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woman, now middle-aged, who says she was always told never go that path-the will-o'the-wisp will draw you into the water." She told me that this field was named "Will of the downs.


known. Newcourt in his 'Repertorium selects him as the patron saint of the church of St. Magnus, London Bridge, because "there were divers other Martyrs of this name, but none of them of whom such special notice is taken." He is followed by other writers, but Baring-Gould considers the account of the Saint of Cappadocia apocryHe mentions that there This phal. is a St. Magnus B. of Avignon, and another of the same name Bishop of Anagni, both commemorated on Aug. 19, in the Roman Martyrology. Experts are agreed that the question of these early saints and martyrs is very obscure; according to a learned correspondent there The were as many as twenty-three of them. Rector may be right in thinking that the church was founded centuries before the time of the Norman Conquest, but this is merely a conjecture. At least we are on firm ground in accepting the evidence of the Westminster Domesday Chartulary.


CENTRES" OF ENGLAND (cliii. 209). R. Cary Gilson, the Headmaster of King -In The Times for Sept. 24, 1923, Mr. centre of England a point between the vilEdward's School, Birmingham, gave as the lages of Minworth and Curdworth, seven miles N.N.E. of the Town Hall of Birmingham, eight miles N. W. of Meriden Cross, and nearly twenty miles west of the intersection of the Fosse Way with Watling Street at High Cross. This was the result of a problem which he set to about fifty young students of geography. An outline map of England, including Wales but excluding all islands,

was traced on their cardboard and cut out
The centre of gravity
with sharp scissors.
of the piece of cardboard was then deter-
mined, and the mean result was as above.
Birmingham University.


There are only two spontaneously inflammable gases, and I believe there are spots where one of these is formed naturally. might explain the will-o'-the-wisp. SCIENCE MASTER.


s.v. St. Bride's, Fleet. St.' 121, 173).-
I have read with much interest the remarks
by the REV. H. T. FYNES-CLINTON, rector of
the Church of St. Magnus, London Bridge, at
the last reference, to which it seems right
that I should make some reply. I am glad
to hear on his authority that the Bishop does
not believe it to have been originally dedi-
cated in honour of the Scandinavian Earl of
Orkney, who was murdered by his cousin
Hako at dates variously given as 1104,
1106, 1110 and
"1116 or thereabouts."
I also gather from his note that the patronage
principal" patronage, of a church
can be transferred from one Saint to another,
arrangement which seems to invite


or the



The special object I had in view, when I referred to St. Magnus in my reply at the second reference, was to prove the early date of this church. I was repeating at greater length what I had written in a contribution to the Journal of the London Society, January, 1924, in an effort to stimulate public interest in the City churches designed by Wren, many of which, including that of St. Magnus, were then threatened with destruction. It seemed that some good might be done by showing that most of them founded much earlier than was generally supposed. I had already written a paper on the Church of St. Magnus, published among the Transactions of the St. Paul's Ecclesiological Society in 1915, but the earliest reference to it I could then find was in a will of 1291. I drew attention to the fact that there were only three churches in England dedicated to a saint of this name.


As to the task of attempting to trace the particular St. Magnus in whose honour the church was originally dedicated, I confess that it was rash of me to suggest St. Magnus of Cæsarea in Cappodocia, supposed to have been martyred A.D. 276, but he was an early saint of whom something appeared to be

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the following list, which appeared in the Your correspondent may be interested in Observer some months ago :

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he mentions the fanciful derivation from PROVERBS OF CROSS-PURPOSE (cliii.

209). The original Latin in Busbequius of the passage quoted by H. F. is this: Nam sane fieri potuit, ut, cum ego de Cathaio quaererem, mihi de alia aliqua vicina regione retulerit, et, juxta proverbium, mihi falcem postularem, de cum ligone responderit. Epist. iv., p. 329 in the 1660 Elzevier edition. The proverb has its earliest known expression in the Greek iambic line:

̓́Αμας ἀπῄτουν, οἱ δ ̓ ἀπηρνοῦντο σκάφας. This is included by Erasmus in his 'Adagiorum Chiliades,' II. ii., xlix, under the heading Falces postulabam." He gives the Latin rendering:


Tixall, near Stafford-if North Berwick, the Lizard, Yarmouth and Land's End be accepted as the North, South, East and West points of measurement.

Leamington (suburb), where an oak tree is the centre of pilgrimage.

Tarporley, because it occupies an almost central position on the central meridian of the Ordnance Survey triangulation of England.

Dunchurch, near Rugby, for general geographical reasons.

