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96


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. XIL JULY 31, im


father's house at West Haddon, Northamp- tonshire, when I was a boy. It was some four inches square and about five or six feet in length. I recall the fact that one of my childish delights was to pull this beam out to its full length, and then suddenly shoot it back home with all the strength I could muster. JOHN T. PAGE.

Long Itchington, Warwickshire.

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND DEATHS : THEIR REGISTRATION (10 S. xi. 348). Some kind of answer can be got from a consultation of A. Jal's great work the ' Dictionnaire critique de Biographie,' &c., 1872. He copies or quotes hundreds of French certifi- cates, which are fuller than the very deficient English certificates. The form of the English ones must have been settled by a person who had no notion of a biographer's require- ments. The official part is more than ample. However, they are better than the old certificates of baptism : officialism certainly did not run riot in them.

Death certificates record the date and place of burial ; and if a body is exhumed, a note to that effect should be added, just as is done if the amount of a probate is increased.

The most extraordinary thing is the large number of deaths of Englishmen that never get recorded at all. There are numerous instances in Boase's ' Modern English Bio- graphy ' : thus in vol. iv. col. 817, under Frederick Cruickshank, we read that he first exhibited in 1822, and is not in the ' London Directory ' after 1860, and never exhibited after 1860, but that his death is not regis- tered at Somerset House 1858-62. No will of his had been proved in England up to last year.

Sir G. E. Campbell, Bt. (Boase, ' M.E.B.,' iv. 591), after serving his country in the Crimea and other places, eventually died in 1899 ; but Mr. Boase tells us his death is not recorded at the General Register Office, Somerset House.

Here are two more instances taken from ' M.E.B.,' vol. v. (not yet published) :

J. Watson Dalby (b. 1790), of whom there is a portrait in The Bibliograph in April, 1879. Death not registered at Somerset House 1879-83.

Thomas Dalmaine, music publisher, b. 1783; d. 1866. Death not, &c., 1864-8.

The Daily Telegraph had an article (29 April, 1907, p. 8, col. 6 ; see also 30 April, p. 9, col. 1) on unregistered births (a very much more inconvenient thing), with several curious instances of the trouble


caused by this omission. In the present day few people enter these events in any family book, as was so frequently done in the last century. I know one case where the father not only took the precaution to have his son's birth duly registered, but also had him christened and vaccinated in case he might want to go into the Navy. The Royal Navy is certificate mad ! Some R.N. ships were at a port in New Zealand, and wanted stokers. Plenty of hands applied ; but when they were asked to produce a certificate of their birth, they went away laughing. As the commander insisted on this requirement, the ship had to depart without the stokers.

RALPH THOMAS.

MECHANICAL ROAD CARRIAGES : TIMOTHY BURSTALL (10 S. xi. 305, 374, 431, 498 ; xii. 31). In The Sketch of 23 Oct., 1895, is an article headed ' Carriages without Horses.' Besides pictures of modern inventions it has the following prints :

1 Squire and Maceroni's Steam-Carriage.' (It was apparently built at Squire's factory, Paddington Green, in 1833.)

'Gurney's Steam - Carriage.' (There are two similar carriages given, offering side and back views. )

Portrait of 'Sir Gouldsworthy Gurney.' ("In July, 1829, Gurney made a notable journey with his steam-engine from London to Bath, at the rate of fifteen miles an hour on the highway.")

' Gurney's Steam-Carriage approaching Highgate Tunnel, 1828.'

' Gurney's Steam - Carriage as it appeared at Hounslow, with a Barouche containing the Duke of Wellington.'

At the end of the article mention is made of an exhibition " now [October, 1895] open in Chicago," and "an elaborate portfolio illustrating the origin and evolution of the methods of transportation of all countries," containing about fifteen hundred engravings, issued by Mr. Marshall Kirkrnan of Chicago. ROBERT PIERPOINT.

In my reply on p. 31 for " Barstall " read Burstall. J. T. F.

Winterton, Don caster.

SHOREDITCH FAMILY (10 S. x. 369, 455 ; xi. 35). To the references already given add the following : ' History of Shoreditch,' by Ellis; Visitations of Norfolk 1563 and 1613, printed by the Harleian Society ; and Visitation of Norfolk, printed by the Norfolk Arch. Soc., vol. i.

Your correspondent should also see the many references to the Shoreditch family of Ickenham in part iii. vol. i. of List of Middlesex Deeds, &c., offered for sale by Mr. F. Marcham, successor to the late Jas.