft, waft ye winds the story,
And you, Ye waters, roll,
Till, like a sea of glory,

It spreads from Pole to Pole! Till, o'er our ransom'd Nature, The Lamb for sinners slain, Redeemer, King, Creator,

In bliss return to reign!'

I have copied the verses verbatim; the capital letters and punctuation are Heber's own. Ceylon, in the second stanza, the disputed point, is the right and original reading. The whole hymn has but one correction: in the second stanza, savage had been written down first, and has then been softened down into heathen; in fact, the whole seems to have been what is commonly called "an inspiration," and has been written down by its gentle author "wie aus einem Guss," as the Germans have it. The handwriting is small, reminding one somewhat of that of Leigh Hunt, though less delicate; and the last verse is written with a trembling hand, as if the writer had been deeply touched or affected by his subject. HERMANN KINDT.

THE MONASTERY OF KOENIGSSAAL.
(4th S. ii. 9.)

Pius II., whose character by Machiavelli is that he "showed himself mindful above all of the welfare of Christendom and the honour of his church, independent of any passion or interest of his own (Storie Fiorentine, 1. vi.), is better known, and was a better man, as Æneas Sylvius Piccolomini, notwithstanding some traces of early gallantry. (Epist. ccccix.) Before he was pope,

19

* To which tune the hymn has generally been sung, the original of Gay's charming poem.

I

he maintained that the pope was vicar of the church, not of Christ. He speaks of the corruptions of the clergy in the same terms as did Huss and Jerome of Prague, whose martyrdom he witnessed, and said their fortitude exceeded that of the philosophers of antiquity; and is perhaps the only man of his church who has truly stated the tenets of the reforming Protestants, or, as he terms them, "hujus pestiferæ ac jampridem damnatæ factionis." (Hist. Bohemia, p. 50.) have not found in any of his works that I have been able to consult a description of Zbraszlaw, so named in Bohemian, Aula regia in Latin, and Königs-saal in German. This was a Cistercian cloister, according to Zedler; and in the arch or dome of the parlour the whole of the Old and New Testament was written in letters of gold. It was two (German) miles from Prague, near Beraun, and was founded by Wenceslaus IV.: an account of it in 1304 is to be found in Diplomatar. BohemaSiles. apud von Sommersberg's Script. Rer. Siles. tom. i. p. 943, seq. n. 38. The kings of Bohemia often directed their interment here. In 1420 (10 Aug.) it was destroyed by the Hussites under Zischka, where the Emperor Wenceslaus had been interred in 1402. (Lenfant, Hist. de la Guerre des Hussites, i. 114.) Its abbot, Petrus, has described it in his Chronica Aule Regis, but only from 1317 to 1333. Zedler's authorities are Zeiler, Topogr. Bohem. p. 38; Bucelinus, Monast. Germ. Imp. p. 201, and Balbinus, Misc. Dec. I. lib. iii. 19 and 3, p. 133. Zeiler is very brief, but says that the gold letters were on the board-fence of the garden; adding that Æneas Sylvius cannot praise this monastery too much. Bucelinus is still shorter; he merely says it was "sub regula divi Benedicti, et reformatione Cisterciensi." Perhaps when Eneas Sylvius (öσσa kaλéovσi beoí) is translated into the language of men (μepóпшv dvůрúñшv), we shall find that he alludes to maps and exotic plants. The writing of the Bible on the walls was borrowed from the Mahometans, who so ornamented their walls by extracts from the Koran, being forbidden to adorn them with figures or images such as the factitious representations of the Trinity, the Virgin, saints, &c. The cheapness with which the Bible in any living language can be obtained by the clergy and laity now, precludes the necessity of posting it on the walls for convenience of the clergy exclusively. There is not the slightest reason to suppose that the gardens and cloisters of Königssaal were at all comparable to our horticultural, botanical, and zoological gardens, still less to the Crystal Palace. I have been unable to refer to Mr. K. H. Digby's Compitum, or his authority, Dubois' Hist. de l'Abbaye de Morimond, as I cannot find those works in the Catalogues of the British Museum.

T. J. BUCKTON.

Wiltshire Road, Stockwell, S.W.

[merged small][ocr errors]

"Preserved Bodies.-There is an arched vault, or burying ground, under the church of Kilsyth, in Scotland, which was the burying-place of the family of Kilsyth in the year 1715; since which it has never been used for that until the estate was forfeited and the title became extinct purpose, except once. The last earl fled with his family to Flanders, and, according to tradition, was murthered to death about the year 1717, along with his lady and infant child, and a number of other unfortunate Scottish exiles, by the falling in of the roof of a house where they were assembled. What became of the body of the earl is not known, but the bodies of Lady Kilsyth and her infant were embowelled and embalmed, and soon afterwards sent over to Scotland. They were landed, and lay at Leith for some time, in a cellar, where they were afterwards carried to Kilsyth, and buried in great pomp in the vault above mentioned.

were entombed. For some weeks this circumstance was

"In the spring of 1796, some rude regardless young men having paid a visit to this ancient cemetery, tore open the coffin of Lady Kilsyth and her infant. With astonishment and consternation they saw the bodies of Lady Kilsyth and her child as perfect as the hour they kept secret; but at last it began to be whispered in several companies, and soon excited great and general curiosity. On the 12th of June,' says the minister of the parish of Kilsyth, in a letter to J. Garnet, M.D., 'when I was from home, great crowds assembled, and would not be denied admission. At all hours of the night, as well as the day, they afterwards persisted in gratifying their curiosity. I saw the body of Lady Kilsyth soon after the coffin was opened; it was quite entire. Every feature and every limb was as full, nay the very shroud was as clear and fresh, and the colours of the ribbons as

bright, as the day they were lodged in the tomb. What rendered this scene more striking, and truly interesting, was, that the body of her son and only child, the natural heir of the title and estates of Kilsyth, lay at her knee. His features were as composed as if he had been only asleep. His colour was as fresh, and his flesh as plump infancy and innocence sat on his lips. His shroud was and full, as in the perfect glow of health; the smile of

not only entire, but perfectly clean, without a particle of dust upon it. He seems to have been only a few months old. The body of Lady Kilsyth was equally well preserved; and at a little distance, from the feeble light of a taper, it would not have been easy to distinguish whether she was dead or alive. The features, nay the very expression of her countenance, were marked and distinct; and it was only in a certain light that you could distinguish anything like the ghastly and ag nizing traits of a violent death. Not a single fold of her shroud was discomposed, nor a single member impaired.

