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legal records, with the exception of the Agenda Books, are kept in the “Legal.” Seach Room at the Public Record Office, the Agenda Books are in the “Literary” Room. Amongst the uncalendared elasses of records on this, the Equity, side of the Exchequer may be mentioned Affidavits (1572 to 1841), Informations (Eliz. to William IV.), and Reports and Certificates (1648 to 1841). On the Common Law side of the Exchequer the best-known, and certainly the most important class of records is the “Plea Rolls,” which extends over a period of nearly 600 years, from 53 Henry III. to

1855. The greatest variety of entries relating both pe They are P

to ecclesiastical and civil matters occur on these
rolls, but there is no complete calendar to what is
entered upon them. The calendar, which exists in
two forms, chronological and alphabetical, is, how-
ever, an exceedingly useful one; it is to be found in
the “Literary” Search Room. On the Common
Law side of the Exchequer there are forty-seven
rolls (3 Hen. III. to 14 Edward I.) known as the
“Jews' Rolls,” on which are entered the Pleas
held before the Justices of the Jews; there are also
“Order Books” (Edward VI. to 1830) and Minute
Books, 1657 to 1830.
I have not yet spoken of the records of the Lord
Treasurer's Rembrancer's (Exchequer L.T.R.)
branch of the Exchequer. In these we have
important material relating to claims of various
kinds, such as claims to markets or fairs, wreck,
&c., and also to accounts of the sheriffs, and as to
fines, issues, or amerciaments due to the Ex-
chequer from the courts at Westminster. The
principal class of records in this division is the
“Memoranda” Rolls, which exist from 1 Henry
III. to 5 William IV.
No very satisfactory calendar exists to these
rolls; that most frequently used is known as
“Jones's Index” (printed), which is a calendar
to selections from entries on the rolls from Henry
III. to Geo. II., arranged alphabetically under
places with an indez nominum at the end. Be-
side this index there are numerous repertories
and agenda books, which serve as a guide to those
who desire to consult the rolls; a list of these
is set out in Mr. Bird’s ‘Handbook,” p. 205. There
are also on the “L.T.R." side the Exchequer
Entry Books of Orders and Minute Books.
The Judicial Proceedings of the Court of Aug-
mentations, the Court of General Surveyors, and
the Court of First Fruits and Tenths—which were
branches of the Exchequer—also demand attention.
In these we have Writs, Pleadings, Informations,
and Decrees, which, though they contain matter
of much topographical and genealogical interest,
are but seldom consulted.
In the Court of Augmentations there are five
volumes of Pleadings (temp. Henry VIII., “Aug.
Mis. Bks,’ vols. Xix. to xxiii.), Depositions (Henry
VIII. to Edward IV., ibid, vols, cviii. to cxxxiii.);

to these there is a MS. Index. The Decrees, which
exist for the latter part of the reign of Henry VIII.
and for that of Edward VI., are contained in “Aug.
Mis. Bks.,’ vols. xci. to cv., to these there is a
calendar; whilst Informations and various other
proceedings are entered in vols. clzv. of the same
series. The Pleadings in the Court of General
Surveyors are contained in a box, the reference
to which is “Exchequer Treasury of Receipt,
No. 111.” The Decrees and Orders (34 to 38 Henry
VIII.) are entered in the “Augmentation Office
Miscell. Books,’ vol. cwi.; a calendar to this ap-
ars on pp. 166-196 of the Appendix to the
Thirtieth Report of the Deputy Keeper. The
records of the Court of First Fruits and Tenths
consist of Plea Rolls (Mary to Geo. II., to which
there is a volume of index), Process Books (29
Henry VIII. to 1817, 13 vols.), and several pack-
ages of miscellaneous documents (Henry VIII. to
William IV.). W. J. HARDr.
(To be continued.)

A CURIOUS BELFRY CUSTOM. At Treswell, Laneham, and East Drayton, three Nottinghamshire villagessituated inclose proximity to each other, and not far from the Trent side, it was formerly a custom for the bell-ringers to record marriages on the belfry walls of their respective parish churches. On one of my summer visits to Treswell when a boy, quite thirty-five years ago, Mr. Daniels, the then rector, pointed out to me certain red-ochre marks, squares and rings, on the interior walls of the tower, where the bells were rung from the floor of the church. ... I have a dim recollection that my informant said these markings were called “cakes.” because they were put there as memorials of gifts of cakes to the ringers on wedding days. But having never met with such-like records of marriages on church walls elsewhere, nor, indeed, of any printed account of such a custom, and thinking memory might have played me false, I recently made inquiries from the clergymen of those parishes, who have kindly furnished me with information of a very interesting character. Dr. Stott, the present rector of Treswell, says that the old belfry records were covered over with plaster at the restoration of that church about thirty years ago, and that only a few traces of portions of circles encroaching upon the stonework of the belfry arch are now visible. Strange to say, at Rampton, less than two miles away, and about half way between Treswell and Laneham, there are no evidences of such marks on any part of the walls of the church, and no one remembers such a custom to have been observed in that village. At Laneham, however, only two miles further,

l there are still to be seen on the belfry walls twenty.

seven or twenty-eight examples of ring-marks, dating from 1813 to 1838. These records, roughly scratched on the walls and coloured with red-ochre, were locally known as “cheeses,” because, as the vicar says, it was the custom of the Laneham ringers to mark out the form of a cheese on the wall, and then place within the round the initials of the married persons and the year of our Lord. About two miles west of Laneham, and three miles south of Treswell, is the village of East Drayton, and there, as the vicar, the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson, informs me, there are no fewer than a hundred of these curious markings, not scored, but simply painted on the belfry walls. known as “rings” or “rounds”; sometimes they are called “cakes,” as they used to be at Treswell, but never “cheeses,” as at Laneham. East Drayton ring-marks, which are still fresh and undisturbed (in fact, they were retouched at the restoration of the church), contain three initial letters and

E.

the four figures of the year, dating from W.D. to

B. 1777, R. M. and probably to even a still later date. The 1865, top letter stands for the bride's Christian name, the lower letters for the Christian and surname of the bridegroom, and the figures, of course, for the year of the marriage. The old village carpenter now living was the last to put up “marriage lines” such as these, and, according to the testimony of his wife, “he was a good letterer and did a many.”

The custom was that every married couple who brought the ringers a large plum loaf of six or eight pounds weight, and rich according "to the wealth of the giver, a cheese, often a “sage cheese,” such as is still not unknown in that neighbourhood, and a certain sum of money for beer, had not only a “ring o' bells” on the wedding morn, but also a “ring” with their respective initials put up on the belfry walls by the ringer who was best skilled in that art. In course of time, as the walls became covered with these devices, it was found necessary to efface the older records in order to paint new ones in their place, and evidences of half-obliterated “rings” are traceable underneath more modern ones.

Dwellers in towns and cities, whose knowledge of a village wedding is derived from Luke Fildes's celebrated picture, may be interested to know what was the old-fashioned way of keeping up a wedding in these remote parts of Nottinghamshire. Everybody was apprized of the coming event three weeks before by a peal rung after the morning service on the Sunday when the banns were first published—a custom which, by the way, is still practised at East Drayton. When the day came the village was en fête. The nuptials having been solemnized, and the wedding breakfast over in the morning, the whole bridal party walked back to

church, and, in the case of a better-class wedding,
the “best man” carried a basket containing a plum
loaf, a cheese, and a knife, all wrapped in a white
cloth. Amongst the poorer class the bridegroom
himself carried under his arm a cake wrapped up
in the same way. This gift was taken to the belfry
and delivered to the oldest ringer, who cut the
cake and cheese and distributed to all the assembly,
but first of all to the village children, who came in
a few at a time and were arranged in a row with
their hands folded, the idea being that they must
be orderly and well behaved in the belfry. When
all had partaken of the simple feast, the wedding
arty paraded down the four streets of the village
with the attendant throng until they reached the
bride's house, where all went merry as a marriage
bell, and where the church ringers were entertained
at supper in the evening.
At a wedding at East Drayton in April, 1891,
the bridegroom took a plum loaf and a piece of
cheese to the ringers in the belfry; but no record
was placed on the belfry walls, “although,” says
Mr. Wilkinson, “I believe the bride's sisters'
‘rings' are on the walls.” The custom of painting
the rounds seems to have ceased when the floor
of the ringing loft was raised some years ago.
Readers of ‘N. & Q.” are familiar with the com-
mon practice in former days of newly-married
people making gifts to friends and neighbours"—
a usage that has been completely reversed in our
own times—but this apparently local custom
of recording marriages on belfry walls may not be
generally known ; indeed, I find it has even
escaped the notice of Mr. Briscoe, a Nottingham-
shire antiquary, in his interesting compilation of
* Curiosities of the Belfry." JAMEs HALL.
Lindum House, Nantwich.

POLLS AT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
BEFORE 1832.
(Continued from p. 303.)
Herefordshire.
Polls in Smith, 1722, 1754, 1774, 1776, 1796, 1802,1818.
Hereford.
1661 Sir Henry Lingen, Knt. ... -
Sir Edward Hopton, Knt. 251
Herbert Westfaling --- --- --- 233
This was a double return, and the whole election was
declared by the House void, and a new writ ordered.
1689 Vice Sir William Gregory, made a Judge of the
Court of Common Pleas.
Henry Cornewall ... 372
Edward Gwyn 143

* In a Yorkshire village, not many miles from East Drayton, it is usual to have competitive races, and the wedded couple to give the prizes: a pound of tobacco for old men, a pound of tea for old women, a silk handkerchief for young men, a ribbon for 3. girls. If these sports and prizes were not provided, a besom would be found at the door the next morning, the idea being that if the bridal couple did not give anything to race for they were too poor to buy a besom.

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1565

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1084

1714 Thomas Foley ...

Hertfordshire.
Yiscount Scudamore

777 1689 Sir Thomas P. Blount, Bart.
Nicholas Philpot ...

Sir Charles Cæsar, Knt. ...
Herbert R. Westfaling ...

375 Ralph Freeman ... .. 1716 Vice Lord Scudamore, dead.

This was a double return of Cæsar and Freeman, and
Herbert R. Westfaling ...

Freeman was declared elected.
Timothy Geers ... ...

421 1695 Sir Thomas P. Blount, Bart. 1734 Thomas Foley, Jun.

1428 ...

Thomas Halsey ...
Sir John Morgan, Bart. ...

Robert Cecil ...

1412 Herbert R. Westfaling ...

Ralph Freeman ... 1764 Vice John Symons, dead.

1698 Ralph Freeman, Juni, John Scudamore ...

237 Thomas Halsey ...

... ***

Plumer

1939 Hopton

...
...
...

- Titus Polls in Smith, 1741, 1747, 1761, 1818, 1826.

1714 Sir Thomas S. Sebright, Bart.

1807 Leominster. Ralph Freeman

1787 1705 Lord Coningsby

1158 ... ...

296 Sir Ralph Ratcliffe, Knt....
Edward Harley ... ...
1722 Ralph Freeman ...

1614 John Dutton Colt ... ....

50
Sir Thomas S. Sebright, Bart.

1464 1713 Edward Harloy .. .... 219 Charles Cæsar ...

1340

...
Henry Gorges ...
186 1727 Charles Cæsar

2021 Jobn Dutton Colt ...

Sir Thonnas 8. Sebright, Bart. ...

1424 1716 Vice Lord Coningsby, made a peer of Great Ralph Freeman ...

1012

... Britain.

1736 Vice Sir T. S. Sebright, dead. George Caowall

Charles Cæsar

1078 Richard Gorges ... ...

Henshaw Halsey

1019 Henry Gorges

Polls in Smith, 1754, 1761, 1774, 1784, 1790, 1796, 1802, This election was declared void.

1805. 1722 Sir Archer Croft, Bart. ...

Hertford.
Sir George Caswall, Knt. ...

1679 Sir William Cowper, Bart.
Edward Harley

Sir Thomas Byde, Kat. ... ... ...

... •
James Clarke ...

Henry Daoston ... ...
John Raby ... ...

1681 Sir Thomas Byde, Knt. ... 1727 Sir George Caswall, Kat....

Sir William Cowper, Bart.
Viscount Bateman ... ...

262

Sir William Leman, Bart.
Sir Archer Croft, Bart. ...

109 It is said that Byde and Cowper each polled more than 1742 Vice Mr. John Cagwall, dead.

300, but the exact figures are not found. Robert Harley ...

1701 Charles Cæsar Sir Robert Cornewall, Bart.

... 101 Richard Goulston ... George Hanbury ... ... ...

Wiliam Monson ... - Bach ...

1705 Charles Cæsar. ... Polls in Smith, 1700, 1701, 1714, 1741, 1747, 1780, Richard Goulston ... 1784, 1790, 1796, 1797, 1802, 1812, 1818, 1820, 1826, 1830, Thomas Clarke ... 1831 (two elections).

Clarke vice Goulaton on petition.
Weobley.

1708 Sir Thomas Clarke, Knt. ... 1691 Vice John Birch, dead.

William Monson ... ...

Charles Cæsar
John Birch ... ...

... **
Thomas Foley ... ... ... ...

- Dimsdale This was a double return, and Foley was declared 1710 Charles Cæsar

Ricbard Goulston ...

Sir Thomas Clarke, Knt. 1698 Robert Price

William Monson ...
Thomas Foley

40
Jobn Birch ... ...

Charles Cæsar ... ...

Richard Goulston ... This was a double return. Foley was declared elected

Sir Thomas Clarke, Kat. ... and the election of Price was not disputed.

Charles Cæsar 1722 Nicholas Philpott ...

60

... ... Richard Goulston ... ...

362 ... Serjeant John Birch

281

Sir Thomas Clarke, Knt. ...
Edward Hughes ..

26
...

Job Boteler ...

... 272 ... Jobo Carpenter ...

The first poll is that by the Mayor, the second that The first poll was tbat taken by the old legal constables; after the honorary freemen, and other illegal votes bad the second that by the new constables,

been taken from the other poll, according to a statement 1732 On the expulsion of Baron John Birch (a Cursitor | in tbe Flying Post for January 25, signed by Clarke and Baron of the Court of Exchequer)

Boteler, who were declared elected on petition.
James Cornewall ...

1770 Vice William Cowper, dead.
Baron John Birch ... ...

Paul Feilde ... ... ... ...
Paul Foley ...

... 20

Lionel Lyde... Polls in Smith, 1729, 1734, 1747, 1754,

Pollo in Smith, 1722, 1780, 1784, 1790, 1826, 1831.

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Sl. Albans.

BEGINNING OF THE CHRISTIAN ERA. 1701 George Churchill

Writing on this subject some years ago in
Jobo Gape ...
Joshua Lomax

183) N. & Q (6th S. vii. 515), MR. W. T. Lynn, in Thomas Lomax

giving his adherence to the opinion that the birtk James Wittewrong ...

of Christ probably took place in the autumn of 1705 George Churchill ...

B.C. 5, makes the following observation :
Joha Gapo ... ...

" But I wish to point out that it by no means follows Henry Killegrew ...

from this that if we could now rovert to a correct Killegrew vice Gape on petition.

reckoning from the birth of Christ the present year would 1708 Jobo Gape ...

be not 1883 but 1888. It is remarkable how often mis Joshua Lomax ...

takes of this kind are made from not recollecting that George Churcbill...

chronologists have no year 0, but pass at once from B.o. 1 1713 William Grimston ...

to A.D. 1. Admitting the birth of Christ to bave been in William Hale

B.C. 5, from then to the same day in B.C. 1 would be four John Gape ...

years, and to A.D. 1, five years, and to A.D. 1883, 1887 On petition Gape vice Hale.

years. So that our present reckoning is not five, but

only four years in error." 1717 Vice William Hale. Joshu, Lomax ...

303

Although I have duly consulted the indexes to Jennings ...

'N. & Q.,' I do not find that this very owpbiatic 1722 William Gore ... ...

238 statement of MR. LYNN's has been challenged ;

... 461 ... William Clayton ...

238 and as the point is one of no little interest and Viscount Grimston...

331 | MR. Lynx's authority on such matters deservedly Joshua Lomax ...

... 258 ... 258

of great weight, I trust be will pardon me for The second poll is that after deducting the honorary requesting him to review the matter in the light of freemon and paupers. Gore and Clayton were returned.

the following considerations. 1727 Viscount Grimston Caleb Lomax

By a parity of reasoning, from a day in A.D. I to ... Thomas Gape

the same day in A.D. 2 would be one year; to ...

197

... 1729 Vice Lomax, dead.

A.D. 3 two years, and to the present year 1892 Thomas Gape, Jun.

years only; but both A.D. 1 and A.D. 2- not the — Braeвey

165 | interval between a day in the one and the same 1734 Sir Thomas Aston, Bart. ...

day in the other-must be reckoned, and similarly Thomas Asbby ... ...

471 B.C. 5 and B.C. 4 are respectively the first and Viscount Grimston

388 second years of the era on the supposition that the 1742 Vice Thomas Ashby, dead.

birth of Christ took place in B.C. 5. Consequently Hans Stanley ...

325

five years is really the amount of the error, as the Hon. James Grimston ... ...

303

whole of B.C. 5 must be reckoned, even if the Polls in Smith, 1761,1784,1790, 1796, 1807, 1809, 1812, event from which the era takes its rise bad 1818, 1820, 1821, 1830, 1831.

happened on the last day of that year. Huntingdonshire.

The present year is 6606 of the Julian period; 1729 Vice Marquis of Hartington becoming Duke of deduct 1893, and the quotient, 4713, is the year of Devonshire.

the Julian period for B.c. 1, the year prior to the Robert Pigott

.
Sir John Bernard, Bart. *** "

beginning of the era ; and in like manner, subtract

ing 1898 (1893+5) from the Julian period for this 1739 Vice Lord Robert Montagu becoming Duke of

year, we obtain 4708=B.C. 6, the year prior to the Manchester. Charles Clarke

true commencement of our era. Whether the latter **• *• **

.. .. William Mitchell

be reckoned from the Annunciation (as I underPolls in Smith, 1741, 1768, 1807, 1818, 1826, 1830, 1831. stand it to be) or from the birth of Christ is im

material to my point. I contend that if the latter Huntingdon.

event took place late in B.C. 5 (should a correct 1702 Hon. Charles Boyle

91 | reckoning of the era be reverted to the present Anthony Hamond ...

year would be A.D. 1898.
Francis Wortley ... ...
John Pocklington ...

MR. Lynn's averment seems explicit enough,
...
Lord Orrery

but I may have misunderstood him. Should be do 1705 Sir Joba Cotton, Bart. ...

me the honour of reconsidering the matter, any Edward Wortley Montagu ...

73 observations of his on the subject cannot fail to bo John Pedley

64 of interest. On petition Pedley vice Cotton.

The other day Mr. Lynn drew attention to an Polls in Smith, 1741, 1820, 1824, 1831.

error in ‘L'Art de Vérifier les Dates. Although

W. W. BEAN. not bearing directly upon the subject of this note, 4, Montague Place, Bedford Square.

I may point out that this most valuable work, in (To be continued.)

treating of the date of Christ's birth (vol. ii. p. 233),

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gives the year of Rome 747 as 4708 of the Julian period and 6 b.c., instead of 4707 and 7 B.G., whilst the year of Rome 749 is given as 42 of the Julian era and 4 B.C., in place of 41 and 5 B.C. respectively. These errors can hardly have arisen from the existence of the astronomical year 0; in any case the correct dates are to be found in the chronological tables contained in the first volume, and may be verified otherwise throughout the volumes cited. J. YoUNG. Glasgow.

THE Royal MARRIAGE.-The fact of the direct heir to the throne marrying an Englishwoman is so rare an event that it seems worth noting. I can only recall two instances since the Conquest, viz., Edward, the Black Prince, and Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VI., who married Ann of Warwick, subsequently the Queen of Richard III. Ann of Warwick, however, was not of royal blood; but the Black Prince and Joanna of Kent were equally descended from Edward I, and, oddly enough, as in our present royal marriage, the bride was a generation older than the bridegroom. Edward, the Black Prince, was great-grandson of Edward I.; Joanna of Kent was granddaughter of the same king ; the Duke of York is great-greatgrandson of George III.; while the Princess May is only great-granddaughter of the good old king.

Several of our kings have married English wives, but, so far as I can remember, no direct heir to the throne has ever done so except those I have mentioned. CHARLotte G. Boger.

St. Saviour's, Southwark.

ARCHILochus.-Apparently the usually accepted epoch at which the great satirist of Paros flourished must be brought down about half a century. In one of the fragments which alone remain of the works admired by Horace, he speaks of Zeus turno; midday into night, a phenomenon so remarkable that he thinks no one ought afterwards to be surprised at anything—not even if the dolphins and land animals should change places. An Italian astronomer, Prof. Millosevich, of Rome, has recently re-examined the question of explaining this by the occurrence of a total eclipse of the sun in the locality where Archilochus resided, with the result that one only in the seventh century before Christ will perfectly correspond with the circumstances. This was the eclipse of April 6, B.C. 648, which was total over Thasos about ten o'clock in the morning, and thus fixes the date of the composition of the poem. W. T. LYNN.

Blackheath.

HASTIER LAND.-In some villages in the neighbourhood of Sheffield land was anciently described as being held of the lord in seruicio hastilari. "his expression occurs in documents of the twelfth d thirteenth centuries, and at a later period the

land is described in English as “hastler land.” The rod, or symbol of investiture whereby copyhold land was conveyed, might have been hastula, but I doubt whether servitium hastilare is in any way connected with this symbol, especially as in these villages copyhold lands are said to be held “by the straw.” S. O. Addr. 3, Westbourne Road, Sheffield.

Folk-Lore : DRowNEd Body Located.—The Suffolk Times and Mercury of Friday, Nov. 4, 1892, under the heading of ‘A Norfolk Superstition,” gives the following:—

“Last week (writes our Thetford correspondent) information was received at Thetford that a middle-aged woman had been missing from Brandon since Oct. 11, and had been seen at Thetford. Her friends naturally became alarmed about her, and had serious fears as to her safely, and as they could hear nothing about her, they asked that the river between Thetford and Brandon might be dragged. Instead of this, recourse was had to a very curious procedure, in which it appears some people really believe. On Tuesday afternoon the Navigation Superintendent got a boat and rowed down the river, accompanied by a policeman, who was mildly and slowly beating a big drum. It was stated that, if they came to any part of the river in which there might be a dead body, a difference in the sound of the drum would be distinctly noticed. The experiment, however, was a failure, and later on, it was reported that a person answering to the description of the missing woman was at Elvedon. This proved to be correct, and she was ultimately taken home, to the great relief of her friends.”

I fancy this belief is uncommon; at least, I have never met with it before. W. B. GERISH. South Town, Great Yarmouth.

The Inventor of LUCIFER MATches.—

“Mr. John Walker, chemist, of Stockton, and the original inventor of lucifer matches, died in that town the other day at the age of seventy-eight. For a considerable time he realized a handsome income from the sale of his matches in boxes at 15. 6d. each.”—Vide Baptist Reporter, June, 1859. John T. PAGE. Holmby House, Forest Gate.

REL:cs IN A London CHURCH.-The following appears in the City Press:–

“As the church of St. Mary, in the Minories, will be closed during the next few weeks, and used only as a mission room, a faculty having been obtained some time ago for the amalgamation of the parish with that of St. Botolph, Aldgate, what is going to be done with the interesting relics? Notably among these is the head of the Duke of Norfolk, which is kept in a black box under a glass cover in the vestry. The story goes that, immediately after his execution on Tower Hill, the duke's friends obtained possession of the head and secreted it in the chapel attached to his family mansion. This family mansion really comprised the buildings of the ancient Priory of Holy Trinity, as founded by Matilda, Queen of Henry I., in 1108, and which, together with the precincts, had been given, at the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII., to Thomas Audley, Lord Chancellor of England, who, after pulling down the church, made the place his residence until his death, in the year 1554. Thereupon, in virtue of his marriage

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