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ensuing Session of such a Bill, to prevent the heavy expences, with numberless unpleasant et ceteras, that would attend, and follow the designed applications of many thousands, in different counties, now groaning under unequal and oppressive county rates. A DEVONIAN.

Mr. URBAN,

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Oct. 6.

S the origin of the Pointed Arch has not yet been exactly ascertained by any incontestable proofs, and as every one is at liberty to advance new opinions on that subject, your Correspondent, Rowland Rouse, your last Supplement, p. 614, &c. thinks it probable that that improved style of building took its rise from the shape of a seal. Now I should like to know if R. R. can produce or refer to a seal of the shape of fig. A. p. 617, bearing date prior to the beautifying of Winchester Cathedral,where and when, according to Dr. Milner, whose authority I by no means dispute, De Blois introduced the Pointed Arch. In my opinion, seals were of a circular shape till long after that period, for I have now before me, among many other accurate engravings of seals, a complete set of those of the Earls of Richmond, all of which are circular till nearly the middle of the 13th century, when Alicia, Duchess of Britanny and Countess of Richmond, made use of one corresponding in shape to fig. A.

Should R. R. contradict the above assertion, by discovering in his researches a seal of that shape, of a date prior to that of the earliest specimens of Pointed Architecture in England, even then I by no means think his conjecture likely.

It is very well known that the Normans, both within and without their ecclesiastical buildings, ornamented, with intersecting semicircular arches, that space which would otherwise have been a plain wall. Afterwards, perhaps for the sake of convenience, a window was opened through the wall, in one of those pointed spaces, caused by these intersecting semicircles. Hence arose that improved style of building, for which the English architects were so renowned. The above is the opinion of Dr. Milner, who has bestowed great attention and pains on that beautiful feature of Ecclesiastical Architecture,

As the present æra is so remote from that in which the Pointed Arch first made its appearance, no proof can perhaps be adduced to confirm Dr. Milner's idea; yet it is by far the most incontestable of any yet offered.

If the first Pointed window was not made by opening that Pointed space which is made by intersecting semicircular arches, it is still much more likely that that Pointed space gave the hint, than that such an idea should arise from contemplating a seal. I moreover ask, would not the "Church Dignitaries" more frequently behold the Architecture of their respective Cathedrals or Abbeys, than the seals" appendant to their records?" R. R. might with as much probability have conjectured that the Shield gave the first idea, as even that, in feudal times, would be seen oftener than the seal of a record. Yours, &c.

POCKET DAG.

D.

[From the Oxford Herald.] HIS weapon is repeatedly men

In a note on A mad World my Masters (Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. V. p. 333), Steevens states it to be an antient word, signifying either sword or pistol, but has not furnished any authority upon the subject. In the English language the meaning seems confined to the last-mentioned weapon.

Whetstone, in "The Censure of a Loyall Subject, 1586," has a note upon Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who, by the inquisition, shot himself in the Tower the 21st of June in the 27 Eliz. that he "slew bimselfe with a dag." It is further confirmed by Edmund Neville's tract of " A Trve and plaine declaration of the horrible Treasons practised by William Parry the traitor, against the Queenes Maiestie, &c. at London, by C. B." oct. n. d.

The passage stands thus:

"Neither can you carie a Dagge withParry, I care not, my Dagger is enough out suspition. As for a Dagge, saith

It is much, said hee, that sa many resolute men may doe vpon the sudaine, being well appoynted with eache his case of Dagges: if they were an hundreth wayting vpon her [Elizabeth], they were not able to saue her; you comming of the one side and I on the other, and discharging our Dagges vpon

her,

her, it were vnhappie if we shoulde both misse her. But if our Dagges faill, I shall bestirre mee well with a sworde ere shee escape me."

Lastly, in the "Miseries of Mauilia," by Breton, the page "forgotte to looke to his little dagge that hee had vuder his girdle, the spring whereof being started vp, and hee leaning on it made it of it selfe discharge off a bullet in to his right hippe, so that he was not able to rise alone." British Bibliographer, vol. I. p. 356.

