Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/28

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [ii B. XL JAN. 2, 1915.

O'NEILL (11 S. x. 470). The ancient princes of O'Neill are represented to-day in the male line by his Excellency Jorge O'Neill (The O'Neill), Grand Officier d'Honneur de la Maison du Boi, Lisbon, whose family settled in Portugal in 1736. The O'Neill descends in the male line from Brian Ballagh, Prince of Claneboy, second son of Neill Mor O'Neill, Prince of Claneboy temp. Henry VII.

T. A. O'MoRCHOE, Clk. Kilternan Rectory, co. Dublin.

"SPIRITUAL MEMBERS" (11 S. x. 490). The meaning of the phrase " greeves of the spirituall members " is, no doubt, " troubles of the respiratory organs."

P. MORDAUNT BARNARD. 10, Dudley Road, Tunbridge Wells.

" As SOUND AS A ROACH'S " (11 S. x. 468). The expression really should be "As sound as a roach," and will be found in most books of proverbs and phrases. Lean in his ' Collectanea,' ii. 875, quotes it as being from the works of John Gay (1685- 1732), and in a note says that it means "as sound as a rock," being a corruption from the French roche. Brewer's ' Dic- tionary of Phrase and Fable ' gives " Roach. Sound as a roach (French, Sain comme une roche). Sound as a rock."


The ' N.E.D.' shows that, far from being novel, this phrase is some hundreds of years old. MR. CECIL CLARKE mentioned a similar use of " bell." The quotation in the ' N.E.D.' from Gay combines both words : " Hearts sound as any bell or roach." EDWARD BENSLY.

This is a very old saying which any angler will acknowledge as a good simile. The roach is a " live " fish, in the market sense, long after it is caught. Brewer says the phrase is a perversion of " Sain comme une roche," but the French say " Frais comme un gardon," and a very old dic- tionary in my possession gives the popular English equivalent " Sound as a roach." Larousse says the fish is called " gardon " because it lives so long out of water.


Mitre Court, Temple.

This has been known to me all my life as used in respect to physical conditions, and I have the impression of having somewhere read that it took its rise from St. Roch, the patron saint of those stricken with the plague, who distributed all his wealth to the poor

and to the hospitals. There is a St. Rook's Hill near Chichester, and at East Lavant Church, near by, is the following entry in the register, made by a rector who was appointed in 1726 :

" Aug* y e 16 th St. Rook's day, said to be bury'd in E. Lavant Chancell and that to be his monu- ment in ye North-wall of y e said Chancell."

W. B. H.

The comparison may possibly be post- Adamic, but it is certainly not of modern origin. MR. CECIL CLARKE will find some- thing to interest him in ' N. & Q.,' 5 S. ii. 274, 314, 458, 525 ; iii. 37, 98, 197.


This was a favourite expression of a doctor I knew well fifty years ago. After examining a patient, if the result was satisfactory, he would congratulate him and say, " You are as sound as a roach."

A. N. Q. [D. O. also thanked for reply.]

"MADAME DRURY, AGED 116" (11 S. x 467, 514). Drury Lane Theatre is here per- sonified as an ancient dame.

After the destruction by fire, in 1672, of the house then standing, the theatre was rebuilt by Wren, and was opened in 1674* It flourished for some 117 years, and was then again rebuilt on a larger scale, and reopened in 1794. H. D. ELLIS.

7, Roland Gardens, S.W.

[H. also thanked for reply.]

"WE'LL GO TO KEW IN LILAC TIME" (11 S. x. 490). This is a ballad by Alfred Noyes, and will be found in ' A Treasury of Verse' (Edgar), pt. iii. p. 9 (Harrap & Co., York Street, W.C. ), and in other collections. CHARLOTTE SIMPSON.

EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY KENTISH TOKENS (11 S. x. 449, 514). Of the first token I have two specimens, differing only in their edges : the edge of one reads PAYABLE BY i. GIBBS. LAMBERHURST, and the other reads PAY- ABLE BY i. GIBBS SUSSEX. The same token was thus used both in Kent and Sussex. Of the second token I have three specimens, differing only in their edges : (1) PAYABLE


second is usually found countermarked with a large " F." Of the third token I have one specimen, the edge of which reads PAYABLE BY i. SIMMONS STAPLEHURST. This system, of lettering the edges enabled one type of token to be used by several traders. They