10 s. xii. OCT. 23, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
Buxton. The last was the great brewer, who stood six feet four. " The Castle Spectre " was Mr. Elliot, the then Irish Secretary ; and " Old Glory," Sir Francis Burdett.
RICHARD H. THORNTON.
[For other lists of nicknames see 10 S. vii. 366, 430; viii. 37, 114, 290; x. 174.]
MAIDEN-GARLAND. The following note is printed in ' The Correspondence of William Fowler of Winterton, in the County of Lin- coln,' edited by his grandson Joseph Thomas Fowler, M.A., D.C.L., F.S.A., Honorary Canon of Durham, 1907, p. 356 (privately printed) : " On the back [of a letter] in the writing of W. F.
" ' N.B. The custom of making white paper garlands at the death of the young women who die unmarried is still attended to by those who sit up with them at their wakes. Those garlands are made of small boughs bent, covered, and ornamented with paper roses and bunches of screeds of paper. In the centre of those boughs hangs a pair of white gloves made of paper. On the side of the gloves is written the name of the person dead, with her age and day of month and date of year. This garland is carried by two young women dressed in white, with a white rod about 3 feet long, walking before the coffin ; the garland is suspended from the middle of the wand (slight sketch), and carried about the height of the top of the coffin.'
" No date or place, but the presumption is that W. F. obtained his information in Cleveland in October, 1817."
The description of the manner in which the garland was borne before the dead will interest folk-lorists, M. P.
THUNDERSTONES. Mr. Walter Johnson, in his interesting book, ' Folk Memory,' published last year, has a chapter on ' Stone and Bronze in Ceremonies and Superstitions.' In it he touches on the belief in stone celts and arrow-heads as thunder-stones and slf- shot, and the " strange circumstantial evidence (that) was adduced respecting these elfish performances." I do not know whether the following curious example of this has been noted :
" In tonitruis tamen qusedam quasi lapideae sub- stantise. Quod ego Radulfus vidi apud Kotho- magum. Dum Rothomagensis archiepiscopus equitaret, in tempore tonitruoso, cecidit super caput ejus quasi ferrum sagittse nigerrimum ; nee tamen cappam penetravit, imo in quadam plica stetit, nee habebat nisi parum ponderosi- tatis."
This is from a commentary made by one Rodulfus de Longo Campo on the ' Anti- Claudianus ' of Alain de Lille. M. Haureau, in his notice of it assigns it to the year 1216 (Notices ct Extraits des MSS, &c., vol. xxxiii. part i. p. 284). FRANK W. HACQUOIL.
WE must request correspondents desiring in- formation on family matters of only private interest to affix their names and addresses to their queries, in order that answers may be sent to them direct.
" TACITURN " : GRIEVE IN SMOLLETT. Will any one who knows Smollett send us a referenco, as exact as possible, to the follow- ing passage, which is given by Todd (1818), without any reference other than " Smollett," and has been copied from Todd in the same vague way by later dictionaries ? " Grieve was very submissive, respectful, and remark- ably taciturn." Who was Grieve ?
This is apparently the first recorded use of what is now a common word, though " taciturnity " goes back to Shakspere, and " taciturnous " was admitted by Bailey in 1727. J. A. H. MURRAY.
" BACK TO THE LAND." Can you tell me what is the origin of the expression " Back to the land " ? I fancy it is the title of a poem written in the Middle Ages, but I cannot find it. It has become an accepted expression nowadays, but I feel sure its origin is to be found in some fourteenth- or fifteenth- century poem or song.
SAINT AND THE NICHE. Can any of your readers give me the exact form, with instances of its occurrence, of a French proverb which runs nearly as follows : " Tant que la niche est vide, le saint peut revenir " ? Littre under niche quotes from Retz, iii. 238, an allusive use of the first half of the sentence, and under saint gives various proverbs relating to saints, but not this one, which, however, I am sure I have met with. W. A. Cox.
49, Chesterton Road, Cambridge.
CAXTON' s BIRTHPLACE : CAUSTON, COS- TEN. Can any of your readers refer me to sources of information about the family and relations of William Caxton, the first English printer ? We know from his own statement that he was born in " the Weeld of Kent." Tradition, from old time, has located his birth at Hadlow. Causton, the Anglicized (or Kenticized) version of his name, is preserved in a field-name Caustons ; and a family of Costens is still to be found in the parish. A statement has been circu- lated in this district that Caxton was born at Hope Cottage (site only remaining now), on a little moated patch of land on Hope