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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/288

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236


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


correspondent at the last reference showed that plumper was in use in 1761.

I' have recently come across a passage which carries back the history a good many years. On 18 March, 1734, the Duke of Bedford raised a debate in the House of Lords on the election of Scottish representa- tative peers, and the following occurs in an account of the arguments used by the sup- porters of the Duke :

" In such a case a Court- List, or rather a Ministerial-List, would certainly be sent down, and every peer of Scotland that did not vote plump for that List, would be under -hand threatened with being turned out of his commission in the army or navy, or out of his employment under the government ; and others would be in- duced to vote for it by secret promises of prefer- ment, or of being provided for. ' Parliamentary History,' vol. ix. col. 490.

I venture to think that we have here very strong additional evidence of the truth of Sir James Murray's explanation. Besides being of an earlier date than any hitherto recorded, the quotation shows that ' ' to vote plump " was not merely an American use, and that the expression could be applied to elections as well as to the kind of voting referred to in the 1776 quotation.

I have found in the same volume of the

  • Parliamentary History ' another word

which I cannot trace at all in the ' N.E.D.' In a note to the account of the appoint- ment of a Committee to inquire into the frauds and abuses in the customs (loc. cit., col. 1 1 ) the following passage is quoted from a letter dated 26 April, 1733 :

"The event was, that the court list, as it was called, was carry'd by a majority of 85. And so well did those who voted it stick by one another, that of the 21 chosen, he that had most votes for him (which were 294) had but 10 more than him who had' least. The highest number of the opposite list was 209, and the lowest 191 ; so there were 18 men of their party, and but 10 of the court, that did not put into the glass plum-lists, that is, vote for every one of the persons recom- mended to them."

The above is stated to be from "Coxe's Walpole ' ' ; the exact reference is ' Memoirs of the Life and Administration of Sir Robert Walpole,' vol. iii. p. 134.

It is clear that ' ' to vote plump ' ' for a list and to vote a ' ' plum-list ' ' come practically to the same thing. But is there any etymo- logical connexion between the two ? If there is, then an earlier stage in the history plump has to be accounted for. I will leave this part of the subject for more learned con tributors, merely remarking that possibly th< fact that the adjectives plum and plump both mean ' ' complete, round, ' ' may supply the connecting link. F. W. READ.


FLYING TURK (10 S. xii. 127). Burton las a similar reference in his ' Anatomy of Melancholy ' (Partition 2, sect. 2, mem. 3 :

"If the Heavens then be penetrable, as these men deliver, and no lets, it were not amiss in this- aerial progress to make wings, aud fly up, which ihat Turk in Busbequius made his fellow-citizens n Constantinople believe he would perform : & some new-fangled wits, methinks, should some time or other find out." Vol. ii. p. 58 in Shilleto's edition.

There is no passage in Busbequius' s works

hat fits this precisely. The place which

Burton would seem to have had in mind is one not quite half-way through the fourth epistle of the ' Legatio Turcica,' where an account is given of a dervish who performed the trick of putting the red-hot end of a bar of iron in his mouth, and who asserted that the head of his monastery was in the habit of spreading his cloak on an adjoining lake and sailing in whatever direction he wished :

"Idem Turca inter prandium commemorabat, suum coenobiarcham, vitse sanctimonia & miraculis clarum,. consuevisse in lacum qui esset crenobio propinquus, extendere pallium, in eoque sedentem, qua yisum esset suaviter circumvectan." ' Augerii Gislenii Busbequii Omnia quae extant,' Basel, 1740, p. 314.

EDWARD BENSLY.

I cannot find any mention of a " flying ' r Turk in Busbequius. Bishop Wilkins may, however, have had in his mind a story which was related to Busbequius by a Turkish pilgrim and monk, who, amongst other marvellous yarns, told of an abbot who ' ' was accustomed to spread his cloak on the lake which adjoined his monastery, sit down on it, and so take a pleasant sail whenever he liked. ' ' See ' The Life and Letters of Ogier Ghisclin de Busbecq, ' ed. Forster and Daniell, 1881, i. 363. The editors remark that this feat was equalled by St. Raymond, of whom a long account i& given in a note. W. F. PRIDEATJX.

MAGNA CHARTA BARONS (10 S. xii. 149). It would appear that there are no actual lineal descendants of the barons in the male line ; otherwise would they not be represented in the peerage ? There are, no doubt, some in the female line. The Duke of Norfolk, I believe, is thus descended from De Albini, as are some other families ; and Lord Hastings probably from De Laval. In those days of war and pestilence the chances of survival among the nobility were but slight, and their individual lives were, on an average, remarkably short. I was told by a barrister who had had occasion to look up the family records of this period that the barons who compelled King John