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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/477

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io s. xn. NOV. is, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


' DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY : EPITOME ' (10 S. xii. 24, 124, 262, 333). According to the publishers of this work, the lists submitted by me for consideration are

  • misleading and inaccurate." The points

on which this singular view is based may be considered in detail.

As for those who have died recently, I expressly pointed out at the first reference in the above list that such persons " are included here for convenient reference, as suggestions." (See also 10 S. ix. 211.)

As the word ' Epitome ' occurs some nine or ten times in capital letters in the head- ings, and as there is but one ' D.N.B. Epitome,' whether an ' Index ' or not, the expression ' D.N.B.' w r as used for convenient brevity in my lists, being that by which the ' Epitome ' is popularly known. I have never deemed it necessary to absorb space selfishly by printing the full title at every reference.

Messrs. SMITH & ELDER are mistaken if they think my lists are final or exhaustive. To take a single family as an example, the race of Dunbar traces descent from the English and Scottish thrones. It numbers some twenty-nine generations in unbroken line, many of whom are conspicuous in the pages of British history. One turns to the ' D.N.B. Epitome,' and finds eight of the less interest- ing members enumerated. The other twenty (one is alive) were excluded, I now know, because they were " small persons," like Shakespeare's children and relatives.

Further, to take the two persons who converted the ' D.N.B.' from a great idea into a greater fact, was it just or fair to give George Smith half a column in the ' Epitome ' and exclude Sir Leslie Stephen ? Again, take the early Scottish kings and thanes ; many of those were far more substantial and important than nebulous Robin Hood. Why were they ignored ? The publishers' reply will be that they were too " small."

Personally, I prefer to look in another direction for the real explanation of these and other omissions. Some time ago I received from the editor of the ' Epitome ' a communication upon a name in my first list of corrections, which had been omitted from the * D.N.B.' and its 'Epitome ' to his regret. It is only fair to add that permis- sion to quote from that letter is refused.

With the corrections of the great * Dic- tionary ' itself I am not concerned. They have been partly dealt with elsewhere in the lengthy supplement of ' Errata ' ; partly by scores of critics and friends since the

' Errata ' appeared ; and, generally, by an able and dispassionate article on the 9th of October last in The Athenceum.


SPANISH ARMADA : SHIPS WRECKED OFF AYRSHIRE (10 S. xii. 249, 330). In Mr. B. L. M'QUILLIN'S reply a vessel called the Gran Grifon is said to have been lost on Fair Island, " in Ireland." I do not know of any Fair Island except that between Orkney and Shetland, usually called " the Fair Isle." On it one of the Armada was wrecked, a vessel commanded by Don Juan Gomes de Medina (McCrie, ' Life of Andrew Melville,' p 136).

For proof that the vessel wrecked in Tobermory Bay was the Florencia, I may perhaps be allowed to refer your corre- spondent to my ' Scots Earl in Covenanting Times,' p. 132 (Edinburgh, Andrew Elliot). JOHN WILLCOCK.


There was formerly in the possession of some of the Denny family (whose ancestor Sir Edward Denny was High Sheriff of co. Kerry in the Armada year) a large table, rudely fashioned, apparently of mahogany, black with age, which, according to tradition, formed part of the wreckage of one of the Armada vessels which came ashore near Tralee. It was sold with some other property of the late Mrs. Arthur Denny in Dublin in 1903, and I do not know who is its present possessor. H. L. L. D.

ROMAN LEGIONS : THEIR HISTORY (10 S. xii. 230). There is a useful article on ' Exercitus ' by Dr. L. C. Purser in the third edition (1890) of ' A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,' ed. by W. Smith, W. Wayte, and G. E. Marindin. Sixty-three columns are devoted to the Roman Army, and references given to other articles and larger works. The chief history of the legions is W. Pfitzner's ' Geschichte der Romischen Kaiserlegionen von Augustus bis Hadrianus ' (Leipzig, 1881). I do not know of any English translation. There is a disserta- tion on Legio I. (Italica) by F. Beuchel (Leipzig, 1903). R. Cagnat has dealt with a special field in his ' L'Armee Romaine d'Afrique.' Material for the history of individual legions is to be found in the indis- pensable * Corpus Inscr. Lat.' and ' Ephe- meris Epigraphica.' Other monographs are Ritterling's ' De Legione Romanorum X Gemina' (1885) and Filow's 'Die Legionen der Provinz Moesia,' &c. (1906).