The Pocket Dagge was in general fashion, and carried by men of a brave and warlike disposition, at the close of the reign of Elizabeth, and beginning of that of James. It afterwards fell into disuse by becoming an instrument of tyranny adopted by persons decayed in fortune, or of unprincipled pursuits. This occasioned King James to set forth

"A Proclamation against the vse of

Pocket-Dags.

"Whereas the bearing of weapons couertly and specially of short Dagges and Pistols (truely termed of their vse, Pocket-Dags, that are apparently made to be carried close and secret) hath euer bene, and yet is by the Lawes and policy of this Realme straitly forbidden, as carying with it ineuitable danger in the hands of desperate persons. Wee are neuerthelesse giuen to vnderstand that the vse of them is suddenly growen very common; so as for the gaine comming thereof both many are dayly made and wrought within the Kingdome, and as many brought in from forreine parts. And some persons being questioned for bearing of such about them, haue made their excuse: that being decayed in their Estates, and indebted, and therefore fearing continually to be arrested, they weare the same for their defence against

such Arrests. A case so farre from iust

excuse as it is of itselfe a grieuous of fence for any man to arme hinselfe against iustice, and therefore deserues (without more) sharpe and seuere punishment. But besides this euill consequence (which alone is not to bee neglected) wee baue iust cause to prouide also against these deuilish spirits, that maligning the quiet and happinesse of this Estate, may vse the same to more execrable endes. And therefore, by this our proclamation, we doe straight charge and command all our subiects, and other persons whatsoeuer, that they neither make nor bring into this realme, any Dags, Pistols, or other like short Gunnes, by what name soeuer they be, or may be called or known, which are not, or

and

shall not be of the full length of twelve inches in the Barrell, at the least that no person or persons shall beare or carry about him or them, any such. And further, wee doe will and command all and euery our subiects, and others whomsoeuer, that haue or possesse any such in their own hands, or in the hands of any other to their vse, that they doe, before the feast of the Purification of the date heereof, either breake the same in blessed Virgin Mary next ensuing the pieces, so as they may not be vsed in any wise to shoote withall; or else that they deliuer and yeelde vp the same to some iustice of the Peace, Maior, Baliffes, or other principall Officer, of or neer the County, City, Towne, or place of his or their abode, respectiuely, there to remaine in safe custody; vpon paine of our heauy displeasure, and of such imprisonment, penalties, and other punishments, as are dve to the contemners of our Royall commandements. Giuen at Newmarket the 16. day of January in the tenth yeere of our Reigne

of Great Britaine France and Ireland, Anno. Dom. 1612." Yours, &c.

Mr. URBAN,

EUSEBIUS HOOD.

Oswestry, Sept. 25. To those who have made the Law

of England their study, the word FLETA, so often quoted as an authority, must be familiar; though, notwithstanding what the learned Selden and others have written concerning its import, the explanations hitherto given have been so little satisfactory, as to leave it doubtful whether the word signifies the name of an Author, er the title of a Book. It may therefore be of some use if its true sense can be shewn.

Having some time ago, in the course of inquiries concerning the Antient British Laws, been led to pay some attention to this word, the following explanation occurred to me, which seems so apposite, as to leave little, if any doubt, of its being the

true one.

It is well known that the double F or Ff is used in law books to signify Digestum, the Ff being in fact no other than a corruption or error of the copyists, and by them substituted for the D of the German Text or of the Court-hand, the initial of Diges tum. Hence then I conceive the first letter of the word Fleta to signify Digestum. The fourth letter, viz. t, I presume was originally the rectan gular g, and the stroke at the bottom being obliterated, the remainder would

resemble

resemble the Greek Gamma, or г, which the copyist might mistake for a T. Restoring the whole on these presumptions, it would apppear thus, Ff.LEG.A. and signifies Digestum Legum Angliæ; which, the Tract being a Digest of the Laws of England, is its proper title. Yours, &c.