A point between Minworth and Curdworth (N.N.E. of Birmingham), because if a map of England and Wales be cut out in cardboard and made to balance on a pin-point, that spot marks the centre of gravity.

A. L. Cox. XVI VÍ CENTURY ST. PAUL'S (cliii. 189, 231). There is a list of all the Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral, with a description of their canonries, in the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535, vol. i., pp. 363-366. The Valor is usually spoken of as "The King's Book,' The King's Book," and it is still authoritative for the amounts of firstfruits and tenths collected from certain benefices by Queen Anne's Bounty; and it may be consulted in many old libraries.

The reference now given shows the following dignitaries in order with names and descriptions of each, with its incumbent in 1535:-Dean, Precentor, Chancellor, Treasurer, four Archdeacons, thirty Prebendaries, twelve minor Canonries with prebends

attached, and three minor Canonries with an office not a prebend. One Prebendal stall was unfilled on the stated ground that most of the endowment was lost in the sea. There were also thirty-seven Chantries, the description of which takes up the following three pages.



VAYRO (cliii. 156). This is doubtless a
varied spelling of the Yorkshire and Lin-
colnshire name Varah, properly pronounced
to rhyme with Sarah. The spelling Varah
has been constant in the Hundred of Straf-
forth and Hallamshire since the seventeenth
century as evidenced by Church registers. It
is probably the same name as spelt Verrour
in a Lincoln will of 1327. Nothing appears
to be known of its origin.


The Greek as above is quoted by Plutarch,
Falces petebam, at hi ligones denegant.
'De garrulitate,' chap. 20, 512 E F, where
he says that if we wish to answer aright we
must have an exact understanding of the
intention of the querist.


The line is quoted in Suidas's Lexicon, and in several of the collections in Leutsch and Schneidewin's Corpus Paroemiographorum Graecorum.' It may be seen also in Joseph Scaliger's Stromateus of Greek Proverbs in metre, all of which Mark Pattison incorrectly supposed to be versified by Scaliger himself. ('Essays,' i. p. 217).

An English parallel to the Greek saying would be to ask for oranges and be told “ Yes, we have no bananas.'



EDALLION FOUND AT WINGHAM, N.S.W. (cliii. 172, 213).—In my collection I have two counters of the type mentioned.


1. Obv. Head of Queen Victoria. Ins. "The Sovereign of Civilization." Rev. Gentleman seated on a chair, with cards in his hand, facing left; in front, half a table with cards and counters on it. Made of brass. Ins. Keep your temper.' 2. Obv. Head of Queen Victoria. Ins. "Victoria Regina. Date 1846 in exergue. Lady seated in chair, with cloak thrown over the back, facing right, holding cards; opposite, half a table, with centre leg; made of copper. Ins. Keep your temper."



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Although my two pieces are not a pair, it is evident they were struck in pairs, and placed together represent a card game of the period.



so as to cause maximum irritation to the ear. My uncle insists that this is of importance, and he attributes their success to it.

AR-RINGS AND THEIR EFFECT ON EYESIGHT (cliii. 100).-When I saw F.G.'s query it reminded me that an uncle of mine, a farmer in Devon, always wears I wear ear-rings myself. My ears were ear-rings, and as I was to visit there last pierced when a girl of fourteen, but of course month I thought it would be a good oppor- only to provide facilities for wearing ornatunity to get some experiences and particu- ments. Ordinarily the operation is all but lars first hand. I asked him many questions painless, and I must say I do appreciate the regarding his ear-rings, and he told me that pleasant feeling one experiences in wearing as a boy he suffered very much from weak and ear-rings. A girl I know who had worn the sore eyes, and his mother, on the advice little plain rings from almost infancy, of neighbours, decided to try the remedy of strongly resented their removal, as they "felt having his ears pierced. When he was about so nice," and I think this may explain why twelve she took him to a jeweller in a neigh-one sees so many elderly women wearing plain bouring town, who performed the operation rings which are probably never taken out. and inserted a pair of little gold rings, which he recommended should be changed in the course of a month or two for thicker ones,-DR. then these to be replaced by the thin ones, which, before the holes healed, were to be exchanged again for the thick ones. This procedure was to keep up the irritation of the lobes, which was to benefit the eyes.


The practice was adopted, and my uncle had his ear-rings changed by his mother whenever the perforations appeared to be about healing up, needless to say not always without objection from him, as it kept his ears continually sore.

Anyway, the remedy proved very successful, and the lobes were eventually allowed to heal, by which time the wearer had become accustomed to wear ear-rings that he decided to keep them.


