10 s. XIL SEPT. is, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
to sign the Charter were nearly all, if not all, under the age of twenty-five. Since this time, too, the male line of our kings has died out three times. J. FOSTER PALMER.
8, Royal Avenue, S,W.
" LE " BEFORE TRADES (10 S. xii. 189). Surely a survival of the common mediaeval way of using the French definite article for " the." This survives in many personal names derived from occupations, as " Le Despenser," the grocer, or druggist. Like the Greek TO, it is found in Latin supplying the want of the definite article in that tongue.
J. T. F.
This is undoubtedly a relic of the Norman French which was spoken for several cen- turies after the Conquest. Richard le Chaucer, the father of Geoffrey Chaucer the poet, was a vintner, but a " chaucer " was a shoemaker, and it is therefore not sur- prising to find that a Baldwin le Chaucer in 1307 dwelt in Cordewanerstrete (see Riley's ' Memorials,' Introd., xxxiii) ; and William le Chyvaler, although in 1281 a baker, must have had for his ancestor a " horseman." " Le grocer " is old French, having been formerly " le grosser," from grassier, a wholesale dealer, one who dealt in gros or great quantities of goods.
J. HOLDEN MACMlCHAEL.
HARVEST SUPPER SONGS (10 S. xii. 30, 71, 137). Over fifty years ago the following was sung in Leicestershire and the adjoining part of Derbyshire :
Here's a health unto our master,
The founder of the feast ; And I do hope with all my heart
His soul in heaven may rest, And all things may prosper
That he doth take in hand, For we are all his servants, And all at his command. Chorus : Then drink, boys, drink,
And see you do not spill ; For if you do, you shall drink two, For 'tis our master's will.
In chap. liii. of ' Adam Bede ' (published 1859) is substantially the same song, with some variations, but I have given it word for word as I heard it in years between 1855 and 1860. George Eliot mentions some slight ceremonial which accompanied the singing : of this I know nothing ; but her quotation of what is practically the same song, as sung at harvest homes in her native Warwickshire, is cogent proof that it was then general in at least some of the principal Midland counties. W. B. H.
" AN OLD EWE DRESSED LAMB FASHION "
(10 S. xii. 189). This saying has been current in Devonshire apparently from time im- memorial, although I have heard it but once for several years, and then it was used by a lady who was born in Gloucestershire, and had lived there most of her life. It would appear to be pretty general throughout the country. The meaning of it, so far as this county is concerned, is correctly given by MR. HARLAND-OXLEY. In rural Devon it would be generally pronounced " yawe," and I have heard some middle-class persons, presumably of fair average education, pro- nounce it " yow." A. J. DAVY. Torquay.
My belief is that this saying is in general use, and not restricted to any one county. I have certainly heard the expression or a similar one used by natives in counties as far removed as Lancashire and Hampshire. It has always, in my hearing, been used exclusively in the sense mentioned by MR. HARLAND-OXLEY, but in some cases the exact expression used has been "mutton," or " old mutton," " dressed lamb fashion." F. A. RUSSELL.
THE PRYOR'S BANK, FULHAM (10 S. xii. 128, 172). It may be of interest to note that while the housebreakers were felling the chimneys of this house (? 1906-7) the Rev. Rowland Carwell (then Vicar of St. Peter's, Fulham) and the writer explored the ' ' ancient chapel ' ' therein, and indeed the whole house, in the hope of discovering antique relics. The only piece of genuine old carving was found as fronts to dresser drawers in the kitchen, although in each room and on the stairs remained what appeared at first sight to be rich carving and moulding, much of which was gilt and to some extent coloured. I have a photograph of the drawer-fronts, and we brought away specimens of the grotesque heads from the groining of the chapel, made of papier mache and covered with gold leaf. I believe that one man bought the whole of this interior decorative work and burnt it on the spot to collect arid sell the gold obtained from the ashes. Before, however, his turn came another person had bought the carvings* figures, and "antiques " about the " Priory." He discovered too late that he had purchased plaster imitations that could not be removed, and sued for damages. Even- tually such figures an d effects as were of use were sold to the property man at the theatre which had then just been built opposite the Pry or 's Bank.