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MARCH, A.—MARCH

earl of March; and his son James was created duke of Richmond in 1641. On the death without issue of Charles, 6th duke of Lennox and 3rd duke of Richmond, in 1672, his titles devolved upon King Charles II. as nearest collateral heir-male. In 1675 Charles conferred the titles of duke of Richmond and Lennox and earl of March on Charles Lennox, his natural son by Louise de Keroualle, duchess of Portsmouth, from whom the earldom of March has descended to its present holder the duke of Richmond and Gordon. (See Richmond, Earls and Dukes of; and Lennox.)

The title of earl of March in the peerage of Scotland, by another creation, was conferred in 1697 on William Douglas, second son of William, 1st duke of Queensberry. His grandson William, 3rd earl of March, became 4th duke of Queensberry on the death without surviving male issue of his cousin Charles, 3rd duke of Queensberry, in 1778. Dying unmarried in 1810, the several titles of the duke passed to different branches of the house of Douglas. The earldom of March is stated by Sir Bernard Burke and other authorities to have devolved upon Francis, 8th earl of Wemyss, great-great-grandson of David, 3rd earl of Wemyss, whose wife was Anne, daughter of the 1st duke of Queensberry and sister of the 1st earl of March; and the title is now assumed by the earl of Wemyss. On the other hand, Francis, 8th earl of Wemyss, not having been an heir of the body of the 1st earl of March, Sir Robert Douglas says in The Peerage of Scotland that on the death of the 4th duke of Queensberry in 1810 “the earldom of March, it is supposed, became extinct.”

See Andrew Lang, History of Scotland (4 vols., London, 1900–1907); Sir Bernard Burke, A Genealogical History of Dormant and Extinct Peerages (London, 1866); Sir Robert Douglas, The Peerage of Scotland (2 vols., Edinburgh 1813); Lady Elizabeth Cust, Some Account of the Stuarts of Aubigny in France (London, 1891).  (R. J. M.) 


MARCH, AUZIAS (c. 1395–1458), Catalan poet, was born at Valencia towards the end of the 14th century. Little is known of his career except that he was twice married—first to Na Ysabel Martorell, and second to Na Johanna Scorna—that he died on the 4th of November 1458, and that he left several natural children. Inheriting an easy fortune from his father, the treasurer to the duke of Gandia, and enjoying the powerful patronage of Prince Carlos de Viana of Aragon, March was enabled to devote himself to poetical composition. He is an undisguised follower of Petrarch, carrying the imitation to such a point that he addresses his Cants d’amor to a lady whom he professes to have seen first in church on Good Friday; so far as the difference of language allows, he reproduces the rhythmical cadences of his model, and in the Cants de mort touches a note of brooding sentiment peculiar to himself. Though his poems are disfigured by obscurity and a monotonous morbidity, he was fully entitled to the supremacy which he enjoyed among his contemporaries, and the success of his innovation no doubt encouraged Boscán to introduce the Italian metres into Castilian.

His verses were first printed in Catalan in 1543, but they had already become known through the Castilian translation published by Baltasar de Romani in 1539.


MARCH, FRANCIS ANDREW (1825–  ), American philologist and educationalist, was born on the 25th of October 1825 in Millbury, Massachusetts. He graduated in 1845 at Amherst, where his attention was turned to the study of Anglo-Saxon by Noah Webster. He was a teacher at Swanzey, New Hampshire, and at the Leicester Academy, Massachusetts, in 1845–1847, and attempted the philological method of teaching English “like Latin and Greek,” later described in his Method of Philological Study of the English Language (1865); at Amherst in 1847–1849; at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1852–1855; and in 1855 became a tutor at Lafayette College, where he became adjunct professor of belles-lettres and English literature in 1856, and professor of English language and comparative philology—the first chair of the kind established—in 1857. He lectured on constitutional and public law and Roman law in 1875–1877, and also taught subjects as diverse as botany and political economy. In 1907 he became professor emeritus. At Lafayette he introduced the first carefully scientific study of English in any American college, and in 1870 published A Comparative Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon Language, in which its Forms are Illustrated by Those of the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic, Old Saxon, Old Friesic, Old Norse and Old High German, and An Anglo-Saxon Reader; he was editor of the “Douglass Series of Christian Greek and Latin Classics,” to which he contributed Latin Hymns (1874); he was chairman of the Commission of the State of Pennsylvania on Amended Orthography; and was consulting editor of the Standard Dictionary, and in 1879–1882 was director of the American readers for the Philological Society’s (New Oxford) Dictionary. He was president of the American Philological Association in 1873–1874 and in 1895–1896, of the Spelling Reform Association after 1876, and of the Modern Language Association in 1891–1893. Among American linguistic scholars March ranks with Whitney, Child and Gildersleeve; and his studies in English, though practically pioneer work in America, are of undoubted value. His article “On Recent Discussions of Grimm’s Law” in the Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association for 1873 in large part anticipated Verner’s law. With his son, Francis Andrew March, jun. (b. 1863), adjunct-professor of modern languages in 1884–1891 and subsequently professor of English literature at Lafayette, he edited A Thesaurus Dictionary of the English Language (1903).

See Addresses in Honor of Professor Francis A. March, LL.D., L.H.D., delivered at Easton, Pennsylvania, on the 24th of October 1895.


MARCH, a market town in the Wisbech parliamentary division of Cambridgeshire, England, 30 m. N. by W. of Cambridge. Pop. of urban district (1901), 7565. It lies in the midst of the flat fen country, on the old course of the river Nene. It is an important junction on the Great Eastern railway and the starting-point of a line worked by that company jointly with the Great Northern to Lincoln and Doncaster. The church of St Wendreda, in Early English and later styles, is remarkable for a magnificent Perpendicular timber roof, beautifully carved. There are agricultural implement and engineering works, and corn mills.


MARCH, the third month of the modern calendar, containing thirty-one days. It was the Romans’ first month until the adoption of the Julian calendar, 46 B.C., and it continued to be the beginning of the legal year in England until the 18th century. In France it was reckoned the first month of the year until 1564, when, by an edict of Charles IX., January was decreed to be thenceforth the first month. Scotland followed the example of France in 1599; but in England the change did not take place before 1752. The Romans called the month Martius, a name supposed to have been conferred on it by Romulus in honour of his putative father, Mars, the god of war; but Ovid declares the month to have existed before the time of Romulus, though in a different position in the calendar. The Anglo-Saxons called March Hlyd-monath, “loud or stormy month,” or Lencten-monath, “lengthening month,” in allusion to the fact that the days then rapidly become longer. There is an old saying, common to both England and Scotland—which has its equivalent among the Basques and many European peoples—representing March as borrowing three days from April; the last three days of March being called the “borrowing” or the “borrowed days.” As late as the end of the 18th century the first three days of March were known in Devonshire as “Blind Days,” and were deemed so unlucky that no farmer would sow seed then.

The chief festival days of March are the 1st, St David; the 12th, St Gregory; the 17th, St Patrick; and the 25th, Lady Day, one of the quarter days in England.


MARCH (1) (from Fr. marcher, to walk; the earliest sense in French appears to be “to trample,” and the origin has usually been found in the Lat. marcus, hammer; Low Lat. marcare, to hammer; hence to beat the road with the regular tread of a soldier: cf. “beat,” of a policeman’s round), the movement of military troops with regular rhythmical steps, often with the