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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/479

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10 B. xii. NOV. is, 1909.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


In 1481 a John Caxton was a mercer, a freeman of the city of Canterbury, and left some of his property to the Hospital of St. Nicholas, Harbledown.

The recital of the foregoing members of the Caxton or Causton family helps to prove that William Caxton was certainly not of obscure birth, but supports Bagford's asser- tion that the family was " of great repute of old, and genteel like."

The exact year of Caxton' s birth is not known, but Mr. Blades and others have fixed upon 1422-3 as the probable year, and their contention is supported by the fact that he was apprenticed to Robert Large, an Alderman of the City of London, in 1438, which would allow him to have then been of the age of sixteen.


Museum and Public Library, Maidstone.

Mr. E. Gordon Duff in his * William Caxton ' (Chicago, 1905) writes thus:

"The first fact of his life we learn from the pre- face of the first book he printed : ' I was born and lerned myn Englissh in Kente in the Weeld where I doubte not is spoken as brode and rude Englissh as is in ony place of Englond.'

" This is the only reference to his birthplace, and such as it is, is remarkably vague, for the extent or limits of the Weald of Kent were never clearly defined. William Lambarde, in his 'Perambulation of Kent,' writes thus of it : 'For it is manifest by the auncient Saxon chronicles, by Asserus Men- ovensis, Henrie of Huntingdon, and almost all others of latter time, that beginning at Winchelsea in Sussex it reacheth in length a hundred and twenty miles toward the West, and stretched thirty miles in breadth toward the North.' The name Caxton, Cauxton, or Causton, as it is variously spelt, was not an uncommon one in England, but there was one family of that name specially connected with that part of the country, who owned the manor of Caustons, near Hadlow, in the Weald of Kent. Though the property had passed into other hands before the time of the printer's birth, some families of the name remained in the neighbourhood, and one at least retained the name of the old home, for there is still in existence a will, dated 1490, of John Cawston of Hadlow Hall, Essex.

"The Weald was largely inhabited by the descendants of the Flemish families who had besn induced by Edward III. to settle there and carry on the manufacture of cloth. Privileged by the king, the trade rapidly grew, and in the fifteenth century was one of great importance. This mixture of Flemish blood may account in certain ways for the 'brode and rude Englissh' just as the Flemish trade influenced Caxton's future career."

R. A. PEDDIE. St. Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, E.G.

It is obvious that the field-name Caustons is of no particular value : it simply means "of or belonging to Causton," and is .derived from the older place-name Causton.

If Caxton was born in Kent, it does not follow that his father was born there also. There is a Caxton in Cambridgeshire, spelt Caustone in Domesday Book ; and a Cawston in Norfolk. The former was spelt Caxton as early as 1245, as noted in my 'Place-Names of Cambridgeshire.'


ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF BOHEMIA (10 S. xii. 189, 292). Neither of your corre- spondents who have replied to MRS. COPE having answered part of her query, perhaps I may attempt to do so, by asking, Is it certain that the portrait referred to has left Hampton Court ? My copy of the ' Historical Catalogue of the Pictures and Tapestries,' dated 1907, has at p. 37 the entry :

"132. Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, daughter of

James I. Full-length, with a fan of feathers


This is followed by half a page of notes as

to the history of this " highly interesting


On the occasion of a recent visit to the palace I noticed that some (at least) of the pictures appeared to have undergone slight rearrangement, with consequent renumber- ing. Possibly this has misled your querist. WILLIAM McMiiRRAY.

The malady referred to by MRS. SUCKLING in her reply "is, I think, known as "plica polonica" or "coma caesarea " (in German " Weichselzopf," " Judenzopf," &c.), but the symptoms are different from those given by your correspondent. It is a disease of the scalp produced by absolute neglect of the hair, accompanied perhaps by eczema or some other skin disease. According to a German authority, until the end of the sixteenth century it was found not only in Poland, but also in Switzerland, Germany, &c. L- L. K.

HARTWELL, BUCKS (10 S. xii. 264). I am obliged to MR. WELFORD for his correction of my statement (ante, p. 193) that Hart- well, where Queen Louise de Savoy died, was a seat belonging to the Marquis of Buckingham. My erroneous authority was probably ' Paterson's Roads,' 16th ed., 1822. In the 18th ed., 1826, the mistake is not repeated. There the house is attri- buted to the Rev. Sir George Lee. Accord- ing to ' Paterson's Roads ' and ' Gary's Itinerary,' 5th ed., 1812, the king lived at Hart well under the title of Comte de Lille. The latter mentions him as Comte de Lille only. ROBERT PIERPOINT.