"Let the candid reader survey this sketch; let him recal to mind the tragic tale that it unfolds; and say, if he can, that it does not arrest the attention and interest the heart. For my own part, it excited in my mind a thousand melancholy reflections; and I could not but regret that such rudeness had been offered to the ashes (remains) of the dead, as to expose them thus to the public view.

666

The body seemed to have been preserved in some

liquid nearly of the colour and the appearance of brandy. The whole coffin seemed to have been full of it, and all its contents saturated with it. The body had assumed somewhat the same tinge, but this only served to give it a fresher look. It had none of the ghastly livid hue of death, but rather a copper complexion. It would, I believe, have been difficult for a chemist to ascertain the nature of this liquid, though perfectly transparent; it had lost all its pungent qualities, its taste being quite vapid.

"The head reclined in a pillow, and as the covering decayed, it was found to contain a collection of strong-scented herbs. Balm, sage, and mint, were easily distinguished; and it was the opinion of many that the body was filled with the same.

"Although the bodies were thus entire at first, I confess I expected to see them crumble into dust; especially as they were exposed to the open air, and the pure aromatic fluid had evaporated; and it seems surprising that they did not. For several weeks they underwent no visible change, and had they not been sullied with dust, and drops of grease from the candles held over them, I am confident they might have remained as entire as ever; for even a few months ago (many months after) the bodies were as firm and compact as at first; and though pressed with the finger, did not yield to the touch, but seemed to retain the elasticity of the living body. Even the shroud, though torn by the rude hands of the regardless multitude, is still strong and free from rot.

"Perhaps the most singular phenomenon is, that the bodies seem not to have undergone the smallest decomposition or disorganisation. Several medical gentlemen have made a small incision in the arm of the infant; the substance of the body was quite firm, and every part in its original state." "— · Curiosities for the Ingenious, 12mo, 1821, p. 36.

Next follows an account of several instances of the artificial preservation of bodies, concluding with a statement of the discovery in 1569 of three Roman soldiers, "in the dress of their country, fully equipped with warlike instruments." They were dug out of a moss of great extent, called Kazey Moss. "When found, after a lapse of probably about fifteen hundred years, they were quite fresh and plump." WILLIAM BATES. Birmingham.

VOLTAIRE.

(4th S. i. 587, 613; ii. 22.)

The correspondence between Voltaire and Lord Lyttelton was published half a century ago by Rebecca Warner, in her volume of Original Letters, &c., 8vo, 1817. Lord Brougham was well acquainted with it; and has characterised the statement of Horace Walpole as to the letter of Voltaire, that "not one word of it is tolerable English," as a gross exaggeration. (Men of Letters of the Time of George 111.)

When I wrote my paper on the "Bones of Voltaire," I regarded his heart simply as a physical organ, without reference to the moral feelings and qualities of which that viscus is held to be the seat. Thus it was, that when I quoted the witticism which gave preference to the intellect of the philosopher, I did not think it worth while to

"6

qualify it by the opinion of Bulwer, that the epigram of his friend was more witty than just." The great novelist adds :

"Voltaire had no sentiment in his writings, though not, perhaps, devoid of it himself. Indeed, he could not have been generous with so much delicacy, if he had not possessed a finer and a softer spirit than his works display. Still less could he have had that singular love for the unfortunate, that courageous compassion for the opprest, which so prominently illustrates his later life. No one could with less justice be called 'heartless' than Voltaire. He was remarkably tenacious of all early friendships, and loved as strongly as he disdained deeply. Any tale of distress imposed upon him easily; he was the creature of impulse, and half a child to the last. He had a stronger feeling for humanity than any of his cotemporaries: he wept when he saw Turgot, and it was in sobs that he stammered out Laissez-moi baiser cette main qui a signé le salut du peuple!' Had Voltaire never written a line, he would have come down to posterity as a practical philanthropist. A village of fifty peasant inhabitants was changed by him into the home of one thousand two hundred manufacturers. His character at Ferney is still that of the father of the poor. As a man he was vain, self-confident, wayward, irascible; kind-hearted, generous, and easily moved. He had nothing of the Mephistophiles."-The Student.

A hundred years before this, Goldsmith had written his beautiful "Apostrophe on the supposed Death of Voltaire":

"Should you look (says he) for the character of Voltaire among the journalists and illiterate writers of the age, you will there find him characterised as a monster with a head turned to wisdom, and a heart inclined to vice; the powers of his mind and the baseness of his principles forming a detestable contrast. But seek for his character among writers like himself, and you find him very differently described. You perceive him in their accounts possessed of good nature, humanity, greatness of soul, fortitude, and almost every virtue; in this description, those who might be supposed best acquainted with his character. are unanimous. The royal Prussian, D'Argens, Diderot, D'Alembert, and Fontenelle, conspire in drawing the picture, in describing the friend of man, and the patron of every rising genius."-Citizen of the World. Letter XLIII.

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »