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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/282

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230


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xn. SEPT. is, im


HAMPDEN FAMILY. Had Dr. Hampden, Bishop of Hereford, any right to assume the arms and crest of the old Buckingham- shire family Hampden of Hampden ?

J. C. H. FLOOD.

ROMAN LEGIONS : THEIR HISTORY. I shall be glad to learn what is considered the best book, English or German, on the Roman legions, and, if German, if there is an English translation. LEGIONES.


W. H. COFFIN IN ABYSSINIA.

(10 S. xii. 108.)

FORTY years ago I think I could have satisfactorily answered MR. EDWARDS'S ques- tion, as I remember meeting at Massowah in 1865 the Abyssinian lady who was Coffin's widow. Mi. Rassam says in his ' Narrative of the British Mission to Theodore, King of Abyssinia,' i. 21, that Mr. Coffin had died of a broken heart, and his sons had been tortured by Dajjaj Ubye. On the following page he writes :

"I was subsequently visited by the Abyssinian widow of Mr. Coffin, bringing her two children a boy and a girl aged nine and ten years respectively. She informed me that her husband had died, leaving her utterly destitute, and that she had made her way from Adwa, intending to proceed to Aden in the hope of enlisting her husband's countrymen in behalf of his children."

I do not remember what became of the family, but I am afraid the lady's appeal was fruitless.

I think Dr. Beke and Sir Clements Mark- ham are correct in stating that Coffin was sent to England by Dajjaj Sabagadis in 1828, though he may have been in Egypt in 1826. He was at any rate in this country when Sabagadis was killed in December, 1830. Mansfield Parkyns was acquainted with him, and mentions him occasionally in his ' Life in Abyssinia.' In describing the mode of torture which consisted in clamping an iron hoop upon the hand, and gradually tightening it until the hand rotted off, he says (i. 221) that

" when our countryman Coffin gob into ill-favour with Oubi [Ubye], and thought himself safer at the coast than in his power, his son John was taken and put on a mountain with the iron on his hand, as I have described. He remained tortured for some time, losing first his hand, then his eyesight. and at last he died from the treatment." Coffin had been in charge of the province of Antichau, and when Balgadda Araia, Ubye's rival, passed through it, Coffin


gave him forty muskets. This aroused Jbye's anger, and when he got the better of Araia, Coffin fled to the coast, and mdeavoured to collect presents whereby )o regain Ubye's favour (o. c. ii. 188, 231). Notwithstanding this, his son was tortured in the mannei described, and Coffin was deprived of the province of Antichau, which was conferred on Mr. Schimper, a German laturalist who lived for many years in Abyssinia, and I believe died there not long after the British troops quitted the country. Be had passed through many vicissitudes of fortune, and must have been well over seventy when 1 knew him.

When Consul Plowden went on his mission to Ras 'Ali in 1848, Coffin, who was then Living at Adwa, accompanied him from Massowah to that place in some subordinate apacity (' Travels in Abyssinia and the Galla Country,' p. 370). Plowden describes Coffin as the former favourite of Ras Walda Selasye, who governed Tigre from about 1790 to 1816, and was one of the most enlightened rulers that Abyssinia ever pro- duced. He was the father of Balgadda Araia. As Coffin, who had been a supercargo in the merchant service, came with Salt to Abyssinia in 1810, he was an elderly man when he accompanied Plowden to Adwa, and he died at an advanced age, but in what year I am unable to say. He left several descendants behind him in Abys- sinia, one or more of whom I have a faint recollection of meeting.

Although MR. EDWARDS gives the rank of Ras to Sabagadis and Ubye, neither of those chiefs assumed that title, but great as their power was, they contented them- selves with the inferior style of " Dajjaz- match," usually contracted into " Dajjaj." Sabagadis was, I believe, the father of Kasai, who for a long time ruled over Tigre, and ultimately assumed the title of Yohannes, king of the kings of Ethiopia. He was killed some years ago on the Sudan frontier. W. F. PRIDEATJX.


MONUMENTS TO AMERICAN INDIANS (10 S. xii. 87). An accurate list of such monu- ments, with dates of and reasons for their erection, would be both valuable and interest- ing. But MR. HEMS has taken too seriously the list he found in The Reporter (Chicago) for June. Among the nineteen monuments said to be " in different parts of the United States " is one erected to the famous Joseph Brant at " Brantford, Ontario." For many years the annexation of Canada to the