10 s. xii. NOV. 6, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
LONDON, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1909.
NOTES : John Michell, Mayor of London, 361 Fleetwood Genealogical Puzzle Inscriptions at Naples, 362 The Fifth of November in America Old London Bridge- Queen's Theatre, 1704, 364 Children with same Christian Name Language and Physiognomy Lease for 8,000 Years St. Paul's Cathedral: Edward Strong, 365- Living Dead Sawbridgeworth Legend, 366.
QUERIES : "Taglioni" = Greatcoat Barry O'Meara Hotel Servants, 366 Matthew Raper White City Sundial Motto Canon Polling Thumb Bibles -Cainsford Ben- venuto Cellini's 'Jupiter' Bangor: Conway: St. Asaph Braile's Big Well, 387 Moore's 'Lalla Rookh' Mary, Queen of Scots : Spur and Brooch Countess at Tunbridge Wells Children in Different Ages Sir Horace Mann
- Town and Country Magazine ' French Taxes Remitted
Tressevelen Family, 368 Drinking Tobacco Stiverton Arms "Can" v. "Cannot," 369.
REPLIES : Mrs. Beecher Stowe on Byron, 369 American Words and Phrases, 370 "Bourne" in Place-Names Cowper: Dowling, 372 Fleetwood of Calwich Exeter Marriage Licences Polly Kennedy, 373 Miller Biblio- graphy Gomara on the West Indies Flying Machines in 1751 Flying Machines of the Far East" One," 374 Compositor's " Case "" Taciturn " : Grieve in Smollett Anthors Wanted Macaulay on Dryden Hopscotch, 375 'N. & Q.' Commemoration George Gordon Regula- 'tion Swords " Correct to a T "" Biscuit's Throw" Death-bed of the Blessed Virgin, 376 Military Canal at Sandgate " Dish of Tea" Usher of the Green Rod- White Tree of Crockerton Hill "Coffee" Mrs. Vanneck, 377 " Mauraden " Last Duel with Swords ' Lochinvar,' 378.
NOTES ON BOOKS :-Boase's 'Modern English Bio-
graphy 'Reviews and Magazines, iooksellers' '
JOHN MICHELL, MAYOR OF LONDON.
IN his able and interesting introduction to the ' Calendar of Letter-Book I.' (Guildhall Records) my friend Dr. Reginald R. Sharpe draws attention (p. xv, foot-note) to the fact that in my ' Aldermen of London ' (pp. 56, 89, 271), I state that John Michell (Mayor 1424-5 and 1436-7) was a Fishmon- ger, whereas he is described in the Letter- Book as a Grocer. Dr. Sharpe has, of course, correctly reproduced his authorities : that goes without saying. Nevertheless, I have not the slightest doubt that I am absolutely right in this matter : if there is an error anywhere, as very probably there is, it is on the part of the original scribe who entered the minutes in Letter-Book I.
John Michell, commoner, was elected M.P. for London in 1411, and Auditor of the City in 1413, in both cases being described as Grocer (ff. cv. b and cxxvi). As early as 3 Feb., 1414, John Michell is found acting as Alderman of Castle Baynard Ward (Husting Roll 141, 84) ; and on 21 Sept., 1414, he was elected Sheriff, being then described as "Alderman and Grocer" (Letter-Book I, fo. cxxxv).
I am not aware of any later reference at which he is styled Grocer, but in December, 1417, John Michell Fishmonger, was named first in a commission of four appointed to levy the subsidy. This is clearly the Alder- man, the second name being that of his fellow-Alderman, Ralph Bartone (fo. ccxxii). In the minute of his election to the Mayoralty in 1424 (Letter-Book K, fo. xxii b) he is again styled Fishmonger ; and in the list of Mayors at the end of Letter-Book F, which has already been calendared by Dr. Sharpe, that designation is appended to his name for both his mayoral years (1424 and 1436). Moreover, in his will (P.C.C. 29 Luffenam) he is described as Fishmonger ; and in Herbert's ' Livery Companies/ as well as in the list of Mayors and Sheriffs arranged under their respective companies, which was compiled by William Smyth, Rouge Dragon (Guildhall MS. 482), he is assigned to the Fishmongers. John Michell's name is not found in the list of Wardens of the Grocers' Company, as it almost assuredly would have been had he been a member of that fraternity : no other contemporary Mayor or Sheriff who belonged to it is omitted from that list.
One possible explanation is that he was originally a Grocer, and changed his company to that of the Fishmongers soon after becoming an Alderman ; but there is no evidence whatever that such was the case, and it is exceedingly improbable. I suspect, therefore, that there is an error (repeated three times) in the original MS. of Letter- Book I, and it is easy to account for it. Contemporary with John Michell was a prominent citizen, possibly his brother or cousin, named William Michell, who was M.P. for London in 1415 (' Return of Members of Parliament,' i. 286), and Auditor in 1420 (Letter-Book I, fo. ccliv), and who served the office of Warden of the Grocers' Company in 1412, and again in 1418. By a singular coincidence, we find that " William Michel " is erroneously written for " John Michell " in the list of Aldermen present on 21 Sept., 1420 (Letter-Book I, fo. ccliv) ; and there are similar mistakes in Christian names elsewhere in this volume, which Dr. Sharpe has noted : hence we cannot regard the liter a scripta of the Letter-Book as final evidence from which there is no appeal. Clerks appear to have been as liable to make blunders in their entries in the fifteenth century as they are in the twentieth, and I think there can be little doubt- that in describing John Michell the Alderman as a Grocer, the writer was confusing him with