Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/144

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134


NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii s. XL FEB. 13, 1915.


THE TERM " VARAPPEE " (10 S. viii. 349).

While turning over some back volumes

of ' N. & Q.' I came across two queries as to which I can supply scraps of information, however belated.

The term " Varappee " (the right spelling) is a well-known climbing expression used by the Genevese and other French-speaking Swiss for a difficult rock- climb. Here is the explanation given in the ficho des Alpes (Geneva), 1883, p. 248:

" Ce nom de Varappe est tir de certains couloirs du Saleve, situes entre la Grande Gorge et le Coin. Ces couloirs, qui, a premiere vue, semblent etre inaccessibles, sont parcourus fr^quemment par quelques Clubistes ge"nevois, qui estiment qu'il faut demander a la montagne autre chose que la rnarche, et que, pour retirer tout le bien possible des courses alpestres, il faut que tout le corps travaille et non les jambes seulement. Cette manie de rechercher ce qui passe parmi la plupart de leurs collegues pour des casse-cou, leur a fait donner le nom de ' Varappeux,' et a leur bande celui de ' Varappe.' "

The writer of the above article, a Genevese climber, is describing the first ascent of the most westerly and highest (some 11,600ft.) of the series of jagged rocky pinnacles which rise to the south of the Trient Glacier (at the Swiss end of the Mont Blanc chain), and in 1850 were named (because of the deep ruddy yellow hue of the rocks) the " Aiguilles ^Dorees " by the late Principal J. D. Forbes on the occasion of his passage of the Fenctre de Saleinaz, just at the west foot of the highest of these points (see ' Peaks, Passes, and Glaciers,' First Series, 1859, p. 19). The group is that marked " E " on the diagram given in Forbes' s ' Xorway and its Glaciers,' Edinburgh, 1853, p. 335 (and reproduced, with notes, in my edition of Forbes's ' Travels through the Alps,' London, 1900, p. 460).

Tho 1883 writer named above and his friends were at first uncertain what name to give to their conquest. Here are the phrases which immediately precede that quoted previously :

" Ainsi perches sur not re Aiguille vaincue, entoures d'un horizon resplendissant, nous voulons baptiser notre conquete. L'un propose Aiguille de la Varappe ; c'est adopte d'emblee et nous orions tous : Vive 1' Aiguille de la Varappe, vive la Varappe, vive le Club Alpin, vive la moii- tagnc ! "

" Varappee " is thus a Genevese " slang " or patois term, now used in the genera" sense of a hard rock- climb, and specially applied to the peak described above, the name of which appears on all three editions (1896, 1905, and 1910) of the great Kurz Imfeld-Barbey map of the Chain of Mont


Blanc. A neighbouring peak received in 1895 the name of " Aiguille Forbes " (see The Alpine Journal, xvii. 357), which also appears on the above map.

W. A. B. COOLIDGE. Grindelwald.

GEORGE FITZROY, DUKE OF NORTHUMBER- LAND (10 S. viii. 289, 352). In order to supplement MR. PIERPOINT'S reply as to 3)eorge Fitzroy's wife, it is worth while 10 ting what is said as to this subject in the 5econd edition (1736) of Anderson's ' Boyal Genealogies,' p. 772, Table DXVII. It is bhere stated that he married first Catha- rin (sic), daughter of Robert Wheatly, and secondly Mary Dutton.

W. A. B. COOLIDGE.

FARTHING VICTORIAN STAMPS (11 S. x. 489; xi. 34. 93). In my philatelic collec- iori I possess nine different reprints of British farthing stamps, all of which were issued by the " Delivery Company " a little over half a century ago ; also an equal number of three - farthing stamps, as well as the denominations of ' one penny " and " three pence." Prob- ably the Company also issued halfpenny stamps and others of a higher value, which [ do not happen to have. They are issued 'rom various cities and districts in England and Scotland, and are all of the same size, viz., half an inch by one and a quarter inches, gummed and perforated. The designs are similar, excepting that the arms of the city from which the set is issued appear in the heraldic shield. In a ribbon above the shield is the name of the city or district, and beneath in another ribbon the words " Delivery Company," and at the foot of the stamp the face value. The whole is enclosed in a solid background. The various places named in the sets are as follows :

Metropolitan. Design, a sword and cross of St. George, the arms of the City of London.

London. Design, the same, except that the word " London " appears instead of " Metropolitan."

Liverpool. Design, the liver bird, arms of the city.

Manchester. Design, a ship and three bars.

Birmingham. Design, the arms o f the city.

Edinburgh and Leith. Design, two shields, arms of the two boroughs respectively (castle and ship). The ribbons in this set differ in their folds from those in the other sets ; the lettering above the shields is " Edin r & Leith."