I asked him if, as a boy, he did not feel strange with them. He says, at first he did, but as there was another boy at his school who wore them for the same reason as he did, and two or three men in the district who had ear-rings, the novel feeling soon wore off, and after his ears had healed properly he found the rings gave such pleasant sensations he

would not take them out.

The rings he has in now were inserted about fourteen years ago, in replacement of original ones, which had became thin and worn; one was broken at the joint and came out. The jeweller he went to furnished him with a special pair for permanent wear, which cannot be easily taken out. They have no hinges or joints other than that which was open to enable them to be inserted; they were closed and fastened with pliers. It took the jeweller, my uncle says, nearly an hour to put them in, properly secure them and finish off the fastening perfectly smooth. They are quite half an inch in diameter, rather thicker than those usually worn by ladies, and they pass through the thickest part of the lobes

EDMOND HALLEY (clii. 389; cliii.






123, 188, 212).-If Halley in his letter to Hevelius, Nov. 2, 1678, had meant that he had completed his twenty-second year, would probably have used the perfect tense "attigit,' has just reached," i.e., on Oct. 29. The present tense attingit,' "is just reaching," indicates that he was entering on that year, i.c., that he was born in 1657. Tuis date agrees with the " aged 16" of the Alumni Oxonienses' (July, 1673), and perhaps the reason given for his not travelling, his youth, gains extra point, if he was only just twenty-one years of age and master of his own movements. W. J. H.

Lyme Regis.

STILWELL JOHN (cliii. 209).-Assuming that the inscription is genuine (the a little doubtful, and orthography seems there are a great many forgeries about just a drawer (or now), John Stilwell was waiter) at ye Flaming soord Russil Street Covint Garden," and therefore could not have kept this "shop."



The mention of the word Drawear,"
99 was an inn
proves that the "Flaming soord
or tavern, as also may have been
ye 3
Pidgings in halfe-moone
latter thoroughfare may have been the well-
known one in Piccadilly.

These old samplers usually have a date on
them, but this apparently has none.
Hampstead, Upminster, Essex.

OR 1846 (cliii. 136, 196).-There is a good account of Laura Bell (afterwards Mrs. Thistlethwayte), in 'The Annals of Hampstead,' 1912, together with a portrait of her in her youth, which may perhaps settle the enquiry at the first reference.

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Towards the end of her life she lived almost the life of a recluse at a house at West End Green, Hampstead, called Woodbine Cottage, where she died.

I often saw Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone when they came to visit her here about 1890.

Emmanuel Church and the adjoining roads now cover the site of her somewhat extensive grounds, in which she used to keep tame deer. A notice warned trespassers to "beware of Man Traps and Spring Guns." E. E. NEWTON.

Hampstead, Upminster, Essex.


ENTWORTH (cli. 281).-In looking over some correspondence received in 1923, I came across some scraps of information about the members of the Wentworth family, about whom E. D. E. T. inquires.

One note contains the information that Thomas Wentworth of Bramley, whose descendants claim to be the male representatives of Peter Wentworth of Henbury, and entitled to the honours declared to be extinct, was taken away when a baby from Wakefield to Bramley. He appears to have been known by some other name at Bramley, for my information says that his real name was discovered and the register of his baptism has been found in Wakefield Cathedral, and his career at Bramley successfully traced.

Another note says that Thomas Wentworth was the only son of George Wentworth, the heir-presumptive who is described "died unmarried." This George died May, 1783, having had four children, baptised at Wake field Cathedral. He was buried there. Beyond giving the name of George's wife as Mary, nothing further regarding her identity is recorded.

Neither the record of marriage nor burial has, as yet, come to light, although a careful search was being made for them.

Thomas Wentworth's descendants, or at least some of them, are still residing at Bramley. H. ASKEW.

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published in 1886 an interesting book, 'Weardale Names of Field and Fell,' wherein he makes these remarks:

Three miles from Wolsingham we find the curious name Tow Law, and there is a couplet beginning

Tow Law, happy land,

but this gives no clue to the origin of the initial component. In connection with leases of pits, in Bishopric records of 1457-76 occur the names of Raley, Tofthills, Caldhirst, Hartgill, and Tollawe, which might suggest the hill where the toll was collected.

The Rev. Charles E. Jackson, who published his Place-Names of Durham' in 1916, leaves the name severely alone.



The late J. R. Boyle, in his fine work, The County of Durham: its Castles, Churches, and Manor Houses' (1892) added to it An Essay on the Place-Names of the County of Durham, with a Glossary,' but he also is silent on the matter.

