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10 s. xii. JULY 10, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


35


having enrolled themselves among the eighty men hired to light the dome and cupola o St. Peter's on the evening of " Easte Sunday, April the sixteenth."

Possibly Miss Edwards had some reason for giving this precise date. It would, '. think, be 16 April, 1854.

ROBERT PIERPOINT.

RAILWAY TRAVELLING REMINISCENCES (K S. xi. 486). It does not require to be i septuagenarian to remember the tern " covered carriages " as officially used bj railway companies. In the later sixties and it may be later the Great Western Railway Company, to my personal recol lection, always announced its excursions

as "First class, ; covered carriages

." A. F. R.

EMENDATIONS IN ENGLISH BOOKS (10 S. xi. 401). Political students who are at the same time men of leisure may be interested in recalling the history of the debates on the Budget of 1841, which has been admirably summarized in a work that has attained high rank as a classic during the lifetime of its author ' The Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay.' I can only be permitted to make a bare reference to a situation which in some important respects bore a striking similarity to that which is agitating the taxpayer at the present moment, and my sole object in writing is to invite attention to an apparent verbal irregularity in Sir George Trevelyan's historical review. One main feature in the Budget, which aroused strong opposition on the part of the planting interest in the West Indies, was a proposal to reduce the duty on foreign sugar, and on this the historian remarks :

" Lord Sandon moved an amendment, skilfully framed to catch the votes of Abolitionist members of the Liberal party, and the discussion was dis- cussed through eight livelong nights, with infinite repetition of argument, and dreariness of detail." To discuss a Budget is a feat which requires unusual qualities on the part of our Parlia- mentary stalwarts, but to discuss a dis- cussion on a Budget is a tour de force which, if not beyond the capacity of the House of Commons, few would care to undertake except those vigorous writers on the Press whose power, if we may believe Lord Rose- bery, exceeds that of any statesman, and who in a collective gathering strike even Prime Ministers with awe. I am therefore inclined to think that the intention of the writer was to say that the discussion was pro- longed through eight livelong nights, a waste of time from which in these more


humane days we are spared by the merciful use of the guillotine. The passage will be found at p. 401 of the cheap edition of the book in Longman's " Silver Library."

W. F. PRIDEAUX.

WOMAN BURNT FOR POISONING HER HUSBAND (10 S. xi. 407, 497). A girl was sentenced to be burnt to death at Exeter in 1782 for killing her master. In T}ie Flying Post for 3 May, 1782, is the brief announcement :

"On Monday, Rebecca Downing was committed to High-Gaol for poisoning her Master."

The trial took place at the following July assizes, and is thus chronicled in the issue of the same paper for 2 August :

" Thursday last the Assizes ended here, at which Rebecca Downing was sentenced to be burnt alive for the murder of Richard Jar vis."

On another page of this newspaper are the following details of the execution in question :

'Rebecca Downing was, on Monday last, pursuant of her sentence, drawn on a sledge to the place of execution, attended by an amazing con- 3ourse of people, where, after being strangled, her aody was burnt to ashes. While under sentence, and at the place of execution, she appeared totally gnorant or her situation, and insensible to every iind of admonition."

The " place of execution " was Ringswell, situated about a mile and a half outside the city. A small burial-ground was attached

o it, given by the Mayor of Exeter (John

Petre) in 1557.

The murder took place at East Portle- iiouth in South Devon. In the graveyard here, a little to the north-west of the fifteenth-century tower of the parish church dedicated to St. Winwaloe, a sixth-century Breton), may be seen an old slate headstone. The inscription thereupon is rather difficult o decipher, but, with a little trouble, can )e read as follows :

" Here lieth the bodj of Richard Jar vis of ickham in this parish, who departed this life the ' 5th day of May, 1782, aged 79.

Through poison strong, he was cut off,

And brought to death at last. It was by his apprentice girl,

On whom there's sentence past.

Oh, may all people warning take,

For she was burned at a stake."

HARRY HEMS. Fair Park, Exeter.

This subject has often been discussed, nd the columns of ' N. & Q.' contain much nformation with regard to it, as the follow- ng references will testify : 4 S. xi. 174, 222, 47 ; 5 S. xii. 149 ; 7 S. viii. 387 ; ix. 49. 'he most notorious case was that of Mrs.