Mr. URBAM,

P. ROBERTS.

Market Rasen,
Nov. 4.
R. Walter Scott, in his Notes

Mt." Sir Tristrem," 2d edition, 8vo, p. 287, gives an etymon of the word Backgammon, deduced from the Scotch Erse, which appears to me not perfectly just: certainly it does not, even when authorized by Mr. Scott himself, carry sufficient authority to preclude the proposing another.

Mr. Scott derives it from "Back," parvum, and "Cammon," prælium; in which sense it will signify a slight skirmish. I would suppose its English name to come from the Irish Erse “Bag,” prælium, and " Gammhuin," Vitulum; and, so derived, understaud it as descriptive of a remarkable trait common to all the Celtic Tribes; a contest for a calf, in just the same manner as among the antient Greeks, the origin and the etymon of "Tragedy" was a musical contest for a Goat. The name by which A. Barclay, near the beginning of the " Ship of Fools," describes this as the "Yrish Game" (see Hyde de Ludibus, vol. II. p. 37, 38, 12mo, ed. Oxon. 1694), affords a strong presumption, at least, in favour of my etymology.

Dr. Tenant (Indian Recreations, volume II. page 397) mentions the Eyrus as a Bird. Is it an erratum for Egrie, the Scotch name of the Ardea Dionæa? or what other Bird does he mean? The word Eyrus doth not occur in any Dictionary that I have yet met with.-Mr. Saunders, apud Turner's Embassy to Tibet, p. 402, of second edition, 4to, mentions a Bird Cyrus. What? Is it the same as Eyrus?--Dryden, Conqueror of Grenada, mentions Albazin. What is the real meaning of this word? Is it an erratum for Albazar, the Market-place?

I

H. HODGSON, M. D. L L. D.

Mr. URBAN, Inner Temple, Nov. 2. AM possessed of an excellent original painting on board, the half

length of a man, of florid complexion, thick and short beard, dark hair, habited in black, with a ruff richly laced in his right hand he holds a laced tassel, which hangs from the ruff. At the right hand corner is a shield of arms, viz. Arg. a fess Sab. in chief 2 pellets, and in base a martlet of the second; and considerably below, in capital letters, "Memor sum hujus tamen ævi." At the left hand corner, "Richard Lee, ætatis suæ 38. A'no D'ni 1616."

Among the public characters of that period, I do not find any one of this name; yet from the words Memor sum, &c. which are in large capitals, nearly in the centre of the picture, and not in the usual place of a motto, it seems probable that he was a person of some note. Edmondson says, these arms were granted to Lee, or Leigh, of London and Bilsley, co. Warwick, 20 Dec. 1593. In a list of the Lord Mayors of London (Harl. MSS. 1349), the same arms are blazoned, and beneath, "Sir Robert Lee, Marchant Taylor, Mayor of Lond. 1602. 44 Qu. Eliz. ob. 24 Dec. 1605. sepult. in St. Andrewes Undershaft 16 Januarii 1606." From the similarity of the armorial bearings, perhaps these persons were related.

In the Cott. Lib. (Nero B. VIII.32), there are instructions for Sir Richard Lee, knt. sent to the Emperor of Russia by Queen Elizabeth, June 1600, beginning thus: "First in all your carriage to be carefull of the preservac❜on of the honour and dignity of our person, whom you shall there represent, &c. as far as it standeth with the customes of those countries, where you are no stranger." Yet I can scarcely think that this could be the person represented by the picture; for it is not very probable that at the age of 22 (and if the dates on the picture be correct, which there seems no reason to doubt, he could at that time be no more), he would be employed as an ambassador to a country, to the customs of which be is said to be no stranger: neither on the picture is he styled Knight.

If any of your intelligent Antiquarian Correspondents can point out the person represented by this picture, of what family he was, or give any particulars respecting it, it will be esteemed a particular favour.

Yours, &c.

C. TORRENS.

Mr.

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