Professor Allen Mawer, of the English Place-Name Society, published in 1920 The Place-Names of Northumberland and Durham.' He thus deals with the name:"Tow Law (Wolsingham). 1423-33 Tollawe. Possibly hill of Tolla or Toli,' v. Tone supra. It may be of interest to give what he says about Tone:


Tone. 1182 Toliand 1296 id. 1568 Tonande 1592 Towlands 1663 Tone House 1693 Towlands alias Tone House. [I have omitted the sources.]

A difficult name. Alternative suggestions may be offered: (1) toll-land, i.c., land on which toll is paid, though no such compound is on record. (2) O. E. Tollan-land (cf. tollandene B.C.S. 689), i.e. Tolla's land or land of Toli," a Scand. name common in England. (3) cf. S.Sw. toland-tow or flax land (Lindroth p. 48).


A few years ago the Rev. J. E. Hull contributed a series of articles to the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle on Durham Place-Names. His remarks are: "Tow Law-O.E. towhus is a spinning house. Perhaps there was something of the kind at this place.' It may not be out of place to say that in Durham tow with now) is used to indicate tarred rope which when frayed out was sometimes used for lighting purposes. A common phase is tarry tow when speaking of such. Does this suggest the hill being used in the past as a beacon?


HOLY WELLS (cliii. 99, 141, 191).—I am

grateful to MR. F. A. EDWARDS for his additions to my County lists of Holy Wells. I

think he will find that the two referenceswhich MERC

he criticizes are correct. Mr. R. C. Walters' account of the Gloucestershire Wells appeared in The Bristol Times (see Discovery, November, 1926, p. 393), and has not been issued in book form. I understand that the St. Stephen's Press, Bristol, is shortly going to publish a work by Mr. Walters on The Ancient Wells, Springs and Holy Wells of Gloucestershire.'

The name of the author of the Somersetshire collection is Horne, and I did not consider it necessary to insert his title. His book is called 'Holy Wells of Somerset,' as stated, and was published in 1923 by the Folk Press, of London.



[The author of Holy Wells of Somerset is our correspondent Dom Ethelbert Horne. We greatly fear that Mr. Edwards has been misled by a printer's error ("Thorne" in our notice of the book at cxlvi. 56. This was corrected at ibid. p. 92, and note of the corrigendum also appears in the index.]



ASSERRE (cliii. 209).-There are copies
of Les Saints Evangiles. Traduction
nouvelle par H. Lasserre,' editions 1887 and
1888, in the British Museum, where a num-
ber of other books by him and several about
him will also be found. The latter include
R. F. Clarke's The Pope and the Bible. An
explanation of the case of M. Lasserre. 1889,'
and William Wright's The Power behind
the Pope; with translation of the preface to
the gospels by Henri Lasserre,' both of which
are also in the Wigan Public Reference
Library. Biographical information concern-
ing Lasserre seems to be scarce. There is no
entry in the Catholic Encyclopædia,' nor in
the other usual reference books. His full
name appears to be Paul-Joseph-Henri de
Monzie Lasserre.
A. J. H.

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ERCHANT'S MARKS (cliii. 137, 177).— Your correspondent may like to know of a paper on this subject which was read before the British Archeological Association on 18 May, 1892, and printed in the Association's Journal, vol. xlix, part i. It was contributed by Cecil T. Davis, and contains twenty-seven reproductions of these marks drawn to scale. AMBROSE HEAL.

MOURNER AS OCCCUPATION (cliii. 155, 195). The occupation of mourner, wailer, or weeper is surely a very ancient one. On the palimpsest portion of brass preserved in Harrow Church, Middlesex, there is at the foot of the column a small figure, seated, with long liripipe, and with hands to face, evidently a professional mourner. The date of the engraving is c. 1370. May not the mutes" of last century have been the last of this profession?



NICHOLAS SANDERS (cliii. 189. See also


is De visibili monarchia; quod Papa non 223). Among the Sloane MS. (3722, f. 72) sit Antichristus, 1592,' by Nicholas Sanders, "Papal delegate in England."

J. ARDAGH. Nicholas Sanders could hardly have been vicar of Ewell in 1577, as at that time, and for some years previous, he was residing abroad, and was taking an active share in the fitting out of Sir Thomas Stukeley's expedition, originally intended for Ireland, but eventually diverted to Morocco. As is well known, this expedition ended in disaster. Stukeley was killed in August, 1578, at the battle of Kasr al Kebir.


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